New Homes in San Francisco – Residential (Approved) – 7/16
Trinity Plaza, 1169 Market St. phase III-IV
The award-winning Trinity Place is a 1,900-unit multi-phase residential development less than one mile from San Francisco’s Civic Center. The first phase includes 440 units, 360 of which are rent controlled. The next phase is planned as a 545-unit project with 21,000 SF of retail space. The final phase will have 915 new residences.
For Angelo Sangiacomo’s Trinity Properties, there’s no slowing down at Eighth and Market streets.
The completion of Trinity’s next 417-unit building is still eight months away, but already the San Francisco developer is gearing up to start the next two phases: A 1,450-car underground garage and a 19-story, $133 million tower with 570 studio and one-bedroom apartments at 33 Eighth St.
Trinity Properties has served notice to the existing residents of the Trinity Plaza building — formerly the Del Webb Townhouse motel — that they need to vacate by the end of November. That will clear the way for work crews to start removing hazardous materials in December and knock down the decrepit motel in January of 2013, according to Trinity officials.
The impending demolition comes as Trinity Properties and contractor Swinerton Builders are a week away from topping off 1169 Market St., the $80 million, 417-unit second tower of Trinity Place. Trinity Place is a 1.5 million-square-foot, mixed-use development that will ultimately replace a sprawling motel, pool and surface parking lot with 1,900 units of housing and 60,000 square feet of retail. The first 440-unit building opened in 2010 and largely houses the longtime rent-controlled tenants who lived in the converted motel building. Construction on the second phase will be wrapped up June 30 of next year, with the leasing office opening the next day.
“I just want to finish the whole project, God willing,” said Sangiacomo. “We are going full blast — we haven’t stopped at anything yet.”
The 33 Eighth St. project and the parking garage will leave just one tower left to be built along Market Street that will include 30,000 square feet of retail as well as a spacious public plaza.
“We have been really lucky. Rental housing is exactly what the city wants, right now more than ever,” said Sangiacomo. “It’s single people and couples. It’s the nerds at Google and Intel. They want to live in the city, and why wouldn’t they? This is where the action is.”
Trinity Plaza, four connected buildings ranging from 18 to 26 stories, is a centerpiece of the ongoing revival of Market Street. In addition to the 1,900 units at Eighth and Market streets, Crescent Heights is constructing 700 units at 1401 Market St., AvalonBay is building 273 units at 55 Ninth St. and Emerald Fund is converting a former office building at 100 Van Ness into a 400-apartment complex. On the commercial side, Twitter has established headquarters at 1355 Market St. — along with Yammer, One King’s Lane and CallSocket — while Dolby Laboratories is building its new home at 1275 Market St. Both Twitter and Dolby were previously in SoMa.
The decision to vacate and raze the 370-unit Trinity Plaza building will create an economic imperative for Trinity as well, according to company Chief Financial Officer Walter Schmidt. The building was leased in 2010 on a month-to-month basis with the understanding that it would eventually be demolished.
“Certainly when you stop renting and vacate a 300-unit building you imbue a sense of urgency,” said Schmidt. “Once we made the decision to forgo that income, we wanted to make sure we had a plan in place to replace it.”
J.K. Dineen covers real estate for the San Francisco Business Times.
As the moving process no doubt continues, John King aims his critic’s eye on the first piece of Angelo Sangiacomo’s 1,900-unit prize at Market and 8th, or “what’s called Trinity Plaza." Or anyway, what the Chron continues to insist on calling Trinity Plaza — Sangiacomo & Co had long ago dubbed it Trinity Place. In short, King has two words for the megaproject, based on his initial reaction to Phase I: “optimism" and “dread." His optimism comes from the building’s “genuine presence" and energy, his dread from fear that once the project’s completed, that whole corner will become an evil fortress of gray. He hits up Arquitectonica’s Bernardo Fort-Brescia (also responsible for the Infinity) for some thoughts: “The idea is to transform a rectangle into something more sculptural … make a little city out of the building, then a larger city out of the whole complex."
all goes according to plan, Angelo Sangiacomo, owner of Trinity Properties in San Francisco, will complete in the summer of 2013 the second phase of Trinity Place, part of his four-phase 1,900-unit apartment complex being built on the site of the historic Del Webb Hotel. Formerly patronized by the Rat Pack of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and others when visiting the City by the Bay, the former hotel is now apartments Sangiacomo owns.
One wing of the old structure has been removed to allow construction of the second phase of the Trinity Place project currently under construction, and the entire hotel will be razed for the third phase. When Sangiacomo refers to Trinity Place as “his” project, he means it – he personally has financed the entire development.
“It took me 30 years to get this permit,” Sangiacomo declares. “What I did was I got a development agreement from the city for 25 years to develop the site. It’s in the center of the city. It’s right near City Hall – a great location. It’s been a rundown area for a long time. However, because of this project, there’s going to be a tremendous renewal there. As a matter of fact, Twitter recently announced that it is moving its headquarters there, one-and-a-half blocks away.”
Sangiacomo obtained the building permit by agreeing to house the 400 residents of his former hotel in the new Trinity Place for their lifetimes at the same rent they were paying.
“It was kind of an expensive thing to get that permit, but that’s the only way I could have gotten it,” Sangiacomo maintains. “They put it on the ballot once to stop me from doing it, and I won, but they were going to put it on the ballot again. I got tired of fighting, so I thought, ‘Let’s get this over with.’ This is a very tough city to get a permit. They don’t want you to build. It’s like trying to get a permit in Florence or Venice, Italy.”
The first phase of the project – a 24-story tower with 440 apartment units – was completed in late 2009. Phase 2 – which began in August – will be 418 units with 22 stories when completed in the summer of 2013. Phases 3 and 4 are in the early planning stages.
The phase 2 tower is concrete with post-tensioned slabs. Glass and aluminum curtain wall and precast concrete make up the exterior. The four phases of the project are designed by Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Miami’s Arquitectonica.
Among the construction challenges of the project listed by Don Bourne, operations manager for Swinerton Builders, the general contractor on the project, was the tightness of the site at the corner of Eighth and Mission streets. “Ongoing during the life of the project, logistics and delivery of materials will continue to be a challenge because there is no on-site storage area,” Bourne points out.
Another challenge is that the combination mat slab and piling foundation one level below grade for phase 2 has to be stable enough to hold for the future adjoining excavation three levels below grade for phase 3. “The mat slab is the foundation for the building,” Bourne explains. “The piling is used to prevent the settlement of the phase 2 building into the hole that will be excavated for phase 3.” Approximately 89 pilings were sunk 35 feet for the foundation.
The shoring system also was challenging. “The tiebacks had to be threaded through the utility space in the adjacent streets,” Bourne notes. “In addition, during the excavation phase, we needed to make sure both streets remained open to traffic, especially because Mission Street is a major rush-hour thoroughfare.”
A free-standing crane rather than one in the core of the building or next to the exterior is being employed. “That allows us to install the curtain wall around the building as the building goes up,” Bourne points out. The curtain wall is being designed through BIM and will be shipped directly to San Francisco from its manufacturer in China.
“One of the challenges with the site will be the timing of the delivery of the curtain wail system from China – clearing it through customs, delivering it to the site and erecting it on-site – because there is no storage space,” he emphasizes. “So the just-in-time delivery process is planned for the curtain wall system.”
Ensuring sufficient space is allowed in the interior of the tower for mechanical systems also is important. BIM modeling is being utilized to make sure there is sufficient space in the corridors and kitchens for the plumbing, water and electric lines to fit.
Most of the units in the building are designed as one-bedroom homes for the young people expected to be attracted to this up-and-coming, hip neighborhood. The apartments have a unique design arrangement that allows the bedroom to open up into the living room to provide more open space.
Sliding panels allow the residents to separate the living from the sleeping space. Large exterior windows in each apartment provide city views, and these windows open for ventilation and can be cleaned by maintenance staff from the inside. Sleek, energy-efficient hydronic heating units are installed on a wall of each apartment to provide radiant heat. Amenities include a fitness center, residents’ club, laundry facilities, bike storage and a children’s play area.
Retail will be located on the first floor of the tower, and Italian marble will be used extensively. “That ties back to Angelo,” Bourne notes. “He’s born in San Francisco, but he’s a true-blue Italian from the word go. He loves anything Italian, and therefore the Italian marble is a featured part of the building. In fact, the lobby will feature a front desk that is a solid piece of Italian marble that is approximately 15 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 4 feet tall, similar to the one in the phase 1 building. Angelo goes over to Italy to select a block of Italian marble that will become the front desk.”
All the construction is being performed by approximately 32 subcontractors on the project. Angelo hired the architect and engineers, and then Swinerton Builders and the construction team assisted them in completing the design. About half the construction documents were complete when ground was broken in August. All of them were completed by September.
“All the major subcontractors have provided design assistance to the design team in the way of materials and constructability,” Bourne declares. “There’s been great collaboration between the subcontractors and the design team.”
Sangiacomo is enjoying his golden years in the Golden Gate City, but he is not retiring. “No way – I feel great,” he insists. He and his wife were born and educated in San Francisco. “I have a lot of faith in the city,” he insists. “We have our roots here. My wife’s father had his business here. We’re very into the city – it’s our city.”
When Sangiacomo graduated from the University of San Francisco and left the U.S. Navy in 1948, he went directly into the real estate business. “I’m not a spec builder,” Sangiacomo emphasizes. “I’m not a builder of condos. I don’t sell anything. I build apartments, and I keep them and I rent them.” He and his wife Yvonne are the sole owners of Trinity Properties.
All his buildings are within the city limits of San Francisco. “I like to walk to my investments,” he quips. “My whole thing in San Francisco is that I think the land is worth more than any building on it. My philosophy is, ‘Thank god it’s for sale – buy the son-of-a-gun and then worry about how you’re going to pay for it!’”
Bourne also is a committed San Francisco resident. “Angelo is not your typical developer,” he says. “He has a passion to design and develop the perfect apartment, and he’s in constant pursuit of designing that perfect apartment. He started buying property in the city many years ago, and he still owns every piece of property that he ever bought. Angelo is an interesting individual with a tremendous amount of knowledge. He is as spry as any individual I know!”