Department of Environment mid-Market Street lease OK’d despite concerns

Despite previously raising concerns about the Department of the Environment’s mid-Market Street lease for its new headquarters, the Board of Supervisors approved the deal Tuesday with no debate.

The department can now sign a lease for 24,490 square feet of office space at 1455 Market St., a 22-story building a block away from Twitter’s headquarters that mobile payment company Square is moving into as well.

Last week, the board’s Budget and Finance Committee expressed concern that the department would pay $2 million to fix up the 12th-floor office space in the new building and take out a loan from the landlord to help pay for those improvements. The loan was initially for $244,000, but decreased to $123,790 after the department held a fundraiser leading up to the board vote. The seven-year lease will cost $5.1 million, with the tenant improvement loan adding an additional $162,044.

Included in the deal is a new requirement for facilities leased by The City to meet the environmentally conscious LEED Gold status, which can increase costs.

Melanie Nutter, director of the Department of the Environment, had defended the deal and described the space needing the tenant improvements as a “cold shell.”

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