Elon Musk’s cost-cutting measures at Twitter now include not paying the rent on the social media company’s downtown Boston office.
Landlord SHIGO Center Plaza Owner LLC filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday against Twitter, alleging that the company has not paid rent due for the past three months, totaling more than $632,000. At the same time, Twitter employees have continued using the space, which is located across Cambridge Street from City Hall, SHIGO said in the lawsuit.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Since Musk took over Twitter for $44 billion at the end of October, the billionaire has been slashing costs and cutting employees, including 55 people let go from the Boston office in November. Under Musk, Twitter has also stopped paying rent for many of its offices and ignored bills for services ordered by prior management. In separate lawsuits, Boston-based consulting firms Analysis Group and Charles River Associates are seeking more than $4 million in total for unpaid bills.
In 2019, Twitter leased 44,000 square feet of office space in the Center Plaza building from SHIGO at a rate of $227,232.35 per month, according to the lawsuit. The company subsequently subleased about one-quarter of the space to another company for $47,676.42 per month. The lease runs through January 31, 2027.
SHIGO said it notified Twitter that the company was in default on the lease after not receiving rent due in December and again after January and February payments were not made. SHIGO said it drew $454,465.16 from a letter of credit Twitter had posted as part of the lease in January.
In the lawsuit, the landlord is seeking a court order for Twitter to pay past due amounts, replenish the letter of credit, and make future payments owed through 2027 on a timely basis. SHIGO is also seeking unspecified damages, interest, and attorneys fees.
The California social media company put down roots in Boston in 2013 when it acquired two startups, Bluefin Labs and Crashlytics, and opened a consolidated office in Cambridge. The company moved to the Center Plaza building in Boston in 2019.