Twitter to lease space in downtown Seattle

Twitter will lease office space in downtown Seattle.

It hasn't been easy for Seattle's commercial real estate developers to fill downtown skyscrapers with tenants, but a high-profile move from one immensely popular internet company could signal potential growth down the line.

Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, has recently signed a lease for roughly 16,000 square feet in Century Square, Seattle's central business district, at 1501 Fourth Ave. Twitter is expected to make the move into the 30-story tower by the end of the year, and the move could trigger a domino effect for other tech companies.

"It'll definitely help fill up more of these downtown towers if more tech companies move here into the central business district," Jesse Ottele, senior vice president at CBRE in Seattle, told The Seattle Times.

Real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle said it will be Twitter's "first major office presence in the Seattle market." Jones Lang LaSalle represented both Twitter and the landlord in the deal.
A spokeswoman for Twitter verified the lease transaction but declined to discuss the company's plans for the building or how many people it anticipates to employ there.

"If you can position your building as a home for tech, that gives you the greatest chance to lease it up," said Greg Inglin, a senior vice president at Colliers International. "Certainly a tenant like Twitter is going to help validate that story."

For the most part, tech firms don't dig downtown
The Seattle Times stated that tech firms are extremely desired clients for the commercial real estate industry, but most tech firms aren't enticed by downtown high rises.

"Tech tenants tend to avoid downtown buildings that are too corporate," Chad Yoshinobu, regional design director of Gensler, a global design firm, told The Seattle Times. "They like weird buildings."

Still, Seattle has been able to nab a few high-profile tech clients.

Seattle-based Amazon signed leases for more than 2.5 million square feet of space in order to keep up with the company's growth, and Zillow, an online real-estate marketplace, is leasing nearly 90,000 square feet on four floors in the Russell Investments Center. Zillow plans to add two more floors to its operations.

Quality over quantity
According to developer Kevin Daniels, office towers need to distinguish themselves in order to stand out. "Most of them are cookie-cutters or just plain ugly," he told The Seattle Times. "Even in tough times, quality sells."

Daniels plans to start construction on the 43-story Fifth & Columbia in November. The building will be an office tower and hotel.

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