By Meghan Hall
Even after the challenges posted by COVID-19 to San Francisco’s hotel industry, Frontier Group is moving ahead with its plans for 570 Market. Frontier initially submitted its plans for the property in the summer of 2019 and has been working steadily to refine its vision over the past couple of years.
Frontier intends to demolish the existing two-story, 14,000 square foot retail building at the property and construct a 29-story hotel in its place. The hotel will have 240 guest rooms containing 126,824 square feet of space, as well as 5,352 square feet of retail on the first and second floors. 3,540 square feet of privately owned public space within a 14th floor view tower terrace–complete with glass ceiling–is also planned.
A fitness center, meeting space and roof deck are also designated in project schemes. However, no vehicle parking is included in the project.
Danny Forster & Architecture will be designing the building. The firm notes on its website that it will be the only high-rise modular tower in a high-seismic zone in America, as well as the tallest building on the West Coast.
“…Beyond that is where it gets truly interesting,” a landing page for the project explains. “We designed a tower to fit in . . . even while it stands out. The San Francisco Modular building is located on Market Street, between two historic buildings, the Chancery Building and the Finance Building, and down the street from an architectural gem: Willis Polk’s Hobart Building. To play nicely with our neighbors, we first broke down the massing of our tower into four parts to decrease its visual dominance. Then we created a sense of harmony at the street level with a façade patterned to emphasize depth, shadow, and texture, like the facades of our neighboring buildings—albeit with steel mesh instead of terra-cotta.”
The project site is in a vibrant part of San Francisco, steps from the Montgomery BART Station. Union Square, with stores such as Zara, Macy’s and the Westfield San Francisco Centre, are blocks away, as are a number of restaurants such as Sushirrito, Pagan Idol, The Shota and Philz Coffee. Millennium Tower, Salesforce Park and Google’s San Francisco offices are also in the vicinity.
Frontier Group recently completed a shadow study on the project and has applied for a variance permit as it works through entitlements. Timing for the development is unclear.
As Frontier Group makes progress on 570 Market, California’s hotel market is continuing to recover from COVID-19. During the first half of the year, new hotel construction continued to trend downward, with the number of new hotels under construction declining by 32 percent, according to data released by Atlas Hospitality Group. State wide, however, 51 hotels opened, an increase of 46 percent year-over-year. The number of hotels in planning has also stabilized in recent months, with 1,240 new projects in the pipeline.
In San Francisco County specifically, no new hotels opened during the first half of 2021. Five hotels–totaling 858 rooms are under construction. An additional 49 hotels and 5,822 rooms are in planning.
Frontier Group declined to comment for this story.