Transbay Parcel F

Located mid-block between First, Second, Howard and Natoma Streets, across from San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center rising, Transbay Parcel F is zoned for building up to 750-feet in height and includes the potential for connecting any development on the site to the Transit Center’s 5.4 acre rooftop park by way of a pedestrian bridge over Natoma Street.

And rather than selling the Parcel F through a drawn-out RFP process, including the submission and evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative points (such as architecture and design), as has been the case for every other Transbay site, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority will hold a live auction for the parcel on September 2nd.

The TJPA will collect sealed written bids from pre-qualified bidders at the end of August.  The highest written bid will be revealed at the time of the auction.  And then all bidders who had submitted a written offer will be allowed to orally raise their bids.

The highest bid is slated to be approved by the TJPA’s Board the following week, payment will be due by the end of the year, and the parcel is expected to be transferred to the buyer in December 2016.

At least two-thirds of any development on Parcel F, which has the potential to support up to 750,000 square feet of building, is designated for commercial use per the City’s approved Transbay District Plan.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by seriously

    do these renderings show the transbay tower at 1200′ (as planned) or the new height of 1070′?

    [Editor’s Note: Reduced.]

  2. Posted by Dave

    How many stories does 750 feet work out to?

    [Editor’s Note: Depends on the proposed use (commercial versus residential).]

    • Posted by BTinSF

      Usually works out to roughly 10 ft per floor for residential, more like 13 ft for commercial.

  3. Posted by Turin

    The best part is the winner has to pay the bid price. No renegotiating later. No bait and switch on the funding like Hines pulled with the Transbay Tower site.

  4. Posted by david m

    i’m pretty sure that the howard plaza was dropped from the plans a couple of years ago.

  5. Posted by InKapalua

    The rendering presents a hoped for VERY mature green roof for Transbay. Instead of waiting a decade, I still like the roof solutions presented by the Embarcadero Center…with art, plazas, and well designed bridges and walkways, as well as restaurants. Every time I see a rendering of Transbay I feel so frustrated as this could have been so much greater. And do I dare mention the fact that trains are no longer part of the Transbay plans, still the surrounding skyline looks spectacular. Aloha!

    • Posted by BTinSF

      What are you talking about? Bringing the CalTrain to the Transbay is not part if Phase 1, it’s true, but it’s definitely still part of the ultimate plan in Phase 2. Actually, as originally planned, even the “train box” where the platforms are–the lowest floors–would not have been constructed in Phase 1 but late in the planning it was decided to go ahead and build them even though the tunnel would have to come later.

      • Posted by InKapalua

        So what is the time frame for Caltrain using the platforms at Transbay? I thought I read somewhere it was 2027, but with electrification delays, even that time frame is no longer possible. As someone who does a lot of travel in Asia, I think building a multi billion dollar train station without any train tracks says a lot about government planning in the Bay Area today. Japan’s largest stations may not have bling architecture, but they can have over 15 subway lines and Shinkansen lines intersecting in one building. As far as regional transportation hub planning is concerned, I think Southern California is far outpacing us in transit construction as well as building a Union Station that will have 4 subway lines, and countless rail, bus, tram, Amtrak and eventually HSR connections. I would rather have a simple underground Transbay terminal with MUNI tracks, BART, and Caltrain all intersecting. (Now..back to the waves, even usually flat Kaanapali is breaking today)

        • Posted by Dave

          Probably looking at 2035 or so..

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          +1 (to InKapalua) … Caltrain at Transbay in 2027, make that 2035, so in reality make that 2039… so HSR at Transbay in 2037, make that 2040… for all intents and purposes, that’s “never” for anyone over the age of 35 or 40, as in “I’ll never take HSR to L.A. for work” or “I’ll never hop on Caltrain at Transbay for a quick trip to Stanford.”

          AND, that’s all setting aside the bigger issue, which InKapalua points out – even with Caltrain and HSR at Transbay, there will still be no BART or Muni direct connections. As I understand it there’s an *unfunded* plan for an underground block-long corridor to Embarcadero or Montgomery… and if that doesn’t get built, then you’re looking at having to exit Transbay and walk on surface streets a couple blocks before descending to BART/Muni. That is literal madness; it’s literally unforgivable that any transit planner could have even proposed such a disjointed system to start with, let alone that this design [or rather lack thereof] made it through the entire planning process.

          • Posted by InKapalua

            Mahalo Sierrajeff!, I am not against building a regional transit hub, but to exclude BART and Muni direct connections IS indeed “literal madness”. I wish the focus of Transbay was more on the transit, and less on the architectural beauty contest…where my favorite (the S.O.M. design) lost. Since I use BART frequently to travel to SFO, not having it connect to Transbay in the future basically makes the Tranbay terminal invisible to most transit users when it is completed.
            (BTW- for the record I am really Anon94123, but I thought since I am in Hawaii, why not adapt a Hawaiian name).

          • Posted by Orland

            Yeah, but how many super aircraft carriers and bomber squadrons do they have?

          • Posted by Orland

            Wasn’t there a ballot initiative which mandated that the new Transbay Center be built on the site of the former facility?

          • Posted by Orland

            I can’t believe there’s even a question about an underground concourses connecting with at least one of the MUNI/BART stations.

          • Posted by sf

            From “We Rebuilt Our Entire City Out Of Ashes” to “The World’s Most Expensive Bus Station” in less than a century. *weeps*

  6. Posted by seriously

    If payment is due December 2015 why does it take a year for the property to transfer to the buyer (December 2016)? (Honest question).

    • Posted by Orland

      Most likely because it will be used until then as a construction staging area for the terminal and the purchaser/owner won’t be able to take possession anyway.

  7. Posted by Bay Guy

    Hey, guys and gals… this is San Francisco. Nothing goes as planed!

  8. Posted by eflat

    errr, aahh….what about the shadows on the park?….Prop K doesn’t apply?…
    Gawd I hate that the SOM design wasn’t chosen, cleary a more beautiful design, but Hines offered (then reduced) the best $$ offer. Too bad they weren’t held to their original offer, that would be a little consolation to the City for having to live with the Pelli p*nis design

    • Posted by sf

      The Foster Tower at 1st and Mission is a better looking more perfected SOM Transbay Tower design anyway.

      • Posted by Dave

        What building is this? Foster Tower? Do you have a link?

        [Editor’s Note: Designs For 910-Foot Foster + Partners Tower Submitted To Planning.]

      • Posted by Orland

        I would disagree with that. The SOM design was more a beautiful latticework on the outside of the building. From the (admitted limited somewhat crude) renderings I’ve seen of the Foster proposal, it looks more like another exoskeleton thing which has done too much already. Do you have a link to what shows a more refined “perfected” design?

        • Posted by Bananas

          Pretty sure the SOM was an exoskeleton as well.

          • Posted by Orland

            Not really, more decorative than structural.

          • Posted by Bananas

            Not according to the socket site post on it. It’s external bracing.

      • Posted by Orland

        I definitely continue to think the SOM proposal for the Transbay Tower is aesthetically superior to this design for Foster’s complex at First /Mission. My comment regarding this looking “exoskeleton” was really more stylistic related than functional. If the SOM design was actually also structural, it was remarkably elegant as well.

        • Posted by sf

          To each their own. IMO the SOM tower had an awkward, unfinished looking taper and crown.

          • Posted by Orland

            I agree it was somewhat a work in progress and the massing and proportions could have used exactly the alterations you point out. What drew me (and apparently many others) was the beautiful external cladding.

            The 181 Fremont Street tower currently rising would have made an excellent alternative to use that scheme.

  9. Posted by inclinejj

    My first bid is $100!

    They should have put the site on EBAY.

  10. Posted by Ev3

    I work on the corner of 2nd and Howard where that big swath of green park is in this rendering. Any idea when/if those buildings are getting knocked down for that large park? We got a pretty menacing letter in the mail from the Planning Commission about some “changes” coming. Was pretty vague though.

    • Posted by cfb

      Parks are good and everything, but I honestly hope that one doesn’t get built. It would mean the loss of office space and some nice-looking historic buildings, just so there could be a new park directly next to another new park. Plus, it’s downtown, do we really to have a park every two blocks? The atmosphere of 2nd street is nice as well, with the solid street walls of old buildings, and building that park would mess with that too. It’s not like SF has a shortage of parks or anything, as it has more parkland than most US cities and has literal nature areas right outside of city limits.

      Seems kind of like yet another iteration of the suburban mentality that is so pervasive when it comes to urban planning in this country.

      • Posted by cfb

        wait…now I’m vaguely remembering that demolishing the buildings is necessary for getting the train tunnel to the transbay terminal. Would that also mean that’s it impossible to build new buildings on top? Not enough space for foundations? Or is my memory broken?

        • Posted by Turin

          That’s my recollection too. They have to remove those buildings to bring the tracks in and can’t built on top of them apparently. I agree it’s a shame. I like that whole stretch of Second and wish there was a way to preserve that block.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            If only someone could invent a way of digging tunnels underground, without disturbing the surface… you know, like in the rest of the world.

    • Posted by jwb

      I noticed the same thing! I thought the Dahl Beck Electric building had been spared from demolition. It doesn’t seem like a park in that location is worth losing two decent buildings.

  11. Posted by Amewsed

    Doubt that this tower site will command an off-the-charts price with everything being influx. When, if ever, will the Transbay terminal really happen? When uncertainty flows from the top down, there is not a whole lot of enthusiasm to wait around until the dust settles.

    I am looking at global economic and geopolitical issues now and when the eurozone (beyond Greece to Spain and Portugal) is going to feel a lot of pain which will reverberate throughout the rest of the world.

    • Posted by cfb

      What do you mean “if ever”?

      The terminal is under construction as we speak, and has been for years.

    • Posted by sfjhawk

      I’d echo cfb’s comments, but also encourage you to take a walk along the construction site perimeter to get a sense of scale: this is not a small engineering feat (especially, when you walk along 1st between Mission and Howard). After all of the subterranean digging, they’ve just now started building up; pretty cool to watch the progress.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Amewsed, you are insane if you don’t think this will get an off-the-charts price. San Francisco is one of the hottest real estate markets ON EARTH right now.

  12. Posted by jwb

    They really should update their imagery. This picture doesn’t include any of the largely complete Condohenge over on Folsom between Fremont and Spear.

  13. Posted by Invented

    Why is there no timeline/schedule for the Tower? (slightly mysterious). Do they need to wait for the Center to be at a certain stage to commence? Who’s waiting for what and why do I care so much?

  14. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    mini-central park west…..

    definitely will cast a shadow on the park…

    and now that we have a cheese grater, façade its sure to attract the pigeons…

    lots of bird poop to clean up and no water to do it with….

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