706 Mission Street Rendering - Full Height

Waylaid by a pair of lawsuits filed by a group of neighbors in the adjacent Four Seasons building at 765 Market Street, a settlement has been reached to allow Millennium Partners’ tower to rise up to 510-feet in height at 706 Mission Street and the building permit for the $305 million project has been issued with the permit to start excavation in the works.

As part of the settlement, Millennium Partners will donate $100,000 to the City to offset the costs of installing a new crosswalk at Third Street and Stevenson and revising the signal timing on Third, assuming the improvements for the residents of the Four Seasons, and others, are approved.

The neighbors, who live in a building that’s 430 feet tall, had originally sued to limit the new building to 351 feet in height.

Primarily designed by Handel Architects, the 706 Mission Street project includes the redevelopment of the adjacent Aronson Building and San Francisco’s new Mexican Museum, designed by Ten Arquitectos, at its base.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by NOPASF

    Its a shame. This is a handsome tower and should have been an 800 or 900 footer. Glad to see it move along.

    • Posted by Dave

      I don’t think in our lifetimes you will see any 800 or 900 foot towers. beyond the Salesforce tower. Parcel F is 750 feet and that is likely it.

      I’d expect if not outright lowering of heights in some places then certainly no increases. There probably will not be another 46 story tower for a long, long time.

      What exactly did the Millennium owners get? This seems pretty paltry.

      [Editor’s Note: Plans For San Francisco’s Second Tallest Tower Are Taking Shape.]

      • Posted by Dave

        Yes, this is in place along with Salesforce. Parcel F is one of two other sites beyond those 2 that can go to 750 feet or so. I think there is still a parcel besides F on Mission which is likewise not in development.

        There is no other areas zoned for this kind of height. IMO there is no support for any politician or Board who would try to push for height above 35 stories or such.

        The Millennium may be one of the last “tall” towers built in SF.

        • Posted by NOPASF

          I agree, there is no political support for that kind of density in San Francisco. Which is unfortunate because greater density is really the only solution to affordability. The whole drama surrounding this development is a great example of why SF development is so dysfunctional and why the city has become so unaffordable.

          • Posted by Zig

            High rises that might not even be fully occupied and surely have small household sizes are not really making dense neighborhoods

      • Posted by donjuan

        The question is WHY

        There’s no logical reason to arbitrarily limit heights in high-rise neighborhoods. Tokyo is full of 700+ ft towers. If you’re going to build a 600 ft tower, might as well build an 800 ft tower if the developers have budget. We shouldn’t let an irrational fear of heights stop us from doing what makes sense.

        • Posted by Dave

          Why? Because SF is not Tokyo. Residents there and in many urban center are fine with hi-rises. SF has never really been. It goes way back. Think Fontana ‘towers”. They are just 12 stories I believe.

          If anything with Peskin and the backlash to development that seems to be occurring I can see a lowering of heights in SF in the next decade.

          Peskin may have his majority on the Board to block any hi-rise development that has to come to the Board because of an exemption. As in the Gang tower proposal is dead now essentially.

          The West coast will see 100 story towers. LA for sure. The KAL tower is the tallest on the West Coast now but talk of other towers there going taller. Perhaps Sattle too. They are pushing higher despite being a NIMBY town of sorts. They just don’t have the visceral anti-hi-rise mentality that is endemic in SF.

          Oakland may someday get a 100 story tower and perhaps SJ. SJ would love to go lots higher but their international airport complicates that. Maybe they will move airport at some point. Who knows. :

          • Posted by Dave II

            Dave, Don’t forget that an election is coming up next year and half the progressive liberals are being termed out. Furthermore, Chris Daily was the Supervisor who pushed for height in SOMA. He is more radical than Peskin. The Supes don’t care about height, they care about getting the highest percentage of BMRs in a development. Sure SF will see more 800+ buildings. Very doubtful Oakland will see a 100 story tower. They had to reduce a proposed tower in Oakland from ~52 stories to ~33 stories.

          • Posted by Rainer Wilke

            @Dave: What planet do you live on where Oakland – which is just seeing its first highrise development in 7 years is going to get a 100 story tower but SF is going to see its heights lowered?

            The money and demand is primarily in SF. the money and demand are what drives high rise development. Oakland is just as fervently anti development as SF – if not more so.

            Do you honestly believe these things? Or are you just trolling?

          • Posted by cwilly

            San Jose will NEVER get a 100 story tower. Their entire downtown is in the FAA flight path for SJC. That is why they don’t have anything taller than around 25 stories.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Don’t jump to that conclusion so fast. There’s a lot more to San Jose than just downtown. There’s plenty of space that isn’t in conflict with the SJC flight paths.

            My guess is that ironically large towers will get built directly adjacent to SJC, i.e. to the sides of the flight path. Maybe not in our lifetimes though.

        • Posted by Chris Brown

          Except for a decision based on safety, such as an FAA ruling that a structure poses a flight hazard, height limits are a reflection of what a community feels best fits within a neighborhood, so there is always discretion used in determining what is and what is not appropriate for an area. There are also concerns about preventing excessive shadowing or a wind tunnel effect at ground level.

          You make a conclusory statement that it “makes sense’ to build 800 foot towers in the area, which is just as arbitrary. Your preference is for tall towers (I actually like tall towers, too), but that does not mean that logic dictates tall towers should be built in any specific area. And, 510 feet is already quite a tall tower.

          It possible to have very high density without tall towers. Even in Manhattan, most buildings are not tall towers.

          Currently, the area for new very tall buildings in SF is limited to the Transbay District, and it is likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            And in fact, as I’ve noted on here before, many of the most popular neighborhoods, in NYC and beyond, are actually fairly low-rise neighborhoods – think Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Hells Kitchen; Kensington and Piccadilly in London; anywhere in central Paris; Back Bay and the South End in Boston; etc. I certainly love towers, but neighborhoods of towers don’t seem the be the sorts of neighborhoods were people actually like to go and hang out / walk around.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            p.s. – I realize I left myself open for commentariat criticism with my last comment – for those who like to generalize and shoot from the hip. So, to be clear – obviously midtown Manhattan is a happening place… but IMHO more fully of business people and tourists and less so a “neighborhood” where actual local residents go to hang out… and when they do go to hang out, they’re doing so more in little restaurants and shops on the lower-built streets between the Avenues, than in the shopfronts at the tower bases along the Avenues. And in any event, my point is that even for Manhattan residents, people who live in, say, midtown are often going out and gathering with friends in Hells Kitchen or Chelsea, not in midtown per se.

          • Posted by Orland

            You can certainly add the French Quarter of New Orleans to that list of favored places of 4 stories or less where people congregate to enjoy urban amenities of a neighborhood.

      • Posted by Zig

        I’m skeptical. The new generation is not afraid of heights and where there is market demand for high rises there is fees, market stabilization funds and affordable housing mandates to exact. Hard to resist if nobody cares. Do you think people care enough if these are limited to the current zone?

      • Posted by Orland

        Dave: Millennium is the developer of the new building. The reason it will give such a “paltry” amount is that the plaintiffs/appellants were playing a losing hand. All three of their actions brought at the trial court level had been dismissed upon motions of defendants. They had lost on one at the appellate level and the other two were under submission after oral argument to the First District when the parties filed a letter with the Court requesting that a decision not issue pending exploration of further settlement efforts. That appears to have now happened and I expect a request for dismissal of the appeal will soon follow.

    • Posted by aerel

      510 feet is nothing to laugh at… it’s in the top 20 tallest for the city. Transamerica is 850-some-odd… the salesforce tower will be 1070 feet. Currently there are only 6 buildings in the city over 600 feet.

      • Posted by cfb

        There are 5 existing buildings that are over 600′ in SF (plus two more that are exactly 600′ tall), and that’s soon going to be 8 towers over 600′, after construction finishes on Salesforce, 181 Fremont, and Park tower. Add three more 600’+ towers to the mix if 50 First street and parcel F ever happen.

  2. Posted by simms3

    The premise that they should “get something” in the first place though is pretty absurd.

  3. Posted by sassySFboy

    Finally some good news re this tower!

  4. Posted by Rainer Wilke

    It’s obscene that the neighbors of the four seasons even had any leverage whatsoever. California has to be the most litigious state in the US

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      Exactly… why that even went to court is beyond me. Aside from a few lawyers ready and willing to take money from idiots, it doesn’t benefit anyone. Glad the [neighbors] got what they deserved.

    • Posted by Zig

      If I’m reading this right they really didn’t. They got virtually nothing right?

  5. Posted by Jim

    RE the “Think Fontana towers” comment. The problem with Fontana Towers is they are not towers, they are slabs. They provide the fewest possible number of units (single loaded corridors) and the maximum view blockage. One tall slim real tower could have provided that many units or more with minimal view blockage.

    • Posted by BobN

      And the problems with the Fontana towers wasn’t the height, it was (and remains) the location.

  6. Posted by Tower Life SF

    181 Fremont will be 802′ tall.

  7. Posted by spencer

    It’s a shame that anything new in this neighborhood is less than 800 feet

    • Posted by Chris Brown

      The neighborhood is not zoned for that height. Instead of lamenting that everything built in the area is not over 800 feet, there is only one way to change it–pass legislation to rezone the area for greater heights.

      Wishing something were so doesn’t change the reality of what is and what is not permitted under the law.

  8. Posted by Jimmy Pesto

    it’s good they chose a pc tenant in the bottom of the building, to give this thing cover to get built. they should teach that to others. heck the sfbarfers are using a similar tactic to get their slate to take over the Sierra Club, which in their minds has so much power. And yet the Sierra Club is bullsh*t and most of their endorsed candidates (including a chapter president that ran for Supervisor) LOST. Oh well I guess if you get all your info from redditt, truth and whatnot goes by the wayside.

    • Posted by Orland

      Similarly, I think the developers of the Jeanne Gang tower should exploit her standing as one of the World’s leading female architects to curry favor for increasing its height as more aesthetically in keeping with her design.

  9. Posted by DM

    Just build the goddamn thing.

  10. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Why should we “build-the-goddamn-thing” when that is all it really is another “thing” on the SF Skyline.

    If you look at SF from afar, the ugliest buildings by far, are the BofA tower, and a few other tower’s where the architects should have been hung, vs. allowing them to build such ugly boxes of financial square footage calculations.

    If we allow buildings to go “big” than we need to be effective in the transit and infrastructure planning for the future, including disaster planning, and the need to build buildings that have some sense of architectural design. unfortunately those on this blog tend to lean towards just building anything proposed, than looking at the details of what is being shoveled in… If we plop the same building in sacramento, LA, or Chicago, or NYC it would not matter, that’s what ruins a city, the loss of character scale and understanding of how cities work and design impacts our visual views, and habitability of urban areas.

    • Posted by Orland

      You totally disqualify yourself with your comments regarding 555 California which is one of the very best buildings erected last century post-1960.

      • Posted by alberto rossi

        Surely, if he’s going to be disqualified for anything he said, it’s for saying certain people should be hanged, not for having a different opinion from you.

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