Built in 1958, the Hall of Justice, located at 850 Bryant Street, has been plagued with safety problems – including sewage leaks and rodent infestations – and doesn’t meet seismic standards, prompting the City to identify alternative space for the criminal justice activities housed there. Last fall, the City and County of San Francisco signed a lease at 350 Rhode Island Street, owned by Lexington Lion San Francisco LP, securing room for the District Attorney’s Office and San Francisco Police Department. According to John Gavin, chief policy advisor for the City’s Real Estate Division, the lease is part of a phased relocation of Hall of Justice occupants that’ll be completed by the end of 2019.
“The lease term is for 15 years, from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2033, with one five‐year option to renew, for a total 20-year term through 2038,” stated a Budget and Finance Analyst report discussing the first relocation phase. “The District Attorney’s Office and Police Investigations Unit would occupy 350 Rhode Island Street in phases, as the leases with existing tenants at that location expire. The initial base rent is $51 per square foot per year; first year base rent is $4,319,445 for approximately 84,695 square feet.”
The DA will take up roughly 84,695 square feet of space and will move in during the relocation’s first phase. In the next phase, SFPD will occupy 40,427 square feet; together inhabiting part of the first floor, all the second, third and fourth floors, with a total of 125,122 square feet.
Gavin said that the City is currently modifying the space, with the initial project phase expected to be completed by early next year. Swinerton Buildings is the general contractor handling improvements for the District Attorney’s Office; a contractor hasn’t yet been selected for the areas to be occupied by the Police Department. Revel Architecture & Design is devising the improvements.
“The proposed lease will allow the District Attorney’s Office and San Francisco Police Department to continue to be within close proximity to other services associated with the Hall of Justice,” stated a San Francisco Planning Department document. “The physical proximity to these government activities is important to the efficient functioning of daily activities of related agencies. The proposed lease will allow these important government services to function during the Hall of Justice’s proposed re-accomodation period.”
The Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner, which had been located at the Hall of Justice, moved into a new facility at 1 Newhall Street last year. The Adult Probation Department will relocate to 945 Bryant Street next year; Police Property Control will lease space at 777 Brannan Street. The Hall of Justice also houses a County jail; however there have been no announcements about when or where the inmates will be moved.
Sheriff Vicki Hennessy told the Board of Supervisors last year that though plans have been made to move municipal staff out of the Hall of Justice, the County Jail’s future hasn’t been addressed. The sheriff is working with the City’s Capital Planning team to develop housing for Hall of Justice inmates at County Jail Number Six in San Bruno and to improve a County Jail facility at 425 Seventh Street.
“In advocating for the renovation of County Jail #6, I am advocating for these prisoners to live in a modern, well-functioning facility that affords them safe housing and access to educational, vocational and treatment programs that maximize their potential for life in the community after incarceration,” stated Hennessey.