FOCUS is an IPG-owned business and the headquarters for our company in California. A former landmark photography building in the heart of the SoMa district, it was originally owned by Adolph Gasser, one of the most important photographic innovators of our time. Gasser was also a close friend and colleague of Ansel Adams, a significant detail we feel contributes to the mystique and legacy of the project. The building is still owned by the Gasser Family and is under the oversight of the Gasser Family Trust. IPG formed a partnership with the organization and spearheaded the redevelopment of the property at 181 2 nd Street in San Francisco. The overarching intention was to bridge the gap between past, present, and future, restoring the Gasser Building to its rightful place of artistic importance.

Assignment & Process

  • Reposition a neglected and antiquated mixed-use asset in a prime location in San Francisco’s SoMa district.
  • Possibly our greatest goal was to control the cost of redevelopment not to trigger any “change of use” in the project. This meant that the changes we made needed to be done in a very specific way.
  • The objective was to redevelop, furnish, and commence operations for an innovation studio – all for less than $50 per square foot.
  • We marketed and leased the building to entrepreneurs, tech professionals, artists, designers, and other creatives. We considered it a legacy project and worked hard to maintain the building’s status as a hub of innovation and artistic realization.

IPG is now headquartered at the location and continues to manage building operations with the same passion and respect that breathed new life into it.

The Gasser Building project is currently up for an award with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, proving our value to the community and our commitment to preserving its history.

The new project features a 5,000 square foot biotech lab, a furniture showroom, an art gallery, two floors of coworking office space, and a roof deck, complete with a lounge and fitness center.

IPG Services Provided

  • Infrastructure Analysis
  • Complete Market Overview
  • Detailed Property Analysis and Development Cost Comparison
  • Architectural Space Planning for All Options Under Consideration
  • Marketing and Management
  • Tenant Onboarding

The Challenges


Condition of the building was very bad


Renovation cost was too high


Great personal sacrifice on IPG’s behalf to control costs

Perhaps the most significant challenge was that the condition of the building was very bad. It required a herculean effort and great personal sacrifice on IPG’s behalf to control costs. The building should have cost $5m to renovate, but as a result of our diligence and perseverance, we were able to complete the project for less than $1 million.

The Success


The trust now has a wonderfully restored building


The project maintains positive with stable cash flow


Ensuring continuance for generations to come

The trust now has a wonderfully restored building that pays homage to the building’s storied place in San Francisco’s history. The project maintains positive, stable cash flow, ensuring its continuance for generations to come.


IPG’s team had to overcome many challenges during this project, from the bad state that building was in, to high renovations cost and additional personal sacrifice on behalf of IPG.

IPG analysed complete infrastructure, market and property as well as made various cost comparisons along the way. Our team overcame all of the challenges successfully, with the result of the building being restored to its previous glory and transformed into modern space.

FOCUS Innovation Studios now features a remarkable 5,000 sqft biotech lab, a furniture showroom, an art gallery, two floors of coworking office space, and a roof deck, which has a lounge and fitness center.

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