Twitter leaves its heart (and company) in San Francisco

Market Square, soon to become Twitter's new home in San Francisco
Market Square, soon to become Twitter's new home in San Francisco

Start tweeting the news...OK, wrong song for the story but let's cut to the chase: Twitter is staying in San Francisco.

After playing its formidable cards for all they are worth, the company signed a deal with a local landlord only days after the city agreed to extend a six-year break on payroll taxes on new employees. Critics had objected to the so-called "Twitter tax break," arguing that iit would spike rents in what - by San Francisco standards - remains a relatively affordable area. Also, at a time of belt-tightening, they said the new tax breaks would deprive the city of needed revenues. Had it been rebuffed, however, Twitter, which has been based since its founding in the South of Market neighborhood, likely would have moved its headquarters just over the border to Brisbane, Calif.

Twitter said in a blog post Friday afternoon that its move into a building called Market Square, would take place in mid-2012. The city hopes that Twitter's move will help revive a stretch of San Francisco that has been a poster child for urban blight. From Twitter's blog post:

"We are proud that Twitter will be among the first companies moving into the Central Market area and will be playing a role in its renewal with the city and with other businesses, arts organizations, and the numerous community organizations that have been doing hard work in the neighborhood for many years," the blog post read. "San Francisco's unique creativity and inventiveness is a part of Twitter's DNA, and we feel like we are part of San Francisco. Three-quarters of our employees who live in San Francisco are involved in causes and charities in the city. Our employees are excited to be active members of our future neighborhood as volunteers, customers, diners, and patrons of the arts."

And with that, let's cue up Tony Bennett:

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.