Real Estate



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

Real Estate Education Series
February 28, 2023 at 8:30am9:30am (PDT)

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)