Kount, one of Boise’s newer tech companies, is the latest to commit to downtown office space.
Located on Lusk Street just across the Boise River from downtown since its founding in 2008, Kount intends to occupy the 35,000-square-foot, four-story office building variously known as the Langroise Building, John Alden Building and 10th and Main.
“It can eventually be called the Kount Building,” said Kate Lenz, Kount’s vice president of human resources. “We looked at properties from Federal Way to Eagle Road. The best fit for Kount was the downtown corridor.”
Kount develops technology that can analyze hundreds of bits of data when a customer makes a credit card purchase online or on a mobile phone to determine if it is a valid or fraudulent transaction within 250 milliseconds.
Kount, a fully-owned subsidiary of Keynetics, is among the dozen largest players in the world in online fraud and risk management, Lenz said.
In December 2015, Kount received an $80 million growth equity investment from CVC Capital Partners, at that time considered the largest private equity investment in Idaho.
Since then, Kount has grown from 68 employees to 131 employees and expects to reach 190 or 200 employees when the company moves into 10th and Main in early 2019.
Lenz said the building can hold more than 300 people.
Kount will lease the building from Ketchum-based Sawtooth Development Group, which bought the vacant John Alden Builidng in February 2013 intending to convert it into apartments or condos. Sawtooth CEO Shane Felker determined it made more financial sense to build the 26-unit One Nineteen condos on the neighboring parking lot than renovate the 1910 Langroise Building for apartments.
The Langroise/Alden building has been empty since 2009 or 2010, and Felker did not see much hope for finding office tenants now that the 18-story Eighth and Main building, the new Simplot headquarters, and the Clearwater Building have opened nearby.
“The building just became white noise,” Felker said. “People forgot it was even there. I was hoping to find a new, cool tech company. That was a little bit of a dream. Fortunately for us, the dream came true.”
Felker and Lenz said details are still being negotiated on a six- or seven-year lease.
Lenz said part of the appeal of moving downtown is the “vibe.” Kount’s 25,000 square feet on the Greenbelt will be available for lease after the company moves.
“We know our people appreciate being within a short bike ride from Alive After Five and other things,” she said. “We have a couple people who run on the Greenbelt every day and they still will.”
Neckar Coffee owner Grant Shealy will graduate from coffee cart to brick and mortar on the ground floor of 10th and Main.
Kount CEO Brad Wiskirchen said the company had been expected to expand elsewhere.
“There has been pressure to move to places considered traditional tech hotbeds,” he said in a news release. “But we know our innovation, growth and success comes from where our roots are – and that is in Boise, Idaho.”
Wiskirchen credited Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate and Sawtooth Development Group with making the downtown move possible.