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Wednesday, August 2, 2023


BRAND XNow you see it now you don’t. Here’s what may become a historic photo. It’s a new sign ballyhooing the new Twitter name “X” atop neeTwitter’s world headquarters building (1355 Market Street) atop the Market Square mixed use complex lasted one week. On July 31, the very day of the Mayan-style, million square foot monolith’s 76th anniversary, the sign came tumbling down. So goes city politic in what one wag called Baghdad by the Bay. There are two rules to surviving in San Francisco. Don’t run out of money and/ or don’t mess with its deeply entrenched unionized bureaucracy. 

X marks the spot. 

Or, to some folks X mars the spot. 

But the 1937 architectural monument in the heart of San Francisco is more than a spot. It’s a monster of a building home to more than a million square foot of office space.

Currently, 1355 Market Street (at 10th St.) is making news (let’s call it noise) because the new owner of Twitter on July 23, 2023 installed a flashing X atop the 11-story Mayan style icon. On the same day, the company officially switched the brand from Twitter to X. 

Many neighbors went apoplectic. The City and County of San Francisco (one of a few cities in the nation to be a city and a county within same boundaries) reports the signage went up without mandated building permits. 

Feathers have been ruffled on both sides.

If Twitter simply complied with the required rules the flap wouldn’t be in the news. 

 Of course, we must remember rules don’t apply to billionaires. 

As of yesterday, the sign has been taken down pending changes in the universe. At least, it hasn’t been torn down. 

Market Square rooftop plaza

Now called Market Square, the building was originally called Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart. In its heyday, this wholesale-only emporium for design and décor wasn’t open to the general public. 

Ever since Las Vegas, for example, opened a 5 million square foot design center this century that move pretty much put Market Square out of the wholesale furnishings biz. 

All was not lost. Semi-savvy owners turned the Mid-Market space into a commercial office space fortress, which in turn has attracted high-tech tenants like Runway, Microsoft and of course the company formerly known as Twitter, which at one point this year leased 75% of the huge structure. 

Yesterday was the 76th anniversary of its grand opening.

July 31, 1937

Who knows was the future holds for this grand dame. 

Anyone betting on the San Francisco office space market, especially when real estate media in the city pointed out Twitter has laid off about 50% of its staff during the ownership switchover? 

But hold on. 

Here’s an X-tweet from Elon Musk: “Many have offered rich incentives for X (fka Twitter) to move its HQ out of San Francisco. Moreover, the city is in a doom spiral with one company after another left or leaving. Therefore, they expect X will move too. We will not. You only know who your real friends are when the chips are down. San Francisco, beautiful San Francisco, though others forsake you, we will always be your friend…” 

In the meantime, no one is holding any breath that San Francisco will survive its gloom and doom plunge even with Mr. Musk's rosy words.–Holden DeMayo, Editor, 

 FLEW THE COOP. Here’s an anonymous Internet meme regarding the recent name change from Twitter to X. 

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