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Old March 15th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #861
Cal_Escapee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpunk View Post
The only reason the tower is not starting up this year is all the construction on the Transbay Transit Center that would be difficult to choreograph the tower's construction around. Also a lead tennant needs to get signed
One quibble. The Tower cannot begin this year because the existing height limits at the site wouldn't allow it. The new height limits are in process of approval and almost certainly will be approved, but not on a timetable to get this building underway this year (the new height limits and other planning minutiae are here: http://sfmea.sfplanning.org/2007.0558E_DEIR1.pdf ). First the height limits need to be put in place. Then the final tower design itself needs specific approval by the Planning Commission (and possibly by the Board of Supervisors if there is a NIMBY appeal of the Planning decision).

And, oh-by-the-way, Hines needs to finalize the agreement to buy the site from the Transbay Authority and actually come up with the money (over $300 million was agreed on for the 1200 ft tower so the final figure will probably be proportionately less, possibly even less than that given economic conditions).

The terminal construction will be ongoing until 2016 so that isn't peculiarly a factor this year. Here is the schedule: http://transbaycenter.org/constructi...oject-schedule

They are currently doing the excavation and shoring for the below-grade terminal structure (the so-called "train box" I believe which will be where the CalTrain and, hopefully HSR, platforms will be). A year from now the actual construction below grade commences and the following year, 2014, the above grade terminal construction.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #862
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal_Escapee View Post
One quibble. The Tower cannot begin this year because the existing height limits at the site wouldn't allow it. The new height limits are in process of approval and almost certainly will be approved, but not on a timetable to get this building underway this year (the new height limits and other planning minutiae are here: http://sfmea.sfplanning.org/2007.0558E_DEIR1.pdf ). First the height limits need to be put in place. Then the final tower design itself needs specific approval by the Planning Commission (and possibly by the Board of Supervisors if there is a NIMBY appeal of the Planning decision).

And, oh-by-the-way, Hines needs to finalize the agreement to buy the site from the Transbay Authority and actually come up with the money (over $300 million was agreed on for the 1200 ft tower so the final figure will probably be proportionately less, possibly even less than that given economic conditions).

The terminal construction will be ongoing until 2016 so that isn't peculiarly a factor this year. Here is the schedule: http://transbaycenter.org/constructi...oject-schedule

They are currently doing the excavation and shoring for the below-grade terminal structure (the so-called "train box" I believe which will be where the CalTrain and, hopefully HSR, platforms will be). A year from now the actual construction below grade commences and the following year, 2014, the above grade terminal construction.
Hmm, I guess I was under the impression that the height limit was already raised. So it's still remotely possible that NIMBYs could shoot this tower down. I wonder why a simple variance for the single project couldn't have been awarded without rewriting the height ordinance. Anyway, that shouldn't slow things down much unless a court injuncts. As to the final sale, except for the site and whatever existing entitlements there are, there's nothing to buy until the tower has cleared all these obstacles. No wonder Hines is having to wait. And whatever the timetable of construction of the transit center, it's a complex site and that drives up costs. The longer the tower waits, the easier it will be to coordinate staging and other activities at the site.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #863
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Hmm, I guess I was under the impression that the height limit was already raised. So it's still remotely possible that NIMBYs could shoot this tower down. I wonder why a simple variance for the single project couldn't have been awarded without rewriting the height ordinance. Anyway, that shouldn't slow things down much unless a court injuncts. As to the final sale, except for the site and whatever existing entitlements there are, there's nothing to buy until the tower has cleared all these obstacles. No wonder Hines is having to wait. And whatever the timetable of construction of the transit center, it's a complex site and that drives up costs. The longer the tower waits, the easier it will be to coordinate staging and other activities at the site.
The terminal is under construction yet they need the money from the tower site for the construction of the underground rail connection. So it's very unlikely it will get shot down. Even the former ultra-development hostile Sup. Chris Daly was for this project (although he probably would have liked the shortest possible tower). I think there's a solid consensus on the plan as it has evolved.

They are changing all the height limits in an entire district because that's the way Planning operates in SF. There is a 20 (or so) year old Downtown Plan that established the current height limits and this is seen as a major revision of that. I can't recall if the Transit District was also an official Redevelopment Area (Gov. Brown abolished those starting in Jan) but that would have fast-tracked a lot of the process and would have allowed a lot of financial manipulation (tax increment financing etc) to get the terminal built.

Anyway, this project is pretty wired as far as the City goes. I'm still more worried about Hines and whatever sources of financing it may need in the current economic climate.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #864
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WOW this is really amazing. I guess this one easily goes to my top3 favourite projects being constructed in the world. The tower is amazing but all the other components of this project are outstanding too! This can change the city for better! I went to SF six years ago, but I wouldn't be surprised if I returned there in 3 or 4 years just to see again all these amazing changes!
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #865
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Yup . . . times have changed.

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 - Last Modified: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 11:04am 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 $225 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 . . . .

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 . . . .
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...03-15&page=all
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Old March 20th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #866
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Quote:
Transbay Tower revision downsizes public frills
John King
Monday, March 19, 2012

The proposed Transbay Tower inevitably draws attention for its size, in this case a 1,070-foot-tall rounded shaft that would crown San Francisco's skyline.

But the troubling aspect of the revised plan unveiled this month is not the addition to the skyline. It's the subtraction on the ground.

Unlike the version of the plan that was selected with fanfare in 2007, this one has no obvious public link between the plaza at the tower's base and the 5.4 acre park that will sit atop the new Transbay Terminal next door, 70 feet in the air.

It lacks the tall canopy that was to shield the plaza from rain and wind while drawing eyes upward. Nor is there a cable car-like people mover to whisk visitors from plaza to park. Also missing: mezzanine-level shops that would connect to the adjacent terminal via a foot bridge and add another level of activity.

What has been removed, in short, is almost every public feature of an office tower that would be allowed to climb past current height limits
because of public largesse. This might be good for the long-stalled project's bottom line, but it undermines one of the most ambitious park projects in the nation . . . .

While Hines offered significantly more money than did its two rivals, the agency also preferred the Hines concept. The novel aspect of the proposal - dubbed City Park - was the quarter-mile-long rooftop retreat that would create "the centerpiece of a new neighborhood ... with the attractions and activities that characterize great urban green spaces."

Hines' entry also emphasized that "for City Park to be a success, it must be accessible and welcoming."

And so the people mover was extolled as "an evocative way to encourage people to visit, and an attraction that can become a signature image for Transbay." The canopy was a way to signal the park's presence from afar while providing "an architectural link between the Tower and the Transit Center, unifying the urban composition."

That was then. Now, Hines has no financial stake in City Park's failure or success.

The terminal and its rooftop green are being built by the authority, not Hines. The developer is responsible only for the high-rise and the plaza at Market and Fremont.

The plaza would still be the main pedestrian approach to the terminal. The plaza and the rooftop park also share such elements as redwood groves. For the most part, though, it's as if the two spaces were separate worlds unto themselves.

The one direct connection between the tower and City Park would be a fifth-floor bridge. Other than that, the only way to reach the park on opening day in 2017 will be from within the transit center . . . .
Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MN231NKVL4.DTL
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Old March 21st, 2012, 07:07 PM   #867
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One of my favorit projects in the world
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Old March 28th, 2012, 02:22 AM   #868
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A construction update

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image hosted on flickr
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Old April 19th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #869
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This looks great! I really like the design, they went with the right one in my opinion.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #870
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- Nice video, thanks DP.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #871
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I love the tower, but I feel its too similar to Costanera Center, y Santiago :/

Is in it?

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Old April 19th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #872
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It does, but it is a good design.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 01:27 AM   #873
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I love the tower, but I feel its too similar to Costanera Center, y Santiago :/

Is in it?
Both were designed by Cesar Pelli, and he seems to use the same basic shape over and over. Both are good looking towers, but this, that building in Santiago and 15 Penn in NY are all his recent work and look very similar.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 01:35 AM   #874
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Gorgeous!
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Old April 20th, 2012, 01:44 AM   #875
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I must admit I haven't paid any attention to this project. It's incredible.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 06:15 AM   #876
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This is awesome, when are they going to start building it ?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 06:24 AM   #877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleko View Post
I love the tower, but I feel its too similar to Costanera Center, y Santiago :/

Is in it?

I thought the same.

Pelli buildings are both very similar.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #878
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And another one from Pelli, 15 Penn Plaza in New York.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iloveclassicrock7 View Post
This is awesome, when are they going to start building it ?
The terminal with the rooftop park is already under construction. The tower portion could start by the end of next year.

Quote:
The plan must be in place before any vote on the tower. If all goes smoothly, developers say the earliest that construction could begin is late next year, with a 2016 opening.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1sbD1PobE
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 02:59 AM   #880
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Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli...

Why can't Pelli build something this amazing in BA?
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