rendering by steelblue

rendering by steelblue

As you might have guessed, it’s not only the ground floor of the proposed Transbay Block 5 office tower to rise on the northeast corner of Howard and Beale which has been refined and redesigned, but the entire 550-foot building.

rendering by steelblue

rendering by steelblue

Large outdoor terraces still step-up the side of the tower, a central element of the design by Goettsch and SCB, but they are now more elegantly carved from the building’s mass and aligned to provide panoramic views of both the Transbay Terminal and Bay Bridge.

Transbay Block 5 Terrace Rendering

Currently slated to start construction in early 2016 and take around 2.5 years to complete, the development includes around 700,000 square feet of office space,  5,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, underground parking for 117 cars and over 20,000 square feet of public open space (including the plaza in front).

The development team of Golub Real Estate and The John Buck Company will be paying the city $172.5 million for the Transbay Block 5 site in a transaction which is expected to close on or before September 1, 2015.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Someone stole my burrito

    Love the redesign.

  2. Posted by around1905

    This is even more beautiful than before but its hard to believe that the developer is really going to leave so many square feet of sellable real estate blowing in the wind….

  3. Posted by foggydunes

    I definitely like this better than the previous, curved form. Wondering though, would the Transbay Terminal views really be that great? It seems like 199 Fremont would block a good portion of the views…

    • Posted by anon

      the last design didnt have terraces on the natoma side. maybe this is why. also these terraces would be on the north side and chillier than the bridge view ones. not necessarily a bad thing, just a consideration.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Maybe they mean more Transbay Tower (a.k.a., ugh, Salesforce Tower), than Transbay Terminal.

      • Posted by foggydunes

        I’m with you on the name– I’m always going to call it the Transbay Tower. As for the terrace temperatures, the Natoma terraces might get some western light in the afternoon… again though, depending on how much 199 Fremont blocks things.

        • Posted by Orland

          Note the northern west-facing terraces are on floors than lower the southern eastern-facing ones.

          • Posted by foggydunes

            True– part of why I wonder about their sun exposure and terminal views.

  4. Posted by Sierrajeff

    The only part of this that I don’t like is “slated to start construction in early 2016” and “2.5 years to complete”. And not simply because I’m impatient, but because it’s hard to believe the boom will keep going on that long – I’m starting to feel like we’re on borrowed time already – and I’d hate to see this be something we look back on, in 2023, as a “wouldn’t that have been great” dream.

    • Posted by Orland

      Had the very same thought. I wonder if Prop. M considerations figure into the timing.

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I read that as “slanted to start…” so I guess the design has won me over. When the key design element is part of the overall massing it can’t be value engineered away.

  6. Posted by Dave

    This might be one of the last large office buildings built in SF. Was discussing this with a contractor and, once cap kicks in, he thinks the 800 K per year will be split between several projects and not given to just one.

    So maybe 250 K office buildings will be the upper limit in the City going forward. Many will like that as smaller structures in mass and height could be a side benefit of the cap kicking in.

    • Posted by yerba_buena

      Not if that cap is overturned at the ballot box. These new residents are very pro business and pro height, and it could tip the balance to favor a repeal of prop. M.

      But this doesn’t mean the end of large towers, as some would hope. There are no caps for residential, and, residential demand is as strong if not stronger than office. What was once proposed as office would just be developed as residential at the same soaring heights.

  7. Posted by paul hwang


  8. Posted by JWS

    Am I making things up, or isn’t Transbay exempt from Measure M?

  9. Posted by Dan

    According to this story, yes.

    • Posted by JL

      According to OCII, it is subject to Prop M:

      Q: Is Block 5 subject to Proposition M? If so will the Block 5 development be given any priority over other proposed developments? Will OCII assist is getting Block 5 a priority?

      Yes, Block 5 is subject to a Prop M allocation. There is the expectation that there will be sufficient Prop M allocation for Block 5, assuming a March 2015 DDA execution. No, Block 5 does not get a Prop M priority.

  10. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Love the design, but find it hard to believe that is going to be so much clear glass. There will be no privacy at all in this building.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      This is office, not residential. Full glass walls are not unusual for office buildings.

  11. Posted by Dave

    Once the cap is hit I think most proposed projects won’t get proposed. Costs too much for that process with little chance the project gets an OK due to cap in a reasonable amount of time. It could take a decade or more and developers have no idea what the market will be then.

    • Posted by Hal2000

      And what exactly is your authority on the subject?

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