Renamed Twitter forced to remove “X” sign after safety concerns

Company acquired by Elon Musk hung the shingle and took it down -– without permits

Elon Musk and the X headquarters at 1355 Market Street (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)
Elon Musk and the X headquarters at 1355 Market Street (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

X marked the spot, until it didn’t.

San Francisco building inspectors received dozens of complaints when Twitter, renamed X, hung a huge illuminated metal shingle over its headquarters at 1355 Market Street — without permits, the Silicon Valley Business Times reported.

But the company owned by Elon Musk got a pass from the Department of Building Inspection when it allowed the social media firm to secure the needed permit to take it down — retroactively, out of “safety concerns.” 

Most of the complaints that poured into the department concerned the X sign’s “structural safety and illumination,” a building inspection department spokesperson said. It fired off two notices of violation to Musk’s X.

On Friday, the department ordered the renamed company to remove or secure its partially dismantled “Twitter” sign within 24 hours.

 “The Twitter sign at the corner of Market Street and 10th Street has been partially dismantled and the ‘@’ symbol is dangling and could fall to the public way causing harm to pedestrians,” the notice read

On Monday, the inspection department ordered X to deal with the new sign being built without a permit on the building’s roof.

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According to the second notice, X henchmen twice had straight-armed DBI inspectors by denying them access to the roof.

The notice required the company to provide inspectors access to “verify conditions of metal structure (lighted signage) within 24 hours, and to obtain a building permit with plans to legalize its installation, which are subject to approval by the city’s Planning Department, or to alternatively obtain a building permit to deconstruct metal structure and remove from roof.”

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While X on Monday took down the illegal structure, its landlord, Shorenstein Properties, will have to deal with the fallout.

“The property owner will be assessed fees for the unpermitted installation of the illuminated structure,” DBI’s spokesperson said on Monday. “The fees will be for building permits for the installation and removal of the structure, and to cover the cost of the Department of Building Inspection and the Planning Department’s investigation.”

Musk paid $44 billion to buy Twitter in late October. Shorenstein later sued Twitter for $6.85 million in back rent at its headquarters, which it has leased since 2012.

— Dana Bartholomew