By Meghan Hall
28-acres of asphalt near Oracle Park, right on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, is finally getting its time in the sun. Tishman Speyer and the San Francisco Giants have formally submitted plans to the city of San Francisco for Mission Rock: a three phase project that once completed, will include 1,200 residential units and up to 1.4 million square feet of office space.
Planning for the project began nearly a decade ago, when in 2010, the Giants won the right to develop Seawall Lot 337, a 28-acre waterfront parcel currently used for ballpark parking. In addition to the residential units, of which 40 percent will be affordable to low- and moderate-income households, eight acres of parks and open space, 200,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail and manufacturing space, and rehabilitation of Pier 48.
Now that entitlements for the project have been secured, the development team is now moving forward with Phase I, which will break ground at the beginning of 2020. Phase one will include four buildings—two residential with 540 units, and two commercial buildings totaling 550,000 square feet. 85,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The first phase will be completed between 2022 and 2023.
“It is a rare opportunity to collaborate with world-class architects as a team from the very onset of a project to create more than just eye-catching architecture, but also to push the design and development principles to construct a welcoming community for all,” said Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, MVRDV and Workac, the four architecture firms behind Phase One in a joint statement.
Building A, designed by MVRDV, is a 23-story mixed-use tower with 380,000 square feet. Its 285 residences will be on floors 6-23, while the lower floors will be home to 50,000 square feet of office space.
“Our ambition for Parcel A, The Canyon, was to make a truly daring hybrid building with retail, commercial and residential spaces,” said Nathalie de Vries, architect and MVRDV co-founder. “We wanted to establish a dialogue between the waterfront, the ballpark and the robust Californian rock formations. Those formations inspired The Canyon’s architectural form: steep rocky walls with a narrow valley running between them, thus creating a mix of apartments of different sizes, roof terraces and lush public spaces which feel welcoming to all.”
Building B will be designed by Workac, and will be an eight-story, 300,000 square foot office building. Building F, located at the heart of Mission Rock, directly to the north of the main public plaza, will be similar in size to Building A, at 23 stories and 315,000 square feet. The building will be almost entirely residential, with 255 units and amenity space, and some retail on the ground floor. Building G will also be entirely devoted to office, spanning 300,000 square feet over 13 floors. It will be designed by Henning Larsen.
Together, the four firms are striving to create a development that is specific to Mission Rock, one that will strengthen the community by connecting the ground plane to the public realm and connect public spaces both inside and outside as much as possible. The project’s Master Plan is designed to where each building would have its own distinct look, but would complement each other and China Basin through shared materials.
The five-acre park will be composed of a great lawn, beach and tidal shelves, a plaza, bay trail and a large grove of sheltered trees. The lawn will have views of the ballpark, skyline and Bay Bridge and serve as a civic gathering space, while the plaza will be itself be architecturally distinct and incorporate a small restaurant. China Basin is intended to serve not just as a center for the Mission Rock community, but as a gateway to emerging development south of the historic Lefty O’Doul Bridge.
China Basin will be designed by SCAPE, a design-driven landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York and New Orleans. The Miller Company and Min design are also collaborating with SCAPE on China Basin.
“We created an anti-master plan, master plan,” wrote the development teams in Tuesday’s announcement. “The architectural teams forming the design cohort came together in true studio fashion to discover, collaborate, evaluate and to ensure that the first phase of Mission Rock authentically reflects the community’s vision.”