Zendesk's new corporate headquarters shows dramatic transformation of mid-Market, while bitter eviction battles drag on down the street


Although the mid-Market Street headquarters of Twitter was targeted with protests by the city's largest employee union this spring, Zendesk was technically the first company to take advantage of what came to be known as the Twitter tax break.

Crafted by Mayor Ed Lee along with Sups. David Chiu and Jane Kim in 2011, that controversial policy lured the elite tech sector to the central core with the promise of payroll-tax exclusion — leading progressives to deride it as corporate welfare, served up to an industry already soaked in venture capital.

In the years since, the property values around mid-Market have swelled — ushering in the revitalization fervently desired by Lee and his political allies, but also putting the squeeze on long-term tenants who couldn't keep pace with rising rents.

Some area nonprofits have been sent packing for the East Bay, while a group of relatively low-income tenants residing at nearby 1049 Market Street continue to float in a state of limbo, having been threatened with evictions that haven't been carried out yet but also haven't been rescinded.

When members of the media were invited to survey Zendesk's sprawling new corporate headquarters July 9, spanning eight floors of newly renovated office space, I took the opportunity to witness firsthand the mid-Market facelift ushered in by the Twitter tax break.

What we found was a meticulously crafted corporate space populated by hip, well-intentioned employees, who seemed as if they inhabit an altogether different city — maybe a different world — than that of low-income residents living in the surrounding neighborhood.



"My, how things change so rapidly," Mayor Lee said when he took the stage at Zendesk. "Two years ago, [Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane] and I, and Sup. Kim, were celebrating the expansion from one floor to two floors. And just in literally two years, we're celebrating a fantastic IPO."

Zendesk's May 15 IPO was hailed by investors as a sign that cloud computing stocks could perform well, raising just under $100 million on its first day of public trading.

Lee thanked Zendesk for its contributions to the community. The company had just announced its intention to open up its basement space for community programs and dinners for neighborhood groups, in partnership with area nonprofits and childcare providers. Under its community benefit agreement with the city, a required tradeoff for the tax break, the company commits volunteer service to activities like serving hot lunch to destitute clients at the St. Anthony's Foundation.

"Already, being a major resident in mid-Market, I congratulate you on working so closely with our Office of Economic Development staff, our ... nonprofits, our arts community," the mayor said. "This building compliments so much of what I've envisioned for Market Street — to bring it back as a grandiose place. "

"The sense of being part of San Francisco reverberates with all your employees," he added with an approving smile.

Zendesk, which sells customer-service software that's widely used even if not well known outside the tech industry, has more than tripled in size in just a few years, expanding from 80 employees to more than 360 since 2011.

The grand opening bash was held on the basement level, equipped with a stage, amphitheater, and bar, with natural light filtering through the first floor. The mood was celebratory, with catering staff circulating through with trays of hors d'oeuvres and fresh-baked treats. Lee and Sup. Kim mixed with the crowd and delivered short speeches. Zendesk staff even presented Kim with a birthday cake, candles ablaze.


impressed with this upgrading of the building and the area, even though the official SFBG line is that the city should be more like Detroit, and that failure is glorious.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 12:31 am

Let's be more like Aspen. Or else we'll be the new Detroit. One or the other.



Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 9:15 am

we could find a happy medium. But as things are, politics here are polarized, and either we go the Aspen route or the Detroit route. I'm guessing most voters would prefer the former, especially since Aspen doesn't have a cheap town like Oakland on its doorstep, although I hear Carbondale isn't too pricey.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 9:28 am

Free reverse cell phone lookup Tired of all the japan announcements?
We are on this site just for you!! free cell phone lookup by number

Posted by free cell phone lookup on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 7:57 am

tenant background check I actually still can’t quite assume that I could possibly be one of those reading the important guidelines found
on your web blog. My family and I are really thankful on your generosity
and for giving me the potential to pursue my chosen profession path.
Appreciate your sharing the important information I
got from your web-site. background check

Posted by free background checks on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:05 am

garcinia cambogia for weight loss I got what you mean ,
thanks for posting .Woh I am glad to find this website through google.
“It is a very hard undertaking to seek to please everybody.” by Publilius Syrus.
what is garcinia cambogia

Posted by garcinia cambogia on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:43 am

Research verified garcinia cambogia reviews Maegan Marzo steal photo andMichelle Marzo tag
photo Emily Mhilet .Please block all their profiles so
that nobody can see the photo research verified garcinia cambogia customer reviews

Posted by research verified garcinia cambogia walgreens on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:44 am

Garcinia cambogia customer reviews What i do not understood is in fact how you are not really much more smartly-liked than you may be right now.
You’re very intelligent. You realize thus considerably
when it comes to this matter, made me in my view imagine it from
so many numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except itˇs something to accomplish with Girl gaga!
Your own stuffs nice. At all times handle it up! garcinia cambogia customer reviews

Posted by garcinia cambogia customer reviews australia on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:55 am

find people by cell phone number for free Take a look at Public Records a web based mlm tool for music artists
generates their particular info start its work to
them. On its way this will likely. find people by their phone number for free

Posted by find people by their phone number on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 9:29 am

find people by phone number for free There is certainly a
great deal to find out about this subject. I like all the points you
made. find people by cell phone number free

Posted by find people by phone number free in usa on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:02 am

Premium garcinia extract in stores Thankyou for this grand post, I am glad I observed this web site on yahoo.
premium garcinia extract trial

Posted by premium garcinia extract trial on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:05 am

find phone numbers and addresses for free There are
certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a great level to
convey up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration however clearly there
are questions like the one you deliver up where an important factor will probably be working
in sincere good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices
have emerged round issues like that, but I’m positive that your job is clearly identified
as a fair game. Each girls and boys really feel the impact of only a moment’s pleasure,
for the rest of their lives. find phone numbers free

Posted by find phone number reverse on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 9:17 am

business search by phone number for free I am curious to find out what blog system
you are utilizing? I’m experiencing some small security issues
with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe.
Do you have any solutions? business phone numbers directory

Posted by business search by address on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 7:23 am

Free cell phone lookup Many thanks for being my mentor on this topic.
My partner and i enjoyed your current article greatly and most of all liked how you
handled the aspect I widely known as controversial.
You are always extremely kind to readers much
like me and assist me to in my lifestyle. Thank you.
free reverse cell phone lookup with name

Posted by free reverse cell phone lookup with name on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 7:32 am

where do i get garcinia cambogia What a lovely story! The tale in this YouTube video that is posted at this time is truly a pleasant one with having
fastidious picture feature. how fast do you
lose weight with garcinia cambogia

Posted by what is in garcinia cambogia extract on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:42 am

institutional growth, regardless of its form, requires joint payment for the improvement of the public sector.

tax the business interests moving in to provide

Transit improvement


Than you can solve the problems up front...

Posted by goodmaab50 on Jul. 18, 2014 @ 9:57 am

business directory for sale My family members always say
that I am wasting my time here at web, however business number lookup canada

Posted by business listing google plus on Jul. 22, 2014 @ 8:54 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.