Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UPDATE: The SFpark Pilot Program Evaluation

UPDATE - September 30, 2014

The pilot phase of SFpark has concluded.  Here is an update of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) rigorous evaluation of the parking program and next steps.

SFpark was a federally funded demonstration of a new approach to managing parking. It used better information, including real-time data where parking is available, and demand-responsive parking pricing to help make parking easier to find. The SFpark project collected an unprecedented amount of data to enable a thorough evaluation of its effectiveness.

The SFpark pilot phase ran from 2011 to 2013.  The evaluation shows that the SFpark pilot delivered:
  • Lower average hourly parking rates 
  • Improved parking availability 
  • Greater ease in finding parking 
  • Fewer parking citations through easier payment (including credit/debit card and pay-by-phone) 
  • Decreased greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Decreased vehicle miles traveled (through reduced parking search time) 
A short version of the evaluation will give you the highlights of the SFpark experience:


You can review the results in more depth by viewing the full evaluation:


In addition to its local benefits, the pilot project was designed to enable rigorous evaluation of its merits and to share methodologies with cities around the world. To that end, the SFpark team has also produced a how-to manual for transportation professionals, and a technical manual for technology professionals, in cities around the world. The policy goals behind SFpark are well known, but the technology and data that drove the project were particularly transformative, and many other cities around the world are hoping to recreate San Francisco’s success.



As the pilot winds down, the SFMTA will continue to share the evaluation results with San Franciscans and will consider possible applications beyond the pilot later in the fall of 2014
Original Post - August 31, 2010

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is testing a new parking management system: SFpark. It uses sensors, new meters, and real-time parking data to take the guesswork out of parking in the City. These elements work together to, according to the SFMTA, make parking easier to find and more convenient. The benefits will cascade to drivers, Muni riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, visitors, merchants and more.  SFpark will be testing its new parking management system at 6,000 of San Francisco’s 25,000 metered spaces and 12,250 spaces in 15 of 20 City-owned parking garages. The pilot phase of SFpark will run for two years starting summer 2010.  Click here to view a map of the pilot areas.

SFpark sensors, installed in parking spaces and in City-owned garages, track in real-time where parking is and isn’t available. Sensor data is uploaded wirelessly to the SFpark data feed, which will then make that information available to the public via SFpark.org, street signs and smart phone applications. Real-time information about where parking is available will help drivers find parking with less hassle.

Parking will also frequently cost less. SFpark will adjust meter prices based on demand to encourage drivers to make trips in off-peak hours and to use parking lots and garages. While high-demand spaces will gradually go up in price, other spaces will decrease in cost.

As meter and garage pricing shifts to increase availability, instead of some blocks being full and others empty, the goal is to have, on average, at least one parking space available on every block. Once a space is found, longer time limits and new meters that accept credit and debit cards will make it easier to avoid parking tickets.

Three main technical components comprise the SFpark project—sensors to record parking availability, new meters to make it easier to pay, and a data feed to process and distribute information about where parking is available.

If you have any questions or concerns about SFpark, please contact Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs at kenc@boma.com, and John M. Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Legislative Assistant, at johnb@boma.com.

Monday, September 22, 2014

UPDATE: BOMA California Advocacy Update - EV Charging Station Bill Signed by Governor Jerry Brown

UPDATE - September 22, 2014

AB 2565 requires commercial and residential property owners to the approve installation of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station by renters, so long as the station meets certain requirements.

As reported previously, BOMA California members expended an abundance of effort working on AB 2565.  Indeed, BOMA members went from vociferously opposing the measure - it  initially mandated that all commercial properties across the state install EV chargers - to supporting the bill after it was significantly changed and all of our members' language requests were accepted by the bill's author. 

The measure provides protections for property owners against unreasonable costs and assures that any EV installation insisted upon by tenants conform to the statewide standards adopted by the State.

Click here to read the law which will go into effect next year.


UPDATE - April 30, 2014

BOMA California members were successfully able to have AB 2565 amended to remove the mandate that electric vehicle chargers be installed in all parking lots with 50 or more spaces. 

However, the bill now takes a policy that was meant to protect residential property owners from a homeowner’s association preventing them from installing charging stations, and applies those protections to commercial and residential leases to trump the property owner.

Although we are happy to work with the author in to advance his goal of trying to increase installations of EV Charging stations, BOMA members believe that this bill has enough unintended consequences and it needs to be amended.  BOMA California members conclude that the only efficacious way to significantly increase installations is to incentivize charging stations by reducing the ROI– either through subsidies, matches, grants, and/or tax credits, actual consumer demand, or as a tenant amenity.

Click here to see the current version of the bill and see how it could impact lease negotiations.

Original Post - April 9, 2014

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Mandate

Last week, a bill in the California State Legislature, AB 2565, was amended to require that at least one percent of parking stalls have an electric vehicle charging station installed for all lots with 51 or more spaces. 

BOMA California has received member feedback regarding, costs, operational issues, loss of use, ADA issues, and feasibility of compliance, and is working with the author to detail the issues related the proposed mandate.  Although BOMA members understand that a growing number of electric vehicles are on the road - a good thing considering that they promote environmental sustainability - it would be prudent to allow for data-driven market solutions to this issue.  

EV-Ready Building Standard Proposals

In response to an Executive Order issued by the Governor in late-2012, the Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) and the Building Standards Commission (BSC) are moving forward with regulations to require EV-Ready building standards starting in July of 2015. 

Instead of installing fully operational (and costly) charging stations for electric vehicles, these building standards would be limited to items that would facilitate the later installation of the charging stations at a significantly reduced cost. 

For example, all new homes will be required to have an electrical panel with enough empty plug slots to allow for the later installation of EV charging equipment. In addition, there will also need to be 1-inch wide conduit (piping) for the later installation of the wiring connecting the electrical panel with a point in the garage.  For apartment complexes having more than 16 units and commercial projects, similar requirements for electrical panels and conduit will apply to 3% of the parking spaces.

At least six legislative measures have been introduced in the Legislature to help the State of California understand the demand for EV charging infrastructure going forward and how to meet it. As an industry, BOMA views these measures as positive steps for environmentally sustainable transportation in California. 

The regulatory process will start in April and adoption is expected this summer with the standard applying to projects whose permit applications are submitted to the local building department on or after July 1, 2015.

Monday, September 15, 2014

BOMA San Francisco's Better Market Street Official Briefing - Your Feedback is Requested

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

UPDATE - September 15, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

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

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!


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.


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.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Existing City Retrofit Project - September 22, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please consider attending the Existing City Retrofit Project (ECRP) workshop on September 22nd to explore the potential economic, environmental, and social benefits that your building could achieve through community energy retrofits.  Lunch will provided.

When: September 22nd, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: SPUR San Francisco, 654 Mission Street

About the ECRP

Existing city retrofit is a research project seeking to quantify the potential financial, environmental, and social benefits that building owners can achieve through shared (rather than isolated) thermal system overhauls with their neighbors. As a pilot, the project seeks to do this at a single system level (chilled and/or condenser water) at a finite scale (2 to 4 neighboring buildings) in a real existing urban fabric (downtown San Francisco).

Despite the fact that building owners execute major MEP overhauls for the same reasons, they do so in complete isolation within individual buildings. As a result, additional benefits that could be realized at a multi-building scale are foregone. Existing city retrofit is a project that seeks to generate the data required to document the business case for such shared community MEP overhauls.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Closure of Folsom Street Off Ramp in San Francisco Starting September 22, 2014

At 11:00PM on Monday, September 22, 2014 the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), together with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency (OCII), will commence construction of the westbound I-80 Folsom Street Off-Ramp Realignment Project. The realignment of the off-ramp – which requires closure of the facility from September 22 through March 2015 – will improve the pedestrian environment along Fremont Street and increase the developable area of the Transbay Redevelopment Plan parcel at the intersection of Folsom and Fremont Streets.

At 11 p.m. Monday September 22, SFCTA contractor O.C. Jones & Sons, Inc. will close the Folsom Street Off-Ramp from Westbound I-80 from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge. Motorists will be directed to utilize either of two detour options to access Folsom Street:

Option #1: From West-Bound I-80 (From Oakland/Treasure Island) take the Harrison Street Exit and connect with Folsom Street at Fremont Street.

Option #2: From Westbound I-80 (from Oakland/Treasure Island) take the Fremont Street Exit and proceed LEFT at Fremont Street, turn LEFT onto Howard Street, then turn LEFT onto First Street which will connect with Folsom Street.

About: Folsom Street Off-Ramp Realignment Project (www.sfcta.org/FolsomRamp)

Monday, September 8, 2014

BOMA San Francisco's Op-Ed in the San Francisco Examiner - Why Restrict the Benefits of Real Economic Growth?

Marc Intermaggio

Why Restrict the Benefits of Real Economic Growth? 

By Marc Intermaggio, Executive Vice President of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of San Francisco.  Published in the San Francisco Examiner on September 8, 2014

Twenty eight years ago when Proposition M imposed strict development limits on San Francisco, would you have envisioned the extraordinary transformation of Mission Bay? For that matter, would you have imagined the remarkable conversion of South Beach from rotting warehouses, abandoned factories and unused rail spurs into the thriving work-live environment that it is today, complete with AT&T Park and the many other amenities we enjoy? Who could predict the removal of the ugly, old Embarcadero Freeway, and subsequent redevelopment of our world-class waterfront, with the popular Ferry Building complex as the centerpiece?

Are current building limits appropriate? NIMBYs surely think so and, to some extent, they may be correct. Residents of many of San Francisco’s historic residential neighborhoods have every right to oppose new soaring towers and their accompanying congestion on Nob Hill, Russian Hill, the Marina and many other pristine established areas.

But San Francisco is much bigger than most people think — with enough area to sustainably accommodate new residential and commercial development. In fact, alleviating The City’s housing crisis will require building multifamily dwellings near transit in underutilized areas. Look at a map of the vast region of southeast San Francisco below Mission Bay. It could be the next South of Market.

How could continued development in San Francisco be beneficial to current residents? We could enjoy: 1) more affordable housing; 2) more abundant tax revenues for a wide range of badly needed municipal improvements, such as decaying infrastructure, transportation, cultural institutions, social services, parks, etc.; 3) additional jobs; 4) new business opportunities for smaller companies; 5) improved educational funding at all levels; and 6) shorter commutes for residents of transit-friendly housing complexes.

On the other hand, halting or severely restricting development could harm San Franciscans. We would see fewer jobs, soaring housing costs, deferred maintenance of vital infrastructure, less funding for social services in our city.

Economic growth necessarily requires commercial space to house companies and employees. Imposing severe restrictions on development is the same thing as imposing severe restrictions on economic growth — and all the benefits to San Franciscans that flow from it.

Real-estate taxes are the largest single source of The City’s revenue, more than $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2013-14. Plus, in 2013 alone, The City collected almost $10 million in transit-impact development fees from commercial developers. Total 2013 business taxes, including payroll tax, business registration fees, gross-receipts taxes, and administrative office fees and taxes, were $534.7 million.

Commercial offices contribute mightily to the economic strength of our entire Bay Area. With more than 238 million square feet of rentable space regionally, the office building industry generated $5.3 billion in building operations in San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Alameda, Napa, Marin and Santa Clara counties — supporting more than 40,000 jobs. This data comes from a study called “Where America Goes to Work,” a recent report of the Building Owners and Managers Association International.

So the next time you hear a developer is planning to erect a new building, take heart. It’s probably going to benefit you directly in many ways, more than it would damage the unique charm and character of San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

UPDATE - Legislation to Study/Allow San Francisco to Provide Electric Service to Private Developments

BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - September 2, 2014

Please note that BOMA San Francisco members met with representatives of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to discuss BOMA's concerns regarding this legislation as detailed below.  They are considering our suggested amendments are working with Supervisor Scott Wiener's office now.  More information will delivered to you as necessary.

If you have any feedback, please send it to johnb@boma.com and kenc@boma.com.

Original Post - August 4, 2014

Supervisor Scott Wiener has introduced legislation that would amend the San Francisco Administrative Code to evaluate the feasibility of the City providing electric power to private developments and projects.

Click here to read the ordinance, and here for the executive summary.

The following are a few details/concerns regarding the ordinance, in its current draft, that have been discussed with members of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC):
  • The City is allowed to sell power (pg. 1/lines 17-19);
  • The measure is attempting to study, and eventually allow San Francisco Public Utilities Commission power to be delivered to new City developments. (pg. 1/lines 23-25; pg. 2 lines 1-6);
  • The measure is also attempting to study and eventually allow SFPUC power to be delivered to other private projects over 10k sq/ft - this is ambiguously defined (Existing buildings?  New developments? Tenant improvements?) and needs to be clarified.  This could be an issue for BOMA members. (pg. 2/lines 6-12);
  • Why is this happening?  The SFPUC can use the additional revenue from serving electricity to new customers to address deferred maintenance of infrastructure projects.  (pg. 2/lines 21-23);
  • Requirement to Study Feasibility (pg. 3).  What does 'certain other private projects seeking City approvals' mean (pg. 3/lines 5-6)?  Also, (lines 7-10) who pays for the study?   
If you have any feedback, please send it to johnb@boma.com and kenc@boma.com.  A meeting with Supervisor Wiener and our members has taken place recently; the next discussion will be with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission officials. 

UPDATE - An Urgent Call to Action: BOMA California Needs Your Assistance to Defeat AB 2416

UPDATE - September 2, 2014

Your efforts made the difference: AB 2416 is dead for the year.

THANK YOU for contacting your respective California State Legislators over the past few weeks.  BOMA California could not have done it without your support.

UPDATE - August 29, 2014

Our BOMA California partners have been working diligently the last few days to defeat this bill and you can still help. Indeed, your help is essential to stopping this measure from passing. If you would reach out to your local elected officials in the California State Legislature and those listed below, it would be appreciated.

Recent amendments to AB 2416 have not been shared with the business community and do not address BOMA's main issue with the bill: the measure would continue to provide for pre-judgment liens, meaning that liens can still be erroneously recorded on properties belonging to homeowners or non-culpable third-parties. Erroneous or fraudulent liens can impact credit reports and property transactions.

This request is time critical. Ask them to VOTE NO on AB 2416.

California State Senators to call after you reach out to your local elected Senator:

Jim Beall - (916) 651-4015
Marty Block - (916) 651-4039
Kathleen Galgiani - (916) 651-4005
Ted Lieu - (916) 651-4028
Carol Liu - (916) 651-4025
Alex Padilla - (916) 651-4020
Fran Pavley - (916) 651-4027
Richard Roth - (916) 651-4031
Norma Torres - (916) 651-4032

UPDATE - August 25, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

If you've had a moment to contact your local legislators to voice opposition to AB 2416, thank you.  Your efforts have been effective, i.e., slowing the progress of the measure in Sacramento and forcing it to be amended two times since our last communication.  Even with your earnest feedback to your California State Legislators, the amendments do not address the concerns as detailed in our July 29, 2014 post, below.

As such, please reach out again to your local elected officials in the California State Legislature to let them know that the recent changes to the bill do not go far enough.

AMENDMENTS:  The bill was amended recently to remove property services from the third party liability section.  However, this amendment is immaterial as (1) Section 3010 (a)(2) of the bill covers any services performed by an employee for the property owner.  While the last sentence of this section states that it does not apply to services performed for a household or residence, it will cover property services performed on a commercial or industrial building.  Additionally, as with the other third party carve outs there is no way the county recorder’s office is going to be able to make the determination  as to whether the services performed were for a household or residence when the employee files the notice.

To reiterate, this bill still allows innocent property owners to get dragged into wage disputes they have nothing to do with.

Original Post - July 29, 2014

There are currently two bills in the California State Legislature that could pull your business into disputes that do not have any association with the commercial real estate industry.  BOMA California, of which BOMA San Francisco is a member, is asking that BOMA members focus on the first of two bills, below, AB 2416,  and contact California State Legislators from your area to help deter the measure's passage.

BOMA California is also providing information on a related bill, AB 1897, also below, as a corollary; it may come up in your conversations with legislators' office staff members. 

AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens. This bill creates a precarious and unbalanced precedent in the wage and hour debate by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

AB 1897 (Hernandez; D-West Covina) Labor Contracting; Client Liability. This measure would oblige one company to essentially insure the wage and hour obligations, workers’ compensation coverage, and occupational health and safety duties of a separate employer’s employees, which will discourage the use of contractors and their employees.

Both bills will be considered when the California State Legislature returns from their recess on August 4th.  First in the California State Senate and, if both bills pass, then in the California State Assembly for concurrence.

BOMA California opposes both bills and is strongly urging all BOMA members statewide to get engaged locally on these measures.

To help you communicate with legislators, please find the following:
The first priority is to contact your State Senators and ask that they oppose AB 2416 on the Senate Floor. The second priority is to contact your State Assemblymembers and ask that they oppose AB 2416 if it moves back over to the State Assembly for concurrence.