UPDATED AT 4 p.m.: Bumble released a statement to the American-Statesman about its time at the Bowie high-rise.
Everyone at Bumble looks back upon our time at Bowie with great fondness and as such a memorable chapter in our company’s history. The 31st floor is where it all started and we thoroughly enjoyed our relationship with the residents. The building management was fully aware of our operations and never once issued us a complaint of any kind. And while it was never brought to our attention by management, we deeply regret any disturbance we may have caused at the building.”
Bumble also said they never received any complaints from management about parking in paid spots. “As our demand for parking increased, we paid management the daily rate for the visitor lot and instructed our team to park there,” Bumble said in a statement.
The dating app company first moved the Bowie in July 2015, and moved out last month after renovations were completed at their new office. According to a Bumble Facebook post, their new headquarters are off West 41st Street.
EARLIER: Popular dating app Bumble angered residents of the Bowie, a 37-story Austin high-rise apartment complex, when it leased a two-bedroom apartment in the building and treated it as its corporate headquarters rather than as a living space, according to a BuzzFeed report.
Tensions got so bad that someone eventually filed a code complaint with the city. A code department spokeswoman confirmed that a complaint was filed to the American-Statesman.
According to BuzzFeed’s report:
BuzzFeed News has learned that over the past year, as the company swelled in size, the two-bedroom apartment on the 31st floor that it had repurposed into a plush startup office became the focus of a cold war between Bumble employees, building staff, and residents who felt the company was unfairly dominating the luxury building’s amenities, including common spaces, a rooftop pool, and paid parking.”
Bumble is an Austin-based dating app founded by Whitney Wolfe, who previously worked for Tinder. It functions similarly to Tinder except that it puts women in the driver’s seat. Only women can initiate first contact through the app. Bumble also has a friend-finding function.
The BuzzFeed story quotes several apartment residents who complain about Bumble’s use of the apartment. One of the squabbles allegedly revolving around Bumble’s use of paid parking spots without paying for them.
A recent New York Times profile of Wolfe and Bumble even featured photos of their offices from a downtown Austin high-rise.
BuzzFeed says the building’s concierge had to leave signs in the lot reading “No Bumble Parking.” Bumble disputes that the company took paid parking spots and said it paid the daily parking rates for the visitor lot.
The story says Bumble no longer operates out of the Bowie. The city did an inspection of the apartment and the company “voluntarily” left, according to a city spokeswoman.
We have reached out to both Pinnacle Property Management Services, which manages the Bowie, and Bumble to verify what was reported by BuzzFeed. We’ll update this story with their comments if they respond to our queries.
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