123,500 SQFT Office Project in San Francisco’s SoMA Neighborhood Approved

San Francisco, Aralon Properties, 474 Bryant, 77 Stillman, Woods Bagot, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield
Courtesy of Woods Bagot

By Meghan Hall

A pair of office buildings will be coming to San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood after receiving approval from the Planning Commission. Proposed by Aralon Properties and designed by architecture firm Woods Bagot, the two buildings will total about 123,500 square feet of space.

The two buildings are located at 474 Bryant and 77 Stillman Street and will rise on the site of Aralon Properties’ current offices. The property is currently developed with a two-story building with a mezzanine level that toals 5,605 square feet. A one-story building with a mezzanine totaling 17,237 square feet is also on the property.

Project documents show that 474 Bryant will be just slightly larger, totaling 49,999 square feet of space, per planning documents, and 77 Stillman will have 49,830 square feet of space. Plans also indicate that within 474 Bryant, 17,130 square feet of space will be allocated towards ground level manufacturing uses. An additional 3,400 square feet of open space will be included. Both vehicular and bike parking are designated in the plans.

Designed by Australia-based architecture firm Woods Bagot, the two buildings will abut one another. 474 Bryant will feature a more neutral facade, complete with board formed concrete and dark perforated painted metal. 77 Stillman will be much more vibrant, featuring terracotta tile and a mix of black and red painted metals.

The buildings were unanimously approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission at the end of April. The approval comes as San Francisco officials continue to weigh increasing development of office space, often at the expense of PDR and industrial uses within the City. Immediately surrounding the site is a mix of residential and industrial uses, including PDR buildings.

Because the two buildings each fall under 50,000 square feet, the development falls within the square footage available for “Small Allocation Projects.” City documents show that about 728,338 square feet is currently available for such developments, and Aralon Properties’ project will represent about 13 percent of the allotted space. However, the project still received a Large Project Authorization due to the buildings’ combined square footage.

Once construction begins, build-out is expected to take 18 months. The project’s approval–and potential construction–occurs at at time when the immediate future of San Francisco remains a question for many. At the end of the first quarter, office vacancy had reached 18.7 percent, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield. Additional updates provided by CBRE showed that by the end of April, vacancy climbed even higher, to 20.9 percent. Sublease space hit 9.8 million square feet, a historic high.

However, leasing did increase, with the year-to-date total reaching about 1.2 million square feet, said CBRE. Cushman & Wakefield also noted that sublease vacancy has begun to ease, and the outlook for the market is beginning to change as the number of new tenants in the market continues to rise. By the end of the first quarter, Cushman & Wakefield was tracking about five million square feet of requirements within San Francisco, an increase of 28.2 percent from the end of 2020.

Cushman & Wakefield expects vacancy to remain elevated as companies “right size” Their square footage. However, with high levels of venture capital funding and impressive talent pool, experts expect tech and new start-ups to re-enter the market towards the end of the year. Life sciences companies, who have grown exponentially in recent months, will also help to move the market forward in the months to come.

Woods Bagot declined to comment for this story, citing confidentiality.

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