The Market for a San Francisco Nonprofit Multi-Tenant Project Edit Title

The attention of the nonprofit and philanthropic community was drawn sharply to nonprofit space needs during the record-breaking climb in the real estate market over the past two years, peaking during the second half of 2000. But by the late spring of 2001, San Francisco Class C rentals had dropped 60% since the fall of 20001, and the sudden implosion of the dot-com boom had left hundreds of thousands of square feet vacant. Is there still a reason for philanthropy to address the nonprofit space issue? And if so, based on an analysis of both the real estate and the nonprofit consumer market, what approaches are likely to be most successful?
One positive result of the extreme crisis last year is that nonprofit boards—key decision-makers related to nonprofit re-location—have extended their planning horizons, and have begun to conduct long-range assessments of their space needs and real estate alternatives. This attention from nonprofit leaders, along with the drop in real estate prices, is a window of opportunity which provides the chance for cost- effective, highly leveraged intervention in nonprofit space needs. (Once their attention is diverted or purchase prices go up again, the window will close.)
To take advantage of this opportunity, however, prospective nonprofit tenants must be viewed as a market: the target market must be identified, and market segmentation and analysis conducted to determine how to attract that market. This study explores the nonprofit tenant market and provides a context for determining the goals for a large- scale building. Leadership in acquiring a large-scale, shared-space building in San Francisco—that is properly configured to attract desired nonprofit tenants—along with support for smaller-scale, neighborhood-based efforts, can create permanent nonprofit and philanthropic assets that will grow in value for decades to come.

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