Hines’ Proposal for a 47-Story Residential Tower Clears San Francisco Planning Department 

Hines, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Kennerly Architecture and Planning, San Francisco, SoMa, Transbay Block 4, Salesforce Transit Center, Transbay Joint Point Powers Authority

By Catherine Sweeney 

Hines’ 47-story project proposal is taking a step forward after it recently received rezoning approval from the San Francisco Planning Department. The project, which would be constructed in the city’s SoMa neighborhood, will allow for the creation of the more than 800,000 square foot mixed-use development. 

The project site is located at 200 Main Street, with a groundbreaking expected to occur by late 2023 or 2024. Once completed, the development – otherwise known as Transbay Block 4 – would feature 681 residential units. 

In total, the project proposes 306 units – or about 45 percent of the total unit count – to be set aside  as affordable housing. The remaining units would include a mix of for-sale luxury condominiums and market rate rental units. 

The project would also feature 8,389 square feet of commercial/retail space and 12,584 square feet of open space, of which more than 8,000 square feet would be accessible to the public. In addition, project plans call for 224 parking spaces and 556 bicycle spaces. 

According to Hines’ website the project is being designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Kennerly Architecture and Planning and is the largest affordable housing project in downtown San Francisco. The design for the project would split the planned residential units between a 513-foot tower and smaller midrise components. The Block 4 project is the last remaining residential block available for private development within the Transbay district, according to Hines. 

The large-scale project would take shop along Main, Howard, Tehama and Beale streets within the Transbay Transit Center. A redevelopment program for the area was created by the City in 2005 by the Transbay Joint Point Powers Authority (TJPA). Since then, the area has been developed with several projects, including the more than 1 million square foot Salesforce Transit Center. The major transportation hub is located at 425 Mission Street and opened to the public in 2018. 

As part of the program, the TJPA facilitates the selling of parcels within the transit-oriented program, making sure that 35 percent of all new residential units in the project area are reserved for affordable to low- and moderate-income households. 

The project site was acquired in 2016 as a joint venture between Hines, Urban Pacific Partners and Broad Street Principal Investments, according to previous reporting from The Registry. 

At the time, the Block 4 project was envisioned as a 45-story residential tower with midrise residential buildings around the base. The project was to reach no higher than 450 feet and include 600 to 700 residential units, of which 45 percent were intended to be affordable.

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