Kilroy and Tishman Speyer Move Forward in Development to Temporarily House San Francisco Flower Mart

By Meghan Hall

The San Francisco Flower Mart, a long-time favorite in the Central SoMa neighborhood, could be temporarily moving to Bayview as part of an arrangement between Kilroy Realty, the City of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission and Tishman Speyer. The site, located at 2000 Marin St., is owned by New York-based Tishman Speyer and was last used as a printing press.

The flower market’s move to the site is part of a proposal to demolish the current 74,122 square foot, single-story industrial building and construct a 114,772 square foot wholesale building in its place. The project would include four loading spaces and 169 parking spaces, while the flower market would occupy 4.7 acres of the lot. According to the development’s project assessment, the city has asked the developers to include additional industrial space in its plan as part of its efforts to maintain buildings with Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) space in San Francisco.

In 2014, Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty purchased part of the existing site of the wholesale flower market on Sixth and Brannan Streets from San Francisco Flower Mart LLC for $27 million. The transaction was part of several separate deals that closed between 2014 and 2016 as part of Kilroy’s plans to redevelop nearly seven acres on Brannan between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The deal for 610 Brannan Street closed just days before Kilroy’s purchase of 620 Brannon. The developer purchased the site from San Francisco-based SKS and Mitsui Fudosan for $87.25 million. Kilroy then bought the 1.75 acres at 620 Brannon from the Zappettini family for $31 million in cash and $56 million in stocks; both transactions occurred in March 2016.

Part of the transaction agreement stipulated that the Kilroy Realty’s new development include plans for a new market, which began a long series of negotiations between Kilroy Realty, the Public Utilities Commission and the Flower Market as to where vendors would move while Kilroy Realty built new facilities for the market.

The Public Utilities Commission plans to swap a 1.37-acre parcel in Central SoMa at 639 Bryant St. with the 8-acre 2000 Marin St. site, which are similar in value, according to public documents. The Bryant St. and Marin St. properties are valued at $63.875 million and $63.6 million, respectively.

Kilroy Realty has pledged to pay for the market’s moving expenses while it takes up residence at 2000 Marin Street. Previously, Piers 19-23 had been the preferred location for the flower mart while new facilities were built.

Before negotiations are finalized, the 2000 Marin St. site will be subject to environmental review, as the land’s former use as a printing press is believed to have caused soil contamination.

No precise timeline for when the 2000 Marin St. project will be completed is available at this time, since negotiations between the parties are still ongoing. However, Kilroy Realty hopes to have completed its redevelopment of the original Flower Mart site by 2022, at which point the Flower Mart would return to its original location inside Kilroy’s new development.

Law firm Reuben, Junius and Rose LLP submitted the project application on behalf of the parties involved for 2000 Marin St., but could not yet comment on the development’s status.

The San Francisco Flower Mart first began in the 1800s when local flower growers congregated to sell their product near Lotta’s Fountain. In 1924, the market opened the doors to its first location at 5th and Howard St. Today, over 60 vendors sell a variety of flowers and potted plants at the market.

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