The Port of San Francisco’s vision for turning Pier 29 into a design and maker themed marketplace of local retailers and restaurateurs is ready to be put to the test, as the formal request for proposals for the first 20,000 square feet of space within the pier’s Bulkhead Building, which fronts The Embarcadero, has just been issued.
The RFP specifically seeks, “uses which focus on the creation and sales of arts, crafts and/or dry goods; including artists and designers working out of studio/exhibit spaces; innovators’ open studios; galleries; public and other markets; and ongoing exhibitions, cultural and exhibit space including ancillary space for live demonstrations and displays.” But the Port will remain open to proposals for other creative uses “that meet the overall goals of activation and uniqueness.”
And perhaps taking a cue from the City’s Transbay Parcel F debacle, the Port’s RFP doesn’t set a minimum monthly rent for the space. Instead, respondents are required to propose a rent “comparable to like situations in the market” with the economic return to the Port comprising 20 percent of the RFP selection criteria.
Built in 1915 to serve as a maritime warehouse, the Bulkhead Building was rebuilt in 2012 following a blaze and the 123,000 square foot Pier 29 was used by the America’s Cup Event Authority for the 34th America’s Cup.
The Port has been hoping for a high profile and well-heeled retail tenant, such as Tesla or Google (which could have used the pier as a home base for the exiled and since decommissioned Google barge), to land the Bulkhead Building lease and anchor the pier’s overall redevelopment.
Proposals for Pier 29’s Bulkhead Building are due in March, interviews with finalists are slated for May, and the Port Commission is expected to select the winner in June with lease approval by the end of 2016.