Another very tall tower could be added to San Francisco's skyline in the coming years, if developer Hines gets what they're asking for on the downtown block that used to belong to PG&E.
PG&E in May announced the sale of the circa-1925 building at 245 Market Street, as well as the rest of the city block, to Hines for $800 million, and the Chronicle reports that the sale was being finalized this week. The block also includes an office building PG&E also inhabits at 77 Beale Street. PG&E is planning to relocate its offices to Oakland next spring.
Socketsite broke the news this week that Hines is planning an 818-foot, 75-story tower at 50 Main Street, a parcel on the block behind the older PG&E building that is currently occupied by a two-story parking garage. It's a height that may prove controversial, given that the block is only zoned to go as high as 400 feet, and a 50% density bonus under state law would only bring them to 600 feet. But it just may be that Planning will go for it.
"We’ve worked for the past couple of decades to encourage housing downtown," says Rich Hillis, the director of the city Planning Department, speaking to the Chronicle. “Pulling that toward Market Street is great."
The tower is set to be designed by noted architect Norman Foster — whose London-based firm, Foster + Partners, also designed the now stalled Oceanwide Center a couple of blocks away, in addition to the Union Square Apple Store and Apple's spaceship/doughnut campus in Cupertino.
50 Main Street, or as the developer seems to be calling it, "Atlas," is proposed to contain up to 716 residential units — 559 one-bedrooms, 114 two-bedrooms, and 88 three-bedrooms — as well as 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. To qualify for the density bonus, there would need to be 15% affordable units reserved for residents who make no more than 55% of the area’s median income.
Also, as the Chronicle notes, Hines plans to restore the historic PG&E building facing market, and give a complete overhaul and facelift to the nondescript 77 Beale Street as well, giving it "a glistening crystalline skin" and slightly different shape, according to documents submitted to Planning.
There could, of course, be objections to all this, and there will likely be argument from someone about something that will have a shadow cast on it by the new building. But at 818 feet it will definitely stand out, and soar taller than the last skyscraper we told you about, the 61-story mixed use tower at 550 Howard Street.
Rendering via Hines via Socketsite