San Francisco, California

Partner has a strong presence in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. The San Francisco Partner team provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Reports, Asbestos Surveys, Lead Testing, and Seismic Assessments in support of local and nationwide commercial and multi-family real estate transactions. The San Francisco team is led by Jay Grenfell, LEED AP, who has managed thousands of due diligence projects during his 12 years of experience.

Phase I Environmental Site Assesments

Partner provides both local and nationwide Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Most reports are performed to meet the standards of ASTM E1527-13 or meet our client's customized reporting standards. Partner often customizes reports to meet individual client or agency lender's (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) requirements. Partner San Francisco staff are familiar with the blend of dense metropolitan areas, suburbs, and agricultural areas that make the Bay Area unique.

Property Condition Reports

Partner provides lenders and real estate investors with Property Condition Reports. Partner architects, engineers, and commercial building inspectors inspect the subject property in order to gain an understanding of the condition of the building. Most Partner reports meet ASTM E2018-08 guidelines.

Seismic Assessments

While Partner offers Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) to every seismic zone in the United States, Bay Area residents, or those that do commercial or multifamily transactions in San Francisco, truly understand the importance of an accurate PML report. Understanding the local geology and correctly reflecting the math in a PML report is most important to those that purchase or lend on commercial or multifamily property in San Francisco. Our San Francisco seismic expert is Joshua Marrow, PE, who brings over 15 years of experience in the field of structural and earthquake engineering consulting to Partner.

Phase II Environmental Testing

Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-97(2002). Our San Francisco environmental professionals understand the highly variable geology found in the Bay Area due to plate tectonic activity as well as regulatory agencies such as the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments throughout Northern California including San Francisco, Bay Area, Oakland, Daly City, Berkeley, Piedmont, Richmond, Alameda, Fremont, Hayward, Emeryville, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sausalito, Marin, San Mateo, San Jose, Burlingame, San Bruno, Mountain View, and Millbrae.

Asbestos Survey

While conducting a Phase I ESA, Partner does a visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Should it become evident that Asbestos Containing Materials may be present, Partner can perform sampling and testing to evaluate if Asbestos Containing Material is in fact present.

Zoning Services

A Zoning Report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, San Francisco and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations; such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

5 Reasons why Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are different in California.

1) Registered Environmental Professional: California is one of the only states that register environmental professionals. ASTM E1527-05 requires that an environmental professional perform the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment; therefore, a quality sensitive client will ask if their California environmental consultant is a Registered Environmental Assessor (REA).

2) Regional Water Quality Control Boards: In most states the regulations are statewide rules with maybe some variations for cities and counties. In California, the State Water Board grants a lot of power and autonomy to the Regional Water Quality Control Boards. The regional water boards are organized generally by watershed and may split counties. Water boards may have very different regulations. For example, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board developed Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs) for soil and groundwater contamination, whereas the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board uses different screening levels including Soil Screening Levels, CHHSLs for soil-gas (see below), and Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for groundwater.

3) CHHSLs: The California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the California Human Health Screening Levels (CHHSLs) in 2005. The CHHSLs provide the user with a chemical specific look up table for what levels of soil gas or indoor air concentrations represent a threat to human health. CHHSLs are not intended to be regulatory numbers, but are often treated as such. CHHSLs are also famously conservative. You need an environmental consultant doing your Phase I ESA that knows how to interpret soil gas and indoor air data in relation to CHHSLs and this requires a lot of California experience.

4) CUPAs: Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) have a lot of power in California. CUPAs are city or county agencies that have been more or less deputized to handle certain regulatory functions. An example of a CUPA is the City of Los Angeles Fire Department, which oversees releases from underground storage tanks (USTs), termed leaking USTs or LUSTs. To do proper regulatory due diligence during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment your environmental professional must understand the California CUPAs.

5) CEQA: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s equivalent of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment sometimes has to deal with CEQA/NEPA issues like wetlands, endangered species, and/or historical resources as additional scope items.

Northern California Experience

Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our robust Northern California consulting practice include:

Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) for a Portfolio of Historic Buildings, San Francisco, CA
Partner completed 16 Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) on multifamily properties in San Francisco. The buildings were built in the early 1900s and had several seismic risk concerns.

Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) throughout California
Partner completed 16 Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) done for a portfolio on a variety of property types including: hotel, self-storage, multi-family, office, medical office, mixed use, mobile home park, and retail. Locations were throughout California.

Equity Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs for a 24 Site Portfolio in California
Partner completed a 24 site portfolio of equity-level Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Property Condition Assessments and Probable Maximum Loss Reports on office properties throughout California. Properties were located in San Diego, Ontario, Lake Forest, Walnut, Tustin, Glendale and Woodland.

Phase I ESAs, PCAs and PMLs for 30 Site Portfolio Nationwide
Partner completed a 30 site portfolio throughout the country, including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Property Condition Assessments (PCAs) and seismic Probable Maximum Losss (PML) reports on properties. The Phase I ESAs, PCAs and PMLs were conducted for an equity client.

Energy Efficieny Projects Throughout the Country
Our sister company, Partner Energy, secured $13 million of ARRA grants and loans implementation of energy efficiency projects at low income multifamily projects across the country.

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111 Pine Street, Suite 1750, San Francisco, CA 94111