Magnolia Brewing - Dogpatch, 2505 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA, USA

Date and Time

Thursday, August 15 2019 - 6 PM

Event Details

San Francisco is experiencing a major transformation along its central waterfront. What has been an inaccessible, largely vacant industrial site, is being transformed into a neighborhood that honors its industrial history and sparks creativity. Pier 70 is a 69-acre historic industrial district along San Francisco’s waterfront. It encompasses public open space, mixed-use development, a maritime ship repair facility and rehabilitation of significant historic resources.

SPIRE members and guests had a fabulous time learning about and exploring this fascinating and massive redevelopment project that included a presentation, tour and reception at Magnolia Brewing Co in Dogpatch.

Our event began at Magnolia where our three speakers introduced themselves and the role they and their companies are playing in the transformation of this immense historic waterfront area.

Drawing inspiration from the site’s rich industrial history and the creative energy of the neighborhood, Laura Crescimano, founder of SITELAB and lead urban designer for Pier 70, created a vision for this project and developed a new approach to design standards. Laura shared this vision with us and how the process – from deep engagement to temporary events – helped create a sense of place and community far before this once inaccessible industrial waterfront had its first building built.

Kelly Pretzer, Senior Development Director at Brookfield Properties, has worked exclusively on the Pier 70 development for the past six years, managing all aspects of entitlement and implementation. Kelly spoke with us about this process and the successful Pier 70 ballot measure that garnered an unprecedented 73% approval. She told us about some interesting infrastructure and construction details that are unique to the site and the partnership with the Port of San Francisco. We were also interested to learn that the Port of San Francisco purchased the land for just $1.00!

James Madsen ('07) is a Partner at Orton Development, which was awarded the opportunity to develop the 20th Street Historic Buildings in partnership with the Port of San Francisco. Part of the 69-acre Pier 70 Master Plan, Historic Pier 70 is comprised of eight historic office and industrial buildings along 20th Street east of Illinois Street, totaling 300,000 square feet on five acres. James talked about the historic aspect of these buildings, and discussed some of the challenges with historic rehabilitation. He shared some of the unique aspects of the deal, such as the long-term ground lease and the public-private partnership with the Port of San Francisco.

Together, Laura, Kelly and James shared their creative and strategic process, vision, and plans for this immense redevelopment, and how they embraced the complex physical, political, environmental, historic and cultural aspects of this unique site and the adjoining Dogpatch district. After introductions and short presentations at Magnolia, Kelly, James and Laura took us on a tour of the area.

Our tour took us by the historic Irish hill, a building currently leased by JUUL and the new Restoration Hardware building that will house a retail showroom, restaurant and rooftop terrace. We walked into the building that is shared by Gusto and Uber, which maintained much of its historic industrial details, and caught a glimpse of Uber's new flying car. As we walked deeper into the site, we saw some buildings that would eventually house apartments, offices and maker spaces. We were also shown where green spaces would be sprouting up and where some of the city streets would be extended through the area. Kelly shared how one of the buildings would be lifted 10 feet to account for the expected sea rise and some of the other ways they were anticipating this natural event.

We began and ended our event at Magnolia Brewing Co., a local favorite that gave everyone a real feel for the neighborhood. We were teated to a selection of tasty locally brewed craft beer and inspired pub cuisine.


Laura Crescimano, Founder, SITELAB

Laura’s projects range from the Kendall Square Public Realm Plan for Cambridge, MA to Pier 70, a 35-acre acre mixed-use development on San Francisco’s waterfront. Laura’s work investigates the social and political power of space. Her projects range from Pier 70, where she is leading a multidisciplinary design team through the design and entitlement of a thirty-five acre mixed-use development in a historic industrial district of San Francisco to a 300-pixel infographic for the Silicon Valley homeless services non-profit Destination Home. Prior to forming SITELAB, Laura was an Associate at Gensler, an international architecture firm where she worked on projects for UCSF, Kaiser Permanente, Hewlett-Packard, Sonoma County, and the US General Services Administration. She has written and lectured on placemaking, art in cities, temporary urbanism, and the urban impacts of the way we work. She teaches on Design and Activism at UC Berkeley.

Laura earned her Masters of Architecture from Harvard. Laura serves on the board of The Greenhouse Project and, from 2010-2012, on the Board of Directors for AIA San Francisco.

James Madsen ('07), Partner, Orton Development

James Madsen ('07) joined Orton Development in 2007, and has since redeveloped over a million square feet, including office, industrial, and flex space, with a focus on adaptive reuse and historic rehabilitation. James is the managing partner of ODI’s San Francisco office, and is responsible for new acquisitions and overseeing ongoing redevelopment efforts in multiple states.

Kelly Pretzer, Senior Development Director, Brookfield Properties

Kelly Pretzer is a Senior Development Director at Brookfield Properties. Over the past six years, she has worked exclusively on the Pier 70 development, managing all aspects of entitlement and implementation. Key areas of responsibility include managing the successful Pier 70 ballot measure (garnering 73% approval – an unprecedented margin) and certifying the Pier 70 Environmental Impact Report (in less than 24 months – one of the quickest CEQA processes for a project of this size in San Francisco). Kelly also managed the drafting and approval of all Pier 70 planning documents, including the Design for Development, Transportation Plan, and Sustainability Plan.

Subsequent to the successful entitlement of the Pier 70 project, Kelly has divided her time between horizontal and vertical implementation of the project. On the vertical side, she is currently responsible for the development of two residential buildings – one adaptive reuse and one new construction. Alongside the broader horizontal team, Kelly continues to lead drafting of several key implementation agreements (VCA, Master CC&Rs) as well as facilitate design review and parcel disposition position for all vertical development parcels.

Prior to joining Brookfield Properties, Kelly served as Project Manager at the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, working on public-private partnerships, including the Treasure Island and Hunters Point Shipyard projects. She also spent a period of time as the Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs under Mayor Edwin M. Lee, managing all state and federal legislation on behalf of the City of San Francisco.