WeWork–Elon Musk’s nonprofit bid for Fort Scott development in Presidio San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle – Roland Li –

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Photo: The Golden Gate Bridge rises behind buildings at Fort Scott in the Presidio. Tech companies like WeWork and OpenAI are interested in developing the historic site. Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle.

Davos by the Golden Gate Bridge, anyone? Startup labs? How about a WeWork?

The nine teams competing to redevelop the historic Fort Winfield Scott campus in the Presidio include the World Economic Forum, the organizer of the annual conference in Switzerland for the global financial elite; OpenAI, a research venture backed by Elon Musk; and co-working space operator WeWork.

The mostly vacant 22-building property spans 30 acres, making it one of the largest development sites in San Francisco outside downtown and Mission Bay.

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Photo: The World Economic Forum, which already has an office in Fort Scott, is one of the bidders on redeveloping the entire campus. Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle.

The Presidio Trust, which oversees the site, will hold a public hearing on the nine competing bids on July 25 and pick a developer sometime in 2019.

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Photo: The Presidio Trust hopes to find a developer to revitalize Fort Scott. Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle.

“To receive nine proposals exceeds our hopes and makes us really happy with such a high level of interest,” the Presidio Trust said in a statement. “It validates the unique concept of creating a campus for change at Fort Winfield Scott.”

The request for proposals issued in January sought out “mission-driven organizations” willing to work in the unusual confines of a national park and a campus of historic buildings.

“We are really looking at this as a place where people can tackle social and environmental problems,” Presidio Trust CEO Jean Fraser told The Chronicle in January. “We tend to believe that’s going to be best done over the long term by nonprofits.”

In a competing bid, giant West Coast office landlord Kilroy Realty Corp. wants to develop a new campus for OpenAI, which seeks to create artificial intelligence that benefits humanity. A potential team member is landscape architect James Corner Field Operations, which is working on a separate Presidio project to build the Tunnel Tops park.

“This is an opportunity to build a space for an organization that’s trying to solve the most pressing challenges facing the world — that’s how to deal with artificial intelligence,” said Mike Grisso, Kilroy senior vice president, development and land planning. “I think it’s an exciting opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful settings in San Francisco and the world.”

Kilroy owns 14 million square feet on the West Coast and is one of the Bay Area’s largest landlords. It’s also developing the new Flower Mart, which includes 2 million square feet of office space, in central South of Market.

OpenAI, which is headquartered in the Mission District, wants to host public events and house researchers at the Presidio.

“OpenAI feels it’s an incredible environment with a great location with a lot of opportunity to create both a long-term home for us and to better interact with the public and share research,” said Chris Clark, OpenAI’s chief operating officer.

Seven other teams are in the running to redevelop Fort Scott.

•California Clean Energy Fund Ventures, Epic Institute and Orton Development Inc. proposed a climate-change center along with a hotel and affordable housing. Orton is the developer of the historic Pier 70 project in San Francisco.

•Concrete Preservation Institute, Cross Street Partners, McCormack Baron Salazar and partners called for a military training center.

•Equity Community Builders, which previously built affordable housing in the Presidio, and the World Economic Forum, an existing tenant at Fort Scott, proposed an academic and tech campus along with restaurants.

•Housing developer John Stewart Co., veteran land broker Chris Foley of Ground Matrix and Doug Ross of Palisade Builders Inc. called for nonprofit offices, artist spaces and restaurants.

•Cornell University’s Energy Materials Center, construction giant Aecom, Renewable Nations Institute, and the Institute for the Integration of Technology in Teaching and Learning proposed an energy education center with more than 3,000 students focusing on global warming.

•Seneca Family of Agencies submitted plans for a charter school, homeless services and a hotel.

•Berkeley nonprofit Star Alliance proposed an academy for teachers and other professionals, television studios and offices.

Read entire article here

PS It’s really selling off all the open spaces available to everyone to private companies. It doesn’t matter if these companies are for profit or non-profit it will still limit open access & has the opportunity to spoil beautiful trees, other nature, spectacular views & historical buildings.

Posted by Teri Perticone

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