Three-year-old American Express Ventures is taking over the downtown space formerly occupied by longtime restaurant Zibibbo, a company spokeswoman has confirmed. The corporate venture arm of American Express Co. moved into a small office location at 102 University Ave. in 2011.
The move into the 15,999-square-foot site will greatly expand AMEX Ventures' presence in Palo Alto. The company wants to incubate startups and have American Express teams work with the companies, Managing Partner Harshul Sanghi told The Wall Street Journal in late December. The move would increase the rate at which startups create new products, he said.
American Express Ventures is the strategic investment group within American Express that invests in innovative startups that enhance and accelerate the company's digital commerce and new business-related technologies. Its investments have included Bill.com, which supplies integrated bill paying and cash-flow management for businesses; Enigma, a centralized database of public records released by governments, companies and organizations; and Kiip, a mobile-rewards platform.
Zibibbo, a popular Mediterranean restaurant, closed in April after 17 years at 430 Kipling St. The yellow Victorian house is currently being gutted and renovated. Palo Alto real estate investment company Windy Hill PV One CM, LP is the property owner.
AMEX Ventures has a 10-year lease with variable costs per square foot, spokeswoman Heather A. Norton said. The company is not disclosing the specific costs.
But the Silicon Valley Business Journal, which first wrote about the AMEX occupancy, said the company has a deal at a rate of $7.45 triple net, which means the tenant pays for utilities and other costs. Windy Hill purchased the property for $11.5 million in March, according to the journal. City of Palo Alto property records show Rowena Wu and Zibibbo as the previous owners.