With the wining team having been selected to build a 550-foot residential tower and podium development on Transbay Block 8, fronting Folsom Street between Fremont and First, the City is preparing to release a Request For Proposals to develop another big tower and podium project on Transbay Block 5, fronting Howard Street between Main and Beale.


Across the street from San Francisco’s Temporary Transbay Terminal, the Transbay Block 5 parcel is zoned for a tower to rise up to 550-feet in height.

17 thoughts on “Another Big Transbay Block In Play And Zoned For A 550-Foot Tower”
  1. Is this slated for residential, or office?
    Glad it’s 550 instead of 300 or 400 – though while I’m not automatically part of the “build it higher” crowd, this close to the FiDi and Mission Street it could be nice to have a higher tower as part of the transition.
    I wish the temporary Transbay Terminal would be preserved as open space in the future – it’s nice to have open downtown parks, like Bryant Park in NYC or Post Office Square in Boston.

  2. temp terminal is supposed to be turned into a park area when no longer needed.
    [Editor’s Note: Only the middle third of the Temporary Terminal block will become open space. Buildings will rise on Block 4 fronting Howard and and Block 2 fronting Folsom.]

  3. Are you sure this is going to be an office building? In the final zoning map, this parcel is zoned as TB-DTR, downtown residential:
    [Editor’s Note: Good catch. While the northern two-thirds of the block is zoned Commercial, the southern third, “Block 5,” is indeed zoned residential.]

  4. Keeping only 1/3rd of the current temporary terminal as a park is almost pointless – I’m definitely not an “oh no, buidling shadows!” person, but trying to squeeze a small park mid-block between towers is silly.

  5. SierraJeff makes a valid point. Squeezing in that small park seems somewhat senseless. However, given that there will be a park/public space stretching across the new Transbay Terminal Center perhaps that is the reasoning for such a small space. Having lived in NY and DC, I enjoyed the local parks. These spaces were part of the overall city master plan. In SF, it seems more like green space is an afterthought in today’s design since land is at a premium price.
    I’d also like to see more intimate spaces being built, perhaps utilizing the alleys in a way to capture unique commercial/dining corridors or more South Park-inspired designs which bring a more neighborhood feel to the concrete jungle.

  6. Why are they releasing these blocks in phases? Are they trying to stagger construction schedules or are they trying to develop a neighborhood master plan? Seems to me that a neighborhood would develop more quickly with fewer empty lots.

  7. So, will the hot dog place on the corner be going bye-bye? That seems to be in some old art-deco utility building that appears to date back to when the bay bridge was built, though I’ve never been sure why it was there. The bus ramp used to curve between beale and howard around that small building.

  8. I can’t remember all the details about how it got to its present location (I smoke a LOT of marijuana when I was in college), but the hot dog stand was originally a gas station on Sacramento Street. I think it was moved to Main/Howard in the 1980s. Maybe one of the other plugged in old timers can fill in the details.

  9. Considering all of the new units coming and only 0.17 acres of [open] space per 1,000 residents as of 2010 Census data, SoMa needs that 1 acre of park space very much even if it does sit between residential buildings at the current Temporary Trnansbay site.

  10. @ Mark, good point about the roof of the Transbay Terminal – it’s easy to forget that someday that huge linear construction site will be a huge linear park. Though I wish TPTB would let more buildings correct with it directly – otherwise it risks becoming a forgotten “public space” like at Gateway Center.

  11. Another quirk of this block is that a small sliver is part of the 201 Mission parking lot. I wonder if they’re going to cut a deal with the owners of 201 Mission or use eminent domain.

    The Transit Center District Plan calls for extending Natoma Street between Beale and Main, along the northern edge of Block 5.

    The RFP is going to be very interesting to see what it has to say about that art deco hot dog hut and acquiring that sliver of 201 Mission’s parking lot.

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