CFAH

Millennium Tower: Curtain Wall (Image Source: webcor.com)
Over twenty floors (out of sixty) have been poured (with the concrete core reaching even higher) and the blue glass curtain wall is not far behind on Millennium Tower (301 Mission). And perhaps most interestingly, word on the street is that the sales timeline has been moved up. Expect details and dates in the not too distant future.
Millennium Tower San Francisco (301 Mission): Interest List [SocketSite]
Five Years Late (And One “N” Short) [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by missionbay res

    A couple agents told me Millenium will be in the “ULTRA DELUXE” class, with higher ‘view’ floors ranging from $1500 to $2000/sqft and lower floors starting at over $1000/sqft!
    If true, this must set some kind of record for pricing in a new development in SF.
    Makes Infinity seem like a bargain in comparison…

  2. Posted by Michael

    Millennium isn’t going to be competing for the attention of the Infinity or One Rincon buyers but rather the St. Regis and Four Seasons crowd.

  3. Posted by Dude

    Exactly what San Francisco needs – another luxury high rise that’s collector-owned and 80% vacant at any given time. Don’t we already have enough of those on Nob Hill?

  4. Posted by missionbay res

    Is there a big enough crowd out there to fill a 60 story building at “four seasons / st regis” type pricing? I just can’t imagine people spending that amount of money when they can get almost the same product at Infinity, especially the second tower at a much lower price…

  5. Posted by anon

    If the Millenium is going to be at that price point, then I’m guessing the ammenities will set it well apart from Infinity etc…

  6. Posted by 94114

    And what amenities would be worth $500 extra a square feet?

  7. Posted by anon

    I wonder if because I grew up in the city, I am unable to understand why people are now paying high psf. costs in areas that I would not even consider? My question is, who is buying these units? Not that the views and building are not great, and I even like the design, but I myself would rather go for a unit on Steiner and Jackson which is about the same per sq. ft. cost. Do today’s buyers see no difference between Russian Hill and the Soma Grand? No difference between Cow Hollow, and the Heritage on Fillmore? I guess I am just out of touch with what people want in the city today, for why is everyone charging Pacific Heights or Noe Valley per square foot costs in almost any other part of the city?

  8. Posted by Dan

    There is still a big difference between Russian Hill and the SOMA Grand. However, some thihgs have changed considerably from your SF childhood. Many neighborhoods have become more desireable, and/or may be the only neighborhoods affordable even for people of means. Also, more people are employed on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley, rather than just in the financial district, and some people prefer not having to commute from north of California St.
    And not every housing unit in Russian Hill beats the SOMA Grand. There are plenty of crumbling multi-unit buildings there– rentals, TICs, or condo conversions– and many people would prefer a new, modern unit, even in a less pleasant neighborhood.

  9. Posted by SFhighrise

    “why is everyone charging Pacific Heights or Noe Valley per square foot costs in almost any other part of the city?”
    Well, I personally think that the whole city is overpriced, but I digress….
    On another note, I would say that from my own perspective, while I like the neighborhoodly feel of Pac Heights/Russian Hill, etc, I don’t personally care for the older buildings. Don’t get me wrong, if I could afford those $20 million mansions in Pac Heights, I’d go for it. However, more likely, my price range would be for a 2 bedroom flat. While some are restored quite nicely, here are my observations of many that I’ve seen:
    1 – Lack of modern finishes – I’m personally not a big fan of old kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
    2 – Insulation – Often these buildings don’t have great sound protection and you can hear the creaky floors or what’s going on outside
    3 – Lack of parking – Often, these old buildings have nothing but street parking. Some people are ok with that, but others, like myself prefer units with parking inside
    4 – Amenities – Once you get used to a full service building with security, pool, spa, gym, sauna, etc, its tough to give it up
    5 – Maintenance – I’m not a big fan of repair, as I have a busy schedule and am no handyman. Having to worry much less about this is a big deal for me
    6 – Size of city – I see SF as so small in area that if I really want to go out for dinner in the Marina, Noe Valley, etc, its very easy to get to. I don’t see why its a big deal to have that 2 blocks from you when you’re not going to be going out to eat every night anyway…at least I’m not. Besides, the areas in discussion have plenty of shops/restaurants/bars within walking distance (at least Millenium does), just not all huddled together in one area.
    5 – Weather – Its frequently sunny and warm in my area (Rincon Hill) when its cold and foggy when I visit friends in Pac Heights. For me, having lived in cities with warmer climates, this is a big deal.
    I do like the older, more established neighborhoods, but I just don’t really care for most of the buildings in those areas, at least those that aren’t in the multi-million dollar range. For me, its a bigger deal to live in a nicer complex, where I’m spending more of my time anyway. Besides, I don’t exactly consider South Beach/Rincon Hill/Mission Bay/SOMA urban wasteland anymore. If you’ve been here lately, you’ll see that it has more and more of the amenities you’ve grown accustomed to in your traditional neighborhoods, along with others that aren’t available there.

  10. Posted by zig

    To local anon
    I thought this quote was odd and at the same time telling:
    “Pacific Heights or Noe Valley per square foot costs in almost any other part of the city?”
    When did Noe Valley become desirable? Certainly it wasn’t when I was a kid (I’m 31) and my Mexican American uncle owned a house there on a house painter’s salary
    All over the City we can see this. Thoughout history areas being in favor then declining and sometimes coming back
    I do hear where you are coming from though. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around chic Hayes Valley or people paying top dollar to live in the ‘Mo

  11. Posted by anon

    I love Russian Hill, but when we were looking for a condo last year, we saw mostly old and run down buildings and units in the established neighborhoods in our price range. I have only lived in S.F. a couple of years, and I remember being shocked initially at how run down much of the housing was in what are considered to be the most desirable neighborhoods. I blame rent control for this.
    By the way, what is the “‘Mo”?

  12. Posted by AC

    The Millenium is shaping up to be one of the best-looking buildings in the city (at least compared to other recent residential highrises).
    I’m sure the surrounding area will improve hugely over time, but right now it seems dangerous around there at night-time, very much more so than south beach or rincon hill.

  13. Posted by David

    The ‘Mo is the Fillmore area, which is not exactly the same but overlaps with the much of the area known as the Western Addition (or, if you’re a broker, “lower Pacific Heights”).

  14. Posted by fred

    Let’s face it. Many of the older, existing neighborhoods have terrible architecture and are put together chock a block with no apparent overall neighborhhood design (e.g., modern next to classical next to …?) . The new areas have a chance to get it right. My wife is from the East coast and her reaction to most of the homes around here is: yuck, who designed this stuff?

  15. Posted by JNu

    SFHighrise put it so PERFECTLY. Those are the exact reasons many people to live in Rincon Hill/South Beach/SOMA over the more established areas. If we had our druthers, it would be great to live in Marina…. but imagine what those neighborhoods were like before their hey day. There is always a starting point for every neighborhood.

  16. Posted by 94114

    Fred,
    The random nature of architecture (marina style next to midcentury next to victorian) in the older neighborhoods is what makes SF interesting. The newer neighborhoods have absolutely no character. You can be in any city anywhere in this country. Absolutely no charm at all.

  17. Posted by SFhighrise

    “You can be in any city anywhere in this country. Absolutely no charm at all.”
    True, but I don’t always think this is a bad thing. I for one personally like the modern architecture. Now, I’d prefer a nice looking building (such as The Infinity) to a bland monstrosity (such as The Beacon), but at the same time, I’ll take even The Beacon over an ugly looking Edwardian or a Victorian, if it isn’t immaculately restored, and updated with modern finishes.
    My viewpoint isn’t shared by everyone, but hey, I used to live in Phoenix. I grew accustomed to everything being new, clean and modern and that’s how I prefer to live. Besides, as I said before, I can always take a quick cab ride over to Chestnut, Union or Fillmore for a Friday/Saturday evening if I choose. I personally wouldn’t want to be living right above one of these streets anyway. Do you know how loud it would be living in an older building, adjacent to a major shopping/dining area?

  18. Posted by Jamie

    Hopefully, Rincon Hill will feel neighborhood-ish in its own way thanks to efforts to get the Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association going … http://www.rinconhillneighbors.org
    Also, I keep a blog that I hope will serve as a communications point for neighbors in Rincon Hill. I think I have readers from about 5 or 6 buildings at the moment…. http://www.rinconhillsf.org
    Taking a walk along the Embarcadero, looking out over the Bay, is a great way to commute home from work in the FiDi.

  19. Posted by zig

    ” it would be great to live in Marina…. but imagine what those neighborhoods were like before their hey day. There is always a starting point for every neighborhood”
    Well it was a middle class Italian American hood for the most part with some richer pockets developed over some time. Do you mean go all the way back to when the land was filled in? OK well you grandkids might enjoy their mature neighborhood of Rincon
    Anyhow its great that these areas work for some people. From what I have read the development in Vancouver of high rise neighborhoods (of course they do it better than “special” SF) really stabalized the older established hoods. That is a win win for everyone. I truely belive this is somehting we could accomplish here with the political will

  20. Posted by Frederick

    The Millennium Tower is going to be the most sought after residential building since 2006 Washington was offered in 1925. Still, today 2006 Washington is recognized as the pre-eminent apartment building in Northern California. With values from $7M to $25M (the penthouse was offered for $25M last year in a private sale) this building has no piers.
    Now comes The Millennium Tower. The location alone is the most powerful draw. Located across the street from the New Trans Bay Terminal, this will replace Pacific Heights in the decades to come, as “The Address”. It may be 12 years or longer away to see, (www.transbaycenter.org/transbay/content.aspx?id=40)
    but you will be taking high speed rail to the SF Airport in 15 minutes, 30 minutes to San Jose and LA in 2 1/2 hours. This will be the most important change in San Francisco in the next 20 years. In July, the competition to win the rights to design the new “Grand Central West” will begin, with a Panel Comprised of Renowned Experts to Select the Architect to Build the New Transbay Transit Center and Transit Tower. This process will bring this location at Mission and Fremont into the forefront.
    Now what type of building could sit next to the future of San Francisco?
    Today, I met Mr. Glenn Rescalvo, the designer of The Millennium and principal of Handel Architecture. A native of San Francisco.
    In a 1 1/2 hour presentation he presented a truly exciting building. Its glass skin is akin to a prism, the building has 8 corners. All the facets are first class, from the parking and ingress for cars to the various lobbies, to the restaurant, to the owners private 2nd level facilities (in a class by themselves), to the various floor plans, to the finishes, lighting and appliances.
    This IS the building to live in beginning in 2009. Over the top! Built by the same group that built the Four Seasons Hotel and Condominiums (144 units offered in 1st quarter 2000), “The Mill” my quote (Frederick) will have 419 new homes.
    My advice, for those of you that are betting on the future at 1 Rincon Hill or The Infinity, call your broker and get a reservation at a “real building”.
    Frederick

  21. Posted by 94114

    “The location alone is the most powerful draw. Located across the street from the New Trans Bay Terminal, this will replace Pacific Heights in the decades to come, as The address”. Wow, a Mission Street address across from a bus/train station. Who needs Marin headland/Golden Gate bridge views when you can have a view of a bus terminal?

  22. Posted by sonofsoma

    At work (50 Fremont St.) there has been an ongoing – albeit tongue and cheek – consensus that given the pace of construction to date, the rest of the Rincon Hill neighborhood might be completed before 301 Mission is! Are we crazy?
    As the construction period increases on a project like this, isn’t the developer pushed into adding ever more lavish (even, over the top) amenities to recover the costs lost to time?
    Perhaps that’s what we are seeing here… no?

  23. Posted by TheRealScoop

    I and my friends agree with sonofsoma – it is taking so much longer for “the Mill” to go up than 1R or Infinity did – anyone have any ‘scoop’ as to why?
    Also, does anyone know why there are thick “beams” of concrete between some of the columns that don’t appear to be a part of the floor structure? Weird, and they’ll make the floor-to-ceiling windows not really floor-to-ceiling, no?

  24. Posted by curmudgeon

    No piers, Frederick? But hopefully a few columns…..

  25. Posted by SF homeowner

    “This IS the building to live in beginning in 2009. Over the top! Built by the same group that built the Four Seasons Hotel and Condominiums (144 units offered in 1st quarter 2000), “The Mill” my quote (Frederick) will have 419 new homes.
    My advice, for those of you that are betting on the future at 1 Rincon Hill or The Infinity, call your broker and get a reservation at a “real building”
    Frederick, have you seen the surrounding area at night? It’s pretty desolate except for the homeless that camp out in every nook and cranny surrounding the terminal. More frightening is walking along Beale or Fremont from Mission toward Howard. It’s really not a safe place to be late night…
    And paying $1500/sqft to live there now in hopes the new Transbay terminal will transform everything is quite a gamble (especially since it won’t be completed for another 12-15 years).
    I don’t see how this is a better deal than Infinity which sits on prime land a short block from the waterfront, ferry building, new brand new restaurants, etc at $400-500/sqft less.
    I can see how it’ll steal much of the thunder from 1Rincon (base on height), but to call it the most sought after place to live 1-2 years before completion is premature and a stretch…

  26. Posted by SFhighrise

    I don’t think the area around Millenium is “dangerous”. Its not a hot bed of crime, or drug activity, just homelessness. I’ve walked by the area plenty of times at night and have never had any problems. However, I would agree that its not a “great” area yet.
    Also, keep in mind that in the next 2-3 years, both the current bus terminal and the ramps will be torn down. While this won’t instantly create a 5-star neighborhood, it should do a lot towards immediately reducing the number of homeless squatters in the area.
    I would agree that the marginal benefit of paying $500 extra per month for Millenium may not be great, initially and that it’ll take a while to come to fruition, but I can see Frederick’s point long-term. I guess in the long run, owning a place at the Millenium, will be the equivalent of living at Times Square, while the Infinity or One Rincon will be like living 4-5 blocks away, but still in the midst of Midtown Manhattan. Neither of which are a bad thing, if like me, you prefer the urban life.

  27. Posted by Damion

    Why would one want to live in Times Square?
    I’m in the Millennium’s neighborhood a lot, and I’m still having a hard time seeing its potential as a great residential address. The St. Regis and Four Seasons worked because they’re near Yerba Buena Gardens and Union Square. Infinity works because it’s near the Embarcadero and financial district without being in the middle of it all. But The Millennium — its location reminds me of 333 Bush, which has great big views, but is too close to too many high rises. No doubt it will be a fantastic building — but DESPITE its location, not because of it.

  28. Posted by anon

    Since when in any city have the “very rich” wanted to live next to a bus terminal? I can see how this could be desirable for those of us who commute, but I would imagine that a buyer in this building is not riding the bus or train to work.
    I still think 999 Green has the best views in the city.

  29. Posted by Brutus

    anon,
    The new Transbay Terminal will not be just a “bus terminal”. If things go right, the terminal will be the place to catch a 2.5 hour train ride to LA. That is the appeal. Sure, it’s going to be a long time before that happens, but we’re not talking about a “bus terminal”.

  30. Posted by anon

    That may be true, but for the next 10+ years, it’ll probably be a ‘bus terminal’ with massive demolition and construction in all directions.
    I can’t imagine uber-luxury living in that kind of environment…

  31. Posted by SFhighrise

    “That may be true, but for the next 10+ years, it’ll probably be a ‘bus terminal’ with massive demolition and construction in all directions.”
    Actually, it’ll only be a bus terminal for about another 2-3 years (about the time when the Millenium opens). At that time, they’ll be demolishing the original terminal and associated ramps and utilizing a current parking lot on Folsom and Main as a temporary bus terminal. That info is available on the transbay terminal website.

  32. Posted by anon

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Millennium, and feel it could be one of the better designed new high rise condos, but I would not want to live near any terminal. IF I wanted to move South of Market (Or South of California for that matter) it would be to the Infinity. I just don’t see why luxury buyers would consider it a plus to next to a terminal. Can you imagine someone at 2006 Washington moving down to this building because they can cross the street to the Terminal?

  33. Posted by another anon

    Hold on – the penthouse at 2006 sold for $25 million? Wasn’t it purchased for $14 million not too long ago? Wow. I’d rather buy the top 3 floors of the St. Regis if I had that kind of money, but 2006 sure is a beautiful building.
    I’d rather live across Lafayette Park or Yerba Buena Center than the Transbay Terminal though…

  34. Posted by frerderick

    For those you that are curious about the future of the “Mill” neighborhood, you should visit the new High Speed rail hub in London, or Shanghi, or Tokyo. You will see in July, with the openings of the bids to have the opportunity to design and build the new terminal, what is going to happen to this neighborhood. Have patience, the future is in front of you!
    Frederick

  35. Posted by Patricia Jordan (Corcoran)

    It is a beautiful design. Looking forward to dining in the new restaurant, perhaps order a strawberry daiquiri and reminisce and ponder how the city is developing, recalling my childhood days born and raised in this grand city. Congratulations on your success Glenn. I hope all of your dreams have come true. Sincerely, your old pal, Tricia ;- )

  36. Posted by urbanist

    “My viewpoint isn’t shared by everyone, but hey, I used to live in Phoenix. I grew accustomed to everything being new, clean and modern and that’s how I prefer to live.”
    Why did you leave Phoenix, SFhighrise?

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