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Publication Date: Friday, November 30, 2001

City may buy Bryant Street property City may buy Bryant Street property (November 30, 2001)

Tishman Speyer pulled out of project

By Candice Shih


The City Council Tuesday authorized city staff to negotiate the purchase of a Bryant Street property from Tishman Speyer Properties, the private developer firm that last week pulled out of a major project that would have built housing, parking, and office space on public and private land along Bryant Street.

Tishman Speyer decided to scrap the project _ which would have built over 100,000 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, 85 housing units, and over 850 parking spots _ due to doubts over its profitability.

The council decided Tuesday to review a potential sale of the property to the city. An environmental review and property appraisal will likely commence in the next few months. At that point, the council will vote whether or not the city will buy the property.

According to Ellis Berns, the city's economic development director, said it is not definite what the site would be used for in the event of a sale, although a residential development is likely. Since the city already owns half of the block, there is potential for a larger, consolidated development.

Council member Mike Kasperzak said that while he was disappointed when Tishman Speyer backed out, "It is for the best." He said the projected plan to assemble the Bryant Street property is "consistent with long-term goals" of the city.

Council member Rosemary Stasek said she was "absolutely in support" of the plan to negotiate purchase of the land, adding that her main concern with the Tishman Speyer project had been that the city could relinquish control of its property to a project dependent on swings in the local economy.

Berns said that building a residential development on the site is the "primary focus," although it is unclear what type of housing would be built. Berns also suggested that it could be used for a public and private parking area.

The land on that block is currently being used as a staging area and parking lot by Tishman Speyer for its construction project at 400 Castro St. The firm will likely move out of the area in spring 2002, when the development is finished.


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