October 31, 2012

Trinity Place Phase Two: Timing And Reality Check

Trinity Place Phase 2: 10/2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

As originally designed, approved, and rendered, the 22-story second phase of Trinity Place rising at 1190 Mission Street was to feature a glass and aluminum curtain wall wrapping around its base on the corner of 8th Street with a precast concrete exterior above.

Trinity Phase Two Rendering: Original

As a number of plugged-in readers have noticed, however, the design was quietly revised and the glass and aluminum curtain wall that was to grace the corner of 8th Street and the first few floors of the building appears to have been "value engineered" away.

The revised rendering for Phase Two of Trinity Place that we uncovered but hasn't been published by either Arquitectonica or the developer:

Trinity Phase Two: Revised Rendering

While the revised corner finish might seem like a minor detail, it calls into question whether or not the two "holes" along 8th Street have been value engineered away as well.

Trinity Place Phases 2010

The construction along 8th doesn't appear to support Arquitectonica's holey design.

Trinity%20Place%20Phase%202%20-%208th%20Street.jpg

Regardless, the 418 residential units in Phase Two of Trinity Place, mostly one-bedrooms, are currently scheduled to be completed and ready for occupany in the summer of 2013.

As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Trinity Place Opens Up Under Cloudy Skies But Sunny Dispositions [SocketSite]
Trinity Plaza: Just One Signature (And Around Three Years) To Go [SocketSite]

First Published: October 31, 2012 11:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Such a shame that the City allowed that. What about the rest of the development?

Posted by: Steve at October 31, 2012 11:00 AM

I hereby name you Tetri-nity Place.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2012 11:03 AM

For all those who think we should go higher and higher and denser and denser throughout the city, this is what the end result is. Enjoy!

Posted by: 94114 at October 31, 2012 11:12 AM

It's way better than what was there before.

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 31, 2012 11:14 AM

Fits in with the horrific Fox Plaza building. Great job, San Francisco.

Posted by: Mark at October 31, 2012 11:30 AM

Bummer. It was those textural differences that really made this design work. And when I saw those original renderings it thought "Wow, what a nice way to use inexpensive construction methods to produce something interesting."

... looks like they found a way to make it even cheaper.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 31, 2012 11:42 AM

"It's way better than what was there before."

One ugly mistake does not justify another. And no, just because it is bigger, does not make it "better". We should expect more.

Posted by: anonfedup at October 31, 2012 11:44 AM

...dull is the new boring.

Posted by: monkey bizz at October 31, 2012 11:49 AM

A great example to keep in mind next time some "starchitecture" firm presents a model or a computer rending at a pc or neighborhood meeting for the attendees to ooh and ahh over. There's no guarantee, unless the architecture firm is also doing the construction management, that the sleek and cutting-edge designs presented at the initial stages of a project will ever get built.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at October 31, 2012 11:51 AM

I think it's ugly no matter what happens. The borgs have invaded. Must assimilate.

Posted by: taco taco at October 31, 2012 12:19 PM

While the original design of the complex has been botched, you guys need to grow up a bit in regards to this "DIS IZ WUT U GIT WEN U ASQUE 4 TA11 BUILDINGZ" rhetoric.

The complex as it seems to be getting built is not going to win any architectural awards, no, but it is far from hideous. And while architectural form is an undeniable facet of what must be considered in projects such at this one, the end goal of the complex is not building a new architectural masterpiece - rather, it's to increase the number and density of inhabitants along this incredibly transit-rich and urban-living oriented corridor.

Not every project is going to be a knock-out, but it's steps like these that will bring more people to living in the area that will make it more of a desirable residential space that will attract more architecturally compelling (and expensive to construct) projects to the neighborhood in the future.

Posted by: bob at October 31, 2012 12:21 PM

For all those who think we should go higher and higher and denser and denser throughout the city, this is what the end result is. Enjoy!

I'm baffled at this reasoning. We see small buildings on this site every day that look crappy to begin with or are value-engineered down to looking crappy. Are you saying that it's more common with large buildings? Certainly doesn't seem that way to me...

Although, I'm sure you'd be happy for a couple more layers of bureaucracy at planning, along with another 2-3 years of approval time needed for each project...

Building looks fine to me - nothing special, but most buildings aren't. It loads up the area with another thousand sets of eyes, which is desperately needed here. Only wish it could have been 10-15 stories higher to add some more folks - its neighbor already looks pretty stubby.

Posted by: anon at October 31, 2012 12:30 PM

The building being built now is not all that prominent in location. I hope the city won't let them remove details from the Market Street side of the building.

Posted by: Dan at October 31, 2012 1:00 PM

What the heck is it with the influx of NIMBY commenters on this site?

Posted by: Joe at October 31, 2012 1:21 PM

Well, I guess they don't have the money for Phase III.

Posted by: BobN at October 31, 2012 1:36 PM

Very disappointing bait-and-switch by greedy developers.

Posted by: Snark17 at October 31, 2012 1:41 PM

dan, there is no market st side of this building

Posted by: bg at October 31, 2012 1:49 PM

bg - I think Dan is referring to the future phase which does front Market.

Posted by: chriso at October 31, 2012 2:06 PM

While I am not a huge fan of the appearance of the building, this project has always been all about getting people LIVING and working near mid-Market so that that stretch of what should be San Francisco's premier street can be lifted out of awfulness. It is big and dense. OK. But that means more people . . . regular middle class people to displace the derelicts and bums that have taken over Market between 5th and Van Ness virtually unopposed.

Along with all the other new projects in the area (Crescent Heights, Avalon Bay, Twitter, Square, MarketPlace and others), Mid-Market now has a real shot at rebirth because of Trinity Place, no matter what it looks like.

[Editor’s Note: Don’t forget Dolby or CityPlace.]

Posted by: BT at October 31, 2012 4:32 PM

Take it from a 30 year vet in the construction business. Value engineered means. Cutting corners to save money.

Posted by: inclinejj at October 31, 2012 5:08 PM

The City should enforce the original design which was supposedly approved to enhance the City.

Posted by: Marten at October 31, 2012 5:11 PM

Sorry, but I'm not sure I like "no matter what it looks like" as a planning policy. Sangiacomo will build this. He's not a regular developer at this point - he sees Trinity Place as his legacy and he doesn't have a lot of time left to see it to fruition. He's said it himself in a recent interview. He'll still make money even if he's held to his original commitment - just a little less. The City should push back a bit.

Posted by: Steve at October 31, 2012 5:43 PM

Sad to see the building will feel less "open" in more ways than one. Then again, this is a glorified econo-box made for maximized ROI, what did you guys expect?

I'm happy they opted to try and make it at least a bit interesting.

Posted by: lol at October 31, 2012 6:00 PM

It does not look bad - the original design had more texture but the final version is good enough. It will immediately be one of the nicest buildings within 3 blocks in either direction on Mission. And per the earlier commenter - putting people right downtown near jobs and transit is (correctly) the idea. If you want more elbow room drive 25 minutes out of the city in any direction and you will get as much as you want.

Posted by: Mike at October 31, 2012 6:07 PM

The hole and relationship between those 8th & Mission corner buildings is obviously a huge loss for the design, but it's a shame that even the windows on the "silver section" of this building won't match phase one's.

Posted by: begal at October 31, 2012 8:27 PM

There are too many people who are unable to afford housing. We *need* more econoboxes. How can folks complain about too much luxury development *and* complain about too bland low-cost development?

Posted by: fixie landbaron at October 31, 2012 8:40 PM

(Oh, that's right, people will just complain about *any* development. Never mind me.)

Posted by: fixie landbaron at October 31, 2012 8:41 PM

All of Trinity's properties are blighted or just plain ugly. The Sangiacomo family's influence has always been like a cancer in the SF community--only taking and never returning anything of lasting value is what they're all about....What a legacy.

Posted by: Sonnyboy at October 31, 2012 9:54 PM

"Call it a California moment. Angelo Sangiacomo is having a little trouble operating the electronic security gate outside his residence on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach "

I think the family inluence is bad on only SOME design they may be involved with. I have always admired their home at Pebble Beach overlooking the ocean as being well designed. It is part of the "experience" of golfing the 18th at Pebble and is a great reminder of how different the rich really are about their choices when it comes to their own home. Hope the link is not too far o.t.

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/decor/2007-10/bararchitects_article

Posted by: anon94123 at October 31, 2012 11:03 PM

Every time you pay your Recology Bill he has another drink of his 1000 dollar a bottle wine.

Cheers

Posted by: inclinejj at November 1, 2012 6:57 AM

What did everyone expect? Class A luxury designs for 'FOR RENT' apartments?? I'd take this well over some of the other rental properties (especially affordable) that have blighted this city. That block of Mission Street isn't really the new Paris either.....

Posted by: realist at November 1, 2012 8:27 AM

"Every time you pay your Recology Bill he has another drink of his 1000 dollar a bottle wine."

They are not the same people.

Posted by: sparky*b at November 1, 2012 8:35 AM

What a cheap city. Real cities like New York and Chicago wouldn't allow this.

Posted by: sf at November 1, 2012 9:20 AM

^Yeah! We should totally have more laws to prevent development!

Posted by: anon at November 1, 2012 9:49 AM

Real cities dont extort money from Developers (which is then passed on to the consumer) nearly at the rate that SF does.
I would venture that the soft costs of development in SF were multiples of the similar costs of other "real cities"

Posted by: Joe at November 1, 2012 9:57 AM

How can folks complain about too much luxury development *and* complain about too bland low-cost development?

They are not the same people.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at November 1, 2012 11:50 AM

Real cities dont extort money from Developers

Every extra person in the City costs money in infrastructure, sewage, safety, education, etc...

The regular upkeep of these services is done through regular taxation and/or usage fees. But building, improving, scaling up these services have to be paid somehow. The City has every right to request an upfront fee.

After all, long term inhabitants have been paying to build the core of the infrastructure year after year. Newcomers have to chip in so that they do not free-load on others who paid their dues.

Let's change scale and look at a new tract development in Anywhere, America. Most of the time the addition of dozens or 100s of new homes will require an upgrade in power lines, water, sewage, roads, probably an extension of the local school. Cities will acknowledge the extra income they'll take from new residents but will more often than not ask for a significant participation on the "upfront" expense the new people are causing. Sometimes they'll waive that in order to attract fresh blood, but not all the time, especially if the town is desirable.

That's not extortion. That's the real world.

Posted by: lol at November 1, 2012 12:17 PM

#1)Finally, this building will show those capatalist dogs what are economic system can really do!

#2) Uhh, Sir...that building is in San Francisco.

#1) Oh...victory is ours!

#2)Uhh, not guite...the wall came down.

Posted by: VancouverJones at November 1, 2012 12:51 PM

lol - I gather that most folks here aren't talking about all impact fees being extortion, but simply the scale of the impact fees (and other things like affordable housing allowances, keeping several hundred units rent-controlled at this location, etc) compared to other places.

Posted by: anon at November 1, 2012 1:04 PM

Yesterday was the 500th anniversary of the service to mark the completion of the Sistine Chapel. I understand this is better than what was there before, I support development and agree the numbers need to add up etc. But the lack of ambition makes me sad; and for what my friend, for what?

Posted by: Niamh at November 1, 2012 1:09 PM

This just in.... a new study reveals that pedestrians don't actually enjoy sun light...

Posted by: VancouverJones at November 1, 2012 1:14 PM

anon,

I agree that the affordable housing fees/mandatory affordable units issue can be debated.

But if you look at how much adding new sewage pipes, improving roads, expanding schools cost, you'll appreciate the economies of scale the City is offering. Anyone who has hired a contractor to replace a sewage line on private property knows this is not close to cheap... and yet we're talking about a few 1000s per unit for the right to piggyback on what's already there.

Posted by: lol at November 1, 2012 1:47 PM

sfpuc is getting a check a when you get a permit as well.

http://www.sfwater.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=200

Posted by: sparky*b at November 1, 2012 2:18 PM

Lol, those would be fine arguments except that "long term owners" are made far more than whole vs newcomers via Prop 13.

Posted by: Shza at November 1, 2012 2:24 PM

Shza,

That's true, but it's a perversion of the system imho. Prop 13 should never have been voted.
Apart from this big basic flaw, the system does what it's supposed to do. If anything the deficits prove that not enough taxes are collected or that expenses should be lowered to meet funding (depending on your personal political opinion).

Posted by: lol at November 1, 2012 3:53 PM

Yesterday was the 500th anniversary of the service to mark the completion of the Sistine Chapel. I understand this is better than what was there before, I support development and agree the numbers need to add up etc. But the lack of ambition makes me sad; and for what my friend, for what?

In order to have places for people to live? In order to make the neighborhood a nicer place to walk around in? In order to increase the city's tax base?

We don't build buildings just to look at - they have, you know, functions.

Posted by: anon at November 1, 2012 4:07 PM

The city can absorb two of these, but the entire block extruded in kind feels like Soviet/ Paris-peripherique/ Shenzen joylesssness. That's not an indictment of density and high-rises, just banal design.

Posted by: rubber_chicken at November 1, 2012 7:26 PM

Perhaps it's a business decision. Poison the well for those that come after. Not only do you realize the savings from the "value engineering", but you hamper future attempts at tall buildings, limiting competition to your apartments.

Posted by: Alai at November 2, 2012 1:48 AM

When your purpose is rental return, your primary goals are optimizing 3 elements: market segment targeting, cost and practicality. For rental, a few % of savings + extra units have multiples on ROI.

I think everybody wins here. More units for tenants, higher quality than what was there, the existing tenants have their leases grand-fathered, and all of this is happening right on public transit. And the dense urban SF proceeds its inevitable expansion west.

Posted by: lol at November 2, 2012 8:47 AM

My concern is--what else that is less visible may have been value-engineered away? Is the roof going to leak a few years in? Is the insulation crap? I've been in new-built construction, all allegedly built to code, of widely varying quality.

Posted by: jenofla at November 2, 2012 9:57 AM

jenofla,

This building is not targeted at resale, but rental. A landlord who builds new construction will most probably not skimp on things that would cost him more money.

The "cosmetically interesting" and "good to have" elements can be gone, but I can bet you they really worried about making this building low maintenance and durable. Well, I do hope the landlord did his homework, but I am not too worried...

If they were condos, I'm be much more cautious. Some developers will risk-analyze savings vs legal/repair costs in case of lawsuits, but a landlord will live with his building for many decades.

Posted by: lol at November 2, 2012 10:11 AM

It is a pitty,
the new design does not engage the pedestrian flow as much as the older one.
See what happened with Bloomingales few blocks away on Mission Street. The developer promised see-thru storefronts along Mission Street to create an interesting place for pedestrians and instead they created a monster glass wall.
These mistakes should not repeat.

Posted by: Harry at November 2, 2012 2:47 PM

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