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damionmatthews
Mar 15, 2007, 2:01 AM
Here's a photo from the inside of the new Federal Building.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/03/14/arts/14mayn_CA2.450.jpg

http://sfluxe.com/2007/03/14/inside-the-federal-building/

craeg
Mar 15, 2007, 3:17 AM
That is from a review of new government buildings in the NYT. Some choice quotes His recently completed Federal Building in San Francisco is his most powerful government work to date, its slender form and perforated metal skin a clever play on notions of transparency in an era when the fear of terrorist attacks is prompting government agencies and corporations to turn their offices into armored compounds.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/arts/design/14mayn.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

Contrast this review with what most San Franciscans have been saying about the building

Richard Mlynarik
Mar 15, 2007, 3:43 AM
Contrast this review with what most San Franciscans have been saying about the building
It's not a Victorian!

CHapp
Mar 15, 2007, 7:47 AM
Here's a photo from the inside of the new Federal Building.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/03/14/arts/14mayn_CA2.450.jpg

http://sfluxe.com/2007/03/14/inside-the-federal-building/

Oddly reminiscent of Libeskind's Holocaust Museum in Berlin.

coyotetrickster
Mar 15, 2007, 3:34 PM
That is from a review of new government buildings in the NYT. Some choice quotes

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/arts/design/14mayn.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

Contrast this review with what most San Franciscans have been saying about the building


Hey, I think it's a great building. When someone does a remake of Terry Gilliam's Brazil, it's a shoe-in for the ministry of information backshots:-).

ltsmotorsport
Mar 15, 2007, 4:57 PM
Here's a photo from the inside of the new Federal Building.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/03/14/arts/14mayn_CA2.450.jpg

http://sfluxe.com/2007/03/14/inside-the-federal-building/

Not very inviting. Seems like I'm in a dungeon awaiting my punishment from the judge.

Hal Incandenza
Mar 16, 2007, 7:21 PM
SocketSite (http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2007/03/reader_questions_whats_happening_on_10th.html#comments) has the lowdown on some Mid-Market goings-on. Via the SF Business Times:

"Crescent Heights has begun demolition at 10th and Market streets and plans to begin construction on a $350 million, 720-unit condo project this summer pending approvals at a Planning Commission hearing on March 22, according to company Vice President Steve Della Salla.

The project has not generated as much attention or controversy as the proposed 1,900-unit Trinity Plaza project at Eighth and Market streets, but promises to inject new life into a forlorn stretch of Market that has resisted redevelopment for decades."

BTinSF
Mar 17, 2007, 12:37 AM
^^^Yeah, it's a long article with a not-very-helpful rendering of the building. However it does say they are going to put about 920 units total (Crescent's 720 plus up to 200 units of family or senior housing by TNDC) on the lot and the rendering does make it look fairly tall. It also quotes Chris Daly as saying he sees "no red flags" which is important because he has been instrumental in holding up the Trinity Plaza project down the street. Finally, it says the units will sell in the range of $400,000 - $600,000. They are aiming at {{gulp}} a somewhat downmarket buyer they claim (apologies to fellow San Franciscans who agree with me that that's still a pretty pricey home).

I'll try to post the article Sunday.

BTinSF
Mar 17, 2007, 1:02 AM
^^^Well, further thanks to SocketSite:

There will be four buildings and four retail spaces. The largest will be 35 stories on the market st side and the other three will be 9, 18, and 19 stories.

and

The taller north tower will be 35 stories and approximately 352 feet high, and the shorter south tower will be 19 stories and approximately 220 feet high.

35 stories . . . 352 feet. Hmm. That makes it worthy of SSP attention and a thread when they break ground.

coyotetrickster
Mar 17, 2007, 3:37 AM
^^^Yeah, it's a long article with a not-very-helpful rendering of the building. However it does say they are going to put about 920 units total (Crescent's 720 plus up to 200 units of family or senior housing by TNDC) on the lot and the rendering does make it look fairly tall. It also quotes Chris Daly as saying he sees "no red flags" which is important because he has been instrumental in holding up the Trinity Plaza project down the street. Finally, it says the units will sell in the range of $400,000 - $600,000. They are aiming at {{gulp}} a somewhat downmarket buyer they claim (apologies to fellow San Franciscans who agree with me that that's still a pretty pricey home).

I'll try to post the article Sunday.

I thought it was McGoldrick and Maxwell that threw the wrench in the Trinity Plaza project. Daly signed off on the project, as I understand, when Sangiacomo offered additional BMR units in exchange for higher density. It was the other two useless supes (well, all of them are useless, but Mcgoldrick and Maxwell are up there with Ammiano for most pointless waste of ectoplasm and synaptic signals...

BTinSF
Mar 17, 2007, 3:53 AM
Daly made a "deal" with Sangiacomo but then didn't stand up for his own "deal" when McGoldrick and Maxwell opposed the project anyway. If Daly would energetically support the project as he negotiated it, it would happen--NOW.


Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, however, threatened the deal late last year when he asked for more out of the developer.

McGoldrick’s objection to the deal is over the amount of affordable housing. As it stands, 12 percent, or 185, of the total housing units — once the rent-controlled units are subtracted from the total units — would be offered at a below-market rate. “One hundred and eighty-five units is not enough,” McGoldrick said. He said he wants to see 46 to 48 more units offered at below-market rate to reflect the recently adopted requirement of developments to set aside 15 percent of the units at below-market rate.

McGoldrick said that if Sangiacomo agrees to this, the project would be “just about across the finish line as far as I’m concerned.”

Daly said it’s his understanding that the additional below-market-rate units would not be a problem and was optimistic all the issues could be worked out.

Sangiacomo’s representative, Jim Rubin, declined to comment.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/a-530240~Amendment_propels_Trinity_Plaza_project.html

In other words, Daly more or less took McGoldrick's side. And I think Jim Rubin's "no comment" spoke a lot.

slock
Mar 17, 2007, 2:57 PM
The only bad thing about this project is the architect, Heller Manus.

mthd
Mar 17, 2007, 9:36 PM
The only bad thing about this project is the architect, Heller Manus.

if you've seen the design, you can add another bad thing.

the previous office tower proposed for the site was much nicer.

BTinSF
Mar 19, 2007, 4:44 AM
BizTimes on the 10th & market project:

Crescent Heights to start big Mid-Market project
San Francisco Business Times - March 16, 2007
by J.K. Dineen
Crescent Heights has begun demolition at 10th and Market streets and plans to begin construction on a $350 million, 720-unit condo project this summer pending approvals at a Planning Commission hearing on March 22, according to company Vice President Steve Della Salla.

The project has not generated as much attention or controversy as the proposed 1,900-unit Trinity Plaza project at Eighth and Market streets, but promises to inject new life into a forlorn stretch of Market that has resisted redevelopment for decades.

In addition to Crescent Heights' 720 condos, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. and Citizens Housing are teaming up to build 100 to 200 units of family or senior housing on the southern portion of the parcel. TNDC and Citizens sold the land to the Miami-based Crescent Heights in March 2006 for $26.5 million, but held on to a portion of the parcel on which it will build housing for poor people.

Both Della Salla and TNDC Executive Director Don Falk described the two projects as joined at the hip, a one-two development punch that will create a mixed-income animated neighborhood in an area that could use some help. The Department of Building Inspections expedited the demolition of existing buildings after vagrants repeatedly broke into 1401 Market St. and set the building on fire, according to DBI records.

Della Salla said he is committed to both projects -- the affordable and the market rate.

"It's a little bit outside the box, but (TNDC and Citizens) stood with us. They believed in us. We're going to help them get to the goal line too," he said.

District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly said it's too early to take a definitive position on the Crescent Heights development. But he said he was encouraged by the fact that Crescent Heights plans on building the 15 percent mandated below market rate units on site.

"I haven't seen any red flags," said Daly.

Crescent Heights is positioning the development to cater to renters and first-time homeowners, with smaller units that will average less than 800 square feet for a one bedroom, Della Salla said.

The project will be more affordable than the Metropolitan, the Rincon Hill development Crescent Heights built three years ago. Della Salla said he hoped the project would appeal to workers from the nearby City Hall and federal building, as well as current Hayes Valley renters across Market Street. Many of the units will be in the $500,000 to $600,000 range and some under $400,000.

"This is not Rincon Hill -- we're hoping to sell to the average guy," said Della Salla. "It won't be people who want to live by the ball park. More the creative guy. Not your financial type, not your Wall Street guy."

He said he supports the idea of creating an arts district in Mid-Market, which was a central component of the controversial Mid-Market redevelopment plan, which most neighborhood observers say is now politically dead in the water.

"We like the idea of not going where everybody else is going, of places that are changing for the better," he said. "This reminds us of Soho 10 years ago or the meatpacking district (both in New York) 15 years ago. We see streets full of people walking, riding bikes. We think that is going to happen."

Della Salla said he realizes that the politics in the Mid-Market are are more complex than those in Rincon Hill. Neighborhood factions have fought off efforts at gentrification and lobbied to preserve industrial uses. He said he is spending more time meeting with neighbors. The Brooklyn-born Della Salla said he understands that development politics in San Francisco have more in common with lower Manhattan, where he did a project on Broad Street, than with sunny, pro-development bastions like Atlanta and Miami.

"We don't want to be the big bad developer who runs away," said Della Salla. "We want to do other projects here. If I don't do the right thing, I'm going to get skinned alive."

Architect Jeffrey Heller, whose firm HellerManus is designing the towers, said the project has not created any outspoken objections.

"It's been fairly smooth," he said. "Which is not to say there won't be whining at the Planning Commission."

Carolyn Diamond, executive director of the Market Street Association, said she backs the project, but would also like to see more family-oriented housing with larger units in the area.

"I'm glad they are breaking ground because so much else seems to be stalling," said Diamond. "Hopefully other projects will fall in line."

jkdineen@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4971

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/03/19/story4.html?t=printable

Hal Incandenza
Mar 20, 2007, 6:32 PM
The interminable Trinity Plaza saga continued last night at the Land Use & Development committee. Either it was encouraging (http://beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=4318), or it was yet another snag (http://www.examiner.com/a-628616~Trinity_Plaza_plans_hit_snag_again.html), depending on who you believe. Do we trust Randy Shaw, who seems deeply politically invested in this project but has also been following it closely? Or our local advertising flier which, while not known for its in-depth and impartial reporting, seems to have no stake in either side? Anybody know more?

BTinSF
Mar 20, 2007, 7:40 PM
^^^I read both your links several times. I go with Randy Shaw on this one (and little else). It sounds like McGoldrick is the only hold-out and that's not enough to stop it again. Besides, the Examiner doesn't make clear what Shaw's article did which is that McGoldrick's proposal is for more "affordable" units at the expense of freeing other units from rent control and that won't fly as Shaw says. So I think the project will get Board approval. But the financing may be more troublesome.

Reminiscence
Mar 21, 2007, 2:20 AM
I was really bored today and didnt have much to do, so I drew this. I think its pretty good concidering I used Microsoft Paint to draw it all up, and a little inspiration from vpauzuolis' great diagrams. :)

http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/6417/sfdiagrambr6.gif

rocketman_95046
Mar 21, 2007, 3:21 AM
^You see the problem with doing a great job...is that people (like me) will be asking you to update the diagram on a regular basis!:yes:

:tup:

Reminiscence
Mar 22, 2007, 6:16 AM
Thanks :)

I guess now that I made it, I'll try to update it monthly as well.

SLO
Mar 22, 2007, 1:21 PM
^^thats fantastic....
Ive seen the photos of Rincon and was in SF last October, I assumed it was topped out......apparently not.

dimondpark
Mar 22, 2007, 3:02 PM
Everytime I drive across the bay bridge with people, they always comment on One Rincon Hill....always. Usually its about how tall it is and how close the thing is to the freeway.

Oh, and it looks amazing from the East Bay when your on 880 around the Port of Oakland.

snufalufugus
Mar 22, 2007, 9:16 PM
Creativity marks plan for Octavia
Architects' visions contain fresh takes on urban housing

John King, Chronicle Urban Design Writer
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Architect Douglas Burnham's stylish yet serious buildings... Twelve buildings are envisioned by architect Jon Worden's... The design for the corner of Octavia Boulevard and Market... Octavia Boulevard, San Francisco. Chronicle Graphic

Anyone who thinks modern architecture is too aloof to grapple with the quirks of city life should look at what's proposed for Octavia Boulevard in San Francisco.

Three teams of architects and builders have been selected to fill sites along the new roadway, and the one thing the winners have in common is that they aren't just trotting out slick designs. Each team's plan is stylish but serious, with fresh twists on how to add distinctive housing to a well-established neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the scene also shows another facet of San Francisco: a planning process where competing ideals often translate to gridlock. There's a real danger that the rebirth of Octavia Boulevard could be stalled by politically tinged disputes over the future of the area around it.

That would be a mistake -- because the architectural forms and planning theories being experimented with can be applied citywide.

Octavia Boulevard is a laboratory, a former elevated freeway path recast as a five-block landscaped roadway that's becoming the centerpiece of the Hayes Valley neighborhood. Twelve empty lots once covered by freeway will be redeveloped and money from the land sales will fund neighborhood street improvements.

The boulevard opened in 2005, but only last winter were the first four parcels offered to development teams. The winning teams selected last month are now negotiating purchase of their sites from the city.

The largest project is the most ambitious, old-school and avant-garde at once.

It's set on an acre-plus block on the north side of Oak Street between Laguna Street and the boulevard. Where a freeway on-ramp once stood, an alliance of local architects and developer Build Inc. propose 12 distinct buildings ranging in height from 40 to 55 feet.

All this is a nod to how cities once naturally grew: piece by piece and cheek by jowl. Not only that, the team says the economics work.

"Smaller makes sense in terms of the fire code and other issues" such as placing all the parking on one edge of the block to save excavation costs, said Jon Worden, an architect on the team. "We want this to be organic, like a historic, fine-grained city."

There's a totally different approach a few blocks to the south, where Stanley Saitowitz and AkS Development would fill the knife-edged block where Octavia meets Market Street with a long horizontal bar of concrete and glass.

Saitowitz's architecture can be rigid and stark -- don't look for Victorian frills -- but this project has an icy allure. Along Octavia, the building is sliced by broad multistory courtyards -- two from the top down, one from the bottom up -- to create a sculptural, almost undulating form. The transparent walls would be sheathed in tinted glass blinds that pivot open and shut at the whim of the resident inside.

The final parcels are a pair of 16-foot-wide slivers along Octavia between Oak and Fell streets. They went to architect Douglas Burnham with BBI Construction and Placeworks, an Alameda developer.

Burnham's design, like Saitowitz's, relies on concrete and glass. But the feel would be lean and light, a glass-enclosed scaffold. The one stroke of color comes from horizontal wooden sun screens that snap up and stab out like fins when residents want daylight or views.

The winning teams show architecture at its best, imaginative but also contextual. To take one example, the Saitowitz and Build Inc. sensibilities couldn't be less alike, yet each is a valid response to their particular sites -- one an exposed gateway, the other an ingrained piece of the neighborhood.

But despite the merit of the designs and the support of neighborhood leaders, they can't move forward. That's because of a civic jousting match over a plan for 70 blocks of San Francisco between Civic Center and the Castro District.

The plan has been in the works since -- wait for it -- 2002.

It's an ambitious vision that tries to look at a complex area in holistic terms. The plan adjusts height limits and parking requirements, maps out how to landscape alleyways, and includes an ongoing survey to identify historic buildings.

While initial reaction to the plan was enthusiastic, environmental reviews stretched an absurd four years -- and when the document reached the City Planning Commission last fall, critics starting chipping away.

Every side demands changes, and is happy to see the plan stalled unless. Transit advocates want even less parking, for instance, but some residents say tight parking limits are a bad idea.

It's a San Francisco ritual. Skip the "community process," then pile on when it is time to vote.

But while everyone angles for concessions, good projects get stuck. In this case, the Octavia projects could face delays because they're designed to conform to the proposed zoning.

The original schedule called for a December vote. Instead, the Planning Commission meets today and may -- or may not -- vote. Even if it approves the plan with tweaks, don't be surprised to see more posturing and delays at the Board of Supervisors.

The creation of Octavia Boulevard and the projects now proposed along it show that San Francisco can still produce innovative architecture and urban design. The bickering over the larger plan shows how difficult such innovation can be.

E-mail John King at jking@sfchronicle.com.


http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/03/22/ba_octavia_envelopea.jpg
Architect Douglas Burnham's stylish yet serious buildings line the east side of Octavia Boulevard between Oak and Fell streets. Image courtesy of envelope Architecture+Design


http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/03/22/ba_octavia22_02_octa.jpg
Twelve buildings are envisioned by architect Jon Worden's team along the north side of Oak Street between Laguna and Octavia. Image courtesy of Jon Worden Architects


http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/03/22/ba_ocatvia_gateway_saitowitz.jpg
The design for the corner of Octavia Boulevard and Market Street by Stanley Saitowitz and Natoma Architects. Photo courtesy of Stanley Saitowitz and Natoma Architects

The_Analyst
Mar 23, 2007, 4:13 AM
In general, all three designs are good. The Jon Worden building design is a little conservative but it should look ok if built. I hope the Stanley Saitowitz design would actually turn out as good as it looks in the rendering but I am always a bit skeptical with all-glass buildings when seen in the real world. I'm also concerned about Douglas Burnham's proposal to have those odd window covering/shade things. That just seems to me like a contraption that would start falling apart after a few years and then look terrible.

SFView
Mar 23, 2007, 5:33 AM
Here is a selection of housing projects from the Transbay CAC Housing Presentation of March 14, 2007:
http://sfgov.org/site/sfra_page.asp?id=5583#D4D

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m96/mrayatsfo/PlazaApartments.jpg

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m96/mrayatsfo/MissionCreekSeniorCommunity.jpg

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m96/mrayatsfo/RichSorroCommons.jpg

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m96/mrayatsfo/10thandMissionFamilyHousing.jpg

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m96/mrayatsfo/9thandJessieSeniorHousing.jpg

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m96/mrayatsfo/CentralFreewayParcelG.jpg

Reminiscence
Mar 23, 2007, 6:05 AM
Hmm, some of these projects are starting construction pretty soon, much sooner than I anticipated. We're looking at one start within 2 months of now, thats nice.

Reminiscence
Mar 23, 2007, 6:19 AM
And ... :)

Cal Pacific board approves $1.7 billion hospital campus

San Francisco Business Times - 3:00 PM PDT Thursday, March 22, 2007

by Chris Rauber

California Pacific Medical Center has received a formal go-ahead for its proposed $1.7 billion Cathedral Hill hospital from its board of directors and the board of its Sutter Health parent.

CPMC said Thursday its "pioneering" 455-bed facility on Van Ness Avenue will be the first new acute-care hospital built in the city in the past 40 years. That depends, however, on whether CPMC or the UCSF Medical Center completes its planned new hospital complex first. UCSF proposes to construct a $1.3 billion children's, women's and cancer specialty facility at Mission Bay by 2014.

California Pacific and Sutter officials have debated since early last year how to proceed with the massive project, which has seen cost estimates soar dramatically in the last two years. Late last year, officials were still estimating the tab at $1.45 billion, including a then-$250 million medical office building, but the total has since climbed to $1.7 billion, as hospitals statewide battle to comply with California's seismic safety law.

Hal Incandenza
Mar 23, 2007, 4:36 PM
Glide leader Williams to at last break ground on Tenderloin housing

Seven years after snapping up a prime site on the bottom of Mason Street, Cecil Williams is finally fulfilling his dream of building housing in the Tenderloin.

Williams, the legendary head of the Glide Memorial Church, is preparing to break ground Thursday on a pair of adjacent developments that will bring 137 affordable housing units to two surface parking lots near the corner of Market and Mason streets.

The projects, which will combined cost $70 million, are a joint venture between Glide Economic Development Corp., the Tenderloin Neighborhood Housing Development Corp., and Millennium Partners.

Millennium is bankrolling the majority of 81 units of family housing at 125 Mason as affordable component of its Millennium Tower project, a luxury highrise at 301 Mission St. The second development, at 149 Mason, will provide studio apartments and services for formerly homeless adults.

"Step by step, we're realizing our vision of creating a healthy and vibrant neighborhood in the Tenderloin," said Williams, chair of GEDC's Board of Directors and CEO and Minister of Glide's National and International Ministries of Glide Memorial Church. "More than just affordable homes, these new buildings will provide a safe community for our working families and our homeless neighbors."

The buildings will fill an urban void on that block by replacing two parking lots now on the sites. The fourteen-story building at 125 Mason will feature landscaped courtyards, a secure sun-filled outdoor play area for children, community lounge areas with outdoor decks, and multi-purpose rooms for community events. 125 Mason is slated for completion fall 2008.

"Millennium Partners is proud to be part of this collaborative effort," said Sean Jeffries, a principal of Millennium Partners. "These projects will truly make a difference in this underserved area of the community."

damionmatthews
Mar 24, 2007, 2:36 AM
Renderings of 10th and Market exterior:

http://www.socketsite.com/10th%20and%20Market.jpg

From http://www.sfcondo.org and San Francisco Business Times.

craeg
Mar 24, 2007, 6:59 PM
Not bad for a heller manus building.

SFView
Mar 24, 2007, 8:06 PM
I agree, ...still Heller Manus, but better. Could it be that they learned a thing or two from their work with Arquitectonica, and seeing other more attractive buildings going up in the city? Is that a hole I see up there? That almost Disco Ball look with the curved sections of glass seems to be one of the hotter trends in San Francisco lately. This design should well compliment the curved glass sections of the Argenta now rising across the street. Fox Plaza will finally be framed by some new glitter that Rocks!

I still find that shorter south tower a bit disappointing though.

BTinSF
Mar 24, 2007, 9:10 PM
I hope the color of the rendering is off. The glass looks too close to what I refer to as "puke" green and some call "prison green" or "hospital green"--the color they used to paint the walls of depressing institutions. I would also prefer that the non-glass parts not be so nearly white. If it stays the color it is, it will definitely make me think of a hospital every time I see it.

SFView
Mar 24, 2007, 10:39 PM
Ha! Excuse me while I laugh...

coyotetrickster
Mar 24, 2007, 11:45 PM
I hope the color of the rendering is off. The glass looks too close to what I refer to as "puke" green and some call "prison green" or "hospital green"--the color they used to paint the walls of depressing institutions. I would also prefer that the non-glass parts not be so nearly white. If it stays the color it is, it will definitely make me think of a hospital every time I see it.

Yeah, the rendering looks like it was created with MSPaint (no offense to some one's recent posts). You'd think Heller-M was being paid enough to create a decent rendering.

Reminiscence
Mar 25, 2007, 4:44 PM
^^^

None taken.

I too have heard some negative comments about the glass, everywhere from "hospital green" to "toxic waste green". I havent seen too many buildings' glass come out exactly the way the rendering displayed it ... with the exception of Millenium Tower (which I will make absolutely no protest about :)).

BTinSF
Mar 26, 2007, 4:48 AM
From SF Business Times:

Alexandria Real Estate Equities is speeding up its construction schedule and plans to build 2.2 million square feet of its life science complex at Mission Bay by 2011.

The move comes as a response to robust demand for biotech space that even the most rosy-eyed Mission Bay boosters did not anticipate.

Under a new schedule outlined in a city economic development report, Alexandria would deliver a single 165,000-square-foot building in 2008. Construction would then kick into high gear with 700,000 square feet built by 2009, another 1 million square feet completed in 2010, and a final 330,000-square-foot building ready for occupancy in 2011, according to a city report.

If the life science campus is built out by 2011, Alexandria would be at least two years ahead of the schedule anticipated when it bought the last of its parcels in 2005.

For the full article, see http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=2717962&posted=1#post2717962

BTinSF
Mar 26, 2007, 5:34 AM
Oakland airport hotel:

Port of Oakland wants bids on airport hotel by year's end
San Francisco Business Times - March 23, 2007
by Ryan Tate

Jones Lang LaSalle is expected next month to begin studying a Port of Oakland plan to build a hotel at the airport.

The Port's executive offices, where real estate chief Omar Benjamin took over as director in December, hatched the plans as part of a search for new revenue sources.

Port commissioners approved a $164,000 feasibility study earlier this month, and real estate consultants at Jones Lang LaSalle should begin work in April.

Possible locations include a plot near the northern airfield, site of the original Oakland Airport and home to corporate flights, a plot near the south airfield where most passenger flights now originate, and another plot that is near the former United Airlines maintenance hangar, which is the possible home of the airport's third terminal.

The FAA has forecast the airport to grow from 14.4 million passengers last year to 18 million in 2010 and in the years beyond that to 25 million, according to airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes.

"Our first priority is to make sure we have adequate terminal space to meet the (passenger) demands," Barnes said.

The hotel study should wrap up some time this summer, followed by a formal request for proposals from developers and then the collection of bids. The port hopes to finish the process by the end of the year, Barnes said.

In a related timeline, port staff expect to present to commissioners in the next few months a report on the possible configuration of a third terminal. The terminal and hotel are both possible elements of a master 20-year development plan still being refined.

Additional development possibilities at the airport include a new airplane cargo loading facility, a new parking garage and new catering provisioning areas.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/03/26/story18.html?t=printable

BTinSF
Mar 26, 2007, 6:01 PM
Tales of the new Federal Building:

Tower trouble: We told you about the cost overruns in San Francisco's brand new, eco-friendly, $144 million Federal Building at Seventh and Mission streets. Now, some workers there are dubbing the place the "Tower of Torture.''
First there was a woman who got stuck in the tower elevator for two hours. Another woman tells us that days later, she and nine co-workers got stuck in an annex elevator for 45 minutes -- with the fan shut off.
"By the time we were rescued, we were drenched in sweat and about to pass out,'' said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear she'd get in trouble by talking without authorization.
As if that wasn't enough, the building has so much natural lighting -- one of its heralded architectural achievements -- that some workers have resorted to wearing sunglasses and keeping sun umbrellas at their desks.
General Services Administration spokeswoman Gene Gibson says the elevators were tested before the building opened, and they are still going through "performance adjustments'' -- but, yes, one glitch was discovered.
The elevator panic buttons, connecting to an emergency call center in Denver, didn't register the proper San Francisco address -- hence a delay in answering any calls for help.
"It took a couple of hours to figure it out, but those are all fixed now,'' Gibson said.
As for the really bright natural light, Gibson says the building's managers are looking at ordering reflective window shades.
Whenever a big new building opens, there's always a bit of tweaking needed to make everything work, Gibson said. She noted that only about 650 of the building's planned 1,600 workers have moved in so far.
The good news is that the smashed-out glass front door that workers discovered the other morning as they arrived at their high-security headquarters wasn't the work of vandals or other intruders. Seems equipment-wielding construction workers who are putting the final touches on the 18-story wonder accidentally smacked into the door.
Source: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/26/BAGONORI5S1.DTL

Reminiscence
Mar 26, 2007, 8:07 PM
Seems like too much of a good thing. I wonder when they'll get around to installing that reflective glass and how much of the tower will be affected.

Hal Incandenza
Mar 27, 2007, 2:23 AM
Okay, this looks promising. Not much info about transit, though; anyone know where Third St is on the map?

City unveils new 49ers stadium proposal

SF Chronicle

Officials have unveiled sweeping plans to redevelop two of the city's most economically depressed neighborhoods with a proposal that includes a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers.

The plans for Hunters Point and Candlestick Point also include nearly 790 acres of housing, office, retail shops and waterfront parks.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said he is trying to make it difficult for the team to abandon its namesake city. The team is currently positioning itself to fight for partial public financing of a stadium in Santa Clara.

The plan unveiled this evening promises nearly 9,000 new homes, possibly rebuilding a housing project, constructing more than 300 acres of parkland and trails, and building more than 2 million square feet of office space. It also promises plentiful parking for tailgate parties and no seizures of privately owned homes. Ultimately, voters in the city will be asked to bless the final vision.

Newsom says his plan would not require any public funding for a stadium at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a toxic Superfund site that the Navy is now cleaning.

"We have a plan that we can finance -- no surprises,'' Newsom said in an interview. "I want to put pressure on the 49ers. I want to make it very difficult for them to leave our city.''

Hoping that the 49ers will not get what they are seeking in the South Bay, Newsom said he will ask the Board of Supervisors to endorse the plan in May with hopes of beginning environmental reviews in June. Construction could begin in June 2009 and the stadium could be ready by 2012 season, he said.

City officials insist that the transformation of the troubled neighborhoods will happen regardless of whether the team builds its new home in San Francisco.

The city expects to partner with the Lennar Corp. of Miami, a development company also redeveloping Treasure Island.

As with the San Francisco Giants' waterfront ballpark, the city would contribute the land. Lennar says it will contribute $100 million in cash and pay for the stadium's infrastructure, including parking, roads, electrical lines, sewer pipes and water service.

Team spokeswoman Lisa Lang said San Francisco's latest proposal represents progress but doesn't address all the team's concerns. That includes the cleanup of the Hunters Point Superfund site, a designation given to the country's most contaminated areas.

http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/03/27/mn_49stadium_04.jpg

EastBayHardCore
Mar 27, 2007, 3:03 AM
anyone know where Third St is on the map?

About a mile and a half to the west separated by some of the most dangerous projects in the city.

Richard Mlynarik
Mar 27, 2007, 3:15 AM
Okay, this looks promising. [...]
Except for the totally inutile stadium and acres of asphalted over lots blighting, disfiguring, and dragging down the rest of the the plan, yes, it might be.

BTinSF
Mar 27, 2007, 3:32 AM
^^^In this case, parking lots might be the highest, best use for the property: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/18/HUNTERS.TMP . The ground is severely contaminated and the rock itself is asbestos-containing serpentine. Would YOU want a home built there? Would you want your kids playing in the dirt there?

IF San Francisco wants to keep the 49ers in town (and I'm dubious of the whole idea myself), it is probably going to have to accomodate the desires of fans for large parking lots where pregame "tailgating" can occur and for secure, all-weather parking. I can think of no better place within the city limits to put it and it may be that simply covering over the toxics and the asbestos rock with asphalt is the best way to use that land.

Frisco_Zig
Mar 27, 2007, 5:12 PM
Except for the totally inutile stadium and acres of asphalted over lots blighting, disfiguring, and dragging down the rest of the the plan, yes, it might be.


you don't like acres of "green, dual use" parking lots?

Richard Mlynarik
Mar 27, 2007, 7:26 PM
you don't like acres of "green, dual use" parking lots?
No. Are you serious?! (Or delusional?)

This is just about the worst possible use of space.

BTW on the subject of green grass, I'd prefer green, maintained SF city parks.
The state of SF Rec&Park is an absolute disgrace.
But you'll never see any attention paid to that by Mayor McSleazy.

BTinSF
Mar 27, 2007, 9:51 PM
No. Are you serious?! (Or delusional?)



Richard, seriously--why do you have to make every point so offensively? It's just counterproductive. You marginalize yourself. Please stop it.

briankendall
Mar 29, 2007, 4:28 AM
Did the Trinity Plaza project/proposal pass the board of supervisors on Tuesday?

rocketman_95046
Mar 29, 2007, 5:58 AM
A few SJ updates from webcor...

Axis...

http://www.webcor.com/auto_images/large/axismarch2007a1175098885.jpg
http://www.webcor.com/auto_images/large/axismarch2007d1175098915.jpg
http://www.webcor.com/auto_images/large/axisjanuary2007frend1169077868.jpg

Central Place...

http://www.webcor.com/auto_images/large/centralplacemarch2007d1175098759.jpg
http://www.webcor.com/auto_images/large/centralplacefinal1152222427.jpg

BTinSF
Mar 29, 2007, 8:28 AM
Did the Trinity Plaza project/proposal pass the board of supervisors on Tuesday?

It got out of the Land Use Committee and will go before the full Board on April 10. Passage then is fairly certain since Sup. McGoldrick is now on board. That leaves only one likely "No" vote I think and it could be unanimous.

There is a thread about Trinity Plaza here.

Frisco_Zig
Mar 29, 2007, 8:58 PM
No. Are you serious?! (Or delusional?)

This is just about the worst possible use of space.

BTW on the subject of green grass, I'd prefer green, maintained SF city parks.
The state of SF Rec&Park is an absolute disgrace.
But you'll never see any attention paid to that by Mayor McSleazy.

I've read enough of you on the internet to know acres of parking lots, "green" or otherwise are anathema to your beliefs.

pseudolus
Mar 30, 2007, 6:35 AM
surprised no one's posted this:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/03/29/BAGOGOTSB01.DTL&type=printable

SAN FRANCISCO
Negative feng shui?
Proposed CCSF high-rise near Portsmouth Square concerns neighborhood

Tanya Schevitz, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, March 29, 2007
City College's plans to build a 17-story campus across fr... Mei Rong Yu Li (left), 86, and her husband, Heragun Li, 9... Portsmouth Square is a popular hangout amongst elderly Ch...

Backers of a proposed community college building in San Francisco's Chinatown say the flowing glass tower will be imbued with feng shui -- the ancient Chinese concept that the placement of things brings balance to their surroundings and promotes prosperity, health and happiness.

But some residents and merchants say City College of San Francisco's new building is a 17-story, 253-foot "monstrosity" that would loom over Portsmouth Square -- and has already created negative feng shui.

"The objective of feng shui is to achieve harmony with the environment," said Albert Cheng, a community leader and strong opponent of the proposal. "The whole fact that this proposal has created such a disturbance is a sign that it is not good feng shui. It is really historically, architecturally, esthetically incompatible with the neighborhood."

Many thought the college planned to build a low-rise campus in Chinatown and were stunned in October when plans were unveiled for a 17-story glass and steel structure at Kearny and Washington streets.

According to City College Chancellor Philip Day Jr., the vertical design is needed to accommodate the classrooms, a library and support services for about 6,500 students at the satellite campus.

Now, the $122 million project is caught in a cross fire of controversy, with allegations that Justice Investors, which owns the neighboring 27-story Hilton Hotel, is fanning the opposition because the hotel would lose its views of San Francisco Bay.

Publicist Sam Singer, who is representing Justice Investors, said this is the wrong project for the neighborhood.

"It is not a question of blocking the views, it is the question of a 17-story high-rise that creates a shadow and significant traffic and parking problems," he said. "A smaller, more reasonably sized campus, Justice Investors would support."

The site is zoned for buildings with a maximum height of 65 feet, but Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and a supporter of the project, said there are plenty of high-rises in the bordering Financial District just blocks away, next door to the Hilton.

"It really is the height of hypocrisy for them, with 30 stories, to say this tower is too tall and will cast a shadow," said Pan, who has gathered 2,000 signatures in support of the project. "They have got a financial interest to try to protect their views. To me, it is an issue about immigrant rights ... generations of immigrants and adult learners bettering their lives."

Day said the 17-story structure is just a talking point, not a done deal.

"We have never said we are going to build a 17-story facility. It was all a what-if. You have to start somewhere," Day said. "We are going through all of this effort to get community input which certainly should be sending the message to everybody that we are not stuck on this design."

An environmental impact report on the project expected to be issued at the end of April will offer several alternatives, and plenty of opportunity for input before it is considered for approval in August, Day said. The college intends to begin construction on a campus in 2008.

Day said the approximately 6,500 students who will be served by the new campus will not all be there at the same time but will be on campus during day, night and weekend classes throughout the semester. Most are the same students who have already been taking classes in the Chinatown area at about 10 sites.

The 17-story building may be conceptual in Day's mind, but the college's architectural overview of the project paints a pretty clear picture of what opponents fear is coming their way.

According to the documents: "The new City College campus for Chinatown/North Beach collects all the functions of a college campus into one high-rise building which is intended to serve as a beacon of knowledge and learning. Feng shui principles guide the design."

The documents show illustrations of the high-rise building and note it will contain 42 classrooms with language labs, science labs, computer training rooms and a culinary program.

The college's Board of Trustees will discuss the proposal at their meeting tonight and the college administrators have set up two meetings in mid-April to solicit comment on the proposal from community leaders.

A long list of businesses and community organizations have signed on to oppose the high-rise, including the Chinatown Community Development Center, the Telegraph Hill Dwellers and the Chinatown Merchants Association.

This is not the first time the college has raised the ire of people in Chinatown. City College has been trying for about 10 years to build a satellite campus there to consolidate its 10 leased classroom sites and expand its programs beyond the mostly noncredit courses offered now. But its last effort just a few blocks away failed after the college was sued to stop it from displacing low-income elderly tenants and from destroying the historic Colombo Building.

Everybody would like to see a consolidated City College campus in Chinatown, said San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, but the college should have solicited more input from the community before unveiling a building that he said would be better suited to Shanghai than San Francisco.

"What is fundamentally disturbing is their consistent failure to reach out to the community in any way," Peskin said. "They don't seem to learn from their mistakes."

Much of the concerns are about erecting a building that would cast shadows and close off the one remaining open air space around Portsmouth Square, a park that is teeming with playing children and elderly Chinese men and women playing Chinese chess and cards and taking in the sunshine and socializing.

"We are opposed to it. They should not build a structure like this. It would block the flow of air and light," said Heragun Li, 91, who visits the park daily with his wife. "The old people all come here to socialize."

Day said a shadow study conducted by the college found that its 17-story building would only cast a shadow for a little over an hour a day in the morning for a couple of weeks a year and that the Hilton shadows the area more significantly.

BTinSF
Mar 30, 2007, 8:11 AM
^^^I was going to post it but I spent about an hour looking for a rendering and couldn't find one, and I thought the article doesn't say much if the reader doesn't know what the building looks like. Has anybody got a rendering?

EastBayHardCore
Mar 30, 2007, 3:16 PM
Kearny and Washington eh? That's a parking lot directly across the street from the former Holiday Inn next to Portsmouth Square and a block or so away from the Financial District. I can't see how this 17 story building would dramatically change the square for the worse given the 30+ story monstrosity that already sits next to it.

coyotetrickster
Mar 30, 2007, 4:11 PM
Kearny and Washington eh? That's a parking lot directly across the street from the former Holiday Inn next to Portsmouth Square and a block or so away from the Financial District. I can't see how this 17 story building would dramatically change the square for the worse given the 30+ story monstrosity that already sits next to it.

It figures a PR flack would be quoted, since they technically have no soul that can be purchased by a monthly retainer. The Portsmouth Square hotel is a third generation copy of a copy of Marcel Breuer's brutalist movement. It s 'fugly' and anything that helps mitigate that concrete troll (not to be trollist, here) should be welcomed.:)

pseudolus
Mar 30, 2007, 4:40 PM
It looks like a half-scale model of the Infinity.

http://www.ccsf.edu/Board/Bond/CCSF_ProjectsUpdate12112006_files/v3_slide0126_image051.gif

http://www.ccsf.edu/Board/Bond/CCSF_ProjectsUpdate12112006_files/v3_slide0126_image051.gif

MrMetropolitan
Mar 30, 2007, 4:44 PM
It looks like a half-scale model of the Infinity.

http://www.ccsf.edu/Board/Bond/CCSF_ProjectsUpdate12112006_files/v3_slide0126_image051.gif

http://www.ccsf.edu/Board/Bond/CCSF_ProjectsUpdate12112006_files/v3_slide0126_image051.gif

It looks like a big blue bag of flour.

BTinSF
Mar 30, 2007, 4:51 PM
It figures a PR flack would be quoted, since they technically have no soul that can be purchased by a monthly retainer. The Portsmouth Square hotel is a third generation copy of a copy of Marcel Breuer's brutalist movement. It s 'fugly' and anything that helps mitigate that concrete troll (not to be trollist, here) should be welcomed.:)

A lot of the opposition to it seems to be coming from "that concrete troll" as well as the usual SF NIMBY crowd (Bay Guardian, political insiders like Leeland Yee):

‘Hilton Butt Out!’ Say Chinatown Community Groups
New America Media, News Digest, Mark Schurmann, Posted: Mar 17, 2007

Editor's Note: Community activists and civil rights groups have clashed with the Hilton Hotel over its attempts to block the construction of a new Community College campus in the heart of Chinatown. Mark Schurmann is a writer for New America Media.

SAN FRANCISCO — Chinese civil rights groups and activists lashed out at the Hilton Hotel for threatening plans for a new City College campus in the heart of Chinatown.

Friends of Educational Opportunities in Chinatown, a coalition of various Chinese community groups in support of the proposed new building at Portsmouth Square, expressed outrage at the disclosure that Hilton Hotel Financial District has hired a lobbyist to oppose the building of the new campus.

“We’ve joined together to fight for a critical cause, a permanent City College campus for the Chinatown community,” said Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, at a press conference held in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Pan charges that the Hilton Hotel has tried to create the impression that the Chinese community does not support the new campus.

The Hilton Hotel did not respond to repeated attempts to contact them in the week following the news conference.

The new campus has already been approved by the City College Board of Trustees and by San Francisco voters in last November’s election, Pan says. He adds that the Chinese community is firmly behind the new campus. Since Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin made the disclosure at a meeting in Chinatown in January, Friends of Educational Opportunities in Chinatown has already received 1600 signatures in support of the new campus. “Our concern is that Hilton continues to confuse people, causing a delay that will cause the funding to stop,” says Pan.

Community housing activist Linda Wang warned that delays may cause funding to go elsewhere. “There is a lot of competition for state funds,” says Wang, who sees the opposition as wealthy interests from Telegraph Hill, as well as the Hilton Hotel, who are interested in protecting unobstructed views of the city at the expense of the Chinese community. The proposed new site is directly across from the Hilton Hotel, Financial District.

“The purpose of this press conference is to set the record straight. The new campus is a very critical service for newcomer students to be able to survive in this country. This building will provide a variety of amenities we don’t have right now enhancing the students’ abilities to learn English, gain citizenship and access better jobs so they can better provide for their families,” noted Wang.

Local businessman Clifford Waldeck admits “that is a convincing argument,” but he still has reservations. “I don’t think they’ve fully thought it through,” says Waldeck, who attended the press conference and says he is worried about the height of the new building and it’s impact on the community. “If you track the planning process back, its ‘Lets go as high as we can’.”

Waldeck said he supports a new campus for Chinatown, but he’s concerned about the potential congestion caused by the expected student body (it can accommodate 6,000 students) for the new, high-rise building, “I’m a very open minded guy as long as there is a fully vetted process with a proper ERI (environmental impact report) in place.” Waldeck says that if the concerns of those in the community who are opposed to the new design are taken into consideration in the final decision, “it will make for a better campus.”

The current Chinatown/North Beach City College campus is located on Filbert Street and is leased from the San Francisco Unified School District. According to proponents of the new project, the building was originally intended as an elementary school, and doesn't meet the needs of its students. “The ceilings are crumbling and the bathrooms are too small. I can’t even turn around in the stalls,” says Mei Zhen Ma, a member of the student council.

Ma said she’s heard complaints from some critics that the proposed building is too large, and would cause parking problems in the neighborhood. “80 percent of Chinese newcomers in the city are poor. Not all of us have cars,” Ma observed. Ma, an immigrant herself who has lived in San Francisco for 24 years, credits her education with helping her to become a citizen and having access to higher-paying jobs. “Education is key for new-comers.”

Speakers at the press conference reported that lobbyists for the Hilton have filed a lawsuit claiming the design for the proposed 17-story building would have a negative environmental impact. “That is unadulterated hypocrisy,” said Henry Der, former Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction in Emeryville. Der pointed out that new building is much smaller in scale than the Hilton Hotel’s 31 stories.

Pan added that Chinese community groups are already addressing any environmental impacts the design of the new 17-story building might have.

Harrison Lim, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association said the location is perfect because the new campus is accessible by many of the cities bus lines (including the 1, 14 and 35) and will connect the school to Chinese communities in other parts of the city such as the Richmond and the Sunset districts.

He pointed out that the Hilton Hotel already reaps the financial benefits of being located near Chinatown. “The Hilton should not oppose our project but support it.”

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=24d38df1e095b809b84c44335c27d061

BTinSF
Mar 30, 2007, 5:59 PM
3/30 BizTimes:

--Archstone-Smith, new owner of Fox Plaza, is looking at building 720 units of rental housing at 8th & Harrison (The Golden Gate Transit bus parking lot) but will need to seek a variance of the 40 ft. height limit to put that many units there.

--A new developer has been found to build up to 200 condo units at Arden Wood in West Portal so the project is back on track.

--The SEIU has come out against the huge new CalPacific hospital on Van Ness and all the usual boot-lickers on the Board of Supervisors are following their lead so the project is in trouble.

Film at 11 . . . oops, I mean article on Sunday.

urban_encounter
Apr 1, 2007, 9:34 PM
.

--The SEIU has come out against the huge new CalPacific hospital on Van Ness and all the usual boot-lickers on the Board of Supervisors are following their lead so the project is in trouble.


SEIU pulled the same stunt on Sutter's Hospital expansion in Sacramento, using every trick in the book to stop or delay the project.

After failing in the city council, they took it to court and managed to stall the project until recently.

BTinSF
Apr 1, 2007, 10:47 PM
In SF, though, most of the Supervisors and even the Mayor kiss the SEIU's butt. I don't see how it can proceed without their endorsement. Which, of course, means lesser health care for most San Franciscans. That is the hospital I'd most likely go to (and it also serves SF's most affluent areas like Pacific Heights and the Marina) and I'd sure like it to be modern and earthquake safe, but since when have our Supervisors ever put the public interest ahead of their own electoral interest which depends on the support of unions (or, at least, that's what they seem to think).

fflint
Apr 1, 2007, 10:54 PM
I don't care for the self-serving "prog" supervisorial machine any more than you do, but it's nonsense to equate this hospital proposal's delay with "lesser health care for most San Franciscans". Most? Most San Franciscans are not served by any one hospital.

BTinSF
Apr 1, 2007, 11:26 PM
^^^If you think this is the only hospital rebuild project they'll demand be molded to their wishes, you are smoking northern California's most economically successful agricultural product. So far, there are no seismically safe hospitals in the city. Actually, the VA Hospital is about to start its seismic upgrade but they, of course, get federal money and are independent of the SEIU.

And Cal Pacific now serves not only much of the northern part of the city west of Van Ness but also the Castro and Haight through its purchase of Davies. What they seem to be doing is consolidating the various branches so that each specializes in certain kinds of care. So even somebody who lives in the Castro, if they need heart surgery, say, may have to go to the Pacific Heights campus to get it or someone in the Marina who has HIV might have to go to Davies. In that way, an awful lot of San Franciscans will use the new hospital on Van Ness if it gets built.

Also, with a new UCSF general hospital in Mission Bay on hold as well, there aren't really that many hospitals in SF and no modern ones. There's SF General, Kaiser, St. Francis, St. Mary's, St. Luke's and UCSF and some smaller places like the VA hospital and Chinese Hospital. But when it comes to complex cardiovascular proceedures, transplants and other high-powered stuff, there's really only UCSF and Cal Pacific, especially since Kaiser's kidney transplant program got shut down. So even somebody who lives in, say, the BayView might find themselves getting care at Cal Pacific if they need, say, a corneal transplant.

Finally, any city's hospital network is interconnected. When there are "issues" at one hospital, it affects others. San Francisco presently has "issues" at several of its most important hospitals, starting with non-progress on seismically upgrading SF General, UCSF AND Cal Pacific. When it comes to St. Luke's, St. Mary's and St. Francis, I don't even know what plans they may have.

fflint
Apr 1, 2007, 11:43 PM
You've made some interesting points, but again--it is not true that a delay in the proposed hospital will lower the quality of health care of most San Franciscans. It does mean we go longer without seismic upgrades for a regular player in our city's health care system, yes. It does mean some consolidation will be put on hold, yes. But the Sutter group does not provide coverage or care to most San Franciscans: Kaiser enrollees, for example, won't be treated at any Sutter facility, old or new. Nor will most uninsured patients. You're overstating things.

BTinSF
Apr 1, 2007, 11:44 PM
^^^
State agency OKs huge Sutter Health bond issue, with conditions
San Francisco Business Times - 1:56 PM PDT Friday, March 30, 2007
by Chris Rauber

The California Health Facilities Financing Authority has agreed to approve a record $958 million bond issue for Sutter Health to pay for construction, renovation and new equipment at six Northern California sites, in return for Sutter's commitment to donate $8.5 million to various clinics and rural hospitals.

The deal ended a stalemate that began in December, when the authority -- the authorizing mechanism for most health-care tax-exempt bond issues in the Golden State -- voted to delay consideration of the bond issue until mid-2007, after the politically influential Service Employees International Union raised questions about the issue, reportedly the state's largest hospital bond issue ever.

"We were eager to get the deal done," said Joe DeAnda, a spokesman for the state treasurer's office. "We were able to strike a compromise."

Sutter spokesman Bill Gleeson told the San Francisco Business Times that the system had worked with representatives of the state treasurer's office and CHFFA to "craft an agreement that provides a further tangible demonstration" of Sutter's commitment to pass savings on to consumers in communities where it has a presence.

Gleeson said, "SEIU has historically opposed our efforts to provide seismically safe facilities for their own members, as well as doctors, nurses and the patients they serve." He went on to say that the union has held hospitals' "feet to the fire" on seismic improvements, while at the same time working to undermine Sutter's efforts to make those improvements.

Sutter expects its bond issue to go out in April.

In December, Sutter angrily denounced the agency's 4-3 vote to delay approving the bond issue as being based on a "misleading attack" that ignored a recommendation by the agency's staff to approve the bond issue. "It's sickening that (SEIU officials) are delighting over their role in delaying our seismic improvements," Gleeson said at the time. That work included seismic replacement or retrofit projects at Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, California Pacific Medical Center's Davies campus in San Francisco, and hospitals and clinics in Jackson, Modesto and Roseville, Sutter said late last year.

As part of the current deal, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said Thursday, Sutter agreed to donate the $8.5 million to small and rural facilities outside of its 26-hospital network. "With this record deal," Lockyer said, California is taking a positive step toward providing adequate health care for all its citizens."

Over the next six years, the treasurer's office said, Sutter has agreed to donate $4 million to help rural hospitals create an electronic medical records system, and $750,000 annually to community clinics.

California law requires entities receiving tax-exempt bond financing from CHFFA to use all or part of any savings generated by that mechanism "to benefit the general public," regulators said. The financing authority is working to revise its guidelines to make them more clear.

SEIU Friday hailed the decision an "unprecedented action," marking the first time a state bonding authority has required a hospital borrower to guarantee that some of savings received from the issuance of tax-exempt debt are passed on to consumers.

Its Oakland-based United Healthcare Workers West unit, which represents about 140,000 hospital and health-care workers in the state, has long tangled with the Sutter system over a number of issues, notably Sutter's refusal to negotiate with the union on a systemwide basis, rather than hospital by hospital.

In a statement issued March 30, the union said CHFAA's decision "sends a clear message" to Sutter and other nonprofit hospital borrowers that they must take seriously their obligations to hold down the cost of care. "We welcome CHFFA's efforts to ensure that consumers really do benefit from this bond by requiring Sutter to make additional contributions to clinics and rural hospitals," John Borsos, administrative vice president of United Healthcare Workers West, said in the statement. Borsos said the union will continue to work with the agency to develop guidelines ensuring that consumers benefit directly from the tax-exempt financing undertaken by nonprofit health systems.

The union claims that some nonprofit hospital systems "appear to have used the tax-exempt funding to achieve market dominance and charge prices far higher than competitors."

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/03/26/daily49.html?t=printable

The SEIU is terribly altruistic. Who can doubt that if it came down to a decision between saving money for consumers and new raises for their members, they'd go with the consumer?

Anyway, it seems clear to me that their plan is to use the state-mandated seismic upgrade of hospitals all over the state to gain political leverage for their own purposes--and it surely doesn't stop with Sutter Health.

BTinSF
Apr 1, 2007, 11:53 PM
You've made some interesting points, but again--it is not true that a delay in the proposed hospital will lower the quality of health care of most San Franciscans. It does mean we go longer without seismic upgrades for a regular player in our city's health care system, yes. It does mean some consolidation will be put on hold, yes. But the Sutter group does not provide coverage or care to most San Franciscans: Kaiser enrollees, for example, won't be treated at any Sutter facility, old or new. Nor will most uninsured patients. You're overstating things.

Kaiser enrollees might be treated at Sutter facilities. Kaiser does not do all kinds of care. For example, they are now sending all transplant patients to UC. Kaiser simply pays for the care. Any uninsured person needing emergency care in the northwestern or central part of the city might well be taken to the ER of a Sutter hospital.

Furthermore, modernization of these facilities is much more than a matter of seismic safety. I don't expect an earthquake to bring the roof down on my head if I'm in one of these hospitals. But hospitals have come a long way in terms of designing not only for comfort but also safety since any of San Francisco's present facilities were built. There are now ways to design buildings to minimize hospital-acquired infection and medication errors, for example.

If you've spent any time in one of SF's hospitals, you come to realize how outdated the buildings are for practicing 21st century medicine. I want them rebuilt for these reasons--like the SEIU, I'm willing to use seismic safety as an excuse.

coyotetrickster
Apr 2, 2007, 3:19 AM
^^^If you think this is the only hospital rebuild project they'll demand be molded to their wishes, you are smoking northern California's most economically successful agricultural product. So far, there are no seismically safe hospitals in the city. Actually, the VA Hospital is about to start its seismic upgrade but they, of course, get federal money and are independent of the SEIU.

And Cal Pacific now serves not only much of the northern part of the city west of Van Ness but also the Castro and Haight through its purchase of Davies. What they seem to be doing is consolidating the various branches so that each specializes in certain kinds of care. So even somebody who lives in the Castro, if they need heart surgery, say, may have to go to the Pacific Heights campus to get it or someone in the Marina who has HIV might have to go to Davies. In that way, an awful lot of San Franciscans will use the new hospital on Van Ness if it gets built.

Also, with a new UCSF general hospital in Mission Bay on hold as well, there aren't really that many hospitals in SF and no modern ones. There's SF General, Kaiser, St. Francis, St. Mary's, St. Luke's and UCSF and some smaller places like the VA hospital and Chinese Hospital. But when it comes to complex cardiovascular proceedures, transplants and other high-powered stuff, there's really only UCSF and Cal Pacific, especially since Kaiser's kidney transplant program got shut down. So even somebody who lives in, say, the BayView might find themselves getting care at Cal Pacific if they need, say, a corneal transplant.

Finally, any city's hospital network is interconnected. When there are "issues" at one hospital, it affects others. San Francisco presently has "issues" at several of its most important hospitals, starting with non-progress on seismically upgrading SF General, UCSF AND Cal Pacific. When it comes to St. Luke's, St. Mary's and St. Francis, I don't even know what plans they may have.

As a UCSF employee within the Medical Service (in the Vice chairs office, DoM/SoM), I've been to several strategic planning meetings regarding our 'hospitals,' Money is our primary concern and we are closing in on the final tranche of funding. It is not the city's control. Nor is it an issue of the union. SEIU has no entities on campus. We are a state entity. The VA, btw, is also halfway through it's seismic retrofit. That is done for patient protection, as a federal facility it is exempt from city and state laws (but not JACHO, hence the modest upgrade to the actual hospital). Additionally, the Mission Bay hospitals will be highly specialized (read, areas of practices/healing with inelastic and highly compensated demand, ob/gyn, pediatric illnesses and cancer. When completed, Moffitt and Long will be basically gutted from the interior out and rebuilt for seismic standards but also to allow space to be closed down when bed populations dictate.

SF General has let preliminary engineering contracts for the final feasibility and there were soil testing/drilling crews on the 'great lawn' last week as I was leaving a science meeting in Bldg. 3.

BTinSF
Apr 2, 2007, 5:53 AM
^^^On Friday, I received a letter from the VA saying that the seismic work on their inpatient building was to begin this month and take 18 months. As somebody who visits their main outpatient building 4 or 5 times a year, I can tell you nothing's been done there. If they are halfway through with the work, I don't know where it would have been done.

Certainly the UC facilities, as state agencies, are not under the city's control--I didn't say they were. But clearly there have been delays and changes of plans, largely due to funding issues as you say. Initially, there was consideration of a major new hospital built jointly with SF General. That seems to have gone by the boards. About a year ago, SF Business Times wrote:

Officials at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center confirmed Tuesday that they anticipate delaying their plans to build a women's, children's and cancer hospital at Mission Bay, citing skyrocketing construction costs.

Since 2003, projected costs for the proposed 210-bed hospital have shot up from $700 million to $1.2 billion, according to Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center. So instead of completing the Mission Bay hospital by the end of 2012, to help meet state seismic safety standards requiring hospitals to upgrade or replace potentially unsafe acute-care facilities, UCSF instead expects to focus its immediate attention on retrofitting and expanding its 75-bed Mount Zion campus.

In January, Laret will present plans to the University of California's Board of Regents to delay the Mission Bay project and instead concentrate on upgrading Mount Zion.

"We remain committed to the vision of a clinical campus at Mission Bay, and we would like to do that as soon as possible," Laret told the Business Times on Tuesday. But at this point, it looks as if construction at Mission Bay may not start until 2015 or thereabouts, unless UCSF can rapidly generate adequate funding for the project.

Ideally, Laret said, "we would like to be building (at Mission Bay) much sooner than 2015 ... (but) it's a function of the new revenue we can generate and the rate of inflation on the expense side . . . ."

I have read that SF General has finally figured out a way to shoehorn a new facility into their Potrero Hill campus (by putting a lot of it underground):

San Francisco General Hospital has come up with a new architectural plan to build a 230-bed seismic replacement hospital on its Potrero Hill campus while preserving its aging existing structures there.

The new concept: Placing the new structure between two controversial brick buildings that neighborhood activists and preservationists insist on preserving.

The new plan, by San Francisco architects Anshen + Allen, is the latest in a series of proposals to replace the seismically challenged 496-bed hospital, including a failed attempt to buy land at Mission Bay and "co-locate" a hospital with UCSF Medical Center's proposed women's, children's and cancer hospital there.

Mitch Katz, M.D., director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which runs SF General, has estimated the price tag for the new facility at $622 million.

But furniture, fixtures and equipment will add an estimated $158 million to the tab, according to a Sept. 25 site feasibility study by the architecture firm.

The new Anshen + Allen plan includes a proposal to build a large "super-floor" basement for various diagnostic and other clinical functions so the overall design meets existing zoning height limits and other restrictions, according to the study released Monday.

In addition, the overall plan calls for a nearly 386,000-square-foot new structure that can be expanded, if needed, to add 37 beds and about 42,000 square feet.

City officials now expect to put an initiative on the ballot by either June 2008 or November 2008 to foot the bill for construction costs. Such an initiative would require a two-thirds yes vote to pass. In January, Mayor Gavin Newsom delayed plans to put the initiative on this November's ballot, citing uncertainties about the project's cost, scope and impact.

Katz and city officials also reduced the project's size early this year, from 267 beds to the current estimate of 230. Construction costs in Northern California for new facilities can top $2 million per bed, according to local architects and hospital construction experts.

Many hospitals statewide must meet a Jan. 1, 2013 deadline to fix or replace seismically unsafe facilities, although that deadline could change if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs SB 1661, a bill now on his desk that would push that back by an additional two years for facilities that have made a good-faith effort to meet the 2013 deadline.

Katz has said he expects to gain an extension from the state to complete the massive project by 2015, two years later than the existing deadline. But that may become a moot point if the governor signs SB 1661 this week.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2006/09/25/daily7.html?t=printable

Now to figure out where and how to get the money (given the 2/3 requirement to pass bonds) and actually design something--before the facility shrinks some more. I'm sure the SEIU will have a lot to say about all this as they did about Laguna Honda.

Anyway--that's 2 new hospitals (including an SF General that's less than half the size of the current one) by 2015 . . . maybe. Just hope I don't need major surgery or otherwise get seriously ill in the next 8 years.

BTinSF
Apr 2, 2007, 6:02 AM
New downtown rental apartments:

Archstone Smith makes play to build SoMa rentals
San Francisco Business Times - March 30, 2007
by J.K. Dineen

Rental developer Archstone Smith is in contract to acquire a three-acre site South of Market for about $35 million, a project that would mark downtown's first large-scale rental housing development in several years.

Denver-based Archstone, which owns 90,000 apartments nationwide, is looking to build a rental complex at the Golden Gate Transit bus parking lot at Eighth and Harrison streets, a parcel Target, have looked at developing in 2002.

The zoning allows up to 720 units, but with 40-foot height limits, so the developer would need a variance to accommodate that number of apartments, according to Amir Massih, an assistant vice president for Archstone Smith.

"It's got great drive-by traffic and we love the neighborhood, the diversity of uses and types of buildings," said Massih.

The deal comes at a time when construction costs have scared away many rental housing developers. But with average rents in apartment buildings with 50 units or more jumping from $1,750 to $2,000 since 2004, rental developers are once again looking for opportunities in the city. The parcel sits smack in the middle of a neighborhood that is undergoing an extensive planning process. The Western SoMa Task Force is looking at a long-range plan that could rezone several key areas of the neighborhood, including the parcel Archstone plans to buy.

"We are just now plugging into an ongoing 18-month Western SoMa planning process to determine the future of the area," said Massih. "We think the work the task force is doing gives us an advantage, a viable partner that will help us figure out what the community wants."

Jim Meko, chairman of the Western SoMa Task Force, said he appreciated that Archstone is a rental housing developer interested in doing something different than the pricey condos that are sprouting by the thousands out in SoMa, Mission Bay, and Rincon Hill. Meko said the parcel is one of five or six key development sites in the area. He stressed that the neighborhood doesn't want to see all of them turned into housing and wants development that generates jobs, as well as places to live.

"Everybody is being relatively supportive -- we're not a bunch of communists," said Meko, who owns a printing business in the neighborhood. "We'd like to see it developed."

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/04/02/story8.html?t=printable

BTinSF
Apr 2, 2007, 6:06 AM
West Portal Condos:

Leafy west side tract scores a new developer
San Francisco Business Times - March 30, 2007
by J.K. Dineen

San Francisco's most bucolic transit-oriented condo development is back on track.

Four months after Union Capital Properties dropped an agreement to build 200 condos in West Portal's woodsy Christian Science enclave known as Arden Wood, a Washington, D.C., developer with deep San Francisco roots has taken over the project.

Republic Urban Properties, which has developed more than $4 billion in office, housing and retail over the past 30 years, mostly around Washington, has been picked to develop the verdant 12.3-acre property.

While Republic Urban Properties is new to the Bay Area -- the firm has just opened a San Francisco office and has one project in San Jose -- its West Coast president is Robert Mendelsohn, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Mendelsohn served 10 years on the board before leaving in 1977 to become assistant to the secretary of the interior in the Carter administration.

The property, which opened in 1930 as the Christian Science Benevolence Association on the Pacific Coast, is home to a senior housing and care facility and runs along Wawona Street between 15th and 19th avenues. The owner, Arden Wood Inc., is looking to develop about half of the land to raise money for ongoing capital improvements. Mark Nelson, hired by Arden Wood Inc. to select the developer, is himself building eight 3,000-square-foot homes along the 15th Avenue part of the property.

Mendelsohn said he was reluctant to tag Arden Wood development with the label "unique" -- a word attached to nearly every high-end condo project in town. Yet in this case, he said it may apply.

"If unique means one of a kind, Arden Wood truly may be one of a kind," he said. "It's an urban forest very close to the center of town."

Mendelsohn, a former resident of nearby St. Francis Wood, said he expects ample neighborhood meetings where the details of the development will be worked out. At between 150 and 200 units, the project will be bigger than anything that has been built in tight-knit and development-averse West Portal. Yet with several Muni transit lines serving the village-like downtown, which is a quick walk from Arden Wood, smart growth advocates have pushed the site as an obvious place for low-key infill housing.

While planning is in the early stages, Mendelsohn said he would like to carve part of the property out as a public park. The lush woods are not now open to the public, and many lifelong West Portal residents have never set foot on the property.

"It's beautiful to look at, but it would be nice to have a part of it used by the neighbors," he said.

Arden Wood Inc. describes the property on its web site as a "haven for spiritual renewal for students of Christian Science." The campus offers nursing care, senior rental residences and boasts "lovely meals, beautiful gardens, woodland paths, fully equipped libraries and metaphysical talks."

The developer has hired Patri Merker as architect and Nibbi Brothers as contractor.

"We're excited someone has stepped up to do this and look forward to a really well-designed project in an area that badly needs family housing," said Tim Colen, executive director of the Housing Action Coalition and a former president of the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/04/02/story17.html?t=printable

coyotetrickster
Apr 2, 2007, 7:03 PM
Well, speaking of the diablo, looks like Dede Wilsey will be coming to help UCSF raise at least $500 million for the new hospital. Man, I wish I had her rolodex.... (or palm pilot, but Dede strikes me as a rolodex-kind of woman). See BT, there'll be new hospitals before the next century!

urban_encounter
Apr 3, 2007, 1:01 AM
You've made some interesting points, but again--it is not true that a delay in the proposed hospital will lower the quality of health care of most San Franciscans. It does mean we go longer without seismic upgrades for a regular player in our city's health care system, yes. It does mean some consolidation will be put on hold, yes. But the Sutter group does not provide coverage or care to most San Franciscans: Kaiser enrollees, for example, won't be treated at any Sutter facility, old or new. Nor will most uninsured patients. You're overstating things.


How many Hospitals are owned by Sutter in SF proper?

fflint
Apr 3, 2007, 1:19 AM
I don't know off-hand...and I'm feeling too lazy to look it up. I'm on vacation starting tonight!

condodweller
Apr 3, 2007, 1:33 AM
How many Hospitals are owned by Sutter in SF proper?

I think CPMC is the only Sutter affiliate, but their holdings include the Davies Hospital campus and St. Luke's. My concern is that concentration of CPMC at its proposed new facility (only a few blocks from St. Francis Hospital) would simply marginalize these other campuses to outpatient facilities, with no emergency services.

urban_encounter
Apr 3, 2007, 5:26 PM
:previous:


correct.....

I looked it up and found (actually two hospitals but CPMC operates three separates facilities...)


California Pacific Medical Center

California Campus
Davies Campus
Pacific Campus

and....

St. Luke's Hospital

Reminiscence
Apr 4, 2007, 6:51 PM
A somewhat modified update:

http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/5207/sfdiagramvh4.gif

J_Taylor
Apr 5, 2007, 4:07 AM
^^^ nice.
It will be interesting to hear all the backlash, which I feel is only just starting with One Rincon.
But hey I'm a fan of it:)

pseudolus
Apr 7, 2007, 3:23 AM
Newspaper Notice for San Francisco Planning Department for April 6 and 7, 2007.

NOTICE OF PREPARATION (NOP) OF EIR

2004.0764E: 1634-1690 Pine Street: Assessor's Block 0647, Lots 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 11a. The proposed project would demolish five buildings and a surface parking lot; and construct a residential building with two towers, which would contain about 282 residential units, 14,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and about 332 parking spaces. The total size of the building would be approximately 473,910 square feet. The base of the building would be seven stories and 65 feet tall; the west tower would be 25 stories and approximately 240 feet in height; and the east tower would be 12 stories and approximately 127 feet tall. The three levels of basement parking would include two off-street loading spaces, 282 residential stackers, and 50 commercial stackers. The 35,463-square-foot rectangular project site is located on the north side of Pine Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. The project site is located within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale, Neighborhood Commercial) district and a 130-E height and bulk district. The proposed project would require a Conditional Use Authorization from the Planning Commission for a Planned Unit Development to merge the six parcels, to increase dwelling unit density, to modify the bulk requirements, and to authorize the replacement of existing parking spaces. In addition, a zoning map amendment would be required to reclassify the existing 130-E height and bulk controls to 240-G. (CHAN)

http://sfgov.org/site/planning_index.asp?id=25756

BTinSF
Apr 7, 2007, 5:17 AM
^^^I think that would put it across the street from SF Towers:

http://www.ehf.org/sft/images/sft_c_home.jpg

If I remember, there's a couple of small (2 story) buildings there (one a Hertz office) and a gas station on the corner. I wonder if the SF Towers folks will go NIMBY on it.

BTinSF
Apr 7, 2007, 5:53 AM
SF BizTimes:

--Big article on Renzo Piano and a discussion of both his current projects in SF (The Academy of Sciences amd the 1st & Mission tower). Piano says he's opposed to "aggressive, powerful, arrogant buildings"--he calls them "phallic symbols" and says they "don't tell very interesting stories". He says at First & Mission he wants to keep some of the existing small buildings because they "are part of a story" and says the new structures may not end up being 1200 feet (we are not wedded to that) but "they should be quite tall because they become more subtel and elegant ans beautiful like that and the city, from time to time, needs some tall, iconic buildings . . . . We can do a building that is tall and iconic, but at the same time very tolerant, very light, very transparent." There's more--will post Sunday.

--Alex Tourk, husband of Gavin's former girlfriend, has become a "consultant" to CPMC to help them get their new hospital built.

--The city is buying 1 S. Van Ness and 1650 Mission, 2 buildings where it has been leasing offie space.

--Discussion of turning the Metreon into a conference center, but apparently without the blessing of its owner (Westfield). Also mention of the possibility of development of a whole new convention facility "where there is still room to build like along the waterfront piers, in Mission Bay or Bayview-Hunters Point".

--Wilson Meany Sullivan has bought 525 Howard which is next door to its Foundry Square III site at First and Howard. They may be planning to combine the lots for a larger building.

--13 story, 169 ft building at 59th & Horton in Emeryville

FourOneFive
Apr 7, 2007, 4:18 PM
Newspaper Notice for San Francisco Planning Department for April 6 and 7, 2007.

NOTICE OF PREPARATION (NOP) OF EIR

2004.0764E: 1634-1690 Pine Street: Assessor's Block 0647, Lots 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 11a. The proposed project would demolish five buildings and a surface parking lot; and construct a residential building with two towers, which would contain about 282 residential units, 14,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and about 332 parking spaces. The total size of the building would be approximately 473,910 square feet. The base of the building would be seven stories and 65 feet tall; the west tower would be 25 stories and approximately 240 feet in height; and the east tower would be 12 stories and approximately 127 feet tall. The three levels of basement parking would include two off-street loading spaces, 282 residential stackers, and 50 commercial stackers. The 35,463-square-foot rectangular project site is located on the north side of Pine Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. The project site is located within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale, Neighborhood Commercial) district and a 130-E height and bulk district. The proposed project would require a Conditional Use Authorization from the Planning Commission for a Planned Unit Development to merge the six parcels, to increase dwelling unit density, to modify the bulk requirements, and to authorize the replacement of existing parking spaces. In addition, a zoning map amendment would be required to reclassify the existing 130-E height and bulk controls to 240-G. (CHAN)

http://sfgov.org/site/planning_index.asp?id=25756

i downloaded the NOP from the SF Planning website, and we all should be worried. guess who the architect is.... Heller Manus! ugh. let's just say the design is quite uninspired.

San Frangelino
Apr 7, 2007, 4:39 PM
--13 story, 169 ft building at 59th & Horton in Emeryville

Here is the purposed Emeryville Building from the East Bay Biz Journal.

http://eastbay.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2007/04/02/story1.html

http://cll.bizjournals.com/story_image/77273-400-0.jpg?rev=2

coyotetrickster
Apr 7, 2007, 5:05 PM
^^^I think that would put it across the street from SF Towers:

http://www.ehf.org/sft/images/sft_c_home.jpg

If I remember, there's a couple of small (2 story) buildings there (one a Hertz office) and a gas station on the corner. I wonder if the SF Towers folks will go NIMBY on it.

Well, that depends on whether the SF Towers residents can get their assisted-livings asses to the hearings. The NIMBY group, I suspect will be the folks in the shadow of the tower, so if the developers are smart, they'll place where the shadows are on the whole foods parking lot...

BTinSF
Apr 7, 2007, 5:06 PM
Heller Manus!

Do they work cheap or something? Why does everybody hire them?

BTinSF
Apr 7, 2007, 5:08 PM
Well, that depends on whether the SF Towers residents can get their assisted-livings asses to the hearings.

I wouldn't worry about that. Most of them are quite ambulatory and I'm sure the management would provide a shuttle if they decide to oppose it.

Coriander
Apr 7, 2007, 5:13 PM
Here is the purposed Emeryville Building from the East Bay Biz Journal.

http://eastbay.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2007/04/02/story1.html

http://cll.bizjournals.com/story_image/77273-400-0.jpg?rev=2

I know Emeryville is considered to be a pro-development hamlet, at least by Bay Area standards. But I seem to recall a couple of towers getting shot down, so to speak, over the last few years. What are the chances this will get built?

coyotetrickster
Apr 7, 2007, 5:21 PM
I wouldn't worry about that. Most of them are quite ambulatory and I'm sure the management would provide a shuttle if they decide to oppose it.


I knew you'd respond to that statement. Sorry. I should have pointed out, the current view is auto repair shop and a chevron station. The view east won't be occluded and the northeast view is already slabbed by the Van Ness Holiday Inn tower. The certainly can't opposed the 12-story tower, since that is within the current height limits for the corridor.

Richard Mlynarik
Apr 7, 2007, 5:42 PM
Do they work cheap or something? Why does everybody hire them?Is "planning" and permitting San Francisco done on the basis of objective criteria, with the goal of maximization of public good, and involving no monetary or political kick-backs?

pseudolus
Apr 7, 2007, 6:38 PM
i downloaded the NOP from the SF Planning website

Could you share the link? Thanks.

Reminiscence
Apr 7, 2007, 7:27 PM
This is all great news, however, I'm a little uneasy about Renzo's news but ... we'll see what he's got up his sleeve. Here's another tidbit in the Chronicle:

Indian luxury hotel chain to buy Union Square property

Chronicle Staff

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, a Mumbai, India, operator of luxury hotels, has agreed to buy San Francisco's Campton Place Hotel from Kor Hotel Group of Los Angeles for $58 million, the buyer and seller said Friday.

Campton Place will become the third U.S. property for Taj, which plans to take control of the 101-room property near Union Square on April 30. Taj, which is expanding internationally, manages the Pierre, on New York's Central Park, and owns the Taj Boston, which it bought in January. The company also runs hotels in London and other major cities.

"We're thrilled to add this exceptional San Francisco hotel to our growing collection of luxury properties in the U.S.,'' said Raymond Bickson, Taj chief executive officer and managing director, in a statement. "Campton Place has enjoyed an enviable reputation throughout its 24-year history, and we aim to enhance its stature in the city when we assume ownership.''

The Kor Hotel Group bought Campton Place for $44 million in late 2005., giving it a profit of $14 million in the sale.

"Our decision to pass this distinguished property into the capable hands of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces was based entirely on an opportunity that arose due to the property's rising real estate value,'' said Brad Korzen, chief executive officer and founder of the Kor Group, in a statement.

Kor also runs the Viceroy Santa Monica, Viceroy Palm Springs, Maison 140 in Beverly Hills, the Tides South Beach in Miami, and other properties in Canada and Mexico.

BTinSF
Apr 7, 2007, 7:38 PM
Is "planning" and permitting San Francisco done on the basis of objective criteria, with the goal of maximization of public good, and involving no monetary or political kick-backs?

So you're saying Heller Manus is "wired"?

BTinSF
Apr 7, 2007, 7:42 PM
I knew you'd respond to that statement. Sorry. I should have pointed out, the current view is auto repair shop and a chevron station.

I think the place you are calling an "auto repair shop" is actually the Hertz office that I often use when I rent cars. It's basically next to the Chevron station. But I understand your point that what they would be getting is not worse than what they have. Let's hope they see it that way. Hope Hertz finds another location nearby, though. It's pretty convenient for me where it is.

PS: So nobody's got anything to say about Renzo Piano saying he's not "wedded" to 1200' at 1st & Mission?

Richard Mlynarik
Apr 7, 2007, 10:42 PM
So you're saying Heller Manus is "wired"?
All I'd observe is that there appear to be high barriers to entry to the San Francisco "market".

Heller-Manus does appear to be very good at what it is that it does, and the capitalist system appears to be handsomely rewarding that set of skills.

Of course there are very few buildings anywhere in the world that get built solely on the basis of their architectural merit, but even so, looking around San Francisco, it's hard not to speculate that our provincial little burg is missing out on some things.

Reminiscence
Apr 7, 2007, 11:45 PM
PS: So nobody's got anything to say about Renzo Piano saying he's not "wedded" to 1200' at 1st & Mission?

I said I was a little uneasy about it, I wouldnt be happy about a downgrade in height, but I wouldnt be upset either. I think at this point anything is possible, perhaps an increase in height of one of the tallest towers? Who knows, they might come out with another shock of news.

botoxic
Apr 8, 2007, 5:52 AM
:previous: Someone at this forum (mthd perhaps?) once stated that when all is said and done, San Fran will be lucky to get one thousand-footer out of the TransBay plan. As disappointing as that is, the more I think about it, the more realistic this seems. If even one of Piano's towers can top TransAmerica, it would be a step in the right direction, and perhaps the TransBay Tower itself will be that 1000+ building that SF so richly deserves.

Reminiscence
Apr 8, 2007, 6:41 AM
Well, at this point we're merely speculating on a photo we've seen. It could be anything really. Depending on the proposal, we could see massive support or rejection from the public (some people will always be against it ... aka Hestor and friends). I'd think we should see at least a concrete design by August in addition to Transbay's scheduled time to present. Could be taller, shorter, or just the way they originally presented it.

BTinSF
Apr 8, 2007, 7:46 AM
I think there's close to a consensus that the one place in SF where height should be is around the TransBay Terminal. I'm hoping Piano comes up with something really striking--something that everyone can see would be diminished by being shortened. What worries me more about that project, though, is whether the developer really has the financial wherewithall to bring it off. The guy seems a little fly-by-night to me. But I hope the fact that Piano came on board means I'm wrong.

FourOneFive
Apr 8, 2007, 5:07 PM
I think there's close to a consensus that the one place in SF where height should be is around the TransBay Terminal. I'm hoping Piano comes up with something really striking--something that everyone can see would be diminished by being shortened. What worries me more about that project, though, is whether the developer really has the financial wherewithall to bring it off. The guy seems a little fly-by-night to me. But I hope the fact that Piano came on board means I'm wrong.

in my opinion, that's going to be the one thing that will truly sink this plan - the financials. who exactly is this developer? has he/she even developed anything of this scale before? my bet is that he's pushing this project through the approval process to eventually sell the permits to a big (New York) developer like Tishman Speyer, Forest City, Vornado, or Related Cos.

Reminiscence
Apr 8, 2007, 8:04 PM
in my opinion, that's going to be the one thing that will truly sink this plan - the financials. who exactly is this developer? has he/she even developed anything of this scale before? my bet is that he's pushing this project through the approval process to eventually sell the permits to a big (New York) developer like Tishman Speyer, Forest City, Vornado, or Related Cos.

I was thinking the same thing. Financials is for sure an integral part of the process that can make or break this proposal. I hope people dont start to get a negative view of the whole thing, I know some people were rather upset at the NY Times Headquarters Building under construction in New York. Hopefully this wont impede in the process as well. Defietly looking forward to tonight's article(s).

FourOneFive
Apr 8, 2007, 11:11 PM
You mean this one? BTinSF isn't the only one with connections... ;)

Master of detail
As Renzo Piano's first San Francisco project nears completion and a second takes shape, the architect's range of vision for the city becomes clear
San Francisco Business Times - April 6, 2007by J.K. Dineen

His shoes caked with mud, Renzo Piano scrambled across the roof of the Academy of Sciences building under construction in Golden Gate Park. He was looking for the perfect vantage point from which to show how the building's undulating green roof played off the curves of Twin Peaks and Mount Sutro. He was nearly running.

"Look at the waves here, the relationship with those hills," said Piano, pointing out at Mount Sutro. "You spend five years figuring out what a building is -- thousands of sketches, drawings. Models and mock-ups. Once you finally get here, it's mostly about scale, and the little things."

Piano is above all known as a master of detail. Among the half-dozen most celebrated architects of his generation, the Pritzker Prize-winning Piano, who designed Centre Pompidou in Paris (with Richard Rogers) and Kansai International Airport in Osaka, has never designed a Bay Area project and is hardly a household name here. But with the $430 million Academy of Sciences a year away from completion, and an audacious five-tower scheme slated for First and Mission streets, Piano may end up having as much impact on the city as any architect in decades.

The disparate projects represent the two sides of San Francisco, and the two sides of Piano. One is a public building about nature set in the cool fog near the Sunset district. The other a collection of commercial towers in the south financial district that Piano described as a "public corner about urbanity."

"It gives you an idea of Renzo's range," said San Francisco Planning Director Dean Macris. "This is a guy who can pick and choose his projects."

A building in a park
Piano has done a dozen museums in Paris, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and two in Switzerland. But not one of them prepared him for the Academy of Sciences, he said. The building has a 197,000-square-foot living roof with 1.7 million plants. The coral reef tank will be 12,000 square feet and hold 212,000 gallons of water. In the multi-layer "rain forests of the world" exhibit, visitors will descend in a glass elevator from the top of a 90-foot dome, passing though the habitats of the Amazon, Borneo, Madagascar, and Costa Rica. Piano said the building is more complicated than the Kansai International Airport, which is one and a quarter miles long.

While there are other museums in parks, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Madrid's Museo del Prado, they tend to sit on a major boulevard on the park's edge. They don't generally communicate with the park, Piano said.

"Museums are not usually transparent, they are opaque. They are closed. They are like a kingdom of darkness. You are trapped inside. You don't see where you are," he said. "Of course, here we are in the middle of a beautiful park, this Golden Gate Park, you want to see out and know where you are."

From the beginning, Piano was bent on producing the most environmentally sound building money could buy. Besides the living roof, which will reduce storm runoff by 2 million gallons of water a year, the building uses 95 percent recycled steel. More than 60,000 photovoltaic cells on the roof will supply 5 percent of the building's power needs. Reclaimed water will flush the toilets; saltwater for the aquarium will be piped in from the ocean.

"It's a building where the idea of sustainability is particularly strong," said Piano. "It's an organic part of the building. It's not superimposed. You would have to be a bit stupid not to do it. You are making a science museum that is about nature and respect for nature. It was almost a kind of moral duty to be sustainable. If you love nature you have to show that you love nature and are inspired by nature."

Mocking up projects
Growing up in a family of builders, Piano has always been an architect who gets deeply involved in the building process. He calls his firm's offices in Paris and Genoa, Italy "workshops" rather than studios.

Hiring Piano means agreeing to allow his team to build, or have built, a series of "mock-ups" -- models, sometimes at full size, to test key systems and aspects of the building. Together, these can add millions of dollars to a project's bottom line. For the Academy of Sciences building, nearly every component was tested first with a mock up: the acrylic aquarium tanks, the glass curtainwall, the stainless steel rods that will hold up the elaborate spider web that will hang in the atrium.

Gordon Chong, whose firm Chong Partners is working with Piano on both San Francisco projects, said the mock-up process is something he had never witnessed before and it has been a revelation. It's a method Chong Partners is trying to adopt for their own projects as well, but it can be a tough sell to clients.

"We had mock-ups made in Genoa, in Germany, in Salt Lake City, in Hayward -- just about anywhere there was a manufacturer," Chong said. "I don't know whether it's the European tradition of craftsmanship, but all the details are exquisitely figured out."

First and Mission
If the Academy of Sciences is about exploring nature and the universe, Piano's five-tower project at First and Mission streets is "about creating a sense of urbanity," Piano said. Unveiled at the end of 2006, Piano's design calls for a pair of 1,200-foot towers, two more of 900 feet and another 600 feet high. The towers, which will be part of an upzoning around the Transbay Terminal and Tower, will be thin and wrapped in terracotta to evoke bamboo shoots. Developed by Solit Interests Group, the proposed buildings would house 470 hotel rooms, 600 condos, and 550,000 square feet of office. The zoning changes that would allow the skyscrapers have yet to be implemented and already face opposition from some slow-growth advocates.

For an architect who is proposing San Francisco's tallest buildings, Piano does not come across as a strident advocate for height. He says he is not interested in breaking records. He recently walked away from a 1,000-foot project at Winthrop Square in Boston because the developer was pushing for a level of density that would have forced larger floorplates, and a clumsier structure.

"When you make tall buildings you have be careful not to fall in the trap of making aggressive, powerful, arrogant buildings," he said. "(Tall buildings) can be obsessive symbols of power. Somebody talks about phallic symbols and it is true. Sometimes tall buildings don't tell very interesting stories."

In contrast, Piano sees San Francisco as a "city about romanticism and light." Piano said he is planning to keep some of the three- and four-story buildings along First Street.

"Modern architecture and construction tends to want to destroy what is already there, but I think it's a mistake because the growth and transformation of cities is about layers, so it's a pity not to keep some element of memory," he said. "Those little buildings at First and Mission are part of the story."

He also said he is not wedded to the 1,200-foot height.

"It may not be that tall," said Piano. "We are not interested in that specifically. It is more subtle than that. They should be quite tall because they become more subtle and elegant and beautiful like that, and the city, from time to time, needs some bold, iconic buildings. There is nothing wrong about that. But I don't think this is the only story. We can do a building that is tall and iconic, but at the same time very tolerant, very light, very transparent. There is nothing wrong about that."

Transbay attracts stars
Piano is part of a small cadre of top architects that includes Santiago Calatrava, Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, and deYoung design tream of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Along with Cesar Pelli and the firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Foster, Rogers, and Calatrava are all part of the competition to design the new Transbay Terminal and Tower.

Macris, a non-voting member of the panel that will pick the Transbay team, called Piano "the least ego-challenged" superstar architect.

"Renzo is very much enamored of the idea that San Francisco's grain has a building rhythm to it expressed in 25- to 50-foot lot frontage. He would like these buildings to continue that deal to keep the buildings looking separate."

Macris said he and Piano walked the south financial district and envisioned what the new area around Transbay might feel like.

"We imagined the train station and the area around it as the public statement for this generation, this generation's contribution to the central district of the city, not unlike what Union Square or Civic Center was for other generations," said Macris.

Piano said he wants to create a unique "public corner" across from the train station.

"It's a private scheme," Piano said, "but with very strong public implications."

Reminiscence
Apr 9, 2007, 2:41 AM
Yep, thats the one, thanks for posting it!

Its a good thing Piano is enlightening the people about his intentions, especially since these are his first projects in San Francisco. I cant wait until the museum is finished, I'm sure it will look glorious both during the day and at night. I have a good feeling about Piano's second project though, and I realize that much is being expected from him. We havent had a new tallest in the city for a long time now, so we're about due for one (or a few :)). I wonder what he conciders to be "quite tall" though.

BTinSF
Apr 9, 2007, 4:00 AM
A bigger building at 1st & Howard?

Wilson Meany buys site next to Foundry Square
Wilson Meany Sullivan has snapped up 525 Howard St., a single-story, 10,000-square-foot structure that functions as a Goat Hill Pizza by day and Club NV, a swanky club, by night. The site is adjacent to Wilson Meany Sullivan's proposed LEED Gold building development, Foundry Square III. The purchase will give Wilson Meany Sullivan additional flexibility in its design and development of the Foundry Square III project. Colliers International Senior VP Tim McClean brokered represented WMS and Jim Shalar of Vanguard Properties represented the seller.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/04/09/newscolumn1.html