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What Would it Take to Revive San Francisco’s Deserted Downtown?

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 (Getty Images)

Office buildings in downtown San Francisco sit empty or nearly empty as thousands of workers continue working from home. Back in 2019, San Francisco had one of the tightest office real estate markets in the country with about 5% vacancy and record-setting rental rates. Now, vacancy has plummeted to 24% and rental rates have fallen by 13% since the end of 2019, according to commercial brokerage firm CBRE. But, it’s not just cubicles that are deserted – so are the sidewalks and many of the cafes, stores and small businesses that catered to the office crowd. The trend is prompting some developers, landlords and policymakers to consider turning some office towers into much needed housing, but similar efforts have proven difficult in the past. We’ll talk about how to reimagine and pump new life into San Francisco’s downtown business districts. 

Guests:

Kevin Truong, staff writer, The San Francisco Standard, author of the recent article, “Turning Downtown Offices Into Housing Isn’t the Solution You Think It Is”

Sujata Srivastava, San Francisco director, SPUR, a nonprofit public policy organization in the San Francisco Bay Area

Oz Erickson, chairman, Emerald Fund, a San Francisco development firm that builds commercial, retail, and residential projects<br />

Matt Field, president, TMG Partners, San Francisco development firm

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