The romantic ruins of piers along San Francisco's Bay shore can be a bit misleading. There's a common misconception that the port area is full of crumbling buildings (and squatters, and needles, and porn, and ...) when in actuality there is only a 1% vacancy rate this year. That's down from 10-12% in 2003— impressive for 20 million square feet of space). Typically, it's young companies and creative agencies who have been occupying the port buildings, but now larger organizations are now taking interest; the Pilara Family Foundation has recently grabbed 24,000 sq ft at Pier 24, and The Exploratorium is heading for Pier 15 for some of the very same reasons as the startups — a beautiful waterside location offering large, and very versatile spaces.
· S.F. port's properties have an enviable vacancy rate [SF Business Times]
· Exploratorium 2011: Embarcadero or Bust [Curbed SF]
· Embarcadero's Pier 36 to Be Greened By Prop. A [Curbed SF]
[Photo gallery of Pier 36, a more illustrious member of the San Francisco Pier family, courtesy whatimseeing]