Maybeck Center Team Named One of Three Finalists to Develop Palace of Fine Arts

TMG Partners, Flynn Properties Joined by California Historical Society and Exploratorium

SAN FRANCISCO (November 20, 2015) – TMG Partners, one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest mixed-use property developers, and Flynn Properties, a commercial real estate investment company with signature hospitality holdings, today announced the Maybeck Center team, including the California Historical Society and the Exploratorium, was honored to be selected by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Commission as a finalist to redevelop the Palace of Fine Arts Exhibition Hall.

The Maybeck Center team will focus on celebrating the history of the property and has partnered with the California Historical Society, leader of this year’s centennial celebration of the Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE100), the World’s Fair for which the Palace was built and The Exploratorium, the world class museum of science, art, and human perception that was housed in the Palace for 44 years. The California Historical Society will collaborate with the TMG/Flynn team to continue to create dynamic exhibitions about the World’s Fair in the lobby of the renovated Exhibition Hall. The Exploratorium will design engaging exhibitions to educate the public and illuminate the site’s iconic place in San Francisco history and ecology.  The team will renovate the existing Palace Theater, improving the space for continued community-oriented activities and arts programming that have enlivened the property since the theater was opened in 1970.

“We are excited to be a design and education partner on the Maybeck Center team to continue the legacy of the Palace of Fine Arts as a place of culture and learning for our local community as well as visitors to San Francisco,” said Silva Raker, director of Exploratorium Global Studios.

“We look forward to working together with the Maybeck Center team and with the community to ensure that this iconic, historic resource is protected, preserved, and interpreted for generations to come,” said Anthea Hartig, Ph. D., Executive Director & CEO, California Historical Society.  

The proposal includes a small boutique hotel to be called “The Maybeck,” which will generate funds that pay for improvements to the Palace building while celebrating the Palace of Fine Arts design and legacy, including the work of its legendary architect, Bernard Maybeck. The hotel invites the public to rest and rejuvenate in a setting that reflects and respects its surroundings and enhances the public’s experience of a premiere public park setting.

Together, the Maybeck Center proposes a reuse of the property that will preserve and activate the building for future San Franciscans, while respecting the neighborhood setting and offering amenities to the site’s existing visitor base.

“We envision a project of the highest quality, worthy of the Palace’s legacy.  Our thoughtfully assembled team, including San Francisco’s very own Exploratorium and the California Historical Society, is ideally suited to continue the heritage of the Palace of Fine Arts for generations to come,” Michael Covarrubias, chairman and CEO, TMG Partners.

Flynn Properties CEO, Greg Flynn, added that “similar to The Carneros Inn, our approach to this site and property will maintain the utmost integrity, assimilating its wonderful history into the landscape while engendering the appreciation of the building and its new uses by more San Franciscans and visitors.”

Highlights of the Maybeck Center Proposal:

• Complete and sensitive historic rehabilitation of the Palace of Fine Arts building connecting the magnificent exterior Rotunda and Colonnades for the first time to the building interior through a glazed, sky-lit visitor entrance and central dining court.

• Interactive exhibition galleries by the California Historical Society and The Exploratorium that will feature the site’s history and unique characteristics including the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition and Bernard Maybeck’s architectural legacy.

• Restoration of the existing theater for continued public, cultural, entertainment uses.

• Guest lodging in a small-scale, world-class hotel inviting the public for dining, leisurely overnight visits, gatherings and special events.  Provides the economic engine to create cultural and educational programming, and restore the historic site and theater.

• Full-service restaurant, bar and café offering high-quality local food and wines as well as picnic baskets for visitors to enjoy on the grounds.

• Shared bicycles, cars, on-demand transit and local shuttles to facilitate public access while minimizing traffic.

• Best in class local development team: The Maybeck Center team is comprised of some of the Bay Area’s pre-eminent design and construction professionals and cultural institutions.  The team has a track record of innovative projects, including award-winning historic landmark renovations.  

Mark Hornberger, Hornberger and Worstell, project architect and designer of renovations to the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite and nationally recognized historic hotels, is the lead architect.

TMG Partners has completed over 20 projects in San Francisco, including numerous award-winning historic rehabilitations, including.  Flynn Properties also has a strong track record of historic rehabilitation and focus on owning and operating hospitality projects. The firm owns The Carneros Inn in Napa and the Esperanza hotel in Cabo San Lucas. 

About TMG Partners
TMG Partners, founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Francisco, is a full-service real estate development and management company. TMG has developed more than 25 million square feet of property throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Emeryville, Marin City, Novato, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Jose and San Francisco. One of the most active developers in this area, the company has developed a variety of office, retail, residential and industrial properties, ranging from office campus and multi-story properties in urban, infill locations to mixed-use retail and single-story suburban buildings. For detailed information, visit:

About Flynn Properties Inc.
Founded by San Francisco native Greg Flynn in 1994, Flynn Properties Inc. has substantial experience owning, developing and operating commercial real estate projects on the West Coast, with a particular focus on historic properties. It also owns, in partnership, the Auberge resort Esperanza, located in Los Cabos, Mexico, as well as The Carneros Inn, located in Napa, California. Its affiliate, Flynn Restaurant Group LP, owns and operates 730 restaurants in 28 states. With $1.7 billion in annual sales and 38,000 employees, Flynn Restaurant Group is one of the 50 largest foodservice companies in the United States. Both Flynn Properties and Flynn Restaurant Group are headquartered at 225 Bush Street in downtown San Francisco, an historic property (the original Standard Oil Building, constructed in 1922) owned, managed and leased by Flynn Properties.

About the California Historical Society
The California Historical Society (CHS), founded in San Francisco 1871, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California's richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives and to inform a more enlightened future. As the State’s official historical society, CHS stewards and shares a premier research collection and creates meaningful exhibitions, educational programming, and publications. CHS is honored to have partnered with hundreds of fellow organizations, institutions, and funders and to have most recently with the City and County of San Francisco organized the extensive PPIE100 project.

About the Exploratorium
Founded at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco in 1969 and renowned as the world’s premier interactive science museum, the Exploratorium is a twenty-first century learning laboratory that engages visitors, ignites curiosity, and produces phenomenal teaching tools. We believe that following your curiosity and asking questions can lead to amazing moments of discovery, learning, and awareness. Global Studios offers the Exploratorium’s expertise and exhibits tailored to the needs of an outside project or organization. Our partners include local and national government, museums, architects, developers, and corporations as well as other public and private entities around the world.