A November ballot measure seeking to block office construction plans for San Francisco’s Flower Mart will likely be avoided after a new deal blossomed between developers and tenants this week.
Following negotiations that stretched over the past six months, Kilroy Realty Corp., which hopes to build a tech campus on the site at Sixth and Brannan streets, and the president of the San Francisco Flower Mart Tenants Association on Tuesday struck a tentative deal that would keep the Flower Mart as a long-term tenant and allow developers to move forward with their project.
The agreement means a proposed measure that would have prevented the 40-foot height limit from increasing at the site to allow for taller office space will not go before voters in November. The initiative had already achieved 18,000 signatures, twice as many as required, prior to Monday’s deadline for the measure to go on the ballot.
On Wednesday, members of the tenants association voted 9-1 in favor of the deal, which will keep the Flower Mart at street level instead of moving it underground per the previous proposal, said Aaron Peskin, a former president of the Board of Supervisors who helped initiate the ballot measure. Peskin is again running for District 3 supervisor this year, although the Flower Mart falls outside that district.
The more than 60 tenants at the site will also keep their current rent through 2019, and developers will pay for tenants to move off-site — possibly to the Bayview — during construction of the tech campus. Once tenants move back to the South of Market site, leases will not increase significantly for 35 years, Peskin said.
Securing street-level and reasonably priced space for the Flower Mart was no small feat, noted Peskin. Such city political leaders backing the tenants included former Mayor Art Agnos, former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and retired Judge Quentin Kopp.
“This is one of San Francisco’s most beloved, storied institutions,” Peskin said. “By working with the developer and the tenants, we were able to make sure that this institution is going to survive and thrive … in a rapidly changing urban environment.”
The development calls for 1.8 million square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, including 115,000 square feet for a street-level Flower Mart wholesale warehouse with skylights, tenant office space and refrigeration facilities connected to each vendor stall.
Attorneys for the developer and tenants must still sign off on the deal, but it is all but certain the November measure will not proceed.
“Hopefully in the next 48 hours we will have signatures … and this will be behind us and the next phase will begin,” Peskin said.
developmentheight limitsKilroy Realty CorpPlanningSan Francisco Flower MartSouth of Market