Ground Broken on Tallest San Francisco Mixed-Use Building


By Robert Carlsen

Construction has begun on the 54-story 181 Fremont tower at Howard and Fremont streets. One of the major high-rise buildings connecting to the three-block-long Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco, the office, residential and retail complex is being touted as the tallest multi-use tower west of the Mississippi.

[contextly_sidebar id=”d8bc9c509cf7f8cfee180464b82955ea”]At the Nov. 12 groundbreaking ceremony, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee praised developer Jay Paul Company for its fortitude in surviving the grueling seven-year process of getting the project off the ground.

“This site is the center of the new Transbay transit district and will connect with the center’s rooftop gardens, which obviously adds value to the project,” Mayor Lee said. The center’s rooftop public park and gardens will encompass 5.4 acres.

And although the residences at 181 Fremont, dubbed Park 181, will be in the “ultra luxury” category, Lee nonetheless said that the city’s well-known middle-class housing shortage will be well served by the 3,500 residences now under construction in the district, of which 35 percent will be “permanently affordable.”

The $500-million 181 Fremont project will include 415,000 square feet of Class-A commercial office space on the first 33 floors and 68 two- and three-bedroom residences ranging in size from 1,400 square feet to 3,600 square feet on floors 39 to 53, as well as 3,800 square feet of retail space on the first and fifth floors and an underground five-story valet parking garage with a 220-stall “bike barn.” The 37th floor will feature an interval between the commercial space and residences with an “owners’ lounge,” fitness center, wrap-around balcony, barbecue grill, fire pit, kitchen and dining room.

The average office floor plate is 11,500 square feet. Design elements allow for one tenant to occupy as much as 100,000 square feet or more. Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank is the leasing agent for the commercial space. San Francisco’s The Mark Company has been retained to handle sales and marketing of the luxury residences.

According to Matt Lituchy, Jay Paul Company’s chief investment officer, the project is targeting LEED platinum certification and will include floor-to-ceiling glass walls that minimize the need for artificial lighting, water and energy efficiencies and use of recycled materials. The building will also utilize bird-friendly finishes on the glass.

The general contractor for the project is Level 10 Construction based in Sunnyvale. SKS Investments, a San Francisco-based investor, developer and advisor of commercial real estate properties in the western United States, was the original developer; it sold the property to Jay Paul earlier this year.

Heller Manus Architects of San Francisco is the lead designer. At the groundbreaking event, Jeffrey Manus, its president, described the building’s exterior as a “sawtooth pattern design,” which angles the glass curtain wall away from the sun’s path to reduce the solar load and creates horizontal and vertical patterns. He added that the building’s exoskeleton design and structure was designed to resist high winds and seismic forces.

181 Fremont is scheduled for completion in 2016. The Transbay Transit Center’s first phase, which features five stories with one above-grade bus level, ground-floor concourse and two below-grade rail levels serving Caltrain and high-speed rail, is scheduled to be completed by 2017.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News