The Los Angeles company behind the popular humor website The Chive is relocating to Austin this summer, promising millions in investment and dozens of new jobs.
Resignation Media, which owns The Chive website and a number of others, will move into the old Shoreline Grill building downtown and is currently renovating the 12,000 square foot space on San Jacinto Boulevard.
Over the next five years, the company says it plans to invest $8 million into transforming the building and expanding its Austin operations.
Leo Resig, co-founder and CEO of Resignation Media, said his company decided to relocate because of California’s higher cost of living and doing business. About 35 employees will make the move to Austin and the company plans on hiring about 40 more, he said.
“California is just not a good place for small businesses to thrive and grow,” he said. “Between the cost of living and the taxes, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
The company looked at a number of cities around the country, including Seattle, Denver, Nashville and Boulder, Colo., he said.
But Austin “blew them all away” in terms of the talent pool, cost of living and the business climate, Resig said.
The Chive, stylized as theCHIVE.com, is a collection of funny photos and videos that draws 4 million unique visitors a day, Resig said.
Currently about nine employees are working in Austin in temporary offices; the rest will be moved by the end of the summer. The building should be renovated and ready by year’s end, Resig said.
Austin officials hailed the relocation as a feather in the area’s tech cap.
Central Texas is currently home to more than 4,400 technology companies, said Terence Spielman, co-chair of the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Greater Austin Technology Partnership.
“As a fast growing, cutting-edge digital media company, Resignation Media is a strong addition to the Austin tech community,” he said.
Once in its new building, the company will ramp up production on its e-commerce site, TheChivery.com. Its existing distributor, Amplifier, was already in Austin and was a partial reason for the move here, Resig said. The expansion will also include a new microbrewery, Resignation Brewery, which will begin rolling out products this year.