Presidio of San Francisco (May 15, 2006) -- The Presidio Trust's (Trust) Management Plan has been selected by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) as a winner of the Award for Excellence: The Americas Competition. Trust Executive Director Craig Middleton accepted the award at a ceremony in Salt Lake City on Friday.
"The Awards for Excellence program celebrates the creativity, vision, and best practices in land use," said ULI chairman Marilyn J. Taylor. "All of these projects represent the best examples of creative land use and planning." ULI is a nonprofit education and research institute that supports responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance the total environment.
The Presidio Trust Management Plan was recognized as a model for balancing economic and preservation goals, and private and public interests, while attaining the Trust's legislative mandate to make the park financially self-sufficient by 2013. It serves as a blueprint to carry out the Trust's mission to preserve the Presidio as an enduring resource for the American people.
"The Management Plan is a unique plan for a unique, urban park," explained Craig Middleton, Trust executive director. "We have an unusual challenge in making this scenic and historic park financially self-supporting. I am happy to say that we are meeting that challenge."
Since taking over management of the Presidio in 1998, the Trust has rehabilitated and leased 95% of the Presidio's 1,100 residential units and 60% of the 1.8 million square feet of non-residential buildings. A new community is coming to life in the midst of one of San Francisco's most cherished open spaces, preserving the essential character of the Presidio as a place where people have lived and worked.
"The Presidio is an amazing place, and the Trust has proven itself up to the task of ensuring that it will be a dynamic and enduring resource for the public," said Isaac Manning, ULI jury chair. "The Presidio Trust has done a remarkable job of taking a non-performing asset and turning it into a sustainable resource for the citizens of San Francisco and the entire United States. The Trust has assembled a world class Board and Staff that is doing stewardship at a highest level."
In 1994, the Presidio of San Francisco, once the nation's oldest military post, became a national park site. The Presidio has nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its National Historic Landmark District. It has the infrastructure of a small town, expansive open space, a 300-acre historic forest, spectacular views, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. In 1996, recognizing the costs and challenges of managing such a complex place, Congress created the Presidio Trust to preserve the Presidio as an enduring resource for the American people. The Trust is accomplishing this by transforming the Presidio into a park of distinction, by building a community to support the park, forging public/private partnerships to finance the park, and by becoming a model of park management. By 2013, the Presidio Trust will be financially self-sufficient. No other national park site is managed the same way. The Presidio Trust Management Plan, completed in May 2002, sets out the framework for balancing the Presidio's financial and preservation goals."