Quincy DMV Dedicates New Office to Better Serve Customers

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
November 21, 2006

Sacramento—The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), in partnership with the California Department of General Services (DGS), is currently exploring options for redeveloping two extremely valuable properties in San Francisco and San Diego-an innovative plan that would result in two new, state-of-the-art DMV offices as well as generate money for the state.

That’s because while the state would retain ownership of the two parcels of land, it would make the “airspace” above it available for lease by private developers who would then construct mid-to high-rise buildings on the two sites and then rent space to tenants.

“It’s an idea that just makes too much sense not to pursue,” said Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary Sunne Wright McPeak, who oversees the DMV. “The DMV is participating in helping realign the job-housing balance while it benefits by getting new, expanded facilities to replace offices that no longer meet customer needs.  We foresee that the new buildings, both in San Francisco and San Diego, would be ‘mixed-use’-- in other words, space would be made available to residential, commercial and retail tenants as well as for enlarged DMV offices that will substantially improve the customer service in both areas for many years to come.”

Secretary McPeak said the proposed new buildings on the two DMV properties will be constructed to reflect the very latest in environmentally-sound, resource-and-energy-efficient standards. As a result, those buildings will   qualify for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System) Certification, which since its inception in 2000, has resulted in structures that are healthier, more environmentally responsible and actually more profitable for developers.

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has made it very clear that the ‘greening’ of California as a whole-- and all state government entities in particular-- is of the highest importance and resonates very deeply within this administration,” Secretary McPeak said.

“Replacing outdated facilities with these kinds of ‘green’ mixed-use buildings, which also address California’s crushing housing need, is the kind of common-sense, enlightened governance that this governor  has promoted for the past 3 years,” said DMV Director George Valverde.

The two proposed buildings would provide the developers with profits from rents, the cities of San Francisco and San Diego would benefit from increased tax revenues and DMV would get new offices to meet DMV customer’s needs.

The two sites in question are 2.45 acres at 1377 Fell Street in San Francisco and 2.48 acres at 3960 Normal Street in San Diego. While both DMV and DGS officials acknowledge that the land in both locations is extremely valuable, the existing DMV office buildings on the sites have almost no value; and while the properties could be sold at significant profits in the current market, the department would still have to buy or lease other office  facilities in the same general areas (perhaps at even higher costs) to continue servicing the high volume of customers who now use the existing locations.

The San Francisco office has been in operation at the Fell Street address for 46 years, while the San Diego office has been in operation at the Normal Street location for 45 years. Neither facility was built to handle 21st century populations in either area nor provide for 21st century customer expectations.

The Fell Street office in San Francisco handled more than 290,000 driver license and registration transactions last year, while the Normal Street office in San Diego handled some 274,000 driver license and registration transactions. Both are among the busiest offices of the 169 facilities currently operating in the DMV system.

This proposal is part of the Department’s five-year infrastructure plan designed to improve and modernize field offices and facilities. For example, the DMV recently opened two, environmentally-friendly field offices in South Sacramento and San Ysidro that are recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council for meeting requirements for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

However, if DMV and DGS were to proceed with their proposed plans for the demolition and construction of these new, mixed-use buildings in San Francisco and San Diego, all DMV services would be completely relocated to nearby rented facilities without any interruption of services.


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