The designs for a modern 200-foot-tall hotel and condo building to rise at 447 Battery Street, a site which is currently occupied by the three-story Cort Furniture Rental building at the corner of Battery and Merchant, have been drawn and formally submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for approval.

As designed by Heller Manus Architects for the Montgomery Realty Group, the proposed 19-story building includes a total of 182 hotel rooms over a 4,700 square foot restaurant and an underground garage for 24 cars.

And eight (8) condos would be spread across the top five floors of the tapered tower, with a single 4,300-square-foot penthouse and two private terraces across the top two.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    Is this the first new development proposal for 2017?

    In 2016 major projects proposed dropped to 60 plus as I recall, second lowest since 2014’s 52 – IIRC. About 5 proposals a month in 2016. So far this seems to be the first new proposal of 2017. I may have missed some and I suppose it depends on what counts as a major proposal. In any event, it seems like a significant slowdown of new projects may be underway in SF.

    As to this building – it could be worse. Its basically another box, but the boxiness is obscured by the exterior façade treatment. Hopefully that feature doesn’t get VE’d away if the project gains approval.

  2. Posted by Oaklandlover

    At least there is some attempt at creativity, and I like the top outdoor terraced step up toward the transamerica.

    I wish that lager twisty tower proposed a while back close to the transamerica was still on the table. The northeast end of the city is a bit stagnant and could use a few new towers.

    • Posted by Wendall Majewski

      I agree the northeast could use more. It awkwardly drops off as you move towards Broadway. Unfortunately, that’s Peskin’s district. Good luck trying to get anything even considered with him and the Telegraph Hill crowd.

  3. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Down the street from the Battery, hope they build it quick!

  4. Posted by more housing please

    Modern and interesting design. Build it.

  5. Posted by c_q

    Looks like the facade may have been “inspired by” the cctv building in beijing?

  6. Posted by SFRealist

    Excellent! But have they paid off the Telegraph Hill Dwellers? If they haven’t it’ll never happen.

    • Posted by Dave

      I agree the chances of this getting built are slim. Its not just the THD, a handsome brick building befitting Jackson Square will be demolished. For a few pricey condos that few can afford (I’d bet some are purchased as part-time residences) and some hotel rooms.

      IIRC there was a proposal for a 20 or so story hotel nearby not all that long ago that never saw the light of day because of pushback from area residents.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Yeah – I like the design of the new building, but would rather not see a loss of a brick building in this neighborhood – it’s very indicative of the historic land use of this area.

        • Posted by Serge

          Indeed. They are getting increasingly more rare and pretty soon we’ll just have Disney Land versions of them. Jackson Square is a fantastic neighborhood that somehow survived the 50s and everything following.

          Also agreed that the hotel’s design is quite nice, but it can also be built elsewhere without destroying the Cort building.

      • Posted by Joe

        That was killed because it was directly next door to the TAPY. I doubt this will face the same amount of backlash.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Yeah, my comment isn’t about aesthetics. It’s just that the THD will block anything. The design is irrelevant. Without their approval it won’t happen in this area

      • Posted by Orland

        Except it’s outside the boundary of the Jackson Square Historic District and not a listed landmark building which has also undergone a fair amount of alteration.

        It might be old and brick, but hardly remarkable. Not worth saving at the loss of the proposed replacement.

    • Posted by Thomas

      Wow, this is so bad, even for Heller Manus. This might be the biggest pile of garbage I’ve seen on socketsite ever. If this is approved I give up.

  7. Posted by Anon123

    It’s just hotel rooms, but those big concrete beams across the windows would still be annoying – beams that are placed there to give the building a ‘look’.

  8. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Interesting attempt, but definitely feels unrefined. I assume the brick structure currently on the site isn’t ‘ancient’?

  9. Posted by Adam

    The building has been identified as a historic resource, so this is an uphill fight from the start. Interesting design, but this may be all we see of it.

    • Posted by emanon

      Identified by whom? I don’t think it’s listed either at the local, state, or national level.

      • Posted by Serge

        By the City.

        Parcel: 0206002
        Building Name: JONES THEIRBACH COFFEE CO.
        Address: 431 – 447 BATTERY ST
        Planning Dept. Historic Resource Status: A – Historic Resource Present”

        It’s not on any registry (yet), but either way this will not likely not get built. The new building is attractive, but should not be built at the expense of the Cort building.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          If you keep digging, you might notice that the building’s original cornice has been removed; a new sash installed; the storefront, entry and lobby have been remodeled; and the building’s architecture was rated a 1 out of 5 in a City survey. Which is all to say, mitigating the loss and developing the site isn’t out of the question nor a long shot.

          • Posted by emanon

            Thanks both Serge and SocketSite for the follow up. Sounds like the building might lack historic integrity and is thus ineligible for protection.

  10. Posted by donjuan

    Aaron Peskin is more likely to ban tech workers from stepping foot in San Francisco than letting this building get approved.

  11. Posted by Martin

    LIke others said, I like this building, but wish the brick building could be preserved and this built somewhere nearby.

  12. Posted by Bill

    It looks like Fred Flintstone started an architecture firm.

  13. Posted by Sassy


  14. Posted by Jack Baker

    An obvious solution would be to keep the brick facade – it’s been altered so much the building’s no longer “historic” but certainly is related to Jackson Square. The site can take the height – just set back a bit with a modern tower (by someone more skilled than Heller Manus, IMHO) and you’re there. As for the THD, please, someone, make them go away.

    • Posted by Orland

      How utterly ridiculous! What you suggest would be an absolutely hideous mishmash.

      It’s brick and relatively old but of no real historic or architectural merit and provides no contextual continuity. Maybe if it were located within the Jackson Square District amongst similar buildings. But, it’s not at all.

      It’s an outlier amongst examples of late 20th century commercial buildings including several hotels. The proposed building skillfully extends that urban theme into the 21st and should not be encumbered by a mediocre ghost of the past .

      • Posted by Friscan

        I’m saying this as someone who loves seeing vacant lots and soft sites being developed, and scoffs at anti-development arguments masquerading as “preservation” of insignificant buildings: I’d regret the demolition of the Cort building. It’s a strong facade, it’s very much at home on both Battery (the Battery is only one block past, and a set of handsome bricks buildings beyond that) and Merchant Alley, where a strong brick building is one lot away and several other historic brick buildings give the alley character.

        There are many vacant lots nearby: a campaign to build the hotel somewhere else in this area could avoid stirring up the wrath of regular anti-development folks AND legitimate preservationists.

      • Posted by Thomas

        Not a hideous mishmash, an elegant contrast.

        I would prefer to walk next to an old renovated brick facade with a modern tower on top than a Heller Manus piece of garbage.

      • Posted by Jack Baker

        BTW, Orland, I’m a big fan of density and TOD – especially along Mission St. and in SoMa – I’m far from a NIMBY. And if one is versed in the Secretary of the Interior standards for historic preservation, one knows that preservationists prefer modern architecture next to historic buildings, in order to differentiate, and contrast to, the historic buliding.

  15. Posted by Matt M

    I oppose this design and building even though I am usually a bit skeptical of historical preservation arguments. Jackson Square is a unique part of the city, where I had the pleasure to work for several years. The few brick buildings in the area deserve to be preserved or incorporated into new developments. The new design would be more at home in SOMA.

    • Posted by OBL

      buildings are not capable of “deserving” anything. the residents of the immediate neighborhood and city at large deserve the preservation of their built environment, insofar as it has historical or architectural importance. which this particular building does not.

      • Posted by Matt M

        In your view, which you are entitled to, as am I.

  16. Posted by Dick

    Can I have first dibs on the bricks during demolition?

    • Posted by Thomas

      Hopefully there is no demolition.

  17. Posted by Rob Silver

    The tower doesn’t fit in to the historic feel of the neighborhood. The squat brick house should be repurposed but a historic brick/masonry tower design belongs here, not a glass box.

  18. Posted by Thomas

    I’m with Jack, great suggestion

  19. Posted by scott f

    God I hope this goes through. The low-rise stagnation this part of town is stuck in is suffocating. Not everything old is historic. This low-rise brick building was built to accommodate the city’s needs 100+ years ago, and we should be free, as the builder was then, to build to suit the city’s needs today. Take some photos, make a museum exhibit out of them if you want, and then let’s get onto filling this lot with something nice and modern.

  20. Posted by JB10

    What a hideous looking design. I like the old brick building. Why not ruin somewhere else?

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