Transbay Park and Buildings Rendered

A plugged-in tipster delivers the latest rendering for San Francisco’s future Transbay Park, the construction of which is currently slated to commence in early 2018 (once the operations of the Temporary Transbay Terminal move to San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center and free up the blocks bounded by Folsom, Main, Howard and Beale).

While rendered with a full 400-foot Bay Tower tower at the corner Folsom and Spear in the background, the required up-zoning for which is gaining momentum, the shadowed massing for a 165-foot-tall building at the corner of Folsom and Main might catch some by surprise.

San Francisco’s Downtown Area Plan doesn’t currently note the intended upzoning of the Block 2 corner from 85 to 165 feet, but it was outlined in the adopted Transbay Redevelopment Plan.

And in addition to formally amending the Area Plan to allow for the 400-foot tower at 160 Folsom, an ordinance working its way up to San Francisco’s full Board of Supervisors would solidify the 165-foot height limit for the corner parcel at Folsom and Main.

50 thoughts on “San Francisco’s Future Transbay Park and Foreshadowing”
  1. I would not be surprised if that gets upzoned to 265ft or even higher given what is happening to Block 1.

  2. Block 2 is already zoned for 165 feet per the Redevelopment Plan, which is the controlling regulation. No further action is needed to “solidify” the height at 165 feet. That was all done in 2005 when the Plan was adopted.

  3. we do not need more parks and green space downtown until we do something about the homeless problem.

    1. They congregate everywhere, not just on grassy stretches. Solving the homeless problem starts at the top with the BOS and mayor. Unless they admit there’s a real problem and find solutions then you will see continued problems in the city which, over time, will only worsen.

      1. Everyone knows there’s a problem. Even the progressives are proposing ’emergency’ measures.

        Problem is people can’t agree on the solutions. The Mayor thinks you have to crack down and make them move south to shelters. Progressives think you need to ban the tech busses and spend hundreds of millions on free prime-location condos for the homeless. Expect no real solutions in the next century.

          1. Please specifically spell out the “harsher measures” you contend will “solve” the “homeless problem.”

            I thought so.

          2. step 1. determine who is on drugs or an alcoholic, or have untreated mental ilness
            step 2. for those who are not (probably <25%), prioritize housing
            Step 3: forced institutionalization for 6 months for those in step 1, where they are treated for addicition and/or pyschiatric illness
            step 4: for those will uncontrolled pyschiatric illness post 6 months, send to a permanent institution
            step 5: for those addicts and alcoholics and mentally ill who have successfullly been treated, relase back to their families, or temp shelter.
            step 6: for those in step 5, if they end up committing further crimes or back on the streets, put them in JAIL

          3. Not bad I suspect financing would pose a problem as well as questionable constitutionality aspects though, as noted earlier, I do not personally believe this involves “civil liberties” issues.

          4. Some also might question whether such measures are “harsher” or actually beneficent.

    2. Are you really advocating not creating public spaces because the homeless might take them over? Isn’t that just giving up. I don’t see buildings being torn down to make public spaces, so once a building goes up the likelihood of it ever becoming a future park is about nil. There is always the possibilty that a future government body will better deal with the homeless problem than the current knuckleheads.

      1. in the spirit of a moratorium on everything (hehe), I suggest we have a moratorium on new green space in inner San Francisco until the homeless population is cut in half

        1. “we do not need more parks and green space downtown until we do something about the homeless problem.”

          Oh, you were joking, now that I re-read your post I can see the humor. I guess you aren’t really so obsessed with the homeless that you would advocate such a ridiculous position. Thanks for clarifying.

  4. In a free society, some will choose to live on the streets. There will always be homeless and they have just as much right to enjoy green space as anyone else.

    1. Not when they are defecating/urinating in public, hassling people, creating huge messes, engaging in drug use, etc. There are laws in place for a reason that apply to everyone, even in a free society.

      1. This is why we can’t have nice things!
        I live right near here and while a nice park would be great there I have no illusions that it won’t become a homeless magnet and sewer

    2. Yes, homeless have a right to enjoy green space. But that does not mean that you can infringe on someone else’s right to that green space by abusing the use of the space. Green space are not shelters, nor are they trash bins or toilets or drug needle disposal sites.

      1. Nope. It’s the block bounded by Folsom, Main, Howard, Spear which is Northeast of the proposed park. The low-rise residential shown in the simulation is bounded by Folsom, Main, Beale and Clementa.

    3. I agree that everyone (including the homeless if that is one’s current state) has right of use of such public amenities. However, I do not agree one has a “right” to choose to live a “homeless lifestyle” or that this is a civil liberties issue. Incumbent upon Society’s refusal to allow such behavior is a responsibility to provide the means to shelter such unfortunates until, if ever, they have the capacity to provide for themselves.

  5. It would be insanity to build any higher than 6 stories on the southern boundary of this park which is going to be an absolute gem.

      1. It’s the block bounded by Folsom, Main, Clementina and Beale which is directly south of the park.

        1. Upon a closer reading, it appears the proposed increased zoning is restricted to the corner “parcel” and not the entire block. Still, being immediately to the SE would mean morning shadowing.

          1. on a park which does not currently exist, and is surrounded on *all* sides by even taller buildings on surrounding blocks. per the image above.

          2. That’s not really true. Any buildings to the east are midrise at most and far enough removed as to present little problem as are Solaire and its low-rise BMR building at Folsom/Beale to the SW. The Park Tower to the *north* presents no problem. The Gang+ building to the SE will mean some additional morning shadowing though I support its upzoning as the effect should be within acceptable levels. That is to be contrasted with the extremists who object upon the basis of the very minimal effects it might have upon the primary areas of Rincon Park to its SE!

            This should be a wonderfully sun-splashed greensward from mid-afternoon onward in the very middle of all that urbanity you describe. An absolute gem and worthy of genius planning.

            But to put a hulking mass directly upon its SOUTHERN boundary would be sheer madness.

  6. You might think it insanity, but 165 feet has been the law for 10 years, after a prior 10 years of planning, public meetings, etc etc etc.

    1. Plans to build a park here post-date any such zoning and that should be reflected in whatever general planning does not take it into account.

  7. People in here talking about this park being a homeless hangout should realize that this park is surrounded by dense, residential dwellings. People will constantly complain and call 311 on the homeless and they will have to move elsewhere. It’s not like this park is a BART stop or a market street alley.

      1. They can’t do anything about the wider problem. But they can keep homeless out of small areas like certain parks and neighborhoods. Ever see homeless wandering around pacific heights?

        1. yes, in fact, when i lived there, i had to call multiple times because a guy kept sleeping in my carport.

          there are also frequent homeless in lafayette and alta plaza park, sepcially at night and early in morn. not as common, but they are there and they are increasing. but they wont be able to control downtown because there is a denser population of homeless. yerba buena is a nice park, but frequent homeless people there.

        2. Yesterday, mid-afternoon after having read this item, I walked the 5 or 6 blocks of the north side of lower Mission Street passing numerous plazas, mini-parks and squares paying particular attention to the people using them. I saw one apparent “homeless” (though neatly kempt) person sitting on the concrete seating in front of Golden Gate Law.

          I don’t mean to minimalize the situation, especially the human misery, but sometimes I wonder if I’m living in the same city as some here.

  8. Maybe one solution would be a glass enclosure around the space and card-key access provided only to members of the neighborhood urban gardening group. A majority portion of the space could be devoted to orchards and vegetable gardens and the produce provided to the food bank. It would be so much more attractive and productive than being otherwise occupied.

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