The market for office space in SoMa was white hot when the massive 5M project got its approvals six years ago. And while the project was touted for its large affordable housing component — only some of which is being developed on site — it was the office tower at 415 Natoma Street and one residential tower at 434 Minna Street that began construction first, in mid-2019. And they are on their way to completion by late 2021, according to a press release.
The 25-story office tower at 415 Natoma has now "topped out," meaning the construction process has reached the topmost level, as developer Brookfield Properties announced Tuesday. And it is expected to be the only new, large-scale office development completed this year.
“Despite the pandemic and market headwinds, we’re on track with 415 Natoma to provide office tenants the opportunity to work within a dynamic mixed-use environment unique to San Francisco,” says Brookfield's Director of Development Cutter MacLeod. “Achieving this milestone underscores our faith in San Francisco’s resilient market and sustains our commitment to the community.”
Socketsite reports that the developer has yet to ink a tenant for the 640,000-square-foot building — and this could get tough with an estimated 14 million square feet of office space currently available in San Francisco. That is the equivalent of about 10 Salesforce towers worth of offices, with that tower having 1.35 million square feet in it.
And speaking of Salesforce, the company dropped some major news last week about its work-from-home policy, saying that most of its employees will be able to work from home for two or more days a week after the pandemic subsides — something which could potentially greatly impact the downtown office market and the post-pandemic energy of downtown overall.
The 5M project wraps around several existing buildings that are remaining, including the home of The Chieftan pub at 5th and Howard, and the historic Chronicle building, which is getting renovated.
Once completed, the 5M project is slated to produce over 850 residential units, 33% of which (221 units) will be affordable at 50% area median income (AMI) — but only a portion of those will be onsite. The 302-unit apartment building at 434 Minna, designed by Ankrom Moisan, is supposed to have 58 affordable units in it, and it's unclear if these will be habitable later this year.
There are still plans to build a 400-unit, 470-foot-tall condo tower that will be the most eye-catching component of the development once complete. But as Socketsite notes, construction on that has yet to be scheduled — and may end up delayed due to uncertainties in the condo market right now. It was slated to be 100% market-rate, with the remaining affordable requirements to be developed offsite but still within the district.
Photo/rendering via Brookfield Properties