Despite pleas for a delay and the prospect of a looming audit, a proposal to relocate the headquarters of the Bay Area’s lead transportation agency took a significant step forward on Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which directs long-term policies for the region and administers funding from seven Bay Area toll bridges, is in the midst of purchasing an office building at 390 Main Street in San Francisco for $179 million.
The proposed move away from its current office in Oakland has angered East Bay lawmakers, particularly State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who has initiated a state audit to determine if the MTC can legally use toll money to pay for its new building.
Even though findings from that audit are expected to be released next summer, the MTC committee in charge of overseeing the relocation approved two contracts on Wednesday that will move the project forward.
One of the contracts was a $1 million pact with San Francisco architect firm Perkins Will to oversee the schematics of the new MTC building. The second contract was a $340,000 deal with a property manager to oversee building services at the site.
DeSaulnier had written a letter to the MTC committee advising them to delay the contract approvals until the state audit was complete, but the board passed the items unanimously.