From the now singular proposal from the four finalists selected to bid for the opportunity to redevelop the 30-acre Fort Winfield Scott campus in the Presidio:

Last September, at the public presentation of the RFCP responses, Presidio Trust Board members suggested that the four teams selected to move forward with the RFP process reach out to each other and explore opportunities for collaboration. It was obvious to the Board, and to anyone in the room that night, that the teams had complementary visions for the Fort Winfield Scott Campus. As it turns out, the collaboration process had begun long before that evening’s presentations.

As early as last spring, various organizations vying for the opportunity to develop Fort Winfield Scott began exploring how their teams could work together, not just in the development of Fort Winfield Scott, but more importantly, how they could support each other in achieving their organization’s respective missions and, collectively, do something larger than any single entity could achieve on their own.

On a more operational level, both the Forum and EPIC were concerned about how they would manage the complex effort of bringing numerous people and organizations to Fort Winfield Scott — of varying sizes and for indeterminate durations — to participate in the important collaborative problem-solving at the heart of the campus’ raison d’etre, while staying focused on their missions. Adding The We Company’s management platform and business model for facilitating flexible, shared workspace made perfect sense. By September’s public RFCP presentations, the Forum, EPIC and The We Company had already agreed to combine forces for an RFP response. By December, OpenAI decided to join the team as well. During this time, Orton Development and Kilroy Realty decided it was in their best interests, and that of the combined team and project, to withdraw from the bidding process.

On the surface, it seems obvious that the Forum, EPIC, OpenAI, and The We Company should combine to create what we’re calling the Fort Winfield Scott Campus for Change. Working out the many details of how each organization will occupy Fort Winfield Scott, however, and how the combined team will develop and manage the historic campus, has taken many months of discussion. We are confident that the effort was well worth the many late nights, having created, jointly, a vision bolder and stronger than any of us could when standing apart. Together as one team, we are pleased to be submitting a cohesive and united proposal before the Presidio Trust.

As proposed, the singular proposal would now yield over 284,000 square feet of renovated office space; 21,500 square feet of new construction (with lodging, conference space and a 1,500 square foot transit center); up to 4,600 square feet of retail space (including shops, restaurants and cafes); and parking for around 500 cars.

And if the one proposal, which is slated to be formally presented to the Presidio Trust at the end of next month, is approved by the Trust in May, along with a Letter of Intent (LOI) and lease, the project team is aiming to secure control of the Fort Scott Campus by the fourth quarter of 2021, start work on the $200 million project by the end of that year, and complete the redevelopment in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by L'UrbanistaSF

    Anyone else wonder how much longer WeWork is going to be around?

  2. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    It is pretty exciting to see an unique vision of mission driven campus in Presidio. The one downside is if the groups were to become successful, they would want to grow. Is there any room left for growth, given Fort Scott is all historical buildings in a national park with no large building nearby.

  3. Posted by BobN

    I wonder how $200M compares to what would have been spent to properly maintain these buildings for 30 years…

    • Posted by Dixon Hill

      I believe that the renovation costs would be in addition to a triple-net ground lease for a period of years.

  4. Posted by goodmaab50

    Where is the publicists transit to a public park for the services needed? F-line out Chrissy field to the bridge ?? Anything serious or all development and no transit linkage as usual?

    • Posted by Patrick

      The Presidio has its own transit system.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        1) There are Muni buses serving parts of the Presidio (Main Post, for instance).

        2) “its own transit system” – yay, more Bay Area transit balkanization!

        • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

          It is common for agency managing a large area to provide shuttle service. UC Berkeley, Standford, UCSF, etc all have their own shuttle services. You can’t expect the city to do it all.

        • Posted by SFista

          PresidiGo is more like the transit you’ll find at most National Park Service sites than another BA shuttle service. It’s also a free service.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            A buddy of mine picks it up at the Lombard Gate, takes it to Embarcadero BART, and then takes BART to his office in Oakland. He loves PresidiGo.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      People blab about “no transit linkage” without bother to inform themselves as usual. Read the proposal. On page 17, there is the transit plan:

      Muni 28 local NB: 300
      Muni 28 local SB: 300
      Muni 28R: 300
      Muni 29: 300
      PresidiGo 100-200
      Golden Gate Transit 200-500

      Beyond existing transit, it propose to extend 28R, 29 and downtown PresidiGo to Fort Scott. F-line has no role here.

      • Posted by BobN

        I hope the plan isn’t to make all those lines get off the main roads and wander up and back to Ft. Scott to save the employees there a short walk to the toll plaza.

  5. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    From the third ‘graph, quoted above:

    both the Forum and EPIC were concerned about how they would manage the complex effort of bringing numerous people and organizations to Fort Winfield Scott…to participate in the important collaborative problem-solving at the heart of the campus’ raison d’etre, while staying focused on their missions. Adding The We Company’s management platform and business model for facilitating flexible, shared workspace made perfect sense. By September’s public RFCP presentations, the Forum, EPIC and The We Company had already agreed to combine forces for an RFP response.

    Notice the language. “Bringing numerous people and organizations” to the site doesn’t require just effort, but “complex effort” that the the Forum and EPIC were concerned about managing while staying “focused on their missions”.

    Adding “The We Company’s management platform and business model” wasn’t just adopted because The We Company had their thumb on the scale, but because it “made perfect sense.”

    I’ve come to the conclusion that most U.S. startups over the last five years, and certainly the majority of unicorns, mostly are innovating around the creation of rhetoric, not mobile apps or other actual technologies. Instead of calling a company that enables illegal motels in residential neighborhoods what it is, you call that company one that enables “hosts” to share their “unique experiences”.

    Instead of calling a company that enables anyone to become an unlicensed taxi driver, you call that company one that facilitates “ride sharing”. A company that collects data about everyone to sell to advertisers and/or other more nefarious actors is a company that facilitates “connectedness”. And so on.

    And “The We Company’s management platform and business model?” What is that about? Where have I heard about that before? Oh. Every Move You Make, WeWork Will Be Watching You:

    It’s hardly a surprise that WeWork Cos. wants to make money collecting and analyzing information about how people move and operate within offices. In the past year it’s pushed hard on that front, acquiring Teem, a maker of software that captures conference room bookings. In February, WeWork bought Euclid, a service that tracks smartphones in retail spaces. WeWork also is testing several types of sensors, including thermal and motion detectors and Bluetooth check-ins. The tools help analyze how workers intend to use a space vs. how they actually use it, according to Shiva Rajaraman, WeWork’s chief product officer.

    Emphasis added.

    No one is going to admit it on the record, but of course We Work forced Orton Development and Kilroy Realty from the bidding process. They would have gotten in the way of We Work having another test bed for their data collection efforts. The tenants (“numerous people and organizations”) won’t know what they’ve lost until it’s too late.

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