Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Headquarters Move by California Stem Cell Agency 'Disappointing' to San Francisco

The San Francisco Chronicle today picked up the story about how “a simple state agency” is moving its $3 billion operation east from San Francisco across the Bay to Oakland.

The newspaper carried the article by Victoria Colliver on its front page, one of the few times that news about the state stem cell agency has made such a splash in its hometown paper during the last 10 years. The story followed yesterday's piece on the California Stem Cell Report, which carried the first published details about the move.

Most of what the Chronicle reported was familiar to our readers but Colliver also had this from Kevin McCormack, senior director for communications for the agency.
“The lease is up now, and this is now one of the hardest real estate markets in the country. We’re a simple state agency, and we don’t have that kind of money. ... San Francisco is just unaffordable to us.”
McCormack said it would have cost the agency $1.5 million to pay for the equivalent space (20,000 square feet) that it now has in San Francisco. Instead, it found a home in Oakland with 17,000 square feet for $697,560 a year.  The agency has about 55 employees.

Colliver’s story began by saying that the stem cell agency is “the latest victim of San Francisco’s ski-high rents.”

The Chronicle quoted Todd Rufo, head of economic development for San Francisco, as saying, “…(W)e’re disappointed to see them go….”

No coverage has yet surfaced in Oakland area media outlets, according to a Google search this morning.

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