Setting the Record Straight on Twitter, Mid-Market

Randy Shawbyline‚ Nov. 14‚ 2012

Since San Francisco enacted a payroll tax exemption in 2011 to help revitalize the city’s long troubled Mid-Market neighborhood, there have been frequent claims that attracting Twitter to the area has caused nearby commercial and residential rents to skyrocket. This argument was revived in this week’s SF Business Times story about the likely demise of a planned “arts district” at 950, 966 and 974 Market Street. The story was picked up by the Bay Guardian, which predictably concluded that Mid-Market’s “revitalization” is causing the “displacement of existing residents and businesses.” Actually, it’s not. In fact, the stalling of the proposed 950 Market arts development has nothing to do with Twitter’s arrival or Mid-Market’s tax exemption. Nor has Twitter' caused such negative "fallouts" as the displacement of arts groups, increased turnover of commercial spaces, or sharply rising neighborhood residential rents.