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San Francisco Skyline Gets Three More High-Rises

Construction crews are going to be very busy over the next few years at Transbay Terminal. Oceanwide Center just broke ground and crews just poured the concrete foundation for the 605-foot Park Tower at Transbay.

Oceanwide Center


San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, Consul General Luo Linquan, Mayor Ed Lee, Oceanwide Holdings founder and chairman of the board Lu Zhiqiang and VP Wu Chen celebrated the groundbreaking of what will be the city's second-tallest tower last week.

Rendering of Oceanwide Center

Oceanwide Center will comprise two towers on First and Mission streets, one of which will stand 910 feet tall. Oceanwide Center spans eight lots totaling 60k SF. The entire project will offer 2.4M SF total, including 26k SF for public and pedestrian use.

The 61-story tower at First Street will offer 109 high-end residences, a member's club and lounge, and about 1M SF of office with large floor plates. The tower will feature a crystalline form articulating the façade. The ground floor will offer a landscaped plaza framed by massive columns. The tower is targeting LEED Platinum certification.

The site's partner tower at Mission Street will rise 625 feet and house the 171-room Waldorf Astoria San Francisco and Peacock Alley bar, a premium spa, and 156 high-end units. The tower is targeting LEED Gold certification.

The project includes the renovation and restoration of two historic buildings at 78 and 88 First St for additional office and retail space.


Oceanwide Center's ground floor features the Urban Plaza, a public area with green parklets, vendor stalls, aesthetic walkways and other amenities. There will be outdoor seating, a bike hub and a special events terrace. The plaza is designed by landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson.

Both towers will have foundations on large-diameter shafts drilled into Franciscan formation bedrock about 270 feet below grade. The towers are designed by Foster + Partners and Heller Manus Architects. Both Oceanwide Center and Park Tower will have deep foundations, suggesting a new norm following issues related to the Millennium Tower's foundation issues down the street.

Oceanwide Holdings took over the site in 2015. The project will pay more than $100M in impact fees for public benefit projects and initiatives throughout the city. The fees will fund affordable housing, construction and maintenance at public parks, child care facilities, streetscape and public transportation enhancements.

Park Tower At Transbay


Down the street, Clark Construction crews rolled in to pour the foundation for the 750k SF Park Tower at Transbay. This development won't be just any office development, JLL international director Chris Roeder told us.

“It also incorporates a state-of-the-art design and construction anchoring the 605-foot-tall tower firmly 25 feet into bedrock, making its foundation one of the deepest of any building in San Francisco,” Chris said.


The foundation has caissons anchored into 25 feet of bedrock and includes 11,000 cubic yards of concrete. The 12-foot-thick foundation has a ductile concrete core reinforced 25% more than other office buildings in the city. Four million pounds of rebar will be used for the platform for the 47-story building.

Seismic engineers expect this building will be able to withstand earthquakes along the San Andreas and Hayward faults stronger than the Loma Prieta and 1906 earthquakes.

Park Tower, a partnership with John Buck, Golub and MetLife, is expected to be completed in 2018.

Rendering of Park Tower at Transbay in San Francisco

“We’re extremely excited to see the entire skyline of downtown changing,” John Buck SVP Ben Kochalski told Bisnow. “You have Salesforce Tower and 181 Fremont getting close to topping off. We’re excited to have Park Tower be the next crowning jewel of the skyline.”

Ben says increased demand from tech companies wanting a downtown presence was a key driver for developing the tower. Along with the prospect of building in the much-desired South Financial district, the tower is designed to meet the demands of today’s tenants.

The Park Tower, designed by Goettsch Partners, will offer Bay views through 70% of its windows and 50k SF of outdoor space with 14 SF sky decks. The Class-A++ office building will include 112 parking spots and 10k SF high-end retail. It has been pre-certified LEED Gold and will offer floor-to-ceiling glass on every floor.

Pre-leasing initiatives have already begun with JLL as the broker and “activity has been strong,” Ben said.