March 31, 2005, Volume 11, Number 3
This Issue of the BOMA-San Francisco Advocate Is
Brought To You By:
225 Bush Street/Flynn Properties
Director of Government & Public Affairs
CPUC Withdraws Critical Peak Pricing Proposal: A Clear BOMA Victory…for
The California Public Utilities Commission will NOT impose Critical Peak Pricing this summer!
This is the outcome BOMA sought in its testimony before the Commission. BOMA had argued to do so would unfairly penalize tenants in office
buildings, who would ultimately pay for any increases for CPP charges on an apportioned basis. BOMA had also argued that office buildings are not
responsible for peak period increases as their energy consumption does not vary greatly from day to day.
We are just beginning to digest the 83-page CPUC Order issued March 28th. It would
appear that while we have dodged the bullet for now, Critical Peak Pricing will continue to be discussed as part of future overall rate redesign
proceedings. There is an indication that the Commission wants a CPP schedule by 2006, coupled with the option for customers to remain on
a traditional Time of Use pricing schedule with a narrowed peak. While we’ve staved off CPP for the moment, the larger rate parity question is
still under discussion.
Our advocate, Bill Roberts of Economic Sciences Corporation
(Berkeley), has done a very nice job for BOMA. This decision has saved our members (and their tenants!) potentially millions of dollars. Click here for a copy of the complete order, as well as BOMA’s testimony in opposition to CPP. The final order must be voted upon by the full Commission April 21.
also representing its members on two other current filings before the California Public Utilities Commission. They are:
Parity: For far too many years, residential ratepayers have been subsidized by commercial and industrial rate payers of electricity. In
fact, in PG & E’s territory, more than $3 billion has been paid by commercial owners over what it costs to service those properties and businesses.
This is not fair. Rates should be based on the cost of service, and that means rates for commercial and industrial users must come down
significantly. PG & E recently filed for a rate adjustment, which included reducing the rate for commercial customers. However, the cross
subsidization of residential consumers by commercial ratepayers is only partially corrected by PG & E’s submittal. BOMA contends there should be
full rate parity, and that rates be based solely on the cost of service model.
Sub-Metering: BOMA members are
not allowed to decide if they can sub-meter their tenants. Only the utility company can decide if it will sub-meter a tenant space or not. BOMA
believes that its members should have the right to decide which – if not all – tenants are sub-metered as a means of encouraging energy
conservation in commercial tenancies. To have that right, without becoming a utility company, the PUC must change Rule 18 which currently governs
on the issue of sub-metering.
Last Call! Come Join the Party! BOMA SF PAC Hosts BBQ
April 6th @China Basin Landing, 4 p.m.
BOMA’s Associates Committee and BOMA San Francisco’s Political Action
Committee are hosting the fifth annual barbeque prior to the opening game of the Giants (versus the Los Angeles Dodgers) on Wednesday, April 6th
beginning at 4 p.m., on the terrace of the China Basin Landing building, next to SBC Park. This outdoor event is a great opportunity to socialize with
BOMA members at the best “tailgate party” in town, and help support BOMA’s political action committee which is charged with defending our
industry’s interests on the local political scene. Tickets are $40 and should be made payable to BOMA-SF-Ballot Measure PAC. See you
BOMA Goes to
BOMA California held its statewide legislative conference in Sacramento earlier this month (March
14th – 15th), at which time members of BOMA San Francisco met with their local state lawmakers. BOMA’s message to our state legislators was
1. No split-roll taxation of commercial properties. This idea will
probably be the subject of several initiatives this fall, if a special election is held, but is one that could be very harmful to the state’s thousands of
small businesses, most of whom would bear the burden of any increases in taxes that were assessed on commercial properties. One study done by
the Assessor’s office in San Diego several years ago determined that commercial properties actually turned over more frequently than residential
properties, for the purposes of re-assessment increases. Thus, the oft-repeated “commercial real estate is not paying its fair share” was refuted by
this study. In 2004, San Francisco BOMA members and other commercial office building owners paid a total of almost $200 million in property taxes
to the City and County of San Francisco, based on over $17 billion in assessed valuations at a 1.15 per cent rate. They are already paying their fair
2. We need energy reforms now. BOMA members
stressed with legislators that the cost of electricity is still too high. In fact, a recent study by Bill Roberts (Economic Sciences Corporation)
determined that PG & E rates for commercial customers were the second highest in the country. Not only should BOMA members be allowed to
purchase electricity from other providers through direct access contracts, but BOMA members should also be allowed to sub-meter their tenants to
directly engage them in energy conservation efforts. Costs for electricity and gas, which are sometimes as much as 30% of a building’s total
operational costs, are apportioned to the building’s tenants. Thus, small businesses again pick up the tab for the high cost of power. BOMA
supports energy reforms that will help bring down those costs, increase reliability, and conservation. One example of a bill that BOMA supports is
SB 1017 (Campbell). This bill proposes to allow building owners to install solar panels on their properties without triggering a new property
3. We need the right to “cure” ADA problems.
There have been an increasing number of so-called “drive by” lawsuits against businesses and buildings that are not completely in compliance with
the Federal and state disabled access requirements. The current state law allows for compensatory damages for “pain and suffering” as well as
punitive damages and attorney’s fees to be added on top of any damages paid for the actual injury. This has encouraged a huge number of lawsuits
to be filed against companies for very minor infractions of the accessibility codes. Many times, owners simply pay off the lawyers to “settle” a claim
to avoid larger expenses going to court. BOMA believes something must be done, and is supporting two bills (AB 20 and SB 855) which will give
owners the chance to “fix” the problem before a lawsuit could be filed. Neither piece of legislation changes the accessibility codes or requirements
whatsoever, but simply gives the business or building owner 120 days to correct the code problem.
We need to clarify the use of tenant security deposits. Recently, tenants have begun challenging the common
practice of applying security deposits against any unpaid future rents left owing when leases are broken. Tenants have been using ambiguity in Civil
Code 1950.7 to demand that such deposits be returned, even if a lease is not being honored due to bankruptcy or the like. BOMA members are
seeking changes to the law that will clarify and allow security deposits to be applied against unpaid future rents in commercial leases.
California Building Standards Commission Rejects NFPA 5000 Building Code!
In a historic vote (8-2), the California Building Standards Commission reversed a previous decision it had made and voted to not implement the
National Fire Protection Association’s Building Code (NFPA 5000) after a lengthy hearing on March 16, 2005. This action will allow state agencies to
move forward with the adoption of the International Building Code (IBC), the International Fire Code (IFC), and the International Residential Code
(IRC). This action was lauded by almost the entire construction industry and real estate industry including the California Building Industry
Association, BOMA, the state AIA, and the California Association of Building Officials (CALBO). The International Codes have been shown superior
for their detail, proscriptive language, organization and completeness. The “I – Codes” have been adopted by all 49 other states. Only California
attempted to do something different under Governor Gray Davis. BOMA is pleased to see this bad decision reversed, and applauds everyone
who assisted in this effort.
SF Water and Sewer Rate Increases Passed
The City’s Public Utilities Commission passed increases in
both the water and sewer rates for all customers in 2005 and 2006 to pay for the much-needed improvements to the city’s underground piping
system. Water rates will increase by 15% and sewer rates by 13% to commercial and industrial customers beginning July 1, 2005. Another similar
rate increase will be proposed for 2006. The rationale is the fact that 70% of the city’s sewer lines are over 70 years old, and that rates have been
frozen due to a citizen initiative passed in 1997, that expired last year. Residential rates will increase, but not as much as commercial/industrial
rates, due in part to their being partially subsidized by commercial customers to the tune of $6 million annually (2004 figures), according to PUC
officials. SIC codes are being used to determine exact water/sewer costs. A new sewer connection fee of $2500 - $3000 will be charged for new
residential and/or commercial unit hookups. For more information, check out www.sfwater.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOMA Seminar: How to Comply with New Regulations on Abandoned Cable April
Did you know that the National Electrical Code (2002/2005 versions) requires the removal of all abandoned cable
from commercial office buildings? This new code requirement will become effective July 1, 2005. That means building owners need to review their
tenant leases, make amendments, understand the rules for permitted cable, what local electrical inspectors will enforce, what additional insurance
risks could be present, and what is involved in doing a cabling audit and abatement. The seminar, to be held at SFSU downtown campus (425 Market
Street, 2nd Floor, Room 208-209, will be held April 14th from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Cost: $85 for BOMA members/$105 for non-members. Thanks are
extended to IMG, McMillan Data Communications, Young Communications, and WBE Telcom for being corporate sponsors of this seminar. To
register, contact Leah Eisbart at the BOMA office (415-362-8567).
Commercial Recycler of the Year (CoRY) Awards to be announced April 28th at
The annual best recycling awards will be announced
at the April 28th gala luncheon at the Palace Hotel, and you should be there! Twenty-three office buildings, twelve hotels, thirteen restaurants, and
six special projects were entered this year. Who will walk away with the “Golden Dumpster” awards? Come to the April 28th luncheon and find out!
Special guest speaker: Craig Sheehy of Thomas Properties Group, Building Manager for the California EPA Headquarters
building in Sacramento, and a leading authority on creating and managing a sustainable office environment. A terrific slide presentation on all the
finalists will also be shown. Special thanks are extended to Metro Maintenance and Township Building
Services for helping to underwrite this event! Register at www.bomasf.org.
Two BOMA San Francisco Peninsula Membership Events in April!
Night at the Races April 15th – Bay Meadows Racecourse –
2600 S. Delaware St. /San Mateo
Join the BOMA Associates Committee for another
VERY FUN EVENT on April 15th (you’ve already done your taxes, right?) at Bay Meadows racecourse in San Mateo. A buffet starts at 6:30 p.m.
with the first race at 7:20 p.m. Cost is $55 per person, and includes admission to the park, general parking, buffet dinner, racing program, voucher for
betting or beverages and live music. Interested? Send your checks directly to BOMA San Francisco Associates Committee, c/o Marble West, P.O.
Box 2951, South San Francisco, CA 94083. Got questions? Call Fred West at 650-871-1232. Win, Place or Show…you’re
sure to have a great time!
Luncheon April 19th – Dave Pogue Featured Speaker – Radisson Villa Hotel/San
CB Richard Ellis Senior Managing Director Dave Pogue will be speaking at BOMA
San Francisco’s Peninsula luncheon on April 19th on the topic of “Commercial Property Management Trends (current and future) and their Impacts
on Employers and Employees”. This subject is sure to be of interest to anyone working in commercial real estate, and comes from the perspective of
one who has been involved in the industry for over 30 years. Prior to joining CB Richard Ellis, Mr. Pogue served as Executive Vice President,
Ownership Services, for Insignia/ESG in the Western Region. He is also a founding member of BOMA San Jose (now BOMA Silicon Valley) and
served as BOMA California President from 1988 – 1991. Guests welcome! Register at www.bomasf.org.
SPUR Offers Explanation of Anti-Parking Position Paper to Business
Jim Chappell, President of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
(SPUR) and their transportation consultant, Jeff Tumlin, with Nelson/Nygaard, defended their recent anti-parking position
paper at a March 30 meeting convened with downtown business associations, including BOMA. At the meeting, both defended the need for more
restrictions on parking to reduce traffic congestion on the streets. Their suggested measures would include raising parking fees, instituting
surcharges for entering/exiting parking garages during peak commuter times, increasing the city’s 25% parking tax, creating more bus-only lanes,
eliminating on-street parking on many streets while metering all the rest in the downtown/SOMA areas, and further limiting the development of new
garages and garage spaces in downtown San Francisco. BOMA members, as well as representatives from the AIA, Union Square Association, the
Hotel Council and the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau countered that people are already paying high prices to park in downtown San
Francisco, that very few people working downtown get free parking, that rates are already geared to promoting short term use, that MUNI is not a
reliable or convenient alternative for many commuters, and that there are not enough taxi stands or taxis available to be effective alternatives. The
business advocates stated that traffic regulations against double parking, car use of transit-only lanes, and illegal use of red/yellow/green zone
parking zones are not being enforced, and that, coupled with the current multi-year Bay Bridge retrofit project, are the cause of a great deal of
downtown’s traffic congestion. When that work is done, intercept parking should be created (catching cars on the perimeter of the City at designated
lots or garages and then transporting the drivers into downtown via small shuttle buses) as a means of reducing future downtown traffic. Finally, the
promotion of more public transit use can only be realistically supported financially by increasing the densities and heights of buildings in many parts
of the city such as south of Market, along Geary Boulevard, 3rd Street, and around Golden Gate Park. A lack of political leadership has de-railed this
idea too many times. The business representatives urged SPUR and the City to not consider imposing more penalties on people driving into
San Francisco, especially now, as the City is not fully-recovered from its dot-com bust recession, but rather to look at balancing its approach to
traffic and parking management with incentives that would positively encourage alternatives to driving.
City Graffiti Advisory Board
Horrified By New Atari Game “Get In, Get Up, and Get Out”
Atari recently released a new game for kids, entitled “Get IN,
Get UP, and Get OUT”, which (according to their company description) “offers players a unique combination of skills, including the sneak and street
fighting abilities needed to battle through the city’s rough streets, and Get In restricted areas; the dexterity and agility to scale any object in order to
Get UP graffiti tags and spread the message of rebellion; and the ingenuity to evade, escape and Get OUT.” The members of the City’s Graffiti
Advisory Board think this kind of irresponsible gaming will lead kids to break the law, vandalize more public and private property, and could lead to
their arrest and incarceration for graffiti vandalism. San Francisco’s Deputy Chief of Police Greg Suhr sent a letter to the
company asking if Atari had ever considered the game’s potential negative impact. One GAB member sent a letter to Atari President Jim Caparro
demanding that the company add a disclaimer on each video game that reads: “Graffiti Vandalism is a Crime! Atari
encourages good citizenship and in no way condones vandalism of public or private property. Atari reminds you that this is only a game, portraying a
make-believe world. RESPECT YOURSELF, RESPECT YOUR COMMUNITY! DO NOT TAG IN THE REAL WORLD!” As
has been reported in the BOMA Advocate before, graffiti vandalism cost the city of San Francisco an estimated $22 million in 2004. This kind of
computer “game” glorifies vandalizing property using “authentic tags from more than 50 real-life graffiti artists”, without any sort of official
admonishment to the contrary, and does nothing to promote more responsible behavior among our city’s youth. Atari should be producing games
that build citizenship, not games that tear our society down, which in this case cost building owners and our local government millions of dollars
annually to clean up graffiti-ed walls, doors and replace scratched plate glass windows. “Get In, Get Up, and Get Out” is not the kind of game a
company should be producing if we expect our youth to respect their community and their environment. Send your protest letter t
Jim Caparro, President and CEO, Atari, Inc., 417 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10015.
District Attorney’s Office Ramps Up Effort to Fight Graffiti Vandalism in SF: 22
Arrested Since Feb 1!
The Department of Public Works (DPW) and the San Francisco Police Department are
collaborating to increase graffiti vandalism arrests in the City. Twenty-two arrests have been made since February 1st and the two agencies have
increased surveillance and cooperation in heavily tagged neighborhoods. “Taggers deface public property and cost the City and private property
owners millions of dollars every year,” said Mohammed Nuru, Deputy Director of Operations of DPW. “Their behavior is intolerable and, as a City, we
are taking these offences very seriously. We look forward to the District Attorney prosecuting these cases to the full extent of the law.” The latest
arrest occurred Monday, March 28th when an adult from Vallejo was witnessed tagging property on McAllister Street. After the arrest, DPW assisted
police by providing written estimates for damages. The individual was charged with six counts of misdemeanor vandalism charges and for possession
of a graffiti implements, according to Inspector Narda Gillespie. "Our Graffiti Abatement Unit is dedicated to investigating graffiti vandalism in order to
identify and take into custody those responsible for these incidents. By arresting individuals who have committed graffiti vandalism, we are
sending a message that the defacement of public or private property is unacceptable and those who commit such acts will be held accountable,"
said Police Chief Heather Fong. DPW Director Edwin M. Lee reports that the department spends $2 million annually on graffiti abatement on public
property. “The key to truly making a difference in this war on graffiti is to paint it out within 48 hours. The more vigilant we are in abating graffiti
quickly, the less likely it is that the taggers will return,” said Lee. A 2001 Civil Grand Jury Report estimates that the City, as a whole, spends more
than $22 million annually to paint over graffiti and to restore public property damaged by vandals.
Shedding Light on Fluorescent Lamps: It’s Illegal to Dump Fluorescent Tubes in the Trash!
lamps include common tube lamps, circular and U-shaped tube lamps, and compact fluorescent lamps. First developed in the late 1920s, today’s
fluorescent lamps produce the same amount of light as incandescent lamps while using about 70 percent less electricity. They help reduce energy
consumption, which, in turn, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as mercury and other pollution that comes from energy production.
However, fluorescent lamps contain mercury, a toxic, persistent pollutant that bio-accumulates in the environment and in the food chain. When a
fluorescent lamp breaks, goes to the landfill, or gets incinerated, mercury and lead can be released into the environment. In order to protect human
health and the environment, fluorescent lamps must be recycled at the end of their useful life. The State of California has recently classified
fluorescent lamps as “Universal Waste”?a designation that requires businesses to recycle the fluorescent lamps. It is illegal to put them in the
For more information on fluorescent lamp recycling requirements and information, please visit
http://temp.sfgov.org/sfenvironment/directories/lighting.htm or call (415) 355-3700.
(Sushma Dhulipala -
Commercial Toxics Reduction Coordinator for the San Francisco Department of the Environment)
Fluorescent lamp purchasing and recycling Checklist:
Buy the T-8 or T-5 lamps that have higher energy efficiency
Look for low mercury lamps (Philips “Alto” lamps have the lowest mercury followed by GE
“Ecolux” and Sylvania “Ecologic” brands.) In general, T-8 lamps have lower mercury than the traditional T-12s.
Recycle fluorescent lamps per the “Universal Waste Law”
BOMA International Adopts New Grandfathering Clause in its
Accessibility Codes and Standards Position Paper
In a move long desired by many BOMA members, BOMA International
added the following language into its national position paper on accessibility codes and standards at its January 2005 meeting in Washington, DC:
“BOMA International strongly supports the “next generation” of accessibility requirements in new buildings and alterations while ‘grandfathering’
conditions that meet current Department of Justice Standards. BOMA continues to work to ensure that new regulations, codes and standards
provide increased consistency in accessibility requirements, offer more reasonable and clearer technical requirements, and lead to more consistent
interpretation, application, and enforcement.” However, owners should be given some credit and sufficient time to amortize the accessibility
improvements made to comply with newly-adopted standards before they are forced to upgrade/remodel the same improved space due to even more
recent code changes.
Recognized as the industry leader on accessibility since 1991 (when BOMA published its
first compliance guidebook), BOMA International has provided extensive input in key forums where new accessibility provisions are written. BOMA
serves on the ANSI A117.1 Committee that develops the standard that is the basis of many state and local accessibility regulations and is
referenced by each of the model building codes. From 1994-96 BOMA served on the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines
(ADAAG) Review Advisory Committee, a Federal group formed by the U.S. Access Board to develop recommendations for the pending revision of
ADAAG. BOMA’s work on the ANSI/ICC A117.1 – 1998 Standard has been incorporated by reference into the 2000 and 2003 International Building
Code and other International Code Council codes. BOMA International has published an updated “Guide to ADA and Accessibility Regulations
– Complying with Federal Rules and Model Building Code Requirements” to assist real estate professionals and the design community in
understanding accessibility provisions in the IBC. To order a copy, check out their website: www.boma.org.
BOMA San Francisco Urges Reforms at Assessor/Recorder’s Office
of BOMA have had problems with the Assessor’s office, and would like to see improvements in its operation. More importantly, many members
believe the City could receive significant increases in its tax revenues (estimated in the millions of dollars) with a more efficient city assessment and
billing process. Some of the improvements suggested:
1. Better trained and cross-trained city appraisers, with more of them focused on
2. Establishing a direct computer database link between the Assessor’s office, the Treasurer’s office, the
Department of Building Inspection, the Planning Department, and any other department that involves property transactions to ensure leasehold
improvements are counted, that all development fees are collected, and that assessment bills are sent out promptly! (It currently takes about three
years after a sale before a San Francisco office building receives its re-assessment bill from the City.)
3. Better use of the internet
to host an interactive site that the public can use to download assessment information, tax payment history, and information on all the various ways
in which property is assessed or exempted from taxes.
4. Once a value is established for a commercial property, through a Proposition 8
hearing, and nothing has significantly changed in the property, then that pre-established value should be considered the benchmark for the following
5. Consider outsourcing the commercial property assessment services for faster turnaround, better accountability.
Commercial office buildings in San Francisco had a total assessed value
of $17.3 billion in 2004. Those property owners paid (or will pay) in excess of $200 million this year in property taxes. BOMA
International’s Experience Exchange Report estimates that BOMA San Francisco members also spent more than $2 billion in payroll (both white and
blue collar employees) and services in 2003. Office buildings in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin and Sonoma counties comprise a total of
133,000,000 net rentable feet of space. When fully occupied, that space would hold an estimated 420,000 employees working for over 11,000
BOMA Codes Task Force Needs Building Manager Volunteers!
One of the most important and active committees in BOMA is its Building Codes Task Force. Meeting monthly at the BOMA office for lunch,
this group of members regularly meets with staff from the Department of Building Inspection, and other city departments, to review city and state
code changes, and to discuss means for implementing new code requirements in the easiest, most consistent way. The results of this
collaboration between BOMA and DBI have been impressive. Every year BOMA members have saved countless thousands of dollars and an equal
number of hours from the work this committee does to simplify the process at the building department. We have an active task force with a wealth of
technical talents on it, but we need more representation from building managers and building owners. If any building manager or assistant building
manager would like to serve on it, please contact Ken Cleaveland at email@example.com. We want YOU!
City Real Estate Director Addresses
BOMA Government and Public Affairs Committee – Gives Overview of Operations
Steve Legnitto, the Director for San
Francisco’s Real Estate Division (within the City’s Department of Administrative Services), shared his world with BOMA members at the March
meeting of the association’s Government and Public Affairs Committee. He laid out some impressive statistics, including:
San Francisco owns 92,672 acres outside the county line, and
5,543 acres within the city and county of San Francisco.
The city has an estimated 1,400 different city-owned
The City leases over 800,000 square feet of office space in the Civic
Center area, and owns over 1,000,000 square feet of space in the same vicinity.
The city pays $46 million annually in rents, in 200 different leases,
and collects approximately $7 million in rents from 100 different leases.
The city’s real estate division directly manages 574,000 square feet
of office space, and will soon request proposals from the private sector to manage this portfolio of five buildings.
Anyone can log onto the real estate division’s website and find a
San Francisco property using their Real Estate Information System (REIS). This site will also give you ownership and assessment information for the
property in question.
Top 5 City-owned buildings (by size): City Hall (312,000 square
feet), 1660 Mission Street (181,000), 25 Van Ness Avenue (130,000), 1680 Mission Street (104,000), 30 Van Ness Avenue (72,000). Top 5 city
leases: 160 South Van Ness (158,000 square feet), 1390 Market Street (140,000), 875 Stevenson Street (118,000), 1155 Market Street (87,000) and
One Market Street (73,000).
EER Survey: BOMA Members’ Response Date Extended to April
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly send you another survey
package. You can also visit http://www.boma.org/ProductsAndResearch/ExperienceExchangeReport2005.htm to download a copy of the EER 2005 form. If you would like to fill out the form on-line please visit: http://surveys.ebrain.com/forms/2005eer.asp
It’s not too late to participate in BOMA International 2005 Experience Exchange Report (EER) survey. This
report is the most detailed and reputable source of its kind for detailed benchmark data on income and expenses for the office building
industry. Your participation is needed to ensure that the data accurately reflects our industry and provide you with quality benchmarks to help
you make sound business and budgetary decisions. The data submission deadline has been extended to April 11.
results of this survey are critical to gauge the impact and health of our industry. In return of your time and effort we will send you a
detailed EPC (Expense Performance Comparison) of your office building data and your name will be included in a drawing for a complimentary
registration to BOMA International’s Annual Congress and the Office Building Show to be held in Anaheim, CA in June.
If you have
misplaced your Experience Exchange Report survey, call us at 202/326-6345 or e-mail us at
Should the City End Its Seismic Safety Loan Program? BOMA Member Input
As a result of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a law
requiring owners of un-reinforced masonry buildings to seismically upgrade and strengthen their properties. To help property owners do this, voters of
San Francisco passed a $350 bond measure the following year establishing a city loan program to help provide financing to building owners for the
retrofit work on un-reinforced masonry buildings. Implementation of the program was delayed for many months while a vigorous debate among
representatives of building owners, affordable housing advocates, labor unions and contractors ensued over what the requirements would be to utilize
the city bond financing. Finally, an accord was reached which added a number of “social requirements strings” to the application for the
money: contractors on these projects had to use disadvantaged city-referred labor, pay prevailing wages, and provide health care benefits. As it
turned out, just as the retrofit work was beginning to come online, banks proved to be much more willing to make seismic upgrade loans, and, in
many cases, the cost of the upgrades was not as much as anticipated, and owners self-financed. The result: very few owners utilized the city’s
seismic safety loan program. The only exceptions were owner/developers of affordable housing. Now the City, 10 years later, is questioning the
wisdom of continuing the program, despite the fact that there are still significant numbers of un-reinforced masonry buildings that have not been
retrofitted. They don’t want to terminate the loan program if building owners think it might become useful at some point. The question is: will it ever
be? Please email Wayne.Lawrence@sfgov.org ,
the city’s current SSLP administrator, or call him at 415-252-3163 with your thoughts on this program, and if you believe it should be terminated as
constructed. SOUND OFF NOW!!
PGA American Express Championship Plays SF’s Harding Park Golf Club October 4-9,
The top 70 golfers in the world will be attending this event, including Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson,
Shigeki Maruyama, and Ernie Els. $500,000 will be donated to the city’s First Tee charity, whose mission is to positively impact at-risk youth by
providing them with facilities and character-building programs using the game of golf. The Championship is also expected to generate $55
million in additional revenues for local businesses, and will be broadcast to over 140 countries via ESPN and ABC. BOMA members are invited to
consider becoming part of the host committee through various sponsorship levels. To purchase tickets to the event call 1-877-263-9849, or to get
more information on being a sponsor, contact Ron Cross, VP/Executive Director for the American
Express Championship at 415-278-9989.
"The Bay Guardian has for decades prayed at the alter of the glorious
tenant. In the circles of Bay Guardian hell, landlords occupy some of the lowest rungs, where they presumably chat with PG&E
executives. Tenants and tenant advocates, meanwhile, have permanently reserved thrones in the Guardian's progressive hell." --John Mecklin,