September 6, 2013
City Slated To Sell Transbay Block Six For 300-Foot Tower To Rise
If all goes as proposed over the next couple of weeks, the agreement for the sale and development of Transbay Block 6 will be finalized, setting the stage for a 300-foot tower to rise on the corner of Folsom and Fremont (click rendering to enlarge).
The project also includes the development of 40-foot townhomes along Clementina Alley and three 50 to 85-foot mid-rise buildings on Fremont, Beal, and Folsom.
In total, 545 residential units (a mix of market-rate and subsidized), 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 136 undergrounding parking spaces will be built on the site with multiple green roof gardens and decks above, parks and a mid-block paseo below.
First Published: September 6, 2013 1:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
SF needs to go UP - and this area is the place to do it
seems like a waste of sky -
Posted by: mdg at September 6, 2013 1:31 PM
Boring design and way too short. Not excited to see this rise.
Posted by: Anon at September 6, 2013 1:38 PM
Cue "build higher" and "boring design" comments. Seriously get original.
Posted by: Michael E at September 6, 2013 1:40 PM
Posted by: Anon at September 6, 2013 1:40 PM
My concern isn't the originality of my comments but instead the building of too many 300 to 450 foot plain looking boxes in San Francisco.
Posted by: Anon at September 6, 2013 1:44 PM
The design looks fine, but yes, massive underbuilding for this location. Should be at least twice as tall or least have a second tower over some of those townhouses.
Posted by: anon at September 6, 2013 1:54 PM
If it's a plain looking box in a rendering (a sentiment I agree with for this project), which is really just a sales tool,
you can expect it to look even worse after the inevitable "value engineering" takes place and the building is completed.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 6, 2013 2:54 PM
That looks like ****
Too short, too boxy, not memorable at all. Why even build it?
Posted by: OMN at September 6, 2013 3:20 PM
@Michael E: you're quick to criticize comments, but we're not reading anything "original" in your statement.
Back to the building. While height is always nice, it would be great to see this building among the other proposed structures in the Transbay Block.
Posted by: Mark at September 6, 2013 3:49 PM
Here we go again, with the "it's too short crowd", over and over and over again.
You're boring me.
So tell us, in real, concrete, tangible, terms what are the benefits YOU see for wanting everything to be taller. Be specific, Be clear.
Do you have Manhattan envy? or what?
Posted by: Futurist at September 6, 2013 4:30 PM
It's Chicago envy...plain and simple. And I agree, it's BORING. I would rather see San Francisco have a European scale of density.
Posted by: Sigh at September 6, 2013 4:44 PM
Not every new building in SF is going to shake up the world and make people say "Ahhhh." You're going to have your fair share of run of the mill architecture. Looking back on our beloved Victorians and Edwardians, how many of them really stood out from their peers when they were built? How many today?
Speaking of other cities, it would be interesting to see what happens to the DC skyline if (or when) the height limit is ever lifted.
Posted by: Mark at September 6, 2013 5:05 PM
1. Taller buildings mean more tax dollars for the city.
2. Taller buildings mean more housing. We are fortunate to have a high demand for housing here (at least we don't have Detroit's problems), and so we should keep increasing supply to somehow limit housing prices.
3. The Bay Area has a vibrant economy (again, compare with Detroit). Many people will live here. It is better for the environment for them to live in San Francisco than to pave over more of Contra Costa County.
4. Taller buildings are more work to build, so more construction jobs while they're being built.
Now please give us some concrete, tangible reasons (i.e. not "The City is changing!") why you oppose taller buildings.
Posted by: SFRealist at September 6, 2013 5:38 PM
Trouble is SFRealist: I don't oppose tall buildings. Nor do I oppose TALLER buildings, as you seem to only want.
I want a balance of different height buildings. And that's exactly what this 300' tall building does. Are you aware that some other buildings in the immediate surroundings will be taller? And some will be shorter.
Building of varying heights benefit the City exactly with the metrics you mentioned. Your logic is completely illogical. means it makes no sense.
So let's just say that ALL of our new buildings from this day forward were ALL 900' tall, each and every one, identical in height. Oh, hell, why stop at 900'?
I hope you get my point and, like others, stop the constant mantra of taller, taller and taller.
It gets boring.
Posted by: Futurist at September 6, 2013 6:02 PM
Futurist, you haven't made any point at all with your hypothetical scenario. In fact, I would welcome another dozen 900ft towers, provided our economy and infrastructure could support them.
We should be building as high as economically feasible in our central business and high-density residential districts. No one is asking that we tear down Victorians, but areas that are designated as super-high density should be built out to meet demand.
Posted by: OMN at September 6, 2013 7:24 PM
Futurist, I'd be fine with a mix of building heights, which is what we'd get if we got rid of the absurd height limits. As it is, every building is built to EXACTLY the height allowed, meaning that no architectural imagination can be used for the height of the building.
Posted by: anon at September 6, 2013 8:15 PM
Sorry but both anon and OMN have it all wrong.
1. Building as high as "economically feasible" simple removes from the equation the ideas of appropriate scale, sunlight, shadows, open space and quality of life: all of which are vitally important in dense urban spaces, even within business districts as well as mixed/residential uses. Go look at Honk Kong or Dubai for terrible examples of super height over quality.
2. There are, in fact, blocks downtown designated for taller height limits: The Transbay Tower and Millenium are two examples. Not every block should be 1000' feet high.
3: @ anon: you just don't get it. Architectural imagination has absolutely nothing to do with height limits. The constant complainers about Pelli designed TB tower seem to forget that it will become the tallest building on our skyline. And you're just flat out wrong stating that every building is built exactly to the height limits. Total drama-scream with that one.
We have a mix of building heights now, and our skyline and density is varying with every new building.
What else to complain about?
Posted by: Futurist at September 6, 2013 9:10 PM
^I'm not saying that every building is currently built to the same height. I'm saying that bureaucrats are determining the heights for buildings rather than developers and architects.
If we eliminated some height limits, we wouldn't need everything to be built to exactly the height that some government suit has decided is appropriate for the location, and would rather see imagination flow forth.
A mix of building heights can be achieved in other ways that government fiat, as you desire. Look at the San Francisco of 50 years ago, and you'll see exactly what I mean. Not every building was built to the same height, and no one had to force this to happen.
Posted by: anon at September 6, 2013 9:17 PM
For everyone complaining about the height, it was set after years of review when the Transit Center District Plan was finally approved last year. Hopefully you gave your two cents during the decade that this was under discussion.
Anyway, the parcel across the street (block 8) is zoned for 550 feet. Block 6 was probably set at 300 feet due to its proximity to the future Transbay Park (block 3).
Posted by: JL at September 7, 2013 3:40 PM
You asked me for "some concrete, tangible reasons" why I favor taller buildings. I gave you four and asked you for concrete tangible reasons you don't.
You responded by (a) stating that my logic is illogical; (b) talking about appropriate scale, shadows and the like, none of which are tangible and are your opinions; and (c) inventing an argument I didn't make (about a universal 900 foot height) and countering it.
I will take this to mean that you don't have any concrete, tangible reasons to oppose increased building heights. If I am mistaken and you have any actual arguments, please feel free to correct me.
Posted by: SFRealist at September 8, 2013 11:08 PM
Townhouses sound interesting.
Posted by: BillyBalls at September 9, 2013 7:59 AM
But since 40% of the units are bmr or subsidized, I think I'll pass.
Posted by: BillyBalls at September 9, 2013 8:03 AM
The high number of BMR units may dissuade some market rate buyers. That may make the market rate units a little more affordable--though in that location they still will command a good price.
Posted by: Dan at September 9, 2013 1:39 PM
Would you want to live in the shadow of a tall boxy building like this? Shorter buildings are more human scale.
Posted by: JB10 at September 15, 2013 9:40 PM
Posted by: SocketSite at November 1, 2013 9:10 AM