September 7, 2012

340 Fremont Scoop: Building Permit Filed For 400-Foot Tower

340 Fremont Rendering circa 2006

Granted a twelve-month extension to commence construction late last year, as a plugged-in reader alludes, the building permit has been filed to build a 40-story, 400-foot tower over an 85-foot podium with 345 condo mapped units and parking spaces at 340 Fremont:


At least 40 percent of the units will either be two or three-bedrooms. And yes, it's one-to-one parking as the project was first approved in 2006. Expect a permit to demo the existing buildings at 340 and 350 Fremont between Folsom and Harrison to soon follow.

340 Fremont Site

340 Fremont Seeks 12 More Months As Housing Recession Remains [SocketSite]
New Developments: 340 – 350 Fremont [SocketSite]

First Published: September 7, 2012 3:20 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Valet parking?

[Editor's Note: "Less than 50 percent of the parking spaces [will] be independently accessible and the remainder [will] be efficiently-stored valet spaces. Up to 95 Class 1 bicycle spaces [will] be provided in a secure room on the ground floor."]

Posted by: Uloa at September 7, 2012 3:37 PM

ugh. Heller-Manus.

Posted by: 1965 at September 7, 2012 4:06 PM

Not dense enough. Site could easily hold another 300 units or so. Why so short?

Posted by: anon at September 7, 2012 4:53 PM

I am guessing that the height is in accordance with the various rules and regulations put into place by the citizens and representative of SF.

They could keep the same foot print and height, but make them all CUBIX units. That way there would be DENSITY. And again starts the mantra of "higherdenser, higherdenser".

and yes you can call me a nimby, troglodyte, an anti-manhattenite and worse. There are significant poritons of SFers nd people from throughout the Bay Area who do not want megascrapers obscuring any of the one world famous view of SF

Posted by: contrarian at September 7, 2012 6:28 PM

So, contrarian, do you hate this then? It is hard to tell what you are saying.

Posted by: sparky*b at September 7, 2012 6:36 PM

What I am saying is I dislike the rote "higher denser" meme that seems to drive so much of the discussion here, and maybe in the planning department too. Since when is "denser" better. It should be a well thought out process to increase density, not just some dream that increased density makes all things better. Density comes at a price, it is not a panacea to improve transit, city services, and provide more restaurnts and nite life.

The building does have a funny hat however.

Posted by: contrarian at September 7, 2012 6:51 PM

And on a lighter note and as seen in the fotos, where are all of the antennae that will sprout from the funny hat when this is actually built. Do archs actually forget that their dreams will have protuberances and window washing equipment and air handling/air chillers on the roof when they do their renderings?

Posted by: contrarian at September 7, 2012 6:57 PM

Agree with anon, why so short? This location deserves 70 stories at a minimum.

Contrarian - we have 99.9% of the country set aside for your beloved one story ranches, this is a neighborhood of skyscrapers (one of about six in the entire country)

Posted by: Freddy at September 7, 2012 6:58 PM

Deserves? what are the rules regarding this area of SF and the height regulations? I don't know. If it is 40 stories there you go

And Freddy, you are being so timid with 70. Lets go for Burj Khalifa.

Oh well, I see that I bought the troll bait. Good bite

Posted by: contrarian at September 7, 2012 7:35 PM

Around 500 to 600 feet is the usual maximum height for viable market rate construction. Even on rocky Rincon Hill this will need an unusually robust structure. That combined with the desire to make this rentable makes around 400 feet likely ideal from an economic stand point.

The design really works with the location. The plain style puts the monumental scale in perspective while blending with the dull monolith next door. For larger buildings the boring Heller Manus style fits much better

Posted by: Mole Man at September 7, 2012 8:54 PM

Lets go for Burj Khalifa.

No, that's just height for the sake of height. I don't want anything so high that it kills the street presence of the building, so a nice cluster of a few hundred ~550' buildings is probably best. 400' is waaaay too short though, what a waste.

Posted by: anon at September 7, 2012 9:42 PM

Burj Khalifa should clearly be built on Treasure Island.

Posted by: Alai at September 8, 2012 1:40 AM

@Alai Now that is the iconic type of thinking that would do SF proud. Not only a beacon for all of the bay area to see, but also an incredible engineering feat. Wow, that would be so much better than plaster-of-paris buildings and soccer fields on a man-made island.

Wow, this would answer all of the higher-denser roboplanners in one fell swope, and would satisfy all of us NIMBYs, and Luddites who enjoy the old and current SF skyline.


Posted by: contrarian at September 8, 2012 8:22 AM

^The Burj Khalifa isn't very dense, so no, it wouldn't please me. It's simply tall, but the base is so wide that the overall density is piddly. Wall-to-wall 600 footers on Treasure Island would be much better.

Posted by: anon at September 8, 2012 9:56 AM

I don't want density in SF, nor do I want to see it Manhattanized. I like love my car, thankyouverymuch, and more density in SF would just make the downtown one giangantic daily traffic nightmare. Yeah, yeah, all y'all "progressives/liberals" go on now about your biking, walking, public (vomit) transit.

Posted by: Ugh at September 8, 2012 11:10 AM

^My reasons for densifying have nothing to do with being progressive or liberal, I just like dense urban neighborhoods, and there aren't many of those in the US. I have and like my car too, so not sure why you're throwing that in the mix.

Posted by: anon at September 8, 2012 12:26 PM

@ anon: more density = potentially more cars = more traffic. That got thrown into the mix b/c there are always bellyachers on here who are all too ready to scream, "Then bike, walk, take public transportation," blah, blah, blah. And it just seems like all the libs/progressives are the ones who push the "green" lifestyle.

My comment was not directed at you, btw. It was just a general response to all the comments about density or lack thereof as a whole.

Posted by: Ugh at September 8, 2012 2:30 PM

Car ownership is inversely proportional to density. Nob Hill has the highest density in the city (150 units per net acre), and the lowest car ownership rate - less than one per household. Hunters Point, Excelsior, West of Twin Peaks, and the Sunset have the lowest densities (less than 15 units per acre) and the highest car ownership rates (more than 1.5 cars per household. More density means fewer cars, more walking, more transit usage, and in fact keeps roadways more available for those who live in less dense areas to drive on their way to downtown.

Posted by: Jim at September 8, 2012 3:14 PM

total agreement. More density will reduce car use and encourage more walking, bicycling and mass transit, espcially trains. This I have seen in the real world and it is dramatic. As my example compare Hyderabad to West Bengal. Yes, more density is the answer.

Posted by: contrarian at September 8, 2012 8:54 PM

Or, you could mention first world cities. Oooh, maybe even an American city of high density. Like, I dunno, New York. Maybe even the Manhattan borough. Probably has demographics more similar to SF than some random third world slums.

Posted by: Anon at September 8, 2012 9:24 PM

Certain arrondissements in Paris, Londonstan areas, Red Hook. I am sure there is a block or two around Times square where the underclass live in wonderful crowded denity. Density and demographics are interelated. Incessant bleating about the wonders of density while ignoring some of its real negative aspects is a pastime not all of us care to indulge in.

Density at the top of ORH or 340 Fremont or the upper west side is different than the density of Waverly Place SF or South Jamaica, Queens (NYC).

Posted by: contrarian at September 8, 2012 9:46 PM

Yes, you're correct. And your reasoning that we'd be seeing the negative aspects? We're talking about insanely expensive new condos and apartments being built...

Posted by: anon at September 8, 2012 10:05 PM

Incessant bleating about the horrors of density while ignoring all of the real positive aspects is a pastime that not all of us care to indulge in.

Are you going to call planned $800/sqft condos "tenements" again? lol

Posted by: Harry at September 8, 2012 11:12 PM

"The Next Major Real Estate Cyle: Walkable Urbanism"

I have noticed again and again New York City is held up as an example by many here as to what we need to become, but a much smaller city like San Francisco would do well to look at what other urban areas are doing as well.

Washington, Boston, Chicago, and Portland come to my mind as areas that are trying some forward thinking urban policies.

Posted by: Morgan at September 9, 2012 1:18 AM

ugh (more a sentiment than directed at 'Ugh,'), but why is there an inherent/implied association between urban density and liberalism/progressiveness? Just because it's tied to more urban-friendly (and yes, green as well) means of transportation: i.e. walking, bikes, public transportation vs. individually-driven cars? How about the economic impact of maximizing the use of urban spaces in all aspects: maximizing housing capacity in areas like soma that help support neighborhood businesses that are easily accessible by all?

btw, I don't know what neighborhood you live in but the traffic congestion issue is real at least from a downtown and soma/south beach perspective (my current neighborhood).

The implied political association makes zero sense IMHO.

Posted by: sfjhawk at September 9, 2012 11:40 AM

Cool! Happy to see the eyesore block of Fremont Street coming to life!

Now if the City could only give us a bus line ... and at least feign intentions to mitigate the traffic congestion on weekday evenings.

Posted by: jamie at September 9, 2012 10:24 PM

Put or project the "76" logo on it for nostalgia's sake.

Posted by: Joel V at September 10, 2012 11:39 AM

^^^ Much more appropriate on ORH or TRH. They sit (will sit) on the old Union 76 site.

Posted by: emanon at September 10, 2012 1:04 PM

Since when is "denser" better."

Since many under 35 are having a hard time buying a place to live in SF and the Peninsula since we didn't build enough for the last 20 years

Posted by: Zig at September 10, 2012 3:18 PM

looked at the photo (it's ugly) thought Heller-Manus must have been the architects.
second post I saw after thinking that:
"ugh, Heller-Manus" posted by very right! UGLY!

Posted by: e flat at September 10, 2012 6:55 PM

Since many under 35 are having a hard time buying a place to live in SF and the Peninsula since we didn't build enough for the last 20 years
And building more "insanely expensive new condos and apartments" (anon's phrasing) at $800+ ft.² is going to help those under 35 year olds buy a place? LOL.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 10, 2012 11:53 PM

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