Don't Let The Historic Flower Market Be Destroyed For More Tech Offices

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The San Francisco Flower Mart is a 100-year old historical landmark and national treasure. Called “the best flower mart in the country” by Martha Stewart, thousands of families – farmers, wholesalers, shippers, floral designers, and other merchants – depend on it for their livelihoods.

When Kilroy Realty Corporation purchased the Flower Mart in 2014 and announced it would bulldoze the market to build an office high-rise for tech companies like Uber and Airbnb, Flower Mart tenants compromised – agreeing to a temporary relocation to the Bayview District and, eventually, a reduced and reconfigured market after construction is complete.

Now, years later, Kilroy has unilaterally decided to relocate the Flower Mart to a new site for 4.5 years (at Piers 19, 19 ½, and 23) during construction. Flower Mart tenants voted to reject the new site because logistical challenges make it unworkable. For example, semi-trucks will have to line up to unload at a single entrance crossing the busy public sidewalks of the Embarcadero, polluting the bay and making it impossible for the market to function. Still, Kilroy insists this is the only site available.

We suspect that Kilroy’s true aim all along has been to destroy the Flower Mart in order to replace these older tenants with wealthy tech companies. If they get away with their new relocation scheme, they could very well succeed as tenants go out of business.

But it's not too late. Current laws do not allow Kilroy to build an office high-rise where the Flower Mart stands. The Board of Supervisors must first rezone this industrial site in order to unlock the absurd profits Kilroy will reap.

We are a group of local florists who refuse to let our beloved community get uprooted and thrown aside. We ask all San Franciscans to tell the Board of Supervisors: If Kilroy can’t stick to their promises, don’t change the rules to help them line their pockets! Blue-collar families matter just as much as private real estate developers!

Coalition to Save the Flower Market, Florist Action Committee