PICO BLVD — Twitter, the short-form social networking service, is opening an office on Pico Boulevard at Main Street.

City Hall issued the company a business license for 150 Pico Blvd. back in June. It lists the company’s start date as Aug. 1. The business type is listed as “Sales Marketing And Engineering.”

“Not sharing anything else at this time,” Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser told the Daily Press in an e-mail.

Brown paper covers the large glass windows at the single-story building on Pico.

Twitter appears to be taking over an adjacent property at 1916 Main St. as well; a Notice of Non-Responsibility from the investment company that owns the building – posted on a door – acknowledges that improvements to the space began back in March and that Twitter Inc. is the tenant.

City Hall’s Economic Development Administrator Jennifer Taylor said that she’s excited for Twitter, and its employees, to move into the space.
“They picked a fabulous location, just two blocks from the beach,” she said in an e-mail. “We know that Pico Blvd and Main Street merchants are eager for the SM Twitter office to open, with the prospect of attracting some new loyal customers who will eat, shop and play local.”

As Santa Monica — arguably the center of the Southern California tech boom— fills up and as fledgling startup companies turn into international players, exodus has become a common theme.
Sony Santa Monica and Riot Games, two big-name video game developers, announced in the last year that they would leave their Santa Monica headquarters for larger spaces outside of the city. IMAX, a film projection format company known for its larger-than-life nature films, also announced it would leave its office on Exposition Boulevard for larger digs in Playa Vista.

A few years ago, Google left Santa Monica for Venice.

Whisper, a social networking app, was operating (along with its several dozen employees) out of a mansion in a residential neighborhood on Georgina Avenue until April when they too found a place in Venice.

Office space is in low supply and high demand in the city by the sea. City planners have been recommending that City Council approve more creative office space developments, especially near stations of the incoming Expo Light Rail, to fill the void. Many residents – seeing more offices as significant traffic generators — are passionately opposed to the idea.
The controversial Hines development project, which would have added 375,000-square-feet of creative office space to the east side of the city, was narrowly approved by council but later overturned after a successful referendum staged by unhappy residents.

One recent office victory for Santa Monica, in addition to Twitter, is Red Bull’s decision to stay put, city officials said. The energy drink company had been looking for a larger space and was leaning toward relocating.

According to its website, Twitter has 271 million active users (including @smdailypress) and employs 3,300 people worldwide. It has headquarters in San Francisco with offices in 14 international cities and U.S. offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Washington.
Companies often refer to their Santa Monica offices as “Los Angeles.” It’s unclear if the new office at Pico and Main will be Twitter’s second in the area, or if it will be the new “Los Angeles” office.

dave@smdp.com

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