SF State Works on Proposal to Lease Portion of City College’s Downtown Center

By Natalia Bogdanov 

Staff Writer

San Francisco State University (SFSU) is proposing to relocate its current Downtown Campus in the Westfield Center on Market Street to City College’s Downtown Campus at Fourth and Mission Street which SFSU officials say will assist in City College students’ educational advancement.

City College Downtown Campus at the intersection of 4th Street and Mission Street still closed as of May 14, 2020 due to statewide shelter-in-place orders. Photo by Claudia Drdul/ The Guardsman

The initial proposal by SFSU was sent on December 10 via email from SFSU’s Vice President of University Enterprises, Jason Porth. The discussion of this item was brought up again at a special City College Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 5. However, this issue was discussed in the closed session of the meeting. A City College spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on whether the plan would be delayed due to the COVID-19 Crisis. 

Executive Director of Real Estate Development at SFSU, Hamid Ghaemmaghami said, “I believe it will benefit CCSF to have a solid academic partner as a tenant, as SF State and CCSF can work together to create a seamless and positive partnership to enhance the education of students. The partnership will result in the development of a direct path toward a four-year degree for transfer students.” 

The rent commencement date from the initial proposal is July 1, 2021, however, this date may have changed from the proposal after the Board of Trustees meeting, but that information is not yet known. Although Ghaemmaghami said a week before the meeting that “SF State is evaluating its programmatic needs and its anticipated enrollment in light of the current public health crisis to assess what the partnership could look like.”

For SFSU, no major changes in the quality of their education will be occurring. Although this coordination would give SFSU a chance to build its partnership with CCSF. “The CCSF downtown campus offers an excellent location and flexibility to continue our programs. We believe that being in the same location as CCSF will lead to many positive educational outcomes for students,” said Ghaemmaghami. 

The initial proposal was sent to City College’s Sr. Vice Chancellor James Sohn and Chief of Staff Leslie Milloy. The email proposed terms including premises, timelines, tenant improvements, signage, additional costs, custodial and public safety support, right of first refusal, and approvals. However, the amount of rent that SFSU would pay was not yet specified.

SFSU is seeking to lease four to four and a half floors of City College’s Downtown Campus. Each floor consists of about 8,000 gross square feet. Therefore the total leasehold would be about 32,000 to 36,000 gross square feet. However, in the email Porth assured that “these initial terms are intended to foster a collaborative planning process aimed at fulfilling the shared interests of two public agencies.”

The Guardsman