The Presidio Trust has just completed their preliminary review of the nine (9) concept proposals for the redevelopment of the roughly two dozen buildings spread across 30 acres of the Presidio that comprise Fort Winfield Scott into a “Campus for Change” and has narrowed the field to three (3) proposers which the trust is recommending be invited to participate in the second round of the selection process.

While WeWork’s proposal didn’t make the cut (nor did the proposals from the John Stewart Company, Star Alliance, the Seneca Family of Agencies, the Concrete Preservation Institute or the Renewable Nations Institute), the proposed OpenAI campus (which is backed by Sam Altman, Elon Musk and Kilroy Realty) is one of the three recommended finalists along with the Epicenter for Climate Solutions (backed by the California Clean Energy Fund and EPIC Institute) and the Campus for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Equity Community Builders and World Economic Forum).

If the Board follows the recommendation of the Trust’s staff, a formal Request for Proposals (RFP), which would be due in mid-January 2019, is expected to be issued to the three finalists by September 3 with a target of identifying which proposal(s), if any, to accept at a Board meeting on March 28, 2019.

OpenAI’s proposal calls for a center dedicated to research and advocacy related to the potential and challenges of artificial intelligence, with office, laboratory, recreation and food service space, along with housing for visiting researchers, interns and scholars.

The Campus for the Fourth Industrial Revolution would host non-profits, technology organizations, academics, and others “to address the effect of accelerating technological innovation on human needs,” with a mix of office space, educational facilities, food service and lab space.

And the Epicenter for Climate Solutions would be “a workplace and convening center to study climate change solutions focused on reducing energy use and lowering carbon levels around the world,” and perhaps closer to home, with workspace and lodging for start-ups and non-government organizations.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

UPDATE (7/20): Due to a death in the family of a board member, the board meeting scheduled for July 25, at which the board was to make their formal decision as to which of the Concept Proposals for Fort Scott would be invited to advance, has been cancelled. The decision is now slated to be made on Thursday, September 27.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Anonymous

    Can’t wait for the petulant Elon tweets if the OpenAI bid doesn’t win.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Almost as predictable as unprompted snarky comments about Elon Musk.

      • Posted by Jackson

        Just wow. You are actually defending the recent pedophile comment of Elon Musk? Musk’s recent comment is every bit as unhinged as those coming out of the Oval Office, and simply not professional of someone who is CEO of Tesla.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        Pretty telling that you’d be personally offended by someone making light of Musk’s unhinged slandering of someone who actually contributed something to a rescue effort rather than just being an uninvited attention whore. Reevaluate your thinking.

  2. Posted by Amewsed

    Open AI is my selection. It is the only proposal that has a meaningful and profitable forward looking component to it. Considering China is spending tens of billions on researching AI, the U.S. will be obsolete soon enough.

    Also, it would be helpful to have a bigger housing component to this project and the opportunity to scale up along with room for other industries part of the AI ecosystem.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      OpenAI is a ***NON-PROFIT***. And one outpost isn’t going to make or break it or AI R&D in the US or the world.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      And another bit of education for you: The concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution includes, but is not limited to, AI. It also encompasses nanotech, quantum computing, robotics, the Internet of Things, and a bunch of other fields.

      On top of that, the notion that climate change and clean energy research isn’t forward looking and is without merit is both intellectually offensive and socially toxic.

  3. Posted by hundo_p

    Imagine the incentives virtually ANY city on the planet would throw at all three proposals.

  4. Posted by ananimal

    Rooting for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Impressive team with an ambitious and admirable mission.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      +1. Looks like they are a forward looking organization with great mission. Besides, they are already in Fort Scott.

  5. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    I wonder why these groups want to be there. Presidio is gorgeous. But when you commute to the office there everyday, it starts to lose it luster. Maybe it is good for a Ivory tower kind of institute. Perhaps an arts center or spiritual retreat is better than offices.

    • Posted by Sigh

      Actually, it would be super easy to commute from the North Bay. So housing wouldn’t be an issue.

  6. Posted by innermish

    How about at least one vote for Climate Solutions.

    Presidio Trust is described here in their own words. They literally refer to the Presidio as a park managed for the public.

    Given that, and that California and San Francisco in particular both position themselves/ourselves on the world stage as climate action leaders, the Presidio makes a sensible and fitting location for a Climate Solutions center.

  7. Posted by BobN

    Is this anything more than lists of possible renters? They’re not going to ruin the buildings, are they?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      What do the concept proposals say, as individually linked above?

      • Posted by BobN

        I was hoping someone would give me a quick answer so I could avoid all the gobbledygook.

        • Posted by Notcom

          If you follow the link in the post above yours, you will see the Trust’s mandate is to “PRESERVE (emphasis added) the areas of the Presidio under its jurisdiction” (kinda what is implied by the word “trust”, wouldn’t you say?)

          And judging by what has already been done in other areas already re-purposed – the ‘Disney Museum’, etc. – I would say no ruination is planned.

  8. Posted by REaddict

    Ah I’m devastated. That place is the hidden gem of San Francisco, and is the best place in SF imo for my kid and myself to have our Nerf Gun Wars. Oh well…

  9. Posted by Pablito

    Starfleet Academy ends up here – so pretty sure that AI bid has to win for that to happen.

    • Posted by hundo_p

      That was also my first thought too, but after researching the matter, it appears Starfleet Academy ends up on the other side of the bridge.

      “The main campus of the Academy is located on or near Starfleet headquarters on Earth, in and around what is now Fort Baker, California, across the Golden Gate from San Francisco in what is now Marin County”

  10. Posted by ghostwriter

    In this period of housing crisis, I don’t understand why the Presidio doesn’t offer any affordable housing solutions. I understand that it’s federal land, but come on, it takes a village…

    • Posted by Fishchum

      Actually, I believe they do offer some rentals that applicant must qualify for via income. I’m pretty sure one of the clusters of buildings off of Girard Rd. is low-income housing.

  11. Posted by Philip

    Gosh, its only taken those clowns at least 25 years to do anything with this site.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      They had a lot of broken down real estate to manage. It made sense that they started in the more developed part of the park, adjacent to the Marina. They’ve gradually worked through all the inventory, and they’ve finally reached Camp Scott. I have nothing but praise for the job the Presidio Trust has done.

      • Posted by BobN

        They let some buildings decay for more than a decade before reaching them.

  12. Posted by Jim

    The Presidio Trust is self-supporting (off the rents) and has no bonding nor taxing authority. It is by definition pay-as-you-go.

  13. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: Due to a death in the family of a board member, the board meeting scheduled for July 25, at which the board was to make their formal decision as to which of the Concept Proposals for Fort Scott would be invited to advance, has been cancelled. The decision is now slated to be made on Thursday, September 27.

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