The City’s official Request For Proposals to develop a 550-foot tower with ground-floor retail and 15,000 square feet of open space on San Francisco’s Transbay Block 5 has just been issued with an explicit note attached: “Proposals that include any amount of residential and/or hotel space will not be accepted.”

While the Transbay Block bounded by Beale, Howard and Main was originally slated for a residential tower and townhomes, San Francisco’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure has determined that “economic conditions create a strong preference for commercial development over residential and hotel development on Block 5.”

In addition, “unforeseen circumstances” have required an unexpected configuration for the site and tower.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by madWMoney

    So if the city explicitly says no residential and/or hotel space is allowed but was zoned as a residential block, could a developer/group sue the city for disregarding their own plan? Well, maybe not sue, but argue that rejecting a proposal that includes residential would be against the law?
    [Editor’s Note: The Development Controls for the Transbay Redevelopment Project specifically allow for the option of a commercial tower on Block 5, “if the Agency determines that economic conditions create a strong preference for commercial development over residential development.”]

  2. Posted by Louis

    you can sue for anything, but there zero chance of prevailing on this.
    there is a pretty strong argument for expanding office and keeping “jobs / housing” balance.
    theyre both experiencing tight-supply-induced bubbles. even though resi gets all the chatter time on socketsite.
    rents are moving up around $60 psf now.

  3. Posted by Joseph A

    I support this, even if the city needs housing, it needs its office space concentrated even more so that transportation can be efficient!

  4. Posted by ED

    are there any other transbay blocks that have the option of going commercial?

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