The public hearing at which the height and bulk limits for the proposed 550-unit apartment tower to rise on the Goodwill site at the corner of Mission and South Van Ness Avenue could be raised has been scheduled for March 23.

And if approved along with the project’s Environmental Impact Report, which is slated to be certified at the same meeting as well, the proposed 1580 Mission Street tower could rise up to 396 feet in height on the Market Street Hub District site, which is roughly 150 feet higher than is currently allowed.

1500 Mission Street Rendering

The proposed development includes a 500,000-square-foot building for the city as well.

1500 Mission Street Rendering: City Building

As designed by SOM, the City’s building would rise to a height of 264 feet along the eastern edge of the site fronting 11th Street, with a mid-rise podium extending south to the historic Coca-Cola Bottling Plant clock tower along Mission (which will be saved and incorporated into the redevelopment) and west to South Van Ness Avenue, with a branded gallery and public forum between the civic building and residential tower.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Kento

    Yes Please! I’m so excited for the changes coming to the Van Ness “Hub” area. Git er don!

  2. Posted by donjuan

    They need at least 1 supertall to make up for the missed opportunity that was salesforce tower. this city needs its one WTC or empire state building equivalent. Pelli’s salesforce tower is at best neutral and at worst a joke that people will use to ridicule san francisco for decades to come (thanks to the phallic shape of the tower).

    • Posted by oakland lover

      Salresfore tower isnt that bad, but I do agree we need another 2-10 1000+ towers in the next decade to take the spotlight off [Salesforce Tower].

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Before declaring that SF needs supertalls, take a moment and think of all of the great cities without such super tall towers. I’m not against skyscrapers but do not think that they are needed to create a great city.

      • Posted by oakland lover

        I agree great cities dont need supertalls, 100%, I just personally like supertalls, and think SF would be even more awesome with more. Or oakland…or both!

      • Posted by donjuan

        Certain areas of SF are beautiful without super talls. Essentially everything north of the financial district, west of civic center, south of ‘The Hub’.

        But those murky, urban jungle areas that just seem desolate today (central soma between market and townsend, the hub) could use supertalls because there’s demand, the areas can use a jolt to clean them up, it’d be aesthetically fitting, and there’s MORE than enough demand. There’s no reason an area like Van Ness and Market shouldn’t have the ‘feeling’ of 2nd and Howard.

      • Posted by two beers

        Great cities don’t need skyscrapers, but property speculators sure do.

    • Posted by Dave

      The city chose the worst design of the three. The design won because of the deal and the elevated park with a stream running its length was part of the deal. Of course, once the developer secured the go-ahead, the water feature and other things were value engineered away.

      One thing about the shape of the Salesforce tower is that the “claw” building rising near it has generally the same shape but is more chunky looking. Skyline renderings including both make the towers look redundant and make the Salesforce tower look even less special.

      As for supertalls – don’t hold your breath. There is generally not enough public support for more large hi-rises in SF.

      LA and Seattle are going in the direction of multiple supertalls, but it probably won’t happen in SF. Not in our lifetimes anyway.

      • Posted by oakland lover

        haha, you see the “claw” in the ocenwide tower as well then? I cant wait for that one, I think it will look good.

        I liked the design with the big windmill thing on top personally, but I also really like the way the transbay center is shaping up…so overall its not so bad. I just think we need more tall towers to move the spotlight around, and I think it would be amazing to get some truly creative innovative designs, not just your typical skyscraper.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        No idea what you mean about 181 Fremont (I assume that’s what you mean re: the “claw” building) and Salesforce Tower looking the same… the former has strong, stark diagonal white bracking zig-sagging across its rectangular (OK, trapezoidal) façade, rising to an asymmetrical crown. Salesforce Tower has a smooth pattern of light blue encompassing its entire rounded, er, shaft, which rises to a radially symmetric point. The two could in fact hardly be further apart in design, and yet have been built in the same decade.

        • Posted by beegee

          I think theyre talking about the oceanwide center. the round tower with the crown on top

      • Posted by 101

        Public support? Was there a vote on Salesforce that I missed? Even Daily was in support of Salesforce. There will be other Supertalls in SF within the next two decades if a developer can make money off of it and the City holds the developer hostage in frivolous concessions.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        I think the Salesforce building looks terrific and today’s criticism will look as out of touch as the then-contemporary criticism of the Transamerica Building.

        And the building next to it looks nothing like it at all.

      • Posted by MC Gruber

        “stream running its length was part of the deal”

        If you’re talking about the fountain running the length of the terminal, it sounds like it’s still a go.

        The Senior Project manager was talking about it on the news the other day.

        And not that it really matters, but Seattle…multiple supertalls? They don’t even have one. “The CTBUH defines “supertall” as a building over 300 meters (984 feet) in height” – Columbia Center is 967′ to the very top. That and I’d be really surprised to see the 4/C development even hit this cycle.

        • Posted by Dave

          4/C’s development, whether it hits this cycle or not, won’t be done until the next cycle. It is massive at 93 stories, 1200 or so condos and a million plus feet of office space.

          LA and Seattle are moving in the direction of more supertalls, beyond Chase and 4C, because there is general public support for this kind of development and the political will.

          SF is a breed unto itself. There is a strong anti-hi-rise sentiment here that goes way, way back. To the 70’s. To the fight over the Fontana apartments and the lowering of heights near the waterfront that resulted in.

          One can argue the merits of the Hub – version 1.0 or 2.0 – but even the “taller” version envisions nothing near supertall heights. IIRC, Hub 2.0 zones one site for 600 feet.

          Supetalls or hi-rises in general do not make a city livable or great. “Build higher” is not the solution to SF’s problems.

          • Posted by Orland

            I agree we don’t need any buildings taller than Salesforce, but the anti-highrise sentiments you cite going back to the 70’s are just that — a thing of the past. The Hub will be a very welcome vertical addition to the City along with the upzoning of Central SOMA and residential tower districts in HP/Candlestick. Get used to it.

          • Posted by Autodick

            Seattle has equal or greater seismic issues than SF. As to supertalls, Seattle’s downtown proximity to Boeing Field and SEATAC glide paths restrict the FAA’s prescribed maximum height to roughly the current height of the Columbia Center.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      We have earthquakes in SF so it would be more expensive to make tall buildings seismically safe. NYC does not have earthquakes and if I understand it correctly (from One World Observation tower) the city is built on bedrock.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Neither of these is quite correct. NYC has seismic provisions in its codes – though I don’t think they are as rigorous as here – and the soil conditions vary by location (though as a generalization “on rock” is perhaps correct).

        • Posted by Amewsed

          Thank you for the report. It is an interesting read about the areas of rock and history of seismic activity.

      • Posted by Autodick

        Manhattan is riddled with fault lines. The Second Avenue subway tunnels right through them.

    • Posted by Chris

      Nearly every tall tower is phallic shaped to some degree (Years ago, when the TransAmerica building was planned, there were jokes about it looking like a penis. Needless to say, everyone got over it. If San Francisco is so fragile that a few jokes about a building would ruin its image, then perhaps its time to shut the whole town down).

      Also, why would you think this site should be the location of a “super-sized” tower? It is very far from the commercial district of the city and away from most very tall buildings–a “super-sized” tower would throw the whole skyline out-of-whack. Moreover, there is just no demand for a “super-sized’ building at this location, either for commercial or residential space.

      Nearly 400 feet is quite tall enough for this location. Save the “super-sized” dreams for a more appropriate location, and enjoy the Sales Force Tower. My God, the thing is not even completed yet, so learn to get over your silly misgivings and appreciate a new tall building joining the skyline.

    • Posted by louiemondot

      I agree! But with it we need transit improvements!! Subways??

  3. Posted by Lego

    oh look; a staggered window pattern

    • Posted by cfb

      Looks pretty good to me.

    • Posted by donjuan

      Would you rather the MIssion Bay style horizontal box to maximize square footage?

  4. Posted by Sassy

    The corner building is fantastic!

  5. Posted by Ramon Sampedro

    Can someone help me to understand why the City needs an additional 500K sqft building? Unless perhaps it’s for (sadly – sign of the times) homeless housing and services? With the bloated City budget, our elected civil servants should be focused on downsizing, not adding more hulking, shadow-causing eye sores to the City skyline.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As linked above: “The City is planning to consolidate the Departments of Public Works, Building Inspection and Planning, and Retirement and Health Services System in the new office building and [had hoped] to make the move in early 2018.”

      And as we first reported a few years ago, “the city [has been] preparing to sell its 5-story building at 30 Van Ness Avenue, a site which is zoned for a 400-foot tower to rise, in order to help finance the $327 million development.”

      • Posted by katdip

        Update on 30 Van Ness – looks like the city is set to approve even LESS money for that parcel ($7 million less than the offer rejected by the supes as too little, and $17 million less the original minimum requested), in exchange for 40 extra affordable units and $8 million to the affordable housing fund.

        • Posted by swiftamine

          All thanks to Aaron Peskin.

        • Posted by Ramon Sampedro

          Gotta love this town. Our elected civil servants determine they need $327 mil for a brand spanking new building. And how do they propose to pay for it? By throwing millions away on the lot that was supposed to pay for the new one! I say “Give ’em all a big fat raise!” Hey, it worked for Muni! They raised rates in Jan 2017, and now we have 3 to 4 Muni employees with their MTA vests on, hanging out, hands in their pockets, at the Embarcadero station, every morning, just staring at the trains as they come into the station! I’ve got photos!

  6. Posted by scott f

    Can’t wait for this and One Oak. I recently took visiting relatives up on Corona Heights Peak to wow them with the view… these towers will make that view even better.

  7. Posted by Orland

    A shame it appears the rather shabby SFMTA building will be with us indefinitely given what (hopefully) will be built on the other 3 corners of the Market/Van Ness intersection in the next 5 years or so.

    • Posted by scott f

      SocketSite mentioned in passing that there were development plans for that site that involved putting a new Muni entrance on the corner, but I haven’t seen anything concrete about those plans.

      • Posted by Orland

        Yes, I see that now in the link referenced in the item on the Hub’s “public realm.”

  8. Posted by Mark Uriarte

    I propose that Google, Facebook, Apple and any other Silicon Valley join forces to build a unique and super skyscraper in SF that would merge Shopping, high tech training and a school to include young people out of high school and college, business offices, a high tech museum, and apartments and condos for at least 2-3,000 workers and the general public. With pent houses at the top. It would be 1.849 feet tall to commemorate the finding of gold in California and made California a US state in 1850. It would be called the Gold Rush building and would also mark the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of Silicon Valley in 1977. Also the year Star Wars 1st premiered. It would be topped with a Gold Ball 152 Ft high to make the total height 2,001 feet. For the 21st Century. An extremely imaginative design, very functional and the latest green technology . Also a perfect fit for the Cities Skyline and a compliment to the great bay views. How do we communicated this to them and get the ball rolling?

    • Posted by Notcom

      How do you get the “beginning of Silicon Valley” as being 1977? 1976, 1939…maybe (even) 1777 would all seem like better choices (of course if the latter then it would be the 250th, so just as logical…or illogical, perhaps. given that you’re not building it there)

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