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US (CA): Wrestling with the future of the Flower Mart

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution aimed at solving a problem facing Bay Area floral industry business owners, community members, development companies and elected leaders: Where to temporarily relocate the country’s second largest flower market as its permanent home, in one of the nation’s most expensive real estate markets, is redeveloped?

Kilroy Realty purchased the San Francisco Flower Mart in 2014. The company plans to build 2.5 million square feet of office space on the current market site, at 640 Brannan Street, with a new wholesale flower market on the ground level. As part of the original sales agreement, Kilroy must move the Flower Mart to a temporary location within San Francisco while they build out Sixth and Brannan, a process that could take three to five years. The San Francisco Flower Mart Tenants’ Association gave pre-approval to one site in that agreement: 2000 Marin Street, an industrial area of the city close to highway access and San Francisco’s wholesale produce market.

The catch: That site is currently owned by Tishman Speyer, another commercial real estate company that is developing a project near Kilroy’s Flower Mart project. This situation has led Kilroy to suggest a back-up location, Piers 19, 19 ½ and 23 along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, a tourist-heavy neighborhood that the Tenants’ Association says is a bad fit.

Read more at the Society of American Florists (Mary Westbrook)

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