December 18, 2006
Millennium Tower San Francisco (301 Mission): Interest List
“In addition to the 60-story tower, there is a shorter, 125 foot (38 m) 11-story tower on the north end of the complex with more condos and residential amenities. In between the two towers, there will be a two-story glass atrium at about 43 ft. (13 m) tall. In total, the project will have
437 units, some of which (~120) will be extended-stay hotel units and the others residential units.” (wikipedia)
Expect the condo/rental mix to change depending upon market conditions at the time of completion (2008/2009). And yes, this is the residential building that will rise four feet higher than One Rincon Hill.
∙ Millennium Tower San Francisco [Official website]
∙ Five Years Late (And One “N” Short) [SocketSite]
∙ Millennium Tower (301 Mission Street) [wikipedia]
∙ One Rincon Hill: Rain, Rain Go Away [SocketSite]
First Published: December 18, 2006 1:34 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
That's gorgeous. It looks like a piece of Kryptonite from Superman.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 18, 2006 1:53 PM
Anyone know who's doing the sales and marketing?
Posted by: indulgeinlife at December 18, 2006 3:35 PM
I'm curious to why Millennium is taking so long to open it's sales office and start the presale process.
By the time they open early next year, demand may be dried up (due to 1Rincon and Infinity).
If they had opened say late summer or early fall this year, they could have gotten some of the business that ended up going to Rincon and Infinity...
Posted by: Anonymous at December 18, 2006 3:41 PM
What a welcome site this project was when they demolished that ugly ugly building that used to be on this corner. I walk by this corner every single morning and every night to and from my office and it's amazing what they've done already.
I'm a 1Rincon buyer and even with that, I think this development will do more for the neighborhood as a whole than 1Rincon and the Infinity combined because it is in a location that truly bridges the gap between what constitutes the actual business district and the new neighborhood that is South Beach/Rincon Hill/Transbay redevelopment zone. I'm as excited about this project as my own. The worst part of my walk home everyday is the strip of Beale between Mission and Howard. Hopefully that will change in the next 5 years or so.
I just want to know if they are going to tear down that disgusting looking escalator bridge thing that runs across Beale Street right before Mission. Talk about an eye-sore.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 18, 2006 4:11 PM
Not meaning to dump on a building that will be a great help to the city, but the design seems very 80's to me. It reminds me of all of the "gold" glass used by Trump, John Portman, and others. (The fad now is for blue or green glass) Will the actual building be as seductive as the drawings? There seems to be no balcony space for the units. It will be interesting to see the results of this design as it is completed.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 18, 2006 5:52 PM
It'll be a hard sell without any balconies. Living in hotels with no balconies is stuffy and clastrophobic enough, imaging living in there full time.
Also, with the restriction on how wide you can open windows in highrises, will heat be an issue as it is at Beacon? That building looks like it could bake on a sunny day with all those windows. Not sure if aircon will be included...
Posted by: Anonymous at December 18, 2006 6:05 PM
To indulginelife -- Millennium's previous project in SF was the Four Seasons, and they had their own sales and marketing staff (so it wasn't the Mark Company or Pacific Marketing, it was Millennium.) I don't see why that would be different in this case.
Posted by: Damion at December 18, 2006 8:57 PM
Love the height.
Looks like an insurance headquarters on E. Coast. Why would anyone want to live IN this?
Love the height tho!
Posted by: Invented at December 18, 2006 10:14 PM
The juxtaposition of this against the shady characters hanging around the Tbay Terminal is interesting...coupled with the fact that some of this property will be public access makes this a different type of property than 1Rincon which will feel much more exclusive - though a bit disconnected from its environs (and oh so lovingly placed next to the noise and pollution of the Bay Bridge). These would both be much cooler on the north side of market, say, at Broadway & Embarcadero (yeah, I realize zoning is different...what a waste!).
Posted by: Anonymous at December 18, 2006 10:37 PM
Regarding the sales office, when you register, you get back an email that states the sales office will open in fall '07 with building completion in early '09. I guess they just are nowhere near as far down the road as 1Rincon/Infinity.
Posted by: Amen Corner at December 18, 2006 11:32 PM
Wow, that thing looks out of place!
Posted by: pwb at December 19, 2006 12:29 AM
I think it looks great, and will be a welcome addition to the area. It won't be that "out of place" in terms of design. Barclays is building a new headquarters on an adjacent block which also features a lot of glass, like the Orrick building currently on the other side of Howard. There's another large office building going up just a block down Mission, across from the JPMorgan office, which I believe will also be quite "glassy" and will fill a big gap on that block.
Neighborhoods are changed one building at a time. I'm sure the Pyramid was an eyesore when it was first built, and people complained it was out of place/character, but now it's a defining feature of our skyline.
Posted by: Dude at December 19, 2006 8:24 AM
Validating Damian's post that I have been told by sources I deem reliable they plan to market and sell it themselves and will get that portion of their staff together when they are further down the line. It's supposed to be a very nice addition to the Four Seasons, St. Regis duo. I'm excited to see it done.
Posted by: Meredith at December 19, 2006 8:49 AM
comment on balconies...if I recall, many buildings in NYC and Chicago do not have balconies so this may be more of a 'big' city look. Also, I have often wondered just how usable the balconies on towers such as 1 Rincon and Infinity will be in any case. With the chilly winds that blow most of the time at street level I would guess that up a few floors, standing/sitting outside would be a miserable experience.
Posted by: CameronRex at December 19, 2006 10:11 AM
Meredith, has anyone said who the hotel will be? Since that could play into the marketing for the condos, it will be really interesting to know.
Posted by: Damion at December 19, 2006 10:18 AM
I've had a few high-rise units with balconies in SF, and they're mostly unusable. Just not the right climate here. Most people would rather have the interior square footage. You'll notice that on some of the older high-rises, like the Summit, 1200 California and 66 Cleary, many owners have taken in the balconies as interior space. The right layout and window design can actually make a unit feel more open than a balcony would. Of the current SOMA high-rises in development, this one seems the most appealing.
Posted by: Christopher at December 19, 2006 12:04 PM
"I've had a few high-rise units with balconies in SF, and they're mostly unusable. Just not the right climate here. Most people would rather have the interior square footage."
This comment is 100% right on. I currently live in a highrise on Beale that has nice big balcony facing toward downtown and the bay. But guess what, I spend almost no time at all on the balcony for the exact reason as cited above and I end up cursing the fact that I can't use that space as actual living space. Balconies in San Francisco are about as useful as "a screen door on a submarine."
Posted by: Anonymous at December 19, 2006 12:39 PM
I think that this is a great start to the transbay terminal area, but keep in mind that there will be some less than pleasant surroundings, at least for a few years. The current run-down transbay terminal attracts shady characters, while the current bus overpass provides a shelter where many homeless people live, so you do have to walk around them frequently (I think they're planning on tearing down the overpass, but I'm not sure on the timing). The parking lots between this area and Folsom provide for an underused, desolate neighborhood during the nighttime hours. They do have elaborate development plans, but given the snails pace of the current developments in the transbay/Rincon hill areas, it will be many years before they all occur. Even when the developments all begin, this will cause another period of several years of having to deal with construction in your neighborhood.
Don't get me wrong, I think that this building will be wonderful and the neighborhood will be great, but it won't be the utopia that we all dream about for quite a while. In the meanwhile, you can enjoy the fact that you're within walking distance of a lot of cool areas of the city (Embarcadero, Yerba Buena, Union Square, North Beach, etc).
Posted by: Anonymous at December 19, 2006 1:01 PM
"(I think they're planning on tearing down the overpass, but I'm not sure on the timing)."
I have corresponded occasionally with the Transbay redevelopment authority and here is what they said regarding the elevated ramps and timing generally,
"The new Transbay Transit Center, when completed, will include one elevated ramp coming in on the west side of the building (i.e., around 1st Street), for the buses coming and going from the Bay Bridge. The east loop ramp will be eliminated, freeing up this land for development. While the current ramps were designed for rail, the new ramp will be designed for buses only and will be taller, slender and less obtrusive, allowing for more natural light in the area.
The entire Transbay Terminal will be torn down as part of the Transbay Transit Center Program, so these archway sections will not exist. Demolition is scheduled to begin in late 2009."
[Editor's Note: Additional background: http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2006/10/the_transbay_redevelopment.html.]
Posted by: Anonymous at December 19, 2006 1:20 PM
Regarding alconies, I have a medium size 10x10 balcony on the 8th floor in S Beach and I use it at least once a day, if just to get a breath of fresh air for a moment. So I think it's just a matter of opinion. I'm a clean freak and I find it so convenient to be able to put a mop or vacuum cleaner if just for a second while I'm moving things around inside.
And it's a great place for guests to hang out. Now I know it can be cold, but I'm not talking about spend 2-3 hours outside, but just a few minutes can be nice and refreshing.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 19, 2006 3:08 PM
"but just a few minutes can be nice and refreshing."
No argument with this basic comment. But in the context of the original premise, that being that the Millennium will be less than successful because it lacks balconies, I think not.
That is way way down the list of things that people generally NEED to have in a luxury high-rise apt. I purchased a unit at 1Rincon that has a great balcony facing Twin Peaks and downtown, but I am pretty realistic about how often I plan to use it. If I want fresh air, I'll simple open one of the really cool floor level windows that every unit has in each room.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 19, 2006 3:33 PM
Did you say floor level windows?
OK, seriously, I live in pac heights and have a deck and I never use it. The outside of that building is very pretty and the location is fantastic. It isn't sitting out in the middle of nowhere next to a freeway on ramp.
Granted, the transbay terminal isn't the four seasons, and transbay redevlopment will likely stretch into 2019, but none of the homeless people in SF have EVER threatened me in any way. I realize that many of them are not sane, and many are drunk or on drugs, but, so is my upstairs neighbor and he's worth millions. I've just learned to deal with them and with that great location, other people will too.
Posted by: tipster at December 19, 2006 8:16 PM
I agree with the above, and would also point out that The Four Seasons is without balconies, and the St. Regis -- just a few blocks on Mission from this project -- has just a few residences with them.
A balcony is not needed to make a place a luxury residence -- but I think it is great to have one if you're in a studio or one-bedroom of more modest style. A balcony makes a big difference in a small residence.
Posted by: Damion at December 19, 2006 8:31 PM
Tipster initially made me laugh (meow!) and then nod in agreement. My experience with the homeless mirrors his. Doesn't mean "learning to deal" with the homeless is a comfortable thing in the grand scheme of things...it's an awful problem that we should deal with as a society. But I've never personally felt threatened.
Oh..and about balconies and the outside in general. In this climate, sun means everything. A protected southern exposure gets used, a shady northern one doesn't. Tall buildings TEND to not recognize this fundamental fact, and instead put the balconies on all faces of the building, making half of them unusable in this climate. (if memory serves...do all the St. Regis balconies actually face south? If so, bravo).
I have a southern exposure in my backyard and spend a lot of time there. Obviously, that's different from an exposed balcony high on a building. But for me, the south facing backyard was a VERY important selling point for the house. But I agree with most comments that it is not likely a big issue in highrise living.
Posted by: curmudgeon at December 19, 2006 9:01 PM
"I've just learned to deal with them [the homeless] and with that great location, other people will too."
The nature and magnitude of the homeless activity in Pac Heights (where the poster lives) and what exists around the Transbay Terminal is quite different. To some degree, the homeless have to make it a point to travel to Pac Heights. But in the downtown areas of SF, they actually live, congregate, and...well...do what homeless people do on a larger scale. Condo developments (and associations) in more centralized areas of SF have to deal with a number of costly nuisances associated with street people. Everything that is nice on your building at ground level will be a the mercy of street inhabitants. This includes vandalism (scratching of any windows, signage or other decorative metal surfaces), daily destruction of any landscaping or flowers/plants and human waste, vomit and used syringes left in planterboxes, pen scrawls on walls, stench, sidewalks that must be power-washed daily, garage and car break-ins, panhandling right outside your front door. Believe me, I know. I just sold a downtown-area condo where the association didn't have the bandwidth to keep up with all of this. I agree that the homeless are currently a part of San Francisco's downtown fabric. But, there's an above-average cost involved in maintaining the value of a properties located where the homeless population is more dense.
Posted by: Christopher at December 20, 2006 9:07 AM
"It isn't sitting out in the middle of nowhere next to a freeway on ramp."
Thanks......I needed a laugh like that. Tipster, it's ok, you won't be any less of a person just because 1Rincon goes onto be one of the most sought after condo projects in the South Beach/Transbay area.
Now, back to the Millennium. I actually think that this project could be more successful than 1Rincon and the Infinity combined. It's location WILL BE one of the best in the area once this neighborhood is settled and the prospect of this occurring is no less certain than the area around the Infinity or 1Rincon becoming developed just as planned.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 20, 2006 9:38 AM
"But in the downtown areas of SF, they actually live, congregate, and...well...do what homeless people do on a larger scale."
For now, that is true. But the only reason that they live and congregate in this area is because there is very little residential living. Once the residential density of this area increases to a degree that is on par with other residential areas in the city, the homeless will end up migrating somewhere else where the residential density is less. It's not merely a coincidence that they hang out where there are very few people living, that's exactly the reason that they are there.
Everyone that sees this is a real problem for the area is being awfully short-sighted.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 20, 2006 9:43 AM
Anonymous at 9:43...
I agree that the area around the Millennium tower will improve with increased development. But the condo I described in my post sits between Union Square and Nob Hill, a densely populated and established area. No matter where you live in San Francisco, there's always a possibility that you'll wake up to find [human waste] on your doorstep.
Posted by: Christopher at December 20, 2006 9:53 AM
"...there's always a possibility that you'll wake up to find [human waste] on your doorstep."
If you mean virtually anywhere in the city, then I agree. Although I would go as far to agree that the probability will still be marginally higher in the Transbay area even after it completely made over. No matter how nice they make the new Transbay Terminal, the reality is that without a Guiliani-type iron-fisted mayor running this city (which I know will never happen), no public official in this city has the cajones to keep those people "moving along" for lack of a better phrase.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 20, 2006 10:01 AM
My wife and I were looking at One Rincon and were ready to buy. Until we saw this sexy new building!
Wow, who wants to live out in the stratosphere next to a freeway, hoping that maybe in 20 years there might be a grocery store and a coffee shop within a hundred mile radius, when we can just wait and live in a *real* downtown condo like this one. It's next to everything RIGHT NOW!! We understand that pricing is going to be in the 800-900 psf range for the mid levels if we get in early. So that's what we're going to do!
Posted by: anon at December 20, 2006 8:47 PM
I disagree witht the previous commenter as he has no clue! this building is definitely being built in a shady block with homeless hoodlums. Not my choice of neighborhood!
Posted by: anony at December 20, 2006 10:09 PM
It looks like, after 9 months, there is another prominent residential building in SOMA that will give 1 Rincon Hill and The Infinity something to comment about.
This is an interesting location, across the street from The Transbay Terminal. At 60 stories +, it may soon be the shortest building within two blocks. If the city planners have their way, there will be two towers of 80+ stories and one BIG ONE of 1,000 ft.
Just wait to see the beauty contest designs by some of the world’s most successful architects for the Transbay Terminal itself. Coming soon.
Making an analysis of the future success of the Millennium Towers should take into account the dramatic changes in this neighborhood.
When the Millennium partners started planning for the Moscone Center, then the Four Seasons and all the other successful hotel/condo projects they have completed in Boston, NYC and Florida, they had a vision!
San Francisco's future is in front of us.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Posted by: Frederick at December 21, 2006 9:07 AM
"Making an analysis of the future success of the Millennium Towers should take into account the dramatic changes in this neighborhood."
Thanks Frederick, I've been trying to say this until I'm blue in the face. Everybody knows this is the case, but if the bashers actually had to acknowledge it, then it would leave them nothing to bash. So then what are they going to post on this site. Something complimentary or positive? HAH!
Posted by: Anonymous at December 21, 2006 11:02 AM
Yeah, the "my building can beat up your building" stuff is pointless. Besides, all of these buildings are just a FEW BLOCKS from each other. 10 minute walk from one to the other.
I know everybody's building is the best because they bought there, but there's always a bigger fish, folks, as the Millennium discussion is showing.
Posted by: Dude at December 22, 2006 10:16 AM
Ditto on the competition comment. Ultimately, everyone in the area will benefit if all of the new developments do well. After all, the comps will help everyone's values.
What I do think is important to consider, though, is that the residential developments alone won't create a vibrant, desirable neighborhood. And, as some have commented on another thread, one hopes the businesses that are needed to create an exciting urban neighborhood don't end up being more Quiznos and Walgreen's. I once lived in a SOMA loft, and the big "neighborhood" promise by the sales agent was the opening of Whole Foods. Well, all that created was more traffic and loss of street parking. (And how much "community" can I derive from shopping at Whole Foods?"
As is stands, Soma/SoBe already has a high concentration of residential buildings in a small area: WaterMark and the adjacent apartment developments, the Brannan, Portside, BayCrest, BridgeView, Harbor Lofts, Avalon Towers, Hills Plaza, and others. Still, after all these years, no real neighborhood or pedestrian-friendly feel. It's still a drive-in/drive-out community.
At least Millenium Tower with be within walking distance of some more established areas with a business/residential mix and foot traffic.
Posted by: SeeHsee at December 22, 2006 11:42 AM
It's funny how SF, NYC and Madrid are all building "transparent crystal" high-rises. I think out of all three Madrid's promises to be much more stylish and to truly resemble a crystal. New York's will be more green out of all three. The attempt to do something new other than the same old boring boxes sf has was short reached. Then again, well see when it finishes.
Posted by: Davi at January 5, 2007 9:32 PM
Any BMR's going to be available?
Posted by: Bun Bun at September 2, 2007 7:15 PM
I have worked on the St.Regis and I am currently working on the Millenium Towers project. Some of the comments on the balconies seems to be a matter of preference as to the use of space.My opinion is that it is cold most of the time, but if you enjoy fresh air it would be nice to have that option.The balconies at the St. Regis are facing west on 39th fl.,as well as,east, and south on the 39th fl. penthouse.Some of the balconies at the St.Regis have a glass enclosure around them to offer a more secure feeling.
Being that high up from the ground can be intimidating to some.I even got dizzy looking down from some of the smaller balconies.To sum things up, the Millenium Towers project will be one of the greatest buildings in San Francisco and one of tallest west of the Mississippi. The views are already spectactular .The condos will have no problem selling.
Daniel J. Schram union steamfitter
Posted by: Daniel J. Schram at November 3, 2007 7:14 AM
Heard someone just ponied up Millions for all of the penthouses in this building... funny, M.Tower is even up that high, must have some good 3D rendering software
Posted by: SFBlueCollar at April 18, 2008 3:41 PM
some of the resident units don't have valet parking. just wondering if this is a problem for the future resale value. please advise. thanks.
Posted by: jean at May 25, 2008 3:49 PM
The minimum has to be valet parking. Without deeded parking or valet parking, it's a definite deal breaker for me. If there's a public garage next store for lease, then MAYBE it's bearable for some.
Then again, if I was to spend over a million dollars for a luxury condo it should have parking on site.
Posted by: Infinity buyer at May 25, 2008 10:23 PM
thanks infinity buyer, can you tell me how much you paid for your unit and if you have parking on site. thanks again.
Posted by: jean at May 26, 2008 1:24 PM
I paid around 1.2M for a upper level corner unit. I'm very happy with my purchase. All units come with at least one deeded space. It's the only high rise left that still has that option for every unit.
You can deduct 75k off the purchase price if you give up your deeded parking. As far as I know, no one has given up their deeded space.
Posted by: infinity buyer at June 3, 2008 10:16 PM