Yep, that’s right. Yet another tower proposed for the Transbay district in downtown San Francisco. This story is not brand new, as it was actually printed in last Friday’s Business Times, but I refrained from posting about it, in order to keep the Bay Bridge-related transit updates at the top of the page through the weekend.
The tower for 181 Fremont (between Mission and Howard), proposed by SKS Investments, is designed by Heller-Manus, an architectural firm (based right out of Transbay’s ground zero) that is also working on 555 Mission, and many other San Francisco projects. The proposed tower is 900 feet (66 stories) tall, featuring about 140 homes above 500,000 square feet of office space. Although 900 feet may seem short compared to the soaring heights proposed for the signature Transbay Tower, it is still 47 feet taller than the Transamerica Pyramid, and thus is still quite tall for this town. The building would be LEED certified, and the developer is studying use of wind turbines and solar power.
Of course, this is only a proposal, so nothing is set in stone. With so many towers proposed, planned, and under construction in the Transbay/Rincon Hill area, the city still needs to carefully analyze how the tower will affect wind tunnels and cast shadows, in addition to studying the impact the tower’s occupants could have on traffic patterns in the area, the way in which this tower interacts with the street, and other issues. That said, the proposed design is quite slender: the plot of land is 15,500 square feet in area, and while the footprint is 14,000 square feet, the stories higher up would have floor plates closer to 10,000 square feet. The slender design is consistent with the Planning Department’s approach to this area, a plan that is largely modeled on Vancouver. What’s more, the 181 Fremont site is one that has been identified for using the tax revenue from the development to fund the new Transbay Transit Center. Although the area is currently zoned for buildings 300 to 500 feet tall, there is every reason to think that the city would upzone the site, since a taller building would be entirely consistent with the densities planned for the immediate area. The fact that the tower is mixed use is also key — although, with this site right next to the Transit Center, I would like to see even more homes and less office space. Still, it’s another exciting project to keep our eye on.
Image is from SocketSite.