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.’”

In addition, she provides two examples of evictions:

“On 4/29/14, I sent you information on TWO former PDR/industrial tenants who were EVICTED. Have seen no email or other document from you that corrects your project description – i.e. that industrial tenants were evicted so this could be converted and rented as office spaces.”

Much to the developer’s embarrassment, on April 30, SFCurbed published an article on his building, noting that “the interior will feature a new lobby, new elevators, and new building systems, in addition to a swanky roof deck [so you can wave at all the cars sitting in traffic], bike lockers, and showers.” Hestor opines, “Promotional materials also take advantage of the captive driving audience, touting ‘unparalleled signage opportunities, allowing for maximum brand exposure and visibility.’”

Now that she has broached the question of whether this location is acceptable from an environmental standpoint, she begins to pursue this angle with Jackson:

“I have yet to see any correspondence between Planning and the Air Quality District although this is RIGHT UNDER the Bay Bridge and the area has serious air quality problems. Is this correct? Am I missing something?”

“As of this date it appears that Planning intends to publish a legal ad next week setting a Planning Commission hearing for this conversion and office allocation on 340 Bryant for September 4,” Hestor continues, concluding, “Is this correct?”

Ms. Jackson plans to do a site visit “in the near future.”

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