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Pedestrian Feb 7, 2020 8:48 AM

SAN FRANCISCO | "One Vassar" (400 2nd St, 645 and 657 Harrison St) | 35 FL | 350 FT

Big Central SoMa Project Positioning to Break Ground Next Year
February 6, 2020

The proposed mass redevelopment of 12 contiguous Central SoMa parcels stretching from 400 Second Street to 665 Harrison, a.k.a. the One Vassar project, has just qualified for a streamlined environmental review and could break ground as early as next year if approved, with two towers rising up to 350 feet in height and a modern addition atop the historic building between.

As designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), the refined plans for the 400 Second Street tower would now yield 446,000 square feet of office space, with 5,100 square feet of ground floor retail space, a basement garage for 198 cars and 6,300 square feet of privately-owned public open space (POPOS) fronting Second Street, half of which would be enclosed.

On the other end of the site at 657 Harrison Street, a 35-story residential tower designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) would yield up to 489 apartments, with a 14,000-square-foot childcare facility, 1,700 square feet of ground floor retail space and a basement garage for 128 cars.

And atop the historic building at 645 Harrison Street, a modern 15-story addition designed by SOM would rise to a height of 200 feet and yield a new 468-room hotel.

. . . the first floor of the existing 4-story building at 645 Harrison Street would be converted into 24,000 square feet of new restaurant and retail space, configured as a “market hall,” with 65,000 square feet of office space, and 44,000 square feet of PDR, spread across the floors above and an adjacent 8,400-square-foot Hawthorne Street Plaza connecting Harrison and Perry.

. . . the project team is touting the potential for breaking ground for the two towers in mid-2021, with the redevelopment of 645 Harrison Street beginning in mid-2022 and the entire development completed by late 2024. But the project team will need to secure an increasingly scarce office allocation . . . .

Pedestrian Feb 7, 2020 8:54 AM

As a reminder, THIS was proposed across Harrison St. at 650 Harrison:

If everything gets built, it'll be quite a block.

patriotizzy Feb 7, 2020 3:21 PM

Gosh, while are these designs looking outdated already? There is nothing there to grab my attention. Come on, let's do better for THE landmark Californian city. Boring as fuck as it is now.

Pedestrian Feb 7, 2020 7:41 PM

^^I don't think the intention is to grab your attention so much as to house people at reasonable cost and enliven a dead neighborhood with human activity . . . again, at reasonable cost. These buildings don't look "outdated". They just don't look dramatic or controversial, but they can get the job done. Every city needs lots like them--the premier cities of the world are full of them. I'd rather see block after block like this than the old gas stations, underused light industry and parking lots we've got in this area.

1977 Feb 25, 2020 4:19 AM

Approved by the planning commission.


One Vassar, a 1.5M SF mixed-use project at Second and Harrison streets, received unanimous approval from planning commissioners on Thursday, paving the way for a groundbreaking next year. The three-building development will include 489 residential units, about 493K SF of office, approximately 42K SF of production, distribution and repair use, 468 hotel rooms and about 37K SF of retail across three addresses.

Any guesses on who will operate the hotel portion? I was thinking it might be a good location for The Standard since they pulled out of 950 Market:


New York-based Standard Hotels was prepared to make its Bay Area debut at Group I's condo and hotel project at 950 Market St., but the hotel operator says it has now decided to take its brand elsewhere.

The Standard is still chasing after the San Francisco market and is on the hunt for another site better suited to its brand. Details behind the termination of the deal were not immediately available. Group I did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

colemonkee Feb 25, 2020 4:15 PM

This is great, and these designs don't look outdated to me at all.

timbad Feb 26, 2020 7:13 AM

definitely looking forward to the activation of the block.

I would actually prefer they kept the easternmost existing building at least as a facade or podium; I think that one has character, and I personally like it more than the middle one. but, a smaller consideration than the overall positive this project is.

will also be curious to see if all this development (and presumably increased pedestrian volume) results in any kind of makeover for Harrison. I don't think it can be calmed to the degree of Folsom with all the freeway/bridge traffic here, but it would be nice for it to be tamed at least a little. (Bryant has similar challenges on the south side)

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