Millennium Tower San Francisco
From rumor to reality, J.K. Dineen reports that the Millennium sales center will be opening in November of this year (roughly six months early). A couple of other details and numbers: second floor amenities (including screening room, gym, pool, terrace with fire pits, individual wine lockers and rooms dedicated to yoga and pilates) for the midrise (11-story) and tower (60-story) residents; a total of 419 condos (not 437); and units ranging from 750 to 3,400 square feet.

Architect Glenn Rescalvo, who designed the project for Handel Architects, said the 53 1,600-square-foot midrise units would feature 10-foot ceilings and wide-open floor plans. He said the design would be more typical of Tribeca lofts than San Francisco lofts, which tend to be long and narrow with double height and a mezzanine.

Occupancy remains slated for Spring 2009. And pricing? “Sean Jeffries, a principal with Millennium, said the pricing of the units at the Millennium had not been finalized, but that it would represent “the highest price per square foot in the marketplace.” If so, that’s likely north of $1,500 a square foot.
San Francisco Millennium Tower And Midrise
Millennium Tower (301 Mission): Moving On Up (Tower And Schedule) [SocketSite]
Millennium pours on condos [Business Times]
Not Exactly A Flood (But Perhaps A Trickle) At The St. Regis [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by SFhighrise

    I think this is shaping up to be a gorgeous building. The amenitites sound great too….I love the firepit.
    Now, while I do think that $1,500 is a bit too high psf, to live next to the transbay terminal, I do recall that 3rd and Mission was once a bad area and now its pretty nice, so things can change a lot quicker than we’d expect.
    I think that many of the complaints for this and/or other new buildings in the area are typically from North of California folks who are jealous that their neighborhoods are about to lose the designation as the best areas of the city.

  2. Posted by JNu

    Now how big is the market for $1500/psf residences? No doubt that it sounds like it’s shaping up to be a very nice building, but it also sounds like there is going to be a lot of condos costing a lot of money.

  3. Posted by Quahong

    I don’t know that the “north of Cal” neighborhoods are going to lose their designation, but it will be nice to have a VERY nice NEW neighborhood in a few more years.

  4. Posted by zzzzzzz

    One thing I’ve noticed is that this building seems to be going up very slowly – far more slowly than One Rincon. At the rate they’re going, I’m not surprised that occupancy is nearly two years away.

  5. Posted by Jason

    Quality takes time. Unlike One Rincon, Millennium will be a great building and well worth the money.

  6. Posted by AC

    Stunning building, and I can’t wait till that unfortunate neighborhood is cleaned up.

  7. Posted by missionbay res

    We’re probably looking at close to $2000/sqft on the higher floors. That would be a record for new development pricing.
    Has anyone notice that Millenium is surrounded by highrises in almost all directions except the southwest? All along Mission down to the bay there’s 30-40+ stories buildings. Directly across from Millenium (between Beale and Main), there’s another 40 story tower (blocking direct bay views), and to the southeast we’ll have the 2 Infinity Towers blocking much of the Bay Bridge and southeastern water views. Directly to the south is another 30+ story tower.
    Assuming units on the “middle” floors average $1400-1600/sqft. Would someone really be willing to pay $2,000,000 for a 1200sqft unit facing ugly office towers with limited, or no water views?? And that’s not even taking into account the questionable neighborhood which may take 5-10 years to improve…

  8. Posted by anon

    I still think this could be the most attractive new tower to go up in San Francisco in a very long time. But PLEASE do not try to pretend that this neighborhood is the next Cow Hollow or Presidio Heights. This city is just like many others, some want to live in modern high rises next to work and stations, others want victorian mansions on tree lined streets, but I would hardly call the location of this building a “neighborhood”. When the tourists come to visit, they will not be oooohing and aahhhhing at this tower for they have that at home in Chicago and Atlanta, they will be going to Union Street, the Marina Green, Pacific Heights, Russian and Nob Hill, and North Beach for those neighborhoods still spell “San Francisco” to most outsiders.

  9. Posted by tipster

    I also laughed at the word “neighborhood” in the above post. But what really got my funny bone was the idea that “someone” in SF was going to “clean up” an area next to a bus station. Not going to happen. At least not in SF.
    The $1600 psf no view residents are going to have to learn to coexist with the alcoholics and crack addicts who will permanently be their next door neighbors.
    Actually, it will be GREAT for the people living at the bus station. The quality of panhandling and the results of their efforts should go up significantly once people who are so free with their cash show up! And that will only serve to draw more addicts to the area. They have to go somewhere!
    And you know what, the new residents will have a beautiful building in a great location, so they won’t care. Everyone wins.

  10. Posted by anonymous

    As far as crack addicts, this block is better than the Four Seasons’ block. Millennium’s crack addicts are down the street from it. But Four Seasons’ crack addicts are right outside their front door. This building will probably sell out fast, as the Ritz Carlton has.

  11. Posted by Jordan

    I wonder how many new residents -living in these new expensive buildings- it will take before the ground underneath Chris Daly shifts and we get a more reasonable supervisor in that district 6?
    (rant)
    All of those “crack addicts” and “alcoholics” are there because SF lacks the political will to crack down on these unfortunate souls. Giving these people one-way bus tickets to another city hardly works when they are immediately replaced by new homeless people, homeless people attracted to a city that tolerates anything so long as you have somehow been screwed by ‘society’ (or as we called it in college, “the MAN”).
    (/rant)
    My point is, the scary people at the bus terminal aren’t going anywhere, even if you put up $2,000 per sf condos right next to them. That there is so much demand for such expensive housing right next to a hub of homelessness is testament to how accustomed SF residents have become to living with (and ignoring) this city’s main problem.

  12. Posted by SFhighrise

    I disagree that these homeless people aren’t going anywhere. If you notice, they hang out mainly under the overhangs of the bus terminal or under the bus ramp. These “shelters” provide them with some degree of respite from the wind and rain (during the winter months). Once these structures are demolished (scheduled for 2009-2010), we’ll be left with empty plots of land, until they begin construction on the new terminal. My point is that they’ll no longer have this shelter and will need to move to another location. So, the conditions of the area should change dramatically a lot quicker than others are predicting.

  13. Posted by Morgan

    What a city! The most expensive tower to be built in the city and people are hoping that maybe the problems will just go away after overhangs are gone. The tower is beautiful, but what is the product San Francisco is selling at this point? Again and again I am shocked to find that we are not as desirable a place to live as we are constantly told by realtors and civic boosters. Friends who come to visit are all shocked at the dirty streets, crime and homelessness. We have been living off the city’s past glory for far too long and the last laugh could be on us.

  14. Posted by CameronRex

    Amen Morgan!

  15. Posted by Paul Hwang

    I am disturbed that some of the posts here would like to “get rid” of the homeless population. I don’t think we can say that we have succesfully solved the homeless situation without helping their addictions, mental health and other demons. If you want San Francisco to be a benchmark society for the world to aspire to, it is not enough to simply find the homeless a place to sleep. San Francisco is a great city that deserves the trophy buildings that are rising into the sky, but not at the expense of apathy towards the less fortunate.

  16. Posted by Morgan

    I believe the problem of the homeless and other pour souls who need help and are stuck on the streets has reached beyond the crisis point. The idea of such a beautiful tower full of the residents living above the howls of those on the streets reminds me of the worst science fiction nightmares (Soylent Green comes to mind). I was with clients from Singapore at the bar at Zuni restaurant and all they could talk about was their shock at the parade of homeless with their shopping carts moving past the windows. As a proud San Franciscan I was embarrassed and ashamed.

  17. Posted by Jordan

    Paul,
    We’ll never solve the homeless issue because there will always be a segment of society that wants to live off the grid. Additionally, unless you support holding mentally ill people against their will, we are always going to have the crazies walking the street begging for money so that they can self-medicate on whatever evil they can get their hands on.
    It’s not fair to the taxpayers of San Francisco to make them try and support the large number of aging homeless AND the out-of-town street kids that show up everyday and migrate to the Haight and Golden Gate Park.
    Since we can’t eliminate homelessness, our best bet is to enforce broken windows law enforcement, and crack down upon those who break quality of life laws (e.g. public urination, camping in the park, panhandling) as well as the rampant public drinking and drug abuse/dealing.
    This is not an either-or issue. We can still be compassionate to the less fortunate by trying to put the homeless into housing and getting them in touch with outreach workers. However, it is all carrot and no stick in this town. We need to find a mayor and supervisors who are willing to break from the past and end this myopically hypertolerance of homelessness.

  18. Posted by zzzzzzzz

    The homeless situation is intolerable, but what’s worse, in my opinion, is the rampant dumping of household garbage on the streets. Somehow it’s become the norm these past few years to dispose of every conceivable manner of household waste on the street, even in some expensive neighborhoods. It’s a true sign of civic rot when fouling your nest becomes the middle class norm.

  19. Posted by tipster

    If any of you actually knew what it would cost out of YOUR pocket to treat the homeless, you’d say what every politician has been saying for the last 35 years, “You know, watching a couple of shopping carts go down the street every hour really isn’t that bad!”
    It’s not a myopic hyper tolerance: it’s the fact that no one wants to just send them on the next bus out of town, yet no one wants to pay for real treatment (if such a thing is even possible). So they sit. Just like they always will. This problem isn’t going away because the two possible alternatives are politically unpalatable.
    And as for Chris Daly, he has a lot of faults, but being politically stupid isn’t one of them. He knows the absentee owners of these trophy buildings bring more tax dollars, yet will do nothing to challenge him. He gets more entrenched by the hour.

  20. Posted by anon

    ” it’s the fact that no one wants to just send them on the next bus out of town”
    How is that a fact?

  21. Posted by Brutus

    Morgan,
    Please let us know when you are putting your place on the market, so we can come take a look.
    Because surely, if this place is so bad, you must be leaving soon? No?

  22. Posted by anon

    Think of it this way:
    Homeless people want to live in an urban area where they walk to different areas easily. Homeless people want to live in an environment that is not that hot, that cold, or that wet. How many cities can they seriously go to?

  23. Posted by anon2

    Brutus,
    I grew up in this city. Are those of us who feel that there are some serious problems not able to voice them in your opinion , or should we just leave town? This reminds me of supporters of the current president who will not stand for any negative comments about the war. You hear people say they are moving to New Zealand, but I am one of those types that would rather stick around and try to make things better. The streets were never as dirty as they are now, and as a child I never remember the homeless epidemic we currently have.

  24. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Jordan,
    You bring up several compelling arguments, but we have a disagreement. Laws should be enforced, but I feel that the policy that you are advocating is contrary to civilized society. If you have the opportunity to help someone, you should. The probability, as you stated, is that you will not be 100% succesful. However in the final analysis you will discovor that there is a certain happieness in piety.
    Respectfully,
    Paul

  25. Posted by Mole Man

    Oddly enough, the number of homeless has been going down partly because of the functional economy and partly because much of the existing population either moved on or sobered up or wore out. The great irony here is that the next downturn is likely to cause another wave of homeless to appear and this will follow on the footsteps of a housing boom gone bust.

  26. Posted by Brutus

    anon2,
    I wasn’t asking Morgan to leave. I was merely asking for an invite to the listing party for her place, because she/he seemed to be asking why anyone would want to live here, in this place that only “lives off its past”.

  27. Posted by Jamie

    I would suspect that in 8 years or so, perhaps Rincon Hill and South Beach might become a new District (for an additional Supervisor)??

  28. Posted by Jamie

    On homeless folks … and other folks living beyond their means (many youngsters these days it seems) … if I couldn’t make ends meet in San Francisco, I’d figure out where I could make ends meet and move there (Wyoming has many unfilled, unskilled labor jobs, and is recruiting folks from Michigan right now). Of course, there’s no such rationalizing or reasoning for the mentally ill (including drug addicts and chronic inebriates) who crowd our streets.

  29. Posted by anon2

    Here is something to think about. Wilshire Blvd. is the Market Street of Los Angeles, running through both the poorest and richest areas. Look at how clean the streets are! This high speed video is by an artist who walked all 16 miles.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhunN7egbZc
    The answer to our problems in San Francisco is to want to have the will to change the situation. Santa Monica, Like S.F., has allowed the problem to get out of control, and they now suffer the results. S.F. has the money and resources to change the situation if we demanded our leaders to no longer tolerate what has become “the home of the homeless”. I think the Millenium is an amazing building, but I would not think of spending that kind of money unless its location was similar to the Wilshire Corridor of high end condos in L.A.

  30. Posted by Gordo

    I would much rather deal with a couple homeless guys than have to deal with LA traffic. I could probably walk to may job here, but would never be able to from some “gated community in the sky” along Wilshire.

  31. Posted by anon

    I think the above post was about getting the will to change the homeless crisis, not whether or not L.A. is better than S.F. Brutus/Gordo! Millenium is charging the highest per sq. ft. cost in the city and yet it is currently in a major pocket of homeless people. As was posted above, are we supposed to pretend this problem does not exist in San Francisco? The fact that SOME are so DEFENSIVE about S.F. problems shows how bad the city problems may be. The “Love it or Leave it” attitude was wrong during the Vietnam War, and wrong regarding whether or not we address the problems in this city. I want a clean compassionate San Francisco with safe clean streets, growing housing and business, and services to keep those who need help from sleeping on my doorstep. Enough with the facist civic pride nonsense, San Francisco is not perfect, yet 🙂

  32. Posted by SeeHsee

    This building looks wonderful and, despite the challenged neighborhood, of all the current and planned new high-rises, this is the one I would consider straying south of Market to live in. (I did live in SOMA once…hated it…but why be close-minded?)
    I’m not particularly concerned that the value of my current home with views of Grace Cathedral and Huntington Park will be threatened by taller, newer buildings South of Market. That said, I love seeing beautiful new buildings go up in SF and hope it does lead to more desireable areas of the city to live in. I work near the area of Millenium Tower and would love to see it transform into something a little more appealing, during the day and at night.
    To a degree, I think the homeless issue in SF is the product of misguided and lazy social activism stemming from personal insecurities–and overall lack of personal responsibility. First, who in their right mind thinks it’s charitable or progressive to let the mentally ill or addicted roam the streets and live in filth (and create it for others) when they are clearly not in a position to make sound decisions for themselves? Second (and in reference to some comments above), if you really want to help the homeless, volunteer at a shelter instead of simply leaving your restaurant left-overs (or old groceries) on top of a public garbage can.
    The blocks in my immediate neighborhood are clean and, for the most part, pleasant. Do we have homeless? Absolutely. But, the businesses and residences make it a point to promptly paint over graffiti and keep sidewalks and areas outside their property clean instead of “looking the other way” as may San Franciscans do. (Perhpas this the product of pride and respect for a landmark neighborhood?)

  33. Posted by Gordo

    anon, my point was that I would rather live with the “problems” of homelessness in SF than the REAL PROBLEMS of horrendous traffic and being forced to be a slave to a car that exist in LA. To me – a few homeless people do not detract from my life as much as they seem to for you.

  34. Posted by zzzzzzz

    “…Santa Monica, Like S.F., has allowed the problem to get out of control, and they now suffer the results…”
    True, but there’s one crucial distinction: Santa Monica still manages to keep its streets and parks spotlessly clean. The same is true of Santa Cruz – another uber-liberal city with a large, visible homeless population. Why is this so difficult for San Francisco? The mind simply boggles.

  35. Posted by anon

    zzzzz , I could not agree more, and what is even more concerning to me are things that are just being thrown anywhere in neighborhoods I never used to see this type of behavior. I own rental units on Russian Hill and in the Richmond, and the other day going up Jones street I saw an old TV just left in the street, followed in the next block by part of a bed. My point is, I just don’t see this type of behavior in other similar cities (Chicago, Seattle, etc.) and I wonder if this will even impact boutique buildings like the Millenium which will probably cater to out of town real estate collectors.

  36. Posted by Michael

    The redevelopment of the Transbay Terminal will have an enormous positive impact on the area, and I’m with Frederick on this one – it won’t suck living within a block of San Francisco’s future transit hub.
    We do need to solve the homeless/vagrancy problem in San Francisco (for their sake more than ours), but I’m amazed at just how provincial some San Franciscan’s are coming across when it comes to any development that’s in a true urban location.

  37. Posted by SF4life

    This thread is going down the toilet. In anticipation for one of the most luxurious and expensive high rises in SF, it turns into a debate on homeless policy and comparisons to LA. What’s going on here?

  38. Posted by anon checker

    anon,
    Have you been to Seattle?

  39. Posted by anon

    Hey, anyone noticed that the building has 8 (eight) corners?

  40. Posted by blahhh

    “Hey, anyone noticed that the building has 8 (eight) corners?”
    Oh sure, and the SomaGrand got 14 corners (acutally 22 big and small ones, if marketed correctly).

  41. Posted by anon

    “This thread is going down the toilet. In anticipation for one of the most luxurious and expensive high rises in SF, it turns into a debate on homeless policy and comparisons to LA. What’s going on here?”
    Whats going on is a reflection of the current market where you have luxury condos going up left and right while affordable housing becomes almost impossible to find. The Millenium is the bubbles at the top of the froth and after the correction finally comes to San Francisco, people will wonder what some were thinking paying 1500 a sq. ft. next to a bus station.

  42. Posted by Jamie

    1/3 of the housing to be created in place of the current surface parking lots near the Transbay Terminal is going to be affordable and/or senior citizen housing. I’m just a little concerned that SOMA is the catch all for the entire City for homeless folks.

  43. Posted by tipster

    I want a clean compassionate San Francisco with safe clean streets, growing housing and business, and services to keep those who need help from sleeping on my doorstep.
    You forgot to mention how expensive these “services” would be and how eagerly you want to pay for them out of your own pocket.
    This of course is the crux of the problem. Everyone wants to be “compassionate”, and running the bums (is that even a word any more?) out of town would not be seen as being very compassionate.
    On the other hand, real services for them would cost taxpayers a bundle. So SF, unlike other cities not so worried about “compassion”, DOESN’T run them out of town, but doesn’t treat them either.
    So they lie on the streets. They will ALWAYS lie on the streets because we have neither the desire to send them elsewhere nor the desire to pay to keep them off the streets. So get used to it. Until one of those desires changes (not in your lifetime), there isn’t any other possible outcome.
    We’ve stopped handing them cash, so they aren’t attracted for that reason alone, but we also don’t harass them, so the ones who do come, will tend to stay, where they can panhandle for chemical substance money and do whatever they want to do on the sidewalk in peace.
    BTW, want to know where most of them go during the early morning? Check out the reading carols in the SF library main branch. They actually sit and read for most of the day. The library is jam packed with them. We have the most literate bums on the planet. That tells me the problem may not be unsolvable – just very, very expensive.
    And as for the hijack of the thread, nonsense. The residents of this new building, during the rare times they actually walk outside, will be right in the thick of the homeless problem. So given the sparse details associated with the building, this is the most relevant topic.
    You can build a pretty bus station across the street, but it’s still going to be a bus station. You can call it a “transit hub” to avoid the negative connotations, but buses will come and go from there, so draw your own conclusions. Just like the LA county jail can be called “Paris Hilton’s home”, but that doesn’t make the people who are there any better. (Come ti think of it, I’m sure that hasn’t stopped the realtors from advertising homes nearby the jail by stating “Live Right Next to Paris Hilton!!”)

  44. Posted by anon

    “And as for the hijack of the thread, nonsense. The residents of this new building, during the rare times they actually walk outside, will be right in the thick of the homeless problem. So given the sparse details associated with the building, this is the most relevant topic. ”
    AMEN!
    Someone spending $1500 a sq. ft. is not going to walk across the street and ride the bus. I could imagine the Millenium Garage Door spitting out BMW’s and Range Rovers throughout the day however with windows up and doors locked. Welcome to the new San Francisco!

  45. Posted by John

    “Someone spending $1500 a sq. ft. is not going to walk across the street and ride the bus. I could imagine the Millenium Garage Door spitting out BMW’s and Range Rovers throughout the day however with windows up and doors locked. Welcome to the new San Francisco!”
    How about their rich friends who are invited to the house warning party? They would need to park their own BMW on the street, walk through the homeless to the building.

  46. Posted by anon

    If one is to look at real estate purely for investment reasons, reading this thread makes north of California street seem almost as safe as you are going to get both physically and financially. As amazing as this building looks, I just cannot see South of Market becoming “the” “neighborhood” of choice, and I use “neighborhood” in quotes as I am not convinced it will be one. The worst decision my sister ever made was selling her unit at 999 Green and moving to SOMA as she would have made a fortune for she has not nearly seen the gain in value where she is now vs. what units at 999 Green now sell for.

  47. Posted by zzzzzz

    “…On the other hand, real services for them would cost taxpayers a bundle. So SF, unlike other cities not so worried about “compassion”, DOESN’T run them out of town, but doesn’t treat them either…”
    I would beg to differ. SF spends stunning sums of money to “treat” the homeless. The figures I’ve seen indicate we spend a minimum of $20,000 per homeless individual per year, and that’s probably conservative. On a per capita basis, SF spends far more on the homeless than any other American city. So the issue is not a lack of spending – it’s the fact we provide a vastly disproportionate array of services, coupled with a complete absence of law enforcement. Bingo! SF has perfected the formula for creating chaos and squalor in the streets.

  48. Posted by Damion

    There is now a huge colorful banner wrapped around the first 3 or 4 stories of the building, with a big photo of the exterior and some images of SF. Everyone who walks by is staring at it, as was I — I almost walked into someone!

  49. Posted by Damion

    They have just relaunched their website today. Totally sexy. One of the best marketing sites ever. I’m afraid their marketing department puts the others to shame.
    http://millenniumtowersf.com/

  50. Posted by missionbay res

    Well at $1500/sqft they better have the best marketing site ever!
    They’ll need it to convince people to fork over that much money for a ‘non hotel’ branded complex.

  51. Posted by Yvon

    the debate on public policy seems to be a frequent topic; as a former Angelino for many years I have to say that I miss Los Angeles — the quality of life is much better; even in downtown the homeless situation is not as widespread is in San Francisco. And guess what — Santa Monica smells like urine and there’s shit and garbage all over the park where the homeless camp.

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