S.F. Flower Mart Drama Settles Down, For Now

The Board of Supervisors helps pave the way for Flower Mart to move to a temporary location in the Bayview. But will it make a difference?

The San Francisco Flower Mart in San Francisco’s SoMa District seen Thursday, September 8, 2016. (Wesaam Al-Badry)

The San Francisco Flower Mart inched closer towards moving to a temporary location in the Bayview thanks to action taken by the Board of Supervisors this week.

On Tuesday, the Board voted unanimously to urge the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to execute a property exchange with private real estate developer Tishman Speyer. The resolution urges SFPUC to trade city-owned property at 639 Bryant St. to Tishman Speyer, in exchange for the property it owns in the Bayview at 2000 Marin St.

Tishman Speyer wants to acquire 639 Bryant St. as part of its $372 million SoMa office and apartment development, and the developer appears to have successfully used 2000 Marin St. as a bargaining chip. The city wants 2000 Marin St. so that the site can be made available to Kilroy Realty Corp, the Flower Mart’s landlord, as it searches for a temporary site to house the Flower Mart as Kilroy gears up to construct a 27-story office building. The Flower Mart can return, but it’ll take between three and five years for its space to be rebuilt.

So, the Flower Mart needs a temporary home, and fast. But while property owner Kilroy Realty Corp. released a statement following the vote calling 2000 Marin St. the new “preferred, priority site for the interim market,” questions over timeliness remain vague.

Prior to the vote, vice president of development for Kilroy Realty Corp. Mike Grisso, told SF Weekly that Kilroy needs to find a temporary site for the Flower Mart as soon as possible.

“We need a temporary relocation site to be available by the end of the year,” he said. “Remember, it’s going to take time to build the temporary facilities needed for the Flower Mart.”

The Board’s urging this week is just that, a request. There’s also no language in the resolution calling for a specific time limit. For now, it appears to be a race to the finish that pits the city’s slow-moving bureaucracy against the aspirations of multiple real estate developers.

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