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Sky bridge planned for Twitter building up for approval

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A sky bridge is proposed for the rear of the Twitter headquarters to connect it with another building. (Rendering Courtesy of Transparent House)

To prepare the massive Furniture Mart building for its new life as the headquarters of Twitter, the impressive Art Deco structure in Mid-Market underwent a significant renovation in 2012.

Work included installing a roof deck and removing a bridge that connected the building to a smaller one behind it.

Twitter loves the deck, but wants the bridge back.

Plans to construct a new steel-and-glass sky bridge link between the ninth floor of Twitter’s main headquarters at 1355 Market St. and the ninth floor of a smaller building the company leases at 875 Stevenson St. are up for initial approval Wednesday afternoon.

Twitter is the anchor tenant for a revitalized Mid-Market neighborhood that serves as the tech hub city leaders such as Mayor Ed Lee envisioned several years ago. Since 2012, the social media giant has occupied the historic office building owned by Shorenstein Properties.

In order to allow Twitter employees to easily move between buildings without exiting onto 10th Street, property owner Shorenstein is proposing to build a new sky bridge between the two properties.

Since the former Furniture Mart, now known as “Market Square,” is listed as a “significant historic building,” special permission is required for any construction or alterations.

Though the sky bridge will span Stevenson Street, it’s not on the public right of way. The City vacated Stevenson Street a few years ago and the former alley is now a plaza, access to which is controlled by Twitter.

The steel, concrete and glass bridge, which is in the rear of the building away from the notable terra cotta façade, is expected to be approved by The City’s Historic Preservation Commission at its meeting Wednesday.

There are few sky bridges in San Francisco, though there are some prominent examples in the Bay Area. The two towers of the Ronald Dellums federal building in Oakland, for example, are connected by a sky bridge.

Building the Twitter building sky bridge could also boost the value of the property, which owner Shorenstein Properties is reportedly looking to sell for a massive profit.

Bought for $110 million in 2011, Shorenstein is shopping the Furniture Mart for an asking price in the realm of $800 million, the San Francisco Business Times reported last month.

A Shorenstein spokesman declined to comment on the sale. The company also declined to speak on the record about the sky bridge.

To build the bridge, Twitter and Shorenstein will need further approval from the Planning Commission, which is scheduled to take up the proposal early next month.

There is no neighborhood opposition to the bridge, which will be “minimally visible” to the public, according to a Planning Department review of the project.

Founded in San Francisco, Twitter has 3,900 employees scattered between 30 offices in 11 U.S. cities and 15 foreign countries.

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