Market Extra: As Twitter rethinks its San Francisco footprint, a bigger $9 billion question hangs over the city’s office market

by | Jul 27, 2022 | Stock Market

Twitter Inc. put its large San Francisco office footprint on review for downsizing on Wednesday, and has nixed the opening of an office in Oakland, Calif., a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. The move clouds the future of the social-media site’s stylish San Francisco headquarters, a 1.1 million-square-foot trophy office complex at 1355 Market Street, where Twitter
occupies about 75% of the space, according to Trepp data.

Cutbacks by technology giants could result in painful ramifications for San Francisco, a city with a skyline and culture dramatically reshaped in recent decades by a tech boom on its home turf, but also by staggering inequality and a homelessness crisis made worse by the pandemic. Twitter said in a statement Wednesday it was “evaluating our global office portfolio and resizing certain locations based on utilization,” but also that its decision doesn’t “impact our current head count or employee roles.” Offices in Seoul; Wellington, New Zealand; Osaka; Madrid; Hamburg; Sydney; and Utrecht, Netherlands, were put under review for closure when leases expire, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The plan would be to resize offices in Tokyo, Mumbai, New Delhi, Dublin, New York and San Francisco, but scrap plans entirely for a downtown Oakland outpost. Twitter has been battling Elon Musk in court after the Tesla Inc.
chief executive notified the company he was terminating his $44 billion agreement to acquire it, after raising the issue of bots and spam on the platform. A $9 billion cloud Beyond Twitter’s headquarters, lenders have financed some $9 billion worth of office properties in San Francisco in recent years by selling commercial mortgage bonds to investors, per a Trepp tally. Once viewed as a relatively safe real estate bet, especially trophy buildings, office properties lately have been an acute source of worry for landlords and financiers due to the rise of hybrid work. “There are a lot of technology companies that drive San Francisco that aren’t coming bac …

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