While it wasn’t endorsed by the Trust’s staff, and their concept proposal wasn’t deemed to be mission driven nor backed by a qualified team, WeWork has made the Presidio Trust Board’s short-list of four finalists that will be allowed to make a formal bid to redevelop the roughly two dozen buildings spread across 30 acres of the Presidio that comprise Fort Winfield Scott.

The three other finalists, each of which had been recommended by the Trust’s staff, include OpenAI, which is backed by Sam Altman, Elon Musk and Kilroy Realty; the Epicenter for Climate Solutions, backed by the California Clean Energy Fund and EPIC Institute; and the Campus for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is back by Equity Community Builders and World Economic Forum.

A formal Request for Proposals (RFP) will soon be issued to the four finalists with a target of identifying which proposal(s), if any, to accept at a Board meeting in the first or second quarter of next year.

The projected cost of renovating and restoring Fort Winfield Scott’s historic buildings, landscapes and infrastructure, which the winning team will need to foot, has been estimated at around $200 million.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    And the reasoning is? I mean really, what the point of having Staff making recommendations if they aren’t going to be followed? Or maybe they just need four finalists to facilitate 2 rounds of coin-tossing.

  2. Posted by Martin

    Why not just let them bid, but consider backing and mission as part of selection criteria? All this discussion is not worth our time.

  3. Posted by Amewsed

    Excellent plan. Hope they win. What a spectacular space to have a shared office location, acres of green space to walk around for breaks, away from either the traffic and congestion of downtown or SOMA.

    I would love to rent a desk or designated small space for a short period to work on a specific project.

  4. Posted by Boojum

    While I don’t back WeWork’s bid for this space, in fairness, it should be noted – as this short update fails to do within displayed text – that WeWork’s proposal is to create work space for “…nonprofits and social enterprises…think tanks and universities.” In other words, WeWork’s Ft. Winfield Scott proposal is for something beyond work space for tech startups and other strictly commercial ventures. That the Presidio Trust went beyond recommendations of its staff is neither unusual nor alarming, though, of course, the press and WePublic need to pay close attention to how this proceeds. By and large, I am hugely impressed by the work of Presidio Trust and staff after years of paying pretty close attention and spending lots of time in the Presidio. The Trust has said no to proposals backed by very powerful people, notably the Fisher family’s bid to build a private contemporary art museum at the top of the Parade Ground and George Lucas’s desire to house his collection of illustrative art at Crissy Field. The fantastic Fisher Collection now resides at SFMOMA, a much better place for it in my opinion, and George Lucas’s holdings have found a home in Los Angeles after being rejected by Chicago due to its proposed location on open space next to Lake Michigan. The Presidio Trust has earned my gratitude, respect…and trust. I look forward to restoration of Ft. Winfield Scott. (And no, I am not an employee, associate, or vendor of the Trust. I have no relationship to the Trust at all except as a long-time San Franciscan and lifelong northern Californian.)

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Couldn’t disagree more – the Mason Street entrance to the Presidio (one of the primary ways visitors enter the space) is as fugly and rundown as it was at the conversion 20 years ago; Lucas’s museum could have put a world-class venue in San Francisco in an appropriate way (see recent NY Times article for the amazing breadth of his collection) but was rejected out of knee-jerk snobbery; there are woeful efforts at pedestrian and bicyclist safety (narrow or no sidewalks along Presidio and Arguello, and ditto zero or too-narrow bike shoulders – even the new bridge at Halleck Street has horrible bike amenities); then of course there’s their decision to chop down mature Monterey Pine because they aren’t “native” – all in all, I think the PT has done a pretty poor job.

      • Posted by spencer

        the deforestation of the presidio has been really painful to watch.

      • Posted by ajfoo

        Yes, Mason St entrance can’t accommodate more traffic w/o engineering. There are 5 streets that come together at a intersection that is a mixture of signals, stop signs, and yields, that especially confuses uber and lyft drivers. Presidio Parkway people said it was “outside the project scope” so while we spent billions fixing everything to the west of this intersection, they left the actual entrance to the park alone. Makes no sense.

  5. Posted by spencer

    WeWork would add way too much traffic to the Presidio.

  6. Posted by UnlivableCity

    How about instead they give it to “we are not working but instead have come to this national park to relax and maybe learn and study nature and history” dot effing com. Seriously people our 49 sq miles needs new management, top to bottom.

  7. Posted by DP

    Ah, yes, We Work. The unicorn that still doesn’t come close to breaking even.

    • Posted by AlamedaRenter

      That was my first thought. Isn’t WeWork pretty much a Ponzi scheme that maybe has another year left?

    • Posted by Amewsed

      So have them build out the space using their VC money. Then crash. Who cares? Is anyone else coming along to build it out? Various tenant groups can still lease out space. This is more infrastructure than anything else.

      Co-working space isn’t going away even if WeWork will. One of my prior commercial tenants ran a small independent co-working and maker space for the poor hostel crowd seven years ago. He upgraded the space, wired the place, and put in efficiencies that my subsequent tenant was able to make great use of at no additional costs in a difficult retail space.

      Seriously will pass if this space is leased out to non-profits and social groups. Don’t need depressing non-business type around me.

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