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  #141  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2004, 10:27 PM
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2 complete opposites brought together by one 400ft residential tower. awwwww
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"This will not be known as the Times Square of the West," City Council President Alex Padilla declared last week. "Times Square will be known as the L.A. Live of the East."

Will Rogers once said, "children in San Francisco are taught two things: love the Lord and hate Los Angeles."
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  #142  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2004, 10:59 PM
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I really like 301 Mission, 555 Mission, and that new federal building.
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"Architecture is the art of balancing values: economic, aesthetic, public, private. It always involves compromise, and few architects would deny that the client's desires take precedence. But the best architects understand that they also have an obligation to the public welfare, no matter who is paying their bills. That often means investing time in educating clients rather than simply acceding to their desires."

- Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times
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  #143  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2004, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol Doda
SF highrise architecture:

Singapore highrise architecture:

Tokyo highrise architecture:

HK highrise architecture:

mainland China highrise architecture:
Are you kdding?

HK highrise architecture is pretty good, but I wouldn't even call what's going up on the mainland "architecture".
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"Architecture is the art of balancing values: economic, aesthetic, public, private. It always involves compromise, and few architects would deny that the client's desires take precedence. But the best architects understand that they also have an obligation to the public welfare, no matter who is paying their bills. That often means investing time in educating clients rather than simply acceding to their desires."

- Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times
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  #144  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2004, 11:09 PM
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Chi-town, why "argue" with someone who was banned months ago?
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  #145  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2004, 11:35 PM
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1. I didn't know they were banned.

2. I'm not trying to start a back-and-forth argument, just expressing a contrary opinion.
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"Architecture is the art of balancing values: economic, aesthetic, public, private. It always involves compromise, and few architects would deny that the client's desires take precedence. But the best architects understand that they also have an obligation to the public welfare, no matter who is paying their bills. That often means investing time in educating clients rather than simply acceding to their desires."

- Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times
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  #146  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2004, 1:20 AM
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whoa carol got banned? thats a shame, he/she? posted some cool pics from time to time. what happened with that?
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"This will not be known as the Times Square of the West," City Council President Alex Padilla declared last week. "Times Square will be known as the L.A. Live of the East."

Will Rogers once said, "children in San Francisco are taught two things: love the Lord and hate Los Angeles."
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  #147  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 8:10 AM
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Thanks for posting those construction pics fflinty! All four of these projects are moving along nicely especially the Bloomingdales/SF Center.

One question about this pic:



Does anyone else think that SF could have "ended" New Montgomery Street with a better building? This building with a reflective top is like a shorter, fatter, uglier version of NYC's Metlife Building.
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  #148  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 8:47 PM
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Agreed, that would have been a nice place for a signature tower. It would have really made that ending a cool skyscraper canyon, maybe that's why there wasnt a nice high rise built there.
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"This will not be known as the Times Square of the West," City Council President Alex Padilla declared last week. "Times Square will be known as the L.A. Live of the East."

Will Rogers once said, "children in San Francisco are taught two things: love the Lord and hate Los Angeles."
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  #149  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 9:35 PM
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I think some architect should come along and add onto/behind that awesome brick "Howard Hawthorne" building. It's a great base to work with, imagine some bright, airy glass tower behind it...
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  #150  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2004, 12:25 AM
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That would indeed be very cool. I always like to see cities keep reminders of old architecture around. Wasn't a similar thing done with 345 Cal Center, as I remember the building is actually mid-block but has four older buildings at it's base, one on each corner.
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"This will not be known as the Times Square of the West," City Council President Alex Padilla declared last week. "Times Square will be known as the L.A. Live of the East."

Will Rogers once said, "children in San Francisco are taught two things: love the Lord and hate Los Angeles."
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  #151  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2004, 7:07 PM
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Update on 80 Natoma Street, a planned residential tower that has now been bumped up to 51 stories and renamed "the Hemisphere."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jack on track
Developer has plans to build 51 stories of housing on Transbay Terminal site

James Temple
The San Francisco Business Times
Monday, April 19, 2004





Sometime in November 2003, construction firm Webcor fenced off a parking lot next to the Transbay Terminal, pulled the parking curbs and installed "indicator piles" to determine the underlying soil's composition. All were signs that a development was imminent. The question was: Which one?

Myers Development Corp. had made no secret of its plans to build a housing highrise at 80 Natoma St., while the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and Transbay Joint Powers Authority had earmarked the site for the western portion of the $2.7 billion Transbay Terminal project, a West Coast version of Grand Central Station.

Since the Transbay Terminal plan had yet to be approved, and Myers had moved forward with negotiations with parcel owner Prudential, the answer was soon clear. The impact is still unknown.

Myers Development has pushed ahead with the $188 million development, closing on the financing and acquiring the land from Prudential Real Estate Investors in late March. Also recently revealed: The "Hemisphere" will now be 51 stories, up from initial plans for 48, making it the tallest all-residential structure in California.

Meanwhile, the timeline for the Transbay Terminal plan, initially slated for final approval by the end of last year, is unknown and city officials aren't offering clues.

Since, outside the misty realms of theoretical physics, two objects can't occupy the same space at the same time, the options include moving the Transbay Terminal over one block -- exactly where it resided in earlier plans -- or seizing the property from Myers through eminent domain. Either would add substantial expense to the project -- and no shortage of political headaches.

"There are numerous plans that the city can pursue relative to the development of the Transbay Terminal," said Myers Development CEO Jack Myers in an earlier interview. "The fact remains that I have a single site that is entitled."

He adds that he is a staunch supporter of the redevelopment goals of the Transbay Terminal neighborhood, which designates several other sites for housing highrises, and believes the projects will be complementary in the end.

-- James Temple
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  #152  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2004, 8:14 AM
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In an "only in San Francisco" moment, city leaders are still trying to figure out how to build a new transit station and a new 51 story highrise on the same parcel...

Transbay project jammed
Conflicting plans leave three options
James Temple


San Francisco officials are wrestling with three options to salvage the $2 billion Transbay Terminal project, now under threat from Myers Development Corp.'s move to begin construction of a 51-story (475') housing tower on part of the site.

The terminal project received public approval from the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission this week, even while the city reviewed options for redesigning or moving the terminal and its underground rail tracks to accommodate the tower. Meanwhile, high-level finger-pointing increased over how the two huge projects were allowed to collide.

"How is it possible that both parties were allowed to go in parallel?" asked Mayor Gavin Newsom. "I'm stunned by that. I don't think this has been well managed, this process, and you can quote me saying that.... I'm very disappointed in some of the leadership on this project."

Newsom, who said he was shocked to learn that Myers' 80 Natoma St. project was proceeding a few weeks after taking office, has orchestrated several meetings of the major stakeholders. Three options are now on the table, insiders say, each with advantages and costs.

The first alternative -- reportedly favored by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, Redevelopment Agency and California High Speed Rail Authority -- is to move the Transbay Terminal over one block and change the foundation for the 80 Natoma tower to allow the tracks to run under the building.
The upside is that the tracks could exist as currently configured, which is considered the optimum layout for the high-speed rail that is eventually slated to connect with the terminal.

The downsides are that it's a highly complex and expensive procedure that would take between six and 12 months to explore -- and, according to engineers, might not work.

Myers Development CEO Jack Myers said he can't delay his development because his financing is conditioned on the project coming to market at a certain time. He said that it would also add $30 million to city costs.

Another downside is that the new foundation would increase the height of the tower by requiring one level of parking to be above ground, thus triggering the need for additional approval by the San Francisco Planning Commission.

"We simply don't think that this is going to be workable, nor is it practical in light of other alternative alignments being less expensive and having no material time impact," he said.

The alternative alignment option, one advocated at least for exploration by the Mayor's Office as well as Myers, would run the tracks under the portion of the building nearest Natoma Street, where the planned foundation would allow it.
The advantage is that it would not require any changes to the design of 80 Natoma, or any additional approvals or delays.

The disadvantage is that, because it would require the rail lines to merge earlier, it would cut down the number of lines and passenger platforms, according to Andrew Sullivan, chairman of Rescue Muni, a transit riders advocacy group.

"Either people wouldn't be able to get off on the whole trains, or the capacity for trains would be cut by two-thirds," Sullivan said. "Giving up the capacity for one building, the owner of which bought it after the draft EIR, doesn't make any sense."

The third alternative is for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency to seize the 80 Natoma parcels through eminent domain.
The upside is that a project that would connect most major modes of transportation, and allow for high-speed intrastate transportation, would be allowed to go forward in what's considered the ideal form by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and other interested parties. The downsides are significant legal hurdles, unknown costs and a thwarted large-scale housing project.

Eminent domain involves a long legal process to determine the fair market value of the property. Some put the value of just the dirt at 80 Natoma, with its existing city building approvals, at $30 million. Then there is the unknown value of the time invested, lost profit potential and materials costs. Myers has repeatedly said he isn't interested in being bought out.

Mayor Newsom did not rule out the possibility of eminent domain, but said it should be a last resort.

"I don't want to understate how disappointed I was that 80 Natoma had gotten so far ahead and the Transbay Terminal people had said, 'Well, we'll just eminent domain it," Newsom said. "Is that the wisest direction, or is there an alternative that will strike a balance and cost the taxpayers substantially less money?

"There is some presumption from some members of the Transbay Terminal that there will never be an engineering solution," he said. "Maybe they're right, but I wasn't convinced we had done our due diligence."

Maria Ayerdi, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, did not respond to questions about the possible use of eminent domain, the other alternatives, or the mayor's criticism.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: "The committee is committed to working with everyone. Engineers are looking at it, from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and Myers Development, to see what can be done."

But the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and Redevelopment Agency have so far demonstrated no reluctance to use eminent domain to make the project work. In fact, under the preferred construction plan for the Transbay project in the just-approved environmental impact report, the agencies expected to spend north of $120 million to acquire and demolish more than 20 properties -- including the four Natoma and Minna Street parcels where Myers plans to build.

Ayerdi also wrote in a June 9 letter to Myers: "If at some future date the (Transbay Terminal) project is approved, we would anticipate taking appropriate steps to move the project forward, including, if necessary, recommending acquisition of properties needed for the project."

The fact that Ayerdi wrote this letter on June 9, 2003, has raised a question in some minds: If the Transbay Joint Powers Authority knew last summer that Myers Development was planning to proceed with a highrise tower, why didn't the agency start talking about engineering solutions 10 months ago?

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority spokeswoman defended the public process: "Over 30 different alternatives were looked at. After 10 years of the community working together and three years of work on the environmental report, the locally preferred alternative was chosen."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Transbay Terminal:

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  #153  
Old Posted May 10, 2004, 7:54 AM
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Here's a quick pic I took of the new Muni hotel under construction at the Ferry Terminal plaza (it's a couple weeks old):

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  #154  
Old Posted May 10, 2004, 8:26 AM
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Thanks for the pic, fflinty! I was at the Embarcadero yesterday, and I'm excited something is rising on that barren bus turnaround that once occupied that site.

Here's a pic of the finished project:

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  #155  
Old Posted May 13, 2004, 9:43 AM
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I dont think there has been too much discussion about this project here. I'm more excited about the renovation of the old Emporium building than the Bloomindales, but what the hell it looks pretty nice.

The new, 338,000 sf, five story Bloomingdaleís will be one of its largest in the country, second only to its flagship Lexington Avenue store in NYC. Unlike the Beaux Arts facade of its historic neighbor, the Emporium Department Store, the look will be strictly modern with four stories of glass framed by horizontal metal panels.

The store is part of a 1.5 million sf project that includes the restoration of the Emporium, and is an extension of the world-famous Union Square District. The venue will serve as the shopping, dining and entertainment destination for more than 25 million people annually.

KA is the Executive Architect for the entire project.





The new Westfield San Francisco Centre is the result of a partnership between Forest City Enterprises, developer of Westfield Market Street, and Westfield America, Inc., owner of the existing Westfield San Francisco Centre, which includes Nordstrom's and more than 200 other specialty stops.

The development incorporates a cherished historic landmark, The Emporium department store; its distinctive facade from 1896 will be restored and strengthened, and its famed, 102-foot-diameter glass and steel dome and rotunda will be raised up three stories and restored. Public space has been added with the creation of two roof-top terraces, one allowing for a dramatic eye-level view of the historic dome and the other facing Yerba Buena. A Century Theatres multiplex, with nine cinemas and 3,200 stadium seats, will anchor the Emporium above Bloomingdale's and will connect to the existing Westfield San Francisco Centre.

Along Market Street, shoppers will have access to a variety of street-level retailers. Above, more than 560,000 sf will accommodate additional retail space and offices. A food court at the lower level will connect to the Powell Street MUNI Metro and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system.

The new Bloomingdale's, second in size only to its NYC flagship store, will command an imposing presence on Mission Street and will connect to the new mall at five levels. The entire Westfield Market Street development will connect to the adjacent Westfield San Francisco Centre and Nordstromís for a total of 1.5 million sf.

KA Architecture is the Executive Architect of Record for the entire $410 million proje





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"This will not be known as the Times Square of the West," City Council President Alex Padilla declared last week. "Times Square will be known as the L.A. Live of the East."

Will Rogers once said, "children in San Francisco are taught two things: love the Lord and hate Los Angeles."
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  #156  
Old Posted May 14, 2004, 3:48 PM
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Daily Digest

The San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, May 14, 2004

Work gets under way at disputed S.F. site

Webcor Builders has begun excavation work at a disputed high-rise construction site at 80 Natoma St. in downtown San Francisco, on the same land where regional transit officials want to build a new Transbay Terminal.

Webcor is digging down about 12 feet to prepare the parcel for construction of a 51-story condominium tower that Myers Development Co. is legally entitled to build.

Myers and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which is responsible for planning the terminal, are negotiating to make both projects possible. Plans for the terminal call for high-speed rail lines to go underneath the Myers property. The excavation work is starting on the side of the parcel farthest away from the area of conflict, said Todd Saunders, a Myers vice president.
--Dan Levy
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  #157  
Old Posted May 14, 2004, 7:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourOneFive
Thanks for the pic, fflinty! I was at the Embarcadero yesterday, and I'm excited something is rising on that barren bus turnaround that once occupied that site.

Here's a pic of the finished project:

Judging by the rendering, and what I saw yesterday, it looks as though it is about topped out. I didn't have a camera with me yesterday when I visited the city. It was a beautiful day, so took a walk around the area after I finished the business that I had to take care of.
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  #158  
Old Posted May 19, 2004, 3:32 PM
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500,000-pound sigh of relief
The grand old dome of the Emporium gets a lift -- and now waits for its new home atop Bloomingdale's

Dan Levy, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2004


In a spectacular engineering feat, the 250-ton, glass-and-steel dome of the old Emporium was lifted 60 feet in the air.


The crown jewel of the old Emporium will top the new Bloomingdale's, shown here from the rear.




They raised the roof Tuesday at the old Emporium.

Well, it wasn't the roof. It was the dome -- a 500,000-pound relic of San Francisco's early 20th century excitement and excess.

Thanks to a custom-designed hydraulic lifting system, the beloved glass- and-steel structure 100 feet in diameter made a safe climb to its new height of 170 feet above Market and Mission streets as a crowd of hard hats and real estate suits looked on.

Nobody on hand had witnessed quite such a dome-raising before.

"We did not really have knowledge for a project like this," said Archie Schachle, vice president for Sheedy Drayage Co., the San Francisco engineering firm that pulled off the feat.

The closest thing anyone could think of was the dismantling of the City of Paris department store dome back in 1981 and its reassembly in the then-new Neiman Marcus store on Union Square.

But that was a relatively simple matter of screwdrivers and chisels.

Tuesday's show was about lifting, whole hog, a fragile and bulky century- old structure.

When the Bloomingdale's department story and retail center, being built on the site of the 108-year-old Emporium store, opens in fall 2006, the dome will be the visual and spiritual centerpiece of the 1.5-million-square-foot, mixed-use behemoth.

"People love light, and there is going to be a lot of light streaming through those lunettes," said project architect John Tindall, looking up at the arched windows at the base of the dome structure.

Incredibly, a 1920s addition to the Emporium building had covered up the lunettes, which are small windows, robbing shoppers of the feeling that they were buying perfume in St. Peter's. During its decades-long heyday, the Emporium dome was where San Franciscans met, supped and canoodled.

Planners decided not only to remove the offending blockage -- and whatever else was left of the guts of the old Emporium -- but also to raise the dome 60 feet and restore it to its former glory.

Accomplishing this required a stabilizing concrete pad, a 120-foot steel- beam tower to support the dome and four hydraulic jacks to do the heavy lifting.

As assembled visitors looked on, an engineer flipped the switch on the jacks, which were positioned on massive horizontal beams that supported the weight of the dome. Ever so slowly, the giant dome was lifted inch by weighty inch.

It was impressive to bystanders. But foreman Don Vick, watching the 94- year-old structure rise slowly and steadily, said the job wasn't too different from adding a deck to a bridge or lifting a floor into an office building.

"It's just like putting a floor together one piece at a time," Vick said.

Workers and engineers stationed under the jacks watched the progress of the lift by eyeing tape measures that dangled from the beams. The lifting had to be done in unison on all four sides.

"It's got to go up at the same level, and you want to make sure you don't get hung up on something you don't see," Vick said.

By 4 p.m. the lift was done, and the first phase of the Bloomingdale's construction project was complete.

The dome will stay perched on the steel tower for 10 months while the Emporium structure is demolished and a new steel structure is erected around the dome. Then the dome will be lowered 2 feet to rest atop the new frame.

For those scoring at home, that makes a total lift of 58 feet.

The next phase will be construction of 200 stores, cafes and restaurants, a nine-screen cinema and 235,000 square feet of office space, the priciest of which will look out onto the newly restored dome.

One point of history: Developers Forest City and Westfield America were required by the city to save the dome if they wanted to build the project, which is expected to cost $410 million by the time it opens in two years.

And if you listen to them today, nothing to the contrary ever crossed their minds.

"Carrying through the quality of the architecture is going to make a statement," said Westfield executive Steve Eimer.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The dome of the former Emporium department store, built in 1908, was lifted 60 feet using hydraulic jacks.
The structure under the dome -- except for the original beams and supports -- had already been removed, a process that took several months.

Next, contractors built a reinforced horizontal base for the dome. A lifting tower, with the hydraulic jacks at the top, was erected under the dome and connected to the horizontal support.

On Tuesday, the dome was raised 60 feet in four hours.

During the next 10 months, the dome will remain on the hydraulic lifting tower until a new building is completed underneath it.

When the work is complete, the dome will be lowered 2 feet to rest on the new structure and the hydraulic lifting tower will be removed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lifting the Emporium dome

The historic dome of the old Emporium building, a 500,000-pound structure built almost a century ago, has been lifted 60 feet to crown the center of the new Bloomingdale's project in downtown San Francisco. The dome will sit on a supporting tower for nearly a year while a new structure is built underneath it to house shops and restaurants.

1) The structure under the dome - except for the original beams and supports - was removed, a process that took several months.

2) Next, contractors built a 4-foot-thick reinforced-concrete footing as a base on which to mount the steel tower.

3) After erection of the tower, a lifting frame was constructed extending beyond the tower to lift the dome from its base. Hydraulic strand jacks were mounted at the top of the tower.

4) Hydraulic strand jacks (controlled by hoses and cables connected to four hydraulic jacks and to the operator's console on the second floor) pulled on steel strand wires connected to the lift frame. All four jacks were operated simultaneously.

Earlier this month the dome was raised 30 feet and secured while the tower was extended in height by 30 feet. On Tuesday, the dome was raised the second 30 feet.

Source: Sheedy Drayage Co.

E-mail Dan Levy at danlevy@sfchronicle.com.
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  #159  
Old Posted May 21, 2004, 5:32 AM
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The old Bank of America building at Powell and Market Streets is being renovated into lofts--quite the urban neighborhood, no?

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  #160  
Old Posted May 21, 2004, 5:40 AM
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Here is a shot I took today of 199 New Montgomery rising above SOMA:

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