Modified Proposal for 385-Unit Tower in San Francisco Submitted to City

San Francisco, Bay Area, Civic Center, Related California, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago, French American International School, Lever House, New York City, Sears Tower, John Hancock Center, San Francisco International Airport, Burj Khalifa

By Kate Snyder

A proposal for a residential tower in San Francisco’s Civic Center is slated to become even taller than originally planned, according to plans filed with the city. A tower that would be built at 98 Franklin St. that was initially designed to house 345 apartments is now being prepared to house 40 more units, for a total of 385. The height would also be modified, from 365 feet to 400 feet.

The project developer is Related California, a mixed-use real estate development firm headquartered in Irvine. The architect is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, an interdisciplinary design firm based in Chicago.

The total units will include 275 studio and one-bedroom, 72 two-bedroom and 38 three-bedroom apartments, according to planning documents. In the original plans, 20 percent of the units were proposed to be affordable but the recently modified plans show that none of the new apartments would be designated for low income families or individuals. The new plans also show private open space in the form of balconies for 241 units and 6,716 square feet of common open space for the remaining 144 units without balconies. Construction would include the demolition of the existing surface parking lot located on the site.

The first five stories of the tower would also be the home to the French American International School, which is currently located just across the street from the 98 Franklin site and serves about 800 families on an annual basis. Planning documents show that the school would have 36 classrooms and 25 parking stalls out of a total of 110. The residential tower would stretch 33 stories above the five-story school podium. In total, the residential space would be 416,286 square feet and the school would be 84,991 square feet. Additionally, the podium would house 2,978 square feet of ground floor retail space and a café as well as the school’s multipurpose and assembly room.

The design for the podium includes a laminated glass guardrail assembly, an insulated glass curtain wall, metal and stone finishes, operable windows, a roll-up garage door and a glass storefront assembly, plans show. The project will also include common usable open space in the form of a roof deck terrace and below grade parking. Other infrastructure modifications, such as sidewalk raising and widening, the addition of trees and other streetscape improvements are included in the plans. 

In compliance with the city’s planning code, one percent of the project’s construction cost would be dedicated to works of art, and according to the application filed with the city, the public art concept and location will at some point be presented to officials at an informational presentation.

Related California is a fully-integrated real estate firm that has developed more than 18,000 housing units in the state, according to the firm’s website. The company also currently has more than 5,200 affordable and 7,600 market rate units in pre-development.

SOM is an interdisciplinary design firm in architectural, urban planning and engineering services. The firm was founded in 1936, according to its website, and its staff includes architects, engineers, urban designers, planners and interior designers. 

“The merger of architecture and structural engineering has been SOM’s hallmark for decades,” the company’s website states. “From the glass and steel facade of Lever House, completed in 1952 as the first modernist office building in New York City; to the record-breaking skyscrapers, Sears Tower and John Hancock Center, which redefined the Chicago skyline in the 1970s; to the cantilevered trusses of San Francisco International Airport, opening a gateway to the city for the new millennium; and the engineering of Burj Khalifa, which stands as the world’s tallest building, SOM continues to innovate.”

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News