Ed Lee welcomes online gaming company to new SF digs 

Mayor Ed Lee welcomed online gaming company Kabam to a new office in the San Francisco on Wednesday, part of his assurance to business leaders that the economic state of the city is improving.

Lee spoke at the annual Mayors’ Economic Forecast, hosted by the San Francisco Business Times at the Marriott Marquis. He was joined by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

The company, which develops online social games such as "Kingdoms of Camelot," already had a foothold in San Francisco, as well as offices in Redwood City and China.

The new, 25,000-square-foot office at the Orrick Building 405 Howard St. will add 150 more jobs, including engineers, producers, artists and marketing staff, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“We want to draw further from the incredible talent pool for game development in the San Francisco area,” Kabam CEO Kevin Chou said in a statement.

Lee called Kabam “one of the most exciting online gaming companies.”

“Let the games begin,” he said.

Lee told the crowd that he was working to boost San Francisco’s credentials as a “city of innovation,” noting it has already landed dozens of other high-tech, biotech, life sciences and green tech firms, including companies based in China.

 “Not only in investment, but the business climate [in San Francisco] is changing,” he said.

Lee is still awaiting word from Twitter, which he is hoping will anchor the revitalization of the mid-Market area. City officials have offered the company a six-year payroll tax exemption to move their headquarters there.

Lee added that he might support broad changes to the city’s payroll tax system, to big applause from the crowd. Supervisor David Chiu made a similar proposal in January.



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