San Francisco opens historic ferry boat as headquarters of Bay Area Council-Xinhua

San Francisco opens historic ferry boat as headquarters of Bay Area Council

Source: Xinhua| 2022-09-22 07:21:15|Editor:

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Wednesday christened the public opening of the historic Klamath ferry boat, which will serve as the headquarters for the Bay Area Council and a regional gathering place for business, civic and government leaders.

The opening of the Klamath comes at a pivotal time as business and city leaders search for creative ways to attract workers to offices and visitors back to San Francisco and reenergize a downtown area that has been decimated by the pandemic and a dramatic shift to remote work.

Moored at Pier 9 north of the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero, the 245-foot Klamath offers a new visual attraction to the city's waterfront and includes a 7,000-square-foot rooftop deck that will be open and accessible to the public.

Florence Fang, a Chinese-American community leader in the San Francisco Bay Area, made an initial contribution of 1.5 million U.S. dollars to fund the restoration and helped launch a major capital campaign to open the next chapter for the Klamath.

"The Florence Fang Family started in San Francisco; has served and done business in San Francisco. They have the same goal as the Bay Area Council, to promote San Francisco's businesses and bring more prosperity to San Francisco," she said at the opening ceremony.

"With the christening of the Klamath, the Bay Area Council embarks on a new era of regional leadership. More than just a floating office, the Klamath serves as a shining symbol of our region's resilience, our focus on sustainability and innovation, and our deep connection to the Bay," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council.

Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area.

According to the Bay Area Council, more than 300 of the largest employers in the region support the organization and offer their top executives as council members. Its council members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of 1.94 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide.

The Klamath was first launched in 1924 and over a more than 30-year period plied the Bay carrying thousands of automobiles and passengers before the construction of the region's network of bridges.

The Bay Area Council purchased the Klamath in early 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, towed it back to the Bay in 2021 and oversaw a complete restoration and refitting of the vessel as a floating office and event space.