Twitter Snubs Soho, Takes Facebook Space on Madison
Jim Hanas March 17, 2011, 5:56 p.m.
Twitter, the Web’s main repository of personal oversharing, political dissent and tasteless self-promotion, is donning a suit and tie.
The little blue bird has been perching in a spartan temporary New York City space since September, searching for the perfect spot for its first New York City headquarters. Now The Observer has learned that it plans to sublease Facebook’s former digs at 340 Madison Avenue, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
Facebook first leased 11,000 square feet on the sixth floor of the glass birthday cake-shaped building, wherein the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was also housed, in 2009. It fled recently for some similarly corporate two-floor digs just down the street at 335 Madison, where it could expand to as much as 150,000 feet.
The Grand Central area, a hub of finance wonks and high-end insurance law firms, is far from the lofty spaces and hip organic sandwich joints techies have long preferred. But with the world’s two most powerful social media companies potentially just blocks from one another, for better or for worse, it seems only a matter of seconds before the classy office strip is dubbed Silicon Avenue (there, done). The recent deals also place both companies near the once throbbing heart of the advertising industry so lionized by Mad Men and so slowly being supplanted by tweets and friendings.
The deal is said to be a few weeks away. For now, Twitter and its broker, Clayton Kline of Jones Lang LaSalle, declined to comment. Scott Rechler’s Long Island-based RXR Realty, which purchased the building for $570 million in the spring as its first Manhattan investment, also declined to comment.