Twitter: We're staying in San Francisco

After much speculation, the company has formally announced that it will not be moving its headquarters out of the city, due in large part to the fact that it's going to be the beneficiary of a choice tax break.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read
Twitter's new office building. Market Square

Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ali Rowghani posted a message to his Twitter account on Friday that confirmed the company will be keeping its headquarters in San Francisco, ending much speculation and city politicking. "Happy to say that Twitter is staying in San Francisco," Rowghani's tweet read. "We've signed a lease to move our HQ to the Central Market area."

A post on the Twitter blog announced that the move, to a building called Market Square, will happen in mid-2012.

"We are proud that Twitter will be among the first companies moving into the Central Market area and will be playing a role in its renewal with the city and with other businesses, arts organizations, and the numerous community organizations that have been doing hard work in the neighborhood for many years," the blog post read. "San Francisco's unique creativity and inventiveness is a part of Twitter's DNA, and we feel like we are part of San Francisco. Three-quarters of our employees who live in San Francisco are involved in causes and charities in the city. Our employees are excited to be active members of our future neighborhood as volunteers, customers, diners, and patrons of the arts."

Earlier this month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to grant a payroll tax cap to some businesses that were willing to move to the Central Market or Mid-Market district, an area of the city close to the Civic Center that has become a target for revitalization and improvement. The "Twitter tax break," as it came to be known, was not without critics; some said that it would drive up rents in one of San Francisco's few remaining affordable neighborhoods and deprive the city of a revenue source by granting tax breaks to some big companies like Twitter.

Had Twitter not been a beneficiary of the tax break, it's likely the company would have moved its headquarters south to Brisbane, Calif.; it had been considering moving its fast-growing workforce out of its current home in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood because of the city's high rents and payroll taxes.