PG&E Forced To Sell SF Headquarters To Pay Back Customers
The PG&E building at 245 Market Street will not be a PG&E building much longer. The bankrupt and beleaguered Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Monday morning that they were selling off their San Francisco headquarters for $800 million according to the Chronicle. That sounds like a nice deal for PG&E, until you read the fine print.
PG&E does not get to keep the $800 million. According to KRON-4, the deal is “pending approval from California Public Utilities Commission to return the net gain realized on the sale to PG&E customers.”
Because of their constant stream of screw-ups over the last several years, PG&E has to run their every move past the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and their executives cannot simply pocket the money. They have enormous debts and felony criminal charges to worry about.
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“PG&E will be proposing to the CPUC to distribute approximately $390 million to $420 million to customers resulting from the gain on sale over a five-year period to offset future customer rates,” the company said in a press release. “This offset would help moderate rate growth as the company continues to make significant safety and operational investments.”
PG&E is not dead yet. They are just going to move their headquarters to the Kaiser Center office tower at 300 Lakeside Drive in Oakland. (Their current SF headquarters is both 245 Market Street and 77 Beale Street.) This has all been planned for some time. But now they’ve closed on the $800 million sale to something called Hines Atlas US LP, PG&E is finally leaving San Francisco, hopefully in more ways than one.