543 Howard
Forget the bike storage and in-building showers, the feature of “San Francisco’s First Green Office Conversion” at 543 Howard Street that caught our eye: the rooftop dog park.
Purchased for $6,600,000 in 1999, converted and refinanced in 2006 with a $17,500,000 loan to which a second mortgage for $4,500,000 was added in 2009, the roughly 23,000 square foot building at 543 Howard Street is scheduled to hit the San Francisco courthouse steps tomorrow with $18,588,582 now due on that first alone.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by BillyBalls

    I hope that roof is THICK.

  2. Posted by eddy

    At last, a thread where “Look out below” would be an appropriate title.

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Why would an office building need a dog park? That seems more appropriate for a residential building.

  4. Posted by lol

    It doesn’t rain from April to October. Sure solids can be taken care of (most of the time…) but expect this brilliant idea to smell like 6th and Market. Plus most dog owners train their dogs not to do it in buildings. I fear dogs will be confused by the mixed message.

  5. Posted by CH

    “Why would an office building need a dog park?”
    Dog friendly work environment can be a draw for hiring, not a lot of dog friendly parks downtown.

  6. Posted by ex SF-er

    I think it’s a great idea. Lateral thinking to deal with a problem. I can think of worse things to do with an office rooftop.

  7. Posted by sardonic

    As CH posts, “dog friendly environment” is in fact yet one more amenity that tech companies can offer as a further incentive to hire in a competitive labor market.
    This building was ahead of its time in that respect.
    For example, last year, Zynga requested numerous provisions in their lease at 650 Townsend for the presence of dogs in their premises, including construction of a dog run on the roof of the garage.
    Regarding the foreclosure — I would surmise the owner of this property has the situation well under control such that he won’t be allowing such a desireable asset to default to the lender on the courthouse steps.

  8. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    A cheaper and easier way to attract new hires might be as simple as a ping pong table. Not many people want to take their dogs to work. Actually excluding dogs from the rooftop park might attract more employees than allowing dogs would.
    Zynga is atypical in the sense that it is run by a dog lover. The company’s name and logo is based on Pincus’s dog.
    Maybe that’s what happened here: the developer was courting Zynga and then that fell through.

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