Downtown is getting more UPtown… (Transbay Terminal)

Having been out of office chasing bears, inhaling unhealthy doses of dust and smoke (not those kinds), and gazing at the zillions of stars that exist above (it’s foggy most nights in the Richmond), it’s time to get back in the swing of things. What better way to get things going than with a few quality photos , and a report on the state of Transbay Terminal and the competition for the “West Coast’s tallest building.”

Plan B (left), Plan A (right), Plan C (bottom)



Sorry One Rincon Hill. Your time at the top was well-deserved, but looks to be short-lived.

A summary of the three plans quoted from SFGate:


The proposal: An 82-story tower topped by a wind turbine that includes offices, housing and a hotel next to a transit center that would have fresh food markets and cultural facilities.

The architects: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The London firm’s current projects include a tower for the World Trade Center site in New York City. Founder Richard Rogers is the winner of the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the profession’s highest honor. Assisting the Rogers team is SMWM, a San Francisco firm.

The developers: Forest City Enterprises with MacFarlane Partners. Cleveland-based Forest City was a developer of Westfield San Francisco Centre. McFarlane Partners is headquartered in San Francisco and is working with Forest City on the Uptown housing project in Oakland.


The proposal: A mixed-use obelisk-shaped tower along a transit terminal that would be topped by an open-air, 5.4-acre rooftop park with vast skylights that allow sunlight to shine onto the floor below.

The architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The Connecticut firm’s work includes 560 Mission St., a 31-story tower in San Francisco. Founder Cesar Pelli is best-known for such high-rises as Petronas Towers, the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Pelli is working with WRNS Studio of San Francisco, which also is involved with the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

The developer: Hines. Based in Houston, Hines has developed a number of high-rises in San Francisco during the past 25 years, including 101 California St. and 560 Mission St.


The proposal: A 1,200-foot-tall tower with a torqued shape. The first floor would be raised 100 feet above the ground to allow for a public plaza next to a full-block park.

The designer: Skidmore Owings Merrill. The architects are in the San Francisco office of this storied firm. They include Craig Hartman, the lead designer of the International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport, and Brian Lee, the designer of two towers taller than 1,000 feet in China, both under construction.

The developer: Rockefeller Group Development Corp. The name is synonymous with urban icons – think Rockefeller Center – but the firm now is owned by Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate Co.


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