300 Grant Rendering (Image Source: mbharch.com)

Yesterday’s post regarding The Odeon evoked a number of references to 300 Grant, a mixed-use development slated for the corner of Grant and Sutter. And while it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything new about the proposed 66 condominiums and two floors of retail (and yes, two floors of “below grade parking”), perhaps some “plugged in” readers can share the inside scoop on progress, timing and final design.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Invented

    Can’t offer any additional info, except an opinion – handsome, sophisticated, urbane design. Nice to see a proposed design for a modest-sized building which will add to the city fabric.

  2. Posted by Morgan

    I like this location and building. I noticed MBH architects no longer have images of this project in the portfolio section of their website which is not a good sign. To have parking and be in this part of downtown would really be attractive to me as I am looking to downsize from a house and move back into the city. Please build this!

  3. Posted by Anonymous

    I seriously doubt that this project will happen anytime soon. Lastime I checked with the City, the project was still in the design phase. Given the conflux of softening prices and rising costs, this will probably be shelved until the next cycle.
    As a side note, I always wonder who actually buys the stuff being sold by the existing buildings’ current tennant. Maybe 6′ tall bronze lion and eagle statues are cool to some people but…

  4. Posted by zzzzzzzz

    I recently saw an ad in the SF Business Times from the architects, which prominently featured this building. I don’t know whether this means they’re actively working on the project, or if it just looks good in an ad. One way or another, I’d be very happy if one day it comes to fruition.

  5. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    I always felt it should be considered architectural malpractice to produce a rendering like this one, and felony perjury to submit one to a planning commission. The rendering completely distorts the relationship between the proposed building and the existings ones, not least by having incorrect proportions. And the draftsmen have cleverly elided the overhead electrical system used by 7 different Muni trolley lines, all the traffic signals and road signs, and inserted that tree on the left which doesn’t actually exist.
    I guess you can’t fault them for trying.

  6. Posted by Michael

    Jeffrey – as you said, you can’t fault them for trying, but I have to imagine that the planning commission is at least wise to the game.
    On the other hand, I do wonder how many individuals that have made a deposit for a condo under construction truly understand how different the finished building/unit can look/feel from the sales office drawing or rendering.

  7. Posted by Morgan

    This is really an interesting point regarding the slick images designers show versus the actual reality of the final spaces and materials. I wonder how many times buyers are shocked when they finally get the keys for their new pads only to discover it is just a white walled box in the sky? I have a friend that insisted I go with him to a “certain” project’s sales center model. He kept sitting on the couch smiling as if this was to be his unit. I kept reminding him that his unit was going to be an empty box and not the sales model which looked like it had about $100,000 in upgrades!

  8. Posted by redseca2

    A couple comments regarding Architect’s renderings.
    I had a professor in school who taught rendering and showed how to make marketing images that contained absolutely no actual details about the buildings but were so nice you never noticed.
    One top ten firm I worked with had an office policy to never put artistic renderings for a project on the covers for the construction documents. They were not concerned about condo buyers, but rather developers and building owners not feeling the project lived up to the rendering. This way, although renderings were all over the place, they never were under the Architect’s seal.

  9. Posted by can'twealljustgetalong?

    I stood at the exact spot this view was taken from and there’s a traffic light obscuring the entire facade. Shouldn’t the renderer just show the fuzzy black blob that the average 5′-8″ cynic would see?
    My feeling is that the leap from concept to reality should be made by the person looking at the rendering. That person knows that Muni lines, street signs and birdshit exist, should it all be in the rendering? What about sirens and construction noise? I love the way those sales centers don’t include a recording of the neighbors in a full on screaming match. Renderings used to be just crayons and brush strokes, how would all these cynics deal with that? Just because it’s a little more photorealistic doesn’t mean it’s real.

  10. Posted by tipster

    I have no problem with the rendering omitting certain unfavorable details like wires. I think what may make it offensive to some people is the SELECTIVE use of details. If it was just a rendering, no one would object. But the cars on the street, the people walking, the guy in the window on the 4th floor implies that this is really how the building will look. When the remaining details are omitted, it seems like a lie. Which I suppose it is!
    For whatever reason, I don’t much care. I think I have been conditioned to pretty much not believe anything anyone in the industry tells me. It’s like hearing a lie from a known habitual liar. You just think it’s funny and don’t pay much attention to anything the liar says anyway.

  11. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    I guess the part that chiefly bothers me is the perfectly clear glass. There are no modern buildings with clear glass. They all use high-strength tempered glass which is green, like a soda bottle. Compare the rendering and the reality for 1600 Webster. In the rendering the building is stark white with perfectly clear glass. Here on Earth, it’s gray with green glass.

  12. Posted by SeeHsee

    “My feeling is that the leap from concept to reality should be made by the person looking at the rendering.”
    I agree. This thread reminds me of my days working at Taco Bell long, long ago when a customer complained that his burrito didn’t taste like the picture on the menu. Honestly, it’s called a rendering and is used to communicate the appearance of the building favorably. I think we can fill in the grime and panhandlers on our own.

  13. Posted by Bobby Thomas

    Frankly, I’m a little surprised by some of the posts from the “critics” here. Have you ever been to this part of Union Square? I think a new development like this would be a tremendous addition to the area.
    I’ve walked down this street many times and I’m sick of looking at the rundown buildings on this corner. Any new development here would be an improvement, especially something as pleasing to the eye this building. The building blends in well with the surrounding areas and I hope this gets built. My name will definitely be on the list.

  14. Posted by Readytobuy

    Regarding the original question, does anybody know if this project is going ahead? Add me to the list also as this would be a real alternative to all the SOMA towers.

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