April 22, 2009
We Still Believe It Would Have Made A Most Excellent Museum
"San Francisco’s landmark 50 United Nations Plaza will receive [a] $121 million upgrade under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an infusion of cash that will allow the mothballed federal office building to be brought back to life, according to the Government (sic) Services Administration."
"Once the renovation is complete, the building will house the GSA, the agency in charge of federal government buildings. The San Francisco office of the GSA covers all of California, as well as Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii. The GSA office is now at 450 Golden Gate Ave. About 600 GSA employees work in the San Francisco office, with another 600 in the field.
The decision to rehab the building and use it for federal office space came last year after the federal government decided to scrap plans to find a private developer to take over the property. Forest City had been looking at converting the office building into apartments."
∙ S.F.’s vacant federal building gets $121M from stimulus for upgrade [Business Times]
∙ JustQuotes: A Federal Falling Out For The Mid-Market Movement [SocketSite]
First Published: April 22, 2009 9:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
"...an infusion of cash that will allow the mothballed federal office building to be brought back to life..."
Oh Noz! A zombie building!
"Once the renovation is complete, the building will house the GSA, the agency in charge of federal government buildings."
A meta-building? 'Sup dawg, I heard you like government, so we put a republic in your democracy so you can represent while you vote!
/got nuthin', not even Bel Air today...
Posted by: vox at April 22, 2009 9:20 AM
"San Francisco’s landmark 50 United Nations Plaza will receive [a] $121 million upgrade under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an infusion of cash that will allow the mothballed federal office building to be brought back to life, according to the Government Services Administration."
Maybe it's just me.
But I don't think an outfit named, "Government Services Administration" is capable of bringing anything back to life.
Or, what if they unmothball the building and no one even notices?
Posted by: Debtpocalypse at April 22, 2009 9:35 AM
In 20 years that would be phenomenal as apartments.. Phenomenal...
Now not so much.. The location is perfect were it not for the 6th street mess and the burger king/carls jr area.
That shot makes it look very Paris.
Posted by: BDB at April 22, 2009 9:47 AM
GSA is responsible for the new federal building. Which I think is fugly, but still. It's not accurate to say they can't oversee a building rehab.
This is all kind of ironic though because one of the reasons the new federal building was built is because 450 golden gate could not handle the S.F. federal employees, hundreds of whom were spread out all over the financial district in private office space until NFB opened. Now 600 GSA employees will eventually be moved out of 450 golden gate. Maybe they should have just rehabed 50 U.N. in the first place and not spent a couple hundred million on a giant piece of fugly with no A/C.
Posted by: anono at April 22, 2009 10:04 AM
Actually, this agency is bringing important essential change. The old Federal building is one of the biggest energy hogs in the entire city. The new one represents a completely different way of doing things. Even with cost overruns and some features not working out saving money on cost of operation through lower energy profiles gives great returns on investment.
All this anti government attitude is not reasonable. Sometimes government is just a way to formalize the will of the people to advance the commons by building a road or purchasing necessities in bulk.
One important factor here is worth highlighting: The Fed do not need to follow local building regulations. That enables them freedom in choosing designs and materials that commercial developers do not have and as such pushes the envelope forward and gives a better view of how development can work outside the byzantine mess of local politics in any big city.
Posted by: Mole Man at April 22, 2009 10:32 AM
Hmmm. I wanted to live there. Guess I'll now have to wait for the Mint (Hermann/Buchanan) to become surplus. Which is too beautiful of a SF curiosity (and probably massive waste of my tax dollars in the e-economy) to be sitting there in a residential community -- uninhabited.
Posted by: invented at April 22, 2009 10:52 AM
GSA = General Services Administration, not Government Services Administration.
Posted by: Boojum at April 22, 2009 11:00 AM
Hey invented, who told you the Buchanan mint was uninhabited? It's an operating facility.
Posted by: eastbaymike at April 22, 2009 11:02 AM
Oddly enough, the GSA is one of the best run governmental agencies (even over the past 8 years), and they're very focused on long term efficiency savings. This renovated building is likely to be very green.
Too bad it won't be residential, it's important for UN plaza to have more people with homes around at night.
invented, about that uninhabited mint in the Castro -- no one's stopping you from walking up to the door and claiming squatter's rights. Except the armed security guards.
Posted by: theo at April 22, 2009 11:32 AM
I wish it housed the United States District Court, which is currently housed at 450 Golden Gate Avenue. Those high-ceilings and impressive hallways would make a great courthouse.
Posted by: flaneur at April 22, 2009 12:21 PM
invented - the SF Mint produces all the numismatic collectible editions of US Coin Currency. They are very much an active concern.
Posted by: Eric in SF at April 22, 2009 12:22 PM
They could also open a new Post Office, to replace the one that will close at Fox Plaza when the building currently housing it is rebuilt. If you have to wait in line, you might as well wait in grand surroundings.
Posted by: flaneur at April 22, 2009 2:43 PM
Boojum: Thanks for the heads up on GSA typo. It has been corrected. -- SF Business Times
Posted by: JKD at April 22, 2009 3:39 PM
Give it to Don Fisher!
Posted by: why not? at April 22, 2009 3:47 PM
Would be a cool spot for a pr0n house.
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at April 22, 2009 4:06 PM
It would have been interesting if Forest City was given the project to convert accordingly. That building is in need of some updates.
Posted by: Ken at April 22, 2009 4:51 PM
I'm actually glad it will be a government building, that still leaves the possibility of it someday becoming a museum, whereas if it were converted to apartments there would be no chance.
new housing can be built more easily than a new museum...
Posted by: lyqwyd at April 22, 2009 6:40 PM
This building is perfect for federal. I can't stop thinking about what a waste it would be if this were residential. Shove 'em all in Trinity Place, leave this one to us.
Posted by: sf at April 22, 2009 7:14 PM