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  #881  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2007, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
Maybe true, but I personally like this type of development. It really breaks up the monotony of the Edwardians, Victorians, etc. I'm all for preserving history, but I'm also a modernist and I like it when SF creates such bold statements in its architecture. I just wish that there were more of these going up and not just near downtown.
Modern doesn't have to be cold or obnoxious.
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  #882  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2007, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
Modern doesn't have to be cold or obnoxious.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally like the look of it and if it is ostentatious, I say bring it on. San Francisco needs more bold buildings and less subtlety.
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  #883  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2007, 5:03 PM
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From http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2....html#comments

The Official Cathedral Hill Tower (1481 Post Street) Website

A plugged-in tipster directs us to the ADCO Group’s website for the proposed Catherdral Hill Tower (1481 Post Street). Think summary, FAQs (“We hope to get our final permits sometime in 2008, so we expect that the project will be completed by 2010.”), and a complete rundown of community meetings (both past and future).

http://www.1481poststreet.com
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  #884  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 3:28 AM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally like the look of it and if it is ostentatious, I say bring it on. San Francisco needs more bold buildings and less subtlety.
Unfortunately, we'll only be able to tell if we like it when we behold it. With all of the misguided renderings that we've had to endure recently, I'm not holding my breath. Let's hope it looks good in reality or otherwise it won't bode well for future bold architectural attempts in the neighborhoods.
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  #885  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 3:31 AM
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I walked by the halfpipe before it was enclosed a few weeks ago. I kept expecting to see Tony Hawk...I like the design though.
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  #886  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 5:58 AM
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(edit)

Last edited by SFView; Jul 12, 2007 at 5:50 AM. Reason: post moved to "SPUR calls for a real 'transit-first neighboorhood" thread
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  #887  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2007, 5:35 PM
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Height limit could sink port's plan

Quote:
Height limit could sink port's plan
Migden seeks waterfront building cap: Forty feet
San Francisco Business Times - July 13, 2007
by J.K. Dineen
Najib Joe Hakim

A last-minute push by Sen. Carol Migden to limit heights along the Embarcadero could kill efforts to develop a series of surface parking lots along the northeast waterfront, according to the Port of San Francisco and business advocacy groups.

For two years the port has been hammering out legislation that would give the cash-strapped agency development control over nine so-called seawall lots, port-owned parcels along the Embarcadero.

The legislation looked like a ray of hope for the port, which argued that selling the right to develop the lots would generate money to help pay for its $1.4 billion in infrastructure needs. The legislation would transfer control of the lots, which are not directly on the water, from the State Lands Commission to the city.

But earlier this month, under increasing pressure from neighborhood groups, Migden altered the bill to prohibit building anything higher than 40 feet on four of the more valuable parcels near the foot of Telegraph Hill. The altered bill, passed July 2 by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, drew the wrath of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Port Director Monique Moyer, who suggested that Migden had caved in to property owners looking to "maintain waterfront views."

"There is no state interest in height limits along San Francisco's waterfront, nor should the state accept the testimony of a small subset of San Francisco residents," stated Moyer.

Housing made unfeasible
The 40-foot limits would essentially make any sort of housing development unfeasible, according to Tim Colen of the Housing Action Coalition. Colen said the amendment "doesn't benefit the larger interests of the city of San Francisco."

"This would wreck the value of the land for the port," said Colen. "At 40 feet, what is the point? That's two floors of housing above retail."

Migden said the resolution, Senate Bill 815, provides ample opportunities for the port to generate cash and doesn't impose height restrictions on the largest of the seawall lots, the 600,000-square-foot lot 337, next to AT&T Park. She said the bill "strikes a balance between the port's need to bring in revenue and the concerns of neighbors who will live next door to these developments.

"The bill offers many elements that are more than fair to the chamber and the port, including complete access to develop the parking lot next to the AT&T Park which is bigger than two city blocks," said Migden.

Given that the state lands commission oversees the uses of the seawall lots, Migden said she "(takes) exception to the argument that the state has no business ensuring the lots' future development."

The amendment was pushed by the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, Friends of Golden Gateway, and the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association. Telegraph Hill Dwellers President Vedica Puri said the changes simply reinforce current 40-foot zoning in the Northeast Waterfront Historic District, where three of the lots are.

"The port needs revenue, the neighborhood needs protection and developers need certainty," said Puri. "This accomplishes all of that. I've yet to hear a compelling answer as to why the height limits that are existing are so bad."

The answer, say critics, is that it's impossible for a developer to make development pencil out at those heights.

"I think what it does is limits the ability of the port to generate the revenue they desperately need to open up the waterfront to the public," said Rob Black, director of policy for the chamber.

Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the think tank San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, said he supports most of the bill, which also gives the city control over a number of port-owned "paper streets" as well as a 36-acre parcel on Treasure Island.

"Returning control of the San Francisco waterfront to San Francisco is a really important idea and has been a long time coming," he said. "I don't see how having the state zoning height limits is consistent with the larger purposes of the bill."

Fred Allardyce, a Sotheby's luxury real estate broker and president of the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association, called the 40-foot height restrictions "sacrosanct." He also objected to the argument that developers and the port would be hard-pressed to turn a profit without building above the restriction.

"Build tasteful condos down there and I could sell them in a day," Allardyce said. "The neighborhood is fabulous."
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ml?t=printable
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  #888  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2007, 4:44 AM
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DOWNTOWN S.J. CONDO TOWERS TO LOSE A FLOOR
By Katherine Conrad
Mercury News
Article Launched: 07/27/2007 01:37:07 AM PDT

A logjam that threatened a multimillion-dollar development in downtown San Jose has been cleared with the developer and the city agreeing to a "financial haircut."

Developer Mike Kriozere, principal at Urban West Associates, agreed to lop a floor off each of his two 25-story residential towers as long as the city lowers its price on the land, currently a parking lot on Market Street near the Fairmont Hotel.

Losing a floor on each tower reduces the total number of condominiums from 414 to 400 and the price on the 1.5 acres, known as Block 8, to $27.2 million from $28.6 million, the price agreed to by the city in June 2006.

"Instead of waiting around for God knows how long it will be . . . you break the logjam," Kriozere said. "That's what reasonable people do."

It was not a resolution that made either side happy. But Harry Mavrogenes, head of the city's Redevelopment Agency, said neither side wanted to risk a delay.

"We can lose (14) units now, or wait another year for the studies to be complete and lose the market," he said.

Kriozere's project, City Front Square, has been on hold because of an unresolved conflict that flared up in December between the city, downtown boosters and Mineta San Jose International Airport over the height of downtown buildings. At issue is how to reconcile flight paths over the downtown and the city's proposed high-rises.

Airport officials argue that tall buildings pose a risk to airplanes

when they are forced to change flight paths because of wind conditions. Developers, meanwhile, assert that many projects aren't profitable unless they reach a certain height.
A consultant hired by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the San Jose Downtown Association and the airport is currently studying the conflict. A report is expected at the end of August.

With a decision by the city months and maybe a year away, Kriozere said he worked with Mayor Chuck Reed to figure out how to get the project back on track. The developer noted that he could have lowered the nine-foot ceilings in the units rather than eliminate a floor, but he didn't want to "cheapen" the luxury project that will offer concierge services, spas and 24-hour door staff.

"We want to go ahead a build the building, and the mayor wants it built," Kriozere said. "I make a sacrifice; the Redevelopment Agency makes a sacrifice. It's fair. A delay hurts everybody."

Kriozere said final touches on the drawings will be done soon and he hopes to start construction on the $250 million project sometime after the new year. The first tower should be complete by 2010.

Kriozere also is building One Rincon Hill in San Francisco, a high-rise condominium project at the foot of the Bay Bridge. The units, which sell for about $1,000 a square foot, are almost entirely sold out. New residents can begin moving in later this fall, he said.

He is convinced that luxury condos will be a hit in San Jose, as well, though the price of the units has not yet been decided.


Contact Katherine Conrad at kconrad@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5073.

http://www.mercurynews.com/businessheadlines/ci_6476969
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  #889  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2007, 3:04 PM
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^ Well 24 stories as opposed to 25 shouldn't make much of difference in the aesthetics. Its a great looking project by the renderings, I especially like the curved glass form within the otherwise boxy shape.
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  #890  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2007, 6:26 AM
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Here's what I've seen so far in August:

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  #891  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 12:48 AM
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S.F. skyscraper designs released

John King, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, August 6, 2007

(08-06) 16:45 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The long-awaited proposals for a new San Francisco skyscraper that would be taller than the Transamerica Pyramid are being unveiled this evening at City Hall - and images obtained by The Chronicle show three towers in the 1,200 foot range that look nothing like the Victorian homes for which the city is known.

There are three competing proposals from three teams that combine well-known architects with deep-pocket development firms. Each includes a design for a new Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets as well as a high-rise that the winning team would both design and build.

The idea of allowing a super-tall tower is that the sale or lease of the land for the project will spin off money to finance the terminal, which the Transbay Joint Powers Authority -- the agency holding the competition -- hopes to start building in 2010.

But the idea is also to turn heads. According to the competition manual, "the Transit Tower is expected to be an iconic presence that will redefine the city's skyline" while incorporating the latest in green building and seismic safety systems.

Each competitor handed in its bid last month, but they've been kept under wraps until today. Here's what they have in common: Each one is very tall, and each one has a contemporary look.

-- English architect Richard Rogers and his firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designed a tower for Forest City Enterprises with a streamlined metallic look that has marked other projects by the renowned architect.

-- Cesar Pelli -- designer of dozens of towers worldwide in recent decades -- and his firm Pelli Clarke Pelli would insert a tapering tower into the skyline next to a terminal with a rooftop open space. Hines is the developer.

-- The San Francisco office of Skidmore Owings Merrill, working for Rockefeller Group Development Corp. They propose a tower that twists as it rises, topped by a glass veil extending another 10 stories into the air.

There will be more information released at a 6 p.m. hearing of the Transbay authority's board of directors. The competition timetable calls for the directors on Sept. 20 to select which development team will get the nod.

E-mail John King at jking@sfchronicle.com.
















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  #892  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 4:58 AM
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^Wow... First one to reply.

Here's my two cents, just looking at the renderings... First one is blah (this building shape seems overdone personally... reminds me of IFC in Hong Kong) and second one is ridiculous (maybe the renderings don't give it justice, but it just looks silly... reminds me of Sutro Tower or some moon rocket...)...

Now the third one looks positively stunning (the last rendering has me salivating), but I imagine a lot of engineering will go into making that building stand...
To be honest, I can't wait to hear what the "public" has to say about the renderings, but at the same time dread it, knowing that everything in the book will get thrown at the tower by the anti-Manhattanizers, the "vista preservationists," and the custodians of "quaint" San Francisco... And that, thanks to them, the tower may get chopped down to "acceptable dimensions" just like the TAP.
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  #893  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 5:34 AM
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Quote:
Now the third one looks positively stunning (the last rendering has me salivating), but I imagine a lot of engineering will go into making that building stand...
I agree with you...the second one is the worst, the first one is better (I actually think it'd work quite well) but it's the third one that makes you sit up and say, "wow, this would be amazing". The ground-level elements for all three of them are impressive to me...if any of them were built as is, we'd go from having the country's worst transit center to the best.

I really hope the museumists don't kill it. The pessimist in me says SF just isn't the kind of town where something like this can get built. The optimist says these plans could inspire this city to rise above its history of letting fringe groups keep it locked in the past.
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  #894  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 8:28 AM
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Agreed - the design of third tower is really awesome. I think the 2nd tower will be laughed at - and it will be the one that appears in all the opposition pamphlets, fliers, and websites (Guardian, anyone?). The 2nd tower just looks silly - although maybe the pictures don't do it justice, I don't know. But I mean there were only 3 designs...and one of them was that? Makes me wonder what Norman Foster and Santiago Calatrava would have come up with.

Regardless, if this thing does indeed get built at these heights, the 1st and the 3rd will likely be in the running. The 3rd tower, while bold and exciting, might be too much for a place like San Francisco. All the more reason for it to be put up here, in my opinion. Here's hoping the city and its residents support it, and that the heights don't get significantly lopped off.

Here is another article in the chronicle. The link also includes the pictures (although their the same as the above posted article).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...SBAY.TMP&tsp=1


BOLD PLANS FOR THE TRANSBAY TERMINAL
The West Coast's tallest building: 3 competing ideas show audacity that adds to the city's rising skyline


John King and Jonathan Curiel, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Three competing proposals for what would be the tallest building on the West Coast were unveiled Monday in San Francisco amid architectural hyperbole and political buzz.

There's no guarantee that any of the towers will be built, or that the design to be selected next month by public officials will reach the heights envisioned by the development teams. But the audacity of the designs -- and the favorable response from elected officials -- showed that the recent startling changes to the city's skyline are only a prelude to what could lie ahead.

"There they are," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said with a wave of his right hand as black mesh was pulled from three lavish large models. The event was held in a crowded event room at City Hall filled with dozens of people and several television crews. "Today is an historic day."

The three proposals range in height from 1,200 feet to 1,375 feet -- each extending well past the 853-foot Transamerica Pyramid, the tallest tower in San Francisco. And each is accompanied by a transit terminal that is intended to function as a major civic gateway.

The competition is being held by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, a regional government body created in 2001 to bring about the construction of a new transit terminal in San Francisco that backers say could become the regional equivalent of Grand Central Station.

The authority would sell or lease the tower site to a developer, with the proceeds going toward the estimated $983 million cost of the terminal and related infrastructure projects, such as new bus-only ramps from the Bay Bridge.

While the public attention is likely to be on the towers, public officials stress the transportation payoff of the new terminal located one block from Market Street and BART.

"Through this facility we can create a statement to the rest of the world while creating a seamless transportation network connecting the Bay Area to the rest of the region and state," said San Mateo County Supervisor Jerry Hill, who chairs the Transbay authority's board of directors. "It will make daily commutes and longer trips easier."

Long-term plans for the transit complex include an extension of commuter rail lines from where they now stop at Fourth and King streets. The design would also allow for high-speed rail service from Southern California, although there is lukewarm support from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for putting a bond for such a system on the ballot.

In the early years of planning for the new terminal, it was assumed that any tower alongside it would climb no higher than 55o feet, the zoning cap now in the neighborhood. Now, though, public officials say the extra height is merited -- not just to boost the land sales, but to reflect the importance of mass transit and to show that San Francisco continues to measure itself against other cities of global status that also are seeing super tall towers proposed or built.

"It's certainly a banner day for San Francisco," said Dean Macris, the city's planning director. "One hundred years ago, no one could have imagined the city it is today."

Each of the bidders seized the opportunity to push the design envelope.

The most visually dramatic proposal is from a team that includes Skidmore Owings Merrill and Rockefeller Group Development Corp.

The team proposes a tower that would fold and twist as it rises and is topped by a publicly accessible rooftop space wrapped in glass. The first floor would be lifted 100 feet above the street.

By comparison, the design by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for Houston-based developer Hines is relatively tame: a tapering, obelisk-shaped tower with a sleek skin. At the base there would be a glass-covered public square, while the transit station would be topped by an open-air rooftop garden extending more than two city blocks.

The third proposal is from a team that includes the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, working for developers Forest City Enterprises and McFarlane Partners.

Like many designs by English architect Richard Rogers, this one has a muscular look. It rises straight up from a plaza on Mission Street and is topped by an enormous wind turbine framed by portions of the tower's metal structure that extends past the roof.

With an eye toward environmental issues, each of the three designs also emphasizes sustainable design elements such as the turbine.

For all the hoopla connected to the idea of a skyline-topping tower, there's no guarantee that any of the visions unveiled on Monday will be built -- or even that they'll be the deciding factor in determining which team wins the right to conduct exclusive negotiations with the authority.

Each proposal was evaluated in private last week at Fort Mason by an appointed jury that includes architects and engineers as well as a transportation expert and a real estate analyst. The jury will present its recommendation to the authority board on Aug. 30.

In evaluating the three proposals, jury members are directed to base 60 percent of their evaluation on the design for the transit station and on "functionality and technical issues," according to the evaluation sheet. As for the tower evaluation, economics are every bit as important as aesthetics, indicated by such directives as "The jury will focus on the timing and amount of revenue to the TJPA and the overall financial feasibility of the Tower proposal."

Another unresolved issue: how tall the tower will be allowed to be.

City planning officials aren't shy about wanting an extremely tall tower, and they encouraged the types of height in the proposals unveiled on Monday. But a full environmental study is needed before zoning can be changed -- and the formal planning work to test such heights only now is getting underway.

Whatever proposals do emerge will be scrutinized by potential foes in a city traditionally wary of high-rises. Indeed, a voter-approved proposition from 1984 makes it difficult to erect any tower that will cast shade on a public park. Tower foes also have allies at the city's Building Inspection Commission, where several members in the past year have voiced skepticism about the seismic safety of the narrow towers preferred by the city's Planning Department.

Still, support for the tower is considerable.

Besides public officials, it includes a number of environmental groups who in the past have lobbied for height limits but now see mass transit as a critical issue for the region. There's also support from civic groups that want to concentrate development in the core of the city -- the same impulse that prompted the residential towers now rising between Mission Street and the Bay Bridge.

But the tallest such tower -- One Rincon, which was recently topped off at Harrison and Fremont streets -- is 550 feet tall. Others near it are allowed to be no more than 450 feet. That's half the height of what the three development teams are proposing.

The Transbay authority is scheduled to vote on September 20 to select the development team. The goal is to have the new transit station in operation by 2014.
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  #895  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 9:08 AM
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Links to High Res Photos of the 3 Designs:

Proposed design by Pelli Clark Pelli Architects and Hines: (Photo: Business Wire)
(6.6 MB):
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...nfigId=1000020

Proposed design by Richard Rogers Partnership and Forest City Enterprises with MacFarlane Partners (Photo: Business Wire)
(2.5 MB):
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...nfigId=1000020

Proposed design by Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Rockefeller Group Development Corporation (Photo: Business Wire)
(3.8 MB):
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...nfigId=1000020

All photos were taken from the BusinessWire article, linked here: http://home.businesswire.com/portal/...50&newsLang=en
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  #896  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 9:15 AM
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On closer inspection, the Pelli Clarke design definitely seems to be the most traditional, although it appears that the top floors are some kind of wind turbine? Not sure though. Still, if one of these supertalls would work in our risk averse city, it would be this one. Too traditional for my taste though.

The tower by SOM (3rd tower), while visually striking, appears to sit on "spider legs" that appear very similar, at least in concept, to those on the Transamerica Pyramid. Perhaps they were trying to draw from the city's current tallest building? Regardless, it would certainly make a very dramatic entrance into the building, and would also be a looker when one would step out of the Transbay Terminal. It's definitely the best one out of the 3, imho.

Second tower...still looks really ugly. Seriously don't know how we wasted a design slot on that one.

Maybe it's just me, but was anyone else expecting something...more from these designs?
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  #897  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkyman View Post
Maybe it's just me, but was anyone else expecting something...more from these designs?
I've been saying the same thing on the Transbay Towers thread in the Highrise Proposals section. Its not just you. I know I went in with high expectations (and naturally and those names are world known), but came out somewhat disillusioned. I dont know why Rogers made it in with that design instead of Foster or Calatrava, who knows what they could have come up with.

I say build Skidmore Owings and Merrill's proposal, but 1500' or taller.
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  #898  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2007, 12:19 PM
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haha, I can't believe I didn't check the "Highrise Proposals" section. I was wondering when I first signed onto the california forum why there were so few posts. Then I went to the Highrise Proposals section and saw like 100 posts.
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  #899  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2007, 3:43 AM
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Congratulations San Francisco! My vote goes to the SOM design, very bold and inviting yet mostly unique. I hope it goes through the hoops of fire that I am sure await it at the approval boards and that it getis built soon.

SF is an exciting place to be with all the planed skyscrapers to completely transform your beautiful skyline to even greater dimensions. I think SF is long overdue for some energetic buildings. Way to go, another major score for your city. Keep the photos and renderings coming.
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  #900  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2007, 5:46 AM
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when does construction start?
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