Turn the Flower Mart into tech offices? Say it’s not so …

Zelda Bronstein, former chair of the Berkeley Planning Commission and author of many articles on the struggles of the service and light industries in San Francisco and beyond, was front and center at yesterday’s Flower Mart press conference and posted the following background piece on Tim Redmond’s 48 Hills online news site this morning. To continue on to “Turn the Flower Mart into tech offices? Say it’s not so,” click here.


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Agnos, Peskin, Kopp and Kim all line up in support of light industry

The heavy political guns were out in force for a noon press conference at the San Francisco Flower Mart yesterday.

Former Mayor Art Agnos, President of the Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin, State Senator Quentin Kopp and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim lined up in support of the small businesses fighting for their lives against mega-developer Kilroy Realty Corporation and their plans for a 160 foot office tower on the site.

The loss of a San Francisco institution like the Flower Mart finally put a human face on the relentless drive of high tech office developers to strip away all that makes San Francisco unique. I abhor the term PDR (production, distribution and repair). This designation for service and light industry robs the humanity from the reality of good working class jobs.

When you lose something like the Flower Mart, you never get it back.

Coverage of the press conference begins with “Threatened with tech development, SF Flower Mart allies rally for City institution,” from the San Francisco Examiner. Brian Wallace sent along this link from the online news website SF Appeal, which posted the following about the controversy: “SoMa Flower Mart Vendors Protest Over Potential Closure.”

[UPDATE: I was contacted by the Kilroy Corporation shortly after this piece was published. They are concerned by the reference to “a 160 foot office tower on the site.” This came from the Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) produced by the Planning Department and is repeated in the San Francisco Examiner story cited above. According to Kilroy, the plans referenced in the PPA were submitted by the San Francisco Flower Growers Association “and we don’t intend to make any use of them.”]

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Hold your breath … freeway exit identified as prime residential site


Jeremy Schaub from Gabriel Ng + Architects, Inc. has filed an application to build 12 two bedroom units of housing in this lovely alcove abutting the Ninth Street exit of highway 101. Air quality and the potential for flooding are two of the immediate drawbacks that come to mind.  Continue reading


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Recycling center looks DOA



Is this the last we’re going to hear about the recycling center at 10th and Harrison Street?

The available sign went back up yesterday. Ors Csaszar from Our Planet Recycling has cleared the lot over the last few weeks and it looks like he’s taking his bottles and cans and going away.  Continue reading

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Market-rate SRO housing proposed for 10th and Harrison carwash site

We’ve known for a couple months that the carwash at 10th and Harrison Streets had been sold. Today SocketSite reports that the plan is to build four floors of market rate SRO housing above ground floor commercial space.

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City agency fails SoMa in first major reevaluation of Muni system in 30 years


MUNI just discontinued the northbound #9 San Bruno bus stop at 11th and Mission Streets. I think that’s about all we’re gonna get from the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP).

What once sounded so promising went down in flames as the result of arrogant planners and a flawed public process. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) turned a deaf ear to a group of community leaders who had spent more than three years developing a community transportation plan.

While the Planning Department rezoned almost a quarter of the city in the Eastern Neighborhoods process without ever addressing transportation needs, the community planning process here in Western SoMa based its entire plan on transportation improvements.  Continue reading


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A curious lack of curiosity

340 bryant

Sue Hestor is obviously annoyed by the Planning Department’s less than credible attempts to expedite the conversion of service and light industrial space to office use. She’s currently butting heads with planner Erika Jackson over 340 Bryant Street, an empty building. Turns out one of the former tenants was one of Sue’s associates. Sue writes:

“There is an email dated 4/14/14 from you to developer’s attorney Kevlin where you describe the building rather ‘neutrally’ as being ‘currently vacant.’ Since this is a PDR building and the former industrial tenants were involuntarily moved out, I do not believe this understatement is correct. You have an email from Jim Heron about how he and all other tenants (which were arts or light industrial) were evicted in December 2012. It seems to be the commercial equivalent of residential tenants being evicted, then the apartment building being described as ‘vacant.’” Continue reading

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