Port officials are requesting proposals for the Pier 29 Bulkhead Building. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

SF Port seeks new tenant for Pier 29 building

Port officials are looking for a new tenant that will offer a “San Francisco Bay Area flavored” attraction at the Pier 29 Bulkhead Building along The Embarcadero.

The 20,000-square-foot site, more recently used as a temporary “pop-up” restaurant during the 34th America’s Cup in 2013, was built in 1918, when maritime and industrial operations dominated the northern waterfront. Today, however, many of the piers along the popular tourist stretch are used for offices and retail space.

The Port of San Francisco issued a request for proposals earlier this month, inviting submissions through 5 p.m. on March 10.

While a portion of the space may offer food service, Port officials said the tenant should focus on cultural uses at the site, including the creation and sales of art, crafts and dry goods; studio or exhibit spaces for artists; open studios for innovators; galleries; and public markets. Ongoing exhibitions and space for live demonstrations and displays are also encouraged.

“It is staff’s goal that this use augment the rich experience of visitors, cruise ship passengers, businesses and residents in the Northeast Waterfront and highlight and promote that which is unique to our region and culture,” Port officials wrote in the request for proposals.

The site is considered both a unique and valuable asset to the Port, and a new tenant at Pier 29 can potentially “continue the renaissance of the waterfront” from the Ferry Building to Pier 39, where high-profile tenants like the Exploratorium have opened in recent years, according to Port officials.

A new tenant at Pier 29 also symbolizes a significant step in the transformation of the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 and Pier 29. The new cruise terminal and plaza opened last year to replace the aging Pier 35 as San Francisco’s main dock for cruise ship traffic, and the bulkhead at Pier 29 — damaged by a fire in 2012 — has since been restored as well.

The terms of the lease will be negotiated with Port staff and could be approved by the Board of Supervisors as early as next fall.

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