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Old Navy heads for the water

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The Old Navy portion of Gap Inc. is moving to Mission Bay, where the value-priced clothing giant’s employees will fill a six-story building owned by Tishman Speyer, which also owns Rockefeller Center.

The move to Mission Bay comes eight years after the neighborhood was designated a redevelopment area, an emerging area in which national developers continue to stake claims. In January, Muni’s new Third Street rail system is scheduled to begin offering limited rides to Mission Bay.

The 283,000-square-foot building at 550 Terry Francois Blvd. will become the workday homes for 1,000 Old Navy employees in the fall, said Sarah Anderson, a spokeswoman for Gap Inc. Anderson did not say in which month the move would take effect. The Gap has a lease on the building until the fall of 2017.

Last August, the clothing firm known for its cargo pants and low prices moved its product-development team from New York City to San Francisco, Anderson said.

"After assessing our space needs, we knew it was time to build out," Anderson said. "Old Navy is creating a new collaborative environment where the whole team can work together."

Old Navy’s scheduled move comes on the heels of announcements of new developments in the neighborhood bound by the Bay to the east and Interstate 280 to the west.

Shorenstein Properties LLC, a national real estate company, aims to create a 450,000-square-foot life science complex on Illinois Street.

Tom Hart, executive vice president for Shorenstein, said the company is transforming the former Esprit site into space for biotechnology firms. He pointed to the presence of UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, one of the largest ongoing biomedical construction projects in the country.

Construction continues on the 43-acre Mission Bay campus, devoted to biotechnology and life science

companies.

"Mission Bay made sense as the place to create a biotech campus since leaders in the science field want to be in the area, partially because of the presence of the University of California," Hart said.

Mission Bay is also home to the headquarters of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, made possible with the passage of Proposition 71 in 2004. The statewide ballot measure provided $3 billion in taxpayer funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions.

mcarroll@examiner.com