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The One Thing Stopping a Flood

San Francisco Office

Monique Moyer is the longest-serving director of our port since it transferred to S.F. in 1969. (Prior to that, all records were maintained by two seals and a tufted puffin, thus details are sketchy.) So when she revealed the most important thing the port is doing, we were all ears: Its most critical role is protecting the underwater seawall

Speaking at Bryan Cave's office Thursday, Monique revealed that the seawall is not in a state of decay—yet—but without it, flooding could seep all the way up to the Montgomery BART station, affecting everything in its path. (It will ruin your best pants.) The modest $70M budget she manages means they've got to maintain the asset. Sea levels are rising, and she's not allowed to execute pier side leases past 2050 without a mitigation or adaption plan. Here, she shows off an incoming interactive and illuminated mural. The goal is to bring culture to the intersection of industrial and residential, with former grain silos acting as an art canvas.

The Union Iron Works office building at Pier 70 (pictured), a 37k SF red-brick Renaissance Revival building constructed in 1896, is ripe for redevelopment. Now in the final phase of entitlements, developer Orton thinks a medical office user would be an ideal tenant. The Bethlehem Steel office building at the corner of 20th and Illinois, erected in 1917 and three stories tall, is expected to get a second life with office space on the top floors. She says one headache related to vacant spaces is homeless squatters; she calls them craftsmen who've mastered the art of building trap doors with hinges on the inside.

The 7.5-mile-long port encompasses 560 acres and 20M SF; most is Class-C or D, and since warehouse vacancy rates are so low (0.03%), she's been turning away tenants that want the space for things like light production. There's one retail space up for grabs, and no room for restaurants (there are currently 66). We learned some 10% of the city's industrial employees work in port-owned assets. The port is still trying to lock down the Anchor Steam deal at Pier 48.