Aidan HughesCity Grill

Aidan Hughes
Principal Group Leader
Arup San Francisco

“After the long sustained boom we’ve experienced, we would expect a correction in San Francisco. Yet despite this, the market continues to show strength, and I anticipate at least another two years of growth in the greater Bay Area,” Hughes says.

The tech industry is driving the growth, he says, and even though many of the firms are young, “it’s already acting as a mature industry. So while I expect a correction, I don’t anticipate any kind of crash like the dot-com crash of 2000.”

The tech industry demonstrates innovation not only in its products and services but also in its approach to design, he says. “Arup has been fortunate to work with many of the Bay Area’s tech firms on projects ranging from small fit-outs to large new campuses, and we’ve seen a willingness to push the envelope in resilient and sustainable technologies, from onsite power storage to microgrids to base isolation for seismic protection. They are also leading players in the demand for new approaches to delivering transport solutions.” 

Tech isn’t the only industry making such investments. “We are also seeing developers willing to invest in resilience, as evidenced by Jay Paul Company at 181 Fremont,” he says. 

“I am also confident that growth in Oakland will continue, and we are opening an office in Oakland to accommodate our growing base of east bay clients and projects,” he adds.

Firm in Focus

Webcor Builders
207 King St., Ste. 300, San Francisco
President & CEO: Jes Pedersen
Founded: 1971
2015 Calif. Revenue: $1.25 Billion
Upsizing: The $500-million Moscone Center Expansion will reconfigure and expand the facility to 580,000 sq ft of exhibit space. Webcor Builders is performing the complex sequence of work in multiple phases while the center continues to hold conferences and exhibits. Workers are also excavating a ‘plug’ of earth underneath Howard Street that separated the North and South halls in order to create contiguous space. The proximity of the expansion work to busy traffic, Moscone staff and the general public presents logistical and safety hurdles for the project team, says Spencer Reiner, Webcor’s project director. Designed by SOM and Mark Cavagnero Associates, the project will also renovate existing structures, add two new bridges over Howard Street and redo outdoor public spaces. The expanded center is on schedule to be completed in 2018.