October 14, 2009
A Schwarzenegger Signature To Sell 23 Acres Of Candlestick Point
"The state can now sell 23 acres of land that is mostly used for parking lots in southeastern San Francisco to benefit a city housing development.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation this week allowing the transaction.
SB 792, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, allows the state to reconfigure the boundaries of the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area so that Lennar Corp. can move ahead with a long-awaited housing and commercial development in the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Candlestick Point."
∙ Candlestick Point state park reconfigured with Leno bill [San Francisco Examiner]
∙ JustQuotes: The Redevelopment Of Hunters/Candlestick Point [SocketSite]
First Published: October 14, 2009 11:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
The plan called for another 2 million sq feet of research/office space. No need for that in SF in the next decade or two?
8,500 new housing units? When prices are falling on existing units and SOMA developers are having trouble selling their units?
It's nice the Governor signed but I don't see this development going anywhere anytime soon. By the time it does, I expect to see it re-configured and scaled way back. Especially the office space - is there really any need for more large floor plate office space in the City going forward?
Posted by: Gil at October 14, 2009 11:14 AM
Gil-- Just because we're in a recession now, doesn't mean that we will be in one for the next 10-20 years. Eventually, there will be demand again for research/office space, especially if it is price-competitive with South SF.
Posted by: Dan at October 14, 2009 11:43 AM
What we need is a nice full service grocery store like Safeway, CALA, or Albertsons. I know there is that Brittish version of Trader Joe's supposedly going in at the large development on 3rd. But don't know anything about them. Waiting to see.
A well planned ,community involved, "neighborhood" with trees, sidewalks, trash cans, police patrol, housing, small business, entertainment, restaurants, ethnic diversity, economic diversity. I think a big anchor like a Safeway would help in the same way the Safeway at 16th and Potrero has helped anchor that previously blighted part of the Mission.
This step by Arnold is just moving the progress along. I think if done well, BVHP Plan has the potential to be much more of a neighborhood than SOMA.
Posted by: bayviewdude at October 14, 2009 11:45 AM
O Joy! Another housing project for the Bayview and Vis Valley. Just what they need. Let's close down the projects in Cow Hollow and transfer everyone to Bayview. If you get enough people there, they may be able to get a supermarket there in this century.
Posted by: paul at October 14, 2009 12:34 PM
Looks like Leno is learning how to bring home the bacon (pork). Guess that leftie is good for something for San Fran.
Posted by: 45yo hipster at October 14, 2009 1:22 PM
Hallelujah!!!! I live down the street, and I say sell the whole damn thing to private developers and make it a southside Fisherman's Wharf. Or a grocery store. Or a strip mall. Anything but what it currently is!
Posted by: Bsyviewheightsguy at October 14, 2009 2:48 PM
This is nuts. We've already sold our soul to Lennar. They're guaranteed a 25% ROI before the City sees it's first nickle. TI, Hunter's Point, Candlestick - all Lennar. Lennar has filed BK on a bunch of JVs in which CalPERS lost billions of $. Now we're selling State Park land too?
Oh yeah. Let's hurry up and get that Safeway built.
Posted by: OneEyedMan at October 14, 2009 2:50 PM
There are still unsold townhomes in that area that are newly built & they aren't selling. There are high-rise condos next to the federal building on Mission Street that aren't selling so why are we selling land for the sake of more development and more empty units. It isn't like these vacancies are going to lower the price of a home & let us all suddenly own some real estate. This is a joke! What happens if the developer suddenly goes belly up?
Posted by: OverIt at October 14, 2009 3:07 PM
^Vacancies don't lower the price of homes for sale? I beg to differ. The fact that developers in some areas think that they can "wait out" the downturn rather than lower prices says a LOT about long term demand for the city and certainly tells me that we need to allow a LOT more development to raise affordability.
Posted by: anon at October 14, 2009 3:14 PM
"Just because we're in a recession now, doesn't mean that we will be in one for the next 10-20 years. Eventually, there will be demand again for research/office space, especially if it is price-competitive with South SF."
Dan, I totally disagree relative to commercial office space need in SF.
First off, in terms of banking, insurance, large law firms, utilities - those jobs have gone/are going. These industries are the large employers needed to fill big-plate office floors. That demand is gone and, I think it can be argued, will never return to SF.
Bottom line - San Francisco will never again be a major business center where things actually get done and decisions are made.
That leaves research office space - bio-tech and such. Right now there is so much empty office space that the millions and millions of square feet avaiable can supply the City's needs for research space indefinitely. Certainly for decades to come. The China Basin office building recently converted to research space and heavily markets itself as such as an example of how empty City office space is chasing the bio-tech/research angle tto get tenants.
This of course does not count the several million sq. ft. of research bio-tech space supposedly set to be built in Mission Bay over the next decade or two.
Bottom line, where is the need for several million more feet of office space at this Candlestick development?
Posted by: Gil at October 14, 2009 3:20 PM
Gil, tell me, what are the rental rates in SF for space compared to other areas? You may be correct that at ridiculously high rates we don't need much more space for decades. However, if we want to encourage more companies to locate here, more people to want to work here, etc, we need to get our costs under control. Part of the deal with that is building more space. If SF office rates were the same as are charged in Houston, I guarantee we could fill those spots. It's only because the rates are so high - and the owners of the current space see that the city will not allow much more to be built, ever - that landlords don't drop rates now to more attractive levels and rent the space out.
Also, LOL at your assertion that SF will never again be a business center where stuff actually gets done and decisions are made. Tell that to the 300,000 + that still work in the FiDi, especially those working at any of the dozens of corporate HQs down there.
Posted by: anon at October 14, 2009 4:00 PM
"Bottom line - San Francisco will never again be a major business center where things actually get done and decisions are made"
I am wondering what crystal ball you are looking into that shows you this city will never again be a major business center? Can you back this up with any quality research or is this just an opinion?
Posted by: K&L at October 14, 2009 4:03 PM
Developers don't build space to let it sit empty - to just build more space so the rental rates come down. They ain't that stupid - that would be cutting their own throats.
The problem is far bigger. The cost of doing business in SF - payroll tax, many, many fees, very expensive housing. The list goes on.
California too presents its own hindrance to business growing here.
The above-mentioned are IMO never going to be fixed in SF - the nature of the political class and all here. Never say never - in 50 years? Seventy-five years?
For all intents and purposes in our lifetimes IMO San Francisco is highly unlikely to be a business/jobs center again. Building new office space aside perhaps what is set for Mission bay is a fool's game IMO.
Posted by: Gil at October 14, 2009 4:27 PM
Gil, so let's let the developers decide that then, eh? We zone the space for office and if developers don't see it being needed, it will remain [undeveloped], right?
Your last paragraph is again laughable. SF still imports hundreds of thousands of people each day for jobs. I'm confused as to what you even mean by SF never being a "business/jobs center again." It never stopped being one.
Posted by: anon at October 14, 2009 4:35 PM
The cost of doing business in SF - payroll tax, many, many fees, very expensive housing. The list goes on.
California too presents its own hindrance to business growing here.
You do realize some skill sets are not easy to come by right? It is not just about a race to the bottom.
People work hard and get an education so they can live in a desirable area. You can't just expect everyone to move to Texas or Alaska.
I don't know if you've ever been involved with trying to recruit skilled talent, but it sounds like not and also that your theories are informed by your ideology more than anything.
Posted by: J at October 15, 2009 8:19 AM
Agree with J -- you have to consider the productivity of the workforce in addition to the high cost of doing business. It's cheap to do business in Boise, but the quality of the workforce there is low, and the workforce there isn't very productive. San Francisco has one of the more productive workforces in the country, and this factor still draws in businesses. Taxes and cost of living are not the only factors that affect where businesses choose to locate, although many ideological folks think this is the case.
Posted by: sfrenegade at October 15, 2009 8:40 AM
" -- you have to consider the productivity of the workforce in addition to the high cost of doing business. It's cheap to do business in Boise, but the quality of the workforce there is low, and the workforce there isn't very productive. San Francisco has one of the more productive workforces in the country, and this factor still draws in businesses. Taxes and cost of living are not the only factors that affect where businesses choose to locate, although many ideological folks think this is the case."
I don't know if this is practically how it works out.
Middle level workers don't need to be highly skilled. This is the worker who filled all that space downtown at one time.
I don't see companies moving these workers back to the City even though rents have dropped to competitive rates.
Bank Of The West recently signed one of the biggest office leases in the Bay Area in a year. Did they choose downtown space? No. The are consolidating in Bishop Ranch.
The highly skilled worker you talk about is a relatively small subset. Indeed highly paid and indeed picky about where they work.
But this type of higly skilled work force is not huge and will not be able to fill up all the empty space. In fact this type of worker generally gets more than a cibicle. Its the cubicle intense space that is emptying in SF as more and more companies leave. AAA is pulling out. Schwab too. Just among the most recent.
Posted by: Gil at October 15, 2009 9:15 AM
Corporations have been moving back office operations out to the suburbs for decades. Corporations have been consolidating and moving to save money for years. San Francisco has always been a more expensive place to do business than most other places. And guess what? Employment continued to grow in SF, until the recent economic meltdown. So it is ridiculous to take the downward employment trends of the past year and extrapolate them to infinity. (And even in the downturn, SF became a more important banking center than ever, as Wells Fargo doubled in size. Wells alone is larger now than Wells and B of A combined when both were based in SF.)
Posted by: Dan at October 15, 2009 10:35 AM