350 Mission Rendering
On October 21, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will review the Draft EIR for the proposed 350 Mission Street project plugged-in people have long known was in the works.

The site is [currently] occupied by a four-story, approximately 60-foot-tall, 95,000-square-foot building that is largely occupied by Heald College, with ground-floor retail space. No off-street parking or loading spaces are provided within the existing building on the site.

350 Mission Street

The proposed project would consist of a 24-story, approximately 375-foot-tall office tower (including 20-foot-tall rooftop mechanical area) with office uses occupying approximately 356,000 square feet. The floor area ratio would be 18:1. The 50-foot-tall ground floor, incorporating a mezzanine, would provide about 6,600 square feet of retail and restaurant space, along with 6,960 square feet of publicly accessible indoor open space in an “indoor park,” as set forth in the San Francisco Planning Code and Downtown Plan.

Vehicle and freight loading access would be via a driveway on Fremont Street on the northwest corner of the site, and would include two full-size and two service-vehicle loading spaces; 61 parking spaces on three basement levels (including three spaces for shared electric vehicles with battery charging capability); and 64 bicycle parking spaces.

350 Mission Rendering

The combined ground floor and mezzanine levels would be the project’s primary distinguishing feature in terms of articulation and materials. At the corner of Mission and Fremont Streets, the ground floor and mezzanine together would serve as an approximately 50-foot-tall atrium, large portions of which would be open to the sidewalk in good weather.

Publicly accessible open space would be located on both the ground floor and mezzanine, and the atrium would have large expanses of clear glass. Behind the glass columns would rise the full height of the atrium. A glazed, oval-shaped enclosure near the southeast corner of the atrium would house retail space on the ground floor and a dining/conference room at the mezzanine level. Above the atrium, the project would be clad in a glass curtain wall.

Comments on the project will be accepted by the Planning Department up until Monday, November 1 after which a compendium of Comments and Responses will be published. Based on comments already received, “potential areas of controversy and unresolved issues” for the project already include:

[C]umulative construction effects; cumulative shadow and wind impacts, including cumulative effects related to projects having been granted bulk exceptions; shadow and wind impacts on the project’s own open space; consistency with the proposed Transit Center District Plan; displacement of Heald College; visual effects concerning blockage of the sky; economic impacts of housing demand generated by the project; construction noise; the adequacy of open space; LEED certification versus City requirements for energy and water conservation and other “green” features; seismic effects; flooding potential as a result of anticipated sea level rise; and effects related to potential soil and groundwater contamination.

If only they were kidding. But assuming all is resolved, construction at an estimated cost of $85 million is expected to take 22 months with occupancy as early as late 2012.
350 Mission Street Headed For Formal Review (EIR) [SocketSite]
350 Mission Street Scoop Redux: Building Website Live [SocketSite]
350 Mission: Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) [sf-planning.org]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Badlydrawnbear

    Yes please!

  2. Posted by jason

    Hmmm…a few months ago office space vacancy in SF peaked at 17.7%. Does anyone know if that has changed? If not, it seems like a pretty risky build.

  3. Posted by joe

    Seriously! Office space in SF is never ever ever likely to be tight again.

  4. Posted by curmudgeon

    I’m not going to start another parking discussion. I’m not, I’m really not.
    but…
    Why is there any parking at a site adjacent to BART and the Transbay Terminal?
    “Downtown has maintained its transit share through large public investments in transit and restrictions on commuter parking. From 1965 to 1983, in fact, 30 million square feet of office space were added to the downtown while vehicular traffic decreased by 3.7 percent.” (reference from SPUR report on downtown parking) http://www.spur.org/publications/library/report/parkingandlivabilityindowntownsf_010105

  5. Posted by noearch

    Yea, I’d say let’s not talk ’bout the parking wars anymore. I’ll just say this: Parking is needed and essential for SOME people..and this building needs SOME parking.
    Otherwise, very handsome, modern building; great street presence, elegant facade and fenestration. Can’t wait to see it completed.

  6. Posted by NoeNeighbor

    This looks like a good design that is scaled appropriately; hopefully the plaza will work and not just be a blank space. The parking is really pretty minimal; can’t see it being an issue.

  7. Posted by Brian Stokle

    Pros for the project:
    -High density office space so close to TWO transit hubs (Embarcadero/Montgomery BART), Transbay Terminal, somewhat walkable from Ferry Building.
    -Lobby/Mezzanine seems nice from rendering but would need to see more details to really understand
    Cons-
    61 spaces for 95,000 SF is 0.64 spaces per 1,000 SF. Yes this is much lower than the suburban 2-3 spaces per 1,000 spaces. I’m not starting a “parking war”, just a debate of what REALLY IS NECESSARY for an office tower next to 2 MAJOR regional transit links? Is it 61, 100, 20, 5, 0?
    I don’t think it can just be assumed that 61 is ok without analyzing what parking is already available in the neighborhood. Of course the building needs loading spaces, and a small collection of parking spaces, but how big should that collection be, and I don’t believe “using my gut” or saying it’s lower than suburbia is a good enough explanation.
    That all said – if they can lease this, whether with 5 spaces or 100, I think the project is not a bad idea.
    Any discussion of a ped tunnel leading from the new Transbay Terminal under Mission to the NE corner of Fremont and Mission?

  8. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    In the strictest sense of the term, no parking is necessary for a commercial building like this. If it were necessary, then there would have been no commerce before the day of the automobile.
    It is much more sensible to express a request for parking as desirable. Especially if you’re a developer who can sell that parking entitlement at a premium.
    ———-
    That objection about this development being threatened by rising sea levels is pretty misguided. Sure, this is a low elevation. But if the sea levels rise to this point then we have much greater worries than a low altitude development. Better to strive to get global warming under control and keep sea levels … um … “at bay”.

  9. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    You math is wrong Brian, it is 61 parking spaces for 356,000 sq ft. Not 95,000 sq ft. So .17 parking spaces per 1000 sq ft.
    I say build it. This is a great improvement for the area. If we are really worried about the extra traffic due to this small amount of parking, charge an impact mitigation fee.

  10. Posted by Not Again!

    Must EVERYTHING be judged on parking!? When I saw this article I thought “Please not let this be another parking-car war thread”, but I was wrong. In a city with only moderate traffic I am amazed at what an obsession allowing parking has become for some.

  11. Posted by noearch

    Yea, I’m pretty tired of the endless discussions over parking/cars here in SF.
    It’s the bike advocates/critical mass people who just obsess on parking. We don’t have a huge traffic problem here (agree with not again)..and parking is a necessary component of building successful new high rises downtown. But, just so I’m not seen at a bike hater (which I’m not) let’s make sure the building has lots of bike parking, and let’s work at bikes and cars co-existing here safely.

  12. Posted by bgelldawg

    What is a “rooftop mechanical area”?

  13. Posted by anon

    noearch, what in the world do bikes have to do with car parking? I’ve never owned a bike in my life, but I’ll be the first to argue against excessive parking in an urban area. That said, 61 spaces for this building is NOT excessive and very reasonable.
    Build it now.

  14. Posted by Turin

    This corner is easily within walking distance of the Ferry Building. I used to walk a couple of blocks past it everyday and that wasn’t even stretching it.

  15. Posted by Rincon Hill Billy

    Isn’t this right across the street from the Millenium?
    Doesn’t that mean a lot of units facing northwest will be looking straight at this building? hmmm…

  16. Posted by sfrenegade

    “What is a “rooftop mechanical area”?”
    Usually elevator and HVAC equipment, I’d think.

  17. Posted by Jamie

    Glad to see it moving forward.

  18. Posted by Yay!

    I love it. I hope the glass is going to be the steel-bluish color like the Millenium.

  19. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    sfrenegade is correct about the rooftop mechanical area. Really tall buildings have these every 30-40 floors or so, sandwiched in between occupied floors like a layer cake. It is a real challenge for the architect to make those oddball mechanical floors either fit in or become invisible.
    On this building, I really like the glass curtain wall. It looks like ribbons of glass woven together. I can imagine the architect or builder having a “laboratory workshop” where they mock up a little piece of the curtain wall to see if it looks good and mechanically works. It makes sense to spend a lot of time tweaking the design because it is repeated on a massive scale so any mistakes would be amplified.
    It seems like a great fit into the block. Hopefully by the time the CoO is granted the economy has turned around and the developer can profit.

  20. Posted by abc

    Gee, more noise for those lucky Millennium residents. Living there is turning out to be a disaster.

  21. Posted by BobN

    I like the two-level lobby with the wide-opening glass walls. When the sea rises, they’ll be able to use the mezzanine for gondola disembarking.

  22. Posted by Enzo

    I like the basket-weave texture of the curtainwall, and how the void of the base creates relief to the increasing density in the area. There’s something missing when you put the base and the tower together. Is the transition too abrupt? Maybe in concept the curtainwall and base need to relate more, even if they remain in formal contrast.
    While the details are nice, the conservative tripartite formalism has the Planning Dept’s meddling fingerprints all over it.

  23. Posted by sf

    that guy on his cell phone is the slowest pedestrian ever

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