There’s Extraordinary Change Coming to San Francisco

by Gary Belk

The redevelopment of the Transbay Terminal will re-locate the center of downtown San Francisco to the soon-to-be-developed Mission Plaza, which will include a new 1000-foot tall building along with the striking new terminal building.  The new, one million square foot, terminal building will will be the transportation hub of Northern California and the 10 county Bay Area. The terminal will be the northern terminus for the voter approved high speed rail service to Southern California and will serve the 10 county area via Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit and Cal-train to the Peninsula/ Silicon Valley.

Mission Plaza

The roof of the terminal building, spanning some 5.4 acres, will give new meaning to the phase “living roof,” As it will incorporate a  tree-lined park complete with amphitheater, water features, playgrounds and sculptures. Visit the Park.

Natoma Street from Second to Beale will be a pedestrian walkway with cafes and shops.  The lower part of Folsom is also included in the redevelopment plan, as a wide boulevard lined with trees, cafes and shops. Visit the Redevelped Folsom Street.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority has a great website with pictures, videos and ar-ticles about the redevelopment plan; you’ll probably need to bookmark it, though, as there is too much information to take in at one visit. Vist the Future Transbay Terminal.

Is there a real estate play to make now that will position you well for the second half of this decade? I think there are several, depending on your appetite for risk and the amount you want to invest. Certainly if you are thinking about changing your primary residence you should investigate the options.  And from an investment stand point, I believe that this area offers great potential and relatively low risk.

Some of my top picks: The Millennium Tower is located at the corner of Mission and Fremont.  The units on the south side of the tower will have views of the roof-top park while units on the west side will look on to Mission Plaza. While there will be at least 7 other residential buildings built as part of the redevelopment plan (some 700+ units) none will have such a prime location.

Millennium Tower

Imagine walking out the door and hopping onto a train to LA, or shopping at the numer-ous retail and food outlets in the terminal’s shopping areas, or jogging through the 5-acre park with its water features designed by renowned artists.

The Millennium building is full service. There are valets to park cars, doormen, pages to carry parcels and groceries, and a concierge to screen visitors and take care of all the other needs of the residents.  The building features a large pool, hot tub, steam rooms, a health club run by LA Sports Club, many outdoor seating areas with a fire pit and city views, and to top it all off a private lounge with a dining room serviced by Michael Mina’s RN74 Restaurant.  It is an incredible place to call home and appeals to residents of all ages.Visit the Millennium.

Already an icon on the San Francisco skyline, the Millennium is now making its mark in the real estate sector.  It was recently named by San Francisco Business Journal as the Best Real Estate Deal of 2009. Read the article.

Resale units at the Infinity Tower and One Rincon are comparatively bargain priced.  While not the Millennium they too are full-service buildings in the right location. There are also many existing lofts and smaller condo projects in the area whose value should receive a boost by this redevelopment. A few more of my top picks include: Hills Plaza, SF Blu (which is FHA approved so resale is easier), and One Hawthorne.

There is great change coming to the south part of the Financial District and while large amounts of government expenditures don’t always equal success I am convinced that in the second half of this decade this will become the new center of San Francisco and offer an outstanding return on investment.  If you would like to investigate the possibilities give me a call.

Links to more information on the redevelopment area:

Transbay Video

Transbay Redevelopment Interactive Flytrhough

SF Blu

One Rincon

One Hawthorne

SF Gate Articles


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