Mayor Lee & Supervisor Cohen Celebrate Completion of First Phase of Wholesale Produce Market Expansion

Completion of 82,000 Square Foot Facility is First Phase of Multi Phase $100 Million Development; First Tenant Mollie Stone’s Markets Signs 25,000 Square Foot Lease; Mayor Lee Announces Five-Point Plan to Preserve & Grow Local Manufacturing & Distribution Businesses

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen today celebrated the completion of a new 82,000 square foot distribution facility at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market in the industrial district of Bayview Hunters Point. Mollie Stone’s Markets today also announced signing a 25,000 square foot lease in the new Wholesale Produce Market facility to use as the central distribution center for all nine Mollie Stone’s stores in the region.

On the heels of the opening of the new Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR) space, Mayor Lee announced a five-point plan to grow and preserve PDR businesses, ensuring that PDR businesses will have the room to grow in San Francisco and continue to create good manufacturing jobs and produce and distribute locally made products and goods.

“The completion of this cutting-edge facility is the first phase of the Wholesale Produce Market’s $100 million investment and expansion plan, providing a modern and efficient home from which to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to restaurants and local grocers in our City for decades to come,” said Mayor Lee. “We invested in this expansion to ensure that our local businesses could stay and grow here in San Francisco, and Mollie Stone’s Market lease announcement shows that our plan worked. That’s why we are expanding our focus to support all PDR businesses and their space needs as they look to grow here in San Francisco with my new five-point plan to ensure that manufacturing and distribution jobs stay here in our City.”

“The opening of this new facility is an unprecedented opportunity for the southeastern neighborhoods,” said Supervisor Cohen. “While other industries might be feeling the pressures of development, we have seen this industry continue to thrive and provide hundreds of blue collar jobs for local residents, many of whom reside in District 10. I am proud to be a champion for this industry and look forward to many more years of work together.”

Located at 901 Rankin Street, the new warehouse adds 82,000 square feet of space to the Market’s current portfolio of approximately 300,000 square feet. Now under a new long-term lease since January 2013 for the City-owned land on which it is located, the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market provides fresh produce to local and regional grocers, specialty and upscale retailers, restaurants, hotels, caterers and convention facilities. The Market currently houses 30 produce wholesalers and distributors in 10 buildings over an 18-acre site. It employs 650 full time employees has a gross annual revenue of $500 million.

Under Mayor Lee’s leadership, the City entered into a long-term, 60-year master lease agreement and expansion plan with the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market in July 2012. The new lease envisions a $100 million expansion and renovation project, estimated to take 20 years to complete. The new warehouse at 901 Rankin Street represents the first phase of this expansion plan. The subsequent phases will improve the streets and roadways surrounding the Market, and eventually replace the Market’s existing sheds with modern warehouse structures. At full build-out, estimated in 2033, the Market will occupy up to 500,000 square feet, provide almost 1,000 well-paying jobs, and represent over $1 billion in direct, indirect, and induced regional economic impacts.

“For more than 125 years, we’ve been a vibrant part of the City’s world-renowned culinary history,” said Market Corporation Board President Larry Brucia. “San Francisco restaurants, hotels and grocers large and small have relied on the Produce Market for fresh fruits and vegetables, some provided by merchants with a century-long history of their own. Today – with the opening of this building and the four new warehouses planned for the coming years – our role in the industry and in the community are assured for at least another half century.”

“In this state-of-the-art facility, we’ll expand our capabilities to process, produce, and distribute the quality foods that help make the Bay Area such a desirable place to live,” said Mollie Stone’s Markets Chief Operating Officer Steve Stamos. “The Wholesale Produce Market and this new facility are an important piece of our infrastructure. They provide the platform that Mollie Stone’s will depend on for our future and for our company’s expansion, and San Francisco is our priority for growth.”

Revolution Foods also announced signing a 15,000 square foot lease in one of the Wholesale Produce Market’s existing sheds. This space supports Revolution Foods’ partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Since January 2013, the company has provided all meal service to SFUSD elementary schools, as well as some meal service to middle and high schools in the district. Revolution Foods also uses their facility in the Wholesale Produce Market to distribute goods to other school districts around the Bay Area.

Building on the success of opening this new PDR space, Mayor Lee today announced a five-point plan to add PDR space in the City and support the growth of PDR jobs and businesses:

  1. Build New PDR Space on Private Sites. Encourage the development of new industrial space on underutilized private sites, incentivized by newly passed legislation that allows the owners of vacant and underutilized space to develop new industrial space.
  2. Build New PDR Space on Public Sites. Following on projects like the Produce Market and the planned Pier 70 development, the City will explore opportunities for the creation of industrial space on additional public sites.
  3. Upgrade Existing PDR Space. Encourage job-dense industrial uses in manufacturing and distribution over less intensive uses such as storage.
  4. Preserve Existing Industrial Space. In addition to building new, modern and more efficient industrial space, it is important to support the success of existing PDR space in core industrial areas. The City will strengthen outreach to owners of industrial buildings and connect them to PDR tenants.
  5. Retain and Grow PDR Businesses. Support the growth and success of San Francisco PDR business by continuing to provide a single-point of contact at the City for PDR businesses, funding technical assistance for PDR firms, and connecting PDR businesses to workforce and loan programs. The Mayor will announce new initiatives to drive business to local PDR firms and focus on key PDR industries including the Food and Beverage sector.