Publications

San Francisco’s Downtown: What Does the Future Hold?

February 28, 2023 Webinar

Farella's CJ Higley with guest speakers, Marc Babsin with Emerald Fund, Jim Hakes with Handel Architects, Sujata Srivastava with SPUR, and Anne Taupier with San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, discuss "San Francisco’s Downtown: What Does the Future Hold?"

As work habits continue to transition from office space to work from home, sparsely populated downtown office towers are proving to be a barrier to the City’s goal of repopulating the traditional financial district. Enter the appeal to convert properties built and used for commercial purposes into residential dwellings.

But gutting a high-rise and rebuilding the inside as housing can be difficult, expensive, and may require more than changing the carpet and moving some walls. Are there opportunities for residential conversions despite the challenges? Are there other uses that may contribute to a re-imagined downtown? Or will the office come back if we’re just patient?

The panel discusses the following:

  • Effects of zoning laws on building conversion, and potential regulatory incentives to facilitate conversions
  • Physical constraints on office to residential conversions
  • Downtown as a destination for arts & entertainment
  • Educational opportunities: the urban campus
  • The future of office work (and workers)

Resources

Firm Highlights

Publication

AB 1633: The Housing Accountability Act

The Housing Accountability Act (HAA) requires local agencies to approve housing projects that meet objective zoning, general plan, subdivision, and design standards unless there is a specific, adverse impact upon public health and safety...

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Publication

California Court Issues First Decision Addressing Builder’s Remedy; Decision on Related Lawsuit Pending

The first California court decision to issue declaratory relief to a developer under the “builder’s remedy” appears to be on the horizon. The builder’s remedy has garnered significant attention over the past two years...

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News

San Mateo signed off on its housing element this week. It's already facing a lawsuit.

Farella's Tom Mayhew, CJ Higley, Daniel Contreras, Vanessa Ing, and Alyssa Netto were mentioned in the Daily Journal article "San Mateo signed off on its housing element this week. It's already facing a lawsuit."...

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Publication

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Passes Housing Fee Reform Legislation

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors took the first of two votes to approve housing fee reform legislation last week. The legislation reduces by as much as a third the affordable housing fees and...

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Publication

Downtown San Francisco Adaptive Reuse Legislation Slated To Go Into Effect

As we alerted you on May 9 , legislation to incentivize office and commercial building conversions to housing had begun working its way through the Board of Supervisors after approval by the San Francisco...

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News

Housing Action Coalition and Farella Braun + Martel File Lawsuit Challenging the City of San Mateo’s Housing Element

Today, the Housing Action Coalition (HAC) and Farella Braun + Martel LLP filed a lawsuit against the City of San Mateo, challenging its recently adopted Housing Element in order to make the city comply with...

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