Port of San Francisco Releases “Request for Interest” Seeking Concepts for Public-Oriented Uses for Waterfront Facilities

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Fourteen historic waterfront facilities in need of rehabilitation now available for public accessible concepts from small businesses and master tenants

San Francisco, CA (Wednesday, August 1, 2018) – Today the San Francisco Port Commission and Port of San Francisco (the Port) issued a “Request for Interest” (RFI) for public-oriented concepts for historic facilities in the Embarcadero Historic District, located between Pier 35 and Pier 48. The RFI solicits feedback from small businesses and master tenants for new public uses for 13 historic piers and the Agriculture Building that are in need of rehabilitation along The Embarcadero.

“A key goal of the Port Commission is to create an accessible waterfront for everyone to enjoy,” said Port Commission President Kimberly Brandon. “The RFI will allow us to hear concepts from prospective and current Port tenants to help us create a world-class experience that draws people to the waterfront again and again.”

The RFI is the first step in the development of the rehabilitation and preservation process of waterfront historic facilities within the Embarcadero Historic District. The RFI process closes on October 31, 2018. All RFI responses will be made publicly available and discussed at one or more public meetings after October 31, 2018. Based upon RFI responses and after public review, one or more “Request for Proposals” (RFP) for uses in the facilities may follow. An RFP would be anticipated in early 2019.

The Port is updating its Waterfront Land Use Plan, a comprehensive planning policy document to guide the use and improvement of Port properties. A public process for the Waterfront Plan Update produced recommendations from San Francisco and Bay Area stakeholders to update goals and policies in the Waterfront Plan. Among them was the need to preserve and rehabilitate more pier structures in the Embarcadero Historic District and provide new strategies to address the financial feasibility needs associated with historic preservation of pier structures.

“We welcome over 24 million people to our waterfront each year and we are determined to ensure all of our historic facilities are accessible to the public,” said Port Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “Through the Waterfront Land Use Plan Update process, we’ve heard loud and clear from the public that they want access to our piers, and that they love the waterfront’s many public-facing businesses. The RFI is our chance to call for new concepts from smaller businesses and master tenants. We welcome feedback that will help us find the financially feasible investment to rebuild piers, in coordination with the Embarcadero Seawall Program, and to ensure our waterfront is safe and accessible for our future generations.”

The RFI will provide the Port with financially feasible concepts for the historic facilities that are aligned with the public’s priorities outlined in the Waterfront Land Use Plan Update process. Priorities include arts and culture, assembly and entertainment, education, food and beverage, maritime (excursion and leisure), museums, recreation and specialty retail.

“I am gratified that the public recommendations from the Waterfront Plan Update have led to this RFI process,” said Alice Rogers, San Francisco resident and member of the Waterfront Plan Working Group. “The opportunity to repurpose more of our historic piers for a diverse mix of public-oriented uses and attractions will further enrich the character of San Francisco’s public waterfront.”

The Port has successfully used the RFI approach to solicit development ideas for the rehabilitation of Union Iron Works Historic District buildings on 20th Street at Pier 70; this ultimately led to the selection of Orton Development Inc. as the Port’s development partner, which is now completing the rehabilitation of the Pier 70 core and welcoming the public back to the waterfront to enjoy these historic treasures.

The Port’s Embarcadero Seawall Program is underway to rebuild over three miles of waterfront to prepare for seismic activity and predicted sea level rise. This RFI and any subsequent RFP will be in coordination with the Embarcadero Seawall Program and other Port projects.

Port facilities included in the RFI:
Pier 35; Pier 33; Pier 31; Pier 29½; Pier 29; Pier 23; Pier 19½; Pier 19; Agriculture Building; Pier 26; Pier 28; Pier 38; Pier 40; and Pier 48. View a map of the facility locations.

About the Port of San Francisco
The Port of San Francisco manages the waterfront as the gateway to a world-class city, and advances environmentally and financially sustainable maritime, recreational and economic opportunities to serve the City, Bay Area, and California.