The Mills Building, San Francisco
San Francisco Mills Building exterior.
December 08, 2022

Gensler Signs Office Lease at the Historic Mills Building to Realize Its Future Workplace Strategy and Prepare for a Carbon Zero Future

Global design firm plans to move to an all-electric workspace in downtown San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO — Gensler, the world’s leading architecture, design, and planning firm, announced that it has signed a new long-term office lease in San Francisco with The Swig Company at The Mills Building to help meet its 2030 carbon zero goal and support its future of work strategy.

“San Francisco has been our home for 57 years,” said Hao Ko, Co-Managing Director of Gensler’s San Francisco office. “It’s the founding office of Gensler and an important hub office in the firm. This new lease reflects our deep commitment to the City of San Francisco and the business community here.”

The 45,500-square-foot, second floor space at 220 Montgomery Street will be renovated to run on all-electric utilities, thereby allowing the firm to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 20% immediately, and creating an opportunity to work towards a carbon-zero future.

“We recognize the design of built environments plays an outsized role in the health of our planet, so we want to make sure our own home leads by example and puts our words into action,” said Ko.

The Mills Building offered an attractive destination for its location, amenities, and health and wellness features. While the building is both LEED Platinum and WELL Heath-Safety rated, Gensler’s future office will additionally have 10-foot operable windows as well as an 18' x 65' View skylight, which will reduce the use of electric lighting and create a connection to the outdoors. A VRF (variable refrigerant flow) system will also help to increase efficiency by capturing what would have been wasted energy from one space and returning it to another space as useful energy, making it possible to heat and cool different zones on a single refrigerant piping system at any given time.

“We’re delighted that Gensler, a global leader in design in the built environment, has recognized and embraced the steps we have taken to make 220 Montgomery one of the most sustainable workplaces in one of the most environmentally-aware markets in the country,” said Cory Kristoff, Executive Vice President, Asset Management / Director of Leasing at Swig Company.

In addition to its sustainability and wellness benefits, the layout will allow Gensler to move from its current three-floor office to a large, single floor, which aligns with the firm’s future of work plans to create an engaging and effective destination for its employees, clients, and community members.

“The future of workplaces are environments that support strong team connections,” said Randy Howder, Co-Managing Director of Gensler’s San Francisco office. “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 lease represents Gensler’s commitment to the revitalization of San Francisco’s North Financial District, which recently reported a vacancy rate of nearly 25%. “Moving back to the Financial District is a full-circle moment of returning to the neighborhood where the firm first started,” said Ko. And it is an important statement that we believe in the future of downtown San Francisco as a vibrant and resilient community.”

About Gensler
Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 53 locations and more than 7,000 professionals networked across the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Founded in 1965, the firm works globally with more than 4,000 clients across more than 29 practice areas spanning the work, lifestyle, community, and heath sectors. We are guided by our mission to create a better world through the power of design, and the source of our strength is our people. By leveraging our diversity of ideas, our research and innovation, our shared values, and our One-Firm Firm culture, we are working seamlessly as a borderless firm in 140 countries and making the greatest impact on our communities as we continue to tackle the world’s challenges.

About The Swig Company
The Swig Company, LLC is a privately-owned, San Francisco-based real estate operator with an 85-year history of investment, development, partnership, and management of commercial real estate properties in major US markets. Founded by Benjamin H. Swig in 1936, The Swig Company is guided by a long-term investment perspective that has proven adept at stewarding investors safely through multiple market cycles. The company’s vertically-integrated operational platform, which includes investment, asset and property management, and leasing expertise, uses flexibility, generational thinking, and sensitivity to sustainable practices to stay at the forefront of emerging trends in the commercial real estate industry.

Visit The Swig Company’s 2021 ESG Report
Media contact for The Swig Company:
Andrew Neilly & Nancy Amaral, A2N2 Public Relations LLC
(925) 930-9848

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