Mission Rock Tops off First Residential Building Totaling 283 Units 

Mission Rock, Mission Rock Partners, Tishman Speyer, San Francisco Giants, The Canyon, MVRDV, China Basin
Courtesy of Mission Rock Partners

Mission Rock Partners, a joint-venture between the San Francisco Giants and Tishman Speyer, joined general contractor Swinerton yesterday to celebrate the topping off of the project’s first residential building featuring 283 new rental apartments, including 102 below market rate units and a significant number of family-sized units.

The residential tower known as “The Canyon” – designed by MVRDV – broke ground in December 2020 and is located adjacent to China Basin Park along Third Street and the China Basin Channel. In addition to 283 residential units, the building will include 50,000 square feet of office space,  ground floor retail & restaurants, dedicated residential and office lobbies, a residential fitness center and a community room and kitchen on the roof of the Annex building. The topping off ceremony marked a major milestone for the City’s housing construction industry and signified the completion of the concrete structure, with pouring of the last full deck on the top floor. The project will be completed in 2023.   

San Francisco combines rigid grids with a daring natural topography. While Mission Rock will become an extension of the city’ s existing urban grid, the site misses the topographical qualities and challenges that make some of San Francisco’s traditional neighborhoods so charming. MVRDV’s concept design for Building A was inspired by Californian rock formations, with a narrow valley running between steep rocky walls that extend all the way up the tower western façade. The Canyon is anticipated to become a lush and lively space, with landscape extending from China Basin Park into Building A.  

Given Building A’s prime location, the building will become home base for Mission Rock, welcoming the visitors to the neighborhood at the ‘handshake’ plaza, which spans from the 3rd Street Bridge to the corner of China Basin Park and Building A. This unique location offers an opportunity to establish a dialogue between the waterfront and iconic ballpark, and the new buildings that will be erected on the opposite shore. The stepping and faceted volume visually connects to the stands of the ballpark while simultaneously creating private and common terraces that boast extraordinary views towards the bay and downtown. 

The building has 23 above grade stories with a partial basement which will house the on-site bike parking and supporting space for the District Energy System. The Canyon fracture makes it so the N-E podium block acts as its own separate building, while remaining well connected to the broader offerings of the tower. Referred to as ‘Annex’, this port is equipped with its own program and entry lobby which opens to the east side of the building.  Residential amenity spaces will incorporate active rooftop uses, providing residents the opportunity to engage with the park below and gather with unobstructed views of the water and bay bridge.  

The tower height is 240’ with an additional 14’ crown, to screen mechanical equipment on the tower roof. Vegetation becomes the driving force of rooftops design, to enhance user experience while creating ecological habitats.

  • Total Size: 380,000 GSF
  • Building Use: Mixed-use including 50k SF office and approximately 283 residential units
  • Ground floor: Retail & restaurants, residential lobby, and office entrance
  • Floors 2-3: Offices
  • Floors 4-5: Residential
  • Floors 6-23: Residential
  • Floor 6: Includes amenity offerings and common terraces

Overview of Mission Rock Design Approach

The Mission Rock team assembled a team of world-renowned architects to collaboratively design the buildings for phase one of the project.  In other words, it created an “anti-master plan, master plan” where each building would have its own distinct look and feel, but would complement each other and the surrounding environment – including China Basin Park.  The project design cohort adopted a radical sharing philosophy and came together in true studio fashion to discover, share, collaborate, evaluate and to ensure that the first phase of Mission Rock authentically reflects the community’s vision.   

The cohort organized itself around a set of values that put place making and experience above all else and established a set of common goals to guide their individual building design.  This includes: 

Goal 1:  Design the ground plane to connect blocks and expand the public realm.

Goal 2: Make podiums into “mesas” that enliven their surroundings.

Goal 3:  Organize and shape towers to optimize views and create memorable collective silhouettes.

Goal 4:  Select materials to tie the buildings and neighborhood together.

Goal 5: Respond to the Bay Area’s climate and ecosystem to create a comfortable and sustainable environment. 

The result is four distinct buildings that tie together seamlessly with the newly imagined China Basin Park to form phase one of Mission Rock.  

Location Specific: Create a place that can only exist here. One that is appropriate to its place and its neighbors. Build a complete experience that you can’t find anywhere else.

Design Quality: Everything has ‘design quality’ as a key attribute. This will be a beautiful, functional, considered and equitable place.

Community Benefit: Mission Rock is a community.  Every aspect of the project needs to help build and strengthen the community by engaging, programming, sharing, teaching or giving.

Indoor/Outdoor: Public spaces are inside and outside.  The project embraces the natural environment and will bring the outside in and the inside out as much as possible.  

About Mission Rock
A partnership between the San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer, and the Port of San Francisco, Mission Rock represents thirteen years of city planning and community input to transform a surface parking lot along the waterfront into an exciting new neighborhood featuring stylish rental homes, inspired parks and open spaces, neighborhood-serving retail, innovative workspaces, and parking to serve ballpark patrons and the surrounding neighborhood. The multiphase project broke ground on its first building in 2020 which will be the home of Visa’s Global and North American headquarters. The first phase of the project also includes a major waterfront park, two residential towers with over 500 residential units, neighborhood-serving retail, network of pedestrian and bike paths all along a major transit corridor in the City. The project will be built out over three phases and full completion will include:  

  • Approximately 1,200 residential rental units with 40 percent affordable to low- and moderate-income households. 
  • 8 acres of parks and open space, including a signature waterfront park. Up to 1.4 million square feet of new, high-quality office space.
  • Over 200,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and local manufacturing space.
  • Parking structure to serve ballpark and neighborhood needs.  
  • Rehabilitation of historic Pier 48.
  • Public waterfront access and improvements, including a segment of the Blue Greenway trail connection from Embarcadero to Hunters Point. 
  • Thousands of construction and permanent jobs.
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