San Francisco’s Planning Commission is slated to approve the refined plans for a 61-story tower to rise up to 800 feet in height at 542-550 Howard Street (a.k.a. Transbay Parcel F) next week, a development which would yield a 189-room hotel, 275,000 square feet of office space and 165 condos over 9,000 square feet of retail space and a basement garage for 183 cars, with a pedestrian bridge connecting the new tower to the adjacent park atop the Transbay/Salesforce Transit Center.

If approved by Planning, the final approval or disapproval of the project would rest with San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

And if approved, all 165 of the tower’s condos would all be offered at market rates with the required inclusionary housing component of the project to be fulfilled off-site within a 713-unit building proposed to rise on the northern third of the temporary Transbay Terminal site, fronting Howard Street between Beale and Main (a.k.a. Transbay Block 4).

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Maurice

    Should have zero parking spaces.

    Um, imagine a world where a hotel that is 2 blocks from Bart, actually CONNECTED TO a bus and future rail terminal that does not require any parking places.

    • Posted by Joe

      …another give away to the 1%…and no homes for the people who have to clean up after these pigs.

      • Posted by Cole

        Every 250 sq feet of new office space should be matched with 1 housing unit. This building should have 1100 housing units and 0 office space. Let’s start building new large office spaces (over 50,000 sq ft) where people can better afford to live – in the East Bay counties and Solano county.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Cole, please vote for Proposition E on your Spring 2020 ballot. No need to exile people to the East Bay or Solano county.

  2. Posted by James

    No-one would buy a condo there without parking, that’s just the reality.

    • Posted by MDG399

      NO ONE….? Really….? Not one single unit w/o a parking space would ever sell…? Tell that to the owners of 1000’s of apartments and houses and condo’s in SF, add Manhattan, Boston, Chicago etc that don’t include a parking space….And you have millions of housing units w/o deeded parking….

      have a nice day

    • Posted by Maurice

      How much cheaper can these condos be offered without having to build an underground garage? Is there not other plentiful parking nearby?

      My question is: in an increasingly gridlocked city and world, why not choose this location to offer zero parking. This is the place where you can prove that you can lead a very high quality of life in a beautiful building, and get everywhere you need to go, without having to park a car in your building. You can do it here, in this very project, starting today.

    • Posted by michael

      Units without parking will sell at lower price than they would with parking. Duh. Obvious nonsense to say “no one would buy…”
      Question: Given that parking is below ground where there’s no possibility for living units (right?), is there any reason (from a developer’s point of view) *not* to build a bunch of parking? I’d guess there’s added excavation expense, but is there any other reason?

      • Posted by Joshua Goldstein

        I mean, it’s not just the condos that might want parking. Many office and hotel buildings in SF also have parking. It might be hard to find a hotel that would lease/buy the space without parking. My bet is that the builder is just aiming to have about what parking they might need based on the surrounding area.

        • Posted by jimbo

          agree, i think offering a lower amount of parking makes sense, but none is sort of ridiculous considering this is a multi-use building

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          My bet is that the developer is going for maximum parking. Parking in a dense area like this isn’t simply a static rectangle of concrete to store a car. It is an entitlement to use street space in an increasingly congested network. Kind of like the inverse of California’s notorious water rights. Sooner or later the city will realize that its streets are fully allocated with no reasonable way to expand. So smart developers are grabbing all of the parking entitlements that they can because as we know the value of a limited resource will usually rise over time.

  3. Posted by maurice

    Because it collectively makes quality of life better in the urban core (I suppose this is a reason for zoning to prohibit parking). Parking garages are quite expensive to build.

  4. Posted by jschaaf26

    Love the new building. Just wish we weren’t getting another blue/green glass structure. The “new” city is so monochromatic.

    • Posted by Oakland lover

      Agreed we need something bolder and more innovative. Still…. I hope this thing gets going soon. Less and less cranes and new starts around the Transbay center now….. Hopefully the last few big towers in the plan get started soon.

      Same in Oakland. Much fewer cranes downtown.

      • Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

        IIRC this is the last big tower site at/near Transbay Center. Some other sites have not seen projects started such as the once proposed skinny 48 story tower on Howard. Or the abandoned Oceanwide condo/hotel project. Not sure of the status of the claw tower at Oceanwide. The area is pretty much “done” and, unfortunately, it is a yawner in terms of design. This tower will be as banal as the Salesforce Tower. The grand plans to turn this into a Grand Central Station of sorts or even a Union Station will not come to pass. That with no HSR likely ever to reach the TTC and DTX 15 or so years away. On weekends at street level the area is devoid of life and uninviting.

        Development is shifting out of the Bay Area and California because of the risks so fewer cranes. Other cities, however, are still booming. Construction costs are the highest in the world here and that is part of what is chasing developers..

        • Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

          Also – the Renzo tower project proposed for Howard has been abandoned too.

          • Posted by Orlando

            The Oceanwide center project is still undergoing on its 910 foot tower, the shorter 625 foot tower is on hold. Please learn your facts.

          • Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

            That is why I said not sure on the status of the Oceanwide claw tower. Thanks for the clarification.

  5. Posted by jimbo

    is this taller than salesforce or is that just the perspective from the pic?

    • Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

      It’s the perspective. Salesforce is quite a bit taller at over 1000 feet, the proposed Claw tower if built will be over 900 feet. IIRC the Transamerica pyramid is over 800 feet high – making this the fourth tallest building in SF.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      It’s shorter by 270 feet and fourth in line behind the Salesforce tower, the Oceanwide tower rising at 50 First Street, and the iconic Transamerica Pyramid building with no other parcels in San Francisco currently zoned for a building to rise any higher.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Dave said the Oceanwide tower was abandoned. Is it rising?

        • Posted by Orlando

          Yes it’s being worked on, I walked passed it everyday on my way to work. Crew members are onsite on the taller 910 foot tower. The shorter one is the only one on hold. You can follow updates off their website.

        • Posted by Parkside

          Dave does not even live in San Francisco and dictates his views from outside the City. Keeps repeating the same dribble. Oceanwide is currently under construction and work was being completed on their subterranean area. Oceanwide Corp (Chinese) is currently looking to exit the project and looking for a buyer. This could explain their reasoning for slowing the construction for the 2nd parcel.

    • Posted by Orlando

      Salesforce Tower is 1,070 feet
      Oceanwide Center (under construction) 910 feet
      Transamerica Pyramid 853 feet
      181 Fremont 802 feet
      (Parcel F proposed tower) 806 feet

  6. Posted by Jim

    There are a number of hotels in SF with no parking…like the Hyatt Regency and the Park Hyatt, built in the 70s and 80s, as well as older hotels like the Palace. Also, during the 1980s the square footage of offices in the downtown C3 district doubled, while the total number of parking spaces remained constant. Most of the downtown office buildings built in that era and since have either 0 parking, or a few spaces for the CEO and a half dozen others.

  7. Posted by density

    Did the Board of Supervisors ever approve this project? Haven’t heard anything about it for awhile.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Do you actually think this project is likely to proceed at present? Investors are already committing random acts of unkindness to get out of projects in the BA, and while it’s easy to dismiss that as “…Oakland…”, if I were the developer I’d think twice… and maybe a third, fourth or fifth time…whatever it took to prevent me from building on quicksand (financial, if not geological).

      • Posted by density

        I was just curious if all the govt approvals had been completed. I’m not sure a developer like Hines would want to put the approval process on ice since it’s already taken several years? Hines could keep the application going and then just sit on (or sell) the entitlement until the full scope of pandemic-induced economic damages becomes clearer.

        I was holding out hope for this one given the stellar location, the stature of the developer, and the fact that Salesforce has pre-leased the office component. But who knows what the economy will look like in the 3+ years it would take to fully construct this project. I certainly don’t know. Just a fool’s hope.

        • Posted by Notcom

          No, not a fool…but an optimist !

        • Posted by SocketSite

          While it was widely promoted elsewhere, it would appear as though the Salesforce pre-lease is now “no longer in hand.”

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