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The transformation of San Francisco’s waterfront, and the many exciting opportunities and challenges it presents–was the focus of Leadership California’s July 20th afternoon program. As part of their yearlong California Issues & Trends Program (CIT), women leaders from across California gained insight from San Francisco women who are leading major development projects along the waterfront.

Rebecca Benassini from the Port of San Francisco started the presentation by providing an overview of the catalytic projects stretching from north to south along the City’s seven miles of waterfront. Nadia Sesay of the Office of Community Investment & Infrastructure (OCII) described the innovative public private partnership that OCII is undertaking with Five Point at Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point (The Shipyard). Ivy Greaner of Five Point described the key development components of both The Shipyard and Treasure Island that Five Point is currently implementing. Anne Taupier of the Office of Economic & Workforce Development described the key negotiating principles that have provided the framework for innovative public private partnerships at Mission Rock, Pier 70 and HPS/CP to enhance transit access, create housing affordable to a broad range of local residents and workers and provide new parks, artist studios, maker space for local artisans, and small business and employment programs for local residents along the southern waterfront. Libby Seifel, an alumna of the Leadership California program, moderated the panel and led an interactive discussion on lessons learned and best practices regarding on how to create successful public private partnerships that transform communities while addressing key community goals. OCII staff then led CIT women on a dynamic tour of the new neighborhood that is being created at The Shipyard.

Leadership California is a network of accomplished women who are dedicated to advancing the leadership role that women play in impacting business, social issues and public policy. The CIT Program brings together a diverse group of women from a broad range of sectors, ethnicities, regions and professional backgrounds.


To remain globally competitive, cities around the world are expanding their transit networks and encouraging the development of dense urban neighborhoods. The Bay Area is one of the world’s most robust economies and San Francisco is emerging as a major hub for many rapidly expanding technology and knowledge service companies. In the recent publication Transbay Transit Center: Key Investment in San Francisco’s Future as a World Class City, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority hails the Transbay Transit Center, considered the “Grand Central of the West,” as one of San Francisco’s most important investments to assure long term success in an increasingly global economy. (A copy of Transbay Transit Center is available here.)

A public private partnership, the Transbay project, is transforming downtown San Francisco by creating a landmark multi-modal transit hub and a vibrant, walkable, transit-oriented development neighborhood featuring more than 11 acres of parks, public plazas, retail, and tree-lined streets. The improved transit access, public spaces, and neighborhood amenities provided by the project are projected to add $3.9 billion to the value of private property located within ¾ mile of the Transit Center. Additionally, redevelopment of public properties once occupied by the former Transbay Transit Terminal and abandoned freeway ramps is projected to stimulate over $4 billion in new development, much of which is already underway, including the 1.3 million square foot Transbay Transit Tower and more than 1,200 mixed-income residential units.

Research demonstrates that knowledge-service businesses thrive best in a compact, transit-rich environment. Better transit connectivity will help expand the regional labor market and make it easier for workers to reach jobs. Moreover, the use of transit instead of cars will foster increased physical activity, promote healthier living, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by removing thousands of vehicles from our streets and highways. Regionally, the Bay Area will benefit from the creation of approximately 8,300 construction job years, 27,000 permanent jobs, and up to $87 billion in gross regional product through 2030.

For more on the Transbay Transit Center and its development, click here.

Seifel prepared Transbay Transit Center on behalf of the TJPA to highlight the numerous economic benefits that the Transbay Project will bring to San Francisco and the Bay Area region. In collaboration with The Concord Group, Seifel prepared the economic analysis of value premiums from transit, open space, and neighborhood amenities from the Transbay project.

Above construction photo credit: Patricia Chang


Silicon Valley, the heart of California’s technology hub, is perceived as a desirable place to live and work. However, many of the workers who keep Silicon Valley’s economic engine moving forward are unable to afford homes in the very communities in which they work.

NPH and Urban Habitat recently published Moving Silicon Valley Forward – Housing, Transit and Traffic at a Crossroad, a report that explores the economic, housing, and transportation challenges in Silicon Valley.

Moving Silicon Valley Forward shows that “contrary to popular perception, the average commuter into Silicon Valley is not the highly paid technology worker. More than 45 percent of in-commuters into San Mateo County earn less than $40,000 per year.”

Enduring longer commutes leaves lower-to-middle income workers with little money to cover other essential costs of living. Longer commutes also contribute to congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Moving Silicon Valley Forward outlines crucial next steps to help preserve and develop affordable housing (particularly near transit), improve transit funding and service, and incentivize transit use by workers and residents.

Seifel Consulting, in collaboration with Nelson/Nygaard, provided economic, demographic and transit research for the report (available here).