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Old December 13th, 2014, 01:39 AM   #1
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SAN FRANCISCO | 655 4th St | 122m | 400ft | 41 fl | Pro

Exclusive: Tishman Speyer plans two more highrise residential towers in SoMa
Dec 12, 2014, 2:53pm PST
Cory Weinberg
Reporter-San Francisco Business Times

Tishman Speyer, the developer behind San Francisco's extravagant Infinity and Lumina condo buildings, is proposing a pair of residential towers a block from the Caltrain station in the South of Market neighborhood.

Tishman filed an initial application with Planning Department this month for one of the towers at 655 4th St., which is now home to the Creamery coffee shop and Iron Cactus Mexican restaurant. The application was obtained by the Business Times through a public records request.

The developer, one of the most prolific in San Francisco, told neighborhood leaders it would look to build a second tower next door. It does not yet own that site and would likely stagger the towers' construction like it did with the Infinity complex last decade. Tishman officials declined to comment . . . .

The proposal filed with the Planning Department shows that Tishman is planning at least one of the towers to feature 449 units and climb to 41 stories for 400 feet. That's about as tall as the Lumina towers.

For now, the site appears relatively safe from major opposition. John Elberling, who runs the South of Market neighborhood group TODCO, said the site is appropriate for a highrise building.

"This is across the street from a major rail station. It's a good place for a tall building," he said, adding that the group wants "to see 33 percent affordable housing accomplished in exchange for a dramatic upzoning in terms of height" . . . .

"Being at the intersection on Caltrain and the Central Subway, it's an excellent development site for both residential or commercial space," he said in an email. "The biggest challenge may be access to the site, given that their only access will be northbound on 4th Street."

The first tower would cost $190 million to build . . . . Tishman would demolish the existing stores on the site and build the tower atop a 85-foot podium and 10,000 square feet of retail space.

. . . construction still likely wouldn't start until 2017 or 2018 even if all goes as planned . . . .

Tishman also bought last year a parcel on the 100 block of Folsom Street, which is zoned for a 300-foot residential tower. Tishman is also developing the office tower at 222 Second St., which will open next summer.

By city law, Tishman can't just build luxury condos, of course. It must fulfill affordable housing requirements . . . .

Tishman is already seeking a deal to pay for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, a nonprofit affordable housing provider, to build a long-waited residential building in SoMa at 5th and Howard Streets for low-income residents. The parcel TNDC has owned since 2009 is about 31,000 square feet. It could accommodate 200 to 300 units . . . .

. . . Tishman is taking a bit of risk with this proposal – and the developer is likely watching the slow-moving zoning process very closely. The draft of the Central SoMa plan leaves open whether the site will be zoned for 320 feet or 400 feet. (Tishman would want the latter.)

. . . is it feasible for Tishman to build a second tower on the adjacent site? Wertheim said: "The Central SoMa Plan would allow a second tower on the site as long as it was 115 feet apart from the first, or as close as 85 feet if the towers were slimmer... We have heard there is interest in a second tower. Our advice would be to build the first one such that it doesn't preclude the second."

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Old December 14th, 2014, 03:39 AM   #2
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Nice! We need all the housing we can get, and it'll be great if the skyline extends south more. I really hope the NIMBYs don't flip out about these towers or the height limit increases from the central SOMA plan.
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