SHVO, the new owner of the Transamerica Pyramid and two adjacent buildings, has started renovations of San Francisco’s iconic property with an official ceremony. Though not a traditional groundbreaking event, dirt was shoveled by many important local representatives next to Michael Shvo. Plans for renovating the 50-year-old landmark are designed by Foster + Partners.
The Transamerica Pyramid opened in 1972 with the quartz-studded concrete design by renowned architect William Pereira. The 853-foot-tall structure is covered with 3,000 windows woven together. Across the 48 floors, the building gradually transitioned from its largest floor plate on the fifth level, with 21,025 square feet down to just 2,025 square feet at the top. Once complete, the building was the eighth tallest building in the world. It was also the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco until the completion of the Salesforce Tower in 2018. The structure contains roughly 702,000 square feet.
Attending the ceremony, Mayor London Breed stated that SHVO’s renovations at the pyramid are “reflective of what we are trying to do Downtown as we emerge from this pandemic by not only making an incredible investment in the building itself, but also transforming the surrounding area to make the neighborhood more vibrant for all the public to enjoy.”
The structure will also include a new home for Core, an expensive private social club. The members-only space will include work suites, a restaurant, a gym, and even private outdoor space. The New York-based club is exclusive with an international membership, with initial fees leaked in 2016 to cost around $50,000. The club was founded in New York City in 2005. Along with plans in San Francisco, members expect another new facility to open later this decade in Milan, Italy.
The master plan for the downtown location is being called The Complex. Along with the iconic Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery Street, SHVO will renovate Two Transamerica at 505 Sansome Street and Three Transamerica at 545 Sansome Street. The properties will be connected with a reimagined Redwood Park, opening up and expanding the existing Redwood Park to cultivate a dynamic and welcoming destination.
Writing ahead of the event, Michael Shvo said that “since it was first designed by William Pereria, the Transamerica Pyramid has been about the people and community it serves, from its generous design which allows light onto the street and redwoods below, to its bold form which serves as a tribute to San Francisco’s futuristic spirit.” Shvo went on to explain that “honoring this intent informs every aspect of the revitalization program we are carrying out in collaboration with Lord Norman Foster and his team, which will serve to usher in the next 50 years of this most iconic of properties.”
David Summerfield, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, explained that “working in collaboration with SHVO, our proposals draw connections between the city’s urban history and the creative streak that underpins the spirit of San Francisco, highlighting the key role the building has played in the development of the city as we look towards a new phase in its history.”
SHVO purchased the property in 2020 for $650 million with financing from Deutsche Finance America. Construction will be spread across phases with work by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction. Phase one is expected to open next year.