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peanut gallery Mar 13, 2012 5:35 PM

The building itself isn't bad, it's just uninspired IMO. That's not the worst thing in the world except this will be the tallest, most prominent building in the city for the foreseeable future (certainly in my lifetime). There is this one chance to make it something beautiful and iconic, but instead it will be bland and safe. And knowing the history, to me it will always seem stripped down to a certain extent. But that's just my personal perspective. We're all little blips on the timeline of history and someday a hundred or so years from now this might just be another tower among other taller ones. Life will go on and San Francisco will be fine.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 5625208)
I agree, but did you ever think SF would build a 1070 footer anytime soon?

Plus it raises the bar for the city heightwise and may eliminate some NIMBY sentiments, as in SF could see a building taller than this in the future, it's just a start.

The Renzo piano towers are dead, but is there still a possibility of high towers on those sites? Maybe they could be higher than this one?

Since the Transbay project came up I've expected it, but not until the next boom cycle (whenever that might be). As to your other points, historically the opposite happens. A new tallest will just make the anti-highrise crowd that much more determined and entrenched in their views. Generally, a new tower gets proposed, then it gets chopped up, downsized and hammered by every NIMBY group in the city. The Pyramid was supposed to be over 1000' and Embarcadero 4 was supposed to be about 800'. It happens to almost every proposal. I don't see this building changing that dynamic for the better.

Nothing else will be taller than this for as long as I can realistically envision. Things can always change, but this should be the tallest for a very long time.

jg6544 Mar 13, 2012 5:44 PM

If I were a betting man, I'd bet against this thing ever being built to that height.

tech12 Mar 13, 2012 5:59 PM

Why is everybody so surprised that the tower is now 1,070 feet? I thought that had been common knowledge for at least several months, if not longer...though I guess it may have been known mostly just with the people actively following the project.

I'm glad this isn't dead and I'm still liking it despite the decrease in height (still would be SF's first 1,000'+ highrise), though I'm also one of the few who preferred Pelli's design over the SOM design. It's not that I didn't like the SOM tower, but it struck me as a design that would possibly look outdated and maybe even a bit cheesy, 20 or 50 years down the line, especially considering how much taller than the surrounding towers the Transit Tower would be (thus causing it to be extra visible). The Pelli tower is a bit more boring and conservative in design, I can't deny that, but it seems to fit better with the existing skyline SF has to work with, while pushing the height envelope at the same time. And despite the relative "boringness" of the Pelli tower compared to the SOM one, it still seems pretty elegant and good-looking to me, especially in a city like SF where many skyscrapers are bland boxes from the 60s-80s. Another bonus is that by staying with a relatively conservative and somewhat shorter design, the wrath of dormant NIMBYs is less likely to be incurred upon completion.

One thing I'm excited about is the fact that if this does get built, we may be more likely to get additional buildings in the sub 1,000 foot range, but hopefully taller than the current 400-600 ft. plateau the city has going on. I'd love to see a few more 600+, 700+, and hopefully 800+ towers (including the 915 ft./640 ft. SOM proposal, and 700 ft. Heller Manus proposal) get built, which would provide new, shorter, peaks that would help fill in the gaps between the three main peaks of the Transamerica/Bank of America buildings, the Transit Tower, and One Rincon Hill.

We may not get another supertall for a long, long time, but I'm OK with that as long as this and a couple more 600-900 footers get built in addition to the more commonly proposed/built 200-400 foot towers. SF isn't a gigantic city (especially in terms of physical size), just a big one...and we already have a shit ton of highrises built and more planned, tons of office space built and planned (and tons more office space elsewhere in the region in SJ, Oakland, and the suburbs), lots of residential units recently built/under construction and planned (though we could always use tons more, especially affordable units) and a beautiful backdrop for it all regardless. Meaning, when it comes to economic growth, as well as skyscraper dick-measuring/civic pride type stuff, a single super tall seems perfectly acceptable to me for SF, at least at this point in time and probably the near future too. Plus, unless we get some decent infill in the 600+ foot range, having more super talls will just mean having yet more awkward looking peaks that are far taller than any surrounding buildings, unless they manage to get built right near the transit tower or Transamerica/BofA.

And fifteen years ago just the thought of this would have been insane, so all things considered I'm quite happy with the way things are going. I just hope this proposal stays alive and has no more height chopped off of it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roadcruiser1 (Post 5625460)
They can't. The FAA won't allow it due to the proxmity to the airport and a law from the 1970's also prevents it because no building can create shadows on parks and plazas.

I think you may be confusing SF and SJ. San Jose has FAA mandated height limits in the downtown of about 300 ft., due to the location of the airport, which is just north of DT SJ. SF's heights limits, as mentioned, are in large part because of NIMBYs complaining about their pretty views being blocked, so-called "Manahattanization", etc, etc (you know, the weird types who view SF as a quaint fishing village or some crap). Also, some anti-gentrification stuff was part of it, which as I understand actually helped save both the Tenderloin and Chinatown from getting drastically altered in the name of urban renewal (and racism) and the expansion of the downtown highrise core (which is what happened to a former Filipino area that was adjacent to downtown SF/Chinatown/North beach, as well as a huge chunk of the Fillmore district, aka the former "Harlem of the West")...so their is a good side to some of the NIMBY stuff at times. Can you imagine if both Chinatown and the Tenderloin were like Union Square and the financial district instead of what they currently are? Or worse, if they had been turned into a bunch of crime-ridden public housing projects, such as what happened in the Fillmore? It would have been quite a hit to SF's culture and lower class population.

That shadow stuff is relatively new though, If I'm not mistaken, and it's pretty dumb. The downtown area should be exempt, it's pretty ridiculous how some people expect parks in the middle of a sea of highrises (one of the largest highrise seas in one of the largest downtowns in the nation, no less) to be 100% shadow-free, especially seeing as 99% of those parks aren't exactly used for sunbathing or family picnics or anything like that.

I'm all for height limits in many areas, in the name of preservation of feel/rents/views/etc, as long as they aren't ridiculous (I'd like to see more 100-300 foot residential buildings in denser neighborhoods away from downtown, for example, including way more affordable stuff, but I'm also all for keeping many or most areas dominated by single family homes in the exact same form as they are) but existing downtown highrise areas, such as the Financial district, Union Square, SOMA, and Civic Center, should be allowed to build out to their full potential, or at least very close to it (and there's still plenty of potential in those areas, especially SOMA). Same goes for the tenderloin to an extent, but I would hate to see one of SF's remaining lower class areas get heavily gentrified, so I'm hesitant on that if it doesn't include lots of affordable housing. I wouldn't mind seeing more towers on Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, or Cathedral Hill either, which are also existing highrise areas. Some more in SOMA/South Beach/Mission Bay, in the area south of Rincon Hill would be nice too (even if they're shorter ones), in order to soften the abrupt skyline drop-off from One Rincon hill. Basically I feel it's very possible for SF to have a much taller and more built-out skyline (and thus a larger population, more business, more money, etc, etc), while at the same time retaining it's many small-scale, historic, densely packed, lowrise and midrise areas, which some people seem to think is impossible for some reason (though many of those naysayers just want to keep their nice views, I think). So yeah, hopefully Sue Hestor and all the members of NIMBY groups such as the "telegraph hill dwellers" fall off a mountain or something, and SF can stop getting held back so much.

/end tangent

aquablue Mar 13, 2012 6:19 PM

I'm not from SF, but as a tourist, the Tenderloin is disgusting. What a waste of prime city center real estate. There is anti-gentrification and then there is just pure lunacy. A bunch of my friends from Europe were also disgusted and appalled that such a central location would be allowed to degenerate into poverty and crime just blocks from a well to do shopping area.

Please, redevelop that ugly area for the love of God! It really detracts from the 'beautiful city' image that your city likes to portray to the world. Surely such land is worth billions for development rights and could be turned into an interesting extension to your central retail core? Isn't there other less central areas where the homeless, druggies can move to?

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACISM. That's a load of CROCK argument. This is capitalism and economic reality and we live in a capitalist society. Land value = location. This is too good of a location to not milk for all the value that is there. When people bring up race as an argument against gentrification, I cringe. This is more class and economics than race. You can't afford the land you are on, tough luck, this is a capitalist society and money talks. We all have to just accept it, whatever race we are. If one race feels like they are being displaced unfairly, they should buck up and change their ways so they can afford to keep their property. Using race as a crutch is a recipe for continued failure.

tech12 Mar 13, 2012 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5625759)
I'm not from SF, but as a tourist, the Tenderloin is disgusting. What a waste of prime city center real estate. There is anti-gentrification and then there is just pure lunacy. A bunch of my friends from Europe were also disgusted and appalled that such a central location would be allowed to degenerate into poverty and crime just blocks from a well to do shopping area.

Please, redevelop that ugly area for the love of God! It really detracts from the 'beautiful city' image that your city likes to portray to the world. Surely such land is worth billions for development rights and could be turned into an interesting extension to your central retail core? Isn't there other less central areas where the homeless, druggies can move to?

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACISM. That's a load of CROCK argument. This is capitalism and economic reality and we live in a capitalist society. Land value = location. This is too good of a location to not milk for all the value that is there. When people bring up race as an argument against gentrification, I cringe. This is more class and economics than race. You can't afford the land you are on, tough luck, this is a capitalist society and money talks. We all have to just accept it, whatever race we are. If one race feels like they are being displaced unfairly, they should buck up and change their ways so they can afford to keep their property. Using race as a crutch is a recipe for continued failure.

Anti-gentrification isn't disgusting if it means you get to keep less fortunate people in their homes, and keep historic areas from being destroyed. As with anything, moderation or lack thereof plays a part in how good or bad it can be. Opposing any kind of improvement and trying to concentrate every single social service or undesirable thing in one single area, is stupid...but completely opposing any kind of aid to poorer people and the retention of the cultural and structural fabric of the city is also stupid.

Plus the tenderloin isn't simply a "disgusting place". Yeah, it can be...it's a poor neighborhood with a high crime rate. But if it were completely gentrified we wouldn't have as many lower class people or as much cheap housing in the city (there goes "little Saigon", along with a large chunk of SF's Vietnamese population for example), or as many cheap restaurants or historic bars, or as many old historic apartment buildings. And those are all things I appreciate. I firmly believe that not everything needs to be completely gentrified and made ultra "perfect" and expensive, and inaccessible to non-rich people. And I like the fact that the presence of the tenderloin means that downtown SF is one of the most economically and racially diverse downtowns in the nation.

And i mentioned racism only in reference to the urban renewal of the Fillmore, and I'm guessing to a lesser extent Manilatown, which were demolished in the 1950s-1970s after being declared "slums" (conveniently: the Fillmore was SF's first majority black neighborhood ever, in a city that 2 decades earlier had barely any black people. The fillmore was actually the most prosperous and famous black area as well, and was filled with black-owned Victorian homes, businesses, night clubs, etc...but It lasted only about 10 years before getting declared a slum and "renewed"). You better believe racism played a part in those decisions back then (though I agree that money was most likely by far and away the first thing on the mind of the city, but back then "undesirable" races being around meant lower land values, so it's all connected anyways. Nowadays, I'm sure it's all about the money though, and racism plays little to no part).

But this shit is way off topic now. Back to the tower: PLEASE GET BUILT TOWER, THANK YOU.

aquablue Mar 13, 2012 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 5625778)
Anti-gentrification isn't disgusting if it means you get to keep less fortunate people in their homes, and keep historic areas from being destroyed. As with anything, moderation or lack thereof plays a part in how good or bad it can be. Opposing any kind of improvement and trying to concentrate every single social service or undesirable thing in one single area, is stupid...but completely opposing any kind of aid to poorer people and the retention of the cultural and structural fabric of the city is also stupid.

Plus the tenderloin isn't simply a "disgusting place". Yeah, it can be...it's a poor neighborhood with a high crime rate. But if it were completely gentrified we wouldn't have as many lower class people or as much cheap housing in the city (there goes "little Saigon", along with a large chunk of SF's Vietnamese population for example), or as many cheap restaurants or historic bars, or as many old historic apartment buildings. And those are all things I appreciate. I firmly believe that not everything needs to be completely gentrified and made ultra "perfect" and expensive, and inaccessible to non-rich people. And I like the fact that the presence of the tenderloin means that downtown SF is one of the most economically and racially diverse downtowns in the nation.

And i mentioned racism only in reference to the urban renewal of the Fillmore, and I'm guessing to a lesser extent Manilatown, which were demolished in the 1950s-1970s after being declared "slums" (conveniently: the Fillmore was SF's first majority black neighborhood ever, in a city that 2 decades earlier had barely any black people. The fillmore was actually the most prosperous and famous black area as well, and was filled with black-owned Victorian homes, businesses, night clubs, etc...but It lasted only about 10 years before getting "renewed"). You better believe racism played a part in those decisions back then (though I agree that money was most likely by far and away the first thing on the mind of the city. Nowadays, I'm sure it's all about the money, and racism plays little to no part).

To each his own, pal. Keeping people in their homes is not the priority in a society that is market driven. We all live on the real estate we can afford, it is a fact of the system. Location = land value. Prices shouldn't be kept artificially low to satisfy some segment of the population. I don't complain that I can't afford to live in the top locations in the country and I accept the locations that I can afford based on my acceptance of the system. This should apply to everyone.

Although I prefer the pure market driven approach to real estate, there are compromises. You don't have to make an area 'ultra-rich' to make it safe and welcoming. There are ways to develop mixed class areas that are diverse. Having a crime infested district right in the middle of your downtown is just ridiculous waste of resources and sends the wrong message to tourists and investors.

Also, historic preservation and zoning ordinance can protect old apartment buildings from being torn down. Instead, they can be retrofitted and saved.

I am all for multiculturalism and having affordable housing to keep a city lively, but not if it means having a prime center city piece of real estate turning into an ugly crime infested no-go zone. That is the worst thing possible for the city's long term health.

Just modify the are, it isn't working. Crime in your downtown area must be eradicated. Land values must be allowed to appreciate and buildings retrofitted. The immigrants will find their own niche, they always do. Downtown SF land is too valuable to be allowed to decay and not to be utilized to its highest potential in bringing in the most revenue to the city. The city is insane to waste such an opportunity.

flight_from_kamakura Mar 13, 2012 7:38 PM

wow, cuca, thanks for that rendering from the iconic view at the top of dolores. amazing.

THE BIG APPLE Mar 13, 2012 8:31 PM

The current design ABSOLUTELY rocks. It is NOT a bad design, not at ALL. But to know something better (as with 432 Park Ave) could've been built, is a bit sad, and depressing.

mt_climber13 Mar 13, 2012 9:09 PM

Is J Church still around? Can we update the title page and images with the new stats and renderings?

SLO Mar 13, 2012 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5625183)
A very large photo from this week of the proposed site of the tower and transit terminal:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7036/6...ccdee1a7_o.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pbo31/6...n/photostream/


That is stunning picture, I havent seen any shots from Rincon before.

plinko Mar 13, 2012 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wakamesalad (Post 5625152)
I disagree with you. California has a lot of identity and one of them is unequivocally skyscrapers. Some of the first skyscrapers in the world were built right here in San Francisco. When visitors (and even locals) think of San Francisco they think of the Victorian houses with the skyline in the background, they don't think of Ocean Beach.
California is a lot more like the east coast than people here would like to admit. Sacramento's skyline looks like New Haven, Conn. San Diego's skyline reminds me of Boston. Los Angeles' skyline is like Brooklyn/ Long Island. San Francisco's skyline is very Manhattan. I can't think of any other state with as many skyscraper cities as California.

Not really. There really are only about three really iconic towers in this state that the general public outside California might recognize: LA City Hall, the Capitol Records Building, and the Transamerica Pyramid. For as many towers as there are in this state, one would think there would be more truly eye-catching towers...but alas there are not.

Roadcruiser1 Mar 14, 2012 2:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ozone (Post 5625542)
Maybe Roadcruiser1 is confusing San Francisco with San Jose or San Diego? All our cities look the same to him.

I didn't. My aunt lives in San Francisco and I know what the city looks like. This tower was proposed to rise to 1,200 feet at one point until the FAA complained and it was REDUCED TO 1,070 FEET. Again the FAA not me. This is a response to everyone else too so it's not just you.

Zapatan Mar 14, 2012 2:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roadcruiser1 (Post 5626643)
I didn't. My aunt lives in San Francisco and I know what the city looks like. This tower was proposed to rise to 1,200 feet at one point until the FAA complained and it was REDUCED TO 1,070 FEET. Again the FAA not me. This is a response to everyone else too so it's not just you.


Yea that is sad, but maybe it will pave the way for taller buildings in the future, you know help get over the NIMBYism.

plinko Mar 14, 2012 3:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roadcruiser1 (Post 5626643)
I didn't. My aunt lives in San Francisco and I know what the city looks like. This tower was proposed to rise to 1,200 feet at one point until the FAA complained and it was REDUCED TO 1,070 FEET. Again the FAA not me. This is a response to everyone else too so it's not just you.

I'm calling BS. Source for this?

peanut gallery Mar 14, 2012 5:20 AM

I've followed this pretty closely and the FAA has never been mentioned publicly by anyone involved. I think you are mistaken.

Gordo Mar 14, 2012 5:40 AM

The FAA was never involved with this. Period.

RobertWalpole Mar 14, 2012 11:55 AM

I love SF, but it has a lame skyline. Other than the TA pyramid, its skyscrapers suck.

THE BIG APPLE Mar 14, 2012 12:27 PM

^ I love the SF skyline. But I can agree that the skyline is a one hit wonder. You look at it and it's not memorable, but it is beautiful. The SOM proposal would've MADE the SF skyline.

CyberEric Mar 14, 2012 3:48 PM

I think pretty much everyone agrees that the current proposal is not exactly exciting, but it's what we have, love it or not. That said, it's not bad, it's attractive in fact, and looks better now that it did when the height was first reduced. It will help with the uniform color of the skyline, it will help with the uniform height (other than the Transamerica and Bank of America tower), and these are both good things. True, if someone came up with a more interesting, iconic proposal, that would be great, but it's not happening.

The tallest building in a city is not always its most iconic.

The FAA having something to do with the height being reduced? I think you're mistaken.

As for the anti Tenderloin sentiment, this isn't the place.

Zapatan Mar 14, 2012 3:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by peanut gallery (Post 5625672)
The building itself isn't bad, it's just uninspired IMO. That's not the worst thing in the world except this will be the tallest, most prominent building in the city for the foreseeable future (certainly in my lifetime). There is this one chance to make it something beautiful and iconic, but instead it will be bland and safe. And knowing the history, to me it will always seem stripped down to a certain extent. But that's just my personal perspective. We're all little blips on the timeline of history and someday a hundred or so years from now this might just be another tower among other taller ones. Life will go on and San Francisco will be fine.




Since the Transbay project came up I've expected it, but not until the next boom cycle (whenever that might be). As to your other points, historically the opposite happens. A new tallest will just make the anti-highrise crowd that much more determined and entrenched in their views. Generally, a new tower gets proposed, then it gets chopped up, downsized and hammered by every NIMBY group in the city. The Pyramid was supposed to be over 1000' and Embarcadero 4 was supposed to be about 800'. It happens to almost every proposal. I don't see this building changing that dynamic for the better.

Nothing else will be taller than this for as long as I can realistically envision. Things can always change, but this should be the tallest for a very long time.



Tallest building in your lifetime? How can anyone make that prediction (Unless you're already 85)

I just don't see how it could make NIMBYism worse, the NIMBYs have lost if a 1070 foot tower goes up, then maybe someone will be inspired to build a taller building after. No one would have ever thought an 850 footer would go up in OK city but it did, so you can't realistically predict the future.

Zapatan Mar 14, 2012 3:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5625485)
^Say what? Downtown SF isn't anywhere close to the airport and/or flight paths. The shadow ordinance is from initiatives passed in 1984 and 1989.

The height limits are all due to local planning laws/regs/neighborhood plans/initiatives/etc.

I will agree that it's unlikely that a new tower taller than this one will be allowed at any time in the near future, as that would require all sorts of things to happen (all of which are individually unlikely, and combined together are nearly impossible).


I seriousl fail to understand the obsession with height limits... if there is one building over 1200 feet or so it will make no difference to anyone's life. Why did the originally propose it taller in the first place if they knew it was just going to get shot down?

Gordo Mar 14, 2012 4:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 5627275)
I seriousl fail to understand the obsession with height limits... if there is one building over 1200 feet or so it will make no difference to anyone's life. Why did the originally propose it taller in the first place if they knew it was just going to get shot down?

This wasn't a case where someone "proposed" a 1200 footer - the competition for who got to build the 1200 footer was the culmination of literally 20 years of negotiations and planning around what was going to happen with the Transbay Terminal site, former freeway off-ramps, etc. The height had more to do with finding a way to fund the new train/bus station than anything.

Chopping it down to 1070 didn't have much to do with height limits - it was a decision made by the developer and signed off on by the city.

Maybe at some point we'll have developers clamoring to build a supertall in the city, but for whatever reason that hasn't been the case. I'd love to see height limits raised, but really more in other places than downtown. All things considered, I'm much more interested in 10-15 story buildings along the length of Geary than I am in a couple 1000+ footers downtown.

Zapatan Mar 14, 2012 5:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5627300)
This wasn't a case where someone "proposed" a 1200 footer - the competition for who got to build the 1200 footer was the culmination of literally 20 years of negotiations and planning around what was going to happen with the Transbay Terminal site, former freeway off-ramps, etc. The height had more to do with finding a way to fund the new train/bus station than anything.

Chopping it down to 1070 didn't have much to do with height limits - it was a decision made by the developer and signed off on by the city.

Maybe at some point we'll have developers clamoring to build a supertall in the city, but for whatever reason that hasn't been the case. I'd love to see height limits raised, but really more in other places than downtown. All things considered, I'm much more interested in 10-15 story buildings along the length of Geary than I am in a couple 1000+ footers downtown.



So is there a city-wide height limit or not? If not, then a building could be built higher than this at some point.

If the 915 footer next to this building gets built SF will have 2 new tallest buildings instead of one. I don't see why people are so pessimistic about this.

1977 Mar 14, 2012 5:25 PM

The more I look at this tower, the more I like it. It's going to be a wonderful addition to the skyline and looks like (at least from the early designs) it'll work well with the proposed SOM towers at First.

Gordo Mar 14, 2012 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 5627414)
So is there a city-wide height limit or not? If not, then a building could be built higher than this at some point.

If the 915 footer next to this building gets built SF will have 2 new tallest buildings instead of one. I don't see why people are so pessimistic about this.

The city-wide height limit is 40'.

There are hundreds of smaller zones at higher limits. This (and the space across from it) are the only parcels currently zoned to 1070' or higher. Height limits are mostly determined by neighborhood plans (including the height limits around the Transbay Terminal). There is no current push to change any neighborhood plans to allow a height higher than this building - and if there were, we'd be talking about a 10+ year process.

Sure, at some point there may be a taller tower, but at some point SF might also build 30 new subway lines - both seem equally likely in my lifetime. And...I don't think that the primary blocker of a taller tower has anything to do with height limits. Supertalls simply don't make a whole lot of sense economically, unless you can charge a huge premium for rents. It would make a lot more sense to just build a bunch more ~40 story towers if the office market in SF stays/gets stronger.

Zapatan Mar 14, 2012 6:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5627456)
The city-wide height limit is 40'.

There are hundreds of smaller zones at higher limits. This (and the space across from it) are the only parcels currently zoned to 1070' or higher. Height limits are mostly determined by neighborhood plans (including the height limits around the Transbay Terminal). There is no current push to change any neighborhood plans to allow a height higher than this building - and if there were, we'd be talking about a 10+ year process.

Sure, at some point there may be a taller tower, but at some point SF might also build 30 new subway lines - both seem equally likely in my lifetime. And...I don't think that the primary blocker of a taller tower has anything to do with height limits. Supertalls simply don't make a whole lot of sense economically, unless you can charge a huge premium for rents. It would make a lot more sense to just build a bunch more ~40 story towers if the office market in SF stays/gets stronger.


If supertalls don't make sense why is this one being built in the first place? Along with the new tallest towers in LA and Miami?

Zapatan Mar 14, 2012 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5627456)
The city-wide height limit is 40'.



Wait what? There are at least 20 buildings that go over 500 feet in SF, let alone 40 feet, how on earth is that true? I'm guessing that was a typo.



Anyway, keep in mind that if you had asked someone ten years ago whether a supertall would be built in SF in their lifetime everyone would have said no. Just like people said the new WTC would not be over 900 feet and 60-70 floors when it first came out. Look how wrong people were in both of those situations. It means you cannot predict the future, as many people on this forum believe they can.

plinko Mar 15, 2012 12:02 AM

Actually if you follow how development works at all in San Francisco you would know that it's one of the most difficult places to get anything done.

The only way THIS supertall is possibly going to get built is through a joint public-private partnership. NO developer in the city on their own could get one built. It just would never happen. The other adjacent parcels that were subsequently up-zoned were done so specifically due to the creation of a specific plan for that area, a result of YEARS and YEARS of negotiations between the city, the transit companies and unions, neighborhood groups, business leaders, etc.

It's not that there aren't developers who have the will to build something tall, it's just that there simply aren't too many allowed opportunities to do so.

The notion that because this supertall might be built that there will be others to follow is misguided and uninformed about how things work there.

And yes, there is a general 40ft height limit throughout the city (it wasn't a mistake). Certain areas and corridors are upzoned for additional height, the majority of which have been lowered over the years through extensive public process. The exception to this is, of course, SoMA.

fflint Mar 15, 2012 12:38 AM

Quoted for truth
Quote:

Originally Posted by plinko (Post 5628108)
Actually if you follow how development works at all in San Francisco you would know that it's one of the most difficult places to get anything done.

The only way THIS supertall is possibly going to get built is through a joint public-private partnership. NO developer in the city on their own could get one built. It just would never happen. The other adjacent parcels that were subsequently up-zoned were done so specifically due to the creation of a specific plan for that area, a result of YEARS and YEARS of negotiations between the city, the transit companies and unions, neighborhood groups, business leaders, etc.

It's not that there aren't developers who have the will to build something tall, it's just that there simply aren't too many allowed opportunities to do so.

The notion that because this supertall might be built that there will be others to follow is misguided and uninformed about how things work there.

And yes, there is a general 40ft height limit throughout the city (it wasn't a mistake). Certain areas and corridors are upzoned for additional height, the majority of which have been lowered over the years through extensive public process. The exception to this is, of course, SoMA.


mt_climber13 Mar 15, 2012 4:45 AM

The demographics in the city are changing. I don't know anybody my age (and I'm 29) that is adverse to height, at least downtown.

viewguysf Mar 15, 2012 4:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 5627271)
Tallest building in your lifetime? How can anyone make that prediction (Unless you're already 85)

Zapatan, I admire your enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, but you are quite naive about life in San Francisco.

Consider this: I loved seeing the Transamerica Pyramid under construction and completed in 1972, when I was 19. In hindsight, it has been painfully disappointing to think that the City did not let Transamerica build the Pyramid to its originally planned height of 1,150', but cut off 297' to make it 853'. To date, 40 years later, nothing here has surpassed it. If and when the Transbay tower gets built, it could take another 40 years to build something taller, although that may never happen. By that time, I would be well over 100 and probably not living to see it.

That is how we can make the prediction that you questioned!

jg6544 Mar 15, 2012 5:01 AM

I don't understand the fascination with having tall buildings. What are you compensating for?

mt_climber13 Mar 15, 2012 7:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5628334)
I don't understand the fascination with having tall buildings. What are you compensating for?

Then why are you registered with and discussing on a skyscraper forum?

tech12 Mar 15, 2012 3:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5628334)
I don't understand the fascination with having tall buildings. What are you compensating for?

I think you're on the wrong website.

Seriously though, how can you have over 200 posts on "skyscraperpage" yet at the same time have no idea what the benefits of skyscrapers are, or why so many people like them?

1977 Mar 15, 2012 4:19 PM

The land price was chopped from $235 million to $185 million - still $40 million higher than the second highest bid by Forest City back in '08.

Quote:

New Transbay deal: Land price cut to $185 million
San Francisco Business Times by J.K. Dineen, Reporter
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 5:47pm PDT

A new agreement between the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and the developer of the proposed Transbay tower and terminal in San Francisco would reduce the amount paid for the land from $235 million to $185 million.
According to a exclusive negotiating agreement that was reached Feb. 9 but has not been made public, developer Hines will pay the city $140 per buildable square foot for the land. In 2007, during a historic real estate bubble, Hines had offered to pay $350 million for the land, a number that was slashed to $235 million in 2008 as the global economic recession set in.
The still lower land price reflects both current economics realities as well as the fact that the height of the proposed building has been shaved from 1,200 feet to 1,070 feet, a change which cut 450,000 square feet from the project, according to TJPA spokesman Adam Alberti.
Source and article: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci....html?page=all

1977 Mar 15, 2012 5:52 PM

A couple more renderings here and here.

Source: www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco

Zapatan Mar 15, 2012 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by viewguysf (Post 5628332)
Zapatan, I admire your enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, but you are quite naive about life in San Francisco.

Consider this: I loved seeing the Transamerica Pyramid under construction and completed in 1972, when I was 19. In hindsight, it has been painfully disappointing to think that the City did not let Transamerica build the Pyramid to its originally planned height of 1,150', but cut off 297' to make it 853'. To date, 40 years later, nothing here has surpassed it. If and when the Transbay tower gets built, it could take another 40 years to build something taller, although that may never happen. By that time, I would be well over 100 and probably not living to see it.

That is how we can make the prediction that you questioned!


I'm not pretending to know everything about SF development, but the fact that a 1070' and possibly a 915' tower (the two new tallests in the city) are likely to be built shows that whatever NIMBY attitudes or city codes couldn't stop it and that's a very good thing. Even if it was a public-private partership the building will likely still get built, who says that can't happen again?

Philadelphia was the same way before liberty place went way above city hall, and now they have a new tallest 20 years later, as well as 8 skyscrapers that are higher than it. I know PHL and SF are different, and I'm not saying it's easy to get things done in SF but this very project proves it's not impossible. No one would have ever thought a 1000 footer could even be approved in the city, and now it likely will be.

mt_climber13 Mar 15, 2012 9:51 PM

I am liking this tower more and more- The updated renderings look very Jetsons. 1070' is still amazingly tall and will be very dramatic from certain vantages that we are used to- Dolores Park, Twin Peaks, Alamo Square, Treasure Island, and driving on the Bay Bridge.
With the neighboring 900'+ SOM tower, 600'+ SOM tower, 600' 50 Fremont, and 650' Millennium Tower, the transformation of the skyline is going to be :jester: insane.
What I would really like would be more towers filling in the hole between TA and BofA

fflint Mar 15, 2012 11:01 PM

Key info from the Business Times article:

Quote:

While it will pump less money into city coffers, the new land price should make the project economically viable. The tower will still be likely the most expensive building in town, but the rents Hines has to charge to make a profit will be more in line with other approved, unbuilt projects in downtown San Francisco, like Tishman Speyer’s 222 Second St.

In fact, the price per buildable square foot Hines has agreed to pay is actually less than Lincoln Properties paid for land at 350 Bush St. in 2007 and less than Salesforce paid for 14 acres approved for 2 million square feet in Mission Bay in 2010.

jg6544 Mar 16, 2012 4:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wakamesalad (Post 5628388)
Then why are you registered with and discussing on a skyscraper forum?

Because I'm interested in cities and in architecture and I don't believe "mine is bigger than yours is" is part of either.

The Transbay Tower is kind of a generic early 21st Century highrise and it doesn't matter how tall it is.

Period. End of story.

jg6544 Mar 16, 2012 4:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 5628516)

have no idea what the benefits of skyscrapers are, or why so many people like them?

Highrises save space; they squeeze more people into a smaller footprint. But how many people or how tall they are seems to me to be beside the point. Is the Seagram Building or the Crown Zellerbach building of less importance because it's only 20 or so stories tall?

fflint Mar 16, 2012 7:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5629401)
Highrises save space; they squeeze more people into a smaller footprint. But how many people or how tall they are seems to me to be beside the point. Is the Seagram Building or the Crown Zellerbach building of less importance because it's only 20 or so stories tall?

Yes. I worked at One Bush (formerly known as Crown Zellerbach) for four years. Job growth in the Bay Area will either concentrate in the dense, transit-oriented core or it will sprawl endlessly into the hinterlands. A building that fits more workers in the transit-rich core is better for the environment and makes public transit more sustainable than the alternatives. A building that can fit 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 workers within a BART, Muni, GG Transit, AC Transit, and SamTrans hub is far more important than a building that can only fit a few hundred workers on the same footprint. Density is important. Urbanity is important. Public transit usage is important.

The Jerk Mar 16, 2012 7:41 AM

^There is a certain point where it becomes debilitating to the worker. Processed light and air. A dystopian, over-built Tokyo would suck in reality. But perhaps that's the point.

mt_climber13 Mar 16, 2012 8:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Jerk (Post 5629520)
^There is a certain point where it becomes debilitating to the worker. Processed light and air. A dystopian, over-built Tokyo would suck in reality. But perhaps that's the point.

You think the air is that much different 1070 feet up? Do you wear an oxygen mask when you go to Twin Peaks?

rocketman_95046 Mar 16, 2012 4:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Jerk (Post 5629520)
^There is a certain point where it becomes debilitating to the worker. Processed light and air. A dystopian, over-built Tokyo would suck in reality. But perhaps that's the point.

:haha::haha:

HVAC and Lighting would be the same in a sprawling 1 story office building. Have you ever been to Tokyo? You think it sucks?

tech12 Mar 16, 2012 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Jerk (Post 5629520)
^There is a certain point where it becomes debilitating to the worker. Processed light and air. A dystopian, over-built Tokyo would suck in reality. But perhaps that's the point.

You think Tokyo is dystopian? If you dislike heavy urbanity, density, tall buildings, high public transit usage, and other things like that, than maybe you should live in a small town. San Francisco is not a small town...it's a large, dense, city, with no room to expand outwards, and a strong economy, so tall buildings make plenty of sense.

Also, processed light and air exist everywhere, not just skyscrapers. Ever use heat or AC or a dehumidifier? Ever fly in a plane or ride on certain trains/buses? Ever use a light bulb for anything? :haha:

jg6544 Mar 16, 2012 6:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5629507)
Yes. I worked at One Bush (formerly known as Crown Zellerbach) for four years. Job growth in the Bay Area will either concentrate in the dense, transit-oriented core or it will sprawl endlessly into the hinterlands.

That horse has already run away unless you refuse to believe that there are job centers in the Bay Area other than in the Financial District or South of Market.

But my original point was, why all this fascination with "mine is bigger than yours is"?

rocketman_95046 Mar 16, 2012 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5629928)
That horse has already run away unless you refuse to believe that there are job centers in the Bay Area other than in the Financial District or South of Market.

But my original point was, why all this fascination with "mine is bigger than yours is"?

because frankly the fascination has very little to do with "mine is bigger than yours". SF is in dire need of a central peak in the skyline for aesthetic reasons, and there a very practical reasons that cities like SF, Chicago, NY have taller buildings than say Gilroy, CA.

If it was all about "mine is bigger than yours" huge buildings would be built in the middle of nowhere because it would be cheaper and easier to do so.

jg6544 Mar 16, 2012 9:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rocketman_95046 (Post 5629966)
because frankly the fascination has very little to do with "mine is bigger than yours". SF is in dire need of a central peak in the skyline for aesthetic reasons, and there a very practical reasons that cities like SF, Chicago, NY have taller buildings than say Gilroy, CA.

If it was all about "mine is bigger than yours" huge buildings would be built in the middle of nowhere because it would be cheaper and easier to do so.

Ummmm, no. Gilroy isn't a center for anything but growing garlic. San Francisco, on the other hand, is a business center in a large metro. area, but why would a 1000' building make it less so than two 500' buildings. As for a "peak" in the skyline, don't the Transamerica building and Nob Hill do that already?

Finally, San Francisco is San Francisco. Unlike other cities, it doesn't need this building to make it special. I don't care whether they build it or not, frankly.

mt_climber13 Mar 16, 2012 9:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5630205)
Ummmm, no. Gilroy isn't a center for anything but growing garlic. San Francisco, on the other hand, is a business center in a large metro. area, but why would a 1000' building make it less so than two 500' buildings. As for a "peak" in the skyline, don't the Transamerica building and Nob Hill do that already?

Finally, San Francisco is San Francisco. Unlike other cities, it doesn't need this building to make it special. I don't care whether they build it or not, frankly.

^^Undebatable.

In other news, Rincon Hill tower 2 expects construction to commence this summer and will be built as rentals. :banana:

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2....html#comments

Perhaps the Rincon Hill threads needs to be brought back from the dead!


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