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News from San Francisco BayCrossings.com

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    Members and Friends, San Francisco BayCrossings.com states, Bay Crossings appears monthly and features articles of interest on San Francisco Bay cultural,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2008
      Members and Friends,
      San Francisco BayCrossings.com states, "Bay Crossings appears monthly and features articles of interest on San Francisco Bay cultural, environmental and maritime issues. We are a privately owned company. Our editorial goal is to advocate a comprehensive regional ferry service specifically and celebrate waterfront life, work and play generally."
      Worth a glance - well written short articles. Just one of the many links on our "Links" page, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PMMC-NLUS/links.
      I am starting to assemble the next edition of our quarterly Captain's Call newsletter. Welcome material - news, events, activities, invitations, etc. - and names and addresses of individuals who you think might like a copy and may be influenced to join the council. Suggestions for luncheon meeting locations in addition to our beloved S. S. JEREMIAH O'BRIEN as well as guest speakers also appreciated.
      Proposed Port Rule Threatens Cruises  
      Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco port officials are protesting a proposed rule by the federal Homeland Security Administration’s Department of Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that threatens San Francisco’s core cruise business: Alaska, Pacific Northwest and Mexico cruises.
      Photo by Joel Williams

      By Paul Duclos

      The port estimates that 39 cruise calls each year are at risk, resulting in the loss of $45 million in direct spending by cruise lines and passengers.

      "At a time when our nation is on the brink of recession, the federal government should be stimulating our economy. This rule would strike a blow to our city’s successful cruise business," said Newsom.  

      Currently, foreign-flagged passenger vessels (or "flags of convenience") that visit more than one U.S. port per itinerary must stop at a port outside the U.S. to be in compliance with the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886. Cruise ships sailing from San Francisco to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest stop in Canada—at Vancouver or Victoria—to comply with the 122-year-old law. Last November, the agency proposed an administrative rule that would require these vessels to stop for at least 48 hours at each foreign port, even though most calls today are for eight hours or less.

      In his letter to the federal government, Newsom wrote, "The cruise industry provides significant employment in San Francisco. Our analysis shows that the proposed rules as drafted would reduce our homeport calls by more than 40 percent and our passengers by more than fifty." An estimated 7,500 longshore job assignments are at risk for the local dock workers, who handle passenger baggage and load the ship’s provisions.


      RFP Issued for Pier 96 Marine Cargo Terminal

      And while the port is actively courting the cruise industry, it has not given up entirely on cargo. Indeed, it recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified respondents for the leasing and operation of a marine cargo terminal at the Port’s Pier 96 Maritime Terminal.

      The site is comprised of approximately eighteen acres of paved land located in the port’s Southern Waterfront on Pier 96, within the port’s 278-acre Piers 80-96 Maritime Industrial Complex. Pier 96 was previously used as a container handling facility.

      The site enjoys some of the best industrial transportation access in San Francisco, with easy access to water, road, and rail transport. The site is adjacent to the port’s bulk cargo terminals at Piers 92-94 and the port’s freight rail facilities, with direct on-dock rail access on two sides.

      The port’s breakbulk facility is located across Islais Creek at Pier 80. The location is close to Interstate 280 and Route 101, as well as to major local truck routes. The port will select a qualified operator that has the demonstrated ability to operate a marine cargo terminal operation on the site, with the goal of negotiating a lease or management agreement for the site.


      Asian Cargo Seeks Alternative Destinations

      San Francisco Bay ferry commuters have long recognized the need for more government investment in infrastructure. But the region’s retail and manufacturing community may be in even more desperate need for bayside improvements.

      Just ask Douglas A. Tilden, CEO of Ports Group America, which is the parent company of Marine Terminals Corporation. In a recent speech at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, he warned that America’s lack of a clear national transportation policy, coupled with land-use and environmental challenges, makes it almost inevitable that some of the projected surge in Asian cargo volume over the next decade will begin flowing through ports in Mexico and Canada rather than the U.S. West Coast. 

      Tilden blamed the problems the United States is facing on several factors:  "Overall, I think we’ve lost the political will to build new port capacity and the rail and highway infrastructure that must go with it.  Local politicians complain they see little of the economic benefits of a port locally, but field all the complaints about the congestion and pollution they generate."

      Second, he said, there simply is no national transportation policy.  "I can sit down with the transportation minister of a country like Mexico and get the big picture about their plans.  I’d have to wade through 20 different agencies in Washington to get the same information."

      Tilden also blamed what he called "environmental Balkanization":  "There are so many conflicting local, state and regional environmental regulations that it is hard for companies to make rational use of their assets.  We want to be good stewards, but we face a welter of different local and regional regulations just on what fuels we can use for operations…propane, liquid natural gas or bio-diesel."

      Ahoy, Tall Ships in Oakland!  
      Two tall ships returned to Jack London Square from March 6th to March 24 bringing unforgettable maritime history experiences to school children and the general public.
      Photo by Robert Esposito

      Brig Lady Washington, a full-scale replica of the first American vessel to explore the Pacific Northwest coast, sailed into Oakland this month for the Tall Ships Tour. She was accompanied by the Hawaiian Chieftain, a replica of a typical European merchant trader at the turn of the 19th Century.

      Lady Washington, the original, sailed from 1750-1798. The replica, launched in March 1989, is certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers, and is as close to the original as historical records and Coast Guard regulations allow.

      She also played the role as the HMS Interceptor in the Disney movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." She has sailed the Pacific Coast from Panama to Alaska, usually sailing the southern coast of the US in winter and the northern coast in the summer.

      Launched in 1988, Hawaiian Chieftain is a 103-foot long topsail ketch (two masts). Her hull shape and rig are similar to those of the European explorer’s ships used in expeditions along the California Coast. The Chieftain has sailed Pacific waters, with its crew conducting education programs on marine science, sail training and history.

      Both, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, were open for dockside tours. Visitors also came aboard for special sailing activities such as the Battle Reenactment Sails featuring cannon fire and close-quarters maneuvers or the hands-on Adventure Sails program. In addition to public activities, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain welcomed hundreds of school children from northern California private and public schools for educational programs. For details on school programs contact Carrie Roberts, 800-200-5239, carrie@....


      The Cannery Building – A Richmond Gem Comes Back to Life 
      The historic Cannery Building at 1200 Harbour Way, located just blocks away from Richmond’s beautiful Marina Bay, is enjoying a new lease on life.
      The 70,000 square foot Cannery Building features an Art Deco façade flanked by two large palm trees.

      The 70,000-square foot property, which features an Art Deco façade flanked by two large palm trees, previously housed the Felice and Perrelli Canning Company. Current tenants include: Fastenal Industrial and Construction Supplies; Ocean Export, Inc., a company that ships American products to China; a clothing distribution company; a dance studio; Maroc Painting, a wood shop, and an artist’s studio among others. All of the current tenants are pleased with their choice to locate in this fast growing, diverse use area in Richmond.

      One of the most respected and successful canneries in the East Bay, the company began operation at the building upon its completion in 1930, during the Great Depression. Hiring 700 employees, mostly women, helped ease the sting of economic hardship for local residents. "You stood at the gate and waited until they took you in," explained a former worker at the Cannery. The former worker also said that as a woman, "you had no other choice" than to work for the factory. The starting wage was $0.20 an hour for men but $0.33 an hour for women, because they were considered better suited for the meticulous assembly line work performed in a cannery operation.

      By the late 50s, the Felice and Perrelli Canning Company was facing competition from frozen foods, as well as many other canning companies. The property was sold to the California Canners and Growers Association, or Cal-Can, in 1958. When Cal-Can filed for bankruptcy in 1983 it was forced to sell the building. The ownership later changed hands to the Richmond Redevelopment Agency in 1995.

      In 2000, the Cannery Building was sold to John Ziegler of STG Asset Management. STG stripped away additions and small buildings on the site and separated the original Cannery from the warehouse section providing access and parking for the now two buildings known as Marina A on Marina Way South and Marina B "The Cannery" on Harbor Way South. Extensive remodeling was done to create areas for flex space and warehousing. Structural repairs including seismic retrofitting were also completed, as well as the installation of new flooring, a fresh paint job, and brand new ADA compliant bathrooms. After further modifications to maximize the leasing capability of the space, the building began its present incarnation as a multi-use facility.

      An additional bonus to any company that occupies this building now or in the future is the fact that it is located in a California Enterprise Zone. The California Enterprise Zone Program strives to create and sustain economic expansion in certain communities by encouraging entrepreneurship and employment growth. The program is designed to encourage business investment and promote the creation of new jobs in designated areas by using special state and local tax incentives. Among the benefits available to businesses within an Enterprise Zone is $31,234 or more in tax credits for each qualified employee hired and sales tax credits on purchases of qualified machinery. According to Jeff Shea of ATS Products, a long-time, Richmond-based business, "ATS has received significant tax benefits because our business is located within Richmond’s Enterprise Zone. It’s the real thing."

      Recently, the Richmond Historical Preservation Committee presented a proposal to the City Council to have the Cannery Building registered and designated as a Historic Building. It was proposed for City Council acceptance based on three points: the architectural Art Deco Style; the historic regional significance of the canning company, a major employer and purchaser of cans, boxes and fruit from other California businesses with a market reach across the USA and beyond; and the wartime contribution, as Kaiser-leased yard space for materials used in building the Victory Ships on the property during World War II. A decision on the building’s status should be forthcoming.

      The Cannery Building has been through many owners’ hands, but until the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency took control, the building was only used to can fruits and vegetables. This building now provides a sense of wonder, but most of all, people hold a deep appreciation for the cannery and its historical background. The history of this beautiful structure has been written about many times. As this latest chapter continues to unfold, it still holds true that it is an absolutely amazing building that’s beginning a whole new life!


      Great Lease Opportunities:

      Some of the features available in the multi-use building are grade-level roll-up doors for dock high or drive-in loading with a 16-foot clear height, floor drains and trenches, skylights, utility sinks, new glass storefronts, and three-phase heavy duty commercial power on separate electric meters. The modern skylights and replaced translucent window coverings along with glass filled roll up doors bring abundant natural light into the suites and remaining large North Wing. Suites can also be combined or customized for the needs of a particular business if necessary. Since the area is zoned for R&D/Business usage, the Cannery Building provides an optimal location for light assembly, light manufacturing, light distributing or food processing companies. Other uses permitted by the code include warehousing, fabrication, construction industries, as well as a distribution facility with a retail storefront. The North Wing is a portion of the building that would be the perfect location for a brewpub with a production facility. This space provides proper floor drainage and loading docks in the back; a restaurant located in the front would service local employees in the rapidly growing area, including those in the 517,000-square foot Ford Point Building next door. Even small businesses looking for office space will find that the easy freeway access, plentiful parking and two-block walk to the waterfront make this an attractive place to set up a business.

      Behind the main Cannery Building is an additional structure called Marina Center A that was constructed and used as a warehouse by the Felice and Perrelli Canning Company. This second building is 80,000 square feet and is currently partially occupied by the Contra Costa County Employment Development Department and Guaranteed Glass. Almost 20,000 square feet of addition space is also available for leasing in this second building. There are also three vacant lots on the property prime for future development that could be custom built for the right tenant.

      For More Information Contact:

      STG Asset Management, Inc.

      Rod Satre (510) 243-1313

      Rich Little (707) 569-9000



      Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency

      Office of Economic Development

      (510) 307-8150

      The remaining large North Wing features abundant natural light.
      Almost 20,000 square feet is currently available in the 80,000 square foot Marina Center A. All photos by Joel Williams.
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