Photo: Hudson Pacific Properties
Square, the digital-payments startup, plans to have 1,000 employees by the end of next year, so it’s signed a lease on a new headquarters.The address: 1455 Market Street.
That’s awfully convenient for Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who is also the cofounder and chairman of Twitter. Twitter’s headquarters are one block away, and Dorsey still visits occasionally, despite cutting back on his duties at Twitter. (He says he goes there either one afternoon a week or every other day, depending on when you ask him.)
But we think there’s another reason Square’s CEO might be keen on the location. Dorsey makes frequent historical references in his interviews. The building at 1455 Market was formerly occupied almost entirely by Bank of America.
Right across the street is another Bank of America facility which at one point handled a huge volume of paper-based payments, scanning deposited checks, crediting accounts, and shipping the checks on to other banks. Together the buildings functioned as the bank’s digital nerve centre for a vast portion of its operations in California.
Regulations have changed, allowing most checks to get scanned and digitized rather than shipped around the country at enormous expense. But for its time, the facility was cutting-edge. Time magazine wrote about it in 1960 under the headline, “BANKING: The Machines Take Over.”
So we’re not surprised that Dorsey, who has talked about his company as a “revolution,” would choose to plunk Square down at this site.