In addition to concerns about seismic safety, the Hall of Justice, which houses the District Attorney’s office, has experienced recurring sewage floods and broken elevators. (Jessica Christian 2016 S.F. Examiner)

SF approves costly lease to start moving city departments out of Hall of Justice

San Francisco approved signing a costly city lease Tuesday to start moving departments like the District Attorney’s Office out of the Hall of Justice building.

The $150 million lease over 15 years approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors is just the first of three leases in which The City plans to enter to get city departments out of the 850 Bryant St. building.

SEE RELATED: SF’s Hall of Justice exit plan to cost $135M over first 10 years

The lease approved Tuesday and two others that are expected to follow would cost The City $135 million during the next 10 years, under a plan proposed by Mayor Ed Lee and City Administrator Naomi Kelly.

The building, built in 1958, is long known to be seismically unsound and plagued by such issues as rodents and sewage floods. Labor unions have pressured The City to act without delay.

But supervisors Ahsha Safai and Aaron Peskin both questioned the cost and said The City has failed by not buying property as a better deal for taxpayers, but still supported the proposal.

“It’s a ton of money. We’ve had repeated opportunities to buy office buildings for the long term,” Peskin said. “It’s millions of dollars that I wish we could spend in other ways and not on rent.

Supervisor Katy Tang, however, said that “the proximity of these departments to the courthouse, to the jail, to each other, all of it is incredibly important” and no purchase opportunities were found in the area.

She also noted that The City now plans to demolish the Hall of Justice building then rebuild on the site and relocate the departments back onto the site.

The board approved the lease for 125,122 square feet at 350 Rhode Island St., where the base rent is $51 per square foot. That will come to a cost of $90 million over the next decade and $149 million over the next 15 years. The District Attorney’s Office and the Police Department’s Investigations Unit would move in there.

The board also approved The City to finalize negotiations for leasing space at 777 Brannan St. for the Police Department’s evidence storage and 945 Bryant St. for San Francisco Adult Probation.

Supervisor Mark Farrell expressed his dissatisfaction with the proposal as well. “I hate where we are also. I think it is absurd, these leases that are in front of us,” Farrell said. “Obviously we want to own rather than lease. I just simply think there’s no option at this point in time.”
Politics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Lakeshore Elementary School was closed in March shortly before SFUSD closed all schools due to coronavirus concerns. The district is now working to prepare all elementary schools to reopen by mid-January.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
School district preparing buildings for hybrid learning

SFUSD plans to use 72 elementary schools and 12 early education sites for first phase of reopening

There have been at least 142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers at San Francisco International Airport. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Supes back SFO worker healthcare legislation despite airline, business opposition

Costs of ‘Health Airport Ordinance’ in dispute, with estimates ranging from $8.4 M to $163 M annually

Thankfully, playgrounds that were closed due to the pandemic during the summer have reopened.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
The perils of parenting, COVID-style

At long last, it’s OK to take your little one out to play

Ten candidates are running for a seat on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Community College District.. (Courtesy photos)
Strong leadership needed as City College faces multiple crises

Ten candidates vying for four seats on CCSF board

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Most Read