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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Xplainer: Downtown Campus

All about SFSU’s Downtown campus
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San Francisco State University’s Downtown campus spans the fifth floor and part of the twelfth floor of 160 Spear St.

The building is two blocks from Embarcadero station and about a block from Salesforce Transit Center. Rincon Center, a multi-use complex with cafes, restaurants, offices and apartments, is across from the Spear Street entrance. A small seating area is between the Spear Street entrance and Rincon Center. The other entrance to the building is on Main Street and faces a small park.

160 Spear St. seen from Main Street on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023. (Neal Wong )/Golden Gate Xpress)


The fifth floor has a student lounge, faculty lounge, computer lab, restrooms, two study rooms, two offices and 10 classrooms. The campus’s amenities include WiFi, outlets and water fountains.

The classrooms are where the Lam Family College of Business graduate courses and some of the College of Professional and Global Education’s certificate courses are taught. These two colleges share the campus, but students of SFSU’s other colleges are welcome to visit.

The rooms of the campus are divided between the two colleges. Only the restrooms are utilized by both colleges.

Six of the classrooms are occupied by CPaGE, including 504, a large room with exam chairs used in Clinical Medical Assistant certificate courses.

LFCoB occupies four classrooms and controls the student lounge, exclusive to graduate students in the college. The lounge has a microwave, sofas, and a printing station that accepts OneCards for payment. The college also has a computer lab equipped with 30 Dell laptops for students.

On the twelfth floor, CPaGE has offices in suite 1220. LFCoB’s offices are in suite 1230.

When combined, the spaces on the two floors add up to approximately 22,000 square feet, and each square foot costs about $60 per year, according to Jason Porth, the vice president of University Enterprises. This totals roughly $1.32 million per year.

David Tran and Mokdaam A., students of a Certified Medical Assistant certification course, prepare to practice a blood draw on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023. (Neal Wong /Golden Gate Xpress)

The University of California, Berkeley’s continuing education division, UC Berkeley Extension, leases three floors at the building and previously held classes on the fifth floor. In an email, Bobby King, SFSU’s director of communications, said SFSU subleases the space and the lease will expire in 2026.

Workday Inc. leases the office spaces on the twelfth floor, said Anna Navarette, SFSU public records and subpoena program coordinator. SFSU will stop subleasing the office spaces in 2024, King emailed. This will reduce the campus to about 15,000 square feet.

Most of CPaGE’s offices are at the Downtown campus. The college will relocate its offices to the Science and Engineering Innovation Center at the main campus when it opens for Spring 2024.

Muni’s M-Oceanview line is free for students using their OneCards in the fall and spring semesters. It provides a transfer-free trip from the main campus to Embarcadero station, where students can walk to the downtown campus in five minutes. The trip, which takes about 35 minutes, is roughly 10 minutes slower than driving there.

The campus is a replacement for the previous Downtown campus, which was located on the 5th and 6th floors of 835 Market St. That campus replaced the Downtown Center on the 2nd, 3rd, and 26th floors of 425 Market St.

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About the Contributor
Neal Wong, Co-Copy Editor
Neal Wong (he/him) is a third-year journalism student and minoring in urban studies and planning. He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Washington High School. He has photographed and written for Golden Gate Xpress first as a contributor, then as a photographer, and now as a copy editor. His photos have also been published by the San Francisco Bay ViewSan Francisco Public Press, Mission Local, and Xpress Magazine. Neal has also created and taught four SFSU Experimental College courses. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, and reading.

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