July 30, 2013

Hines And Boston Balk At Having To Pay For Transbay Park Upkeep

Transbay Center Revised Design

Having paid the City $160 million less than they originally bid for the land upon which they are building the 1,050-foot Transbay Tower, Hines and Boston Properties are now balking at having to contribute around $450,000 a year for the maintenance of the adjacent 5-acre City Park they are building atop the Transbay Transit Center.

Apparently the development deal which the City cut with Hines didn't include a clause for the park's upkeep, but "somebody is going to have to maintain the park and it’s not going to be the city" according to Transbay Joint Powers Authority spokesman Adam Alberti.

Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
Transbay Tower Site Transferred And Ceremonially Breaks Ground [SocketSite]
Hines, Boston Properties lock horns with city over Transbay Tower park [Business Times]

First Published: July 30, 2013 6:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

"Apparently the development deal which the City cut with Hines didn't include a clause for the park's upkeep . . ."

Seriously? Who's drafting these agreements? First-year law students? Arrgghh.

Posted by: OP at July 30, 2013 8:13 AM

Sounds like that area is going to be a vast wasteland while they decide who's gonna pay. If the city wants Hines & Boston to pay, then they can charge admission to this park. I don't think the city is willing to do that....or are they?

Posted by: California at July 30, 2013 9:12 AM

Sounds like the deal that Rec & Park has cut with the Parks Alliance. The Alliance gives projects to the city but does not provide an associated source of upkeep funding.

Posted by: d_b at July 30, 2013 9:17 AM

By the time they're done with this fiasco its going to be a nothing but a Subway Sandwich shop and a Sushi restaurant where the Hamachi glides by on a miniature train... and a Walmart.

Posted by: egg_cream_of_OCD at July 30, 2013 9:32 AM

It looks like these guys know how to play hardball. Our elected officials don't. And why would they care? It's OP's M.

Posted by: lol at July 30, 2013 9:42 AM

Is there ANY part of this project that is going as originally planned?

The glass covered terminal structure? Gone. All of the transit lines linked together? Nope. Now this.

Posted by: jlasf at July 30, 2013 10:11 AM

Is anyone keeping score of all the things that have been dropped or deleted from Transbay ?

Posted by: Anonandon at July 30, 2013 10:15 AM

I love how the Transbay Tower casts no shadow on the park. [Vampire / bloodsucking developer quip goes here.]

Posted by: Adam at July 30, 2013 10:26 AM

wtf wasn't this hashed out in the early stages??? Inept city government, typical!

Posted by: Brian at July 30, 2013 10:51 AM

Should have gone with the Richard Rogers/ Forest City concept: a lean and elegant bus terminal and station. Not some VE'd white-elephant, with a pay-to-play park that no one can see or get to.

And Hines cut their purchase offer in half eliminating the whole rational for their selection.

We been played!

Posted by: rubber_chicken at July 30, 2013 11:29 AM

What an utter disappointment of a project. I am almost completely over following any development in this city...nauseating levels of greed from both NIMBYs and developers alike, with an inept, "toe the line", backwards thinking city in the middle of it.

Posted by: JWS at July 30, 2013 11:38 AM

It is hard to believe that the city's team who assembled this deal together just forgot to put the park maintenance clause into the contract. What is more likely is that the clause was consciously left out to avoid spoiling the Big Deal.

And they're naive to think that Hines/Boston will just cough up the dough to be nice guys. Seems like the taxpayer is being played here.

So if Hines/Boston denies that the park will enhance the value of their property, the city could instead use the rooftop space as an open air bus repair yard.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at July 30, 2013 12:10 PM

Surely someone will pay for this oversight. Two month suspension with pay should set the right tone.

Posted by: BobN at July 30, 2013 12:28 PM

WTF? It's a public park. Why should the developers have to pay for upkeep?! Typical SF commies. Pfffttt.

Posted by: WTF at July 30, 2013 12:39 PM

Let's just get some sheep to graze there. And if we can add a few rams and train them to charge the bums, even better.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at July 30, 2013 1:00 PM

Just change the landscaping to astroturf and let the winter rains wash it off.

Posted by: anon at July 30, 2013 1:12 PM

not much different than the america's cup.

Posted by: EH at July 30, 2013 4:08 PM

Oh, just get rid of the park to cut the costs. Or put up a mini-mall.

Posted by: Patrick at July 30, 2013 5:07 PM

So the developer won't pay for park upkeep and neither will the city.

Hmmm. Looks like we will have a shiny new (but not for long) retreat for the homeless who once inhabited the old bus terminal and the denizens fleeing mid-Market to call home. A Bohemian Grove for the down-and-out. Fab. Who is in charge here? Hello. Ed? Anybody?

Posted by: james jr at July 30, 2013 5:27 PM

So no trains, no maintenance, and costs keep going up... now we know the real plan, a $2 billion dollar homeless shelter...

Posted by: lyqwyd at July 31, 2013 12:20 AM

Wait a second...ALL new developments of this size are required to provide publicly accesible open space on their private property...it's just part of the rules so we don't become a fenced off Malibu downtown. Every other property owner pays for the maintenance of this publicly accessible private space on their own property, not the city. I mean really - does the city maintain the escalators and publicly accessible space at 1-5 Embarcadero? No way. This is a big development so the public space is big but that doesn't change the dynamics of the equation about who pays for the maintenance. I'd think that providing a snazzy elevated public park was part of the reason the City got in bed with this project, so pulling away responsibility for this component seems like bad faith.

Posted by: REGuy at August 1, 2013 9:45 AM

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