City advances costly plan to move departments out of Hall of Justice

Plans to move city departments out of San Francisco’s famously dilapidated Hall of Justice advanced Thursday with the approval of two multi-million dollar leases.

The leases, approved Thursday by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, were expected as part of The City’s plan to move city departments out of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St.

One 20-year lease with Bridgeton 945 Bryant Fee LLC, beginning Aug. 1, would relocate the Adult Probation Department to 945 Bryant St. It will cost The City $33.9 million over the next decade in estimated rent, operating expenses and parking. The initial base rent is $64 per square foot per year.

Before moving into the spaces, the building will undergo improvements in phases. Designs for the work is expected to be done in August ‘with construction commencing shortly after.”

“The 135 Adult Probation Department staff will move into 945 Bryant Street in early to mid-2019,” the report said.

The committee also approved a lease between The City and LCL Global for 27,154 square feet at 777 Brannan St. to relocate Police Department staff and evidence storage. The ten-year lease, from July 1 to June 30, 2028, starts at $37 square feet per year and would total $15.9 million over ten years.

“The space will not be ready for occupancy before March 2019 and may not be ready until September 2019,” the report said. “Until the building is ready for occupancy, the 30 Police Department employees and evidence storage room will remain in the basement level of the Hall of Justice.”

The board also needs to approve legislation, currently pending before the board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee, to change zoning rules to allow for self-storage at 777 Brannan St.

The two leases are part of The City’s plans to move city departments out of the Hall of Justice, which is seismically unsound and has had operational issues including sewage overflows.

“In January 2017, given the serious concerns about the safety and working conditions in the building, the City Administrator [Naomi Kelly] declared that the offices and jail located at the Hall of Justice be closed as quickly as possible,” the report said. “As a result, the Capital Plan was updated in 2017 to target an expedited exit in 2019 from the Hall of Justice for all staff and inmates.”

In November, the board approved a lease for the District Attorney’s Office and the Police Department’s Investigations Unit. That lease was for 125,122 square feet at 350 Rhode Island St., where the base rent is $51 per square foot. It will cost $90 million over the next decade.

The full board will vote on the two leases Tuesday.

Joshua Sabatini
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Joshua Sabatini

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