San Francisco, CA (April 29, 2021) – Global real estate company Jamestown today announced it will invest in a clean energy transition at Levi’s Plaza to reach net zero carbon operations by 2025. The effort positions the property to be the first existing, large-scale commercial campus in San Francisco to reach net zero carbon.
Over the next four years, Levi’s Plaza will eliminate its on-site use of fossil fuels through energy efficiency retrofits, replacing boilers with electric heat pumps, generating solar electricity on-site, and purchasing 100 percent carbon-free electricity from the grid. The creative campus, which is home to more than two dozen companies and organizations in the technology, education, food and beverage, and creative industries, will also begin self-supplying power with new onsite solar panels, making certain spaces net zero energy.
The initiative is part of Jamestown’s $50 million retrofit of the property that also includes creating shared amenity spaces, including bike and shower facilities and community meeting and event space, significant infrastructure modernization, updates to landscape features to improve the accessibility and usability of greenspace, and new community-serving retail and food and beverage service.
“As San Francisco’s original creative campus, Levi’s Plaza is the perfect place to set the bar for decarbonization,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown. “Levi’s Plaza was designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. We are excited to continue that legacy and partner in efforts to make San Francisco a global leader in addressing climate change.”
“San Francisco has met its emission milestones ahead of schedule thanks to innovative policies and the commitment of businesses and residents,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “To meet our new, more aggressive targets, environmental leadership in the private sector will be essential to transition our City off fossil-fuels like natural gas. Jamestown is demonstrating that building decarbonization is not insurmountable. Rather, with determination, ingenuity, and innovation—all values that make San Francisco great—we can take the next major step towards net-zero emissions and a climate resilient city.”
As part of the clean energy transition at Levi’s Plaza, the HVAC central plant equipment at each building, currently powered by natural gas, will be replaced with all-electric systems. Additionally, a rooftop photovoltaic system will be installed to eliminate reliance on the grid and a new dewatering system will be installed to protect against water intrusion.
Located along San Francisco’s Embarcadero in the city’s northern waterfront market, Levi’s Plaza was built in 1981 as the corporate headquarters for iconic clothing brand Levi Strauss & Company. Jamestown acquired the nine-building, 930,000-square-foot campus in 2019 and has since embarked on efforts to preserve the character and significance of the property’s open space, which was designed by renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, while also enhancing the site with new amenities and efficiencies for the modern workforce.
The campus houses a diverse mix of tenants, including Levi Strauss, Hult International Business School, BCCI, McCarthy, New Deal Design, Pereira O’Dell, the Public Library of Science, Novogradac, and Huckleberry Bicycles.
“We couldn't be more pleased that Jamestown has targeted a net-zero carbon footprint for the Levi's Plaza campus,” said Michael Scribner, President and CEO of BCCI Construction, which is a leading commercial builder on the West Coast. “As a tenant and as a contractor, it is gratifying to have our headquarters located at a property that shares our commitment to sustainability and is taking significant steps towards a more sustainable future.”
In 2020, Jamestown set a goal for portfolio-wide net zero carbon operations by 2050. Levi’s Plaza will be Jamestown’s first carbon neutral asset across its global portfolio, which includes a wide range of properties in the U.S., South America, and Europe.
The plans to make Levi’s Plaza net zero come a week after the City of San Francisco announced accelerated environmental and climate change commitments, including a goal of further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming a carbon neutral city by 2045—five years ahead of the original schedule.
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Jamestown is a community-focused real estate investment and management company with a 37-year track record and a clear mission: to transform spaces into innovation hubs and community centers. Jamestown employs more than 400 people worldwide with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and Cologne, Germany, and offices in Amsterdam, Bogotá, Boston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York, and San Francisco. The company is well-known in the industry for its market discipline. Since its founding in 1983, Jamestown has executed transactions in excess of $35 billion, and as of December 31, 2020, the company has assets under management of $12.1 billion. Current and previous iconic projects include Chelsea Market in New York City, Industry City in Brooklyn, Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, and the Innovation and Design Building in Boston. In addition to its portfolio in key markets throughout the U.S., Jamestown has recently expanded its investment footprint to South America and Europe.