A work crew began demolishing our offices at 433 Natoma St. this week in San Francisco, first tangible step in a renovation we have been discussing for the past two years.
The project will open up the floor plan, improve heat and ventilation, expand bathrooms and take full advantage of the natural brick and timber of the 1910 warehouse. A new conference room will be located on the second floor, creating a spectacular open suite of office space on the top floor, overlooking what may eventually be a large plaza running a half block to Mission Street.
Guild staff has relocated for the next few months to the East Bay headquarters of UPTE, or the University Professional and Technical Employees, another local along with the Guild in CWA. Our files are stashed in the basement. Field staff is working mostly from home and on the road.
We plan to reopen in our renovated headquarters in about four months. Most likely, the Guild staff will take space on the second floor, with room nearby for another tenant.
Here are address and staff contact details.
We purchased our three-story building in the 1960s, when presses still cranked out the Chronicle and Examiner across the street, and the daily runs of newspaper delivery trucks through the downtown alleys gave Natoma the nickname “Chronicle International Speedway.” Teamsters, Mailers, Printers and Press Operators leased office space from us.
Those days are gone, along with the presses and nearly all the production jobs, in favor of a commercial real estate boom. Developer Forest City and Hearst are planning a megascale project all around the Fifth and Mission newspaper property, called 5M.
The Guild Building Board, a nonprofit which is separate from the union itself, decided it was time to expand our own useable space and improve building amenities so we can compete for tenants.
Tempest, which leases the ground floor restaurant and kitchen space, is not part of the office renovation, and intends to remain open as usual.