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Supertalls Discussions of projects under construction between 300-599m/1,000-1,999ft tall.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 11:05 PM   #1061
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Because it's an elegant and solid design. It has probably been used thousands of times, that doesn't mean it's over used.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #1062
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Because it's an elegant and solid design. It has probably been used thousands of times, that doesn't mean it's over used.
Overused means used too many times. I think thousands of times is too much.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 12:45 AM   #1063
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I think this way of building is probably the easiest but in some way it doesn't look right, it looks a little too fat.

Also does anyone think the name is copied from transamerica pyramid?
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Old August 25th, 2013, 03:36 AM   #1064
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Also does anyone think the name is copied from transamerica pyramid?
No.

The name "Transbay Tower" was chosen because it's attached to the new Transbay Terminal. The transbay terminal was originally built in 1939 (and named as such because it provides transbay service, obviously), over three decades before the Transamerica pyramid was built...so no, the name is not copied from the pyramid. It's just a coincidence.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #1065
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No offense, but no one cares what you consider to be the true height.
I believe he was responding to a previous post by Kanto, trying to explain why some things might count towards to height of a building and others might not.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:02 AM   #1066
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This is going to be taller than the Transamerica Pyramid, right?
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Old August 26th, 2013, 04:50 AM   #1067
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Yes and I believe this is the first super tall building in San Francisco.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #1068
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Yes and I believe this is the first super tall building in San Francisco.
It will be.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 09:45 AM   #1069
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so when is transbay supposed to break ground?
They're still obtaining permits:

Transbay Tower Watch: Approved But Not (Yet) Permitted



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August 23, 2013

While Hines and Boston Properties ceremonially broke ground for the 1,070-foot tall Transbay Tower to rise at the corner of First and Mission five months ago, nothing seems to have happened on the 101 First Street site since. And for good reason.

While approved for development, the permit to construct the 61-story tower which was applied for in March has yet to be issued. But with the fire department having signed-off on the plans this week, it shouldn't be too much longer before the construction crew can start setting up camp and moving the dirt with more than gold shovels.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #1070
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I have to ask... the tower in Los Angeles - Wilshire Grand is slated to be 1100 feet and Transbay is going to be 1170. Could the developers have something up their sleeve to make this taller for bragging rights if anything? I know this is a expensive proposition but stranger things have happened.

Glad to see the permit process moving forward let us hope we see the first stages of activity happening soon... the tower in Los Angeles is progressing quickly.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 06:56 PM   #1071
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I have to ask... the tower in Los Angeles - Wilshire Grand is slated to be 1100 feet and Transbay is going to be 1170. Could the developers have something up their sleeve to make this taller for bragging rights if anything? I know this is a expensive proposition but stranger things have happened.

Glad to see the permit process moving forward let us hope we see the first stages of activity happening soon... the tower in Los Angeles is progressing quickly.
I'm going to guess probably not.

The site is zoned for 1,000 feet, which means 1,000 feet to the roof, not total structural height which is never included in height limit numbers here. The roof of the Transbay tower will only be 920 feet tall though, so they conceivably could add another 80 feet to it, which would bring the total height to 1,150 feet. Then there's the fact that some towers in SF have been granted a 10% height extension over the height limit, which if applied to the Transbay tower would add another 100 feet, for a total of 1,250 feet.

But If I remember right, the reason that the tower is now at 1,070' rather than the originally proposed 1,200', is that anything above 1,070' would cast unwanted shadows on Union Square. Increasing the height would also require more time and hoops to jump through with the planning commission. It would be cool if a spire could be added to the top of the building. A spire would look great, and may be skinny enough that the increased amount of shadow on Union Square would be tiny and thus acceptable under zoning rules (which include a "shadow allowance" for existing parks and plazas that cannot be exceeded).
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Old August 30th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #1072
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I'm just not aware of any actual rivalry between the SF and LA projects that would justify design changes. Call me naīve...
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Old August 30th, 2013, 11:02 AM   #1073
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I'm just not aware of any actual rivalry between the SF and LA projects that would justify design changes. Call me naīve...
Yeah, I think most people don't really care about height contests, aside from internet skyscraper nerds
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Old August 30th, 2013, 09:54 PM   #1074
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I'm going to guess probably not.

The site is zoned for 1,000 feet . . . .
If memory hasn't failed me, this was originally to be 1200 ft. but, as usual in SF, the height went down. In this town heights go only down, never up, so it isn't getting taller.

Frankly, I remain unconvinced it'll be built at all until reality dawns and someone realizes that there is no market in San Francisco for this much highrise office space (in addition to what's coming in other, shorter buildings).

I also seem to recall that of the 3 "beauty contest" contestants, this was the only one that was "all office". So some people did understand what I'm saying. I'll know the developer is serious about construction when I see the announcement he's morphing the upper floors into condos (like 188 Fremont) or even a hotel.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 10:20 PM   #1075
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I'm with you on this. I've been skeptical since day one. A conversion to hotel or residential on the upper floors would be a smart move. AND it would mean a substantial design change as well -- which I wouldn't mind one bit.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 07:08 AM   #1076
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If passed four years the last time I saw this topic. Every time I watched the news here, the height was reduced. So I gave up looking ... Now I see that the height is 1070 feet (much smaller than the proposed project at the beginning of 1200 feet). But anyway it's better than nothing. I hope that the height does not decrease further. This design is very good! San Francisco needs high-value projects.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:08 AM   #1077
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If memory hasn't failed me, this was originally to be 1200 ft. but, as usual in SF, the height went down. In this town heights go only down, never up, so it isn't getting taller.
And before we got the actual 1200 foot proposal and final 1,070' design, the conceptual designs had the transbay tower at only 550 ft (which was the height limit back then), and then 850 ft (before they decided to reach even higher). What about 350 mission, which is currently under construction? The height on that increased from 375' to 455'. And I know you're probably referring to towers themselves, and not zoning, but there were all those recent zoning changes with increased height limits on many sites in SOMA (including the transbay site). It is more common for towers to lose height due to economic reasons or people whining about shadows or whatever, but it's not like heights are never increased in SF.

On the topic of the transbay tower getting built, I think you're looking at it with a bit of a doom and gloom perspective. SF has been seeing nothing but growth in terms of population and jobs (with the city expecting as many as 100,000 new residents over the next couple decades). There is a lot of demand for office space, particular in SOMA, where the tower is, and office vacancy is low. I don't think SF is gong to have an excess of office space any time soon (SF even lost 187,000 square feet of office space over the last year due to residential conversions). I trust that the developers and city aren't stupid and know what the market's like, and that if it's come this far, with the tower already approved after years of studies and zoning changes and design contests, millions of dollars spent, the construction permit close to being issued, and the ceremonial ground-breaking already past...well I think it probably will get built eventually, as long as the economy doesn't implode or something.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 11:01 AM   #1078
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So, I just want to clear it with anyone who was confused or curious. This is going to be the tallest in terms of roof height on the west coast(920 to actual roof along with another 150 for the Parapet giving it a technical roof total of 1070 feet.) Now the Wilshire Grand will only have a roof height of 934 feet, but will also feature a crown going up to the 1000 mark, with a spire leading the way to 1,100.

Now we all hate how spires can cheat their way to the top, but officially, the Wilshire Grand will be the tallest on the west due to the spire. While the Transbay will have the tallest roof, counting the parapet. Otherwise, the US Bank tower beats both of them in terms of roof height

In a way, everyone wins. Transbay has roof height. Wilshire has official height.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 11:31 AM   #1079
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And before we got the actual 1200 foot proposal and final 1,070' design, the conceptual designs had the transbay tower at only 550 ft (which was the height limit back then), and then 850 ft (before they decided to reach even higher). What about 350 mission, which is currently under construction? The height on that increased from 375' to 455'. And I know you're probably referring to towers themselves, and not zoning, but there were all those recent zoning changes with increased height limits on many sites in SOMA (including the transbay site). It is more common for towers to lose height due to economic reasons or people whining about shadows or whatever, but it's not like heights are never increased in SF.

On the topic of the transbay tower getting built, I think you're looking at it with a bit of a doom and gloom perspective. SF has been seeing nothing but growth in terms of population and jobs (with the city expecting as many as 100,000 new residents over the next couple decades). There is a lot of demand for office space, particular in SOMA, where the tower is, and office vacancy is low. I don't think SF is gong to have an excess of office space any time soon (SF even lost 187,000 square feet of office space over the last year due to residential conversions). I trust that the developers and city aren't stupid and know what the market's like, and that if it's come this far, with the tower already approved after years of studies and zoning changes and design contests, millions of dollars spent, the construction permit close to being issued, and the ceremonial ground-breaking already past...well I think it probably will get built eventually, as long as the economy doesn't implode or something.
The entire TransBay area was rezoned raising the height limits from those established by the 1960s or 1970s era Downtown Plan (can't recall exactly when it passed). We all know why, of course: They needed the money. With the ability to build taller, the land was worth more and the money raised from selling the land is paying for a substantial part of the new terminal. Had they not raised the heights, the whole project would not have been economically viable. But that's and possibly Rincon Hill are the only parts of town I can think of where they've done anything like that. This Planning Dept. seems to have a particular love of tall towers on top of hills and I seem to recall that they raised the limits on the summit of Rincon in order to do that, giving us ORH and several other towers.

The specific buildings you mention were allowed to grow taller because of the rezoning. But I can't think of a building outside the Transbay area that got taller nor can I think of one inside the Transbay area that was proposed after the new zoning was in place and got taller.

I repeat what I said about the Transbay Tower. Not counting the Tower, there are 5 highrise office buildings under construction or about to be (Foundry Square 3, 222 Second, 535 Mission, 350 Mission and 181 Fremont). Salesforce.com has taken all of 350 Mission. The others are being built on spec and I haven't heard of a single signed tenant.

Certainly these buildings will gradually fill up, but while they do there are other proposals already entitled that could start construction. With Salesforce and Twitter now housed, I don't know of any prospective tenants likely to take even a substantial part of the space in the Transbay Tower. They'll have to be willing to join the spec crowd and prospective tenants have an awful lot of choice at the moment.

I am somewhat reassured in my view, by the way, by my earlier prediction (from around 2008) that Hines would never build this building and would probably sell the rights. Turns out they may not have wanted to give up all connections with it, but they did want/need a deep-pocketed partner so they found Boston Properties. It is the BP connection, actually, that should reassure people who want it built. BP, as a publicly traded REIT, cannot afford to park money for terribly long and get no return on it.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 11:37 AM   #1080
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While the Transbay will have the tallest roof, counting the parapet. Otherwise, the US Bank tower beats both of them in terms of roof height

In a way, everyone wins. Transbay has roof height. Wilshire has official height.
And quite seriously I tell you nobody from San Francisco who is not a geek participating on this forum cares or would give you other than a blank look at the words "Wilshire Grand".

Indeed, the Transbay is still somewhat of a work in progress. They just "value engineered" the terminal some more, reskinning it with some kind of white metal rather than glass. They have redesigned the crown of the tower at least once (maybe twice--originally it was to have shielded wind turbines up there which was the reason for all the height above the roof but I'm not even sure if they are still part of the design).

So who knows how tall it may be IF they build it?
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