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Originally published August 27, 2013 at 6:32 PM | Page modified August 28, 2013 at 7:09 PM

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Twitter takes space in downtown office tower

Twitter has signed a lease for about 16,000 square feet in Century Square, adding a high-profile tenant to a small but growing roster of tech firms in Seattle’s central business district.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Twitter has signed a lease for about 16,000 square feet in Century Square, adding a high-profile tenant to a small but growing roster of tech firms in Seattle’s central business district.

The San Francisco social-media company is expected to move into the 30-story tower at 1501 Fourth Ave. by early next year, officials said Tuesday.

It will be the company’s “first major office presence in the Seattle market,” according to commercial real-estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, which represented both the landlord and Twitter in the transaction.

A Twitter spokeswoman confirmed the lease but declined to discuss the company’s plans or how many people it expects to employ there.

The company currently leases a small amount of office space from flex-workspace provider Regus in the Belltown area, real estate sources said. If Twitter uses its 16,000 square feet in ways similar to other tech firms, its new space could accommodate roughly 100 employees.

Twitter’s decision could attract more tech firms, which have traditionally shunned the downtown core, according to several brokers.

“It’ll definitely help fill up more of these downtown towers if more tech companies move here into the central business district,” said Jesse Ottele, senior vice president at CBRE in Seattle.

Century Square, where Twitter will occupy the 20th floor, has been about 25 percent vacant, according to OfficeSpace.com.

The building’s owner, UBS, has invested about $10 million in improvements in recent years, renovating the lobby and putting in a new conference center, fitness facilities, and secure bicycle storage.

Tech tenants like Amazon, Facebook and Groupon have more typically leased space in buildings to the north and south of the central business district.

But as submarkets like South Lake Union, Pioneer Square and the Chinatown International District become tight, more tech tenants are looking at spaces in the downtown core.

Zillow, the online real- estate marketplace, occupies more than 87,000 square feet on four floors in Russell Investments Center and plans to add two more. The Disney Interactive Media Group is in Fourth & Madison. NBC News Digital chose to leave a suburban office park in Redmond and will move into space later this year at Columbia Center.

“If you can position your building as a home for tech, that gives you the greatest chance to lease it up,” said Greg Inglin, a senior vice president at Colliers International in Seattle. “Certainly a tenant like Twitter is going to help validate that story.”

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com On Twitter @sbhatt

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