[maxgallery name=”350-bush-500-pine-street-map-san-francisco”]Improved economic conditions, increased height limits, and lack of parks and historic structures have created fertile grounds for high density office tower development along northeast blocks of SoMa. Notable new developments such as Salesforce Tower, 350 Mission, and 181 Fremont represent a mere fraction of rising buildings that will contribute millions of square feet to the city’s drying well of available commercial space. These new towers are joining a number of recently built neighboring buildings that are collectively tugging the city’s epicenter of economic activity south from the more established and relatively immutable Financial District (FiDi).
There is some spark left in FiDi, however, as two formerly empty plots of land near the Chinatown border promise to break the district’s 15 year lull in new high rise construction. Delayed by a long history of ownership changes, community group challenges, and economic uncertainties, the 350 Bush and 500 Pine Street sites laid dormant for decades. However, spurred by a brighter economic outlook and financial backing by Chinese firm Gemdale, co-owner Lincoln Property broke ground on the sites earlier this fall. A recent site tour showed construction activities in full swing with the properties currently undergoing excavation and shoring installation.
350 Bush Street
[maxgallery name=”350-bush-street-winter-construction-update”]350 Bush is a rectangular plot that stretches from Pine to Bush street and incorporates the city’s 113th landmark, the San Francisco Mining Exchange. A glassy emerald green tower, architected by Heller Manus, will rise 19 stories on the site and partially embed a restored version of the Mining Exchange building. The new tower will have mixed use capacity for office, retail, parking, and open spaces. Features include open floor layouts, rooftop terrace, and two levels of subterranean parking. Identifying exact total office space proved elusive as city planning documentation shows the tower taking 344,500 sq. feet from the Annual Limitation program while other sources are reporting 360,000 sq. feet.
A significant aspect of the project is preservation and restoration of the Mining Exchange building. The 92 year old building will be seismically retrofitted and both the interior and exterior will be repaired and restored to their original state.
500 Pine Street
[maxgallery name=”500-pine-street-winter-construction-update”]At 19 stories the new 350 Bush building will make little skyline impact but is tall enough to cast a significant afternoon shadow on nearby St. Mary’s Square Park. To mitigate shade impact, the park will be extended over the roof of a new building sharing a similar design ethos with 350 Bush. The wedge shaped building, known as 500 Pine, will grow to a “nose bleeding” five stories and incorporate both retail and 44,450 sq. feet of office space. A recent visit showed heavy machinery excavating earth and tearing through underground concrete foundations of the old Kong Chow Temple.
Based on current progress, we estimate 500 Pine should be ready for occupancy in early 2016 with 350 Bush following a year later.