December 12, 2013

Transbay Block 8 Attracts Who’s Who Of Developers And Architects

Transbay Block 8 Massing (steelblue and NEORAMA via

The City of San Francisco cancelled their initial request for proposals to develop Transbay Block 8 back in 2009 when bids for the one-acre parcel fronting Folsom between First and Fremont came in well below expectations and without much buzz or interest.

Having issued a new request for proposals last month, the pre-submittal meeting for teams interested in bidding on the opportunity to build a 550-foot tower and over 700 residential units on Block 8 attracted a who’s who of developers, including, but not limited to: AGI Capital (think Transbay Block 9), Avalon Bay, Crescent Heights (NEMA), Golub (Transbay Block 6/7), Hines (Transbay Tower), Related (1601 Mariposa), Tishman Speyer (LUMINA) and Toll Brothers.

In terms of architects, representatives from Architectronica, Fougeron Architecture, Handel Architects, Heller Manus, HKS, Kennerly Architecture, SCB and SOM were in attendance amongst others.

Proposals and designs for developing Transbay Block 8 are due by February 26, 2014.

First Published: December 12, 2013 4:30 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Nice to see the biggies lining up though would have liked to see OMA/AMO interested here too.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 12, 2013 4:42 PM

i think it would look better if the 550 foot tower was built on Fremont street and the lower building on 1st.

Posted by: Matteo at December 12, 2013 10:05 PM

I'm glad to see SOM and Handel in the mix. I wish Gensler was too.

Posted by: Turin at December 12, 2013 10:49 PM

Cannot wait to see! Still get excited over Block 9. I know most of this stuff will never get built, it's SF after all, but it gets me excited nonetheless.

Posted by: JWS at December 13, 2013 8:37 AM


I think it will all get built. Timing might be different than what is expected, it always is. The current ramp-up / tech-gold-rush is ongoing and pretty strong. Demand has decreased inventory which has increased psf which makes development very attractive. There will be a top, followed by the usual breather. A few developments will have unfortunate timing, but the ones who can hold on long enough will be big winners.

When looking at all the upcoming construction, I really feel like we're in a new gilded age. Sure it looks like a slow and messy process. But our kids will look up in awe just like we look in awe at the Transamerica, Chrysler or Empire State buildings.

On a personal side, in 2007 my Market Street office had a 30 degree wide view over the Bay Bridge, Oakland and Mission Bay. The last tiny slice of view left today will all but be gone when the Transbay Tower is complete. It's getting dark in there. Time to move to Vegas.

Posted by: lol at December 13, 2013 8:51 AM

Just a note, "gilded age" is not normally taken to be a good thing. Gilding being a surface treatment to dress up a cheap base material. So yes, I agree that we are in a new gilded age, but future generations may look up at these poorly made luxury towers and wonder what we were thinking.

Posted by: James at December 13, 2013 9:07 AM

lol @ the "poorly made luxury towers" comment. Simply look at the Harmon in LV. They're going to tear it down because it WAS actually poorly made. But in SF? The good side of being in an earthquake zone is that buildings have to comply to a very strict code.

Posted by: lol at December 13, 2013 9:32 AM


My living room on upper Ashbury Street has a panoramic view east of the financial district and beyond. Until 2000 or so I could also see the UC Berkeley capanile, The Claremont Hotel, and the traffic on the Bay Bridge. During the Oakland Hills fire we watched it on the TV and in real time out the windows on either side of the TV.

That is all gone now. Now we see a solid mass of highrises with only the upper portion of the east bay hills in the background. One night about 10 years ago a very bright light suddenly started to slowly rise in the distance from behind foreground buildings. By day it turned out to be the light on the top of the construction crane for One Rincon.

Still a great view though.

Posted by: redseca2 at December 13, 2013 9:45 AM

It's really been 10 years since one rincon was constructed???

Posted by: sf at December 13, 2013 11:13 AM

The level of interest is of little surprise since this Block is in the Middle of a projects going up literally in all directions, plus Folsom St is going to be seriously upgraded in the next few years.

Posted by: Joseph A at December 13, 2013 4:38 PM

One Rincon had its first resident move in on Valentine's Day in 2008, if I remember right. So I think its been occupied for 5 years ... construction probably began in 2006 (again, just guessing from memory).

Looking forward to seeing these residential buildings get built and filled out.

Posted by: jamie at December 15, 2013 11:45 PM

Posted by: SocketSite at March 7, 2014 4:13 PM

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