Transformative Transbay Project Set to be San Francisco’s Second Highest Tower; Project Scheduled for Completion in 2021
SAN FRANCISCO (December 8, 2016) – Oceanwide Center, a transformative mixed-use development project by Oceanwide Holdings, will hold its groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, December 8. Consisting of two towers at First and Mission streets — one facing First Street that will be the second tallest structure in San Francisco that will include the highest condos in the city and unique large-floorplate office space, and one facing Mission Street that will include the Waldorf Astoria San Francisco and high end condos– and incorporating two historic buildings, Oceanwide Center will play a key role in bringing 24-hour activity to the Transit Center District.
The development is a keystone of the new Transbay neighborhood, anticipated to become the bustling new heart of San Francisco. Roughly bordered by Market Street to the north, the Embarcadero to the east, Folsom Street to the south, and Hawthorne Street to the west, the District’s wide sidewalks and inviting public plazas will be filled with pedestrians day and night. The District’s buildings, while soaring in height, will engage on the ground level by creating welcoming, vibrant, comfortable spaces.
“Today is a very exciting day for both our company and the city of San Francisco,” said Chen Wu, Vice President of Oceanwide Holdings and CEO of Oceanwide Center. “So much work has gone into the preparation for this groundbreaking and we would like to thank the city and many communities and involved that made this transformative project possible. Since we took over this project in February 2015, we have been working with all our partners to finish the entitlement and move into the construction phase as fast as possible. This reflects Oceanwide’s consistent pragmatic attitude and great sense of responsibility. We are most appreciative of everyone’s support and cooperation, and we look forward to giving the city a project that will be a source of pride for all San Franciscans.”
The architectural design of Oceanwide Center is the work of Foster + Partners and Heller Manus Architects. Foster + Partners is headed by the British Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster, while Jeffrey Heller directs the prominent Heller Manus Architects, based in San Francisco. The two towers display clean, bold, and articulated building lines.
Oceanwide Center spans eight lots and totals approximately 60,000 square feet lot size. The project contains 2.4 million square feet in total, of which 26,000 square feet will be dedicated to innovative new public spaces and pedestrian connections. A large and interconnected set of open spaces and public plazas will be highlighted by an unprecedented 68-foot-tall public square or “Urban Plaza” adjacent to First Street. The project is expected to be completed and ready for residents, employees, and visitors by 2021.
The 910-foot, 61-story First Street tower will become the second tallest building in San Francisco upon completion. It will feature 109 high end residences (41st to 61st floor), a member’s club and lounge, approximately one million square feet of innovative office space (7th to 40th floor).The condos atop will be the highest residential units in San Francisco. With side-core design, its office space provides unique large-floorplates for flexible use. The First Street tower takes on a crystalline form to articulate the façades on the skyline. The ground floor of the tower features a stunning, landscaped plaza that extends into the block’s small alleyways, framed by massive columns that continue upward to form structural exoskeletons. The tower tapers midway with the sides meeting at the crown with origami-like folds. The higher tower will showcase intriguing metal framework that forms angled planes, similar to the facets of a diamond. The First Street tower is targeting LEED platinum certification.
The 625-foot, 54-story Mission Street tower will be home to the Waldorf Astoria San Francisco and signature Peacock Alley bar, a signature restaurant, and a premium spa, with 156 high end residences located on the top floors. Inspired by the city’s architectural vernacular, the Mission Street tower features unique “vitrines” that reinterpret the traditional bay window, contrasting with the tower’s classic stone façade. The Mission Street tower is targeting LEED Gold certification.
Public space permeates Oceanwide Center’s ground floor, including the spectacular “Urban Plaza,” green parklets, vendor stalls, aesthetic walkways, and other amenities, making it an ideal place to gather, work, study, relax, and play. Almost half the project site area is dedicated to public open spaces. Designed by renowned landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, the “Urban Plaza” will feature outdoor seating, a bicycle hub, and a special events terrace ideal for live music, farmers’ markets, and cultural exhibitions.
The Oceanwide Center also includes the renovation and restoration of the historic buildings at 78 and 88 First Street, returning them to their original grandeur and preserving their unique facades as a timeless memory for the city. These buildings will provide additional office and retail space.
Both towers will be founded on large diameter shafts drilled into Franciscan formation bedrock, which is approximately 270 feet below grade.
“I have always had a great fascination for San Francisco – a city with a youthful spirit has allowed it to constantly reinvent itself, yet retain a unique sense of urbanity,” said Lord Foster, Executive Chairman and Founder, Foster + Partners. “The Oceanwide Center encapsulates that essence – it is a pioneering example that combines spaces to live and work with a vibrant public realm in the heart of the city. The project now marks a major milestone with its groundbreaking, as the evolution of a sustainable model of high density, mixed-use development that I have always promoted.”
“We are delighted that both the community of San Francisco and the developers of Oceanwide Center have placed their confidence in Waldorf Astoria to amplify the essence of sophistication, timeless style, and distinct architecture of this emerging neighborhood,” said John T. A. Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “We look forward to welcoming our future guests with True Waldorf Service and delivering unforgettable experiences that can already be found at our 26 iconic hotels and resorts around the world.”
The builders for Oceanwide Center will be Swinerton and Webcor, who have paired together as a joint venture to enhance the success of this landmark project for the city that is the home of each of their headquarters. Swinerton has built some of the city’s iconic structures during its 128-year history, including the San Francisco Opera House and the Fairmont Hotel and Webcor has extensive experience in the Transbay District as the builders for the Transbay Terminal.
In addition to the vast public space afforded by the project, Oceanwide Center’s contributions to the public will be unparalleled for a single development in downtown San Francisco. The project is expected to pay more than $100 million in impact fees for a wide range of public benefit projects and initiatives throughout San Francisco. These fees will fund new affordable housing, construction and maintenance of parks and open spaces, childcare facilities, streetscape and public transportation enhancements, and other community facilities. Oceanwide Center will increase local job opportunities and tax revenue both during and after its construction. The long-term operation of the hotel and office uses will serve to promote the sustainable growth of San Francisco.
About Oceanwide Holdings
Oceanwide Holdings is the parent company of Oceanwide Center, LLC. It is a global enterprise based in Beijing, China, with 30 years of experience in real estate development and diversified business in finance, investments, and energy. Oceanwide Holdings recently announced to acquire Genworth Financial, an established leader in long-term-care insurance in the U.S. Oceanwide Holdings has been making investments in such U.S. regions as Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii and Sonoma. Oceanwide believes in growing together with the local community, and has a track record of holding and operating its large scale mixed-use developments for the long-term. The Oceanwide Center development embodies the Oceanwide corporate value–“From the Society, For the Society” — and articulates the central theme of “Creating a New Urban Life”.