Ken Cleaveland
Director
Government & Public Affairs
kenc@boma.com
 
IN THIS ISSUE
  Labor Day – Bay Bridge to be Closed All Weekend!

BOMA-Degenkolb Engineers Seminar on San Francisco's Post Earthquake Inspections Program Sept 20th: Learn How to Re-Open Quickly

Energy Rate to go down in PG & E Service Territory

BOMA Supports Special Elevator Requirement in New Super High Rise Buildings

San Francisco Board of Appeals to Hear Billboard Cases in September – BOMA Members Potentially Impacted

San Francisco Transportation Authority Examining Congestion Pricing Feasibility

San Francisco Office Development Update

Do You Golf? Don't Miss Assembly Fiona Ma's Tournament August 31st!

NERT Training for BOMA Members Starting in September!

Upcoming Events of Interest

San Francisco November 6th Ballot Measures Finalized

 
 

Direct all inquiries regarding
The BOMA San Francisco
ADVOCATE to

Government and Public Affairs
Director
Ken Cleaveland, CAE
415/362-2662 x11
kenc@boma.com


 

August 28, 2007                                                   Volume 13, Number 6

This Issue of BOMA-San Francisco Advocate Is Sponsored By
Wahl & Company


Labor Day – Bay Bridge to be Closed All Weekend!
The Bay Bridge will be closed from Friday August 31st at 8:00 PM and is scheduled to reopen Tuesday September 4th at 5:00 AM. The best source of web information including traffic reports & transit matching can be obtained through www.tmasf.org, (real-time traffic conditions paired with public transportation options, access to Bay Area transit services). For information on the Bay Bridge, including information on closures and public transportation alternatives, as well as facts about the retrofit project itself, go to www.baybridgeinfo.org. You can also get personal assistance with ridesharing, and ride matching by dialing 511 or visiting www.511.org. The bridge will be closed to complete seismic safety repair work on a section of the Bay Bridge East of Yerba Buena Island Tunnel. The Transbay Bus service will also not operate across the bridge. Access to Yerba Buena and Treasure Island is closed except for residents, employees and visitors with special access granted by permit – visit www.baybridgeinfo.org for details. San Francisco MUNI Line 108 will operate to and from Treasure Island on the usual schedule – for more information visit www.sfmuni.com.

BOMA-Degenkolb Engineers Seminar on San Francisco's Post Earthquake Inspections Program Sept 20th: Learn How to Re-Open Quickly
San Francisco's Building Department has had a program for several years that allows building owners to prepare for an earthquake emergency by having their buildings registered with the city's Business Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP), a program that pre-certifies engineering firms to inspect and tag private buildings after an earthquake. David Leung, Civil Engineer, San Francisco, Department of Building Inspection and Mark Sinclair, Associate Principal, Structural Engineer at Degenkolb Engineers will conduct the 1=BD hour session starting at 11:30 a.m. at the offices of Degenkolb Engineers, 235 Montgomery Street, Suite 500. Lunch is provided, and there is no charge, but attendance is limited to 45 people. To register, click here.

Energy Rate to go down in PG & E Service Territory
BOMA California has reached an accord with PG & E to bring the rates for large commercial customers down approximately 9% when the rates are expected to be approved, starting November 1, 2007. The rate structure that has long been unfair to owners and tenants in commercial office buildings, who have been unfairly subsidizing the residential users, especially since the energy crisis in 2001. BOMA has urged a fairer approach to establishing rates based on the actual cost of service model. Equally important this agreement will allow BOMA members to sub-meter their tenants in PG & E-serviced buildings, under certain conditions including a number of consumer protection provisions. If the agreement is finally adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission, commercial tenants will finally get real time information on their energy consumption and will be billed for actual usage, rather than usage based on the amount of space being rented. If this historic sub-metering agreement is approved, BOMA will request that the same agreement and conditions be allowed in Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric service territories. For a copy of the Administrative Law Judge's opinion recommending approval of the tariff and Master Meter agreement, click here.

BOMA Supports Special Elevator Requirement in New Super High Rise Buildings
The San Francisco Fire Commission approved sending the 2007 San Francisco Fire Codes to the Board of Supervisors on August 23, 2007, that a requirement to install specialized elevators in all new high rise buildings over 200' (20 stories). BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee members met several times with City Fire Marshal Barbara Schultheis to hammer out the details of the bulletin, which will allow owners who install these specially-protected and pressurized elevators to avoid installing the controversial air replenishment system in their buildings. An exception for buildings over 200' was also included that would allow owners to install stacked regular elevators in multiple banks reaching up to 20 stories each if they used separate hoistways. That option, however, if taken, would require the installation of the air replenishment system. New buildings between 75' and 200' would have the option of either installing the patented air replenishment system or the heavy-duty pressurized high rise elevators. The requirement to install specially-protected elevators in new high rises provides both fast access for firefighters in an emergency, as well as a fast delivery system for firefighter air tanks, and was the preferred method of providing access and air to firefighters in a high rise emergency. For a copy of the final bulletin, click here.

San Francisco Board of Appeals to Hear Billboard Cases in September – BOMA Members Potentially Impacted
Brett Gladstone, a local real estate attorney, is bringing an appeal of behalf of an owner to the San Francisco Board of Appeals on September 12th challenging a 2006 city ordinance which modified Planning Code 604.2 and gave inordinate control over billboard signage to the advertising contractors at the expense of the property owner. That local ordinance conflicts with state law ((the 2003 Pocoroba case, which stated that right to such land use rests with the owner, not with the sign company) and needs to be amended or set aside. BOMA members who have sites with billboards may want to follow this particular appeal closely, and to check their contracts for same to make sure they are protected in the event there is a dispute with their current advertising vendor. This particular dispute involves a billboard that was located at 2283-2297 Market Street where the vendor pulled down their sign structure and the landlord was not permitted to replace it. This ability of billboard companies to deprive building owners of their rights has not been thoroughly challenged since passage of the 2006 city ordinance, so this case before the Board of Appeals is the first to do so. It is particularly significant in light of the fact that San Franciscans passed Proposition G in 2002 which prohibited the erection of new billboard in San Francisco. For more information, contact Brett Gladstone, Esq., Gladstone & Associates, at 415-434-9500 or email brett@gladstoneassociates.com.

San Francisco Transportation Authority Examining Congestion Pricing Feasibility
The county's Transportation Authority has been quietly studying the idea of using congestion pricing to reduce future traffic congestion and improve mobility in the City. The Authority is exploring a program similar to the one inaugurated in London in 2003 which charges motorists a fee to drive into central London during the workweek. Collection of fees would be similar to that already employed in the Fast Track system used on Bay Area bridges. Although area residents may not like the idea of having to pay extra for the privilege of driving their cars into the City to work, shop, or play, the City sees it as part of their "Transit First" policy to push people out of their cars, and onto public transportation, despite whatever economic impacts it might have on businesses located downtown. The city also envisions this program as a great new revenue stream that can be used to help pay for better mass transit. If this project is finally approved, San Francisco will join London in making driving a car as evil as smoking a cigarette. And watch out, SUV owners, as there may be extra large fees for those types of vehicles driving into San Francisco in the not-to-distant future, if congestion pricing is adopted! Want more information: check out www.sfmobility.org.

San Francisco Office Development Update
Daniel Cressman of Grubb & Ellis recently gave an illuminating presentation to SPUR on the new office building construction planned for the City. A total of almost 1.8 million square feet is under construction presently, not including another 400,000 square feet of adaptive re-use at 370 3rd Street. The current total San Francisco office market (all classes) is approximately 82 million square feet. The new buildings coming online include:

  • 400 Howard Street (Foundry Square) for Morgan Stanley to be almost entirely leased to Barclay's Bank (321,545 out of 335,000 square feet)
  • 555 Mission Street for Tishman Speyer (549,000 square feet)
  • 185 Berry Street for McCarthy Cook/RREEF (an addition of 175,000 square feet to existing China Basin building)
  • 409 & 499 Illinois for Shorenstein/SKS of which 292,000 of a total of 430,000 square feet has been pre-leased to FibroGen.
  • 500 Terry Francois in Mission Bay for Lowe Enterprises (280,000 square feet)

Another 3.3 million square feet of new commercial office space has been approved by the City since 1999 but has not started construction, as well as an additional 900,000 square feet of adaptive re-use for office, for a total possible addition of approximately 4,250,000 square feet of office space. However, a number of these pre-approved projects may not move forward, may change their usage, or have their entitlements revoked by the City. Current vacancy rates, according to Frank Fudem of NAI BT Commercial in his August report, are at 10.7% for the second quarter of 2007, a slight increase from the 1st quarter primarily due to the conversion of the Furniture Mart at 1355 Market Street/875 Stevenson Street into 700,000 square feet of office. San Francisco office rents are currently averaging between $40-$50 per square foot in Class A buildings, but not necessarily with views of Alcatraz! 

Do You Golf? Don't Miss Assembly Fiona Ma's Tournament August 31st!
It's not too late to join Assembly Majority Whip Fiona Ma on Friday, August 31st for her annual Golf Classic fundraiser.  Registration begins at 9am at San Francsico's Harding Park, with a 10am shotgun, 12noon lunch. Cost: $1,000 per person. To sign up, contact Annie Eagan Consulting at 415-269-5105 ASAP!

Even if you don't golf, join the Assembly Member for lunch!

NERT Training for BOMA Members Starting in September!
The San Francisco Fire Department is conducting a special Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) training course for BOMA members covering Earthquake, Disaster and Terrorism Preparedness Training. It will be over a six week period starting September 6th (1-4 p.m.) every Thursday, ending on October 11th. The six week, 18 hour training course will be held at the Federal Reserve Building, 101 Market Street. Attendees must attend all sessions to get their certificate, and have a photo-ID to gain entrance to the building. The class sessions will cover:

  • September 6th – Earthquake Awareness, Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation
  • September 13th – Basic Disaster Skills; Fire Extinguishers; Hazardous Materials; Utilities Shut-offs
  • September 20th – Disaster Medicine
  • September 27th – Light Search and Rescue
  • October 4th – Team Organization and Management; Terrorism and NERT
  • October 11th – Hands-on Training; Skills Development and Application

To register go to www.sfgov.org/sffdnert or call 415-970-2024.

Upcoming Events of Interest
Geary Boulevard Merchant's and Property Owners Association will be holding its annual awards luncheon on September 19th at the Cathedral Hill Hotel from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. This year the organization is honoring a number of small businesses including Paul Kozakiewicz, Editor/Publisher of the Richmond ReView and the Sunset Beacon newspapers, Martin Brotman, CEO of the California Pacific Medical Center, and Marie Brooks of Ellis Brooks Auto Center. Speakers to include Mayor Gavin Newsom, District Attorney Kamala Harris, Former Mayor Frank Jordan, and Scott Hauge, Founder of Small Business California. To register, contact David Heller at 415-387-1477. The cost is $40 per person.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is holding a summit on climate change September 10th from 7:30 a.m. until noon at the Mission Bay Conference Center. For more details, and to register, go to www.sfchamber.com and click on the City Summit link. Speakers will include Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Lt. Governor John Garamendi and Nancy McFadden, Senior VP/Public Affairs for PG & E.

BOMA San Francisco's September 27th General Membership Meeting will be held at the City Club (155 Sansome Street, 11th Floor) and will feature a panel of real estate executives who will discuss the recent spate of office building sales and its impact on building management practices. Nancy Gille, Portfolio Manager for Harsch Investments, will moderate the panel discussion. This program will be a sure sell-out, so don't delay in registering!

The Annual BOMA San Francisco Codes Seminar – Featuring the 2007 International Building Codes Overview – will be held on October 11th, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. It will feature Laurence Kornfield, Chief Building Inspector for San Francisco, and a host of others who will update the membership on the new International codes, and how they will be applied locally. The overview session will run from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. More details will be forthcoming soon, but save the date!

San Francisco November 6th Ballot Measures Finalized
A number of city ballot measures this November will impact commercial property owners in San Francisco. Here is the list of the six Charter amendments, three ordinances, and two declarations of policy. Those potentially affecting BOMA members are bold italicized.

Proposition A – MUNI Reform. This measure has broad political support from our local leaders, and would have had everyone's support were it not for a last minute addition of language to reduce parking in the city for cars that the Board of Supervisors President added to trump another initiative on the ballot, Prop H, which would have granted residents more parking spaces. A compromise between these two on the issue of parking is promised for the February ballot.

Proposition B – Limits the ability of city appointees to commissions to stay on past their stated terms unless re-appointed by the responsible authority.

Proposition C – This measure is strongly supported by the city's business community as it mandates that city legislators and the Mayor cannot throw measures onto the ballot at the last minute without having them first properly vetted at a duly-noticed public hearing.

Proposition D – Renews the city Public Library's Preservation Fund.

Proposition E – Would require the Mayor to appear monthly before the Board of Supervisors for questioning. This measure was introduced and supported by the so-called "progressive" bloc on the Board of Supervisors. They wish to grill the Mayor in their Supervisors' meetings but don't have that power now to require it.

Proposition F – Would give the airport police officers who were brought into the city's police department the same retirement benefits as other police officers.

Proposition G – Establishes a Golden Gate Park Stables Matching Fund to preserve horseback riding in the Park.

Proposition H – Neighborhood Parking Initiative – A lengthy initiative which was a bona fide attempt to protect parking rights of residents and businesses in San Francisco. Critics say it goes too far, and would over turn the city's transit first policies. The campaign to pass it closed down when the compromise to be on the February ballot was agreed upon between the parking and transit advocates. 

Proposition I – This initiative creates a one-stop Small Business Assistance Center within a new city department, the Office of Small Business.

Proposition J – This is a non-binding resolution that would state the people of San Francisco want free Wi-Fi high speed internet service.

Proposition K – This is a non-binding resolution that would restrict advertising on city street furniture and city buildings.

"There are a lot of poor and working class (people) who also use cars," Peskin said. He said Muni advocates are well-organized, but "people who drive cars and need to park cars do not have anybody who speaks for them." Peskin quote from a Rachel Gordon story 3 years ago.

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THIS ISSUE OF THE BOMA SAN FRANCISCO ADVOCATE WAS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY WAHL & COMPANY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Wahl & Company has been managing property in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 20 years.  Our mission is to preserve the asset with proper building maintenance, increase its value through carefully planned building improvements and maximize cash flow by providing class "A" service in every class of building, earning premium rents from the tenants we serve.  At Wahl & Company we treat your property as we would if it were our property.

To arrange for a walk through of your building and obtain a proposal to manage your property, contact Thom Chinn at (415) 398-3010 or thom@wahl-company.com.

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