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View Poll Results: Which transbay tower design scheme do you like best?
#1 Richard Rogers 39 7.88%
#2 Cesar Pelli 98 19.80%
#3 SOM 358 72.32%
Voters: 495. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1161  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 5:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
(especially if the next governor is somebody like Jerry Brown).
Yah cause he did such a GREAT job with Oakland as mayor

I am so SICK of these buddy buddy crony Brown-Brown-Feinstein-Burtons who have done absolutely nothing for the state of California this past decade. Time to clean house !!
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  #1162  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 5:52 PM
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Oh and just to let you all know, in case any of you care, I am leaving the city and moving away for a year or so. This city has gotten out of hand for young people like me just out of college striving to make a living (I myself am a small business owner), so trying something equally nice and a lot less expen$ive for a change, to save up money and get my business off the ground, I'll be moving to Denver, Colorado, probably in 1- 2 months.
But hopefully I'll be back by the time this terminal and tower starts to get built! These are exciting times, if all of this actually does happen, so hopefully when I make my first million I can come back and be a part of the bottom tiered income of San Francisco
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  #1163  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
Yah cause he did such a GREAT job with Oakland as mayor
Don't let's get started on that. I'll just say I disagree totally and offer the new regime by contrast. We feel the same about the Burtons and the SF Democratic political machine, though.
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  #1164  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 6:11 PM
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Don't let's get started on that. I'll just say I disagree totally and offer the new regime by contrast. We feel the same about the Burtons and the SF Democratic political machine, though.
Which both Browns are a part of.
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  #1165  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 6:20 PM
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Stay on topic, people.
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  #1166  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 6:54 PM
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Hines reaches for sky with Transbay offer

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Hines reaches for sky with Transbay offer
San Francisco Business Times - September 14, 2007
by J.K. Dineen

With its $350 million roll of the dice on the Transbay tower, Hines is set to redefine not only the San Francisco skyline but shatter conventional wisdom on what land is worth in downtown San Francisco.

Hines shocked its competitors, many veteran real estate players -- and no doubt delighted the cash-hungry Transbay Joint Powers Authority -- by offering to pay $350 million for the Transbay land to develop an all-office, 80-story building

The generous cash payment was the key reason why the special Transbay jury selected Hines and architect Pelli Clarke Pelli, according to the jury report released Sept. 10.

Richard Rogers Partnership and Forest City Enterprises offered $145 million, while the third team -- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Rockefeller Group -- was prepared to shell out $118 million for the land.

While Hines still needs the OK from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority board, the sheer numbers will make the offer politically hard to reject, according to observers. The $3.4 billion rail and bus terminal is about 40 percent funded and an infusion of $350 million would bring to $1.8 billion the amount that has been set aside.

But the bid raised questions whether Hines overpaid for Transbay. One experienced housing and office developer called the total price "strange.

"I'm puzzled, and I don't know anyone in my business who is reacting differently," he said. "I've never seen a gap in values that large."

Hines' offer amounts to about $230 per square foot of leasable office space. That is $80 to $100 more than has been paid downtown recently for raw office land, according to multiple developers. The fully entitled highrise site at 350 Bush St. is in contract to sell for close to $175 per buildable square foot, itself a record.

"It is such an incredibly high price that if the city can really get a guarantee today on that price, they should take it," said real estate consultant Lynn Sedway
of the Sedway Group, a subsidiary of CB Richard Ellis. "They need the money -- it's very important this project be funded."

But Sedway, who did consulting work for Forest City, said "questions remain.

"I don't see the financial feasibility," she said. "Maybe I'm missing something."

A simple, understated obelisk-shaped tower, the Hines design lacked the pizzazz of the other two proposals, which both included hotels, condos and extensive cultural uses. On the other hand, Hines proposal includes a 5.4-acre "CityPark" on top of the terminal itself. The park would cost $52 million to build, according to Hines' proposal, a cost that is included in the $350 million figure.

"The office tower with a retail base presents the soundest opportunity for the TJPA," Hines stated, according to the jury report, which added: "Hines indicated that it had run very sophisticated pro forma models and was comfortable in offering its purchase price without qualification."

Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director Dick Robinson said the lofty offer doesn't give the developer much flexibility as the highly political negotiations begin:"The question is, where is the wiggle room in that deal."

Development sources say Hines' willingness to go 100 percent office was largely responsible for their aggressive offer. Land for offices is worth more than land for housing or hotels, and by building offices, the developer will not have to build the mandated 17 percent affordable units housing developers must include.

Forest City team declined to comment but released a statement saying the "Transbay project is an outstanding opportunity and it is our hope that the TJPA carefully considers the economic viability of their final selection."

Keith Brown, a principal at CMA, a real estate consultant group that worked on the Rockefeller/SOM proposal, suggested that the 100 percent office development didn't jibe with the TJPA's long-standing statement that the project should be a hub of diverse, 24-hour activity.

"We did feel that the competition was encouraging mixed-use occupancy that would generate around-the-clock vitality and activity in the neighborhood. We programmed a building that achieved that at the highest level," said Brown.

Gabe Metcalf, executive director of SPUR, an urban policy think tank, said he is not bothered by the lack of housing.

"Transit-oriented development applies to office as much as it does to housing," he said. "The world needs the Bay Area to concentrate jobs in areas where people don't need to drive."

Real estate observers said the developer would probably need rents to average more than $100 per square foot on lower floors, and as high as $130 on upper ones, for the project to be financially feasible.

"Until San Francisco becomes world headquarters, like London or New York or Shanghai, which it is not, there just aren't that many companies with the ability to pay the rents to justify these costs,"
said Studley broker Kevin Brennan, who represents tenants. "I cannot fathom a scenario by which a building of that size gets absorbed at those rates."

Dan Fusalo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics, called the deal, "truly the most aggressive pricing we have seen for an office site on the West Coast," but suggested it's justified.

"At the end of the day, the uniqueness of the site and its potential as a hub of business and transportation is unmatched on the West Coast," he said. "It's Main and Main."

jkdineen@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4971
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ml?t=printable
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  #1167  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 7:24 PM
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I wonder how much Rockefeller would be willing to pay if they went 100% office with their proposal. Not likely to more than double it, I assume, which is what it would take to match Hines. But maybe they could close the gap enough to make it a competition again.
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  #1168  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 8:25 PM
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I dunno about all this. Too many things dont add up.
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  #1169  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 8:30 PM
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Wow and I think rents are outrageous now... think about the effects this will have in real estate value in the city, and rents could climb even higher than they are now ($1900 for a one bedroom, since August, is what the Chron reported today)

Are they (Hines and Pelli) trying to inflate the land prices themselves in hopes of buying (investing) out a bunch of land in the area at market rate prices now, making buco bucks in the future when all this land is even more outrageous ?
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  #1170  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 8:34 PM
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Originally Posted by craeg View Post
I dunno about all this. Too many things dont add up.
Curious, indeed.
Either they're financial geniuses -- and that may indeed end up being the case -- or ...


Anyway, you know how it goes with PPPs in general and everywhere: the upside is all for one "P" and the downside risk ends up being entirely for the other "P" in the "Partnership".
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  #1171  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2007, 11:52 PM
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I'm concerned about this overpayment. Unless they have something behind their sleeve, this looks like a losing financial proposition to me. Perhaps they're considering this as a loss leader, implying that a successful project will lead to additional work in the city. On the other hand, I'd hate to see what occurred with the Bryant Street Pier, when Bovis Lend Lease couldn't make the finances work.
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  #1172  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 12:09 AM
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On the other hand, I'd hate to see what occurred with the Bryant Street Pier, when Bovis Lend Lease couldn't make the finances work.
My worry is that they switch to really cheap building materials and get rid of all the fancy features of the building like the glowing crown, windmill, all that crap to scrap some dough. Nothing is "as is" yet.
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  #1173  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 2:29 AM
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I dont see how they can remove items such as the windmill, as this building is suppose to be as green as possible pretty much. I too have been somewhat suspicious at the unusually high amount they offered. I'm still hopefull they seriously concider SOM and choose that.
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  #1174  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 4:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Reminiscence View Post
I dont see how they can remove items such as the windmill, as this building is suppose to be as green as possible pretty much. I too have been somewhat suspicious at the unusually high amount they offered. I'm still hopefull they seriously concider SOM and choose that.
According to BT, the Windmill on the pelli proposal is only used to power the "throbbing" illuminated crown
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  #1175  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 4:23 AM
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can someone post the three best images of each proposal on the first page? I'm having a hard time finding them.
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  #1176  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 5:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
According to BT, the Windmill on the pelli proposal is only used to power the "throbbing" illuminated crown
Hmm, I'm not so sure thats going to do much. The only other green feature this tower has, to my knowledge, is the window/curtainwall features Pelli breifly talked about. Its times like these where I wish they could have spent more time talking about the tower instead of saving it for the last 3 minutes. I know much about the park and the terminal, but little of the tower.
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  #1177  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 5:33 AM
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Hmm, I'm not so sure thats going to do much. The only other green feature this tower has, to my knowledge, is the window/curtainwall features Pelli breifly talked about. Its times like these where I wish they could have spent more time talking about the tower instead of saving it for the last 3 minutes. I know much about the park and the terminal, but little of the tower.
Yes I'm a loser who is staying home on a Friday night Just to get that out of the way..

I really admire SOM's recycled bottle construction method, and its solar voltaic panels above the terminal. I also think Pelli's park would be a huge resource and water hog, and their proposal just screams "money" instead of "green."
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  #1178  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 7:29 PM
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Quote:
Six years post-9/11, super skyscrapers rise from U.S. cities

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The rivalry between Los Angeles and San Francisco permeates life in California, infiltrating debates on everything from sports and weather to cuisine and water consumption. When it comes to competing for the West Coast's tallest building, though, few would expect this city to enter the fray, much less end up on top.

Yet here in the land of earthquakes and cafe culture, plans are unfolding for not just the loftiest skyscraper on the coast, but the three highest high-rises west of the Mississippi River. All are part of a proposed downtown neighborhood to be built around a regional bus and train terminal — a Grand Central Station of the West — that is being promoted as an environmentally sensible magnet for development.

"What it will mean for San Francisco to have its tallest building be the Transbay Terminal tower is a statement that our highest value is ecology," said Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, a local public policy think tank. "It will be this exclamation mark saying the most important location in our city is the transit center."

Six years after many architects and urban planners predicted the indelible images of Sept. 11, 2001, would stifle Americans' enthusiasm for iconic skyscrapers, San Francisco is not the only U.S. city where the landscape is moving up. Instead, fueled by high land costs, disenchantment with suburban sprawl and urban one-upmanship, the nation is experiencing its biggest high-rise construction boom in decades.

From Miami and Las Vegas to Chicago and New York, buildings that would either eclipse or stand spire-to-spire with the 1,250-foot-tall Empire State Building are promising to reshape skylines. The 1,200-to-1,375-foot-tall tower that is supposed to help finance and attract riders to San Francisco's new public transportation hub is one of 11 buildings nationwide either planned or under construction that, if completed, would make the list of the 20 tallest buildings in the United States.

"Many people thought 9-11 would sound the death knell for tall buildings, and it's been the opposite," said Antony Wood, executive director of the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The collapse of the World Trade Center "probably induced the largest introspective analysis of the whole typology that has ever happened — is this a viable part of our cities or is it not? And like it or not, that has resulted in a resounding yes."

Compared to the high-rises that were erected in the 1970s, the new crop of super skyscrapers are more likely to be residential or government-supported expressions of civic or even national pride than symbols of corporate wealth, according to Wood. The 150-story, 2,000-foot-tall Chicago Spire rising near the shores of Lake Michigan, for example, would be both the tallest skyscraper in the U.S. and the world's tallest residential building.

"Tall buildings are being used to project a certain status for a city on a world stage. That's undoubtable," Wood said. "For a city to be taken seriously on a local or domestic or international scale, they want to be seen to be keeping up with the times, and tall buildings are part of that."

Planners, real estate agents and sociologists say the trend shows that Americans are willing to trust recent engineering advances conceived to help buildings stand up to earthquakes and terrorist attacks — and that their fascination with all things oversized outweighs their fears of disasters, both manmade and natural.

That especially became true as developing countries in the Middle East and Asia started putting up super-tall skyscrapers that made the World Trade Center look average in comparison.

"Everybody can be forgiven for having reactions after 9-11 that they want to reconsider today," said Miami Art Museum Terence Riley, who as the architecture curator of New York's Museum of Modern Art put together a 2004 exhibit on skyscrapers.

"Many people who had opinions like that saw the push to invent ever more technologically sophisticated, ever more high, tall buildings pass away from the United States, or at least appear to," Riley said. "One of the things that really bothered people was that it was evident that other people in Taiwan and Malaysia were going to take off where we left off, and in the end of the day they weren't going to let terrorists be that successful."

Brenda Calvin, a Las Vegas real estate agent who specializes in high-rise living, said customers who visit the city often but are tired of staying in hotels and want the convenience of 24-hour concierge service are snapping up condominiums like the ones under construction at the seven-tower MGM Mirage City Center. At up to 60 stories, the project's residential buildings would be nearly twice as tall as the condos considered high by current Strip standards.

"I have never heard anyone say, 'You know, now that I've been in this building I don't think I can do this,'" said Calvin, who lives on the eighth floor of a 21-story building. "I guess you can live your life and not fly on an airplane and not experience all the great things in the world out of fear, but that just doesn't make sense."

Last month, an Australian gaming company submitted plans for a 1,888-foot hotel/casino that would rank as the nation's second-tallest building. The Federal Aviation Administration is opposing the Crown Las Vegas, saying its height would pose a hazard to planes flying in and out of McCarran International Airport.

Supporters of the taller, denser neighborhood that has been proposed in San Francisco, a city known in architecture circles as much for its anti-development attitudes as its skyline, know they also have a future fight on their hands.

A regional transportation agency is scheduled to pick the winning design for the tower that would anchor the transit center on Thursday. The shortest of the three finalists would rise 350-feet above San Francisco's own Transamerica Pyramid. It would outreach the West's reigning top story, the 1,018-foot U.S. Bank Tower building in downtown L.A.

Anti-skyscraper sentiment has a long history in the city; voters passed a ballot initiative 21 years ago that created the country's first annual limit on high-rise development and required the local government to make neighborhood character and small businesses two of its top planning priorities. To get around the height restrictions, city officials would have to rezone 25 blocks near the current downtown where much of the land is located on soft soil that is especially unstable during earthquakes.

To overcome opposition, backers of the Transbay Tower and a pair of proposed 1,200-foot-tall buildings nearby that would also be among the nation's 20-tallest buildings are playing the green card. They argue that concentrating so many jobs and apartments so close to mass transit would keep commuters from driving into the city and lessen the need for development elsewhere, a concept known as "eco-density."

"None of this is going to happen unless a majority of people in the community want it to happen," Metcalf said. "My hope is that the environmental values of San Francisco will trump the conservatism of the city about change. And time will tell."
Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...f091015D74.DTL
I remain optimistic that one of these towers will be built at least as is currently designed. There seems to be a lot ot people who on board with the plan which is encouraging news to me. However, I agree with the statement that theres a fight on the way. Thursday's deadline is fast approaching and I hope they've taken time to really hear out the people on what they want the most. My only concern right now is the tower and the terminal really. I'm hoping SOM has a trick up its sleeve before then.
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  #1179  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 9:18 PM
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nice to see the AP use SkyscraperPage.com as a reference!

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  #1180  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 9:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Agonist View Post
can someone post the three best images of each proposal on the first page? I'm having a hard time finding them.
The TJPA site has an overview of all three with renders, although I wouldn't necessarily say they're the three best of each. There are also links for their presentation boards with more info on each. Beware the SOM pdf, it's like 20MB.

You can also check out each design team's site. I've only looked at SOM's, but I'm sure the other two have lots more to see.
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