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Behind the Project: Jay Paul's 70-Story SoMa Residential Tower

It's been under wraps to date, but we got Jay Paul CIO Matt Lituchy to give us the latest update on the massive residential tower quickly rising at 181 Fremont.

Matt tells us the tallest residential building west of Chicago is taking environmental capabilities to the next level. The tower will be comprised of 67 luxury condos, 432k SF of Class-A office space and 3k SF of retail space on the seventh floor. Matt says privacy and security of the residences are at a premium with a maximum of four homes on each of the building’s top 16 floors. The Orlando Diaz-Azcuy interior designed residences, which will begin on the 54th floor, offer floor plans ranging from over 1,200 SF to about 7k SF for the 70th full-floor penthouse. The Mark Co is selling the condos.

The 52nd floor serves two purposes: as a visual and physical break in the building. Tenants can expect fire pits, BBQ areas and theater. Matt expects 10% to 20% of sales to be international buyers. A shared perk on one floor is the five-acre park as part of Transbay. As for the office portion, he could picture a single tenant taking 250k SF, then a series of tenants in the 20k SF to 40k SF range.

Since the project broke ground in late 2013, the foundation has taken a year and a half to get done. Matt calls it an "engineering feat," as it's just 15k SF in downtown S.F. And they had to excavate the equivalent of six stories (now it's above grade about 1.5 stories). It should be ready for occupancy by January 2017. Matt says there are always design challenges when combining uses. At 181 Fremont, the separate elevator cords adds to the project's complexity. There are places like this in London, NYC, Chicago and Hong Kong but this is a first for the Western US, he says.