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View Poll Results: Which transbay tower design scheme do you like best?
#1 Richard Rogers 39 7.89%
#2 Cesar Pelli 98 19.84%
#3 SOM 357 72.27%
Voters: 494. You may not vote on this poll

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  #361  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2007, 8:00 PM
toddguy toddguy is offline
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Well that would really suck if both projects end up watered down too much(height wise). Surely they can design some earthquake resistant slender towers with significant height with todays technology. Look at Taipei 101. I hope that change in zoning goes through after all, and is in fact just delayed.
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  #362  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2007, 8:15 PM
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coyotetrickster coyotetrickster is offline
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Does the zoning remaining at 550 feet for now have any impact on the other project(the five Piano towers project)that involved towers up to 1200 feet? Isn't that proposal directly next to this one in the same area? Or is that not in the 'transist district' area and this does not affect that?
It is, in my opinion and experience with city permitting, often a case of the right hand not only not know what the left hand is doing --the Swig/Meyer condo over Transbay, case and point! In fact, in this city it's more the left hand not even knowing there's a right hand (or vice versa).

If you read the article, the first round of impact planning for the zoning changes was postponed by protests from one of the competing bidders on possible conflict of interest from the consultants. A completely legitimate complaint and should be dealt with in a transparent manner in order to minimize the prospect for lawsuits by the losing bidders (In america, you can always sue, but if you can hive off the various areas where a plaintiff would have standing, you increase the prospect of the case being thrown out).

Also, the documents for the bid asked for renderings, planning for a tower between 800 and 1200 ft., so there's a lot of room between conceptual and actual for the plans to be presented. The city is slow, yes, but it is also crucial there be no plausible evidence of zoning 'fixes,' et al to keep the Sue and Calvin show at bay.
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  #363  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2007, 12:26 AM
mthd mthd is offline
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
^^^Sure. The Piano project is being designed well above the currently allowable height and can't proceed at that height unless the zoning is changed. Until I read this article, though, I thought that change was a near-certainty because it has a lot of political support, even from quarters that don't normally support height. Now I'm wondering.
it has never been a near-certainty, but the city has a vested interested in encouraging development here because of the funding it will generate for the terminal and other public improvements. much will depend onthe extent that other agendas can be satisfied (e.g. supervisor daly's focus on affordable housing.)

there are several projects in the area which will have to decide whether they want to wait for the city to evaluate the entire district for rezoning (to a possible unlimited height & far) or whether they should just go ahead and try for a height map change on their own.
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  #364  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2007, 6:14 PM
OaktownRush OaktownRush is offline
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hey, sorry, I'm new here, real quick to go back to the design, I hope its gorgeous because San Francisco is a really nice place deserving of some skyscrapers with charachter. If SF had a stunning skyline next to the water it would be all the more impressive, they shouldn't settle on a less then stellar design. No Amoco for us!
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  #365  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2007, 10:50 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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^^^We almost always "settle for a less than stellar design" because we never just do it the way the architect conceived it. We always put it through a debilitating round of committees that mediocratize it (to invent a neat word). Rarely the process actually improives a building as in the case of the Infinity. But mostly, it gives us a "less than stellar design".
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  #366  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2007, 11:04 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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it has never been a near-certainty, but the city has a vested interested in encouraging development here because of the funding it will generate for the terminal and other public improvements. much will depend onthe extent that other agendas can be satisfied (e.g. supervisor daly's focus on affordable housing.)
I don't think you are saying anything different than I said. I'll rephrase "near-certainty" to "extreme likelihood" in what I said above if it makes you feel better. The point was simply it had the wind at its back, but it could lose that if the Planning Dept. proves too incompetent to get it through the process. Daly has said he doesn't oppose height here. If he doesn't oppose it--and with McGoldrick possibly facing a recall--the opposition seems pretty much on the fringes so far. Daly will certainly want to maximize affordable housing in the project, but we haven't even got to that issue yet, and his willingness to concede most other issues to get such housing (as in the Trinity project) means he's not going to get in the way of height, especially if he can get something for allowing it.
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  #367  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2007, 5:21 AM
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If I were an architect on this project, I would be incredibly frustrated. Perhaps that's why Calatrava dropped out? Imagine the city telling you to design a tower, and telling you to put in your design bids without even known how high it will be, and without any certainty as to whether the zoning process, which hadn't even STARTED yet, would even allow something tall enough to make it worth your while. I'm surprised more haven't dropped out. It's just lazy, lazy, lazy business.
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  #368  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2007, 8:59 AM
OaktownRush OaktownRush is offline
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I really like this new word "mediocratize". Yeah, thats how it goes, its just a bummer, I guess they'll have to settle on something becuase thats how it goes. I'm just praying they aren't too boring or ugly. SF deserves better. Is it true there is a high-rise proposal for Oakland?

I know that 3 blocks from my house theres a proposal for some 20-30 foot residential towers near the bridge in West Oakland. They sent me a mailer trying to convince me of how great it would be for the community
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  #369  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 12:36 AM
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Quote from Socketsite:

Quote:
... according to one seriously “plugged-in” tipster who has been privy to a number of preliminary sketches from the Richard Rogers team, we are not going to be disappointed.
I'm not sure if anyone took this into account here, but nevertheless, I find it to be pretty enthusiastic.
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  #370  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 3:23 AM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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SF deserves better.
The city might but I often wonder whether its leadership or a large segment of its people (the many NIMBYs and "keep it like it used to be" crowd) do.
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  #371  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 3:38 AM
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The city might but I often wonder whether its leadership or a large segment of its people (the many NIMBYs and "keep it like it used to be" crowd) do.
Yes, I really think that most people do because they are tired of boring architecture that has been mediocratized for years. You coined a great phrase.

I also feel that San Franciscans in general would be much more supportive of super tall buildings on Mission Street and in the Transbay Terminal environs than they will be of the towers actually up on Rincon Hill. Sue Hestor predicts that there will be a backlash from them and she may well be right. We'll have to wait and see how strong that is and how much damage it does to the proposed skyscrapers in this area. I really hope that they can be built here and truly feel that is where they need to be.
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  #372  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:04 AM
Coriander Coriander is offline
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Yes, I really think that most people do because they are tired of boring architecture that has been mediocratized for years. You coined a great phrase.

I also feel that San Franciscans in general would be much more supportive of super tall buildings on Mission Street and in the Transbay Terminal environs than they will be of the towers actually up on Rincon Hill. Sue Hestor predicts that there will be a backlash from them and she may well be right. We'll have to wait and see how strong that is and how much damage it does to the proposed skyscrapers in this area. I really hope that they can be built here and truly feel that is where they need to be.
I'm sure there will be backlash against Rincon. I've already heard people talking about the "monstosity," but I've also heard just the opposite.
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  #373  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 7:09 AM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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Do the people complaining have a clue about the Planning Dept.'s philosophy that the tallest buildings should be put on TOP of hills like Rincon Hill precisely where they will be the most prominent on the skyline because doing that emphasises the city's topography rather than hiding it. In other words, the planners say, if you filled the valleys with tall buildings and put shorter ones on the hills, you'd have a severe form of the "tabletop effect" where all the buildings in the city would appear to have the same height and looking at the skyline you would not be able to tell that the city had hills. So you put them on top where they really stick out--like One Rincon. That's what's intended. That's the plan. Do they understand that? Have they been paying attention?

I just have to say that I don't and will never understand the dislike of tall buildings. I don't understand what there is to dislike about them. I think they are beautiful--sculptural. I love to hear from these people calling it a "monstrosity" what it is about it they don't like. Or don't they understand that this is a CITY?
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  #374  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 4:55 PM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
I just have to say that I don't and will never understand the dislike of tall buildings. I don't understand what there is to dislike about them. I think they are beautiful--sculptural. I love to hear from these people calling it a "monstrosity" what it is about it they don't like. Or don't they understand that this is a CITY?
What's to dislike about them? The no-man's land they create around them, as all the surrounding lots loose their daylight and become unattractive to build on. Which is why you have a tire shop and parking lots across Turk St. from the Philp Burton Federal Building, and a gas station and vacant buildings across Van Ness Avenue from the Holiday Inn Gateway. By the way, does your admiration of highrises include these two?
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  #375  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:10 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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^^^I think there's a tire shop across from the Burton Building because it was probably there long before the Burton building and the solution is to build some highrise hoiusing there. Van Ness is another matter. We've discussed that elsewhere. Nobody has a good explanation for why retail on Van Ness has been "iffy" as long as I've lived on Van Ness (26 years).

I actually hate the Burton Building. Perhaps you know that I nominated it on the thread here as the ugliest building in SF. It's just an ugly building. I'm not sure how I would feel if it were an attractively designed building. As for the Holiday Inn, I don't mind it and it does fit what I repeat is the Planning Dept. policy of putting the tallest buildings on the highest points of land. I've actually stayed on the top floor--heck of a view for a tourist.

There are ugly, inappropriate highrises. But that doesn't explain why people oppose them in downtown, such as Mission St., where they would be surrounded by other highrises. I'm not opposed to planning which is to say putting highrises where they are grouped and most appropriate based on use and infrastructure availability. But the sort of people who oppose them at the TransBay Terminal and on Rincon Hill just viscerally don't like tall buildings in San Francisco. The only reason I can think of is what someone (Fflint I think it was) called a desire to see SF as a Mediterranean village by the sea, not a world-class city.
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  #376  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:30 PM
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I think it is illustrative of the culture of San Francisco that we even have a few NIMBY residents posting on SSP. Lots which are shaded by other highrises are perfect spots to develop new highrises - Anyone who doesnt see that should really just take a look at why new developments in a CITY personally affect them in such a negative way.
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  #377  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 6:18 PM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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I think it is illustrative of the culture of San Francisco that we even have a few NIMBY residents posting on SSP. Lots which are shaded by other highrises are perfect spots to develop new highrises - Anyone who doesnt see that should really just take a look at why new developments in a CITY personally affect them in such a negative way.
So you think those who don't like the Philip Burton Federal Building shouldn't have a voice here?

The mere sight of that building is ample justification for wanting highrises to be built away from low-rise residential neighborhoods, with setbacks, interesting architecture, and regard for their environmental impact.

Last edited by nequidnimis; Jun 8, 2007 at 7:37 PM.
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  #378  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 7:08 PM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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^^^I think there's a tire shop across from the Burton Building because it was probably there long before the Burton building and the solution is to build some highrise hoiusing there.
Apart from a few hypothetical floors above the top of the Burton Building none of the units in the proposed highrise housing would have any views. The units directly facing the Burton Building would be particularly difficult to sell. This explains why the block hasn't seen any development in 40 years.
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  #379  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 7:41 PM
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I see this kind of justification a lot in San Francisco - people glimpsing into the future and seeing what sells and what doesnt sell.
There are many many lots in San Francisco which have been vacant for years. This is more due to restrictions on development - then what would sell for that spot. Ground floor units in one rincon - mere feet from the freeway are selling for over 1 million - lets not underestimate the demand for housing in SF.
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  #380  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 8:42 PM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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Ground floor units in one rincon - mere feet from the freeway are selling for over 1 million .
Let's agree to disagree on our concepts of a desirable housing unit in particular, and on our visions for San Francisco in general.
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