Will 1.6K Twitter Millionaires Transform SF?

Tech sector blamed for surge in rents, evictions

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 12, 2013 2:41 AM CST

(Newser) – A surge in the number of millionaires might not alarm a lot of other cities—but San Francisco isn't like a lot of other cities. Twitter's IPO has created 1,600 new paper millionaires in a city already bursting with the tech sector's wealthy and while the mayor's office is full of praise for the company's success, community activists fear the city is being changed beyond recognition, the LA Times reports. Rents have surged alongside the incomes of better-off residents and evictions are up 38% since 2010, a trend community activists blame on the city's growing population of tech workers, many of whom commute from San Francisco to work at firms like Google and Facebook outside the city.

Twitter, however, stayed in the city after being granted a payroll tax deal, and has been joined by 14 other tech firms in the once desolate and crime-ridden but rapidly changing mid-Market district. Activists complain the city has given too much away to technology firms and even many of the wealthy worry about the growing income disparity. "Come three to six months from now we're going to see a lot of new liquid wealth in town. What happens then?" says tech entrepreneur Chris Tacy. "My hope is that they're going to be responsible corporate citizens and figure out a way to give back in a manner that is both appropriate and meaningful."

A man chants and stretches outside Twitter's headquarters  in San Francisco.
A man chants and stretches outside Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
A sign marks Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco.
A sign marks Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
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