With Forest City having secured initial Port and City endorsements for their plan to develop a mixed-use neighborhood on the Waterfront Site of San Francisco’s Pier 70 with up to 2.2 million square feet of office space; 400,000 square feet of retail, cultural, and maker uses; 1,000 housing units and 7 acres of parks, Orton Development is preparing to seek San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approval for their plans to rehabilitate Pier 70’s Historic Core, eight large buildings and two smaller structures located on or near 20th Street which are owned by the Port of San Francisco.


The historic buildings include 270,000 square feet of existing space to which around 69,000 square feet of new space, primarily in mezzanines, will be added. Once rehabilitated, the historic office and industrial buildings will be used for a range of businesses, including light industrial, technology, life science, office, artisan/artist studios and showrooms, and restaurants.


The top four floors of the Bethlehem Steel Office Building at the corner of Illinois and 20th Streets (Building 101) will return to office use while the building’s commissary on the lower level will likely be used for food production or light industrial use. Multiple offers from “well-established San Francisco restaurateurs” have already been received for building 102 next door:


The former UIW headquarters and Navy Hospital Office (Building 104) will return to office use while the warehouse buildings (113/114, 115/116, and 14) will become “food, technology, life science, biotech, education and arts production centers, mirroring the high-quality “maker” type businesses currently thriving in the Dogpatch neighborhood” with office, showroom and retail uses as well.


The 45,000 square foot machine shop courtyard behind Pier 70’s historic warehouse buildings will be used as an outdoor venue for public and private events, including farmer’s markets, concerts, exhibitions and festivals throughout the year.


Assuming the Orton’s plans are approved by the Board this month, construction is slated to commence in early 2014 with the first tenancy of building 101 planned for April 2015 and the overall rehabilitation of Pier 70’s historic core to be completed by the end of 2016.

16 thoughts on “Plans And Timing For Pier 70’s Historic Rehab Revealed”
  1. Give Dogpatch 5 years and it will become high end like many other areas of the city before gentrification…celebrity chef restaurants, boutiques, etc.

  2. An amazing collection of beautiful and unique buildings. These have so much potential for adaptive re-use.
    Yes, this will change and affect the Dogpatch neighborhood, in a good way.
    Gentrification is not a dirty word.

  3. I’m not saying gentrification is necessarily a bad word…it has saved many neighborhoods from further decline. On the flip side, however, many unique “features” get priced out because they can no longer afford to operate there. It’s a balancing act. Look at Harlem and the East Village.

  4. I’m not sure why gentrification is being used in this situation. There are no residential tenants in the historic core. In fact most of those buildings are vacant or just being used for storage.

  5. Milkshake, if I’m interpreting Futurist and Mark correctly, they’re using that word to described the parts of Dogpatch that have already gone upscale.
    From C.W. Nevius in the Chronicle back in Feb, predicting Futurist today at 2:02 PM; Gentrification no longer a dirty word:

    …even cynics would say it is the g-word:


    And it’s happening with surprisingly little grumbling.

    …Take Dogpatch, an obscure right turn off Third Street south of AT&T Park. Until recently, it was best known as home to the clubhouse of the San Francisco chapter of Hells Angels.

    Susan Eslick, an artist, has lived in Dogpatch since 1996. Now she can walk down 22nd Street and call out the changes on every corner. There’s Chocolate Lab, a local chocolate maker, Rickshaw Bagworks, which makes custom messenger bags, a cheese shop, a gourmet ice cream store and Olivier’s, a French butcher shop. And perhaps most important to the transformation, Piccino restaurant. It opened in 2006, attracting both foodies and good reviews.

    …So don’t try to tell her that upscaling of the neighborhood is a bad thing.

    …”The term gentrification is loaded,” she said. “I say bring it on. It just has to be designed well. There’s no tolerance for schlock.”

    How interested current residents ward off future schlockly projects proposed by late-arriving developers out to make a quick buck isn’t mentioned.
    And of course, developers and architects have wildly diverging views of what constitutes “designed well”.
    This looks like an interesting project, It’ll be interesting to see what the “artisan/artist studios” go for once they’re completed.

  6. Can we please get moving on this? I’d like to be able to enjoy this new neighborhood before my family is eventually driven out of SF by the shitty school system. Tick-tock…

  7. Until recently Pier 70 was the site of Auto Return the SF contractor for auctioning off towed vehicles after 30 days. And City Tow before them. Like the HP shipyard site and ATT Park lots of pollutants to contend with.

  8. Orton has a great track record for historic restoration and preservation. I trust them to do a job that has a lot of integrity in saving these gorgeous one-of-a-kind buildings for reuses and commend the Port for their vision on this aspect of Pier 70 development. Done correctly and with the right balance, this project has the potential to be as massively successful as the Ferry Building – and more interesting for its planned diversity of uses.

  9. @ bayviewdude:
    You are absolutely right.
    It will change, and it will get better, and it will get more expensive.
    Look at where Bernal was 30 years ago, and where Noe was 20 years ago.
    Think forward.

  10. I worked nearby for 40 years. Our blue collar jobs have definitely been gentrified away–our building has been sold and condos will soon rise.
    The “arts production/maker type businesses currently thriving in the Dogpatch neighborhood” that Pier 70 will house are likely to be small and boutique-y. Alas, our nonprofit arts employer can’t afford another large industrial space in SF.

  11. “nonprofit arts employer” and “blue collar”? I’m sorry but you seem to be confused. Blue collar jobs are … millwright, welder, machinist, heavy-duty mechanic, pipefitter, etc..
    “Artist” does not count as anything but a dilletante.

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