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San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer Mark Opening Of Mission Rock In Struggling City

The Canyon, the first residential building in San Francisco’s newest development, opened Wednesday with a ceremony that included Mayor London Breed, Port of San Francisco Executive Director Elaine Forbes, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer and Tishman Speyer Senior Managing Director Carl Shannon

The Canyon is part of Mission Rock, a mixed-use development across Mission Bay from Oracle Park, where the San Francisco Giants play. Along with the opening of The Canyon, Visa moved its global headquarters into a 13-story, 300K SF office on the same property. Another office building and residential complex are under construction, along with eight more buildings, a parking garage and the renovation of the historic Pier 50.

The project was developed as part of a partnership between the San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer and the Port of San Francisco. 

Mayor London Breed prepares to cut the ribbon for The Canyon at Mission Rock.

Baer touted the inclusion of 40% of affordable housing in the project. Of the 283 residences, 102 are below market-rate.

Tishman Speyer said it received more than 2,000 applications for the 100 affordable units.

“When we first looked at developing the ballpark, we wanted to try and find an urban location where the ballpark could help catalyze the creation of a neighborhood,” Baer said in an interview before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, adding the vision goes back to the year 2000, when the park was completed. 


The Visa building stands next to The Canyon at Mission Rock.

Breed, who has endured a barrage of criticism as San Francisco has struggled with its pandemic recovery, said the project is indicative of the achievements the city remains capable of bringing about.

“This area was pretty much vacant,” she said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  “But we in San Francisco created an extraordinary new community providing transformative opportunities for new residents, providing opportunities for new businesses that are going to make San Francisco an amazing city moving forward.”

Breed used the opening to tout her initiatives to simplify the city’s regulatory environment so it can create more housing projects to keep up with state-mandated housing production. The city must build about 82,000 housing units over the next eight years to meet benchmarks set by the state. 

“We are pushing forward policies that will make projects like this happen a lot faster than they have in the past,” Breed said. “So if you had started this project now, maybe we have could have cut down the timeline by two or three years.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer

The project dates back more than a decade and a half, when the Giants first proposed it. Tishman Speyer came on board in 2018 when the vision for Mission Rock began to coalesce.

“Right now we are opening a new neighborhood, a new community in San Francisco,” Shannon said during the ceremony. 

Mission Rock is the only major mixed-used development to come online in San Francisco during the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. Swinerton was responsible for construction and put its first shovel in the ground in early 2020 and continued building through the worst of the pandemic. 

The pandemic brought high vacancy rates in the San Francisco office market, widespread retail closures, particularly in the downtown corridor, and uncertainty in the residential market as rents have come down as construction costs have risen. 

A room at The Canyon overlooking Oracle Park

“This project is almost by itself today in San Francisco,” Shannon said, adding the city must partner with developers to make it easier to build. 

“We will never meet the state’s housing goals unless we partner with developers,” she said. “We need to pass legislation to reduce affordable housing levels and reduce fees to get more housing built.”

Breed’s initiatives have stopped short of recommending cutting affordable housing requirements, but the idea has been floated by at least one city panel