SAN FRANCISCO-In an effort to free up space for more development, San Francisco planners may decide to revoke already-approved projects that, for one reason or another, were never built. Taking space back from dead projects could free up as much as 300,000-sf, according to the planning commission’s office.

This is good news for developers scrambling to earn approval for their projects in the coming months. More than 2.9 million-sf of development proposals were submitted to the city and as reported by earlier this week, two large developers have already claimed rights to gobble up most of the allowed space for the coming year.

While the planning commission has identified several projects with permits that may have expired, they are not revealing which ones they are until after they have notified the developers, says Gerald Green, planning director for the city. Once approved, builders have 18 months to start a project, with the option to ask for an extension if necessary.

It is unknown why the office projects under examination fell through, although Green says the developers could have had difficulty signing tenants or securing financing.Despite the economic downturn and more than 600,000-sf of sublease office space back on the market – much of it from shrinking dot coms – San Francisco remains a hotbed of real estate activity, where downtown office space climbed above $80-sf annually.

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