Construction officially started yesterday morning on the first apartment complex in the ambitious Potrero Power Station masterplan on San Francisco’s formerly industrial waterfront. The first structure to rise will be an affordable workforce housing complex named the Sophie Maxwell Building, with expectations of over seven hundred units to rise with it during the first phase of development. Associate Capital is the project developer.
The construction site is located on Block 7B, which will be addressed as 1212 Maryland Street upon opening. The 84-foot tall structure will rise from an L-shaped floor plan with 83,000 square feet. The project will have 105 units, an increase from initial plans for 98 units, alongside retail and bicycle parking. The development will rise over Maryland and Humboldt Street, producing a shared inner-block courtyard space between Blocks 7A and 7B.
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects is responsible for the design, built to emphasize the relationship with the historical and industrial site by using similar materials that might include natural colors and patina. The design was built in communication with Foster + Partners, the architect for Block 7A and Block 8, to ensure a complementary architectural vocabulary, including a mid-block passageway to increase pedestrian access.
The development has been moving at a steady pace over the years. Final approval of the master plan was given to Associate Capital by the city in 2020, and permit activity has been spotted in the meantime. Construction started in 2021, and by 2022, excavation work removed several ancillary structures from the site. Earlier this year, the city proposed creating an Infrastructure Financing District to support the development by raising an estimated $200 million.
Alongside the Maxwell Building, phase one will complete Blocks 7A, 7B, 8, 11, 12, and Station A. The developer is on track for the first phase of the 29-acre development. At full build-out, the former power station is expected to create around 5.3 million square feet with around 2,600 units of housing, 1.6 million square feet of offices, lab space, retail, and a 250-key hotel in the Unit 3 Power Block, connected with the 300-foot smokestack. Perkins+Will designed the master plan.
The famed international architecture firm Foster + Partners is responsible for designing Block 7A and Block 8, which includes a 240-foot apartment tower with 277 units, both to be delivered in phase one of construction. Arguably, the most substantial architectural feature for phase one will be the adaptive reuse of the existing turbine hall, Station A, by the renowned Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron.
The Sophie Maxwell Building is expected to open by 2025, with management from the John Stewart Company. A timeline for the other projects in phase one has yet to be revealed. Associate Capital has yet to reply to a request for comment from YIMBY.