As we first revealed back in early 2017:

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.

In 2019, the aforementioned approach was kicked to the curb, the condo component was dropped from the plans, and a new design was rendered for the development, with a 15-story “addition” rising over the façade of the existing building, yielding a 198-room hotel with a basement garage for 24 cars, two restaurants and bars (one fronting Merchant Street, which would be redeveloped as part of the project, and another across the tower’s top floor with a private terrace), and expectations of breaking ground this year (2020).

Since further refined by Heller Manus, incorporating a tripart design and differentiated crown, as newly rendered below, the impact report for the project has been drafted and will be formally reviewed and heard by Planning next month.

And if the project is approved, the project team now “expected” to commence construction in February of next year (2021).

All that being said, building permits for the three-year project have yet to be requested, much less processed and approved. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

31 thoughts on “Proposed Terraced Tower and Expectations Take Three”
  1. I like that original design better than the new one where the brick facade is retained, however both are fine and I hope this gets built.

  2. 30% of U.S. hotels are forecast to go into foreclosure in the near future. If this ever gets built, it will be in 20 years. And this obsession with mis-mashing new styles with old but insignificant facades is ugly and ridiculous. It’ leads to messes like 1314 Polk street. Which look like a child left their legos on top of the old Freed Teller & Freed store front.

    1. 1314 Polk is an unfortunate design, but it would have been unfortunate with or without the historic component.

      retaining historic facades adds interest and story to our city. and as an architect who works on such projects, i can tell you it’s a challenging but rewarding process.

      “facadism” is an empty critique, proliferated by armchair cynics, without acknowledgement of the value of materiality and historical reference.

      1. Unfortunate is the two condos on the 3rd floor of 1314 Polk that have windows facing the back of the brick parapet with just a tiny slice of light at the top. All so a mediocre facade can hide a behind a moldy looking coat of green paint. Such “value”…

  3. I for one like the fact they retained the brick facade at the lowest level. Especially in this part of time which is one of the few areas where SF has had brick buildings. It doesn’t always work but I think it does just fine here. Agreed w/ earlier comment… we’ll see if this ever gets built.

  4. I think despite the gloom & doom around hotels/tourism during COVID, as soon as there’s a vaccine in sight people are going to be desperately booking travel after being so cooped up. Still might be more than a year for cities like SF to return to capacity, but I do think there will be major pent-up demand.

      1. Tahoe is not the same thing in November that it is in late summer. The roaring 20s happened right after the last coronavirus pandemic. Urbanism is dead? A bit early for all of that, IMO. But we shall see.

        1. I agree. When this thing is over, hold on. City is gonna pop just like every other iconic city in history has after a pandemic. Yes, SF is on a downswing for sure but the golden gate is still iconic and that aint going away. It will be different for sure, but people will come back.

          1. Except that SF was on the decline well before the pandemic hit. And the financial budget situation is going to be just brutal.

      2. Funny….at least in California a lot of that vaunted “open space” and “nature” is catching on fire. With another dry winter predicted, I imagine the bolt hole in Camino or Napa might look a little less desirable as the wall of flames roars down on your prime pseudo-rural getaway. It was shocking to see how fire scarred parts of Tahoe were. Emerald Bay had a HUGE fire scar-and unike redwoods or even oaks, those pine forest don’t grow back as quickly.

  5. Realtors in a territorial plssing match while the world is dying around them. Priceless.

    The words “hot,” “prime,” and “desirable” are the tell, as well as the glee in the misfortunes of those in other markets. I don’t think a diagnosis of sociopathy would be misplaced.

    Superficial, shallow, self-centered salespeople – now that’s hot.

    Next fire, let’s just get a couple of these fellows in a plssing match, and point ’em at the trees.

    1. I agree, Two Beers. This city has been damaged enough by self-centered bourgeois “entrepreneurs” who only think of themselves and only build for the wealthy. San Francisco used to be a great city, and I am a completely urban person, but I preferred the City in the 1970s.

        1. Clyde-

          I’m sorry the consequences of extreme economic inequality have made your job harder, but a clever developer/landlord/used house salesman would use homeless people as a selling point: “Just think of the boost to your ego everyday when you walk outside your vertically-ambivalent skytower condoloft and see hundreds of people suffering as a result of the very means that made you wealthy! Like Calvin’s Elect, the satisfaction of knowing you are destined for a seat by God’s side and are morally and financially superior to those living on the streets will give you an endorphin boost that will put your former cocaine habit to shame!”


          1. Correction. The consequences of extreme irresponsibility. That 30 years and billions of dollars spent chasing a neo-marxist pipe dream, cannot and NEVER will resolve.

          2. I know I’m gonna hate myself in the morning for asking, but Clyde, what the heck are you babbling about?

            What, pray tell, is a eon-marxist pipedream? Marx’s main proposition was that the means of production, industrial capital, should be under workers’ control, not private ownership. I’m really going to try to understand what you’re saying here. You mean that the homeless in San Francisco are the ones who are actually in control of industrial capital? Of course! Zounds! The clever fiends! What a brilliant tax dodge: who would ever think to come after the homeless for taxes when they are the ones at the apex of the economic ladder?

          3. The definition of Marxism is the theory of Karl Marx which says that society’s classes are the cause of struggle and that society should have no classes. An example of Marxism is replacing private ownership with co-operative ownership. And in all the places on earth this ignorant theory was instituted…. THEY ALL FAILED SPECTACULARLY. Most recently in Venezuela. An unbroken 100 year record of total failure. Hope you enjoy the poop, needles and filth your lovely vagrant class supplies the city with. But be sure hate on the class that pay the taxes, that enable this 13 billion dollar a year charade to continue.

          4. Clyde, your understanding of Marx appears to be at the level of someone whose knowledge of the topic has been informed solely by the rantings of right-wing opinion journalists who publish their screeds in the Wall Street journal and I think it’s safe to say you have never read the man’s writings yourself.

      1. Well, since you cannot go back in time, you can always move. Detroit has a lot of authentic character and urban grit while maintaining a surprising amount of cultural amenities. In fact, many of the so-called “Rust Belt” cities seem they would probably suit your tastes.

    2. Realtors? I think you mean “real estate developers.” Realtors are people who sell houses. And, you’re using the phrase “pissing match” incorrectly in this context–it means a rivalry between two parties where each tries to assert its superiority. Proposing a development to the city is not a “pissing match.” As for your sexual attraction to salespeople, I guess that is interesting, but I am not sure how it is relevant here?

      1. Relax, Chris, I posted in the wrong place, but I was referring to the exchange between ken and brian above, both clearly used house salesmen, who were gloating over the suffering in the other’s bailiwick.

  6. Yes. When all of the a-holes are gone, maybe we can rebuild the city with a more inclusive future in mind. I will sing in the rubble before I ever approve of what’s been happening here over the past 10+ years. It takes courage to admit you’ve made a mistake and taken the wrong path, but SF needs to do it. Destroy this b*tch and start over. We have lots of time, and many who love her will stick around to assist.

    1. I am not sure how you “destroy” something, absent burning it down. San Francisco has always been a changing and evolving city, but it has always had its share of characters resistant to change who like to look at the past through rose-colored glasses that block out many of the unsavory and undesirable elements of what they nostalgically remember. There is a wonderful scene in the classic 1958 movie Vertigo, which captures this sort misty-eyed San Francisco nostalgia. In the scene, a minor character laments the changes to the city and how so much of what made it special has been lost. So, yes, there is nothing new under the sun.

      1. A “minor” character ?!?!?! I’ll not play spoiler, but s/he is central to the whole story… perhaps you missed the last hour or so?

  7. I was involved in this project at one point back in 2016-2017. The planning department would not let this project go through unless they preserved the streetscape & brick facade. It was mainly rejected because of that.

    The planning board also requested that it step back after the 5th floor brick, so it would not be as assuming of a form from the street view. The planning department also suggested that Heller Manus redesign the building with a hotel incorporated into it. It was rejected by the planning board mainly to address those 3 issues.

    The planning department decided that the neighborhood could use hotel rooms instead of housing, due to their calculations of the number of hotel rooms rented at that time vs. the amount available. Perhaps also because it would be high-income housing. The primary design and facade did not incorporate into the neighborhood surrounding good enough for the city. It was the planning board that suggested hotel instead of housing in the re-design, not the investor nor the architect.

    This is an incredibly difficult design to pull off if it were to be hotel and housing in the same tower, because of the difference in floor layouts for those 2 different programs, the fire exiting requirements at the upper floors (distance to the exit stairs) , and the vertical stair core locations in the stepped-back upper level plans. I say build the damn thing already.

  8. Gee, I welcomed the tech boom… now that’s gone… the city is in decline but it will come back as it always does. Change is good and the businesses that didn’t survive will come back as something else.

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