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S.F.'s Transbay Tower Cleared For Construction

Joint Hines-Boston Properties Project Approved by SF Planning Commission
October 23, 2012
The Transbay Tower, destined to be the tallest building on the West Coast, has reached two important milestones on the road to construction.

The San Francisco office of Hines recently finalized the formation of a 50/50% joint venture with Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP) to acquire the land for the 1.4 million-square-foot, 61-story tower from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. The $190 million acquisition of the land for the tower to be built next to the Transbay Transit Center is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

In addition, the San Francisco Planning Commission on Oct. 18 granted final approval for the Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects-designed 1,070-foot tower to proceed.

"We think the tower will be a beautiful addition to San Francisco’s beloved skyline as well as an extremely desirable and sustainable workplace next to one of the state’s busiest transit hubs," said Hines Chairman Gerald D. Hines in a statement.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and CEO of Boston Properties, added the building will be "a landmark for generations to come."

The $4 billion project to replace the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets in San Francisco's South of Market area, first proposed in 2007, is one of the largest development projects in the country, with the goal no less than to create a "Grand Central Station of the West Coast" at the center of a new transit-friendly neighborhood.

The goal is to create a new 150-acre Transit Center District in the SoMa neighborhood that will include a half-dozen high-rise office and residential towers, along with hotels and retail, which would serve as a new urban core for the City and fundamentally reshape the San Francisco skyline.

The new Transit Center, also designed by Pelli, will connect eight Bay Area counties and the State of California through 11 transit systems. The transit hub will feature a 5.4-acre rooftop park and is touted as a national model for environmentally friendly transit-oriented development (TOD).

Land sale proceeds from the office tower will provide additional financing for the Transit Center project. Hines has said construction could begin as early as next summer with building delivery in late 2015.

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