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Old Posted Dec 27, 2003, 8:51 AM
FourOneFive FourOneFive is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New York City
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Here's an article from the October 12th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Slow market hampers St. Regis high-rise

Dan Levy
Sunday, October 12, 2003


Keen observers of the urban skyline will have noticed that construction on the St. Regis tower at Third and Mission streets has taken an awfully long time.

The 42-story hotel-condominium project broke ground three years ago, but it's not scheduled to open until spring 2005.

This is what's known in the real estate business as an eternity. High- rise buildings typically take two years to complete. The 102-story Empire State Building in New York was famously built in one year during the height of the Depression.

Jeff Snyder, St. Regis project manager for Cambridge, Mass., developer Carpenter & Co., said it took an entire year just to do foundation work for four levels of underground parking. Plus, it took time to seismically upgrade the old Williams building on the corner and plan how the new concrete and glass tower will integrate with it.

But mostly, Snyder conceded, the slow-motion construction schedule is the result of the city's struggling hotel industry and the wane in demand for high- end downtown housing.

In its latest Northern California report, hospitality analysts PKF Consulting said the average daily room rate in August in San Francisco was $139, down 6 percent compared with a year ago.

The occupancy rate for August improved to 68 percent from 65 percent, although that is still short of what is considered a healthy figure of 70 to 75 percent.

"We've had to wait to let the (hotel and condo) markets work themselves out," Snyder said. "It's more important to get every detail right than to rush things along."

When finished, the project will have 248 deluxe hotel rooms and 102 condos. The Museum of the African Diaspora will be on the ground floor along with a restaurant and health club.

The architect is Skidmore Owings & Merrill.
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