West Coast's Tallest Building Gets Approved

Last week the San Francisco Planning Commission gave final approval for the 1,070-foot Transbay Transit Center tower, reports Mike Billings.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli for the developer Hines, what will become the West Coast's tallest building will sit adjacent to San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center in the city's South of Market district. The five-story transit center, which is being built at First and Mission streets, will serve 11 transit systems, including BART, Greyhound, Caltrain and, eventually, the state's high-speed rail trains.

In a meeting before the Planning Commission last Thursday, architect Fred Clarke presented minor tweaks to the 61-story building's design, including "a new elevator that will tie the tower together with City Park, a quarter-mile stretch of open space atop the transit center."

According to Billings, "[s]ome 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.


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



Irvin Dawid's picture

61 story bldg. is a whopping 1070 ft - what am I missing?

I thought general rule of thumb is one story=10 ft. What am I missing in this bldg? I.e, what's in store for 500 ft? I realize it's a tower, but I figure there must be something in that tower.

Also see SF Chronicle: S.F. Transbay Tower plans get final OKs. John Wildermuth writes that the building will be a "cash cow" for the adjacent Transit Center. "Much of the anticipated $185 million sales price for the tower site will go toward construction costs for the Transit Center and Caltrain extension."

If only other cities realized the earning potential of hi-rise buildings adjacent to transit centers.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Irvin Dawid's picture

Funding for S.F. Transit Tower Secured!

Mike Billings, Assistant Managing Editor for The Examiner writes on 10/28/12 that Hines has secured a financial partner, Boston Properties for the 1,070-foot Transit Tower that will enable it to "purchase the land for the building in early 2013".

Consequently, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority will receive "about $190 million from the sale that "will help The City (sic) fund the extension of Caltrain and high-speed rail to the future terminal." (I believe that it should state the TJPA, rather than The City (San Francisco) fund the extension as the "TJPA Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California, including the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the Office of the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors; the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit); and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board-Caltrain, composed of the City and County of San Francisco, the San Mateo County Transit District, and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.")
Irvin Dawid

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