Next month Michael Cohen, a former deputy city attorney, will replace Jesse Blout as the head of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s workforce and economic development department.
Cohen said much of his energy will be focused on improving the development process for builders and developers. In an interesting move, Cohen has hired Michael Yarne of the Martin Building Co., a land use attorney and developer who has publicly expressed frustration with the city’s slow and unpredictable entitlement process.
Yarne successfully led the public-private partnership that built the new Mint Plaza off of Fifth Street.
Aiming to be more strategic as well as proactive in attracting fast-growing Chinese companies to San Francisco, Cohen acknowledged, “to do this right, we need to be nimble,” a word which isn’t at the tip of our tongues when it comes to describing San Francisco’s current planning and entitlement process.
∙ New city exec aiming to speed up development [Business Times]