As requested by the Presidio Trust’s Board of Directors, the Trust’s staff has completed an in-depth review of the now singular proposal to redevelop the 30-acre Fort Winfield Scott campus pictured above.  From the staff’s findings and preliminary determination, which were just sent to the Board:

“We have assessed the Proposal against the project objectives and required elements stated in the Request for Concept Proposals (RFCP) and the Request for Proposals (RFP). We have preliminarily determined that the Proposal: (1) does not include all of the required elements, (2) the density of use is not supported by a viable transportation plan, and (3) the financing and business terms will not support a campus for mission‐driven organizations.”

Additional detail for each of the three major findings above:

1. The Proposal does not contain all of the Required Elements

“The RFCP and RFP identified required elements that any proposer must include, such as site‐wide utility upgrades and relocating the Park Police. The Presidio Trust does not have the funds for these items, so we were clear throughout the process that anyone wanting to develop Fort Winfield Scott would have to cover these costs. As shown in the attached chart, the Proposal does not contain funding for all of the required elements.

Instead, the Proposer is expecting the Presidio Trust to cover a significant portion of these costs while seeking to reap a financial return themselves. This is a non‐starter for the Presidio Trust, since we do not have funds allocated for these expenses. Nor does it align with the spirit of the overall project, which was that the Presidio Trust would give up the opportunity to earn significant revenue from Fort Winfield Scott in exchange for the proposer taking on these costs and legally committing to making Fort Winfield Scott is a mission‐driven campus.”

2. The Proposal does not provide for transit solutions that support a campus with so many people

“Fort Winfield Scott’s relative remoteness and location in a national park is part of its appeal and part of its challenge. Any proposal for Fort Winfield Scott has to deal with the transportation challenges associated with its location.

The RFP required respondents to provide a plan for managing transportation to and from the campus. Today, we estimate there are 4,000 workers throughout the Presidio. The Proposal projects 2,570 workers at Fort Winfield Scott, an increase of 64% in the Presidio. The majority of those workers would come and go from their offices at Fort Winfield Scott during commute hours. The proposal did not provide a feasible financial or operational solution for getting workers to and from the campus. Rather, the Proposal assumes that the Presidio Trust and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (aka MUNI) would cover the initial and ongoing costs of providing additional transit services required to support the high‐density campus.”

3. The Proposal does not ensure that Fort Winfield Scott will house mission‐driven organizations over the long term

“From the beginning of this process, the Presidio Trust sought an organization to transform Fort Winfield Scott into a campus of one or more mission‐driven organizations focused on environmental and/or social change. The RFP asked the respondents to identify how they would ensure that the campus remain mission‐driven over the long‐term.

We have reviewed the proposed financing structure and business terms that the Proposer asked be kept confidential. The proposed financing structure and business terms do not ensure a long‐term commitment to a campus of mission‐driven organizations. Most importantly, the Proposer will not commit that the organizations housed at Fort Winfield Scott will be mission‐ driven throughout the term of the lease.”

And the summary table of the Staff’s full review:

With that in mind, the singular proposal (which would 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) will be presented to the public and Board on April 24.  And the Board of Directors is slated to announce its decision on May 23. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

UPDATE (5/15): The Boa​rd of Directors meeting at which a decision is to be made has been rescheduled for June 19.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Amewsed

    With respect to #8 for transportation services, this area would be ripe for self-driving electric buses on pre-set routes. Also testing grounds for other self-driving vehicles, smaller pods, etc. Can be privately funded. No need for MUNI.

    • Posted by Tony

      On the other hand, wouldn’t it be great if we used this as a reason to extend the central subway T route? It’s ready to be extended to Fishermans Wharf and Fort Mason. Just build out the whole thing finally and make it go through the Marina and to the Presidio

      • Posted by Anonymous

        Looking forward to riding that line when I’m 75 years old (spoiler: that’s a long time from now).

      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        And loop around through the Richmond and Sunset, supplanting the N-Judah back downtown.

      • Posted by Martin

        I agree. The demand for parking around Baker Beach, GGB overlook is so great that one overlook is closed to reduce traffic. Demand is clearly there to extend the line from Marina to GGB.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    One might have thought this kind of analysis would have been done on the various proposals BEFORE “singular”ity. ( Maybe they didn’t have enough staff to do all of them??Oh well…)

    • Posted by Adam

      There seems to be a pattern at this point of people going into the Presidio with the expectation that the leadership will simply give them whatever they ask for — and then being rebuffed. The Fisher Museum, the Lucas Museum, and now this. You think that someone might realize eventually that that bargaining position is not working out.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        Good point. They are in a relatively good bargaining position; while they need to do some constant level of maintenance to assure that Fort Scott doesn’t disintegrate, they have no other carrying costs and they can simply land bank it.

        I can see where a developer might come back and say….doing A, B, and C does not and cannot pencil out; I would expect that to be part of the negotiation. But the limited info I see here just implies the developers didn’t address it, period (and it seems like a long list of things). That’s a shaky way to begin any kind of negotiation….it will be interesting to see what happens now.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Yes, it must be quite a shock for developers to encounter people who don’t just rollover over and fetch, but actually bare their teeth and growl: despite the endless whine and winge brigade about how burdensome developing things here is – witness this mirth-inducing claim – there seems to be no shortage of (1) people wanting to break ground, after (2) asking for a variance…which seem to be granted more often than not.

          Speaking of which – ground breaking – today of course is April 18th, the anniversary of when 28K+ buildings when up in smoke and 2/3 of the city was rendered homeless..always a bracing reminder of what a “housing crisis” really looks like.

  3. Posted by Andrew Alexander

    Probably could move either USF or SF State campus, simultaneously freeing existing land for denser urban use.

  4. Posted by tt

    Elon Musk could bore a tunnel so traffic wouldn’t be an issue, problem solved!

    Wework – really. I think its a challenging opportunity for anyone and may not be redeveloped for a long time.

  5. Posted by BobN

    I’m a bit perplexed. The proposal, indeed, the RFP doesn’t call for additional space, does it? So, presumably, the roads, parking, and MUNI handled a similar number of people when the buildings were fully occupied (which they may be now, for all I know).

    Just because it’ll mean 64% more workers on the entire Presdio (which I guess means it’s empty now), that’s hardly noticeable over such a large area.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As we originally outlined and wrote above, the proposal would yield “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.”

  6. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The Boa​rd of Directors meeting at which a decision is to be made has been rescheduled for June 19.

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