Gensler to Relocate to SF’s Financial District

Global architecture firm sheds 10K sf, signs lease in historic Mills Building

From left: Gensler’s Randy Howder and Hao Ko with the Mills Building
From left: Gensler’s Randy Howder and Hao Ko with the Mills Building (Gensler, The Mills Building, Getty)

San Francisco-based Gensler, the world’s biggest architecture firm, will downsize its offices by moving into a 130-year-old building in Downtown.

The firm has signed a long-term lease at the historic Mills Building at 220 Montgomery Street in the Financial District, the San Francisco Business Times reported. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

The move from a 55,000-square-foot office at 45 Fremont to a 45,000-square-foot office on the second floor will “help meet its 2030 carbon zero goal and support its future of work strategy,” according to the company.

Gensler said its new office will be renovated to run on all-electric utilities, allowing the firm to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 20 percent.

While currently in a three-floor office, Gensler said the move to a single floor better aligns with the firm’s workplace plans, which are focused on creating an “engaging and effective destination” for employees, clients and members of the community.

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Gensler’s move to the historic building reinforces its commitment to the city where it began in 1965, said Hao Ko, co-managing director of Gensler’s San Francisco office.

“The future of workplaces are environments that support strong team connections,” said Randy Howder, who co-manages the office with Ko. “Our designers and architects are working across disciplines and industries to create compelling places where people aspire to be.

“Our new office will be an exciting nexus of San Francisco’s creative community.”

The 10-story Mills Building, owned by The Swig Company since 1954, was among the city’s first steel-frame buildings and is a survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, according to its website. The city landmark, designed by Burnham and Root, is the last remaining example on the West Coast of the early Twentieth-Century Chicago School of architecture.

— Dana Bartholomew

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