5 Thomas Mellon Circle Site

With the subareas to the north and northeast having already been developed, and the massive redevelopment of Candlestick Point underway, the first set of detailed plans for redeveloping the central office components of Executive Park as a residential neighborhood have been drafted by Woods Bagot and are slated to be approved next week.

As proposed, the four-story office building at 5 Thomas Mellon Circle will be razed and five new residential buildings will rise up to 17 stories in height across the site, with a total of 586 residential units, 4,700 square feet of new ground floor retail space, and 756 off-street parking spaces.

5 Thomas Mellon Circle Rendering

The three new buildings on the southern portion of the site are to be six-stories (up to 68 feet in height), the northwest building eight-stories (85 feet in height), and the northeast building 17-stories or 170 feet in height, which are the full heights for which the parcels are zoned.

5 Thomas Mellon Circle Rendering

The proposed project includes two new pedestrian paseos and a total of 53,730 square feet of open space when including private balconies, a podium level courtyard and a rooftop terrace.

Plans to raze the adjacent two Executive Park office buildings are in the works as well and would yield another 1,100 units of housing and 70,000 square feet of retail space.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Pero

    Developments of the Executive Park, Schlage Lock and possibly Brisbane Baylands are set to transform Visitacion Valley from a city outskirt into an urban place over the next 10-20 years. The area will have the necessary density to support a variety of grocery stores, shops and interesting restaurants. For people on the market for a SFH with sustainable appreciation potential over a 10-15 year horizon, this might be one of the rare opportunities left in the city. Thoughts?

    • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

      When are they going to bulldoze the Sunnydale projects?

    • Posted by Notcom

      My thought is that it will be comparable – in scale and amenities – to Watergate (the one in Emeryville, not D.C.)

      At least w/ what’s proposed on the ‘stick…if it’s bigger by including more area(s) then obviously it could be more of a “place”. But it will still be at the edge of SF. Forever.

      • Posted by Dave

        Yes and no. Lennar’s Shipyard homes are uninspiring and sterile at the street level. This Executive Park re-do does not look great either.

        The key will be the closer to the Bay housing developments. And office too. How they integrate/take advantage of the water location – or not. Will this new neighborhood be a 2020s version of the Sunset or something special with actual open space and greenery and intimacy. If it manages to be the latter, and I am not convinced it will, and a true neighborhood is created and it integrates with the Bay then it will make no never mind that it is on the edge of San Francisco. The weather, the views – if done right being on the edge could become edgy enough, in a good way, to make this a destination location.

      • Posted by Zig

        It’s on the edge of SF but there is downtown SSF near by plus 3rd street so it would supplement those areas and they will continue to improve

        Depends on expectations I guess

    • Posted by Zig

      Brisbane is mostly developing office space. I think Vis Valley is OK but my favorite in that area is Portola. Less wind too

      • Posted by Pero

        Couldn’t agree more about Portola. If 3rd street and Vis Valley pick up, Portola could be what Bernal is to the Mission. A higher end, quiet residential area with views and good access to bars/restaurants.

    • Posted by Rick

      I guarantee it’s a rare opportunity. I bought in Little Hollywood (the 1930s micro-neighborhood of single family homes just across from this site) three and a half years ago and got a wonderful deal on a fully detached Spanish Revival with views of the Bay and San Bruno Mountain. Almost nothing here, though, makes it as far as the MLS. The restaurants and services this brings will be walkable for us in our neighborhood (while Candlestick is a bit far), so it’s all good. Bring it on!

  2. Posted by Dave

    What is the “true” amount of open space – minus private balconies, podium courtyard and rooftop terrace?

    Is there a long-term plan to enhance the vegetation/trees on the hill behind this project?

    On a related note, I just received an election flyer on Proposition O. It mentions speeding up housing and job development at HP. I am thinking this is the initiative to exempt HP Lennar from Prop. M. Though M is cleverly not mentioned. I could be wrong as I thought talk of that initiative was just that – talk. And no actual effort had been made to put it on the ballot.

    • Posted by Orland

      I doubt there would be much actual “open” (wasted) space in a development this small. More density. Nor, need there be. Plenty allocated nearby in Lennar’s and the Schlage projects. Plus expansive bay views.

    • Posted by 101

      Prop O is on the ballot for the Shipyard development to be exempt from the Prop M pool. Nothing to speed up, they are looking for a waiver for Prop M. It will pass.

      • Posted by Dave

        Proposition O is dangerous as in, if it passes, it will encourage other developers to seek their own exemptions.

        The hidden and dangerous part of the measure is that it will exempt all office space in the HP project from the Planning Code so there will be no Planning Commission hearings on the new office buildings or any resident input. No mitigation of housing and transit impacts on the City’s General Fund.

        New workers added with no commitment to housing or transporting them.

        The housing component is iffy and tenant and rent groups oppose the initiative.

        With Lennar backing this, look at who is funding the initiative, and their deep pockets I only hope the opposition can mount enough of an educational effort to stop this proposal. Once residents learn it overturns Prop M in this corner of the City and once they get this will be the but first step, if it passes, to overturning M citywide they oppose the measure. I’ve talked several neighbors into changing their opinion on O.

        • Posted by Dan

          Prop. O simply exempts Hunter’s Point from the Prop M office building limits. It does not eliminate Planning Commission authority or resident input.

        • Posted by SFrentier

          Eliminating prop M from the shipyard will allow for more office development there, which is good. Will bring more jobs to SF, which will be a plus for my Bayview rentals. Don’t want too much new housing without adding more jobs too. Plus that will help make this entire area more valid and integrated to mainstream SF. New housing, new retail, the nice trails and waterfront, and now jobs too- all will make the area more valid and less “almost Brisbane or South SF” in nature.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            SPUR’s analysis, which (per always) presents both sides of the issue before making a recommendation. With very little in the Prop M cap right now, and the fact that the City has already allowed the Shipyard to go to the front of the line for any available office cap, I think it only makes sense to exempt this part of the City. Dave’s housing related argument doesn’t bear any weight as far as I can see.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            restricting office development and jobs is insane and only SF, and its business unfriendly environment, would consider this. Prop M should be eliminated. Though I do agree, that housing should be required at a 1:2 ratio per job.

            as for Brisbane, Im all for the annexation. It should be part of SF anyway. there is no sense for a municipality of 4000 people to border the 2nd most dense city in the US. If they dont want to be annexed, they should allow the full amount of housing there.

        • Posted by 101

          And I am having a Q&A at my home with my neighbors and district Supervisor regarding the Propositinons in the upcoming ballot. We are all pro development and you are welcome to come if you have time Dave.

        • Posted by barbara mayper

          You couldn’t be more wrong. There is a written commitment with the City that REQUIRES the developer to build the housing (32 percent of which must be affordable), create over 300 acres of parks and provide $90 million in community benefits. Those things are not optional. They are mandatory. The faster commercial construction occurs the quicker funds generated by that construction will be available to pay for housing, parks, public benefits, etc. They go hand in hand and must occur in tandem. You are also wrong about the Planning process. It is not being subverted. The commercial property must still go through the normal review process. In addition the Tenants Union, which opposes all housing that is not low income, opposes Proposition O. The Affordable Housing Alliance, The SF Housing Action Coalition, the Community Tenants Association and Progressive Supervisors like Aaron Peskin, Jane Kim and David Campos all support Proposition O because they know that it’s a great opportunity for residents of the Bayview and the rest of San Francisco. Please educate yourself about the history and relative action by voters, the Planning Department, the old Redevelopment Agency and its successor agency OCII, environmental approvals, etc to ensure that you have all the correct information before you comment. Proposition O is not a free ride for the developer, quite the contrary. And the benefits for San Francisco are many. Thank You.

  3. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    i say they still need to build a “Brisbane-San Leandro” bridge to take pressure off the Bay Bridge and San Mateo–Hayward Bridge.

    • Posted by aerel

      As long as it’s a bridge for BART, then totally on board with that idea!

  4. Posted by trevor

    Very bold!

  5. Posted by Friscan

    A compelling reason to make Brisbane reconsider their plans. At the very least, theis calls for abandoning Bribane’s plan to move the Caltrain station a half-mile south, away from this project, from Schlage, and from the existing neighborhoods of Visitacion Valley and Little Hollywood. Brisbane proposes to take the station away, and then to surround it with no mixed-use, no housing.

    • Posted by aerel

      Brisbane is the poster child of everything that’s wrong with the Bay Area.

    • Posted by Jack

      What in the name of God is Brisbanes rationale for doing that?

      • Posted by Pero

        Keeping ‘small town’ vibe. The highest virtue we have in our society. Check out spur.org for a good article on Brisbane Baylands.

      • Posted by Zig

        It’s pretty rational for Brisbane to develop tech office space and let the housing problem go elsewhere. It would be nice if the MTC could punish the hell out of them for this

  6. Posted by aerel

    Have you ever tried walking from Executive Park to Visitacion Valley or Candelstick? Didn’t think so… Executive Park will remain sterile and uninviting unless there are proper transit connections from these new towers to the surrounding neighborhoods.

  7. Posted by scott f

    Why aren’t we zoning for this kind of density on Third Street where there’s already (underused) rail?

    Why isn’t anything serving these new neighborhoods in SFMTA’s long range rail plan? They could do a circulator tram: 3rd and Evans, India Basin, Hunters Point, Candlestick Point, Executive Park, Bayshore Caltrain (and T). At this scale of new development, it’s short-sighted to just accept that everyone’s gonna drive (as the over 1:1 parking to units ratio seems to indicate the assumption is). Plus, isolated from rail transit, these neighborhoods will feel more Disney Main Street than real urban place.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      Serving this area is in SFMTA’s plan. They’ve been looking at BRT-like connections between HPS, Candlestick, Executive park through Vis Valley and out Geneva to connect with BART. I believe they are already doing incremental improvements to make this corridor work better.

    • Posted by Rick

      Excellent idea. I’ve been advocating this for years. Muni says they have to turn around half of the Central Subway trains (T-line) in Dogpatch, against strong community opposition because there’s not enough demand for that many T-line trains south of Dogpatch. So create the demand by using that half of the Central Subway trains to go out Evans (a wide street making separate right-of-way as on Third Street possible, through Hunter’s Point and Candlestick and Executive Park Developments and the cut-through Geneva Avenue all the way to City College. It would replace the so-called “bus rapid transit” project on Geneva with light rail, which gives Muni the connection between their two maintenance facilities they so badly want.

      • Posted by zig

        Riding the T from these areas downtown would not be very fast or efficient. Wouldn’t Caltrain to Transbay be the smarter option for the allocation of resources?

      • Posted by Pero

        There is one issue with this: The T-line is very very slow. Anyone heading from Visitacion Valley to downtown takes the 8-XA or 8-XB express bus that hops on the highway. The T-line, crawling up 3rd Street is 20-30 min slower.

        I’m a big proponent of improving public transportation, but I realize that streetcars have their limits. Also, if we expect electric(possible self-driving) buses to become a reality in 10 years, It’s hard to justify the costs of investing in slower public transport infrastructure like streetcars.

        An even better solution could be to expand the service of Caltrain stops in SF and use it as an urban metro. There should be a 15min service between Brisbane Caltrain Station, 22nd Street, 4th Street and Transbay Center (Mission Street).

        • Posted by Dave

          How would that work with right of way issues? Dual use of the line might carry major safety issues. Unless there is room for a parallel line within the right of way.

          • Posted by zig

            I think he just means electric interurban lines in contrast to old diesel trains. These can support more frequent trains because they stop and start more quickly

            Caltrain is already upgrading to EMU units and grade separations at each crossing.

        • Posted by zig

          All the money wasted on the Central Subway and T line should have been directed to getting electrified Caltrain to Transbay (maybe with an Oakdale stop) with a BRT line for 3rd street

          • Posted by Jake

            Zig, Caltrain has pathetic ridership numbers and does a very poor job of aggregating San Mateo’s suburban hordes. FWIW, the Caltrain ROW would move more people as a roadway than it does as a third rate commuter train line, but keep hopelessness alive.

            The Central Subway is much more vital given the yuge growth and the abysmal traffic in SoMa. And even moreso with the growth of MB and Showplace (more of a triangle than a) Square. Oh, and building a dedicated BRT down 3rd St wouldn’t have saved much over the light rail. Still would have had to rebuild the entire roadway, boarding platforms, etc. Tracks are cheap to lay once everything is torn up. The mistake with the T-Line was to run it on the surface north of about Cesar Chavez, when they coulda cut-and-covered in MB and Dogpatch with little disruption back in the 1990s. Penneywise.

          • Posted by zig

            What is the carrying capacity of this imaginary road on the Caltrain ROW first of all?

            Caltrain is currently capacity constrained at rush hour and does quite well in terms of ridership per mile especially when you consider it does not have access to downtown. I am not sure how that makes it 3rd rate.

            I am the part of the suburban horde and know a great many in San Mateo CO would abandon BART if Caltrain went downtown as it would be superior in every way.

            I would argue for Vis Valley and Bayview (with station) Caltrain with access to downtown is superior to the Central Subway

            Central Subway and Caltrain I admit are apples to oranges but on its own it looks like a boondoggle. It is likely 2 billion for a subway that is projected to carry 50K daily riders in 2030 and has a lot of design flaws and limitations.

          • Posted by scott f

            Zig, I like your idea for electrified Caltrain to Transbay. Seems like we’re moving that way, albeit slowly.

            Caltrain is at 125% of seating capacity during rush hour. Of course utilization is low midday since it only runs once per hour and, with all local stops, is super slow. It’s not useful midday but can be with electrification, grade separation and more frequent express service.

          • Posted by zig

            I am a fan of Caltrain Jake. Now you crossed me!

          • Posted by Jake

            I’m also a fan of Caltrain, quaint reminder of a less congested and more suburbane era; too bad it isn’t a more effective service. Too bad it doesn’t aggregate neighborhoods better like the way Balboa Station does for BART.

            In broadtransit strokes, the 5 lanes of the Bay Bridge into SF can handle ~30k people per hour, while BART has capacity to move ~25k/hr people through the bay tube into SF. The proposed dedicated bus lane on the bay bridge could handle ~20k passengers/hr, or so ‘they’ claim.

            Caltrain handles something like ~10k from SM into SF during the entire AM commute. Oh, and of the total SF to/from SM commute flows, Caltrain handles ~10% or about the same as the corp shuttles. Pathetic.

            Now after we eliminate free and low-priced parking in the SF CBD and connect Caltrain to a subway into the CBD (Central Subway, boarding on track #next, whadda know), then maybe Caltrain will finally earn it’s ROW footprint. And the Central Subway has not cost $2B.

            Take a frogger stroll down 3rd or 4th or Kearny or … during the 4+ hour AM and PM commute crushes and then tell me it won’t help to move tens of thousands (literally hordes) of people off the surface grid and under the underfoot. That is exactly what needs to be done as SoMa builds taller above ground. Can’t expect the more-cycle-tracks-than-BRT-schemes of SFMTA to decongest everything. Add subways to the transbay nexus under Folsom and Geary for a mile or two….and remove ~20k parking spaces from CBD….and add a 2nd BART tube….and then electrify your little train line that could into a tunnel under Rincon Hill to the transit network hub of hubs. Make greater SF greater again.

          • Posted by zig

            How about how is BART earning it’s ROW footprint in Milbrare, San Bruno and SSF? Especially considering Caltrain inherited it’s ROW along with appropriate infrastructure for a dense suburban area vs billions spent on BART? Electrified Caltrain to Transbay will erode ridership even more. How is that rideshare for San Mateo?

            Comparing ridership at Balboa Station which captures a lot of riders despite itself is not fair to Caltrain. Considering it’s limitations Caltrain is doing just fine and bringing it to Transbay and it will do even better.

            I am sure we actually agree if we had more Caltrain like services in the Bay Area and less BART outside the core we would be way better off now. I should be critical of the Central Subway without comparing it to Caltrain.

          • Posted by Jake

            The Millbrae BART station handles more riders than any Caltrain station in San Mateo County. Collectively the 4 BART stations in SM county deliver as many riders into SF as all of Caltrain.

            But, yeah, the San Mateo BART line is way below capacity…and only looks good compared to the even more pathetic Caltrain. Which implies that the mass transit problem thereabouts is a feature of San Mateo’s sub-urbane life-by-car-style. And the fat freeways, with an emphasis on “free”.

            The Balboa BART station aggregates riders by being a hub for lightrail and bus lines. 8 min by bus from Visitation Valley to the Balboa BART, bus every ~10 min during rushing hours. Without a combined transit net to feed them as hubs, heavy rail stations in sublurbanian use yugish parking garages to corral the car herds. Not a very scaleable solution, but then cars never were that.

  8. Posted by Pero

    There are plans to improve the public transportation (buses) that connect the Shipyard, Candlestick, Executive Park, Brosbane Caltrain station and even Balboa Bart. I would also expect that Tunnel Avenue crossing of 101 will be improved to facilitate pedestrian traffic.

  9. Posted by unlivable city

    Executive Park. There is one of those in every little hamlet in America. This is what we’ve come to: San Francisco is now Executive Park.

  10. Posted by Orland

    Prop. M is arbitrary and outdated. Should be fully repealed and replaced with ad hoc planning appropriate to the moment and situation.

    I’m afraid I probably already know the answer to this, but does the elimination of the office space described in the above item mean it can be added back to the Prop. M “bank?”

  11. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Incremental Improvements means “traffic-forever” if you dont build the transit improvements up front the whole area and 101 suffers. The BRT Geneva Harney project is a waste, better to up the ante and require all development Prop O or otherwise, around the BVHP and candlestick to pay in to a rail connection loop of the T-Line from Cargo Way around to the Caltrains HSR and Brisbane area. Or at least a water taxi pier…

    otherwise forget about traffic movement for a few decades….

  12. Posted by Keith Foote

    I worked at Executive Park for a few years. The only breeze coming around is directly from Recology across the freeway. Between the dump and the daily low tide, it’s not breathable.

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