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chris08876 Apr 6, 2014 1:01 AM

SAN FRANCISCO | Park Tower at Transbay | 605 FT | 43 FLOORS

An Unexpected Transbay Twist And Block Redesign


With San Francisco’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure having determined that "economic conditions create a strong preference for commercial development over residential and hotel development" on Transbay Block 5, a request for proposals to build a 550-foot office tower with ground floor retail on the northeast corner of Howard and Beale has been issued.

Originally slated for a residential tower to rise up to 550 feet on the eastern portion of the block at the corner of Howard and Main, as we first noted yesterday, "unforeseen circumstances" have resulted in an unexpected configuration for the site and tower to rise.

The story behind the unforeseen circumstances which involves the driveway for 201 Mission Street (which runs through the middle of the block), the little Art Deco structure and open space on the corner of Howard and Beale (which is owned by 301 Howard across the street) and, of course, a concern about a potential loss of views:

The [Transbay Joint Powers Authority] attempted to negotiate an acquisition of the 201 Mission Street driveway in order to develop the site according to the standard configuration in the Development Controls – with the tower on the eastern portion of the block at the corner of Main and Howard Streets. However, the property owner expressed strong concerns that tenant views in 201 Mission Street would be negatively impacted by a tower on the eastern portion of Block 5 and demanded a price far in excess of the standard market value of the driveway parcel.
In addition, the driveway parcel provides the only access to 201 Mission Street’s parking and loading and therefore it would not be possible to develop the driveway without also negotiating a land swap with TJPA to provide alternate access. As a result, OCII does not expect the property owner of 201 Mission Street to submit a proposal in response to this RFP – and if that property owner did submit a proposal, it would need to conform to all of the restrictions described in this section.
Because of the time spent negotiating an acquisition of the 201 Mission Street driveway and the need to issue the RFP, neither OCII nor TJPA has had discussions with the owner of 301 Howard Street regarding its parcel.
That being said, while a proposal which includes either the parcel owned by 201 Mission Street or the parcel owned by 301 Howard Street will not be considered, once a development team is selected, the OCII is open to exploring alternatives for the open space on the corner of Howard and Beale, "in cooperation with the property owner." Proposals are due at the end of June. An upside to the unforeseen circumstances, a 10,000-square-foot open space on the corner of Howard and Main is now part of the Block 5 plan as well.
April 3, 2014

chris08876 Apr 7, 2014 1:36 AM

Information concerning the square footage being proposed for commercial use. Above is the mass-model. Solid proposal renderings will be seen hopefully by June or July.

Transbay Block 5 Tower Will Be Commercial Not Residential


Transbay's Block 5 sits among a zone that is entirely residential and Block 5 was expected to be more of the same. However, the request for proposals put out by the city this week for the land states that the development will now be commercial and that any proposals including any amount of residential and/or hotel space will not be accepted because "economic conditions create a strong preference for commercial development." The RFP now asks for proposals for 700,000 square feet of commercial space and 10,000 feet of retail space to be built in a 550-foot tower on the site.

Block 5 takes up the entire block bounded by Natoma, Howard, Beale and Main streets, but there are some unusual things to note. A parcel on the corner of the space at Howard and Beale serves as open space for 301 Howard across the street, while a driveway running through the land belongs to 201 Mission Street. The owner of 201 Mission expressed concerns about tenant views and demanded a price "far in excess of market value of the driveway parcel," so the driveway will remain. Therefore, all proposals for the 26,366 square foot parcel must not make use of either of those spaces. Proposals of due on June 25.
April 4, 2014, by Tracy Elsen

minesweeper Jun 27, 2014 5:46 AM

The proposals are in, and there were four submissions:


  • Boston Properties with Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Golub Real Estate and The John Buck Co. with Goettsch Partners and Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architecture
  • Jay Paul Co. with SOM
  • Kilroy Realty with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

All four developers have buildings already under construction in Transbay neighborhood. We'll find out who's selected in the next few months.

simms3_redux Jun 27, 2014 8:07 AM

The Chicago team!

(Golub/John Buck Co, SCB architects)

I sincerely hope they do not win. What would be interesting is a KPF skyscraper in this town. Go team BXP! Though I hope we can see all the designs first before rushing to judgment. Usually office towers of this magnitude make much larger statements than their residential counterparts, so this could be iconic for SF.

minesweeper Jul 25, 2014 4:35 PM

Apparently, the Chicago team is the front runner:


A team led by Golub Real Estate and The John Buck Co. is the top candidate to build an office tower on the Block 5 site in San Francisco’s giant Transbay redevelopment, offering $172.5 million to buy the property and put up a 43-story building.
$172.5 million is a staggering offer. They're offering about 90% of the $192 million paid for the Salesforce Tower site, even though Block 5 will only have about 50% of the square footage. They're offering almost double the price per square foot compared to Salesforce Tower. By comparison, Block 8, which is also zoned for 550 feet but as residential, went for "only" $72 million back in March.

slock Sep 12, 2014 11:09 PM

Designs revealed:

WonderlandPark Sep 12, 2014 11:34 PM

Backside is boring, but the other side would be one of the more interesting towers ever built in SF. Long ways off for completion.

fimiak Sep 13, 2014 1:53 AM

The new downtown. Proposed start April 2016, Completion 2019.

simms3_redux Sep 13, 2014 3:42 AM

I like the back side! I think those terraces are overrated (and same architect is doing the same exact thing for TB Block 7 rising right now).

I basically wet myself when I saw these, pretty amazing architecture going up in a confined area. Tall buildings, too.

this is 550 ft to SF's definition of "roof line" but we know that mechanical + ornamentation (eg glass curtain extended up) can easily bring this to 600 ft, which is where several other buildings in the city are (talk about table top!)

tyleraf Sep 13, 2014 1:30 PM

Nice tower San Fran. I look forward to visiting again soon and seeing these towers.

mt_climber13 Sep 13, 2014 5:53 PM


JWS Sep 13, 2014 6:05 PM

I actually prefer the backside in renderings...of course, the finished product may not look that sleek.

tall/awkward Sep 13, 2014 11:34 PM

I like it, but then again I'm easy. Still remember the time when nothing was getting built.

Is it maybe more silvery than other new towers? I hope so; would help it stand out.

I like the terraces. They've been done before, but not on this scale in this area.

Dogpatch Sep 14, 2014 12:28 AM

Definitely better from the back side. The terraces are really cool. And maybe just a little bit scary as hell? But from the perspective of the terrace, it would be tough to tell you're about to fall to your death.

Folks3000 Sep 14, 2014 12:36 AM

Awesome! The exterior (not the shape) reminds me a bit of the Rincon Hill towers, I personally prefer that they change a couple small details/colors/etc so it doesn't look so similar.

tall/awkward Sep 17, 2014 9:38 PM

This design is already incorporated into steelblue's Transbay video!

JWS Sep 17, 2014 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by tall/awkward (Post 6733679)
This design is already incorporated into steelblue's Transbay video!

Amazing how quick they move, although it's interesting that they haven't updated Block 8 yet.

simms3_redux Sep 18, 2014 1:30 AM

^^^Steelblue was hired as an exclusive contractor with TJPA, so I think that makes sense. They have confidential inside scoop I'm sure.

slock Nov 14, 2014 7:37 PM

Full redesign.

simms3_redux Nov 14, 2014 9:23 PM

I like the base a lot better, and I think I like the redesign better, however, I did like the Mission St side of the previous proposal.

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