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SF Port zeros in on potential Pier 29 tenant

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(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)
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The Port of San Francisco today is expected to move a step closer toward finding a long-term tenant for Pier 29, a move that will further revitalize the waterfront area along The Embarcadero.

The Port Commission is scheduled to vote on a proposal today that would revamp the vacant Pier 29 Bulkhead Building near the recently opened James R. Herman Cruise Terminal.

If approved by the commission, Jamestown L.P., the investment and management real estate company that drafted the proposal, would enter into exclusive lease negotiations with The City to become the location’s next tenant.

The company’s proposal, one of three submitted to the Port between Dec. 23 and Jan. 21, would make the Pier 29 building a hotspot for merchants to sell locally made products using moveable rail-car like displays, according to Port officials.

The pier could also begin operating a craft brewery and open an indoor and outdoor cafe showcasing a local coffee roastery.

Built in 1918 and rebuilt after a major fire in 2012, the bulkhead building has functioned as a venue for temporary industrial leases and parking for at least 25 years, said Renee Dunn Martin, a spokesperson for the Port of San Francisco. More recently, the building served as a “pop-up” restaurant during the 34th America’s Cup.

Meanwhile, the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal, located at Piers 27 and 29, celebrated its grand opening in September 2014, with a ribbon cutting for the Cruise Terminal Plaza a month later.

“The Port’s vision for the space is to activate it in such a manner that would appeal to cruise passengers, tourist and other Embarcadero pedestrians, and local residents and workers in the area,” Martin wrote in an e-mail to the San Francisco Examiner. “Jamestown’s proposal did that in all respects.”

The real estate company and Port officials are expected to be in lease negotiations for four to six months before heading to a vote by the Board of Supervisors, pending approval from the Port Commission today, Martin said.

Preliminary terms proposed by Jamestown include a 15-year lease with a base rent of $300,000 a year to start, as well as an adjusted 5 percent rent increase every five years, according to Port officials. A budgeted $2.7 million for Pier 29 improvements and deferred maintenance has also been set aside by the Port should the agreement be approved.

Construction of the project could begin by the end of this year, Martin said.

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