Academy of Art University Withdraws Offer to Purchase San Francisco Flower Mart
The Academy of Art University is no longer seeking to purchase a portion of the San Francisco
Flower Mart property. The Academy envisioned using at least part of the space for a sculpture
studio and classes and for landscape architecture and
architecture programs. However, existing business
tenants expressed concern about their future and city officials requested that the Academy work
with them to find a way to enable them to stay.
“While we are extremely disappointed that we could not make this work, for the university,
for the city and for the future of the Flower Mart and its tenants, we are pleased we have reached
a new partnership and level of cooperation with the City and County of San Francisco," Academy of
Art University President Elisa Stephens said.
The Academy envisioned the Flower Mart space to be a wonderful mixture of food, flowers and
art, much like other world-class institutions.
Stephens said a lack of support among top city officials for the university’s plans and
recent, unexpected revelations by Flower Mart owners made it impossible for the university to move
ahead with the purchase.
“The City has been a valuable partner in our efforts to do everything we could to find a
solution. The university went as far as offering the businesses long-term leases, including a
five-year rent waiver and free parking for the restaurant and offers of rent waivers for other
tenants,” Stephens said. “We are very sorry this did not work out. We believed that both the Flower
Mart and our
school could thrive as partners.”
Stephens expressed gratitude for help the Academy received from Mayor Newsom and his office,
the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission in trying to come up with a solution.