Agencies In S.F. Rediscovering Old Ad District

Leagas Delaney and Goldberg Moser O’Neill are the latest in a wave of San Francisco agencies to make plans this summer to move to larger offices.
Unlike recent years, in which agencies have opened and relocated throughout the city, the latest movement sees shops returning to San Francisco’s traditional agency district along the waterfront.
Leagas, for example, is moving to an 18,000-square-foot, one-floor space near the corner of Battery and Broadway. The new quarters are twice the size of the shop’s current North Beach office, said principal Tim Delaney. Leagas’ staff in San Francisco has ballooned from 12 to 40 over the last 16 months, according to managing director Courtney Buechert. Much of that growth reflects the expanding needs of the shop’s main client, Adidas America.
Another advantage of the new location, Buechert noted, is that “we’ll be next door to Grumpy’s,” a favorite watering hole for local ad people.
GMO, meanwhile, has agreed to lease about 90,000 square feet on two floors of a renovated building at 640 Battery St., near Jackson Square, said chief executive Fred Goldberg. About 270 employees are expected to relocate to the new space by next year from the agency’s 48,000-square-foot offices on Maiden Lane near Union Square. GMO will occupy about half of the Battery Street building.
In August, Saatchi & Saatchi will move a few blocks to a 36,000-square-foot, three-floor space at 735 Battery Street, which for years housed Hal Riney & Partners. General manager Julie Bauer said the agency’s staff has nearly doubled to 100 since December, making the need for a bigger office critical. Fueling the growth are additional billings from Hewlett-Packard and other new accounts, she said.
Publicis & Hal Riney recently moved to new offices at 2001 Embarcadero, on the west side of the agency district, near the tourist attractions at Pier 39. Riney made its move in late May, shortly after being acquired by Publicis. –with Jane Irene Kelly