Workshop1 Proceeds with PDR Development Plans in San Francisco

By Meghan Hall

Workshop1, a development, architecture and brokerage firm based in the Bay Area, is continuing to capitalize on San Francisco’s returning Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) market with the proposed redevelopment of 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue. The project is part of a larger push by both developers and City officials to lure industrial businesses and jobs back to downtown.

The site is located east of Interstate 280 and just south of the Dogpatch and Central Waterfront neighborhoods, which are well known for their storied histories as the heavily industrialized portion of town dominated by Union Iron Works & Bethlehem Steel, the Western Sugar Refinery and Tubbs Cordage Company. After World War II, San Francisco was hit by a period of industrial decline, and many of the buildings in the Dogpatch and Central Waterfront were demolished or abandoned. By the time the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation closed in 1997, redevelopment had taken off in the area, with developers seeking to transform the neighborhood’s industrial warehouses into mixed-use developments.

Workshop1 has been focusing on the development of PDR space within the City for almost a decade and is working on several other projects in San Francisco, including nearby 1401-1443, 1449 Illinois Street. The firm submitted a preliminary project application in February 2018, detailing plans to demolish the existing Mini Storage facility and remove all of the shipping containers on the 38,289 square foot site. Workshop1 would then construct a five-story, 65-foot tall industrial building containing 160,230 square foot of PDR space with accessory office use. 31,214 square feet of underground parking with space for 74 vehicles is also included in the plans along with 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail sales and service space. The retail space will be located at the corner of Pennsylvania and 25th Street.

As the automated vehicle, manufacturing and research and development industries continue to rebound within the City of San Francisco, the maintenance of existing PDR-designated spaces and development of industrial lots will only become more important.

In response to Workshop1’s PPA application, issued in May 2018, the City has encouraged the developer to include street improvements and landscaping in its plans for the site, as well as street trees and bulb-outs.

According to Candace SooHoo, Deputy Communications Manager for the City of San Francisco, Workshop1 has submitted the Environmental Evaluation application, but has not submitted a Building Permit Application. SooHoo would not comment further on the project’s status, siting its early stages.

“It is premature for the Department to answer any questions until the project sponsor submits entitlement applications,” said SooHoo.

Workshop1 has until November 2019 to submit the required applications to the City of San Francisco, at which point the PPA application will expire.

Will Mollard, owner of Workshop1, was unable to comment as of the publishing of this article.

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