September 12, 2013

San Francisco's Future Skyline And Transit Center Fully Animated

The latest animation for San Francisco's future Transbay Transit Center in which the Center is fully rendered, both inside and out, not only includes the 1,070-foot tall Transbay Tower to rise at the corner of First and Mission, but twenty-three other area developments and two parks which are either under construction, approved or slated to be built.

The full list, links and breakdown for all the new developments which make an appearance above:

1. 50 First Street (Office/Residential)
2. 201 Folsom Street (LUMINA) (Residential/Retail)
3. 530 Folsom Street (Rene Cazenave Apartments)
4. Foundry Square III (Office)
5. 181 Fremont Street (Office/Residential)
6. 325 Fremont Street (Residential)
7. 340 Fremont Street (Residential)
8. 399 Fremont Street (Residential)
9. 75 Howard Street (Residential)
10. 524 Howard Street (Residential)
11. 45 Lansing Street (Residential)
12. 350 Mission Street (Office)
13. 535 Mission Street (Office)
14. One Rincon Tower 2 (Residential)
15. Oscar Park (Park)
16. 222 Second Street (Office)
17. 41 Tehama Street (Residential)
18. Transbay Block 1 (Residential)
19. Transbay Blocks 2/3/4 (current Temporary Terminal) (Residential and Park)
20. Transbay Block 5 (TBD)
21. Transbay Block 6/7 (Residential/Retail)
23. Tranbay Block 8 (Residential)
24. Transbay Block 9 (Residential)

And yes, there are more to come.

First Published: September 12, 2013 12:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What a beautiful $2B bus terminal!

Posted by: Mark at September 12, 2013 12:48 PM

So sparkly!

Posted by: BobN at September 12, 2013 12:54 PM

Can someone remind me why they call this a "transit" center? Did not see any actual transit in the video. But I do like all the new buildings.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at September 12, 2013 12:58 PM

I can see buses moving on the offramp at the beginning of the video. That's transit. The rooftop park is also accurately rendered as empty.

Posted by: James at September 12, 2013 1:17 PM

How will they keep the escalators working? BART doesn't have a great track record.

Posted by: chitrana at September 12, 2013 1:18 PM

The floor in the Transbay Center is tasteless at best... and will look like any one of the bad "creative" choices made throughout the 1970s for installation in public spaces.

Posted by: Rob at September 12, 2013 1:27 PM

This is reminding me of Elysium. Where are all of the junkies and homeless?

Posted by: Schlub at September 12, 2013 1:34 PM

That floor is hideous, absolutely hideous

Posted by: jill at September 12, 2013 1:38 PM

I'm liking how its shaping up, even thought it would be nicer if the Transbay Terminal would have been taller, furthermore; seeing 524 Howard compared to the other buildings, I feel like it would be better to increase its height, same goes for 535 Mission.

Posted by: Alex at September 12, 2013 1:39 PM

The orchestral music is just gorgeous.

In the time we spend endlessly fawning over ourselves over ONE 'tall' building, NY will have built 40 buildings which are in fact taller.

I'm happy there will be redwood trees, by the time the building's up we'll all realize it should have been taller, the park is going to be jammed and will suggest green uses of our elevated highways in SF as we become denser.

What's my point?

Posted by: Invented at September 12, 2013 1:47 PM

There are 40 buildings going up in NY right now taller than 1,070 feet?! Highly doubtful. 5 or 6 is more like it.

Posted by: mwsf at September 12, 2013 2:07 PM

That floor already looks dated and awful, and the Transbay tower is no more interesting than the translucent placeholder renderings. But on the bright side several of the other towers will be fantastic additions to the skyline and their neighborhoods.

Posted by: Turin at September 12, 2013 2:09 PM

"In the time we spend endlessly fawning over ourselves over ONE 'tall' building, NY will have built 40 buildings which are in fact taller." -Invented

1,070' is actually quite tall by any city's standards. As are 900', 800', and 750' buildings. And 400' buildings, etc, etc. And SF is not NYC, nor is it trying to be NYC. Who cares what they're building over there?

There are so many whiny, negative weenies on this website, who only pop in to complain about...well, everything.

This all looks pretty good to me. Definitely the largest amount of highrise construction in this city since the 80s. The demand for the housing is there, and the demand for the office space is there, so it's good that we have all these projects going on, and the bonus is that we get a more impressive skyline out of it.

As for you people playing dumb about why it's called a "transit" center...well you see, buses, HSR, and commuter trains are indeed "transit", and will all be served by it. That's why it's called a "transit" center. Hard to understand, I know.

Posted by: cfb at September 12, 2013 2:20 PM

Seeing them all in context, turns out I like 181 Fremont the best of the bunch. Not sure I had come to that conclusion before.

Posted by: shza at September 12, 2013 2:28 PM

How do I get from MUNI or BART to the Transbay "Transit Center"? Oh, yeah...

Posted by: sf at September 12, 2013 2:49 PM

@cfb: you're mistaken. First, it won't connect to existing transit on Market St. (BART/MUNI). Second, HSR/Caltrain has been scrapped from the plan due to cost overruns elsewhere in the project. In typical Bay Area fashion it will "one day" have a link to HSR/Caltrain. Just like Caltrain was supposed to have been electrified by now and both Van Ness and Geary were supposed to have BRT in place (if not rail). Therefore, for all intents and purposes it will be a bus terminal. Hard to understand, I know.

Posted by: Mark at September 12, 2013 2:57 PM

Transbay Terminal my a--.
The Ed Lee Bus Stop and Homeless Shelter.

Posted by: james jr at September 12, 2013 3:30 PM

@Mark, it may have taken awhile but funding was identified for Caltrain electrification.EIR approval next year, service starting 2019.

Posted by: RobBob at September 12, 2013 3:37 PM

@RobBob: I'm just going by what I read about the project. I'm not talking about electrification. That's a separate project from the actual extension to the TTC. The extension is part of a second phase, funds from which are already diverted to overruns in the first phase, so it seems extremely unlikely that Caltrain (let's not even dwell on HSR) will be rolling into the TTC in the next decade. Of course, this doesn't mean that the rest of the line can't see an electrification upgrade which is sorely needed. I think it's a travesty that one of the largest transit projects in the Bay Area can't get its act together. It's a travesty, though, not a surprise.

"To cover the hefty cost increase, Heminger said, the authority will use some of the money that had been dedicated to the second phase of the project - the downtown extension that would carry trains from Fourth and King streets to the Transbay center. That portion of the project had never been fully funded, and is a key Bay Area project competing for major federal funding. But the soaring cost of the first phase means it will be an even bigger challenge to find the funding to lay rails to the new transit center."

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Transbay-project-in-300-million-hole-4685647.php

Posted by: Mark at September 12, 2013 3:57 PM

"Mark, it may have taken awhile but funding was identified for Caltrain electrification.EIR approval next year, service starting 2019."

Electrification is nice but it doesn't bring the train to the TransBay does it?

Posted by: zig at September 12, 2013 3:59 PM

@RobBob, online information I have read differs, do you have a source? Be that as it may, it is still not planned to connect to Transbay Bus Terminal.

Posted by: Anonconfused at September 12, 2013 3:59 PM

You'd think, given the high cost of rendering software, that someone would invent a "grime applicator".

Posted by: BobN at September 12, 2013 4:21 PM

The video is great, I love the architecture of the transit center, and I like the design of the tower. I did prefer Skidmore Owings and Merrill tower proposal originally proposed, but I liked this terminal the best.

Very excited to see all the other developments proposed, especially in context.

Having said that, the sad thing about this project is that although it's ostensibly a transit project, that aspect has been treated as if it's unimportant. The engineering bringing the rail to the terminal is idiotic, with too many, and too sharp turns, and a poorly designed junction leading into the terminal which will result in severe delays at moderate loads. The location chosen was wrong as there was a much larger space about a block away which could have housed twice the number of platforms, as well as a more direct connection to BART/ MUNI. That, combined with many other failures have disappointed me on this project, although I still look forward to seeing it completed.

It could have been so much better from a functional perspective!

Posted by: lyqwyd at September 12, 2013 4:30 PM

"How do I get from MUNI or BART to the Transbay "Transit Center"? Oh, yeah..." -sf

"@cfb: you're mistaken. First, it won't connect to existing transit on Market St. (BART/MUNI). Second, HSR/Caltrain has been scrapped from the plan due to cost overruns elsewhere in the project." -Mark

Have either of you ever used the transbay terminal in the past? Apparently not, because it has always had Muni service (by the following bus lines: 38, 38L, 108, 71, 71L, 41, and 5), and as the plans state, it will continue to have Muni service (in addition to AC transit, Golden Gate transit, Samtrans, and Greyhound). Market street is not the only place in SF that Muni serves, and market's only two blocks away anyways...you guys have legs right? It would be ideal for the transit center to be on market street, but that obviously was never possible, so why whine about it? If I remember right, there'll be a tunnel connecting Montgomery and/or Embarcadero stations to the transit center at least.

And Mark, HSR/caltrain were never removed from the plan. Funding problems are one thing, and they can be fixed (and hopefully will be), but the train connections were never cancelled.

Posted by: cfb at September 12, 2013 4:41 PM

"Electrification is nice but it doesn't bring the train to the TransBay does it?" -zig

It's an important step because the tunnelling of caltain is impossible unless it's electrified.

Posted by: cfb at September 12, 2013 4:44 PM

So we should just accept mediocrity and failure due to the possibility someone might interpret standing up against it as "whining?" "Chill out bro.. y u mad?" That mentality didn't build the GG Bridge, or the Empire State Building, or the great cities of the world. So if you, SF, consider yourself a great city, don't let the purveyors of "good enough," such as cfb, be your philosophers.

Posted by: sf at September 12, 2013 5:15 PM

@sf:

Mediocrity? Yeah it could look better, but it's not bad...and yeah, it could be situated a bit better. But that was never an option. Failure? Slow down buddy, the thing isn't even built yet. And what are you "standing up against" anyways? A new transit facility and park that will be heavily used by the public. Good job, I guess. Have a cookie.

And it still doesn't change the fact that half the things you guys are whining about aren't even real problems, such as a supposed lack of muni connections or lack of HSR and Caltrain connections...which actually ARE planned, contrary to your doom and gloom misconceptions.

Posted by: cfb at September 12, 2013 6:00 PM

All the buildings look like Pez dispensers and the music is like a cholesterol medication commercial.

Which is all about spot on.

Posted by: Pastist at September 12, 2013 6:46 PM

Prove to me that BART and MUNI Metro will connect to the new Transbay "Transit Center." Until then, calm down space cadet.

Posted by: sf at September 12, 2013 7:33 PM

@sf:

Here, you can read about it, smart guy:

"an underground tunnel underneath Beale may connect the transit center to BART and Muni’s Embarcadero Station."

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2012/06/01/transbay-transit-center-to-fill-downtown-with-people-not-cars/

Posted by: cfb at September 12, 2013 7:39 PM

Streetsblog. A smug self-centered OCD rich kid's borefest.

Posted by: $AN FRANCI$CO at September 12, 2013 9:51 PM

I think the operative word from the Streetsblog article is "MAY"..."an underground tunnel MAY connect.."

I "may" get hit by lightning, or Van Ness "may" get a subway in the next 100 years.

What many of us are asking is not for a possible pedestrian tunnel, but direct interface between MUNI rail/bus traffic and Caltrain and BART. (I have given up on HSR) This direct intersection of transit systems was how Transbay was sold to taxpayers, and this is what most major cities have including Los Angeles. L.A. already has their version of Caltrain (Metrolink), bus traffic, multiple subway lines and other rail transit connecting at their Union Station downtown, so why can't we? Los Angeles is already securing funding to bring High Speed Rail to Union Station so why can't we to Transbay?

As of right now, decisions, planning and funding do NOT provide for a pedestrian tunnel to any other transit stations nearby. No Caltrain, No BART, No High Speed Rail, No Muni trains.

Transbay is simply the world's most expensive bus terminal, period.

Posted by: Fiasco at September 12, 2013 9:53 PM

FWIW, the estimated cost of the pedestrian tunnel under Beale is $125 million.

http://onesanfrancisco.org/wp-content/uploads/Agenda-Item-6-Transbay-CFD-Report.pdf

and it is the least expensive of the four alternatives considered:

http://transbaycenter.org/uploads/board-meeting/Agendas/2007/Item8_BART%20Connector%20staff%20rpt%20w-pres-revised.pdf

Posted by: Jake at September 12, 2013 10:12 PM

New York City: 5,873 Highrises.
San Francisco: 416 Highrises.

San Francisco is never going to be NYC. People really need to let that go. When there's NYC envy that's when mayors want to build "The Grand Central of the West".

I love all of the new buildings and the density, it's very exciting but in my opinion this "Transit Terminal" is so sloppy and almost embarrassing. It should have seamless connectivity to BART and MUNI, not a very long hallway. It makes San Francisco appear to have a Napoleon complex.

Posted by: Mike at September 13, 2013 12:54 AM

Los Angeles is already securing funding to bring High Speed Rail to Union Station so why can't we to Transbay?

The city of Los Angeles is five times the population of the city of San Francisco. They should have all sorts of things that we don't have.

Posted by: anon at September 13, 2013 6:39 AM

Was looking at the PDF posted by @Jake of the pedestrian tunnel options between Muni stops and Transbay. There's 4. Looking through it, I thought of personal experiences in Barcelona walking longer distances between underground stops and seeing small retail, restaurants and bars available to commuters. I thought those options, not mentioned in the PDF could be an interesting way to enhance that pedestrian commute experience. Maybe others had similar experiences...

I was also thinking that if we utilized two of the three options (#1 & #3), we would have underground pedestrian tunnels that separately connect Montgomery (#3) and Embarcadero Muni stations (#1) to Transbay. I'll assume that having these two would help distribute foot traffic and give more options for underground retail as I mentioned in my Barcelona example.

The PDF did say that funding for such tunnels was not budgeted for phase 1, but could be for phase 2. I guess if we can dream, we might as well dream big(ger). We're talking $292M for the two tunnels (per the PDF) plus whatever more to build out retail options. Could be an enhanced way to connect Transbay to muni and add additional value to commuters beyond just an underground walkway.

Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at September 13, 2013 7:08 AM

Nice! Thanks for sharing. Always lovely to see the positive, good end game of all the noise, dust, and cement trucks running through the Rincon neighborhood.

Posted by: jamie at September 13, 2013 7:31 AM

Awful looking. The high-rise building in SF must stop. Its destroying the city. SF is not NYC or Chicago or LA.

Posted by: Tobias at September 13, 2013 7:39 AM

That's your proof cfb? A link from a blog saying it "may" happen? Nice try smart guy.

Posted by: sf at September 13, 2013 8:29 AM

@sf:

Why are you looking at me for definitive "proof" of anything? I'm just some guy on the internet. At least I can actually provide sourced information saying it MIGHT happen, while you can do is say "no it won't".

As for everyone complaining that muni metro and bart will not have stations in the terminal...they never were going to. The transbay terminal is not located on market street, and you're crazy if you think completely new subways would ever be dug just to have stations in a terminal that is only 1.5 blocks away from the existing subways and a few blocks away from two existing stations on those subways.

Is the transbay terminal 100% perfect? Hell no, but it's a lot better than nothing, and it's better than the old terminal too. But go ahead and complain non-stop about things that never were and never will be, I guess it makes you feel better.

Posted by: cfb at September 13, 2013 11:45 AM

@Tobias -
For a city roughly 5 times as big population wise (and that's just city pop, not even metro) LA barely has more high rises than SF.

New York - 6,504
Chicago - 1,124
Los Angeles - 504
Honolulu - 439
San Francisco - 417

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_with_the_most_high-rise_buildings

Can we please stop pretending SF is a fishing village? We already have the Top 5 most high rises in the entire COUNTRY, despite being much smaller than 3 of the other 5. SF has always been dense. Building new high rises in a HIGH RISE district that is currently occupied by abandoned warehouses and parking lots is not a crime. Nobody is suggesting we build these in Glen Park, relax.

I think the renderings are incredibly exciting.

Posted by: JWS at September 13, 2013 12:46 PM

Autocad animations are swell. Sklines look neat from a distance.

In practice, high-rise forests streets are cold, windy, gloomy, dirty, and depressing.

But the architects, realtors, and related building professionals who saturate this blog will get some work, so it's all good.

Posted by: two beers at September 13, 2013 1:22 PM

Fantastic animation from steelblue! Looking forward to the new buildings (particularly 181 Fremont and the TBT) as well as the TTC.

Posted by: MarkSF at September 13, 2013 1:42 PM

@cfb

It's better than nothing, at the cost of $7,000,000,000.
Money well spent!

Posted by: sf at September 13, 2013 1:55 PM

With a tunnel connecting the two, Transbay/Montgomery St. will be the Chatelet/Les Halles of SF. Yeah, you could do a single fare transfer without needing to surface, but you're gonna have a quarter mile walk.

I was just at Chatelet a few weeks ago (lol - I think we were both in the city concurrently!) and it took a solid ten minutes to ascend from the depths of the RER to the surface streets. Far from ideal but that station can transport thousands of people per hour.

Installing an airport style people mover in the connecting tunnel will reduce the time and hassle of connections, especially for the mobility impaired.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 13, 2013 3:29 PM

Thank you Jake for the budget PDF. So the budget for pedestrian tunnel is 125M, or 4% of the total budget. I think it is well worth it. I think it has higher priorities than the parks and open spaces, which costs even more. Not that I don't like parks. But those things are not a critical functional component. The pedestrian tunnel is a functional backbone that's key for the connectivity of the system. The parks and other improvements we can always find funding later and add them incrementally. people love parks they can even find private fund for that. The tunnel is a public infrastructure that nobody is going to build the tunnel except the government. Let's make sure it is in the plan.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at September 15, 2013 9:55 AM

I want to attend the grand opening where I understand there will be synchronized hobos pissing on the floor, along with tranny hookers shooting meth. Wouldn't miss it.

Posted by: thatsrich at October 1, 2013 2:09 PM

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