Plans to demolish the two-story, 153-space parking garage at 50 Main Street, between Market and Mission, are in the works. And as envisioned and newly massed below, a 75-story tower could rise up to 818 feet in height upon the Transbay District site, with Hines having engaged Foster + Partners, along with Kendall/Heaton Associates, for the design.

While currently only zoned for development up to 400 feet in height, Hines is planning to invoke California’s Density Bonus Law for the additional 418 feet in height (and density). And if approved as currently envisioned, the $266 million infill tower could yield up to 761 rental units (a mix of 559 one-bedrooms, 114 twos and 88 three-bedrooms), with 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space and a four-level basement garage for 380 cars.

And yes, this is just one piece of the overall plans for the block

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    This is, of course, the old PG&E block (tho I don’t know if they owned this specific parcel).

    It’s good to know that as businesses move to Oakland, productive use can be made of those old, abandoned properties! 🙂

    • Posted by PhilipC

      Yes, PG&E owned the entire block

  2. Posted by Robert

    Great infill. As the pandemic has made very apparent, we need to transform the Financial District into a 24/7 neighborhood with more residents.

    • Posted by Tony

      THIS SO MUCH. One of the worst aspects of NIMBYs blocking new residential buildings in FiDi is that the neighborhood is an absolute wasteland after business hours.

    • Posted by Claude

      But of course we all know this isn’t FiDi, it’s the East Cut. which we all totally call it!

      • Posted by jimbo

        what the heck is East Cut? this is clearly FiDi

        • Posted by Claude

          Actually it’s SoMa/South Beach, not FiDi. But this neighborhood has been renamed The East Cut.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Actually, the 50 Main Street site is (just) outside the boundaries of “The East Cut Community Benefit District” but does sit within the Transbay District, as reported above.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            “this neighborhood has been renamed The East Cut”

            Not by anyone who doesn’t work in real estate sales or marketing… or who actually has lived in S.F. for more than 2 weeks.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            no this isn’t the East Cut, this is just off Market st

          • Posted by SocketSite

            When we wrote that “the 50 Main Street site is (just) outside the boundaries of “The East Cut Community Benefit District,” we meant it. As in, the adjacent parcel at 77 Beale Street actually falls within the boundaries of “The East Cut Community Benefit District.”

      • Posted by James

        I wish someone would help set the record straight. They can “try” to change our neighborhoods, but Rincon Hill *neighborhood*, Folsom Street *neighborhood*, and Transbay*neighborhood* will remain…

        The East Cut is only a DISTRICT (a CBD) that contains a few neighborhoods.

  3. Posted by TA

    Another chance for a Foster building. Hope this one has better luck than Oceanwide.

  4. Posted by Hunter

    Great spot for a ton more housing—but what is going on with the parking lot across Main St.? Such a wasted space.

    • Posted by Robert

      I think you’re seeing the parking lot behind the Federal Reserve Bank of SF building. Totally agree that it’s a complete waste as surface parking. Curious to hear if they have any plans for it.

      • Posted by Dixon Hill

        The parking lot behind the Fed sits atop a cash vault containing pallets of currency. For security reasons, it will probably not be developed anytime soon.

        • Posted by Robert

          Fascinating. I didn’t realize the Fed’s operations extended under the surface parking lot.

        • Posted by Alai

          …huh. How does a parking lot provide more security than a structure?

      • Posted by Orland

        That lot has been an eyesore for decades. I’ve always thought it should, at least, be developed as an open plaza for which it would be ideal. Being on the NE corner, it gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year.

        • Posted by Dixon Hill

          A plaza would be nice but they probably need the lot for armored trucks.

  5. Posted by TA

    I think one of those lots is slated for a 600-foot tower.

    • Posted by Hunter

      OOooh, any details on that? Far overdue.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      There are no active plans for the parking lot behind the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market, nor the adjacent corner lot, to be developed, other than for a minor addition to accommodate a new secured entrance to the building and a reorganization of the lot.

  6. Posted by OneEyedMan

    If they think they are building 761 units for $266M then I want some of what they are smoking.

  7. Posted by Paulish

    Does anyone know if the TCDP affordability requirements apply to this project?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As envisioned, 156 of the 761 units would need to be provided at below market (“affordable”) rates.

  8. Posted by density

    This is awesome! We need way more new homes downtown to make the neighborhood more lively as hybrid work becomes the default.

  9. Posted by SocketSite

    And yes, this is just one piece of the overall plans for the block

  10. Posted by busrider

    More residential development downtown is fantastic, as others have pointed out. However, from a livability perspective, fewer parking spaces would be preferred.

    This proposal more than doubles the number of parking spaces provided at the site. Transit access is excellent here, and bicycle (and scooter, etc.) infrastructure in the vicinity has greatly improved over the past years. Motor vehicles continue to dominate downtown streets and, with the addition of even more cars, the streetscape will become louder and less livable/enjoyable.

    As downtown and the Financial District become more residential, it’s important to ensure that its positive attributes of walkabilty and urban flair, and its ability to well serve those who are not traveling by car, is not eroded. Further road diets downtown can help to transform select streets and neighborhoods into urban oases and adding more cars to the mix undermines or prevents this possibility.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Well, the post above doesn’t say anything about how the parking spaces are going to be allocated. Most likely, they will be leased separately to residents who will pay a premium for the privilege. It’s imaginable that the ultimate property owner/operator will grant parking in the basement garage at no extra charge, but not likely.

      If that happens, and if the garage reaches capacity soon after the building opens, then what we will learn is that from a livability perspective, more parking spaces would be preferred, because the people who want to pay to be a tenant in this building are dominated by car owners, and without the parking they will compete for street parking with current workers and residents in the area with cars, which will be a negative for livability.

      Manhattan style gridlocked streets caused by drivers circling the block looking for parking would be negative for livability as well.

      The site has two-story, 153-space parking garage right now, and it’s highly unlikely that the cars being parked there now will simply evaporate once this building is completed. If the apartments are expensive, it’s highly likely that the affluent residents will mean more cars will be parking in the area, not fewer.

      • Posted by jimbo

        i doubt the parking is only for residents. i bet no more than half is. they can charge daily rates of $40+ to commuters who are already using it

      • Posted by Notcom

        Actually, since PG&E is vacating the whole block, I’d say it’s highly likely they’ll evaporate….at least eventually Of course they’ll be replaced by the new tenants’ demands.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Notom, that’s a good pont. I stand corrected.

          I still think the number of households in this building (when it comes to market) with at least one car registered to them will be at or higher than the San Francisco average (roughly 79%).

      • Posted by SocketSite

        The 380 parking spaces as proposed would be for the building’s residences. Any commercial use would require special approval and permitting.

        • Posted by jimbo

          OK thanks, then agree its too much parking

  11. Posted by Moses of the First Nation

    Wait til this one starts tilting.
    The Colonial Attorneys are already chomping at the bit.

    • Posted by Tony

      Buildings don’t tilt if you actually secure the foundation. Pretty much everyone does this except for one particularly well known example…

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