>> Snap Inc., a company that built itself around a disappearing messaging app and preserving privacy, itself a super secretive and private presence here, not in Silicon Valley, but Venice Beach, California. I'm Reuters' Jane Lanhee Lee, in front of the Snapchat offices. There's no signage, the windows are covered, and the employees for the most part won't talk.
Snap Inc., has taken over several buildings in Venice Beach to house its headquarters. There are other tech companies here too, like Google, but some locals say Snap has made itself a very unwelcome neighbor with all the windows covered like this. And you can't miss the security guards with their hats, the white shuttle vans between the buildings, or the gaggle of tech workers with their badges, transplants of Silicon Valley.
No surprise, some call this Silicon Beach. Wendy Lockett began serving food to the homeless right in front of Snap Inc.'s office.>> Venice has always been deemed the Ghetto by the Sea, and it was that way for a reason. We're proud of it. They're killing what we know to be a community.
>> In a statement Snap says, quote, many of us call Venice home, adding it's worked closely with local schools and nonprofits and it's begun focusing its future growth outside of Venice. Vivian Robinson, who's been selling things here for over 20 years, gave up this shop in August when the rent doubled.
She says fewer tourists are buying her jewelry from this stall so she's taken a job bagging groceries in the evenings.>> The tourists aren't gonna come down here if all they do is see a ghost town of Snapchat->> But so far the LA Tourism Board says the number of tourists hasn't changed.
It's not all complaints. There are those making money off the newly minted millionaires after Thursday's blockbuster IPO, like the owner of Mike's Cupcakes.>> It's almost like Venice won the lottery.>> Some say it's time Venice Beach and all the drugs got cleaned up, and some tourist even came to gawk at Snap inc.'s first Venice headquarters.
Now mostly an empty house that still has the ghost logo on the wall, easiest to see as the sun sets on Venice Beach.