Thursday, February 27, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT - San Francisco Access Appeals Commission, Board of Examiners, Code Advisory Committee Vacancies

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The San Francisco Building Inspection Commission has announced vacancies for Access Appeals Commission (AAC), Board of Examiners (BOE), Code Advisory Committee (CAC).   All three bodies help the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection with its work.

Although many of the seats require some sort of industry expertise of affiliation or require a professional license, there are a few seats that are available to the public at-large.

Click here for the details and to apply.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet with San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee members met with San Francisco Planning Director, John Rahaim, recently.

Director Rahaim mentioned that the City and County of San Francisco needs to review its planning code and perhaps consider changes that make it flexible and less applicable to much of the smaller developments in the City.  He cited the example of New York City, which has ten times the population of San Francisco, and yet, the New York City Department of City Planning reviewed 500 projects in 2013 while the San Francisco's Planning Department reviewed over 2,000.

Simply put, San Francisco's requirement that every project be subject to discretionary review slows down the process significantly.  Mr. Rahaim stated that he remains hopeful that the members of Mayor Ed Lee's recently convened affordable housing group will consider changes to the planning code that could expedite the development of more housing.  

Director Rahaim also believes the current City restrictions on formula retail, or chain stores, seem to be working, and are maintaining a good balance of local and national retailers.  BOMA San Francisco's Vice President of Public Policy, Ken Cleaveland, mentioned that the preliminary results of a recent Department study revealed that San Francisco's current formula retail restrictions comprise a small percentage of the total number of retail stores in San Francisco - somewhere between 11 - 16% - and, therefore, the rush by some San Francisco Supervisors to push for broader restrictions may be unwarranted. 

BOMA San Francisco members appreciate Director John Rahaim's time and we look forward to working with him and his staff in the future.

BOMA EARTH Awards to Focus on Innovation - Applications Due on March 24, 2014

Watch the 2013 Innovation Award Introductions

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA’s Bay Area EARTH Award has been renamed the Innovative EARTH Award.

By shifting the focus of the contest to innovations only, this dynamic new program will allow BOMA members the opportunity to highlight the innovative measures BOMA San Francisco and BOMA Oakland East Bay members are implementing in pursuit of environmental sustainability in the commercial real estate industry.

The application is quick, easy to complete, and limited documentation is required.  Any BOMA member may participate.  


Innovations should seek to address these issues within the building:
  • Energy conservation;
  • Waste diversion;
  • Water conservation;
  • Hazardous materials management;
  • Transportation;
  • Tenant education;
  • Or, any other new and interesting sustainable practice. 
An example of an Innovative EARTH Award entry might be a vegetable garden for tenants, or a tenant carpool or vanpool coordinated by the building.

Applications for BOMA’s new Innovative Earth Award are due March 24, 2014 and will be reviewed by BOMA San Francisco's Energy and Environment Committee. Winners will be announced at the BOMA Innovative Earth Award luncheon on April 24, 2014.


Monday, February 24, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet with Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chair - Amy Rein Worth

BOMA GAPAC Chair Horace Green with MTC Chair Amy Rein Worth

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) welcomed the Honorable Chair of San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Amy Rein Worth, who was the mayor of Orinda in 2013 and is now a council member.

Councilmember Worth spoke about transit in the Bay Area, Muni and BART specifically for San Francisco, as it is one of the top issues that continue to be a concern to our building members, their tenants and employees. San Francisco is adding more residents and jobs, and the Muni and BART systems need funding to allow for service upgrades to occur.  

About the Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Created by the state Legislature in 1970, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Over the years, the agency's scope has grown, and it is now three agencies in one, functioning as MTC as well as the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways (SAFE). Click here to read more about the MTC.

The City and County of San Francisco is represented by two members, one appointed by the board of supervisors and the other by the mayor. Our representatives are:
  • Supervisor David Campos
  • Supervisor Scott Wiener

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet with San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen

BOMA SF-PAC leaders with Supervisor Malia Cohen
BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) and Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) met with San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen recently.  Supervisor Cohen updated BOMA members on what she has been working on at City Hall and her efforts to represent the constituents of District 10.

About Supervisor Malia Cohen

Supervisor Cohen was elected in November 2010 to represent the residents of San Francisco’s 10th District, including the Bayview Hunters Point, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.

Supervisor Cohen serves as Chair of the Transportation Authority Finance Committee, Vice-Chair of the Government, Audit and Oversight Committee, member of the Rules Committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the San Francisco Retirement System (SFRS) as a member of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the Association of Bay Area Governments Board (ABAG) and as a committee member of First 5 San Francisco.

BOMA California Leaders Travel to Washington D.C. for a Visit to Capitol Hill

BOMA San Francisco and Silicon Valley Leaders in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's Conference Room

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA California delegation in the U.S. Capitol
The leaders of BOMA California - including BOMA San Francisco members - recently visited Washington D.C. for BOMA International's Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference to take BOMA’s top legislative priorities to our Bay Area lawmakers’ offices.

BOMA California members traversed Capitol Hill with information on the importance of renewing the federal terrorism risk insurance program (TRIA), as well as leasehold, roof and fire sprinkler depreciation issues.

BOMA San Francisco's Executive Committee Board Members
Leader Nancy Pelosi

Our California leaders met with representatives from Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein's offices.  In the House of Representatives, our BOMA San Francisco leaders met with Rep. Jared Huffman and Rep. Jackie Speier and a special meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  Feedback from the meetings has been positive with BOMA’s message about the importance of a strong commercial real estate industry for job growth and economic recovery resonating with most elected leaders.

The Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference is an essential advocacy tool that highlights the importance of member involvement at the federal level.  Click here for a synopsis of what took place during the conference.  Please email and if you are interested in attending this event in the future.

BOMA International Advocacy Update - BOMA Policy Positions on Electronic Cigarettes and EV Charging Stations Receive Approval

New BOMA International Policy Positions on E-Cigarettes and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

At BOMA International’s Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference recently, the Board of Governors approved new policy positions on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and electric vehicle charging stations.  The two positions were previously approved by BOMA International’s Government Affairs Committee.

The first new policy addresses the emergence of electronic cigarettes. BOMA International supports the rights of building owners to establish appropriate policies and procedures in their buildings, subject to prevailing federal, state and local laws.  The second new policy addresses electric vehicle charging stations.  BOMA supports the rights of property owners to decide whether or not to install EV charging stations at parking facilities and opposes any mandates for the provision of EV charging stations or EV-ready infrastructure.  BOMA believes the free market will meet the growing demand.

Full text of both the e-cigarette and electric vehicle charging station policy positions can be found on BOMA’s website.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Changing Landscape of Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Programs - February 24, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The long-standing goal of California’s Statewide Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs is to offer commercial customers the products and services to overcome the market barriers that impact adoption and implementation of energy efficient solutions. The changing landscape in California around energy policy, building codes, and technologies, however, has had a significant impact on commercial program strategies and is encouraging new approaches to solution implementation. Through emerging trends in Smart Meter data analytics, enabling technologies and integrated systems-based energy efficiency solutions, the path toward comprehensive, large-scale savings in commercial buildings is being paved.

Come hear from industry and utility experts on the current commercial energy efficiency strategy landscape, challenges and future strategic visions related to commercial building energy efficiency solutions from three perspectives: utility programs, customers, and products/technologies. A panel of experts will also discuss tactics that support the strategic visions in the changing California environment and the future of commercial whole building approaches to energy efficient solutions.

Monday, February 24, 2014
9:30 AM to 3:00 PM (PST)

PG&E's Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Jenna Hattersley, Laurie Rummelhart and Jessica Handy - Leaders of BOMA San Francisco's Energy & Environment Committee in 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please take a moment to learn about your Energy & Environment (E&E) leadership team for the commercial real estate industry in 2014.

If you are a BOMA member with an interest in environmentally sustainable business practices in the commercial real estate industry, please email John M. Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Manager of Government and Public Affairs at

Click here to learn more about the E&E and why you should get involved.

Chair, Energy & Environment Committee

As a property manager for The Swig Company, Jenna brings three years of experience working at the South of Market portfolio, six years at The Swig Company, and eight years in the industry.  Her experience managing six other San Francisco commercial buildings in prior roles, ranging from a thirty-two story, Class A office building to a California Historical Landmark building, has prepared Jenna well to manage and maximize the properties operation efficiencies, implement sustainable practices, and optimize the tenant experience.

Jenna began her career at Shorenstein. After working at two different Shorenstein buildings, Jenna moved to join The Swig Company as an assistant property manager. In 2010 she joined The Swig Company’s South of Market properties and was responsible for four buildings. Shortly after joining The Swig Company she became a member of the BOMA San Francisco Energy & Environment Committee which ignited her concentration and specialization in sustainability and enabled her to focus more of her efforts on introducing sustainability initiatives in her properties. Among many accomplishments, she is proud to have led two buildings in achieving LEED Certification. 180 Montgomery Street was LEED-EB Gold Certified in 2010 and just recently 501 Second Street submitted for LEED-EB Platinum.

Jenna has remained active in the BOMA San Francisco Energy and Environmental Committee and assumed the Co-Chair position last year where she facilitated audits and selected the winners of the BOMA Bay Area Earth Awards for the large building category. This year, Jenna will lead the committee as Chair. After successfully transitioning a newly purchased asset to The Swig Company portfolio and leading a seismic retrofit and lobby remodel, she was promoted to property manager. Jenna looks forward to continuing her career in property management and rising to the challenge of Chair for the BOMA SF Energy and Environmental Committee.

Co-Vice Chair, Energy & Environment Committee

Laurie Rummelhart's career in commercial real estate began with a position that provided operational support for Able Engineering Services in 1999.  While at Able, Laurie had the opportunity to meet her future manager and transitioned into the property management industry.  She started as a Property and Leasing Administrator in 2007 and is now the Operations Manager at The Mills Building Complex located at 220 Montgomery Street owned and operated by The Swig Company, LLC.

Swig Company employees are encouraged to participate in BOMA San Francisco committees and events as part of their career development. Laurie chose the Energy & Environment Committee in 2010 as the property management team was starting the process to apply for LEED certification. The Swig Company has been a part of this committee’s evolution from its recycling sub-committee roots in 1999.

As a member of the committee, Laurie has been afforded access to resources that guided her property's Bay Area Earth Awards application and LEED submittals. As her involvement in the committee developed, she was offered the opportunity to serve as the committee’s vice co-chair to provide oversight for the property audits of the BOMA Bay Area Earth Awards.  This year, Laurie is involved with the Energy & Environment committee’s new 2014 Innovation Award.

Laurie is proud to be a part of this prestigious group and her participation has been beneficial to the growth of her career.

Co-Vice Chair, Energy & Environment Committee

Jessica Handy is the Director of West Coast Operations for CodeGreen Solutions, Inc.

Jessica earned her LEED AP in December 2008 while working as a property manager for a large commercial real estate firm in New York City. She’s no stranger to BOMA, while in New York City she was a member of the BOMA-NY Board of Directors and the Co-Chair of BOMA-NY’s Green Buildings Committee. Ms. Handy joined CodeGreen Solutions in August 2011 as the Director of West Coast Operations and has since managed hundreds of thousands of square feet of energy efficiency audits, commissioning and retro-commissioning studies, Energy Star benchmarking, and LEED projects. Her BOMA-SF involvement helped bring her up to speed on California issues very quickly, and helped her also to make a few friends here on the west coast.

Having just rescued a couple of rambunctious male kittens, Jessica is enjoying spending her free time watching what amounts to live cat videos. Otherwise, Ms. Handy spends a lot of her time volunteering and is the Vice President for her local Kiwanis Club. She earned her BA from the University of Washington in Seattle and her MS from CUNY John Jay in New York City.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Drought in California - BOMA San Francisco Members Promote Water Conservation in Commercial Buildings

Image credit: Randall Benton, Sacramento Bee

Like most businesses and households, BOMA San Francisco members are acutely aware of California's declared drought and are looking at ways to further conserve water during this unprecedented dry winter.  Indeed, BOMA members have been at the forefront of energy and water conservation for some time though our Energy and Environment Committee and the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance.

BOMA San Francisco's Energy and Environment Committee (E&E)

BOMA's E&E Committee is one of the organization's most active member groups focused specifically on energy and environmental sustainability in commercial high-rise buildings.  At the committee's most recent meeting, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) representatives presented on water-saving tips for commercial properties:
  • Determine how and where your water is used on site. If you need assistance, the SFPUC provides free Water-Wise Evaluations.
  • Assign a conservation champion to develop and monitor water conservation efforts.
  • Educate tenants and visitors about water conservation practices; put up signs encouraging water conservation in kitchens, restrooms, locker rooms, and other public areas.
  • Inform vendors that water efficiency is a priority (cooling tower maintenance, landscape, laundry and dishwasher)
  • Install water-efficient fixtures and plumbing devices, such as high efficiency toilets and urinals, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse spray valves. The SFPUC provides fixture rebates and free devices (details below).
  • Identify water conservation opportunities specific to your facility or business and prioritize no or low cost options. 
  • Use a broom, pressure washer, or hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement.
  • Conduct preventative maintenance to ensure water-using fixtures are working properly.
  • Assess your irrigation system to identify inefficiencies such as leaks, broken sprinkler heads and run off. 
  • Track water consumption through meter reads or monthly water bills to measure water savings achievements and monitor for leaks.
There is not a mandatory water reduction for San Francisco at this time although there is a request from the SFPUC that businesses and households reduce their consumption voluntarily by 10%.  

Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance (2009)

Our members are fortunate to have had the foresight to work with the City and County of San Francisco on the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance that applies to any commercial property owner.  The law requires that a building owner repair plumbing leaks and install water efficient plumbing fixtures to obtain a Certificate of Compliance either upon major improvements or by January 1, 2017.


Inefficient plumbing fixtures manufactured and installed prior to 1994 must be replaced with efficient fixtures. The SFPUC offers financial incentives and technical assistance for the replacement of inefficient plumbing fixtures. The Ordinance established the following water efficiency guidelines for commercial properties:
  • All showerheads have a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (fpm);
  • All showers have no more than one showerhead per valve;
  • All faucets and faucet aerators have a maximum flow rate of 2.2 fpm
  • All water closets (toilets) have a maximum rated water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or the flush volume set by updates to the San Francisco Plumbing Code. Effective July 1, 2011, new toilet fixture installations may not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.2;
  • All urinals have a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf. Note: To achieve compliance with the Ordinance, new urinal fixture installations shall not exceed 0.5 gpf, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.3;
  • All water leaks have been repaired.
Click here for more information on how you can help to conserve our most precious resource.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

UPDATE: Planning for Implementation of the San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax

UPDATE - February 13, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The San Francisco Treasurer's Office has posted new information regarding the Gross Receipts Tax on their website.  You can also access the information below.
The Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance (2012 Proposition E) was approved by San Francisco voters on November 6, 2012. It does not apply to the 2013 tax year or prior years. The first taxpayer filings affected will be the installment payments due April 30, 2014 and the Business Registration Fees due May 31, 2014. The changes to the Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax commenced January 1, 2014. The Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector will provide taxpayers with instructions about changed business registration fees and tax filings in 2014.


UPDATE - July 16, 2013

The San Francisco Treasurer's Office has posted the summary of the Gross Receipts Tax on their website.  You can also access the information below:

Summary of GRP Ordinance
February 2013 GRP Presentation

The Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance (2012 Proposition E) was approved by San Francisco voters on November 6, 2012. It does not apply to the 2013 tax year or prior years. The first taxpayer filings affected will be the Business Registration Fees due May 31, 2014. The changes to the Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax commence January 1, 2014. The Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector will provide taxpayers with instructions about changed business registration fees and tax filings in 2014.


UPDATE - April 18, 2013

Please review the following advisory from BOMA San Francisco member Manuel Fishman with Buchalter Nemer to help you plan and implement the upcoming San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax.  

The San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax is a reality. It will be phased in over the course of the next 5 years (beginning in 2014), and gradually replace the current 1 ½% payroll tax as the principal method for taxing persons engaged in business in San Francisco.  

Many questions remain unanswered, including the scope of various exemptions and the characterization of various services and charges routinely included as part of a lease. For example, is a security deposit a gross receipt to the landlord when paid or when a default occurs? Is an improvement allowance a gross receipt to the tenant or simply an advance that is repaid as rent to the landlord? Will vendors pass through the gross receipts tax to building owners? 

With less than nine months remaining in calendar year 2013, and with property owners and managers beginning the budget planning process for 2014, there are several action items that owners and managers of commercial properties should consider:

1. The new Ordinance taxes business activities that generate gross receipts “in the City”. While the Ordinance is complex, as an owner of a commercial building, the determination of whether a gross receipt is “in the City” is simple: “gross receipts from the sale, lease, rental or licensing of real estate are in the City if the real property is located in the City”, and gross receipts from services are in the City “to the extent the purchaser of the services received the benefit of the services in the City.” The Ordinance defines a “gross receipt” broadly, and in the context of real estate, the term includes all rent and the “payment for any services that are part of the lease or rental … paid to, on behalf of, or for the benefit of” the landlord. This should be the starting point for your consideration.

2. The rate of taxation is based on the dollar amount of gross receipts that you receive, and there is a $1,000,000 gross receipts small business exemption that may be applicable to you (but if your gross receipts exceed this exemption, the tax is payable from the first dollar earned).   Please click here for the rate chart.

3. Review your standard form lease to determine whether your lease allows you, as the landlord, to pass through the full amount of the gross receipts tax to your tenants as additional rent. Discuss with your legal counsel the best way to address this issue in your lease form. Stay attuned to changes in the market place as tenants seek to shift this cost to their landlords.

4. Discuss with your listing agent changes in the way brokerage commissions should be paid to separately allocate the commission earned by the listing agent to the listing agent and the commission earned by the procuring agent to the procuring agent, in order to avoid a “double dip” of a gross receipt to the listing agent (meaning that one party pays a gross receipt on money it receives that it simply pays over to a second party). Similarly, discuss with your property management and construction management team the way to address “tenant reimbursements” for build out of improvements to leased premises so that the money is actually paid to the contractor performing the work and does not result in a double dip to the landlord for money that is simply paid over to the contractor.

5. Discuss with your controller and finance officer how to maintain separate charges for real property taxes, parking taxes and gross receipts taxes that you, as the landlord pay. Develop an accounting system that can be incorporated into and shown on the monthly rent statements and annual reconciliation statements. The Ordinance provides an exclusion from gross receipts for “any federal, state or local tax imposed upon a person for which that person is reimbursed by means of a separately stated charge to a lessee” [i.e. think real property taxes] and for taxes that a taxpayer collects “from or on behalf of a taxpayer’s customers and remits to the appropriate governmental entity” [i.e. think parking taxes]..

6. Investors in real estate need to give consideration to how gross receipts are determined in the context of distributions and sale proceeds from a building.

7. Remember that over the next 5 years, landlords will need to keep records for both gross receipts and payroll taxes, and pay a certain amount under each of these taxes until the end of the phase-in period.

8. Remember that San Francisco business registration license fees will start to increase significantly in 2015. Check the new rates by visiting the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office web site:

9. The tax will be payable in quarterly installments (based on the concluding quarter’s gross receipts). Check the web site of the San Francisco Treasurers office for updates on the availability of the 2014 business tax reporting form. As of now, a tax reporting form is not available

BOMA has held one member update program on the implementation of the gross receipts tax, and will schedule a second program later this summer. Stay in touch with BOMA for additional updates.

This Advisory has been prepared as a matter of general information on behalf of the BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee by attorney Manuel Fishman. This Advisory is not considered legal advice, and members should consult with legal counsel before acting on the information contained herein. Mr. Fishman can be reached


Manuel Fishman speaking to BOMA Members

UPDATE - February 27, 2013

The sample lease language to use during the interim period before the Gross Receipts Tax phase in begins in 2014 and the presentations from the briefing on February 15th, are now available:

Click here to view sample lease language to use during the interim period.
Click here to view the presentation overview.
Click here to view the presentation from the San Francisco's Treasurer's Office.


UPDATE - February 15, 2013

Today's Gross Receipts Tax briefing was well-attended.  Thank you to the BOMA San Francisco member organizers and presenters Manuel FishmanKathy Mattes and Tom Gille.  A special thanks to San Francisco City Controller Ben Rosenfield, Treasurer Jose Cisneros and to Greg Kato with the Treasurer's office for presenting to BOMA members.

Please click here to 'like' our facebook page and view pictures of the event.

Original Post - February 15, 2013

BOMA San Francisco will hold a briefing for members only on Friday, February 15th to relay pertinent information on how the Gross Receipts Tax structure will impact the industry.

This event will feature the following representatives:

City and County of San Francisco
  • San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros
  • San Francisco Controller Ben Rosenfield 
BOMA Industry Representatives
  • Manny Fishman, Buchalter Nemer
  • Kathy Mattes, CBRE 
  • Tom Gille, CAC Real Estate Management Co., Inc.
Collectively, the representatives will go over the necessary record keeping that will be required to satisfy the Tax Collectors requirements for this new law. In addition, they will explain the details of the requirements for owners, property managers and third party providers of property management services 

You will leave this briefing prepared for the switch to this new tax system when it begins to phase in starting in 2014. 

Seating IS limited and registration required.