Transit Center Tower Rendering
At the center of the 145 acre Transit Center District, the proposed Transit Tower to be on Mission between First and Freemont will rise 920 feet to its roof and 1,070 feet including its sculptural element, becoming the City’s tallest structure (1,000 feet to the highest enclosed space) and yielding 1.3 million square feet of office and 16,500 square feet of retail.
Currently zoned for heights ranging from 30 to 550 feet, as plugged-in people know, in addition to the the Transit Tower the Transit Center District Plan would allow for an additional six buildings to rise over 550 feet and up to 850 feet on First bewteen Stevenson and Elm Alley.
Transit Center Height Table
The Grand Plan For A San Francisco “Transit Center District” [SocketSite]
Transit Center District Plan and Transit Tower [sfplanning.org]
San Francisco’s Transit Center District Plan: EIR Notice Of Preparation [SocketSite]
A Trio Of Renzo Piano SOM Towers At 50 First Street As Proposed [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by EH

    what, everybody’s got to have a freedom tower now?

  2. Posted by Modernqueen

    Ah..who said this was a “freedom” tower? This is the Transit Tower.

  3. Posted by joe

    I read through the EIR, the real issue here is going to be shadows. Basically almost all of the construction planned for the area will shade some portions of public parks to some small degree. I believe the never shade parks ever rules we have are extremely specific on this – so its going to be a big issue going forward.

  4. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Big deal – this ain’t Waikiki. Not like the area would otherwise be bathed in resplendent sunlight year-round, allowing Soma residents to bask in Sol’s warming glow. Let’s manhattanize already.

  5. Posted by shza

    “Basically almost all of the construction planned for the area will shade some portions of public parks to some small degree.”
    What public parks? The ones that don’t exist yet and we’re only getting as a result of this project?
    The bigger issue here is how bullish you’d need to be on an economic turn to feel your leasing prospects would justify this much space.

  6. Posted by joe

    Union sq, justin herman plaza, st marys sq – thats not even all of them.
    Trust me, this will be the thing that cuts all of the towers by 200′

  7. Posted by Dan

    Union Square is over 3000 feet away. Justin Herman Plaza and St. Mary’s Square are to the north. I don’t think shading will be an issue for any of these.

  8. Posted by James

    Parks to the north are exactly the issue, as the sun shines from the south and casts shadows to the north. But if they can bend the rules enough to allow a 1000′ tower in a 30′ zone (!) they might grant an exception to the shadows too.

  9. Posted by Dan

    Oh, yes, you’re right. But both parks are 1/2 mile away. How much shading will happen in each from a 1000 foot tower?

  10. Posted by shza

    “what, everybody’s got to have a freedom tower now?”
    BTW, I enjoyed this one, EH. Modernqueen/noearch is as shrill and humorless as ever.

  11. Posted by eddy

    The city needs to step it up on this whole shadow situation. I say we ban clouds and fog asap! I’m sick of those thing needlessly blocking the sun. Of course if we ban clouds, we’d have to kick out salesforce as well; but that would crush SF real estate. 🙂

  12. Posted by Joe

    I really dont know what part of “I read the EIR and shadows are specifically going to be a problem for parks”
    let me be more clear:
    Under almost all of the development scenarios, other than no development, some degree of shadow will fall on shadow protected SF parks. They did the studies, and the percentages are listed in the EIR. A 1k ft tower in the location proposed will cause some shading of union sq and some time of day during some time of year.
    This is like saying GW2 was just elected mayor of SF.

  13. Posted by Zig

    Parks to the north are exactly the issue, as the sun shines from the south and casts shadows to the north. But if they can bend the rules enough to allow a 1000′ tower in a 30′ zone (!) they might grant an exception to the shadows too.”
    Its like these rules are handing down from God to Moses on tablets
    Oh lord this is only a 30 ‘ zone!

  14. Posted by Zig

    I just hope we get the transit with this.
    “world class” transit centers usually have…… trains that move people intercity and further
    At the risk of beating a dead horse it sure would be nice to have a Geary subway planned into this rather than the central subway pig

  15. Posted by Modernqueen

    This super tower will be the economic and architectural anchor for further downtown growth and prosperity.
    Hopefully more of the smaller towers will also get built. Good for SF. Good for business. Another great design by Cesar Pelli.

  16. Posted by sorearm

    Let us not forget that this is the City that almost blocked a project south of the transbay terminal because it will shadow the unbuilt and un-prop k protected park proposed to be on top of the terminal. A terminal, by the way, who’s very raison d’etre is to deliver people to the center of our growing City because the recently demolished terminal would have been insufficient to do so under the City’s growth projections (which, btw (the growth projections themselves that is )include proposed buildings south of the terminal. Though, for anyone that has been around a few years, this level of retardery at the Supes is nothing new….
    As much as I’d love to see a thousand foot tower, the fact is that the voters will have to undo Prop K to make this plan happen. I can’t imagine San Francisco voters checking a box that allows shadows on parks.

  17. Posted by anon

    Aside from shadows, is there really sufficient commerical demand to warrant building so much office space?
    I wonder if it would be like the empire state building with significant vacancy rates and losing money for the first 20 years of operation.

  18. Posted by Joe

    And so what if it is like the Empire state?
    This is likely to be the only 1k footer in SF EVER.

  19. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    anon, the answer is “no, there is not sufficient commerical demand to warrant building so much office space.” Now or for the immediately forseeable future.
    However, there probably will be further out in the future.
    If there isn’t sufficient demand for commercial space in the further-out future for the capacity that this building provides, ever, then we’ll REALLY have problems and the fact that this building will have vacancies will be the least of them.

  20. Posted by lolcat_94123

    So much hype for a bus depot.
    Build it!

  21. Posted by sf

    Sad to see the building was cut 200′ from it’s originally proposed 1200′ base to crown height. It definitely shows in this more squat rendering. I do not like the look of this tower- it’s too fat. Crossing my fingers that the design will be refined further.

  22. Posted by James

    This looks so similar to the tower Pelli did in Hong Kong and is slated to do elsewhere. If this is to be the city’s iconic tower I’d prefer it to be a little more… Iconic.

  23. Posted by GoBlueInSF

    Only in SF would we kill economic engines because they might shade a concrete plaza that just happens to be owned by the Parks Dept.

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