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SAN FRANCISCO-The historic, fully renovated Pier 1 building, which stretches out 700 feet over the Bay, welcomes its new tenants next month. AMB Property Corp. plans to move from 505 Montgomery St. into its new digs on Dec. 8. Other tenants that soon will be calling the two-story, 150,000-sf Pier 1 their home include the Port of San Francisco, Venture Law Group and Weston Presidio Capital, a private equity investment firm.

“Our move to Pier 1 accomplishes two good things for AMB,” says Hamid Moghadam, chairman and CEO of the firm, which served as the project developer. “The first is that we were able to restore a historical building that was important to the San Francisco economy at the turn of the 20th century into a new structure that contributes to the economy in the new century. The second is that AMB’s employees will benefit from improved communication due to the open architecture layout of the space.”

AMB’s office features expansive windows and a wide-open floor plan. Nobody—-not even Moghadam-—will have an office with a door. The cubicle partitions will be low to foster unencumbered views. To provide staff with some privacy, AMB incorporated about 20 conference rooms into its design, as well as a large group gathering place that will serve as a video-conferencing center, cafe, library and casual meeting room.

The major renovation of the pier that once served as a sugar dock and dry-goods warehouse for C&H Sugar is the first major project completed under the Port of San Francisco’s 1997 Waterfront Land Use Plan. The new office property features the latest technology, as well as a great location and breathtaking views of both the Bay and the City. The architect for the Pier 1 project was San Francisco-based SMWM (Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris), which also lists the Ferry Building renovation project, the San Francisco library and the Metreon among its projects.

While the Port of San Francisco owns Pier 1, AMB, the project developer, will manage the property. Reportedly the Port and AMB, which both negotiated leases in 1999 before the market spike, are paying about $40 per sf for their respective 50,000-sf spaces. In contrast, Venture Law Group, which signed on only a few months ago is paying $85 per sf, much closer to current market rates for class A office space.

In another example of a growing trend of public and private partnership, the Port and AMB worked together to accomplish the $42-million renovation that included a $6-million seismic upgrade and repair to the pier slab and wooden pilings. Federal tax breaks offered through a program operated jointly by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Park Service eased the substantive cost of the undertaking.

AMB Property Corp. is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that specializes in industrial real estate in major metropolitan markets nationwide. The firm targets high throughput distribution properties—-industrial properties located in major distribution markets near airports, seaports and ground transportation systems. As of Sept. 30, 2000, AMB owned, managed and had renovation and development projects totaling 87 million sf and 946 buildings in 25 metropolitan markets.

The Port of San Francisco is a public agency responsible for managing the seven-and-a-half miles of San Francisco Bay shoreline stretching from Hyde Street Pier in the north to India Basin in the south. The Port’s responsibilities include promoting maritime commerce, navigation, and fisheries; restoring the environment; and providing public recreation. More than 1,000 acres fall under its jurisdiction. The Port will be moving from its current offices in the 100-year-old Ferry Building. Wilson/Equity Office plans to start the Ferry Building Renovation project in the spring of 2001. The renovated building will feature a public market on the ground floor and 158,000 sf of office space on the second and third floors.

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