SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday he is ditching the San Francisco state office building where the lieutenant governor typically works in favor of hipper digs in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.

Newsom, the city’s former mayor, said he is sharing space in the Founders Den, an invitation-only workspace for entrepreneurs started by the founder of Friendster. The building’s other tenants include a variety of technology start-ups.

“This gives me a sense of possibility and expectation,” Newsom, a Democrat, said in an interview with the technology news blog TechCrunch.

Sacramento “is desperately in need of that kind of entrepreneurial energy,” he continued. “And I don’t knock the people that are up there, but seriously, think about your worst-case expectation and multiply that by infinity. That’s the reality.”

Newsom’s spokesman, Francisco Castillo, says the $500-a-month expense at Founders Den is less than it would cost to lease space in the state-owned building in San Francisco, as previous officeholders did.

He did not immediately know that cost, but said the lieutenant governor pays $5,100 a month for his space in the state Capitol.

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, the Republican Newsom defeated last November, closed the San Francisco office. Castillo said Newsom is closing the Los Angeles office as a cost savings but intends to make Sacramento his primary office.

He said Newsom’s move is part of his effort to redefine how government and business interact.

“The lieutenant governor believes it is symbolic of our efforts to restore California as an economic powerhouse,” he said.

In the online interview, Newsom said the employees who work at the state building in San Francisco file out at 4:50 p.m. and many don’t work on Fridays. State workers remain subject to furloughs — some one day a month, some three days.

Castillo said later that Newsom was not referring to state workers, but to the politicians who also work there.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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