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For a fledgling startup, finding an office in San Francisco can be a real nightmare. Rents are now climbing past $60 a square foot, second only to Manhattan in the US, and occupancy rates are the lowest in the country, according to brokerage firm CBRE.
This means young startups have to get creative if they insist on staying within the city. And Westfield, one of the world’s largest mall operators, has a solution for them: Bespoke, a 37,000-square-foot coworking and event space within its shopping center in downtown San Francisco. For $385 a month, entrepreneurs can park themselves at a shared desk and get access to the kinds of amenities that have become commonplace at tech companies, like a bocce ball court, bouldering wall, foosball tables, and even nap pods. Private offices for two people run $1,450 a month.
There is some irony to innovation happening inside the mall, a place where plenty of Americans idle away their time when there’s nothing better to do. […]