There have been very few stories during the “Great Recession” of firms growing and gobbling up office space as most companies have been shedding employees and looking for ways to rid themselves of excess real estate. However, this is not the case for the social networking phenoms Twitter and Facebook.
Most of us have been fascinated with these companies since they have burst upon the scene, and there has been a lot written about these companies regarding their growth, their future and the prospects of their long term profitability. Those of us who make their living in the office market remember the dot.com days when hopeful upstarts were securing funding, hiring new employees and rapidly leasing chunks of office space. I find it interesting to look at these companies growth from a real estate perspective.
This past week it was reported Twitter recently expanded another 32,000 square feet at 795 Folsom Street giving the firm 63,222 square feet. This transaction coming just three months after they relocated their headquarters from 539 Bryant Street in San Francisco, where it leased approximately 11,000 square feet.
Twitter is one of the hottest venture-backed social media companies, with the number of unique users rocketing from 3 million to 40 million in little more than a year. Twitter has yet to try to create revenue from the traffic through advertising or fees, although already rumors are swirling that it may file for an initial public offering in 2010.
Victoria Burkheimer, vice president of acquisitions for Westcore Properties, (Twitter’s Landlord) noted “Twitter is a fast-growing company that needed space that would accommodate its growth efficiently, while maintaining a central San Francisco location, “The building’s desirable south of Market location, coupled with its high-tech feel including exposed ceilings and creative finishes, were key drawing points for Twitter.”
Earlier this year, Facebook moved its nearly 900 employees to a 150,000 sq ft building located at 1601 South California Drive in the Stanford Research Park consolidating employees from various locations spread around Palo Alto. According to a recent story in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Facebook is more than doubling their space signing a lease for 265,000 sq ft space at 1050 Page Mill Rd. in a reported sublease, from Beckman Coulter.
The news of the new lease comes as a report by comScore said the social networking company passed 100 million users in the U.S. in November, more than double last year’s total. Its global user base is now estimated at more than 350 million.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in August that he expects to hire hundreds as he nears his goal of 1 billion Facebook users and that the company was looking to grow its 1,000-employee work force by as much as 50 percent.