Largest skyscraper on West Coast approved for San Francisco Transbay Transit Center

Courtesy renderingA rendering of what the tower would look like within the Transbay Transit Center and on the San Francisco skyline.

A 1,070-foot tower that will become the largest skyscraper on the West Coast received its final approvals from the Planning Commission on Thursday.

It marks a significant step forward for the project, which is a key piece of the Transit Center District Plan that will redevelop the area around the new Transbay Transit Center in South of Market. The new hub, which is being rebuilt at First and Mission streets, will eventually be the downtown terminus for Caltrain and the future state high-speed rail network.

“I think the vote came out great because it allows the project to move forward,” said Paul Paradis, senior managing director at project developer Hines.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: left; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Before the Planning Commission voted on the final approvals, Fred Clarke of Pelli Clarke Pelli, the architect for Hines, unveiled the latest small changes to the plans, including a new elevator that will tie the tower together with City Park, a quarter-mile stretch of open space atop the transit center. The building and the open space also will be connected by a 30-foot-wide pedestrian bridge that will extend from the fifth floor of the tower, which will house retail space, according to the architects.

Clarke also showed the Planning Commission the actual metal and glass that will be used on the exterior of the building. He explained that the skin of the building has been augmented to add metalwork that will grow deeper and denser at the bottom of the tower. Clarke said adding the metal to the glass exterior will give the building a light texture that will glow in an ambient way.

The metalwork also was used to make the building safer for birds and to help control the flow of water down the structure.

Some people speaking about the project decried the tower as being too large and criticized its design.

Commissioner Gwyneth Borden noted that the plans and design for the Transamerica Pyramid were widely panned at the time, but that the building has become an icon.

Others lauded the design, which has the tower gently tapering in as it rises.

“I think this is going to be San Francisco’s greatest tower,” Planning Commission President Rodney Fong said.

Several commissioners also made a request for the developers to include an observation deck that would be open to the public.

“I think the request to investigate the observation deck is reasonable and we will certainly work with staff to fully investigate that topic,” Paradis said after the meeting.

The next step is Hines buying the land, which is currently owned by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

Negotiations are ongoing.

mbillings@sfexaminer.com

Just Posted

Mayor sets deadline to empty seismically unsafe jail, but city still lacks a plan to make it happen

On the 30th anniversary of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake, Mayor London… Continue reading

E-scooter company Skip announces layoffs after losing SF permit

San Francisco-based e-scooter company Skip this week announced pending layoffs for roughly… Continue reading

SF files motion to dismiss NRA’s lawsuit over ‘domestic terrorist’ label

San Francisco filed a motion Thursday to dismiss the lawsuit filed against… Continue reading

Thirty years after Loma Prieta, is San Francisco ready for the next ‘big one?’

Bay Area residents breathed a sigh of relief this week after a… Continue reading

With Loftus set to take office, poll shows voters disapprove of last-minute DA appointment

Mayor London Breed made an unpopular decision when she named candidate Suzy… Continue reading

Most Read