Port lease coming under scrutiny

IDEO LLC has occupied 12,360 square feet of office space at the Pier 26 Annex on The Embarcadero for more than 15 years, and wants to expand to occupy an additional 7,074 square feet for workshop and storage space that the company would renovate at its own expense, estimated at $900,000, according to a report for the Board of Supervisors by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose.

The existing lease expired back in 2006 and the Port has since been on a month-to-month lease with the company. IDEO is currently paying a base rent of $31,765 which under the proposed lease would increase to $40,271 per month with annual 3 percent increases. The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee will vote whether to approve the lease on Wednesday. The committee meets at 11 a.m. at City Hall in Room 250.

All told, the company would pay the Port $2.5 million during the fist five year lease renewal agreement.

Expect the committee to ask the Port tough questions, such as why the renting of the space was not competitively bid and why the lease was so long on a month-to-month basis. The Port has come under pressure by the board in recent years to cease month-to-month leases.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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