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SF Development Keeps Flowing

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SF Development  Keeps Flowing
If you see a 13-foot-tall beer glass, be sure to let TMG chairman/CEO Mike Covarrubias know. Mike, with whom we chatted recently, told us the company just bought the Hamm’s Building where a giant neon beer glass once stood as the West Coast’s largest commercial sign.
SF Development  Keeps Flowing
The building at 1550 Bryant St was constructed as a brewery in 1915 and had “some amazing signage back in the day”—the chalice-type beer glass lit up at night and everyone knew it for miles. (Wonder if it was ever mistaken for a UFO from distance?) Today, the 180k SF building is 80% leased to creative tenants. TMG plans to redo the lobbies and common space, and improve the building’s tenancy as 70% of the leases roll over in the next three years. Mike, who is a panelist at Bisnow’s New Development Frontiers Summit this morning at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, says TMG has been extremely busy over the past 18 months. “We were fortunate enough to buy a couple of distressed assets at the bottom of the cycle in 2010.”

SF Development  Keeps Flowing
TMG recently sold one of them, 650 Townsend (above), to Zynga, and is 85% preleased on the other, a former AT&T office building. Meanwhile at the Hamm's building, Mike would love to put the iconic beer glass, which has gone missing over the years, back in its rightful place. Maybe he’ll find it this summer when he goes to Istanbul for the first time. (Hey, you never know where something will turn up.)
SF Development  Keeps Flowing
We also spoke last week with Tiffany Bohee, executive director of the City and County of San Francisco as the successor agency to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, which she previously headed. (Just call it the Department of Big Stuff.) Tiffany, who was also on our panel, tells us that after the state’s RDAs were axed, “the city stepped into the shoes” to manage numerous mega projects that were approved and under construction, representing some $20B in public and private investment. A bunch of projects are breaking ground next year in the Transbay, where the new transit center is under construction, and there’s a housing boom in Mission Bay right now.
SF Development  Keeps Flowing
Nearly 800 units are under construction and three projects will begin building in the next six months, including 1180 Fourth St, a 150-unit affordable project by Mercy Housing in partnership with the City, breaking ground in late June. Earlier this month, Lennar venture CP Development Corp made a $7M-plus contribution (the first installment of more than $37M) for job training and affordable housing as part of the future Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point development (above). In her spare time, Tiffany is getting to know her new Australian Shepherd puppy, Bear.