rendering by steelblue

rendering by steelblue

Not satisfied with the $160 million discount they were given on their purchase of the 101 First Street site, the site upon which the 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower is being constructed, Boston Properties is protesting the rate at which they will have to contribute to a Community Facilities District (CFD) which was designed to help fund the development of San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center.

The owners of 41 Tehama and the 50 First Street parcels have also formally joined the fight against the Special Tax which the CFD establishes, a tax which was designed to equal 0.55 percent of their developments’ values.

At the heart of the protests: the city’s formulas overstate the value of the developments and their tax burdens.

In fact, as one of the protest letters points out, the city’s formulas could result in a tax burden to the Salesforce Tower which would be “over $100 million” higher than previously anticipated.  Another $60 million and Boston’s cost basis for their development could effectively be back to where they originally bid.

A public hearing on the establishment of the Community Facilities District for the Transbay Transit Center will be held by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors tomorrow at 3PM.

Cost overruns have already added $300 million to the cost of constructing the $1.9 billion Transbay Transit Center.  And unless the City can raise $24 million in private donations and grants, the development is slated to open without its signature rooftop park as dollars are being diverted to complete the terminal’s construction.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by peanut gallery

    The Transbay Terminal is a direct investment into the nearby real estate, being centralized to regional transit makes this real estate very valuable. What is all the whining about?

  2. Posted by Jackson

    I’m sure Boston Properties is now contemplating the possibility HSR will not happen. Additionally, there have been the recent reports regarding the lack of sources to fund bringing CalTrain into the Transbay Terminal. Without either, the SF Transit Center becomes less valuable.

    • Posted by peanut gallery

      I guess you have a point there, as developers were sold on this being a HSR and CalTrain terminal. I suppose I would feel like I were gipped too. Maybe a lawsuit or this type of retroactive penalizing is what it will take for our “leaders” to get a clue.

      • Posted by mark

        This is turning into one heck of an expensive bus station

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      HSR and Caltrain are both going into Transbay. You don’t seriously think that they are not do you? HSR recently broke ground and has been winning legal victory after legal victory. It will take longer than hoped for, due to all the lawsuits, but it will eventually end up there.

  3. Posted by Anonandon

    And without HSR or Caltrain, it becomes a bus terminal, and there is no bus terminal I can think of that creates a desirable environment for nearby owners and tenants. BTW- just for the record, I believe there are no plans for MUNI or BART to connect at Transbay either, correct?

    • Posted by Chicks

      Muni and ACtransit will service the terminal on opening day. Caltrain and HSR would follow in that order.

    • Posted by c_q

      Supposedly there will be an underground ‘people mover’ (i.e. moving sidewalk) between embarcadero bart and transbay once it is completed. Though I would not be surprised if the money for that will be (if not already) diverted to finish the terminal itself.

  4. Posted by jamesjr

    As I’ve said before: This will be the world’s most expensive bus terminal and homeless shelter. No MUNI, BART, CalTrain or high speed rail (HSR) connections. What were our leaders thinking?

  5. Posted by Dave

    Our leaders were looking to pocket money. Look at Pelosi’s husband and his shenanigans.

    The towers look awful. Downtown is more sterile than ever at street level. Go to Seattle or Portland to see how it is down right. Growing, intimate downtowns as SF sinks further into mediocrity.

  6. Posted by BajaisBest

    If the elevated park acts as a magnet and draws homeless from GG Park like bees to honey, all the better. They should then be closer to treatment and jobs, and tens of thousands of new housing units 🙂

  7. Posted by MSTBLD

    Idiotic. The Assessment fees are supposed to finance the local share of the Downtown Train Tunnel. If they are not implemented, then no tunnel and only a $2b bus station. This has been in the plans for seven years and everyone has been aware of it. Boston Properties is an outlier always after its own narrow interests rather than the larger community.

    • Posted by Anonandon

      Using that 2 billion for the electrification of Caltrain and the tunnel would have been the way to go for sure as MSTBLD says. I was reading on another site a comment that short sighted planners and engineers are making reductions in cost to Transbay by reducing structural steel strength since no trains are coming to Transbay, and future builders would have to install modifications to strengthen the structure to allow trains in the future, is this true?

      • Posted by Mstbld

        On the contrary. The TransBay J P A has added steel and concrete to the building for homeland security reason at great cost which some people think is excessive and unnecessary.

        • Posted by Anonandon

          Apologies then…I had read the steel “information” on Streetsblog…and I should know better than to have accepted that as fact.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Which article was that?

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            wait, there’s an article on Streetsblog that’s not factually correct?

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            I spent five minutes searching Streetsblog and could not find it. I searched “HSR”. I searched “Transbay”. I searched for “Transit Center”. I can’t seem to find the article you are referring to, maybe you should help me.

      • Posted by c_q

        There is no below-ground ‘structural steel’ for the part that is holding the trains – that is all underground reinforced concrete construction, and is being built expecting trains to come (the train deck is 5-foot thick, if that isn’t enough to support trains I don’t know what would be).

        The above-ground ‘structural steel’ I suppose could be reduced slightly in strength because they went from a heavy glass skin to a lighter metal mesh skin. That steel still also has to hold the bus deck however so they can’t reduce strength all that much. But it definitely is not holding trains or would have any impact.

  8. Posted by SFRealist

    It was really smart to spend $2 billion on the Central Subway and not make it accessible to the Transbay Terminal.

    • Posted by zig

      Or even to build the central subway out to Visitation Valley when you could have just put all resources into building a high capacity modern electric train with stops in Visitation Valley and Bayview

  9. Posted by jill

    the central subway may be the biggest boondoggle in SF history, catering to those Chinatown bosses who help get Lee elected. a subway that would actually be used to transport people to their jobs might be a bit more helpful

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      I agree it is terrible that poor Chinese people will be allowed to use the subway. What was Muni thinking?

    • Posted by James

      It will transport people to their jobs. The only way your criticism makes sense is if Chinatown workers don’t count as “people”.

  10. Posted by Joseph A

    The issue with the complex are the absurd cost over runs ,

    The focus of this should have been getting Cal Train linked with the Buses , and taking Cal Train across the Bay so it could link up with both Amtrak & Bart via either a 2nd tunnel or a Rail Bridge

  11. Posted by jamesjr

    How right you are, JIII. This is Rose Pak’s signature project. Our politicos are SO small-minded. A subway from Brannan St. to Chinatown. Now that’s the way to spend 1.2 billion. When Pelosi retires, will we EVER get another opportunity to build something that had such potential (but fell so short).

  12. Posted by Puhleez

    Endless. Corporate. Greed.

    • Posted by Anon94123

      I’ve read the articles that they “found funding” again for the rooftop park, but I remain censorious. When this is done it will be interesting to compare the finished structure with the original renderings.

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