San Francisco Warehouse Expansion
We plan to enlarge our warehouse by approximately 28,000 square feet by eliminating our north parking lot and expanding our warehouse into that space. We anticipate moving the displaced parking to an ancillary parking lot close by.
We plan to add two loading docks on the north end of the building, which will enable us to use the south docks primarily for outbound food and focus inbound food on the new north docks. By maximizing the efficiency with which food flows through the warehouse, we will increase capacity and be able to serve more of those in need – moving more food, more quickly into our community.
As the cost of living here keeps going up, more and more people in San Francisco and Marin Counties are finding themselves unable to afford food. Our SF warehouse, which we have occupied since 1997, was designed to support the distribution of 30 million pounds of food per year. We are now handling almost 48 million pounds annually, and need to expand to meet all of the need for food in our community.
For the last decade, we have been carefully planning our organization’s expansion. Our goal is to increase capacity by up to 75 million lbs. by 2040. Today we provide food for over 140,000 people who need it every week. With the expansion of our warehouse in San Francisco and upgrades to our new facility in Marin, we anticipate providing food to more than 200,000 people per week.
We hope to break ground mid-2020 and to complete construction mid-2021.
We do not distribute food directly to participants from our warehouse; participants obtain food through our pantry network and agency partners at partner sites. However, at our warehouse, we will be able to accommodate more volunteers and additional inbound and outbound deliveries.
Today, we do both receiving and shipping out of the south side of our building. Our expansion plans will move receiving to the north side of the building, which will reduce truck traffic on the south side. The new receiving docks will be directly on Pennsylvania Avenue. We will fully study traffic and circulation as part of the environmental review process, and we expect to use flaggers to guide trucks into the delivery bays when needed in order to manage traffic.
Currently, our San Francisco warehouse receives approximately 4-6 truckloads of food per day. Our staff and volunteers then repackage food for distribution to approximately 50-60 locations daily, resulting in about 10-12 outbound trips each day.
With the expansion, inbound trucks will increase over time to 6-9 trucks daily. The number of outbound trips will increase over time to 15-18 per day.
Once the expansion is completed, Food Bank receiving will be moved to the northeast corner of our facility. This will reduce the amount of truck activity on the south side, which is the residential side of our facility.
The profile of the expansion is the same height as the existing building and respects the 40-foot height zoning. The expansion will be done on the northside, next to the existing commercial property.
Today, we operate nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish our mission. Our building generally opens each day at 2 a.m. and shuts down around midnight. We anticipate operating the same hours, although the timing of some functions may shift.
Deliveries are made to the Food Bank between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. We schedule all of our receipts to prevent multiple deliveries hitting the docks at the same time. The unload time varies dependent on the load, but it is generally no longer than one hour.
The Food Bank’s board of directors approved the conceptual expansion at the end of 2018. In the first quarter of 2019, we are doing outreach to our immediate neighbors and key stakeholders and expect to file our initial application with the Planning Department in early spring. Shortly thereafter, we will hold a public meeting to discuss our plans with the wider community and then the city will begin its review of the project. If all goes well, we hope to be able to secure city approvals by the end of 2019. Construction would then begin in 2020 and be completed in 2021.
The Food Bank will submit applications to the City and County of San Francisco. After the initial review, the Planning Department will determine which issues (traffic, noise, etc.) should be studied before considering project approval. Once this study is complete, the results will be shared with the community. We expect this process to take between six and nine months.
We will be fully compliant with the San Francisco Green Building code, including reducing energy and water, diverting waste from landfill, encouraging alternative modes of transportation, and supporting the health and comfort of building occupants. We also anticipate expanding our current solar field to support the expanded building.
Notably, a key part of our operating model is to prevent millions of pounds of waste from going into landfill by diverting usable food from the waste stream and redirecting it to our neighbors in need. Our expansion will allow us to further those capabilities.
If you are interested in making a significant financial contribution to support our expansion, please contact Vice President of Development Judith Frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-282-1907, x309.
Visit www.sfmfoodbank.org/sf-warehouse-expansion, where you can subscribe for email updates, add your name as a project supporter, sign up to tour our warehouse, or schedule a meeting.
You can also send an email to us at email@example.com. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions!