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  #21  
Old Posted May 14, 2007, 4:26 AM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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Cathedral rising
Developer returns with $230M tower
San Francisco Business Times - May 11, 2007
by J.K. Dineen
Najib Joe Hakim

In the late 1960s, Alvin Dworman was a force on Cathedral Hill, a neighborhood-changing developer who built Cathedral Hill Tower, Cathedral Hill Plaza and assembled the site for the area's defining landmark, the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, built in 1971.

Now 40 years later Dworman's Adco Group is again looking to put a defining stamp on the neighborhood. The developer is proposing a $230 million, 407-foot elliptical condominium tower at the hill's apex, a ghostly white glass structure that would be visible from much of the city.

Adco has hired Skidmore Owings & Merrill to design the 38-story building, which SOM design partner Craig Hartman described as a light and luminous "bell tower marking the presence of the cathedral." The new tower would be built at 1481 Post St., adjacent to Cathedral Hill Plaza, a 169-unit rental property.

The project would also include 6,000 square feet of retail and a 5,000-square-foot cultural space, which the developer envisions as a cultural and educational space modeled after the 92nd Street Y in New York.

"We've come full circle back to where we started," said Linda Corso, general manager of Cathedral Hill Plaza.

A new direction

The project comes at a time when Cathedral Hill activists are organizing to oppose a massive new California Pacific Medical Center hospital proposed for the eastern edge of the neighborhood. Adco faces a challenge in convincing neighbors -- already feeling under siege -- that the development's subtle design and public amenities will offset added density or blocked views.

SOM senior designer Leo Chow argued that the project is a chance for Adco to correct some of the design mistakes made when the neighborhood was developed. At the time, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency pushed a plan that moved automobile traffic through the area at the expense of pedestrians.

The 1481 Post St. plan calls for the building itself to be spun around, so its main axis points not straight out but to the entrance of St. Mary's. Hartman says the elliptical tower "is making a deferential gesture to the cathedral." This will break up the "imposing urban wall" to create space for a large public Japanese garden along the south side of Post Street. With 36 stories of housing, the first two stories will be a glass-clad transparent base of retail and community uses.

Chow said the tower is consistent with the city's long-standing policy of trying to define the hills with tall buildings.

"The idea of building an iconic tower on top of the hill seems appropriate," said Chow. "It's a very sleek, simple form you can identify from different parts of the city."

Starting dialog

Corso said the developer started looking at the site two years ago and brought on SOM last summer. On March 9, Adco filed an application for environmental evaluation with the Planning Department. The developer has just started reaching out to neighborhood groups like the Cathedral Hill Neighborhood Association and the Japantown Task Force, according to Corso, who said 60 residents attended an initial meeting April 19th.

The building would be 407 feet tall. Current zoning allows 240 feet, which Chow calls a "an unfortunate, squat, blocky thing."

The development site is now occupied by two tennis courts, a swimming pool, and both above-ground and surface parking. Under the new plan, the parking would be moved underground and the swimming pools incorporated into the new development.

Dworman is a former close associate of the Pritzker family, the billionaire hoteliers and philanthropists based in Chicago, but fell out with the family in 2001 after a bank they owned jointly failed.

Based in New York with offices in San Francisco, Adco owns 1.3 million square feet of commercial space in San Francisco. It has developed the Normandy Apartments on Ellis Street, Museum Parc at 300 Third St., and owns SF Mart, 875 Stevenson St., and Convention Plaza.

And Dworman and Adco are no strangers to neighborhood battles. In 2000, the developer opened Bacara Resort and Spa outside of Santa Barbara, a ultra deluxe project that took 17 years of legal battles to entitle and build.

"We've come full circle," says Linda Corso, GM of Cathedral Hill Plaza.



jkdineen@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4971
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ml?t=printable
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  #22  
Old Posted May 14, 2007, 9:19 PM
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The picture in the Business Times article is probably the most direct picture of the model I've seen on the web, and best represents how it looked at the developer's presentation.
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  #23  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 3:45 AM
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Originally Posted by condodweller View Post
The picture in the Business Times article is probably the most direct picture of the model I've seen on the web, and best represents how it looked at the developer's presentation.
Yes, the model image shows very well what you where trying to explain about the positioning of the tower.

It is going to be interesting to see just how frosty white this building will actually look when constructed. If the color is close to what the renderings show, the tower should compliment the cathedral and surrounding buildings very well.
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  #24  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 3:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SFView View Post
It is going to be interesting to see just how frosty white this building will actually look when constructed. If the color is close to what the renderings show, the tower should compliment the cathedral and surrounding buildings very well.
If it really is as frosty white all over as it appears, how will residents be able to see out of it clearly?
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  #25  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 4:36 AM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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Good point. Speaking of white glass buildings, it is interesting to compare the renderings for Gehry's IAC building in New York:

http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=519644

to the completed building:

http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=519566
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  #26  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 5:16 AM
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Originally Posted by nequidnimis View Post
Good point. Speaking of white glass buildings, it is interesting to compare the renderings for Gehry's IAC building in New York:

http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=519644

to the completed building:

http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=519566
Hmmm...they don't even look similar!
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  #27  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 5:20 AM
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How tall is the tower in the lower right hand corner?
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  #28  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 5:30 AM
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Originally Posted by pseudolus View Post


How tall is the tower in the lower right hand corner?
That's the Cathedral Hill Tower; it's 299' and 27 floors, completed in 1965. It was originally a rental apartment building and was converted to condos in 1979.
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  #29  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 5:44 AM
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And there's another tower of similar height, just to the south of that, no?

Thanks
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  #30  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 6:18 AM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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No, directly to the south of Cathedral Hill tower is the Carillon, which is 18 stories.

I am finding the numbers on Emporis suspect: I only counted 25 stories on Cathedral Hill tower. This may be like the new Rincon Hill tower, where, due to the slope of the site, they get to count levels that are underground.
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  #31  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 6:48 AM
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Originally Posted by viewguysf View Post
If it really is as frosty white all over as it appears, how will residents be able to see out of it clearly?
Whatever glass is used, will probably appear as clear or tinted from the inside looking out. If the mullions are to be glass, or the glass is slightly reflective, either or both would contribute a frosty crystal effect. This could also depend on various possible changes before the final design might get approved.
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  #32  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 6:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nequidnimis View Post
No, directly to the south of Cathedral Hill tower is the Carillon, which is 18 stories.

I am finding the numbers on Emporis suspect: I only counted 25 stories on Cathedral Hill tower. This may be like the new Rincon Hill tower, where, due to the slope of the site, they get to count levels that are underground.
Yes, but how does Emporis (and SSP) count building height - from ground entrance level up only?
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  #33  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 5:14 PM
nequidnimis nequidnimis is offline
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A resident of Cathedral Hill tower tells me she has always heard her 25 story building is 240' tall.

I am wondering where Emporis gets their numbers, and how I can go about finding out the actual height...
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  #34  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by viewguysf View Post
If it really is as frosty white all over as it appears, how will residents be able to see out of it clearly?
At the developer's presentation, they were talking about using clear but non-colored, non-reflective glass. I think that would be refreshing, in light of the sea of bluish green glass that every new downtown highrise seems to be made of. However, they emphasized that this whole design proposal is very preliminary. My guess is that this building is going to change considerably as they do more studies (wind, shadow, etc...), go through approval hearings, and so forth...
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  #35  
Old Posted May 15, 2007, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by condodweller View Post
However, they emphasized that this whole design proposal is very preliminary. My guess is that this building is going to change considerably as they do more studies (wind, shadow, etc...), go through approval hearings, and so forth...
Yep, and after the hearings and studies it will probably end up looking like this:

http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/05/08/mn_missionbayedit.jpg

Just kidding. Well, not really.
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  #36  
Old Posted May 16, 2007, 5:43 AM
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^^^

Oh no, what a blow that would be. Yet another gravesite for a project that could have been.
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  #37  
Old Posted May 16, 2007, 6:59 AM
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^^^Just to remind everyone, miracles happen. The hearings process made The Infinity better and might do so for its neighbor on Folsom (if that project ever gets built). So who knows?
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  #38  
Old Posted May 17, 2007, 1:53 AM
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^^^
Oh, I certainly dont mind the hearings process. In fact, it is because of The Infinity that I now dont feel so uneasy about them. Just as long as it does not end up like fflint's article picture.
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  #39  
Old Posted May 17, 2007, 1:59 PM
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Very nice tower, indeed. Would love to own one of those condos.
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  #40  
Old Posted May 19, 2007, 7:57 PM
insanenuyawka insanenuyawka is offline
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Originally Posted by viewguysf View Post
If it really is as frosty white all over as it appears, how will residents be able to see out of it clearly?
How do you think people see out of the Sears,John Hankcock, or Trump International towers? Same concept I believe.
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