Transbay Parcel F

Crescent Heights, the housing developer behind NEMA and Jasper, has been awarded the development rights for Transbay Parcel F and will pay “at least $165 million” for the site at 546 Howard Street which is zoned for building up to 750-feet in height.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority had intended to auction Parcel F in September and had set a minimum bid of $160 million for the site, but the auction was cancelled at the eleventh hour when it became clear that the interested parties desired entitlement assurances before submitting binding offers, an assurance which the TJPA could not provide.

Keep in mind that according to the City’s Transbay District Redevelopment Plan, at least two-thirds of any building on Parcel F, which has the potential to support up to 750,000 square feet of space and will connect to the 5.4 acre rooftop park atop San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center by way of a pedestrian bridge, is required to be commercial, not housing, a designation that Crescent Heights intendeds – but isn’t guaranteed – to have changed.

As part of their winning offer, Crescent Heights agreed to designate 35 percent of the development as Below Market Rate. Which, if we’re not mistaken, is the minimum per the Transbay District Plan.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    A sign the office market is softening in SF? With more half half of recent IPOs selling for less than their launch price there is less money for these wannabe start-ups to lease space based on money they got, in some cases, on a wing and a prayer.

    Is this the second to last or so un-built/building not yer proposed mega-height parcel in the area? Wonder if the developer will approach max height on this or build it out a 40 stories like so many of the surrounding buildings.

  2. Posted by steve

    Oh great. The developer of two of the ugliest residential highrises built in this cycle. And this one will be one of the tallest in the City.

    • Posted by j_blu

      steve – agreed in regards to Jasper, the worst new highrise of the current cycle. Disagree strongly regarding NEMA, which I think is a handsome addition to a highrise architecturally lackluster portion of the skyline.

      • Posted by Stop Driving

        Ditto. Quite fond of Nema, although I don’t like anything else in their portfolio.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Jasper is white, NEMA is black, so this one in the middle will be a muddled grey? 🙂

      I actually like Jasper, and dislike NEMA – too dark, and the top doesn’t work because you always see the mechanics sticking above the “sculptural top” (so, i.e., what’s the point of having a “sculptural top” then?) In any event, kudos to Crescent.

  3. Posted by simms3

    Well there goes the end of Temple. If the owners of the building housing Temple don’t sell (which would be odd), we’ll see how strong the recent laws are that protect existing nightlife businesses from encroaching residents who complain about noise from existing businesses after they move to the neighborhood.

    I’m disappointed that Crescent Heights got this. Nothing very tall or architecturally striking in their portfolio.

  4. Posted by STK421

    Pretty sure that Crescent Heights owns the building housing Temple…

    • Posted by Moses

      They definitely do. Temple owner may be have JV stake in this development…

  5. Posted by Louis

    Bubble deal. HIgh water mark on $$ for land deal for this cycle. wonder if tide will go out and come back before this gets built. or makes money.

    • Posted by Dave

      These cycles tend to be 10 years or so. Given all the entitlement changes they are seeking and the rest, IMO this will not even break ground for 5 plus years or so. They are buying at the top probably, for this cycle, but likely think it will pan out as they expect to catch the next up cycle.

      Just listened to a great podcast about cycles, real estate, tech and the Bay Area/US and more. Sure looks like a cycle peak, but after the cycle downturn there will be the inevitable upturn.

      • Posted by Atari

        Dave, curious where do you listen about the cycles conversation. Would love to get more info

        • Posted by Dave

          Atari, happy to provide the info. I don’t want to post a link at SS to the podcast as it violates the rules. I think. When in doubt – you know the drill.

          Anyway, its from a source that has I have relied on has proved spot on since 2006. I’ve mentioned the Dublin deal I was involved with and this source was the originator of that.

          I don’t want to post my e-mail, but if you are so willing I will share what really is a great podcast, IMO, with you. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, ask SS to privately send you my e-mail. Which I am cool with.

          Its a great analysis of where we are now. IMO.

          • Posted by Mark

            I’m interested as well. Surely you can just tell us the name/producer without a link, if not just to provide a ‘source’ for your views on cycles, without breaking SS rules. It’s not like SS is OK with opinions but not OK with supporting material.

          • Posted by shza

            Are you referring to the “bubbles” episode of the Planet Money podcast?

        • Posted by Orland

          You’re pranking, right?

          • Posted by Dave

            No.

            I love real estate investing. I listen to many sources to cobble together my strategy.

            The person I am referring to is Kathy Fetke who is CEO of the Real Wealth Network. I have followed her since 2009 and she has proved, for me, to be the most accurate source for real estate investing. I have done well following her advice and, when I refer to the Dublin project where investors doubled their money in 3.5 years, that was a syndication in part put together by Kathy.

  6. Posted by van nessident

    I wonder if they’ll try to relax the commercial requirement, given that the building going up at Beale and Howard was zoned for residential but will instead be entirely offices.

  7. Posted by sf

    With the crown/ screen allowance, this is going to be well over 800′ and should be advertised as such.

    • Posted by Dave

      What is the crown/screen allowance? Whatever it is, it probably bumps up against the shadow ordinace. Didin’t the Salesforce tower have to go shorter because of that?

      Given that some of these projects are not building to maximum height on the tallest allowed parcels, I would not assume Crescent will max out here.

      • Posted by R

        Saleforce Tower got shorter because it didn’t pencil at the original 1,200 feet. Not shadow restriction.

        • Posted by Rainer Wilke

          Are you sure? At 1200′ it shadowed union sq.

  8. Posted by HousingWonk

    The Condo Kings of Miami Beach!

  9. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    From the SF Business Times: “Crescent Heights has only built residential projects in San Francisco, including highrises like Nema, Jasper, and planned 10 South Van Ness, so it will likely ask for a Planning Code amendment to build all apartments…Another twist? The price for the land will increase to $185 million if Crescent Heights can also close its potential purchase at the next-door property, 540 Howard, which would increase the developable land area by about a third. That land is zoned for a 450-foot-tall commercial building, according to property records.”

  10. Posted by Matteo

    Crescent Heights has gotten very proactive in the City’s real estate market since building The Metropolitan in 2004. The money has to be good.

  11. Posted by James

    Why isn’t this taller?

  12. Posted by Orland

    Hard to believe there has been absolutely no comment upon the shadowing effect of a building at this location upon the Transit Centers rooftop park. I realize the funds are vitally needed but this parcel could not be in a worse location insofar as the pall it will cast on what should be a prize amenity. I guess no comment because there is no solution.

    • Posted by Dave

      True. If Crescent gets the parcel next door (between F and the Foundry Square), which is zoned for 450 feet, there will be two and not just the one F parcel building shadowing and basically walling in the park.

      At least the two Foundry Square buildings adjacent to the park will provide a break in the wall and offer more of a glimpse of blue sky to the park-goers.

      I wonder if wind studies were done. That canyon of towers surrounding the park could turn it into a wind tunnel.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      No comment because it was part of the plan from the beginning, to the point where funds from the surrounding buildings’ construction are paying for (what’s left of) the original park design.

      • Posted by Orland

        I get that though I think it came as quite a surprise that there was a remaining site zoned for a structure of this magnitude (not that a building’s height has much to do with the effects given its strategic location).

        When one considers the further gloom to be cast by the several towers to be built a block to the SOUTH along Folsom, maybe some public amenity other than a traditional park should be considered as more appropriate:

        A driving range? Go-kart track? Bowling alleys?

        • Posted by Dave

          I’d go for a ski-jump. Now that would be cool.

          In all seriousness, there are skeptics who think this whole scenario was cooked to get huge height increases for developers which they got.

          The HSR – is it still 2035 or has it been pushed back?!

          And in the meantime the elevated park which at one time had a stream as part of it gets VE’d down.

          I still am not sure HSR will ever come to the underground glorified box. 20 years is a long, long time and things will change.

  13. Posted by Alex

    They designed two high rises in Chicago and they are expected to build a 1,111 ft tower in Seattle. There are a good amount of projects that they are a part of but aren’t on their website. The designs of their towers still look bland

  14. Posted by Mark

    I just can’t take my eyes off that $2B value-engineered bus station.

    • Posted by matteo

      i know, neither can i. the transbay transit center is a beautiful addition to that part of soma.

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