The five-alarm fire that consumed half of the MB360 development in South Mission Bay was contained to the 170-unit building under construction along Fourth Street at the intersection of China Basin, a building which was slated to open its doors mid-year.
The Mission Bay Block 5 building continues to smolder this morning and will be a complete loss, not to mention a setback for the development of the Fourth Street retail corridor.

21 thoughts on “Mission Bay 360 Building A Complete Loss, Setback For Fourth Street”
  1. A complete loss is a bit of an exaggeration. The foundation and other concrete structural elements are probably fine. Those components are a good chunk of the building cost. This happened at Santana Row in SJ when that was being built and the biggest delay was actually the insurance battle that ensued not the reconstruction.

  2. ^ depends on a number of factors – they’re going to have to go in and check the foundation and anything else that *appears* not to be damaged – depending on the temperatures reached and the length of time exposed to that heat, even concrete (or materials embedded in the concrete) could lose their structural utility and have to be redone.

  3. Wish the Fourth Street concept were reoriented towards the Channel with an esplanade, or better — along the Bay with an esplanade. Why would the MB retail segment turn its back on the defining amenity of Mission BAY? An inward facing shopping street makes little sense. Everyone wants to see and be near the water (they just don’t know it).

  4. 2 inches of concrete cover over rebar does provide some fire protection to the steel – multiple hours – but the concrete could have easily spalled as water entrapped therein boiled off. The concrete beams of the podium could have sagged as the steel weakened. Fire protection is for life safety, not building function, so even though the building stood, the remaining concrete podium could be non-functional for many reasons. It could easily be a total loss.

  5. Socketsite has done an excellent job covering this with really good graphics. This building looks like a timber frame over a concrete podium. I thought it bulky and too massive from the street – it reminded me of a prison. If you have ever lived beneath someone in a timber building you know that you hear all of their foot traffic. A taller and thinner concrete and steel structure would have been more interesting on this site.

  6. Retail does better when both sides of the street are retail. Eliminate one and you lose the benefits of concentration and proximity.

  7. “As this is not a wood frame building…what exactly fueled this fire?”
    Six story building, top five floors were wood framed.

  8. Ok Michael, if that’s true, thank you.
    However, my understanding is wood frame is limited to a height of 50 feet…which usally translates to four stories of wood frame over a concrete podium. Some information out there…sfgate for instance…is saying the building is 80 feet tall.

  9. I have trouble understanding why, in the 21st century, we are still building with so much wood. You’d think a fireproof alternative would have been developed long ago.

  10. They build with wood because its cheap and the carpenters are used to it for years. Wood can bused for structural framing as well as non load bearing partitions- its versitile.
    Our office (architects) does all our buildings with metal studs because of the type/size and occupancy. I think the days of wood framed residential building will be numbered.
    This will make construction slightly more $$ IMHO.

  11. You’d think that in a location like this, SF would be building a 20 or 30 story building. All of Mission Bay is a colossal missed opportunity. Alas. If Vancouver can build highrises and preserve views in a balanced way, SF could.

  12. We lived in one of the Berry Street buildings from 2007 until late-2012. It was concrete and we considered that to be a big selling point when we bought. We heard about occasional earthquakes on the news. We didn’t feel them at all, even though we were on fill. Our unit was also dead quiet. We couldn’t hear our upstairs neighbor at all, unless the windows were open. When I saw these newer buildings going up I was amazed to see that they were mostly wood. While it’s true that you can only go so high with a wood frame, I believe they just added a second floor of concrete to the podium and built the wood frame structure on top of that. Maybe the replacement structure will be all concrete?

  13. @incline: I know, right? Anyone who doesn’t embrace walking down cold, dark streets with the wind whipping through the skyscraper canyon is a a total nimby.

  14. I drove through the area for the 1st time in what must be nearly a year, and was amazed how transformed China Basin has become.
    Also, its hard to grasp until you see it the true scale of the destruction, because seeing a city block destroyed has a much greater impact then just looking at a tiny diagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *