Plans for a slender 25-story hotel to rise up to 260 feet in height on the 4,000-square-foot parking lot site at 36 Tehama Street have been submitted to Planning.

And as envisioned by J Street Hospitality and designed by Handel Architects, the new Transbay District hotel would be outfitted with 185 “micro guestrooms” measuring an average of 180 square feet apiece, “offering an efficient, stylish and affordable option for travelers.”

From the design team:

“While zoning allows 36 Tehama to build to a height of 350’, from an urban design perspective, the proposed 260’ height imparts a cascading massing to the surrounding area, transitioning from the nearby entitled 555 Howard (385’), proposed 543 Howard (330’), to 36 Tehama’s 260’, then flowing to the four Foundry Square Buildings (~130)’.

The first six floors and building’s lit top incorporates varying inward and outward stepped blocks, breaking down the mass while imparting shade and shadow effects, with lighting accents. Further articulation via integral variations of perforated and textured cladding and glazing further refines the scale providing a distinctive form and expression.

Floors 1 through 3 activate the street with transparency of public functions via the Check-In Lobby, 2nd Floor Guest Lounge and 3rd floor Fitness Area.”

The hotel is designed to be topped with an enclosed lounge on the Tehama Street side and an open rooftop bar overlooking the 524 Howard Street site.

And no, the project does not include any replacement off street parking spaces or a garage below as proposed.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by AA

    And people say SF is running out of space…

  2. Posted by Jerry

    It looks like they were inspired by KPF’s 55 Hudson Yards project in NY

  3. Posted by oakland lover

    AWESOME. This little block from about 181 Fremont to 2nd st along howard is really coming along nicely.

  4. Posted by Notcom

    And what, pray tell, is the photo with the dotted line supposed to be showing us – other than the obvious that “cascading massing” = each building is taller than its neighbor?? Maybe a flight path…but no: Superman can leap tall buildings with a SINGLE bound.

  5. Posted by hmmm

    The chances that this gets built are about as good a chance as good as Donald Trump deciding to put his full support behind funding CA HSR and drop his wall obsession.

    • Posted by beachplease

      Based on what? SF’s plummeting hotel prices? Newly reduced capacity of the Moscone Center?

  6. Posted by Jimmythekid

    No way this pencils

  7. Posted by L'UrbanistaSF

    Given the site constraints, module size and repetition I’ll bet this will be prefabricated offsite modular craned into place once the site is prepped.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Even better. I like to see more prefabricated modular units built elsewhere to take advantage of scale and efficiencies and lower labor costs as well as a reduction in the build up phase.

      It would be a nice change to the 10+ years it takes to build anything mediocre reality in this town.

  8. Posted by Amewsed

    Can go higher based on footprint or is this already maxed out? I like to offer developers a little extra incentive for their patience and tenacity for building in SF rather than LA, Austin, NYC, or basically anywhere else.

  9. Posted by Invented

    Build to the max height; the cascading stuff is an innocent academic exercise. Get rid of the ugly floors above 6 and use the first 6 floors stacking as a model for the rest of building for what would be a remarkable elegant hotel. Do we need another hotel?

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Yes, we absolutely need more hotel space. How is that even in question?

  10. Posted by Curious

    I also don’t get why they wouldn’t go to full zoned height. Yes, perhaps cascading heights are better urban design, so do we thank the selfless developer for putting the interests of armchair architecture critics (such as myself) ahead of maximizing returns? I hope the true reason is as L’Urbanista speculates that this will be prefabbed and slapped up in a jiff.

  11. Posted by Greg

    There are many hotels in NYC of this exact size. I try to avoid them as getting up or down the elevators at rush hour is a nightmare

  12. Posted by Dijonclone

    I love that the backside looks like Japanese shoji. Very appropriate for San Francisco!

  13. Posted by Jimmythekid

    To be that narrow and go that high it will be very expensive to achieve the structural values required. Even stacking modules still require shear values etc. I don’t see the numbers working… But if I am wrong it will not be the first time.

  14. Posted by Joe

    Completely absurd and arbitrary notion of “cascade effect”. Is this supposed to be a thing?

    Either the height doesnt pencil or there are structural reasons why it cant go that high. If structural, why do we have height limits on parcels that are not possible?

  15. Posted by Goodmaab50

    No DTX + HSR = no more people or density

    • Posted by Scott F

      DTX and HSR are both still on. Maybe don’t get your info from Kevin McCarthy.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      This is hilariously spurious. The area continues to densify, both commercially and residentially and has been doing so for years despite DTX and HSR being known to be a decade and a half plus out for many years.

  16. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Scott F., you apparently haven’t read that The Dept. of Transportation cancelled $929.6 million in grants for The California’s High-Speed Rail Project, to wit:

    The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will cancel more than $900 million in federal grants earmarked for an ambitious California high-speed rail project after the state’s Democratic governor said he now plans to focus on completing a single segment in an interior region. In addition, [the Department] said it was exploring legal options to recoup $2.5 billion in federal funds already granted to the project by the Federal Railroad Administration, according to a DOT statement.

    This is what conservative pundits call a liberal “own goal”.

    If Governor Gavin had kept his mouth shut and continued work, even on the route he preferred, he could have waited until a more sympathetic administration was in Washington and adjusted the extents of the project. As it is, he opened his mouth, and now California’s state legislature is going to have to cut almost $3 billion dollars to give back to the DOT, so now of course it’s unlikely even the foreshortened segment in the Central Valley will ever be completed.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      These things don’t just magically happen overnight. I’ll believe the money is going back to the feds when it actually happens, which I’m betting it won’t.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      California will of course resist this clawback while CAHSR drifts more toward being a funding source for litigation than a megaproject constriction organization.

  17. Posted by Rob Silver

    Foundry square look like a bad joke. What is this squat 100 ft. building doing surrounded by 800-1000 ft. towers? This building should be demolished and replaced with an appropriate structure for the area. What a terrible misuse for prime location.

    • Posted by Brady

      Foundry square is what allows the new park on top of the transit center to get any sunlight at all. I would consider it prescient planning, and absolutely not a terrible misuse of prime location.

  18. Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

    There is no market now for new condo towers downtown and it has been years since a major new office project has been proposed. Hotels seem to be the only things that pencil – though, with no HSR/DTX, the demand for hotel rooms around the TTC does not look as if it will increase much in coming years. The cascading “urban design” effect is a joke. it won’t be visible in SF’s notorious table-top skyline.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      There’s a huge demand for new condos, but the city’s policies have resulted in very high costs to build. The economic downturn means that there may no longer be demand at the required prices.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        More accurately, a pullback in new condo values, which appear to have peaked back in 2015, combined with land values having been bid up by developers banking on continued price appreciation, while construction costs have risen, has resulted in a challenging environment in which to develop recently purchased land and sell at a decent rate of return.

        But projects with low land baseis continue to break ground.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          And the city’s policies don’t play a role?

          That’s an interesting claim. Not an accurate one, but an interesting one.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            The city’s policies certainly raise the costs of construction, or more accurately “development.”

            But yes, despite the change in the city’s polices, projects are still breaking ground. And in fact, the number of units under construction in the city has been ticking up, not down.

            Care to guess what really differentiates those project’s which currently pencil versus those that don’t?

          • Posted by SFRealist

            The existence of new projects breaking ground has nothing to do with my argument. I assume that’s meant to be a response to Dave right?

  19. Posted by SkyGuy

    An *average* of 180 square feet? That does seem small, even for “modern travelers.”

    • Posted by Notcom

      There are, I believe, actually chains that specialize in these types of accommodations. I stayed in one in SLC a few years back, and altho my initial reaction was claustrophobia/”are you kidding me?” it was nice to wake up in the morning and not have everything in the room a day’s hike away; of course it was only one night and I was solo…I don’t know if it would be workable for weeks vs. overnite.

  20. Posted by Joe

    LOL@ there is no more demand for condos downtown.

  21. Posted by MrOrange

    I’m guessing they didn’t go higher as the building would be too slender structural engineering-wise. The cascading excuse is kinda silly. Anyway, I like the idea of smaller hotel rooms assuming they come with lower prices – I don’t travel to places to sit in my room all day, I just need a place for the night.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Well then they should say that they don’t want to build a project that fills out the zoned height limit because if they built that high the building would be less profitable. The whole “proposed 260’ height imparts a cascading massing to the surrounding area” mumbo jumbo is just an example of Talkitecture. Someone on the planning commission needs to call BS on it.

      And if I were on the planning commission I would ask them about it.

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