The developer behind a 61-story mixed-use tower slated to go in at 550 Howard Street announced plans today for an early 2022 groundbreaking, delivering solid evidence that developers remain very optimistic about post-pandemic San Francisco.
Much of downtown SF is still a ghost town and will likely stay that way into early next year, but developer F4 Transbay Partners — a joint venture of Hines, Urban Pacific and Goldman Sachs Asset Management — is committed to starting construction on 550 Howard, with a slight reduction in the amount of office space planned for the tower. The tower is being designed by architects Pelli Clarke Pelli, the same firm behind Salesforce Tower, and this one, while considerably shorter, will have a complimentary square crown.
Originally, as SFist reported in January 2020, the building was set to have Salesforce as a tenant, and the company made an early commitment to take all 15 floors (325,000 square feet) of office planned in the tower. Now, as the Chronicle reports, 550 Howard will have a few less floors of office space (250,000 square feet), a few more condo units — 170, up from an originally 165 — as well as a 180-room Rosewood hotel.
A spokesperson for Rosewood, which also has a luxury hotel in Silicon Valley — the Rosewood Sand Hill where rooms go for $1,000 and $1,300 a night — tells the Chronicle, "As one of the most dynamic and innovative cities in North America, San Francisco offers an eclectic mix of culture, cuisine, art, technology and adventure," and says that SF is "an ideal destination for the Rosewood brand."
The hotel is also slated to have amenities including a lap pool, spa, an "indoor/outdoor restaurant," event spaces, and a private lounge called the Manor Club. Condo owners may also share some of these amenities.
Some of the tower is expected to be completed for occupancy in mid-2024, while the hotel buildout isn't expected to be complete until 2026.
Hines, the original developer behind Salesforce Tower, acquired the property at 550 Howard along with Urban Pacific Development back in 2016 for $160 million. The property has been known as Transbay Parcel F, and this tower looks to be the final piece in the new SF skyline that was created when height limits were lifted for the Transbay District.
Once complete, 550 Howard will be the city's fourth-tallest building at 806 feet, just four feet above the zig-zag Facebook tower, 181 Fremont.
As part of the deal that came with city approval for 550 Howard, F4 Transbay Partners agreed to fund 337 affordable housing units elsewhere in the city.
Hotel consultant Rick Swig tells the Chronicle that the bet on the luxury hotel is a good one, because prior to the pandemic, SF had a hotel room shortage of about 5,000 — at all levels between economy and luxury rooms. "At some point in 2024, when we are stabilized, that same shortage will exist," Swig says.
One new hotel slated to open is The Line in the new 950 Market complex, but as we learned earlier this year, that 232-room project is delayed until late 2022. Also in the pipeline is the 299-room SOMA Mission Bay Hotel, formerly the Marriott Mission Bay, which is still supposed to open this fall.