The owners of the Transamerica Pyramid requested that the city remove 40 trees from the iconic area, surprising many city leaders who hope to see San Francisco get greener within the next couple of decades.
The trees the company hopes to remove line the entire perimeter of the Transamerica property and have been there since the building first opened in the 1970’s.
“There’s obviously, you know, history associated with this,” said Transamerica building worker, Violette Karavul. “I would love to preserve everything that’s becoming extinct.”
The owners of the building requested the removal of the 40 spotted gum and corymbia trees when they applied for 1st floor and storefront renovations.
But the city doesn’t see any reason for the trees to be uprooted.
“Purely for aesthetic purposes?” said San Francisco Public Works employee, Rachel Gordon, when asked why the company would make the request. “The company that wants to take this out did say they want to put more replacement trees in, not a one-for-one replacement, and we said no, it’s just a ‘no go’ on this. These trees are good trees; they should not come out of the ground.”
The trees were recently inspected and they found no signs of failing health or obvious risk to public safety. The city is left to assume the request is more of a personal one.
The public works department rejected the request but the fight isn’t over. A public hearing is scheduled for March 26th where arguments will be made as to why the trees should stay or go.
Public Works Director, Muhammad Nuru, who will make the final decision on the fate of the trees after the public hearing.
NBC Bay Area has reached out to Transamerica management and the construction company fielding the project but have yet to explain by they want the trees removed.