Twitter fills new nest in mid-Market 

click to enlarge Move-in: Twitter was among the first to benefit from Mayor Ed Lee’s payroll-tax break for businesses that moved into the area, which has in recent years been troubled by crime, homelessness and vacant storefronts. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • mike koozmin/the s.f. examiner
  • Move-in: Twitter was among the first to benefit from Mayor Ed Lee’s payroll-tax break for businesses that moved into the area, which has in recent years been troubled by crime, homelessness and vacant storefronts.

The City’s transformation of the mid-Market Street area has begun after Twitter’s weekend move into a historic Market Square building.

The microblogging company said Monday it had begun occupying its “new nest” at 1355 Market St., where about 800 employees are expected to fill at least three of the 11 floors of the formerly vacant building. Constructed in 1937, the art deco palace is being renovated by the firm Shorenstein, which purchased it last year.

“We’re especially pleased to benefit from the considerable effort Shorenstein has taken to revitalize not only a beautiful landmark property, but a corner of The City that had fallen on hard times,” blogged Gabriel Stricker, Twitter’s vice president of communications.

Excepting planned ground-floor retail space, about 90 percent of the building is now leased out, according to Tom McDonnell, Shorenstein’s vice president of leasing.

While Twitter got the ball rolling, three other firms now plan to move into Market Square: CallSocket, an international call services center; One Kings Lane, a luxury online home furnishings retailer; and Yammer, a social-network provider for businesses.

Twitter was among the first to benefit from Mayor Ed Lee’s payroll-tax break for businesses that moved into the area, which has in recent years been troubled by crime, homelessness and vacant storefronts.

New businesses and the expected addition of thousands of nearby residential units could make it “a really fascinating neighborhood in a short period of time,” McDonnell said.

While some worry about higher rents forcing out poor residents or businesses, Mark Woolway, a Yammer executive vice president, said gentrification would be welcomed in The City’s new “tech epicenter.”

“With that influx of highly paid, very talented workers, the area’s going to transform very rapidly, I think,” he said. Yammer hopes to grow by 300 workers in the next few years.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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