As Snap Inc. gears up for its forthcoming IPO, some of the company's Venice, California, neighbors rallied outside its doors, aiming to send a message to the fast-growing social media phenom: Get out.
On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of Venice locals gathered outside of Snap's offices to protest what they say is an unwelcome transformation of a vital piece of Los Angeles.
"This is a public street and the community will not sit by quietly while Snap attempts to annex it for a private corporate campus," 11-year Venice resident Laura Booth told BuzzFeed News.
Snap's headquarters is scattered throughout multiple buildings in the quirky beachside enclave that's home to surfers, eccentrics, and now herds of tech employees. The company's Venice footprint has ballooned ahead of an initial public offering expected to hit the market this later week. And, as BuzzFeed News reported last week, that growth is causing serious tension with neighbors, some of whom say Snap is turning Venice into "a horrible business park."
Reached for comment, Snap told BuzzFeed News that it is looking beyond Venice for future expansion.
"We’re very grateful to be a part of the Venice community and we are sorry for any strain that our growth has placed on those who live and work here," a Snap Inc. spokesperson said. "We've partnered closely with local schools and nonprofits to be a good neighbor and we've always tried to help our community feel safer in a neighborhood that is all too often the victim of violent crime. We recognize that we are no longer the small startup that we once were and we are necessarily concentrating our future growth outside of Venice."