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View Poll Results: Which transbay tower design scheme do you like best?
#1 Richard Rogers 39 7.89%
#2 Cesar Pelli 98 19.84%
#3 SOM 357 72.27%
Voters: 494. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1081  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 5:03 AM
sfcity1 sfcity1 is offline
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Actually, I thought this was the least inspiring building. It is not unique to san francisco. It is in Asia and in Jersey City. To think that SF's main symbol is going to be a clone of buildings from other cities does not excite me.

But in the end, money talks, glory walks. Sad end.
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  #1082  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 5:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sfcity1 View Post
But in the end, money talks, glory walks. Sad end.
I have a feeling this is far from over and nobody knows what will happen or who the winner will be..
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  #1083  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 5:48 AM
Kevlar1981 Kevlar1981 is offline
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I have a feeling this is far from over and nobody knows what will happen or who the winner will be..
I hope you're right...I feel sick just thinking about the SOM proposal not being chosen.
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  #1084  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 5:52 AM
Kevlar1981 Kevlar1981 is offline
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If Pelli does win, I hope they raise the height to 1500', to make up for the lack of a unique design.
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  #1085  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 6:13 AM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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I have a feeling this is far from over and nobody knows what will happen or who the winner will be..
Or what modifications to the winning design will be required. The height could change (more likely down than up, but possibly up some if that's how Chris gets his housing), and the office/housing mix will almost certainly change. But since the fact that this developer is offering more than twice as much for the site--and the only way I can see them doing that is to build a "mostly office" building--it's going to be an interesting negotiation. I just hope somebody has asked Hines how much they are willing to pay for the site if they are required to add housing to their proposal BEFORE the final choice is made.

After seeing this choice and reading the article I posted above, though, my take is the TJPA is desperate for money and the other board members might shut Chris down. Since the TJPA design choice is not appealable but I believe the upzoning of heights is--like any zoning decision--where are we if Chris doesn't get what he wants in the design? Would he try to block the zoning change at the Board of Supervisors and thereby wreck the project??
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  #1086  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 6:34 AM
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^ BT - do you know if is SOM still capable of modifying their design ahead of Sep. 20 in hopes of winning the nomination, or is the proposal not to be altered in any way from when they submitted it?
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  #1087  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 6:54 AM
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^^^I would guess if they want to make a change, they could before the choice is made. I'm wondering myself why they don't offer to redesign the terminal to eliminate the minipark and the stacked bus ramps, but unless they can also offer a lot more for the site I don't think it would be enough.
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  #1088  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 7:24 AM
GlobeTrekker GlobeTrekker is offline
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Originally Posted by sfcity1 View Post
Actually, I thought this was the least inspiring building. It is not unique to san francisco. It is in Asia and in Jersey City. To think that SF's main symbol is going to be a clone of buildings from other cities does not excite me.

But in the end, money talks, glory walks. Sad end.
I agree. I don't dislike the Pelli design, but it is hard to understand how it is the best or most unique design. I'm disappointed it seems more about who is willing to pay more; I did not realize that was a factor. I understand an extra $200 million is hard to turn down, but don't call it something it's not (a design competition).

I'm amazed they recommended Rodgers ahead of SOM. If the Rodgers tower is selected, I fear it will unleash a new wave of NIMBY-ism on SF for years to come.

Does anyone know if the advisory panel took public opinion into account, or is that done by the full board? Would it help to send in more comments? If Pelli is selected, I agree that they should ask for a taller tower with housing. This would let them keep their $350 million and have a mixed use tower, while (hopefully) not discouraging Hines.
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  #1089  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 7:33 AM
GlobeTrekker GlobeTrekker is offline
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^^^I would guess if they want to make a change, they could before the choice is made. I'm wondering myself why they don't offer to redesign the terminal to eliminate the minipark and the stacked bus ramps, but unless they can also offer a lot more for the site I don't think it would be enough.
Why would they need to eliminate the park? Don't SOM's stacked bus ramps open more land for development? The TJPA needs to account for this in their financial analysis.
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  #1090  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 7:45 AM
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I'm amazed they recommended Rodgers ahead of SOM. If the Rodgers tower is selected, I fear it will unleash a new wave of NIMBY-ism on SF for years to come.
I'm not. When I heard the guy from AC Transit, a representative of which sits on TJPA, demur about the SOM bus ramp design at the presentation event, I figured that could be a deal-breaker. I don't think anybody wants the Rogers design so much as they simply didn't buy the SOM terminal design--they want it to extend the full multi-block length of the site and keep the freeway bus ramps as planned. I also bet John King (I think it was) was channeling their thinking about the uselessness of the grand terminal entrance facing east on Fremont St. since most passengers will enter from Mission or near the corner of 1st and Mission--the northwest side of the site.
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  #1091  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 7:50 AM
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Why would they need to eliminate the park? Don't SOM's stacked bus ramps open more land for development? The TJPA needs to account for this in their financial analysis.
That's what they said but see what I said just above--the bus people didn't seem to be onboard with this at the presentation and I bet they still aren't. The stacked ramps only open "more land" if you mean the park--it could be another development site or a park, but not both. But if it causes problems with the flow of busses through the terminal, it ain't gonna fly and I'm guessing that's the problem (that and what the SOM team is offering for the site).
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  #1092  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 11:43 AM
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I have a feeling this is far from over and nobody knows what will happen or who the winner will be..
That's very true. I remember the WTC site planning competition, and it was all but certain - right up until the last day - that the World Cultural Center (twin lattice towers) would be chosen for the site plan. Not that they were the most popular, but that's what the LMDC board was leaning towards before then governor Pataki decided to make the final decision.
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  #1093  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 12:17 PM
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I think anyone who wants the SOM design, as much as I do, should write emails. Write to the TJPA especially, write to every board member and share your thoughts. This will be the icon for San Francisco for the next hundred years. To think of that Great Hall and that amazing base on Mission and 1st not getting selected is heart breaking. Let's write as many letters as we can. The decision isn't final yet.
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  #1094  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 12:48 PM
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  #1095  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 1:25 PM
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Jury picks Hines for Transbay tower
San Francisco Business Times - 1:33 PM PDT Monday, September 10, 2007
by J.K. Dineen

Developer Hines and architects Pelli Clarke Pelli have won the Transbay competition and, pending another approval from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, will enter into exclusive negotiations to build a 1,300-foot tower and state-of-the-art train and bus station at Mission and First streets.

The winning Transbay terminal proposal by developer Hines and architect Pelli Clarke Pelli offered $350 million for the tower property, more than twice what the other two teams were willing to pay, according to the nine-person jury appointed by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

The astounding offer blew away the team ranked second in the competition, Richard Rogers Partnership and Forest City Enterprises, which offered $145 million for the tower land. The third-place team, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Rockefeller Group Development Corp., made a purchase price offer of $118 million.

"The exceptional financial offer put forth by the recommended team will increase the funds available to the Transbay Transit Center Program to $1.85 billion," said Maria Ayerdi, executive director of the TJPA. "Since our inception, we have been successful at fully funding the first phase of our program, and this offer builds upon that success to deliver necessary funding to help complete the rail extension," said Ayerdi.


The jury called all the proposals "exceptional" but ruled unanimously that the Pelli/Hines proposal "best met the TJPA's operational, functional, and aesthetic requirements. The Hines project calls for an 82-story oblisk-shaped tower with a 5.5-acre park atop the terminal itself.

The unanimous recommendation culminates an eight-month international design and development competition that was launched to select an outstanding and functional design that is economically viable and provides a sound economic return to the TJPA.

The jury report is at the beginning of a long negotiation process with the city. If the TJPA board goes along with the recommendation, the project would still need approvals from the city Planning Commision and Board of Supervisors. "The prize you get for winning this competition is entry into the San Francisco entitlement process," said Paul Paradis, Hines executive vice president.

The jury based its evaluation and ranking on how well each team's proposal met the evaluation criteria as listed in the competition manual. Scores, which were given by individual jurors and summed to derive each team's overall ranking, analyzed such criteria as design excellence, functionality and financial feasibility.

The new Transbay Transit Center at First and Mission streets would centralize the region's transportation network by accommodating eight transportation systems under one roof, including AC Transit, Caltrain, Muni, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, Greyhound, BART and a future California High-Speed Rail line. The area surrounding the Transit Center will be redeveloped to include housing, retail and an adjacent tower poised to redefine the city's skyline.

At a recent Chamber of Commerce presentation of the three plans, Paradis called the proposal "a real project.

"If we were to be selected, we could go ahead and build this," he said.
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ml?t=printable

Cutting through all the fog, it's as I suspected: Money talks. And I don't think the TJPA can afford to pick another of the 3 choices.

That said, to clarify what's said above, the choice of the TJPA board is not appealable, but the zoning and other entitlements are, so once the TJPA has made its final choice on Sept. 20, the real fun begins trying to convince the Planning Dept. and Supervisors to approve the new height limits and office/housing mix. That is where Sup. Daly could be a real mischief maker if he is not satisfied with the project as it emerges from the TJPA. In that sense, he is first among equals on the TJPA board since he is the only one with a voice (and a vote) in the subsequent process.
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  #1096  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 2:48 PM
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One the one hand, I'm glad that SF has the chance of building something this large - on the other hand it is massively disappointing that they chose this boring boring boring design with a park 100 feet in the air. I mean, the G-D park is accessible by a FUNICULAR! - clearly a crappy homage to our lovely moving landmark cable cars.
My support for this project has waned considerably. San Francisco can now follow in the steps of NJ and HK. Yawn.
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  #1097  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 3:45 PM
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OK got it, wasn't about the best design, it was about who offered the most money. Well someones got to pay for that train.
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  #1098  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 3:54 PM
sfcity1 sfcity1 is offline
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Well, if no other city had this building, and if SOM never was in the running, I'd say this is an exciting development. The bus/train terminal on this design cleary is where the architect put alot of effort into designing and I really like it. The unfortunate consequence that I cannot get out of my head as the architectual statement for SF is now:

ITS? ITS? ITS? JERSEY CITY! NOOO!!!!!!!!

ITS? ITS? ITS? HONG KONG! NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

ITS? ITS? ITS? SAN FRANCISCO??????
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  #1099  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 3:59 PM
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cmon guys, is pelli really that bad?!? at least were getting a supertall and at least it isnt roger's design!

yea, i liked som's better, but i can live and be happy with pelli's tower
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  #1100  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2007, 4:15 PM
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I dunno.... I think it is that bad. SF has been vehemently anti development for decades. We had a chance here to produce something new and daring - and we went for the safest most bland design (that kicked in the most money)
Now I understand why Pelli barely put any effort into their tower and spent almost the entire time talking about the park - they planned to kick in an enormous amount of money to smooth things over.
1.6 MSF of office space is really going to activate the street. oh yeah and maybe they'll throw in some residential if they absolutely have to.
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