J.K. Dineen - Pinterest's Design District deal would push out tenants

(06-20) 10:18 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Pinterest, the San Francisco darling of crafters and do-it-yourself enthusiasts, has signed a deal to take over a four-story brick warehouse in the heart of San Francisco's Showplace Square Design District.

There's only one problem: The building is already full.

Just as showroom businesses are bouncing back from the recession, dozens of tenants in the San Francisco Design Center building at 2 Henry Adams St. face likely eviction if the landlord is successful in obtaining the approvals needed to convert the 311,000-square-foot building into Pinterest's headquarters.

The design center's current zoning does not allow for technology companies like Pinterest. It is zoned PDR - production, distribution and repair - which is meant to preserve blue-collar jobs in a part of town that is a hotbed of housing and office development. But buried in the language of the zoning is a loophole: Buildings designated as historic landmarks can legally convert from PDR to traditional office uses.


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