Monday, February 8, 2016

BOMA Protects the Commercial Real Estate Industry - Proposition 13/Split Roll Property Tax




UPDATE - January 29, 2016

A proposition to change Proposition 13 in a manner that would allow an almost doubling of state property tax is currently out for signatures and seems to be gaining momentum.  This is a threat that we are taking very seriously and putting out a call to our industry to get educated, active, and engaged to prepare to defend against this huge tax increase.

The property tax initiative known by proponents as Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act is referred to in shorthand as the Collis initiative after one of its primary advocates, former State Board of Equalization Member Conway Collis.  

The measure would undo Prop. 13 by creating a property tax surcharge on all properties in the state (commercial and residential) assessed at more than $3 million.  The increased taxes generated are then directed to fund poverty reduction programs.  

As of last week, the initiative had over 25% of the signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.  Advocates have until March 21, 2016, to collect the required 585,407 signatures.  

According to a CalTax review, the 47-page initiative does not differentiate between commercial and residential properties. It refers to the property tax hike as “a surcharge not to exceed 1 percent of the full cash value of real property in excess of $3 million,” and says the “surcharge shall not be considered … a higher tax or new ad valorem tax on real property ….”

The surcharge, commencing with the 2017-18 fiscal year, would be an additional 0.3 percent tax on the portion of assessed value between $3 million and $5 million; 0.6 percent on the value between $5 million and $10 million; and 0.8 percent on the value in excess of $10 million.

This is a very real threat to increase property taxes on all of your properties in this state and we are working to mobilize all of our members to help fund efforts to defeat this threat. If you own property you should get engaged.  If you manage property you should make sure the owners of your property are aware and encourage them to get engaged.  If you rent property you should get engaged before your lease costs increase.

Email johnb@boma.com and kenc@boma.com for more information.

--------------------
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UPDATE  - June 11, 2015

On June 10th, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 - a split roll property tax measure - was introduced. 

With a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, SCA 5 would to amend the California State Constitution to allow for regular reassessments of commercial and industrial property to their fair market value, starting with the 2018-19 fiscal year. However, the constitutionally mandated 1 percent tax rate would be retained, and Proposition 13 protections would continue to apply to residential rental property and agricultural property. 

The measure would also provide for a five-year phase-in of regular fair market value reassessments for certain commercial and industrial property owners; and exempt from personal property taxes $500,000 of tangible personal property used for business purposes, beginning January 1, 2019.

If approved by two-thirds of the California State Legislature, the measure would be placed on the November 2016 ballot. The Governor’s signature is not required. 

BOMA California members are coordinating with Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes and allied groups such as the California Chamber, CalTax, and Howard Jarvis, to respond to this attempt to amend Proposition 13, through news media, social media, and direct contact with legislators. 

Regardless of what you may see or hear from the media, please know that BOMA California is pushing back. Click here for materials that can help you respond locally should you engage with the press or local opinion leaders.


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UPDATE - May 12, 2015

A new effort to change Proposition 13 protections for commercial real estate has manifested. 

Indeed, a group has formed to engender public opinion in support of changing Proposition 13 to include split roll and advance legislative efforts to introduce a bill in the California State Legislature to change existing property tax law. As leaders of the commercial real estate industry in California, please remain vigilant and conversant about the issue to help counter the political hyperbole. 

Sign-up for updates from Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes - a BOMA California partner organization, to stay appraised of the latest news.

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Original Post - May 16, 2014

L to R: Asm. Ammiano; Asm. Bocanegra
California State Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (San Francisco) and Raul Bocanegra (Pacoima), announced an agreement recently to amend the change of ownership rules under California’s Proposition 13 through Assembly Bill AB 2372. The amendments are supported by a diverse group of stakeholders including the California Business Roundtable, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Properties Association, which includes BOMA California, and the California Tax Reform Association.

Over the years, a few complex property purchase deals have given the appearance of an attempt to avert  the Proposition 13 change of ownership rules.  The transactions have been highlighted and used to commove the reform proponents of the property tax law.  This current agreement between stakeholders is meant to update some of the laws implementing statutes to address this viewpoint.

Currently, a property is reassessed when it is sold and/or changes ownership.  However, if none of the purchasers acquires more than a 50% interest, reassessment may not necessarily be triggered.  AB 2372 will be amended to clarify that as long as 90% of a property is sold, a reassessment would be triggered, regardless of whether any individual buys more than 50% of the property.  Safeguards are being negotiated by your BOMA California advocates in Sacramento now to clarify that the change of ownership amendments do not apply to normal turnover of stock for publicly traded companies.

As our organizations have done in the past, BOMA San Francisco and BOMA California will continue to defend Proposition 13 - an initiative that protects both residential and commercial properties.  However, part of an effective defense of the property tax law is to recognize that the intent of the original language may need to be updated to assure the voter approved goals of the initiative are being met.  BOMA believes this agreement does just that.

Split Roll Measures Still Loom

For 2014, various members of the California State Legislature continue to pursue public policies that would undermine the intent of the property tax protections approved by voters under Proposition 13.  Indeed, there are upwards of nine California Constitutional Amendments seeking to lower voter thresholds to amend the initiative's tax protection on properties from 2/3rds (66.66%) to 55%.

Rest assured that your fellow BOMA California members are working hard to protect the industry's interest.  Stay tuned for updates in future blog posts.

Monday, January 25, 2016

UPDATE: Child Care Requirements for San Francisco Office and Residential Projects


BOMA San Francisco Members

UPDATE - January 25, 2016

This ordinance was passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 12th. The measure is currently awaiting action from Mayor Ed Lee.

--------------------
Original Post - December 14, 2015

A measure by Supervisor Norman Yee would increase the child care requirements for certain commercial and residential projects. The legislative digest is below. The funds generated from this impact fee may only be used to fund capital child care facilities.

Please email johnb@boma.com if you have any questions or concerns.

Bottom Line for CRE Developments

Currently new downtown commercial developments are charged a $1 per gross square foot in lieu fee. If this legislation passes, the fee would increase to $1.57 per gross square foot. Also, the requirement would extend to commercial projects citywide and apply to new projects and existing buildings proposing the net addition of 25k (it was 50k) or more gross square feet of office or hotel space.

The big changes are for residential developments.

Quick Read

Ordinance amending the Planning Code to increase the Child Care In Lieu Fee for office and hotel development projects of up to $1.57 per gross square foot and apply the Fee to projects of 25,000 or more gross square feet; to impose a tiered Child Care Fee for residential development projects of up to $1.83 per gross square feet; to allow developers the option to provide onsite Small Family Daycare Homes in lieu of the fee; affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act; and making findings of consistency with the General Plan, and the eight priority policies of Planning Code, Section 101.1.

Existing Law

The Planning Code requires that office and hotel development projects of 50,000 or more gross square feet must meet certain Child Care Requirements, including the option to pay $1.00 per gross square feet. The Planning Code does not have a citywide requirement on residential development to meet Child Care requirements, but some Area Plans have community impact fees that include a fee for child care.

Amendments to Current Law

The Proposed Legislation will require that office and hotel development projects of 25,000 or more gross square feet meet certain Child Care Requirements and increases the in lieu fee to $1.57 per gross square feet. The Proposed Legislation will impose a new Child Care Fee for residential projects of $1.83 for projects containing 10 or more units and 50% of that amount or $0.91 for projects of up to 9 units. The Proposed Legislation provides for an option to provide on-site day care facilities and receive a full or partial waiver of the Fee. The Proposed Legislation also includes an option for a project sponsor who is already providing On- or Off-site Units under the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to receive a full or partial waiver of the Fee if they designate one or more of those units as Designated Childcare Units that will be rented to a household operating a Small Family Daycare Home as defined in State law for at least 10 years. Background Information San Francisco conducted a Citywide Nexus Study dated March 2014 prepared by the consultant AECOM. The fee amounts in the Proposed Ordinance are based on the results of that analysis.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

We Need Your Feedback: All-Gender Toilet Facilities




Supervisor David Campos has requested BOMA San Francisco and business community feedback regarding a proposal to expand the number of all gender (unisex) single occupancy restrooms in San Francisco. This is at trend taking place nationwide in order to increase bathroom accessibility for all. Indeed, similar ordinances have already been passed in municipalities across the United States.

Summary

This legislation would mandate that businesses and places of public accommodation (click here and scroll to #7) designate via signage single-user toilet facilities that are available to the public or employees.

Some BOMA members would be required to update their signage if they have places of public accommodation that only have single user toilet facilities.

San Francisco 2015 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax - Important Information for BOMA Members




BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please take a moment to review this important message regarding San Francisco's Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax.

2015 Return is Live - Due by February 29, 2016

The 2015 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax Year Online Return is now live at https://etaxstatement.sfgov.org/GrossReceipts2015.

To enter the Online Return you will need:
  • Seven digit Business Account Number
  • Last four digits of your business tax identification number (Federal EIN or SSN
  • Eight digit alphanumeric Online PIN (same as prior year)
Please note the following:
  • Payroll Expense Tax and Gross Receipts Tax returns are due by February 29, 2016. 
  • Online forms must therefore be transmitted before midnight on February 29, 2016. 
  • Payments must be received or postmarked on or before February 29, 2016. 
  • Penalties, interest, and fees will be imposed after February 29, 2016. 
  • Your total tax obligation will be summarized and displayed at the end of the filing.
  • You may review and update your business information through Account Update prior to starting this filing.
The San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector will send out filing notices the week of January 11 that will include the Business Account Number, Online PIN, and other information to assist BOMA members and other taxpayers with filing their Return.

In response to taxpayer feedback, the Office of the Treasurer has added additional help features, including instructions embedded on each page, as well as links to technical advisories. We have also simplified the process to access the residential landlord filing and the Online EZ filing for small businesses. They believe these changes will provide a more streamlined filing experience for taxpayers.

Free Seminar - Gross Receipts Tax Seminar

Thursday, February 11
3 PM- 4:30 PM
SF Public Library
100 Larkin St,
San Francisco, CA
Koret Auditorium

The seminar will focus on the online form, minor changes that have been made to the form, and the ease of use and access.


San Francisco Business Tax Reform Annual Report 2015

Key Information 
  • Two of the largest sectors in the city, Professional and Financial Services, along with Real Estate, paid nearly 50% of all gross receipts taxes in 2014. 
  • Accordingly, since the gross receipts tax and business registration fee collections were smaller than expected, the payroll expense tax rate for 2015 will be larger than the baseline: 1.162% as opposed to 1.125%: a difference of 4%.
    • Given that small variance, and the uncertainty regarding the gross receipts tax based on only one year of data, in our opinion it is too soon to project if the payroll expense tax will be fully phased-out by 2018
  • Audits and other compliance efforts in the coming years will provide more insight into revenue trends seen with the initial filing data.
Please click here to review the report.
  • In November, 2012, San Francisco voters approved Proposition E, which imposed a new gross receipts tax on businesses, began the process of replacing the City's payroll expense tax, and raised and restructured the City's business registration fee. 
  • The gross receipts tax is designed to phase in, with gradually rising rates, over a 5 year period ending in 2018. Based on the amount of gross receipts tax collections each year, the payroll expense tax rate in the subsequent year is reduced, through a formula, to ensure the two taxes together are revenue-neutral to the City. 
  • In August, 2015, based on the results of the 2014 filing, the Controller's Office calculated the payroll expense tax rate for 2015 to be 1.162%, down from 1.350% in 2014. 
  • Proposition E also requires the City Controller, Chief Economist, and Treasurer to annually report on the fiscal and economic impacts of the new tax system, how these compare to expectations, and any implementation challenges and recommendations. 
  • This report for 2015 is the first of these annual joint reports.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

DATE CHANGE: San Francisco's Better Market Street Project - Visual Mapping Survey This Saturday





UPDATE - December 31, 2015

Please note that the LiDAR survey will now take place on Saturday, January 2, 2016 between the hours of 2:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. 

--------------------

UPDATE - December 30, 2015



This weekend, San Francisco Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be performing a truck-mounted Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey of Market Street. This visual mapping survey is the first step in detailing design work for the Better Market Street project. The Departments will gather accurate information on the exact locations of features and utilities on Market Street – curbs, BART portals, light poles, building facades, trees, fire hydrants, sidewalk and street elevations and more -- that will enable them to move from conceptual to detailed designs and then on to construction.

They attempted to conduct this survey last November, but unexpected rain delayed the scan. 

The LiDAR survey will take place in the early morning hours of Sunday, January 3, 2016. To ensure an accurate and complete survey, please help us spread this important information about traffic restrictions and the Better Market Street LiDAR survey:
  • The survey will take place between 3:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.
  • Stopping or parking on Market Street and the adjacent side streets is prohibited between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to ensure the street is clear for the survey. Tow-away signs have been posted.
  • The survey truck will run along Market Street between Guerrero Street and Steuart Street four times in order to get an accurate representation of all the features. 
  • The truck also will measure the street features along all the side streets in the project area.
  • There are temporary tow-away signs posted along Market Street and in zones along all the cross streets in the vicinity so that vehicles don’t block the view of the curb. PLEASE OBEY THE TEMPORARY TOW-AWAY SIGNS. 
  • The LiDAR truck will be escorted by a police motorcade as it cannot stop along Market Street for any reason as that will distort the data collection.
  • Traffic on the cross streets will be momentarily stopped and required to wait up to 2 minutes while the survey motorcade passes. 
  • The curb lanes will be momentarily closed due to the survey motorcade. Traffic in the curb lane will be shifted to the center lane as the survey motorcade passes. 
  • Private cars, taxis, commercial vehicles, and bicyclists are encouraged to use adjacent parallel streets such as Mission Street during these pre-dawn hours. 
  • The LiDAR truck will run against the flow of traffic in two of its four runs, so PLEASE STAY ALERT AND DRIVE SLOWLY.
  • The SFMTA signal shop will place all traffic signals on Market Street between Guerrero and Steuart onto flashing red for all directions for everyone’s safety.
The LiDAR survey method is a quick, efficient, non-invasive surveying technique that is used around the world. The LiDAR method was chosen to get accurate information while minimizing travel impacts on one of the City’s busiest corridors. 

Stay tuned for more information on the status of the Better Market Street project and next steps on the project page here.

--------------------

UPDATE - November 14, 2015

The LiDAR scan has been postponed until early December. There is a 100% chance of rain during the Sunday early morning hours that San Francisco staff members had planned to run the survey motorcade up and down Market Street. The team can’t get the information they need in the rain.

The San Francisco Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are going to be taking down all of the NO STOPPING signs so that they don't impact loading and parking unnecessarily.

Click here for an article regarding the survey from the San Francisco Chronicle. 

--------------------
UPDATE - November 12, 2015

This weekend, San Francisco Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be performing a truck-mounted Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey of Market Street. This visual mapping survey is the first step in detailing design work for the Better Market Street project. The Departments will gather accurate information on the exact locations of features and utilities on Market Street – curbs, BART portals, light poles, building facades, trees, fire hydrants, sidewalk and street elevations, and more -- that will enable them to move from conceptual to detailed designs and then on to construction.

The LiDAR survey will take place in the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015

To ensure an accurate and complete survey, here is important information about traffic restrictions and the Better Market Street LiDAR survey: 
  • The survey will take place between 3:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15. 
  • Stopping or parking on Market Street and the adjacent side streets is prohibited between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. to ensure the street is clear for the survey. Tow-Away signs have been posted. 
  • The survey truck will run along Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Steuart Street four times in order to get an accurate representation of all the features. 
  • The truck also will measure the street features along all the side streets in the project area.
  • There are Temporary Tow-Away signs posted along Market Street and in zones along all the cross streets in the vicinity so that vehicles don’t block the view of the curb. PLEASE OBEY THE TEMPORARY TOW-AWAY SIGNS. 
  • The LiDAR truck will be escorted by a police motorcade as it cannot stop along Market Street for any reason, since that will distort the data collection. 
  • The center lanes of Market Street will remain open to all vehicle traffic including commercial and private vehicles, transit and taxis. The curb lanes will be closed due to the survey motorcade. 
  • The LiDAR truck will run against the flow of traffic in two of its four runs, so PLEASE STAY ALERT AND DRIVE SLOWLY. 
  • The SFMTA signal shop will place all 26 traffic signals on Market Street onto flashing red for everyone’s safety and the safety of the LiDAR truck and police motorcade. 
  • Bicycle riders are encouraged to take alternate routes. 
The LiDAR survey method is a quick, efficient, non-invasive surveying technique that is used around the world. The LiDAR method was chosen to get accurate information while minimizing travel impacts on one of the City’s busiest corridors.

Stay tuned for more information on the status of the Better Market Street project and next steps on their project page here.

--------------------

UPDATE - September 15, 2014

BOMA SF-PAC Chair and Better Market Street BOMA member lead, Kathy Mattes 


On September 10, 2014, BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs and Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) member (and BOMA SF-PAC Chair) Kathy Mattes led a discussion for BOMA San Francisco building owners and managers regarding the City and County of San Francisco's Better Market Street Project (BMS). As detailed in our previous blog posts, below, the BMS is a monumental effort to help make San Francisco's Market Street a more welcoming public space and effective transit corridor.
BMS Project Mangers Simon Bertrang and Britt Tanner

The scope this undertaking stretches from, primarily, Market and Mission Streets from the Embarcadero to Octavia Boulevard.  As such, numerous BOMA San Francisco building owners along or adjacent to the project area will be impacted.  This briefing was the first official BMS update to this BOMA member constituency.

The three primary elements to the BMS presentation were:
  • Market Street Design
  • Vehicular Restrictions
  • Loading
Each of these aspects have proposed changes and require your review and feedback.  Please click here to review the BMS presentation and send your feedback to Kathy Mattes at kamattes@sbcglobal.net.

BMS Project Timeline



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Mechanics Monument Plaza gets an upgrade

UPDATE - June 17, 2014

Did you know that Kathy Mattes, BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee Chair and member of our Government Affairs Committee, is the BOMA representative for the Better Market Street Community Advisory Committee?

Kathy has offered her time to attend a series of meetings to be sure that our member interests - specifically those building owners along Market Street - have a voice in the planning process.  Any updates from Kathy will be delivered to you via future blog posts.

If you happen to work near Mechanics Monument Plaza, take a look at the improvements (see image above) to the public amenities - including a charging station for your electronic gadgets!

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UPDATE - December 6, 2013

The BOMA members from the Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) met recently with Simon Bertrang, Project Manager for the Better Market Street (BMS) project; Kelli Rudnick, BMS Assistant Project Manager; and, Marlo Issac, Market Street Project Manager with the San Francisco Planning Department.

The presentation included the following BMS updates:
  • Schedule
    • Environmental review 2013-2015 
    • Design 2015-2017
    • Construction 2017
  • Design Concepts
    • There are three options that will be going into the environmental review process.
      • All options include substantial improvements to pedestrian conditions, cycling facility, transit service and stops, invitations for street life, various levels of private car restrictions.
  • Project Area Limits
    • Market Streets from the Embarcadero to Octavia Street.
    • Also includes Mission Street from Van Ness to the Embarcadero.
  • Pedestrian Improvements
  • Transit & Bicycling Improvements
  • The Six Market Street Districts
    • Click on the image at right to enlarge.
  • Next Steps
    • CEQA and NEPA Process formal start in January 2014
    • Analyze potential environmental impacts 
    • Disclose impacts for public review 
    • Support policy decision 
    • Proposed Project will include all 3 Options:
      • Boost Transit Travel Speeds and Reliability 
        • This includes studying the option of loading zone time of day restrictions
      • Transportation Task Force Funding
      • Federal Transportation Funding 
      • Improve Pedestrian Safety 
      • Add Bicycle Capacity 
      • Build Civic Destination 
      • Activate Streetlife Zones and Plazas.
  • Make Your Market Street
    • Goal: Open Market Street to new use by the public by bringing new activity, energy and people to Market Street’s sidewalks.
    • The City wants to partner with Community Benefit Districts (CBD)to support creative/ innovative/commercial/public use of the sidewalks.
      • The new Make Your Market Street team is now working with a number of CBDs that border Market Street to help with the development of the BMS endeavor, specifically the major plazas along the thoroughfare.

The information exchange at this meeting was invaluable.  BOMA San Francisco members will be involved in the BMS project via the Better Market Street Community Advisory Committee and Make Your Market Street effort representing the Financial District section of Market Street.  If you're interested in participating in the Community Advisory Committee, please click here to submit your application by January 8, 2014.  

Click here to review the full presentation and email johnb@boma.com with any questions.

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Original Post - October 30, 2012


The BOMA San Francisco Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) met recently with Kris Opbroek, Project Manager for the Better Market Street project. Note that multiple San Francisco City Departments are a part of this update to Market Street.

BOMA members would like to be continue to be a partner with the Better Market Street team in helping to identify the best practices to improving Market Street and help find solutions to issues of concern going forward. Special thanks to GAPAC Department/Commission Outreach Subcommittee Chair, Warren Mead for organizing this meeting.

Discussion Points

This a long-term project (breaking ground in 2016, at the earliest), and BOMA members discussed near-term concerns for the various department staff to consider as they move forward in the information gathering phase of this effort:
  • The homeless population. How can you improve Market Street (adding parklets, nodes and general public gathering spaces) without considering the existing homeless population? 
  • Impact of future design and construction on the ground-floor businesses that line and/or are immediately adjacent to Market Street. 
  • Maintenance costs after build out – who pays? 
  • All forms of conveyance should be considered when improving Market Street.  North/south travel across Market should be carefully reviewed. 
  • Continuous outreach to the business community and other stakeholder groups to be sure that the City understands the issues of concern before final design consideration and construction. 
BOMA San Francisco members live and/or work in the City and County of San Francisco and they care deeply about improving the social and economic prospects for all San Franciscans. To help Market Street should not only benefit our members; the improvements should be a boon to all who work, live and visit this great city.

We look forward to working with Kris as this project moves forward. If you have any comments, please send them to wmead@lucasfilm.com and johnb@boma.com.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

UPDATE: San Francisco's Better Market Street Project - Visual Mapping Survey This Sunday




UPDATE - December 30, 2015



This weekend, San Francisco Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be performing a truck-mounted Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey of Market Street. This visual mapping survey is the first step in detailing design work for the Better Market Street project. The Departments will gather accurate information on the exact locations of features and utilities on Market Street – curbs, BART portals, light poles, building facades, trees, fire hydrants, sidewalk and street elevations and more -- that will enable them to move from conceptual to detailed designs and then on to construction.

They attempted to conduct this survey last November, but unexpected rain delayed the scan. 

The LiDAR survey will take place in the early morning hours of Sunday, January 3, 2016. To ensure an accurate and complete survey, please help us spread this important information about traffic restrictions and the Better Market Street LiDAR survey:
  • The survey will take place between 3:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.
  • Stopping or parking on Market Street and the adjacent side streets is prohibited between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to ensure the street is clear for the survey. Tow-away signs have been posted.
  • The survey truck will run along Market Street between Guerrero Street and Steuart Street four times in order to get an accurate representation of all the features. 
  • The truck also will measure the street features along all the side streets in the project area.
  • There are temporary tow-away signs posted along Market Street and in zones along all the cross streets in the vicinity so that vehicles don’t block the view of the curb. PLEASE OBEY THE TEMPORARY TOW-AWAY SIGNS. 
  • The LiDAR truck will be escorted by a police motorcade as it cannot stop along Market Street for any reason as that will distort the data collection.
  • Traffic on the cross streets will be momentarily stopped and required to wait up to 2 minutes while the survey motorcade passes. 
  • The curb lanes will be momentarily closed due to the survey motorcade. Traffic in the curb lane will be shifted to the center lane as the survey motorcade passes. 
  • Private cars, taxis, commercial vehicles, and bicyclists are encouraged to use adjacent parallel streets such as Mission Street during these pre-dawn hours. 
  • The LiDAR truck will run against the flow of traffic in two of its four runs, so PLEASE STAY ALERT AND DRIVE SLOWLY.
  • The SFMTA signal shop will place all traffic signals on Market Street between Guerrero and Steuart onto flashing red for all directions for everyone’s safety.
The LiDAR survey method is a quick, efficient, non-invasive surveying technique that is used around the world. The LiDAR method was chosen to get accurate information while minimizing travel impacts on one of the City’s busiest corridors. 

Stay tuned for more information on the status of the Better Market Street project and next steps on the project page here.

--------------------

UPDATE - November 14, 2015

The LiDAR scan has been postponed until early December. There is a 100% chance of rain during the Sunday early morning hours that San Francisco staff members had planned to run the survey motorcade up and down Market Street. The team can’t get the information they need in the rain.

The San Francisco Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are going to be taking down all of the NO STOPPING signs so that they don't impact loading and parking unnecessarily.

Click here for an article regarding the survey from the San Francisco Chronicle. 

--------------------
UPDATE - November 12, 2015

This weekend, San Francisco Department of Public Works and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be performing a truck-mounted Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey of Market Street. This visual mapping survey is the first step in detailing design work for the Better Market Street project. The Departments will gather accurate information on the exact locations of features and utilities on Market Street – curbs, BART portals, light poles, building facades, trees, fire hydrants, sidewalk and street elevations, and more -- that will enable them to move from conceptual to detailed designs and then on to construction.

The LiDAR survey will take place in the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015

To ensure an accurate and complete survey, here is important information about traffic restrictions and the Better Market Street LiDAR survey: 
  • The survey will take place between 3:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15. 
  • Stopping or parking on Market Street and the adjacent side streets is prohibited between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. to ensure the street is clear for the survey. Tow-Away signs have been posted. 
  • The survey truck will run along Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Steuart Street four times in order to get an accurate representation of all the features. 
  • The truck also will measure the street features along all the side streets in the project area.
  • There are Temporary Tow-Away signs posted along Market Street and in zones along all the cross streets in the vicinity so that vehicles don’t block the view of the curb. PLEASE OBEY THE TEMPORARY TOW-AWAY SIGNS. 
  • The LiDAR truck will be escorted by a police motorcade as it cannot stop along Market Street for any reason, since that will distort the data collection. 
  • The center lanes of Market Street will remain open to all vehicle traffic including commercial and private vehicles, transit and taxis. The curb lanes will be closed due to the survey motorcade. 
  • The LiDAR truck will run against the flow of traffic in two of its four runs, so PLEASE STAY ALERT AND DRIVE SLOWLY. 
  • The SFMTA signal shop will place all 26 traffic signals on Market Street onto flashing red for everyone’s safety and the safety of the LiDAR truck and police motorcade. 
  • Bicycle riders are encouraged to take alternate routes. 
The LiDAR survey method is a quick, efficient, non-invasive surveying technique that is used around the world. The LiDAR method was chosen to get accurate information while minimizing travel impacts on one of the City’s busiest corridors.

Stay tuned for more information on the status of the Better Market Street project and next steps on their project page here.

--------------------

UPDATE - September 15, 2014

BOMA SF-PAC Chair and Better Market Street BOMA member lead, Kathy Mattes 


On September 10, 2014, BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs and Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) member (and BOMA SF-PAC Chair) Kathy Mattes led a discussion for BOMA San Francisco building owners and managers regarding the City and County of San Francisco's Better Market Street Project (BMS). As detailed in our previous blog posts, below, the BMS is a monumental effort to help make San Francisco's Market Street a more welcoming public space and effective transit corridor.
BMS Project Mangers Simon Bertrang and Britt Tanner

The scope this undertaking stretches from, primarily, Market and Mission Streets from the Embarcadero to Octavia Boulevard.  As such, numerous BOMA San Francisco building owners along or adjacent to the project area will be impacted.  This briefing was the first official BMS update to this BOMA member constituency.

The three primary elements to the BMS presentation were:
  • Market Street Design
  • Vehicular Restrictions
  • Loading
Each of these aspects have proposed changes and require your review and feedback.  Please click here to review the BMS presentation and send your feedback to Kathy Mattes at kamattes@sbcglobal.net.

BMS Project Timeline



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Mechanics Monument Plaza gets an upgrade

UPDATE - June 17, 2014

Did you know that Kathy Mattes, BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee Chair and member of our Government Affairs Committee, is the BOMA representative for the Better Market Street Community Advisory Committee?

Kathy has offered her time to attend a series of meetings to be sure that our member interests - specifically those building owners along Market Street - have a voice in the planning process.  Any updates from Kathy will be delivered to you via future blog posts.

If you happen to work near Mechanics Monument Plaza, take a look at the improvements (see image above) to the public amenities - including a charging station for your electronic gadgets!

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UPDATE - December 6, 2013

The BOMA members from the Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) met recently with Simon Bertrang, Project Manager for the Better Market Street (BMS) project; Kelli Rudnick, BMS Assistant Project Manager; and, Marlo Issac, Market Street Project Manager with the San Francisco Planning Department.

The presentation included the following BMS updates:
  • Schedule
    • Environmental review 2013-2015 
    • Design 2015-2017
    • Construction 2017
  • Design Concepts
    • There are three options that will be going into the environmental review process.
      • All options include substantial improvements to pedestrian conditions, cycling facility, transit service and stops, invitations for street life, various levels of private car restrictions.
  • Project Area Limits
    • Market Streets from the Embarcadero to Octavia Street.
    • Also includes Mission Street from Van Ness to the Embarcadero.
  • Pedestrian Improvements
  • Transit & Bicycling Improvements
  • The Six Market Street Districts
    • Click on the image at right to enlarge.
  • Next Steps
    • CEQA and NEPA Process formal start in January 2014
    • Analyze potential environmental impacts 
    • Disclose impacts for public review 
    • Support policy decision 
    • Proposed Project will include all 3 Options:
      • Boost Transit Travel Speeds and Reliability 
        • This includes studying the option of loading zone time of day restrictions
      • Transportation Task Force Funding
      • Federal Transportation Funding 
      • Improve Pedestrian Safety 
      • Add Bicycle Capacity 
      • Build Civic Destination 
      • Activate Streetlife Zones and Plazas.
  • Make Your Market Street
    • Goal: Open Market Street to new use by the public by bringing new activity, energy and people to Market Street’s sidewalks.
    • The City wants to partner with Community Benefit Districts (CBD)to support creative/ innovative/commercial/public use of the sidewalks.
      • The new Make Your Market Street team is now working with a number of CBDs that border Market Street to help with the development of the BMS endeavor, specifically the major plazas along the thoroughfare.

The information exchange at this meeting was invaluable.  BOMA San Francisco members will be involved in the BMS project via the Better Market Street Community Advisory Committee and Make Your Market Street effort representing the Financial District section of Market Street.  If you're interested in participating in the Community Advisory Committee, please click here to submit your application by January 8, 2014.  

Click here to review the full presentation and email johnb@boma.com with any questions.

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Original Post - October 30, 2012


The BOMA San Francisco Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) met recently with Kris Opbroek, Project Manager for the Better Market Street project. Note that multiple San Francisco City Departments are a part of this update to Market Street.

BOMA members would like to be continue to be a partner with the Better Market Street team in helping to identify the best practices to improving Market Street and help find solutions to issues of concern going forward. Special thanks to GAPAC Department/Commission Outreach Subcommittee Chair, Warren Mead for organizing this meeting.

Discussion Points

This a long-term project (breaking ground in 2016, at the earliest), and BOMA members discussed near-term concerns for the various department staff to consider as they move forward in the information gathering phase of this effort:
  • The homeless population. How can you improve Market Street (adding parklets, nodes and general public gathering spaces) without considering the existing homeless population? 
  • Impact of future design and construction on the ground-floor businesses that line and/or are immediately adjacent to Market Street. 
  • Maintenance costs after build out – who pays? 
  • All forms of conveyance should be considered when improving Market Street.  North/south travel across Market should be carefully reviewed. 
  • Continuous outreach to the business community and other stakeholder groups to be sure that the City understands the issues of concern before final design consideration and construction. 
BOMA San Francisco members live and/or work in the City and County of San Francisco and they care deeply about improving the social and economic prospects for all San Franciscans. To help Market Street should not only benefit our members; the improvements should be a boon to all who work, live and visit this great city.

We look forward to working with Kris as this project moves forward. If you have any comments, please send them to wmead@lucasfilm.com and johnb@boma.com.

Monday, December 21, 2015

UPDATE: BOMA International's Historic Advocacy Victories for the Industry






UPDATE - December 21, 2015

BOMA International’s lobbying efforts have resulted in a series of historic advocacy victories for the commercial real estate industry with the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 by the U.S. Congress. Included in the PATH Act are a permanent extension of the 15-year depreciation on qualified leasehold improvements, BOMA’s top tax priority; fixes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA); and a straight two-year extension of the energy efficiency deduction for commercial buildings.

Commercial building owners now have the economic certainty necessary to invest capital confidently knowing they will be able to depreciate tenant improvements over 15 years instead of 39, a timeline that more closely aligns with the life of an average lease. This will result in more tenant improvement projects, which will lead to more construction jobs and boost the U.S. economy. Over the past decade, the provision to reduce the depreciation timeline from 39 to 15 years had been extended, but often retroactively or at the last minute, not allowing building owners, managers or tenants to take full advantage of the law. Permanent 15-year depreciation is a big win for the health of both the commercial real estate industry and the economy.

The adjustments made to FIRPTA in the PATH Act will encourage more foreign entities to invest in America’s real estate, which will go a long way toward restoring economic vitality to the industry. The new law increases the withholding threshold for foreign investors to hold an interest in U.S. real estate without triggering unnecessary tax liability from five to 10 percent, and it exempts foreign pension funds from the tax penalty. These fixes come at a time when the country’s infrastructure needs are greater than ever, and they will help generate much-needed investment in real estate and infrastructure projects across the United States.

The two-year extension of the deduction for energy efficiency improvements for commercial real estate, also known as the 179D deduction, is a victory for building owners who are making investments in their properties to increase energy efficiency. BOMA International would like to see this deduction improved and enhanced to truly spur innovation in the commercial real estate’s market transformation towards greater efficiency in future legislation, but a two-year extension is a positive step in the right direction to incentivize building owners to invest in the efficiency of their buildings.

For more information on BOMA International’s federal advocacy efforts, visit the Industry Issues section of www.boma.org.
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Original Post - December 17, 2015 

Congress Still Working on Tax Extenders

Recently, the U.S. Congress released a broad tax extenders plan that would make 15-year depreciation on qualified leasehold improvements permanent. The complete package—estimated to cost roughly $650 billion over the next decade—also would include a two-year extension of the energy efficiency tax deduction for commercial buildings (also known as section 179D of the tax code), as well as some fixes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA). Successful passage of the plan would be a huge victory for both the commercial real estate industry and BOMA. Making the 15-year timeline for depreciating leasehold improvements permanent has long been BOMA International’s number one tax priority.

While this heavily negotiated package is expected to pass soon, if the deal falls through, the likeliest outcome will be a straight two-year extension of the 52 tax provisions known as “extenders,” which is a now yearly ritual of tax provisions being extended in the days before the congressional holiday recess. Late last year, Congress passed a one-year extenders bill, retroactive for tax year 2014. On January 1, 2015, the depreciation period reverted to 39 years. Congress also is expected to pass an omnibus spending bill funding the government for the next two years and then recess until after the holidays.



Thursday, December 17, 2015

BOMA International Advocacy Update: Congress Still Working on Tax Extenders




Congress Still Working on Tax Extenders

Recently, the U.S. Congress released a broad tax extenders plan that would make 15-year depreciation on qualified leasehold improvements permanent. The complete package—estimated to cost roughly $650 billion over the next decade—also would include a two-year extension of the energy efficiency tax deduction for commercial buildings (also known as section 179D of the tax code), as well as some fixes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA). Successful passage of the plan would be a huge victory for both the commercial real estate industry and BOMA. Making the 15-year timeline for depreciating leasehold improvements permanent has long been BOMA International’s number one tax priority.

While this heavily negotiated package is expected to pass soon, if the deal falls through, the likeliest outcome will be a straight two-year extension of the 52 tax provisions known as “extenders,” which is a now yearly ritual of tax provisions being extended in the days before the congressional holiday recess. Late last year, Congress passed a one-year extenders bill, retroactive for tax year 2014. On January 1, 2015, the depreciation period reverted to 39 years. Congress also is expected to pass an omnibus spending bill funding the government for the next two years and then recess until after the holidays.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

UPDATE: San Francisco's Transportation Sustainability Program and Transportation Sustainability Fee



UPDATE - December 16, 2015

At their December 8, 2015 meeting, a majority of San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to amend the Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF) and increase the number to $21.04 per square foot for non-residential square footage over 99,999. It would also require non-residential projects that submitted an application before July 21, 2015, but have not received final approval, to pay 50% of the difference between the TSF and the Transportation Impact Development Fee.

The legislation has been referred back to Land Use and Transportation Committee and your BOMA Advocacy team will continue to monitor the measure's progress.

Please email johnb@boma.com and kenc@boma.com with your questions or concerns.

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UPDATE - October 30, 2015

BOMA San Francisco members and staff continue to monitor this legislation.

A recent San Francisco Examiner article sums up the most recent discussion, earlier this month. At this point, it appears that commercial office developers with projects in excess of 100,000 square feet will see an increase of the fee from $18.04 to $19.04 per square foot.

Note that BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee members will meet with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) staff in charge of implementing this fee and program, as well as SFMTA Director, Ed Reiskin. The meeting will take place on November 4th, at 12 noon.

Please email johnb@boma.com if you are interested in attending this important gathering.

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UPDATE - September 30, 2015

At a recent meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee, there was a debate regarding the proposal to change the current Transit Impact Development Fee (TIDF) into a Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF) and to apply it to all new developments except affordable housing projects.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) proposal would increase fees for a majority of new developments - including commercial projects where the fee would increase from $12.06 per square foot to $18.04 per square foot. Activists feel that this fee should be higher and the proposal incorporate other changes. 

The suggested amendments include reducing the discount for projects already underway and not allowing the SFMTA to specify that 60% of the proceeds from the new TSF go to maintenance of San Francisco's transit system. The SFMTA is concerned that raising these fees higher than proposed, both for commercial, residential, and other projects could stymie the growth in San Francisco.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email kenc@boma.com and johnb@boma.com. BOMA developer members have been asked to provide their thoughts and we would appreciate your feedback if you feel that any increase in the TSF than what is proposed by the SFMTA, below, would affect your project - or future projects - adversely.

The SFMTA proposal will be heard again at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee on October 5th.
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Original Post - September 24, 2015

BOMA staff met recently with representatives from the City and County of San Francisco regarding the upcoming Transportation Sustainability Program (TSP) and Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF). 

The Transportation Sustainability Program is about keeping people moving as the City grows. Smart planning and investment will help ensure that San Franciscans are able to arrive safer and more comfortably at their destinations now and in the future.  

The proposed Transportation Sustainability Fee will help fund upcoming transportation changes (see below) by:
  • Creating a citywide transportation fee on new development;
  • Update to existing Transportation Impact Development Fee (TIDF) – expands applicability to include market-rate residential development and certain large institutions.
What Will the TSP Do?

The Transportation Sustainability Program is made up of three components:
  • Enhance Transportation to Support Growth
    • Fund citywide transportation improvements, like more Muni buses and trains, to help accommodate new residents and jobs. Find out more.
  • Modernize Environmental Review
    • Make the review process align with the City’s longstanding environmental policies by changing how we analyze the impacts of new development on the transportation system under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The new practices will be more reliable and emphasize travel options that create less traffic. Find out more.
  • Encourage Sustainable Travel
    • Make it easier for new residents, visitors and workers to get around through methods other than driving alone by integrating environmentally friendly travel into new developments. New practices will provide on-site amenities so people have better options than driving their car by themselves, such as car sharing and shuttle services. Find out more.
Representatives from the City and County of San Francisco will be presenting this information to BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee on November 4th. If you are interested in attending, please email johnb@boma.com for the meeting details.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Your Feedback is Requested: Child Care Requirements for San Francisco Office and Residential Projects


BOMA San Francisco Members:

A measure by Supervisor Norman Yee would increase the child care requirements for certain commercial and residential projects. The legislative digest is below. The funds generated from this impact fee may only be used to fund capital child care facilities.

Please email johnb@boma.com if you have any questions or concerns.

Bottom Line for CRE Developments

Currently new downtown commercial developments are charged a $1 per gross square foot in lieu fee. If this legislation passes, the fee would increase to $1.57 per gross square foot. Also, the requirement would extend to commercial projects citywide and apply to new projects and existing buildings proposing the net addition of 25k (it was 50k) or more gross square feet of office or hotel space.

The big changes are for residential developments.

Quick Read

Ordinance amending the Planning Code to increase the Child Care In Lieu Fee for office and hotel development projects of up to $1.57 per gross square foot and apply the Fee to projects of 25,000 or more gross square feet; to impose a tiered Child Care Fee for residential development projects of up to $1.83 per gross square feet; to allow developers the option to provide onsite Small Family Daycare Homes in lieu of the fee; affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act; and making findings of consistency with the General Plan, and the eight priority policies of Planning Code, Section 101.1.

Existing Law

The Planning Code requires that office and hotel development projects of 50,000 or more gross square feet must meet certain Child Care Requirements, including the option to pay $1.00 per gross square feet. The Planning Code does not have a citywide requirement on residential development to meet Child Care requirements, but some Area Plans have community impact fees that include a fee for child care.

Amendments to Current Law

The Proposed Legislation will require that office and hotel development projects of 25,000 or more gross square feet meet certain Child Care Requirements and increases the in lieu fee to $1.57 per gross square feet. The Proposed Legislation will impose a new Child Care Fee for residential projects of $1.83 for projects containing 10 or more units and 50% of that amount or $0.91 for projects of up to 9 units. The Proposed Legislation provides for an option to provide on-site day care facilities and receive a full or partial waiver of the Fee. The Proposed Legislation also includes an option for a project sponsor who is already providing On- or Off-site Units under the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to receive a full or partial waiver of the Fee if they designate one or more of those units as Designated Childcare Units that will be rented to a household operating a Small Family Daycare Home as defined in State law for at least 10 years. Background Information San Francisco conducted a Citywide Nexus Study dated March 2014 prepared by the consultant AECOM. The fee amounts in the Proposed Ordinance are based on the results of that analysis.

Apture