The San Francisco Business Times is reporting that San Francisco-based microblogging darling Twitter is looking into a real estate purchase in Brisbane California, specifically the 200,000 square foot current home of Walmart.com at the Sierra Point Towers.
While reports hold that Twitter is also considering the Centennial Towers in South San Francisco, Brisbane City Manager Clay Holstine confirmed the Brisbane inquiry to the Mercury News saying, “I don’t know where they are in the process.”
Just a couple months ago we had heard that Twitter was down to two places in their new HQ search, both in SOMA. A move to San Mateo county would come as a surprise, especially considering how proud San Francisco is of being home to the company.
“Thank you for not leaving our city as you grow,” Mayor Gavin Newsom told Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone at at a 2009 press appearance meant to highlight his adoption of the service.
When asked to confirm the reports, Twitter representative Carolyn Penner said in a statement, “We have about 350 employees. And based on our current growth trajectory, we can’t stay on the two floors that we currently have. So, at some point we’re going to have to look at other options.”
My request for more specific details on whether those “other options” included more tax friendly locations outside San Francisco have as of yet gone unanswered.
At 350 employees, Twitter has tripled its staff in a year’s time, and with its aggressive hiring practices and new funding that expansion rate isn’t likely to slow down. SF games leader Zynga recently moved down the street (to what used to be known as “Multimedia Gulch”) from us to accomodate its explosive employee growth.
Jennifer Matz, director of the SF Office of Economic and Workforce development, did give some hope for the tech giant’s staying put here the city, including possible tax breaks,“We are going to do everything in our power to keep Twitter’s headquarters here and help them find space that allows them to grow.”
As Twitter is synonymous with the revitalized tech sector in San Francisco, its move would be a huge symbolic and economic loss.
Image: Diamond Props