December 18, 2013

Sustainable Tower, Affordable Mid-Rise, And Retail Break Ground

Transbay%20Block%206%20Rendering.jpg

The ground has been broken for a 32-story tower, mid-rise building, and townhomes to rise on Transbay Block 6 along Folsom between Fremont and Beale. Retail will line the street.

In addition to 409 market-rate apartments in the tower at Folsom and Fremont and the townhomes along Clementina Alley, the Transbay Block 6 development includes an 8-story building at the corner for Folsom and Beale which is being developed by Mercy Housing and will provide 70 units of affordable housing. Another 77 affordable units will be built on the north side of Clementina Alley between Femont and Beale on Transbay Block 7.

Designed to be LEED Gold certified, sustainable features of the Block 6 development include solar thermal panels, a resident-controlled cross ventilation system, and community gardens on the ground level, rooftops and balconies with "sky parks" on every third floor:

Block 6 Tower Gardens

The Transbay Block 6 development is expected to be ready for occupancy in December 2015.

First Published: December 18, 2013 10:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I wish the Beale side were a little higher; I know the City's trying the "Vancouver approach" to high-rise development, versus "Manhattanization", still, I think once all the towers in SoMa are built out, the mid-rise buildings are going to look out of place. (Case in point Foundry Square, which is going to look woefully underbuilt once all the surrounding towers are done.)

Can anyone speak to the plans for the temporary Transbay Terminal site, once the new terminal is up and running in 2017? Is that block going to be an urban park (which I think would be a great asset, akin to Post Office Square in Boston or Bryant Park in NYC)? Or is it going to be sold off too, for vertical development?

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 18, 2013 10:28 AM

Posted by: emanon at December 18, 2013 10:35 AM

@sierrajeff - My understanding is that it will be developed - look at the master plan - published online by the city. It shows towers of up to 550 feet.

cheers :-)

Posted by: mdg at December 18, 2013 11:11 AM

What happened to the older design?

Posted by: Alex at December 18, 2013 11:30 AM

I definitely appreciate the original proposed design more. Though, as with most of these renderings, I'm sure it'll look better in real life.

Posted by: Rob at December 18, 2013 12:21 PM

My apartment also has a resident-controlled cross ventilation system! I'll have to remember than when I try to sublet it. It sounds so much better than "windows that open."

Posted by: James at December 18, 2013 12:27 PM

cool, look forward to the affordable housing!

The city should mandate all housing to be affordable to the residents!

Posted by: affordable4life at December 18, 2013 12:41 PM

James - The ventilation system is more than just operable windows. The idea is to induce a small breeze without the need for true cross-ventilation. Still I think real cross-ventilation would work a lot better but have nothing other than my understanding of fluid dynamics to back that up.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 18, 2013 12:59 PM

The housing in San Francisco IS affordable to the residents, that's why vacancy is only around 2%

Posted by: sf at December 18, 2013 1:18 PM

@sf

nicely put!

Posted by: lyqwyd at December 18, 2013 2:04 PM

"housing is affordable to the residents" is a circular statement. If you can afford to live there, you're a resident. If you can't, you're not. But obviously that's not what anyone means when they talk about the affordability of housing.

Posted by: James at December 18, 2013 2:23 PM

It's circular because it's a self regulating feedback loop. So yes, if the vacancy rate is low it's affordable to someone. Now, is it affordable to the right people? Depends on your definition of right people! Current residents? People moving here for work? Families? Low income wage earners? Are we trying to engineer certain demographics? Whose?

Posted by: outtahere at December 18, 2013 4:14 PM

Everybody bashes Foundry Square. The city purposefully encouraged the limited height of Foundry Square because taller buildings would have shaded the park on top of the TransBay Terminal building. The same circumstances do not pertain in most other parts of SOMA.

Posted by: BTinSF at December 18, 2013 6:24 PM

Foundry Square was proposed and built long before the Transbay Park proposal by Hines and Pelli won the contest, so that's not the reason it was underdeveloped.

Posted by: sf at December 18, 2013 6:37 PM

By "affordable housing", are we talking housing for the working poor and middle class? Or housing for the non-working poor.

We have plenty of two things, luxury housing and very poor housing. What we need is more in the middle.

Posted by: MarketSt at December 18, 2013 8:38 PM

Why? You have Oakland, and BART to accomodate the working poor and lower middle class. No one has a God-given right to live in San Francisco.

Even I, on a 1%-er's income, had to move when I could no longer drive at night and my commute became impossible. I did not demand that the city move heaven and earth to accomodate my situation, or that of all people who for whatever reason cannot drive, as it is irrelevant, just like the woes of "the working poor" are also irrelevant.

Posted by: Jimmy (not a Real San Franciscan (TM)) at December 19, 2013 9:31 AM

Everybody bashes Foundry Square. The city purposefully encouraged the limited height of Foundry Square because taller buildings would have shaded the park on top of the TransBay Terminal building. The same circumstances do not pertain in most other parts of SOMA.

Foundry Square was approved long before the Transbay Terminal winner was even chosen, so I have no idea where you're getting this information.

Posted by: anon at December 19, 2013 9:50 AM

Yeah, Foundry Square was approved at a time that the area was still largely undeveloped as an office location, although even at the time some folks were saying "why so short?". I actually like it...not everything needs to be tall, and it's an interesting variation in the city's urban form. AND, it does benefit the Transbay park.

Posted by: curmudgeon at December 19, 2013 10:09 AM

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