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
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”