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Presidio Trust Announces Agreement on Development of Historic Hospital Building in the Presidio


Presidio of San Francisco (April 27, 2007) — The Presidio Trust today announced that it has signed a record of decision and a development agreement with Forest City Enterprises for the former Public Health Service Hospital Complex at 15th Avenue in the Presidio. The main hospital was closed in 1981 and has been empty awaiting rehabilitation.

“I applaud the Presidio Trust and its neighbors for coming together in a public process that has resulted in an improved plan that addresses the traffic, safety and environmental concerns of the surrounding community,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Revenue from the renovated Public Health Service Hospital will be invested back into the Presidio to continue the revitalization of this jewel in our national park system for the benefit of all San Franciscans.” In 1996, Congress passed legislation drafted by Speaker Pelosi that created the Presidio Trust to preserve the Presidio as an enduring resource for the American people.

The selected project comprises 332,000 square feet of building space. The historic buildings on the site will be rehabilitated and the non-historic wings of Building 1801, the main hospital building, will be removed. Up to 133,000 square feet will be demolished and no more than 51,000 square feet of replacement construction will be allowed. The project will accommodate up to 186 residential units in 256,000 square feet, and a mix of cultural, office and educational uses in 76,000 square feet.

“We are thrilled to have signed a lease to redevelop the Public Health Service Hospital, and excited to work with Presidio Trust and the neighbors as we move into the design phase for the project,” said Susan Smartt, senior vice president of Forest City West, San Francisco office.

The Presidio Trust convened a series of five public Community Working Group meetings in November and December, 2006, to review and discuss options for the size and redevelopment of the project. Members of seven local neighborhood groups, as well as the Ft. Point and Presidio Historical Association, Presidio Environmental Council, San Francisco Architectural Heritage and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) participated in the meetings. Representatives of Forest City Enterprises also took part.

“We are pleased that the Presidio Trust provided a forum for community input so that our concerns regarding traffic and environmental impacts could be fully addressed. The result is a project that is a win-win for the park and the neighborhood,” said Claudia Lewis, president of the Richmond Presidio Neighbors community group.

The Presidio Trust issued a request for proposals for the project in November, 2003 and, after an environmental assessment process, selected Forest City as its development partner in the Spring of 2004. The Trust sought public comment on the project throughout the process, and convened the working group meetings to gather input from neighborhood groups.

“This process has resulted in a project that allows us to achieve our principle objective, to preserve the historic buildings located on the site, while addressing the concerns of our neighbors,” said Craig Middleton, executive director of the Presidio Trust. “We are pleased to announce a development agreement with Forest City for a project that is responsive to the overarching themes heard throughout the public process.”

Forest City intends to use sustainable practices and materials on the project and will seek a silver level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating. The redevelopment of the site will include upgrades to the surrounding landscape and a new trail head.

The Presidio Trust: The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1994 to manage the Presidio of San Francisco, a former army base located in San Francisco at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains the infrastructure of a small city as well as expansive open space, a 300-acre historic forest, spectacular views, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District, making it unlike any other national park. In establishing the Trust, Congress mandated that it make the park financially self-sufficient by 2013. The Trust is the only federal agency with this mandate. The Presidio Trust Management Plan sets the framework for the Presidio’s financial and preservation goals.

Forest City Enterprises: Forest City Enterprises, Inc., a publicly traded real estate company, is principally engaged in the ownership, development, acquisition and management of premier commercial and residential real estate throughout the United States. Sustainability is an integral part of our core values and a principle to which Forest City is committed. Sustainable development fosters sensitivity to the site, reduces resource consumption and minimizes a project’s environmental footprint. Likewise, Forest City has a long history of revitalizing historic buildings and executing adaptive reuse projects – both inherently sustainable project types because of the reuse component.

For more information on this or other Presidio projects:.”

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Lisa Petrie

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