FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently asked questions
What is the San Francisco Flower Market? What is SFFM?
The San Francisco Flower Market (SFFM) is one of only five grower-owned wholesale flower markets in the United States. The Flower Market has been a one-stop floral source for San Francisco and the Bay Area since 1912. Over 45 individual flower vendors, mostly small, Bay Area-owned and family-owned businesses, provide cut flowers, floral supplies, green plants and other products to a wide range of customers, including florists, designers, event planners, caterers, gift shops, and (after 9am) the general public. As the master tenant, SFFM will run the day-to-day operations of the site, which is being managed through 901 16th St Manager, LLC (an affiliate of Kilroy Realty Corporation).
Why is the Flower Market proposing to come to the former Corovan site in Potrero Hill?
Originally, the plan was for the Flower Market to return to a new facility at its current site on 6th and Brannan Streets as a part of a major redevelopment of the site under the recently approved Central SoMa Plan. As the changes proposed by the Central SoMa Plan became clear, the flower vendors came to believe strongly that the evolving neighborhood would not continue to meet their needs. The flower vendors preferred to be located in a neighborhood with a history of welcoming blue-collar businesses. The underutilized Corovan site at 901 16th Street was identified by the flower vendors as a potential location, consistent with its current and previous uses.
What is happening at the current location of the Flower Market at 6th & Brannan Streets?
Consistent with the Central SoMa Plan, the current site of the Flower Market at 6th & Brannan Streets has been approved by the City for the development of a mixed-use office and retail project by KR Flower Mart, LLC (an affiliate of Kilroy Realty Corporation). The development will begin construction soon after a new home is built for the Flower Market. The development at 6th & Brannan Streets is known as the “Flower Mart Project,” while the development proposed for 901 16th Street is known as the “San Francisco Flower Market” or the “Flower Market.”
What community benefits will the Project provide?
The Flower Mart Project and the Flower Market at 901 16th Street will provide an unprecedented level of community benefits to San Francisco, including:
- Preserving the historic San Francisco Flower Market, as a unique place for customers, flower vendors, and all San Franciscans
- Preserving 350+ blue-collar jobs at the Flower Market
- Offering neighborhood youth job training in the diverse floral industry
- Reactivating an underutilized block on 16th & 17th Streets with Bay Area-owned and family-owned businesses
- $225M in City fees, including $107M for affordable housing, $53M for transportation, and $47M for infrastructure (including public open space)
- Dedicating a 14,000-SF site in San Francisco to the City for construction of up to 100 units of affordable housing
- $5M donation to the Sunnydale Community Center Project
- $4M in public art
- Constructing of a 22,000-SF childcare center
What happened to the proposal to build new housing at the former Corovan site?
At the end of 2019, after an extensive effort to develop a medical complex followed by a six-story, mixed-use residential project, the former owner of the site decided not to develop the property and instead put it up for sale. Considering the size, location, and current use of the property, the flower vendors felt that the site offered the prospect of a new facility that would ensure their success well into the future. The site was purchased with this vision in mind.
Will the Flower Market be open to the public for retail? When will activity start and end?
Yes, the SFFM will be open to the public for retail sales. The Flower Market will most likely operate like it does today, with wholesale hours in the early morning until 9 am. Retail sales are conducted from 9 am to 3 pm. Current wholesale hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00 am to 9:00 am and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 5:00 am to 9:00 am. The flower vendors are very excited about joining the Potrero Hill neighborhood and are interested in serving the needs of the neighbors, so the retail hours may be adjusted at 901 16th Street depending on further conversations with the neighborhood.
Will the project maintain the historic brick building on the site? Will it increase the height of buildings on the site?
The project plans to make the historic building a key element on the 17th Street façade. Very little of the façade of the existing buildings will change. Most improvements will occur on the interior of the building to accommodate the specific needs of the tenants. The height of the buildings will not increase.
How often will there be large trucks loading and unloading at the Flower Market?
There will be 3-5 large trucks per day unloading at the loading dock, generally Monday through Wednesday between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. There will be seasonal variations in both the timing of deliveries and the number of trucks.
How does the number of trucks at the Flower Market compare to the truck traffic at the existing Corovan site?
Based on preliminary vehicle trip generation estimates, the Flower Market will have far fewer truck deliveries (both medium-sized box trucks and large semi-trucks) during both the AM and PM peak periods (7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm) compared to the existing conditions at the Corovan site.
How does the number of vehicles at the Flower Market compare to the traffic that would have been created by the abandoned housing proposal?
Based on preliminary vehicle trip generation estimates, the Flower Market will have significantly fewer cars arriving during both the AM and PM peak periods (7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm) compared to the abandoned housing proposal at the Corovan site.
How many vehicles will come to the Flower Market on a daily basis?
Based on the Transportation Impact Study that was completed for the Flower Mart Project, the Flower Market will see about a total of about 600 cars and vans, 18 box trucks, and 4 semi-trucks per day. However, only about 100 cars and vans, about 1 box truck, and about 1 semi-truck will arrive during the AM peak period (7am to 9am) and there is no Flower Market traffic during the PM peak period (4pm to 6pm). At the existing Corovan site, there is a total of about 50 cars and vans, and 30 box trucks and semi-trucks per day. However, there is much more peak hour activity, with 6 box trucks and semi-trucks arriving during the AM peak period and 4 box trucks and semi-trucks arriving during the PM peak period. The abandoned housing proposal at the Corovan site would have generated more than 2,000 cars per day, including about 265 cars during the PM peak period (the AM peak period was not studied).
Will this project go through CEQA?
Yes. There will be a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) analysis and the project will need to be approved by the Planning Commission.
What is the construction timing?
Construction is expected to begin in 2020, with completion anticipated in late 2021.