As we outlined earlier this year:

The proposed mass redevelopment of 12 contiguous Central SoMa parcels stretching from 400 Second Street to 665 Harrison, a.k.a. the One Vassar project, has just qualified for a streamlined environmental review and could break ground as early as next year if approved, with two towers rising up to 350 feet in height and a modern addition atop the historic building between.

And having determined that the projected impact of the proposed project is covered by San Francisco’s Central SoMa Plan, the project has just been granted a Community Plan based exemption from having to complete a detailed Environmental Review.

That being said, while the project team was touting the potential for breaking ground for the two towers in mid-2021, with the redevelopment of 645 Harrison Street beginning in mid-2022, the project team will still need to secure an increasingly scarce office allocation to proceed as proposed.  And then there’s the pandemic induced market uncertainty with which to contend.

16 thoughts on “Big Central SoMa Project Granted Key Exemption, But…”
  1. “And then there’s the pandemic induced market uncertainty with which to contend.”

    Build less office space. Build more housing. Seems good to me, especially since that housing will no longer be used for $200/night airbnb rentals.

  2. Has a single project that received new zoning due to the Central Soma plan broken ground? Lots of construction in the area, but all approved before the plan was as far as I can tell…

  3. In the same way retail development was put on hold a few years ago (notably the Candlestick Park project) due to e-commerce threats, I would think office development will pause a bit in light of recent remote work trends. This project is so far along in the planning process, it probably goes through, but proposing new projects from scratch seems questionable in the next few months outside of the most desirable locations.

  4. It’s likely this will not move forward for years and, when it does, it will probably be in a completely different form than that now proposed. as currently proposed. The hotel component is a non-starter In light of the pandemic. Most analysts don’t expect the tourism/hospitality industry to recover for years – not to mention another moderate sized hotel project – up the hill a bit – seems to be stalled. The office and residential components are also problematic right now. Redfin’s CEO just this week said that the exodus from places New York City and San Francisco will likely accelerate as a result of the pandemic. If that happens there will be a reduction in demand for residential units and especially office space as telework grows and companies shy away from high-priced “cramped” downtown office space.

    1. And the hotel up the hill was already stalled because of Oceanwide’s decisions to sell the project which was just recently sold

      1. I am referring to the hotel proposed for Hawthorne St (or Second) several blocks from this project. Not to the hotel/condo entitlement that Oceanwide sold.

      1. Wow. The quote was, ““More people will leave San Francisco, New York and even Seattle, some for nearby towns like Sacramento and Tacoma that are close enough to support a weekly office visit, others for a completely remote life in Charleston, [S.C.], Boise, Bozeman or Madison.”

        Downright Tucker Carlson type tactics from the resident Seattle booster, that was.

        1. There is an obvious difference. A difference with a real distinction. Seattle folks moving to Tacoma are simply relocating within the same metro area – Tacoma is just 36 miles from Seattle. Equivalent to SF folks moving to the mid-peninsula. San Francisco people moving to Sacramento? A separate metro area 90 miles away. The former will not significantly impact home prices and the job base within the Seattle metro area. Much like Stripe moving its headquarters and entire workforce to SSF will not impact the housing prices or job base in the Bay Area. However a move of people and jobs from the Bay Area to Sacramento could have a real impact on housing prices and the job base in the Bay Area.

          1. Twitter implementing permanent WFH measures, with more big guns to follow, will drastically impact home prices, and inventory.

            This was already on the cards pre-pandemic. Now it’s official.

          2. or the Seattle based CEO is just throwing out Sac as comparable to Tacamo and didn’t do a deep dive into the comparison

          3. As a point of order, said Seattle-based CEO, who is a Bay Area tech veteran, lived and worked in San Francisco prior to joining Redfin.

          4. The Twitter announcement is huge. It comes at a time the 1.5% tax break Twitter got for locating mid-Market is ending. Despite the attempt to reinvigorate the area the homeless problem remains (is worse) and many storefronts are still empty. Previously the CEO had indicated future expansion would not be in SF.

          5. Somehow the vague descriptors “more” plus “others” can be parsed in a very extracting way in terms of geography, yet the entire city of Seattle was initially left out of the equation. Hah. Sorry, not one to say lol, but that’s simply an actual laugh out loud one.

          6. … that was, was initially left out of the equation — when it was part of the actual quote ! comedy

  5. I like how this completely hides the highway behind tall towers, and would like to see more of this. You probably need highrises to provide a decent amount of space “above” the highway for tenants.

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