San Francisco Flower Mart 2014

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos and former San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin will be joining a rally at the San Francisco Flower Mart this afternoon, organized by members of the market who are concerned that redevelopment plans for the Central SoMa site do not provide clear enough protections for the existing tenants.

As we first reported last year, plans to raze 46,000 square feet of the 135,000 square foot Flower Mart and build a pair of office buildings rising up to 160 feet at the corner of Sixth and Brannan have already been submitted to Planning.  Kilroy Realty has since agreed to purchase all the outstanding shares of the San Francisco Flowers Growers’ Association for $27 million, the only material asset of which is the western 1.9 acres of the Flower Mart site.

Kilroy is also believed to be in negotiations to acquire the eastern part of the site.

While the preliminary plans for redevelopment did not include any replacement space for the Flower Growers or the market, Kilroy has stated that it intends to “preserve the Flower Mart for the long term” by developing a mixed-used project with state-of-the-art replacement space for the floral industry.  But a number of the existing tenants, worried about soon to expire leases, displacement during development and rising rents, want guarantees.

And once again, while the Flower Mart site is currently only zoned for development up to 55 feet in height the site could soon be up-zoned as part of the City’s Central SoMa Plan, but San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending that the height limits for the site be raised to no higher than 85 feet.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Sierrajeff

    I was one of those expressing mixed feelings about the flower mart redevelopment, but this is G.D. ridiculous. Art Agnos needs to go find something useful to do, like scout out his burial plot. It’s private property and the owners can do what they want, within the bounds of the planning code. What’s next, Art, a proposition to preserve all of gritty SoMa as-is, as a museum piece to bad planning and NIMBYism?

    • Posted by Noodle

      Is this an issue of the developer not scratching the right backs?

    • Posted by Larry Bush

      The plan redevelopment does not comply with the planning code. They seek to have the area re-zoned so they can proceed. Any other thoughts you would care to add without finding out the facts?

  2. Posted by Dan

    If the developers want the city to upzone the property, it is reasonable to get a long term lease at reasonable rent for the Flower Mart in exchange. Win win.

    • Posted by Joel

      I was thinking the same thing – it’s the perfect bargaining chip.

      • Posted by Charles

        Or the city could bargain for something that’s more of a public amenity. Sounds like small business welfare to me. If they want to up zone the city should get something more than some lower rent for wholesale flower shops.

        • Posted by anon

          Agreed. Wholesale flower markets mean nothing to me, why not bargain for something actually useful? Let the flower mart move to Stockton – that’s what we have trucks for, to move stuff around where needed.

  3. Posted by Reid

    Art Agnos and Aaron Peskin are the biggest piece’s of political garbage in the city. Kilroy is obviously going to want to keep the Flower Mart because they are an awesome retail tenant.

    • Posted by Tim Bracken

      I have no opinion on your angry statement, but your inexplicable use of an apostrophe in “piece’s of garbage” is cringeworthy. It’s a plural. Pieces. Jeez.

      • Posted by Reid

        Hah fair enough completely messed that one up

      • Posted by exbernaler

        I haven’t seen any grammar/spelling nazi’s on here before. Pretty soon there are going to be “first” posts.

  4. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Aaron Peskin is against a redevelopment plan? what a surprise.

  5. Posted by invented

    San Francisco — you are becoming a tedious and exhausting town. Tower Mart and move on.

  6. Posted by jill

    time for these guys to leave SF. they are making it unaffordable by blocking new development all acrross the city.

    • Posted by blabla

      They’ll still be here after you’re gone.

    • Posted by Brian M

      San Francisco would still be “unaffordable” if all of Telegraph Hill and its residents entered a trans-warp rift and disappeared.

      • Posted by cfb

        Yes it would still be expensive here, but it would be a bit more affordable than it is now if NIMBY types hadn’t been strangling housing development in the city for decades, via height limits, constant appeals of projects, etc, etc.

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      How long have you lived here jill? You are quite opinionated, I wonder if you really understand the history behind your comments.

  7. Posted by Michael

    I love the Flower Mart but it’s time for it to move to an industrial area of Bayview.

    Redevelopment will drive up rents and eventually force the smaller shops out of business. A wholesale move is the best thing for the collective and would be a win for the southern neighborhoods.

    • Posted by S

      I agree – the Produce market is already down there as well (and similarly moved for redevelopment of the northern waterfront in the 60’s). I’d welcome it over Lowe’s and Jack in the Box any day!

  8. Posted by jamesjr

    Peskin and Agnos are a great team. Any developer must now get them on board to move ahead with almost anything. Wonder how much they could charge to support a project. They could be “consultants” as opposed to obstructionists.

    • Posted by anon

      I’d much rather see them ‘consulting’ up in Portland, Oregon…

  9. Posted by zzzzzzzzzz

    Agnos did quite enough damage when he was mayor, including firmly establishing San Francisco as the homeless center of the universe (camp Agnos, anyone?). While he partly redeemed himself through demo of the Embarcadero freeway, I consider him the worst mayor in recent memory.

  10. Posted by brid

    Move the Flower Mart to the Produce Market area – enough room over there, I believe, and lots of parking, easy access, etc. Great synergy with the existing business model.

  11. Posted by Luke

    Why couldn’t the flower mart move to one of the finger piers that the Port can’t seem to figure out what to do with? Wouldn’t that be a better option for Pier 27 then the Ferry Building 2.0 plans that the Port has?

  12. Posted by SF Social-lite

    Increased rents, development plans and dissent among the flower market owners has been chipping away at this treasure for years. Kilroy may keep a flower market themed retail store on the site as a token of what was, but it is time for the growers to find more affordable space. It’s an losing battle to try to keep that space.

  13. Posted by Louis

    go get em aaron and art. hope you can knock this one off after 8 washington. you have momentum, dont lose it. whats next? cheers..!!

    • Posted by cfb

      Nice to see that you support the obstruction of healthy growth, and thus support the transformation of SF into nothing more than a giant museum for tourists/a gated community for wealthy residents.

      • Posted by Louis

        thought that transformation was complete long ago…

  14. Posted by Joseph A

    Well we almost got to save the Flower Mart ,
    But it seems Art wants to kill that and instead have the entire complex replaced with Housing ,,

  15. Posted by Jill

    There’s a story in the New Yorker today about this. It puts flower growers against tech, although no one knows what will go here

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