Mayor Lures Twitter to Dangerous Skid Row

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Feb 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:15 AM PDT
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Mayor Lures Twitter to Dangerous Skid Row

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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19: Homeless people sleep in their encampments on downtown sidewalks in the early morning hours off April 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Most homeless tents and improvised shelters are taken down at dawn, before their possessions can be hauled away by cleaning crews. A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled last week that a city law making it illegal to sleep or sit on city sidewalks cannot be implemented as long as there is a shortage of homeless shelter beds in Los Angeles. According to a study released in January by the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority, there are nearly 90,000 homeless people live in Los Angeles County and only 9,000 to 10,000 beds available in homeless shelters, single-room occupancy hotels, and other facilities. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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Mayor Ed Lee wants to keep Twitter in San Francisco. So why is he offering them office space in the worst part?

Ed Lee is expected to announce tax credits targeted specifically at companies like Twitter, according to the Gate. Twitter has expressed interest in moving out of the city, since it's prohibitively expensive to do business in San Francisco.

The only problem is that the tax incentives are centered in the Mid-Market area, a windswept no-mans-land with little on the street but pawn shops and people desperately in need of social services.

It's only a few blocks away from where a strongarm robbery was videotaped this weekend. Charming! Maybe after employees are mugged, they can use Twitter to file a police report.

The city is also trying to attract a hotel and the folks who run Burning Man to the area.

If the plan works, it could actually help turn the area around. Currently, much of the blight stems from empty buildings and a lack of pedestrian foot-traffic. If Twitter reaches projections that it will gain 2,000 employees over the next few years, the area around 9th could become something unrecognizable: safe.

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