Mayor Lee to Visit SF’s Pier 38 Today; Here’s the Full Safety Inspection Report

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is expected to visit Pier 38 today at noon to meet with tenants at the bustling but endangered tech hub. Immediately after the mayor’s tour, tenants and city officials will proceed to the Port’s offices on Pier 1 to discuss the impending shutdown of the pier. The city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development stepped in to organize the meeting after Pier 38 tenants staged a protest rally at City Hall earlier this week.

It’s unclear whether there’s any prospect of a change in the Port’s plan to eject all tenants from the bayside facility by September 30. Port officials notified Pier 38 tenants earlier this month that they’d have to clear out, after engineering inspections in August uncovered numerous safety problems at the pier. The inspection report, obtained from the Port’s website, is embedded in full below.

I spoke yesterday with Gus Weber, a Polaris Venture Partners entrepreneur-in-residence who oversees Polaris’s Dogpatch Labs incubator at Pier 38. Weber said he’s busy scouting new locations for Dogpatch and that he isn’t counting on today’s meeting to lead to a stay of execution for the startup community at the pier. More likely, Weber said, Port officials will simply reiterate their inspection findings.

An official e-mail inviting tenants to the meeting said the goal is to “discuss the conditions of Pier 38, answer businesses’ questions and discuss how the City can assist with finding alternate locations.”

Dogpatch companies—who represent only a minority of the dozens of tech startups working from the pier—are likely to be homeless for at least a month while Polaris locates new space, Weber said. And even if Pier 38 were to reopen for business after the required repairs, it’s unlikely Dogpatch would move back, Weber said.

There’s a petition to save the pier online here at, with 318 signatures so far.

Here’s the inspection report filed by Creegan & D’Angelo, the engineering firm hired by the Port of San Francisco to inspect the pier.
C D Pier 38 Condition Survey With Recommended Actions Final Report

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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3 responses to “Mayor Lee to Visit SF’s Pier 38 Today; Here’s the Full Safety Inspection Report”

  1. Storage says:

    Thanks for posting the documents! When I first read about these poor startups being kicked out on the street I felt sorry for them and thought that there must be some evil plan or dimwitted person in charge. After viewing the photos, it might have just saved dozens of lives from that dilapidated fire hazard.

    They might move out just in time for that trap to collapse into the bay the next time San Andreas calls and says “hello”.

  2. Humuhumu says:

    @ Storage – I don’t think any of the tenants have disputed that there are serious problems that need addressing, and that we would have to vacate the premises while action is taken… our frustration is that there was zero discussion with us about these issues, and how we could participate in remedies and return to the pier after they’ve been corrected.

  3. Dave says:

    It was great to see the report, and it really wasn’t as bad as I expected. It definitely didn’t warrant 24 days notice without giving the tenants an opportunity to address the problems. Except for the structural stuff in the warehouse, the other items are (relatively) simple and cheap to fix. A strong earthquake would only (likely) affect cars and boats.

    IMO, this raises a lot of red flags and alludes to some unknown agenda – probably America’s Cup related. I guess we’ll see when someone moves in.