Monday, August 31, 2009
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) in conjunction with the Department of Public Works (DPW) has initiated the California Cable Car Infrastructure Improvement Project designed to replace aging underground components and repave the roadway along a 17-block area of California Street from Drumm Street west to Van Ness Avenue. Additional underground work, not requiring street repaving, will occur on Hyde Street between California Street & Pacific Avenue, and on Mason Street between California & Washington streets.
Please click here for a fact sheet on the project.
PROJECT LOCATIONS: California Street (Drumm Street to Van Ness
PROJECT DURATION: end of summer 2010 – summer 2011
PROJECT COST: Approximately $23 million
For more information or questions contact:
SFMTA, Mark De Anda (415) 701-5409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DPW, Gloria Chan (415) 554-6926 or email@example.com
Bay Bridge Closure on Labor Day Weekend - 8:00 p.m. on September 3rd until 5:00 p.m. on September 8th
The Bay Bridge will be closed this Labor Day weekend to replace a section of the bridge and connect reconnect it to a temporary detour. This work is part of the Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects.
Please click here for detailed information on the closure, including transit options, from TMASF Connects.
Sacramento Bee: Money is no miracle in California politics.
Commercial Real Estate
- Curious to see how much government workers in the Bay Area make? Click here to find out.
- Matier & Ross: Perata recovering from prostate cancer & their take on SFPD Chief's want to clean up the Tenderloin.
- Willie Brown on Ted Kennedy and the Governor.
- Art-draped hotel focus of a lawsuit.
- Crackdown on city's impostor cabbies ramps up.
- San Francisco Police Chief proposes amnesty plan for SF officers.
- Kamala Harris adds another feather to her cap.
- San Francisco pushing for more government secrecy -- yes, again.
- Saving water could save Sonoma County $1 billion.
- Dan Walters: California public pension costs and angst both increase.
- Fiorina, eyeing Senate run, faces questions over HP sales in Iran.
- Boxer, McClintock lead money chase for 2010.
- More than 1-in-4 California jobless are long-term unemployed.
- Fed makes $14bn profit on crisis loans.
- National Association for Business Economics policy survey can be found here.
- Industrial 'zombies' could threaten U.S. recovery.
- Restaurant industry outlook improved somewhat in July.
- Should green building certification be guaranteed?
- EU to begin phasing out standard lightbulbs.
- LEED Building Performance Initiative: How does it work?
Friday, August 28, 2009
Commercial Real Estate
- BOMA Chicago’s $93M smart grid stimulus pitch.
- The U.S. hotel industry posted declines in all three key performance measurements during the week of 16-22 August 2009.
- Real estate roundtable: CRE challenges far from over.
- A not-so-long road to recovery for retail real estate?
- China commercial property sales exceed US, UK
- Sweet Melissa: Gacson Swearing in - a short moment of happiness at City Hall.
- A crackdown in the Tenderloin.
- Computer system is key to SFPD reforms.
- Examiner Editorial: Sanctuary policy threatened by misguided fans.
- Political Notebook: Cisneros and Herrera run unopposed for re-election.
- To cut budget deficit, Schwarzenegger signs ... everything!
- Dan Walters: Capitol proves again why it earns derision.
- Protesters at Capitol denounce government policies.
- California is failing the prison test.
- Tom Campbell gets conservative street cred.
- High speed rail authority says ruling won’t affect timeline or funding.
- Charting a way out of the mess in the Capitol.
- Even higher taxes coming for Californians.
- The ABC’s of energy efficiency, postal style.
BOMA San Francisco hosted a building tour of The Russ Building at 235 Montgomery for Supervisor John Avalos on Wednesday. Built in 1927, the 31-story building is a California State Historic Landmark and a great example of how a high-rise building is managed, and how an existing building can be retrofitted to address today's energy efficiency requirements and accommodate tenants in a modern office environment.
BOMA San Francisco would like to thank Supervisor Avalos for taking the time to tour The Russ Building. We appreciate our relationship with the Supervisor and look forward to working with him more on issues that affect both the commercial real estate industry and the City in the future.
We would also like to thank the Shorenstein property management team at The Russ Building for organizing the tour: Mike Cashion, Property Manager; Annie Chang, Assistant Property Manager; and, Arthur Wolf, Chief Engineer.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Coalition of Business Groups Oppose California Energy Commission Revisions to Energy Benchmarking Law - AB 1103
Written by CBPA Vice President Matthew Hargrow, the response letter, which you can read here, pulls no punches calling out the CEC staff for overreaching their authority that was not authorized by the California Legislature.
Please click here to review the draft regulations, original legislation and the CEC legal opinion.
The BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) supports Proposition A, which will be before the San Francisco electorate on November 3, 2009. Proposition A will help the San Francisco government better manage its finances by requiring the creation of a two-year budget, a five-year financial plan and the alignment of future City employee union contracts.
Proposition A is a good first step to reforming local government by mandating that prudent financial policies and practices are put into place that are more in-line with practices long ago adopted by the private sector.
BOMA SF-PAC supports Proposition A and urges all San Francisco voters to do so as well.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: Coincident Indexes for July 2009. Image retrieved here.
Commercial Real Estate
- NAR August 2009 commercial real estate outlook.
- Ken Garcia: Even this sanctuary policy won’t fly in San Francisco.
- Newsom’s Facebook page gets a boost.
- Number of Muni-related 311 calls going down, down, down -- but service is still billing Muni same amount...for now.
- City Attorney forced to invalidate hundreds of restaurant health certifications.
- Port growth hinges on rail plan.
- SamTrans considers raising fares, cutting service and eliminating lines.
- Statewide property tax assessments fall for first time.
- California seeks $1.1B rail stimulus.
- Poizner calls for part-time Legislature.
- California Department of Finance: Deficits will continue...
- Calbuzz: The good, the bad and da ugly.
- State AG Jerry Brown: "The 71-year-old comeback kid'?
- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had retreated in July, rebounded in August.
- White House projects budget deficit to soar to nearly $1.6 trillion.
- Most lawmakers and analysts welcome Bernanke news.
- LEEDing the economy to sustainability.
- Examiner Editorial: The government takes taxpayers for a ride.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended the public swearing in of the San Francisco Police Department's new Chief, George Gascon, at City Hall on Friday, August 21st. Those in attendance included: State Senator Mark Leno, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, and City Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and David Campos.
BOMA San Francisco congratulates Chief Gascon on his new position. We appreciate the close relationship BOMA has with the San Francisco Police Department via our Emergency Preparedness Committee and we look forward to working with the men and women of the Department to help protect the commercial real estate industry in San Francisco.
Commercial Real Estate
- Fire shuts down Financial District building.
- S.F.'s quirky expenses add to pain of recession.
- Matier & Ross: Poll finds Jerry Brown ahead of Newsom.
- Kamala Harris is at the White House today.
- Hotels stay booked amid recession.
- Hotel losses mount, hurting city's coffers.
- A top cop so nice, they swore him in twice.
- Cities mull mandatory recycling.
- 7 seek vacant seat on water district board.
- Rep. Speier's town hall meeting was peaceful.
- Marin taxpayers fund 150 six-figure retirements.
- Business balks at tax commission's agenda.
- Money key in race to replace Rep. Tauscher.
- Skelton: Unshackling prison reform.
- Back-room deal: California Forward’s debate over business fees.
- California strikes back at Nevada ads wooing Golden State businesses.
- Carly Fiorina, the next California senator?
- Whitman's refusal to debate raises questions.
- Examiner Editorial: California is a bad model for good government.
- California’s housing depression could spread.
- California leads nation in mass layoffs in July.
- The risk of a double-dip recession is rising.
- Chicago Fed: July National Activity Index.
- 10-year budget deficit grows by $2 trillion.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Commercial Real Estate
- CBRE appoints new presidents for Americas and global corp. services units.
- Doyle Drive: Current project updates can be found here.
- BART talks soak taxpayers, riders.
- Newsom on MTA's new fare gates: We need to re-invest in Muni system.
- North Bay jobless rates rise except Napa; state at 11.9%.
- Recession eats into taxable retail sales.
- Walters: Capitol politicians admit they can't make hard choices.
- Bernanke: U.S. economy will soon start to grow.
- Sign of the times: Morgan Stanley to hire many bankers.
- Oil could be setting an inflation time bomb for autumn.
- Is the economy really getting better? Railroad traffic says no.
- Twenty-six states see unemployment rate increases.
- Crowfoot urges businesses to step up on climate.
- Why the world needs another green building standard.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Commercial Real Estate
- 100 Montgomery gets LEED gold.
- Commercial real estate players welcome TALF extension.
- The U.S. hotel industry posted declines in all three key performance measurements during the week of 9-15 August 2009.
- Former top cop Fong cashes in.
- Sweet Melissa: For now, The City will be powered by hope.
- SFMTA to install new TransLink fare gates using $11 million in federal stimulus funds.
- Race for Tauscher's seat gets nasty.
- Arnold's "deja vu all over again" on part-time legislature?
- George Skelton: Supporters of water development think the fight is between farmers and fish. It's not nearly that simple.
- Down the road: Politicians raise money for pending, distant races.
- Warren Buffett: The Greenback Effect.
- Leading economic indicators rise again in July, point to slow recovery.
- As federal aid to banks decreases, 2009 deficit estimate gets trimmed.
- Initial jobless claims again unexpectedly rise.
- City taken by surprise as Bank of England’s figures herald end of recession.
- New LEED AP requirements: What are they and how do I comply?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Commercial Real Estate
- U.S. commercial property values fall as rent declines forecast.
- National Association of Realtors: U.S. commercial real estate activity in the second quarter slowed to its lowest level in 15 years.
- AIA: U.S. architecture billings index up in July.
- A conversation with Liberty Property Trust CEO Bill Hankowsky.
- North Bay: How is commercial real estate doing these days?
- Police harness power of text to fight crime.
- Former Belmont mayor wants back on council.
- No more free parking in downtown Burlingame, officials decide.
- Half Moon Bay City Council race a free-for-all.
- Dems press for 'clean' gubernatorial primary.
- Tech's new love: politics.
- Morning Fix: Can California be competitive (again) in 2010?
- California government reform proposals begin to take shape.
- Dan Walters: Can Capitol's dysfunction ever be fixed?
- IMF says world economy is recovering.
- Is end-of-the-recession optimism misleading?
- $3,000 gift card could have put the economy back on track.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The purpose of the hearing is for the Department to receive public comment on the following two newly proposed Administrative Bulletins:
1. 2.11 Submittal Guidelines for Emergency Evacuation Signs
2. 5.09 Lockbox Program- Guideline for New & Replacement Lockboxes
The Fire Marshal will call for public comment on each newly proposed Administrative Bulletin in the order listed. Members of the public may speak for up to 3 minutes on each Bulletin.
Members of the public may also submit written comment on any newly proposed Administrative Bulletin. The Department must receive any written comment by no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 25, 2009.
Written comments may be sent to the following:
San Francisco Fire Department
Office of the Fire Marshal
698 Second Street, Room 109
San Francisco, CA 94107
The Fire Department will present the final proposed Administrative Bulletins to the Fire Commission for approval. The Department anticipates presenting the final proposed Administrative Bulletins to the Fire Commission at its regular meeting on October 8, 2009 or October 22, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
Commercial Real Estate
- $1 trillion in commercial real estate to be refinanced.
- Manhattan office sales ground to halt in first half of the year.
- What's causing the slow motion commercial real estate crash?
- The Fed extends TALF program for commercial real estate lending - but will it help?
- Empty bank branches add to supply in retail real estate.
- Commercial real estate and small banks.
- Ken Garcia: Public offers no free pass for BART union & False tickets reveal a pressure to pen offenders.
- SF Examiner Editorial: A ratified BART contract is the only option.
- BART strike comes down to a vote.
- Christmas comes early to Moscone Center.
- Push for transit funding.
- New SFPD Chief: BOS to approve outsiders coming in?
- Commissioner’s priority: discipline for cops.
- Chris Daly wants you to shop Valencia.
- New conservative group forms in Marin.
- State will get $1.5-billion loan from JPMorgan Chase to help retire IOUs.
- Carly Fiorina files paperwork to explore 2010 Senate bid.
- California gets some good news on credit rating (for once).
- GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Campbell on budget transparency and controlling spending in the State.
- Governor renews focus on public pension system.
- Newcomers vs. old hands in D10 congressional race.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Commercial Real Estate
- Competition in commercial real estate lending is reemerging on the U.S. west coast.
- How to harvest savings by greening leases.
- Fed extends TALF program for commercial real estate.
- Commercial real estate gets worse.
- Fed: CRE delinquency rates surged in Q2 2009.
- Fed: lending standards tighten, loan demand weakens.
- San Francisco Building Inspection Commission ponders new fee.
- New SFPD Chief's plans for reduced crime.
- New chief wants to hire from outside.
- Newsom called in to BART talks.
- Whitman raises millions more than Newsom.
- California's ills aid GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Campbell.
- The Democratic left's California agenda.
- Boxer could face re-election fight of her career against Fiorina.
- Cash flow woes? Not for State candidates.
- The States we’re in.
- Who will be the next Lite Gov? Here's John Garamendi's guesses.
- Jerry Brown on entering 2010 CA governor's race: "Not for a few months, at least".
- The signs don't point to a typical recovery.
- Have a question for Tim Geithner?
- Poll: Public has lost hope in stimulus plan.
- Does the U.S. have enough money to solve its problems?
- Budget experts predict $1.6 trillion deficit.
- San Francisco Bay Area LEED GA Prep: What is available?
Friday, August 14, 2009
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd addressed the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce recently, and reviewed the City’s fiscal status and future financial challenges with San Francisco business leaders.
Elsbernd was pleased that the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors were able to reach a consensus for a balanced FY 2009-2010 City budget last week, even though the budget may have to be revised again (and, perhaps, again) warranting further cuts in every City department if a revision is needed. The Supervisor cited several reasons for future budget revisions including revenue cuts from the State, lower local sales and hotel tax collections, and the growing number of Proposition 8 appeals for reductions in local property tax assessments.
Of continuing concern to the Supervisor is the growing pension and healthcare liability costs for the City's employees, present and retired. The City’s contribution to the employee pension fund grew by $80 million in this year’s budget--although it had been zero for a number of years when the market was robust--as the City is obligated to make up any losses incurred to the fund. Elsbernd questioned the political will to make any substantive changes in the pension program and called it a ‘third rail’ of local politics.
City workers that are currently employed receive 2% of their salary for every year of service up to 30 years, while police receive 3% of their salary per year up to 30 years. Elsbernd wasn’t sure what percentage of the entire City budget ($6.5 billion) went to pay for active and retired employees’ pensions and healthcare costs. He did cite the passage of Proposition B last year as the first step in reigning in the costs of healthcare coverage for City employees (Prop. B lengthened the amount of time employees have to work to gain 100% medical coverage for life upon retirement). The Supervisor suggested the business community, if it wanted to make changes in the City’s pension program, would need to collect the necessary amount of signatures and take a reform measure to the ballot.
Jim Lazarus with the Chamber mentioned the damaging story about overtime costs and paid comp time, which is something that he thought had to be changed in future city labor contract negotiations. Lazarus also lamented that every opportunity the City has to contract out its services, the Board of Supervisors (at the request of employee unions) denies the requests. As such, the City will pay $30 million more for security and other services in FY 2009-2010 due to the Board of Supervisors’ refusal to contract out to the private sector.
Supervisor Elsbernd stated his support for the Mid-Market ARTS ordinance, and the measure to allow for Candlestick Park to sell its naming rights, both of which will appear on the November ballot. He is opposing the other three measures on the ballot: a charter amendment to create a 2 year budget and a 5 year financial plan; a charter amendment to remove the cap on the number of aides a Supervisor can have on staff (currently they are limited to 2); and, an ordinance that prohibits advertising on most City property .
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Gathering at the UCSF’s newest campus at Mission Bay, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, Sean Randolph, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, Dale Bonner, California’s Secretary for Business, Transportation and Housing, John Kao, author of ‘Innovation Nation’ and ‘Jamming – The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity’ and a host of others discussed why the Bay Area was a leader in the world of innovation and would continue to be so in green tech, biotech, digitech, environmental stewardship, and high tech creativity.
Tom Stiers, of Farollon Partners gave opening remarks and cited the Bay Area’s willingness to embrace change as a significant contributor to our being innovation leaders.
Speaker Pelosi praised
Mayor Newsom talked about the effort his predecessor (Mayor Willie Brown) and he went through to turn Mission Bay into the high-tech center that it is today, beginning with getting UCSF to open an extension there, and then to win the right to locate the state’s Stem Cell Research Center there. There were the ‘four Ps’ that made
Author John Kao said the country needs a ‘national innovation agenda’ and suggested it should be modeled after what the country did in the late 1950’s when the Soviet Union launched sputnik thus galvanizing the U.S. into beefing up its space and science education programs. He said it would need to be based on three things: realizing we are in a global competitive environment, sharpening our creativity to focus on new ideas with a desired outcome in mind (‘user-centered design format’), rather than basic research, and, thirdly, to create ‘innovation clusters’ such as was employed in the Manhattan Project or the Apollo project to create an environment that is self-enriching. He cautioned that all countries, not just a few, can win in the ‘innovation race’.
Dale Bonner, Secretary of Business, Transportation, and Housing for the State of
Regis Kelly, the head of QB3, a consortium of three universities that connects the private sector to life science studies at UCB, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSF, said
Michael Cohen, the Mayor’s Director for Economic and Workforce Development, stated that ‘Burning Man’ may have saved San Francisco’s economy because our current biotech industry grew out of a ‘yeasty environment’ which was the result of San Francisco’s having a rich diversity, a history of having fun (‘Summer of Love’), and being an interesting, and edgy place to be. Cohen also announced that the city would be establishing a United Nations Global Compact Center at the Hunter’s Point shipyard Parcel C as part of a planned 2.5 million sq. ft green technology campus.
Commercial Real Estate
- Cleveland FRB Economic Trends: Bank Exposure to CRE.
- Massive Maguire Properties mortgage default underscores CRE debt maturity challenges.
- The U.S. hotel industry posted declines in all three key performance measurements during the week of 2-8 August 2009.
- David Chiu: It's second chance -- and last chance -- for the Entertainment Commission
- Sweet Melissa: Policy wonks have a break before the storm.
- Newsom picks up local endorsements.
- 2010 CA gov race: Brown leads Newsom, 29-20 in new poll -- but gap narrowing.
- City parking taking a simpler route.
- BART board votes to impose contract on second-largest union. Strike appears imminent.
- Examiner Editorial: SolarCity owes S.F. vocational training program.
- Bay Area Council to open Shanghai office.
- Future unknown: SamTrans to discontinue routes; fare hike possible.
- Schools look to parcel tax for new, stable, revenue.
- Two set to compete for San Bruno mayor.
- Uncertain fiscal crisis awaits next governor.
- News analysis: Steinberg lawsuit offers political dividends.
- California plans to pay off IOUs beginning Sept. 4.
- California gubernatorial race seems competitive, Senate not so much.
- Fed views recession as near an end.
- California exports fall for eighth month.
- Retail sales decline slightly in July.
- California's Green building code will begin this month.
- Presidential vacations carry heavy baggage.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended a presentation by San Francisco Controller Ben Rosenfield today for an update on the City's local economy and FY 2009-2010 budget. The following are the highlights:
- The commercial real estate (CRE) market needs to recover quickly as San Francisco receives 1/3rd of its property tax revenue from the industry.
- Job losses in San Francisco are less extreme than the early 2000's dot.com downturn.
- The unemployment rate in the San Francisco is trending upward, although our rate is better than peer cities in the rest of California.
- Per capita income in the City is projected to increase over the next three years.
- Current median home sale prices may reflect the bottom of the residential market, but it will be years before the market reflects the home prices of just two or three years ago.
San Francisco's Budget
- There have been local revenue losses: sales and hotel taxes are trending downward; property taxes are holding steady for now.
- It is estimated that city employee wages and pension costs will increase this fiscal year by $160 million.
- State and Federal revenues account for over 20% of the City's general revenues.
- The end result for the City and County of San Francisco: there is a projected $440 million shortfall for FY 2009-2010 with the expectation of a slow recovery and deficits recurring in future years.
- Mr. Rosenfield said it was gratifying to see the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors work together so closely this year on creating the City's budget.
One Major Consistency: The Impact of the State Budget (Now and in the Future)
- California's budget deficit's have impacted San Francisco's budget projections, and will continue to impact the City's ability to balance its budget. Rosenfield predicted that state lawmakers will be back in Sacramento re-adjusting the State budget this fall, and that will have consequences for San Francisco.
- The State balanced its budget in part by 'borrowing' future local property taxes from its 58 counties. This will mean a hit of over $120 million in local property tax revenues to San Francisco. For more details on how the State is balancing its budget by taking funds from local governments, click here to view Mr. Rosenfield's letter to Mayor and the Board of Supervisors on the subject as it impacts San Francisco.
Planning for Future Budgets
- Preparing future budgets may be easier if the San Francisco electorate approves a Charter Amendment on the November 2009 ballot which will allow for a 2-year budget cycle, require the adoption of a 5-year financial plan, provide for the adoption of binding financial policies, and require that all city union negotiations be completed before budgets are finalized.
- The Controller said that both Mayor Newsom and Supervisor David Chiu were interested in eliminating the City's payroll tax as it is an impediment to job growth. He said they are looking at substituting it with some other type of revenue such as gross receipts tax, etc.
- Future budget planning will also need to take into consideration the City's growing pension and benefit liability costs for its employees and retirees.
- Currently, the City's pension fund is well funded and has a lower employer contribution rate compared to peer cities. The growth rate of the employer contribution, however, will have to be addressed in the near-term as it may be unsustainable, and is already much more generous when compared to the private sector.
- In response to a question about a possible future budget set aside for the City's road repair and maintenance work, Rosenfield said budget set-asides are bad financial planning. In fact, he mentioned that voter-approved set-asides have increased from $350 million 10 years ago, to $1 billion (of a $6.5 billion budget) today.
CBRE: retail cap rates increase sharply in Q2
Commercial Real Estate
- Recession and debt drag on commercial real estate.
- JP Morgan seeks to unload properties following Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual acquisitions.
- CBRE: retail cap rates increase sharply in Q2 (see graph)
- UN Plaza Building design work to begin.
- Gascón’s first press release: Security costs still secret.
- SF Mayor Newsom 'not convinced' challenge to Prop. 8 will succeed in 2010.
- Sparks to resign from police commission.
- The Fairmont San Francisco announces restoration of legendary penthouse suite.
- S.F. slashes big payouts for overtime.
- One BART union rejects contract - talks resume.
- Ken Garcia: Governor primary shaping up to be old vs. young.
- New top cop hits the ground running.
- Muni safety under fire at hearing.
- Belmont to join suit to block state's cash grab.
- San Mateo employees vow to look at 'whatever we need to do to save jobs'.
- San Francisco Mayor Newsom backs big reforms to fix state.
- California economy ‘feeling for the bottom’ says Controller.
- Controller John Chiang releases July cash figures.
- Betting an a Constitutional Convention.
- Lipstick on a pig? It's just one pointed image in a bid to lure firms from the Golden State.
- Dan Walters: California has amassed a mountain of debt.
- Eunice Shriver had key role in Schwarzenegger political career.
- Steinberg v. Schwarzenegger filed.
- Federal Reserve still sees trouble in economy.
- A recovery only a statistician can love'
- U.S. posts record $180.7 billion budget deficit in July.
- White collar reset: A crazy idea ... or is it?
- Economists see a low-growth, U-shaped recovery.