San Francisco Planning Commission Approves 2.3 Million-Square-Foot Flower Mart Redevelopment Project

by Alex Tostado

San Francisco — The San Francisco Planning Commission has unanimously approved plans to redevelop the historic Flower Mart in the city’s South of Market (SoMa) district as a 2.3 million-square-foot mixed-use property.

Kilroy Realty Corp. is leading the development, which will preserve and update the 115,000-square-foot Flower Mart, while also adding 2.1 million square feet of creative office space, a 100,000-square-foot retail market hall and one acre of public open space.

The project still requires approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the city’s mayor, which Kilroy hopes to receive by October. The project is the product of more than five years of negotiations and partnership between Kilroy Realty, the wholesale flower vendor community and the city.

Kilroy expects to break ground in mid-2020 and deliver all phases by 2024. The Flower Mart vendors will be moved to an interim location during construction.

“The Flower Mart Project represents the future of Central SoMa and San Francisco,” says John Kilroy, the developer’s chairman and CEO. “The project’s vibrant mix of uses, abundant neighborhood-serving retail and innovative work environments will make it the transformational hub that the city and the neighborhood need.”

“This is one of the best projects we’ve ever seen, or at least that I’ve ever seen,” says Joel Koppel, the planning commission’s vice president. “I don’t think there’s anything this project doesn’t have.”

The project will be built in phases per the developer’s allocation of space under San Francisco’s Office Development Annual Limit Program, which seeks to limit overbuilding in the city. The initial allocation is for 1.4 million square feet, followed by an additional 350,000 square feet in 2021, and the remainder in the years following.

The San Francisco Flower Mart is a historic feature of the city, starting as a downtown meeting point in the late 1800s for growers to sell their plants to local flower shops. The first Flower Mart building opened in 1924. The site moved a few blocks with the construction of the current property in 1956 and now largely serves as a market for floral wholesalers.

Kilroy Realty Corp. is a publicly traded REIT based in Los Angeles that bills itself as “one of the West Coast’s premier landlords.”

— Jeff Shaw

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