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50 Main Street To Become Second Tallest Tower in San Francisco

50 Main Street seen from Treasure Island, image courtesy Hines50 Main Street seen from Treasure Island, image courtesy Hines

Hines has announced that 50 Main Street will rise 1,066 feet tall, potentially becoming the second tallest structure in San Francisco. If built as proposed, the residential tower will be just four feet shorter than the Salesforce Tower. 50 Main Street, to be designed by Foster + Partners, is part of the 200 Mission Street campus, formerly the SoMa headquarters for PG&E.

Hines is proposing to redevelop the historic PG&E campus set in downtown San Francisco with offices, the multi-family tower with affordable housing, retail, and a porous ground-floor network of public open space and 1.25 acres for public parks. The newly designed block will reinvigorate an area in the city’s heart, immediately next to the Embarcadero BART Station. The project will be split between four components, including 50 Main Street, the reskinning of 77 Beale Street, refurbishing the historic office building along Market Street, and creating the ground-level network of parks and pathways.

50 Main Street subject lot outlined in its existing condition, Google Satellite image via Hines

50 Main Street subject lot outlined in its existing condition, Google Satellite image via Hines

50 Main Street

50 Main Street will rise 85 floors to create nearly one million square feet, approximately 800 new rental apartments, of which a fifth will be offered as affordable housing. Initial plans show that parking will be included for 380 vehicles. Unit sizes will range from studios to two bedrooms. Amenities will be included on the top two floors, with retail at the base. Residents will be given excellent access to open-air with natural light between the shared amenities and access to the base level parks.

50 Main Street preliminary elevation, illustration by Foster and Partners

50 Main Street preliminary elevation, illustration by Foster and Partners

50 Main Street preliminary elevation average floor plans, illustration by Foster and Partners

50 Main Street preliminary elevation average floor plans, illustration by Foster and Partners

With an overall height of 1,066 feet tall, 50 Main Street could become San Francisco’s second supertall skyscraper. Not even the Oceanwide Center, currently stalled at ground level, would reach the heralded category. Oceanwide was expected to reach a height of 910 feet above street level.

Oceanwide Center full tower, design by Foster + Partners with Heller Manus Architects

Oceanwide Center full tower, design by Foster + Partners with Heller Manus Architects

Foster + Partners, founded by Norman Foster, is the project architect in charge of design. While information about the aesthetic is limited, one can glean some information from the following comment on 50 Main Street by Norman Foster himself:

“50 Main is part of the reimagining of an entire city block, providing a hub of community within the East Cut district’s ongoing transformation into a welcoming, vibrant mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of San Francisco. A beacon of sustainable design with a redwood forest at its base, the residential tower seeks to blend with the undulating skyline of the city, while offering a unique vision that is expressive of its time, complementary to its historic context, and looks firmly toward the future.”

50 Main Street vertical elevation showing the 498-mark setback, illustration by Foster and Partners

Prior 50 Main Street vertical elevation showing the 498-mark setback, illustration by Foster and Partners

Hines’s senior managing director, Paul Paradis, also commented on the tower, saying, “our hope and vision with this project is that it serves as a symbol of vitality for the city and represents what is in store for the future of San Francisco’s office and housing markets.”

Offices

While 50 Main Street will be the crown jewel of Hines’ development, the offices will span even more space. Between two components, Hines will add 1.6 million square feet of modernized office space to the region’s market between two components.

200 Mission Street, formerly 77 Beale, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street, formerly 77 Beale, rendering by Pickard Chilton

The first of the two office projects will be the restoration and renovation of the 600,000 square foot office building at 215-245 Market Street. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company General Office Building and Annex were built between 1923 and 1925 in a Beaux-Arts style by the architects Bakewell & Brown. The historic facade and lobby will be retained, while the rest of the structure’s internal systems and technologies will be updated with state-of-the-art functionality and sustainability.

200 Mission Street Campus elevation of 215-245 Market Street, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street Campus elevation of 215-245 Market Street, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street vertical elevation of floor plan, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street vertical elevation of floor plan, rendering by Pickard Chilton

77 Beale Street full tower, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

77 Beale Street full tower, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

The second office project is 77 Beale Street. Pickard Chilton will be responsible for reskinning the historic office building, designed by the 1960s by Hertzka and Knowles. The new design will bulge out from the original envelop with curtain-wall glass, adding nearly 25,000 square feet of new office space. The 34-story building will include over a million square feet of office space and is to be renamed 200 Mission Street.

200 Mission Street, formerly 77 Beale, along the San Francisco skyline, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street, formerly 77 Beale, along the San Francisco skyline, rendering by Pickard Chilton

Hines will also be seeking LEED Platinum certification. 200 Mission will include new MEP systems, modern glass technology, and facade-integrated solar panels, all to reduce energy consumption and increase natural light for office workers.

The following is a caption from the press release:

Led by Pickard Chilton, the future-facing design will feature a glistening crystalline skin that will be an iconic moment in the city’s skyline and a welcoming beacon within the heart of the city. At the top of the tower, tenants will be able to enjoy a ‘Sky Garden’ with mature trees and open green space. The ‘Sky Garden’ will provide a space for tenants to work, gather and reflect.

Landscaping

The final character for the 200 Mission Street Campus is the open space, inviting the public in, establishing a new environment for the urban fabric. Across the whole 3.5-acre property, 1.25 acres will become publicly accessible green space. With PWP Landscape Architecture responsible for this area, the firm is tasked to design a place where nature and urban life coexist.

200 Mission Street Campus, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street Campus, rendering by Pickard Chilton

The public parks will include the Grove, or the Sequoia Court, in the inner court of 245 Market Street. ‘The Amphitheater’ will be a terraced performance and gathering space next to 50 Main Street, while The overlook will be an elevated public space with connected retail around 200 Mission. Facing Beale Street, the existing entryway to 77 Beale will become ‘The Commons’, with a water feature and public recreation area covered with trees. Lastly, the ground lobby of 200 Mission will create the Winter Garden, a public space enhanced with greenery.

The Principal of PWP, Peter Walker, commented on the project, sharing that “the Sequoia Court will provide a unique kind of space for San Francisco. Not quite a park or square—it will be a court of activities at street level, planted in redwoods, surrounded by urban social activities, 24/7. A soft, quiet beautiful place providing sophisticated public services with special amenities and lighting to the offices and residences.”

200 Mission Street Campus ground-level floor plan showcasing the public open space, rendering by Pickard Chilton

200 Mission Street Campus ground-level floor plan showcasing the public open space, rendering by Pickard Chilton

Timeline

Construction is expected to begin by 2023, with the final price tag not yet revealed. That said, it’s safe to assume 200 Mission Street will cost billions. Hines is currently involved with interested parties engaging with the entitlement process. Once complete, Hines believes the project will “reimagine and breathe new life into an irreplaceable, transit-oriented location that spans an entire city block.”

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13 Comments on "50 Main Street To Become Second Tallest Tower in San Francisco"

  1. WOWOW that would be great to have an accompanying tower of that height, especially with such a slender profile. Although it would be better if it was 100′ taller or shorter to differentiate the top of the skyline. I wonder what the likelihood of planning approving this?

    Hopefully someone buys Oceanwide and finishes the job.

    • Well history has your back. Someone on the YIMBY forums pointed out that the Salesforce Tower was even subject to a 190-foot height reduction before getting approval. Hines was also the developer for the Salesforce tower, so they have a good track record of completing skyscrapers in the city.

  2. Why not add a parapet or spire & make it the tallest in SF? Lol Might as well make it the tallest in the west cost & make it 1101 ft surpassing Wilshire Grand in LA. Haha but in all seriousness, I hope a project like this gets built and reinvigorate this part of Financial District.

  3. Hahaha no chance! But I love that the City asked them to reduce the 818 height, and now it’s up to 1066. Anyone wanna make a bet?

  4. Yes, more weight on the ground. More missile silo buildings. Build buil build. Then it will all sink into the bay.the ground is already sinking. Millennium tower is leading the way back down down down. You have already destroyed the beautiful skyline.

  5. OK Debbie Downer

  6. Since this building is close to many Public transit options, save money by eliminating the parking for 380 vehicles.

    • Would love to see that happen. Only makes sense for a new building in such a central area not to include parking on-site while the city grapples with how to reduce global temperature rise. And thinking practically since a few residents will probably still want to drive, Hines could work with a neighboring garage to offer valet parking.

  7. Too tall for SF.

    Sales force tower needs to come down and there should not be any building that tall to be allowed. SF is not LA or NYC.

    We will organize and protest and lobby.

    And the financial district is dead now, we are in a new era – why build again?

    • Is doesn’t have anything to do with being LA or NYC. It’s a dense city and it’s always been that way with many of its towers holding the tallest west of the Mississippi. San Francisco’s skyline is also the 6th largest in America in terms of completed skyscrapers, and has earned its way up with the big boys. Stop being a NIMBY.

  8. Zero aesthetic value. Are you telling me this thing is going to be a giant rectangle with no contributing visual aesthetic to the skyline? C’mon.

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