Block 9, Transbay (Planning, Design or Conception) – San Francisco – 94105
The Transbay Redevelopment Project Area, created in 2005, is an opportunity for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency to participate in the alleviation of blight within a large portion of the city’s southern Financial District through a wide variety of projects and activities.
The Project Area is approximately 40 acres in size and located south of San Francisco´s Financial District. The Project Area is roughly bounded by Mission Street in the north, Main Street in the east, Folsom Street in the south and Second Street in the west. The Project Area is currently composed of transportation-related infrastructure, a large number of vacant parcels, and commercial uses.
The most significant feature of the Project Area, the existing Transbay Terminal and its ramps, comprises an underutilized and outmoded transportation facility with serious structural, health and safety deficiencies. The remainder of the Project Area is composed primarily of vacant and underutilized properties and older buildings, many of which are substantially deteriorated and/or unreinforced masonry buildings. All of these conditions constitute blight that the Redevelopment Plan will address.
The redevelopment program for the Project Area consists of various projects and programs designed to alleviate these adverse conditions. The program will be funded with the approximately $430 million in constant FY 2004/05 dollars that the Project Area is expected to generate in net tax increment over the life of the Redevelopment Plan, after the Agency meets its obligations to make payments to affected taxing entities.
Approximately $178 million of the net tax increment will be pledged to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority to help pay the cost of rebuilding the Transbay Terminal into a regional transit hub. The new terminal will replace the existing loop ramp system with a set of stacked ramps on the west side of the station and will include an extension of the Peninsula Corridor rail line to a new terminus underneath the station that will accommodate Caltrain commuter service and eventual high-speed rail service to destinations throughout California. Approximately $206 million in additional funding for the new terminal will be generated by the sale of vacant parcels currently owned by the by the State of California to private developers. The remaining cost of the new terminal will be paid through a combination of federal, state, regional, and local sources.
The remaining tax increment generated in the Project Area will be used for Agency activities. Approximately $126 million, or 50 percent of the total tax increment allocated for Agency activities, will fund the Agency’s affordable housing program. By state law, 35 percent of all new housing units built in the Project Area must be affordable to very low- to moderate-income households. Another $126 million in net tax increment will be used for planning, site preparation and development, public facilities, infrastructure and utilities, circulation improvements, building rehabilitation, faade improvements, historic preservation, economic development and other non-housing projects and activities.
The redevelopment plan adoption process for the Transbay Redevelopment Project Area involved extensive community participation, including a Transbay Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) composed of residents of adjacent areas, property owners, and representatives of community organizations. During 2003, the CAC and the community at large participated in a series of public workshops on the Design for Development. In 2004, the CAC worked closely with Agency staff on the Redevelopment Plan and the Development Controls and Design Guidelines for the Project Area.
A major portion of the Agency’s non-housing program will be to facilitate development on the vacant publicly-owned parcels in the Project Area, which include parcels currently owned by the State of California and a parcel currently owned by the Agency. The development plan for the publicly owned parcels in the Project Area was created through the Agency’s community-based Design for Development process, which culminated in the production of the Design for Development concept plan for the Project Area, and the Development Controls and Design Guidelines, specific regulations covering all private development in the Project Area. The concept plan includes high-density, transit-oriented residential development along Folsom Street and between and Beale Streets, as well as office and hotel space surrounding the new terminal. At the same time, the concept plan embodies a balanced approach to density, with fewer, taller towers far enough apart to allow sunlight and open space in the new neighborhood, and controls to ensure that ground-floor space is activated. The concept plan also incorporates significant new public improvements, including a major new public park, new pedestrian-oriented alleyways and widened sidewalks.
Development Controls and Design Guidelines
The Development Controls and Design Guidelines is a companion document to the Redevelopment Plan for the Transbay Redevelopment Project. The Redevelopment Plan, as approved by the Board of Supervisors, established Goals and Objectives and the basic land use standards for the Project Area. The Development Controls and Design Guidelines provide legislated development requirements and specific design recommendations that apply to all development within the Project Area. For cost and availability of copies, please contact the Redevelopment Agency at the number listed below. You may download the entire document by clicking on the link below.
At least 20 percent of the units in the Project must be affordable to
qualifying households and no direct subsidy will be available from
the Successor Agency or the Mayor’s Office of Housing (“MOH”) to
help pay the cost of constructing the Project. The development team
should choose one of the following Project alternatives in order to meet
• 80/20 Project Alternative – a single project is constructed on the
tower and podium parcels with 20 percent affordable housing using
tax-exempt multifamily housing bonds issued by MOH.
• Joint Development Project Alternative – a market-rate developer and
a nonprofit affordable housing developer jointly develop the project,
with the podium parcel developed as 100 percent affordable (the
“Affordable Project”) using currently available funding sources (i.e.
4 percent low income housing tax credits and tax exempt bonds)
and an affordable housing fee (the “Affordable Housing Fee”) from the
market-rate developer to be paid to MOH to fund the development
of the Affordable Project, with the remainder of the units required to
meet the overall 20 percent requirement included in the tower parcel.
Note that this affordable housing requirement is higher than the 15 percent
inclusionary housing requirement in the Redevelopment Plan. More detail
on the affordable housing requirement is included in Section 4.
The Site, which has been designated “Block 9”, is located in San Francisco’s
Transbay/Rincon Hill neighborhood, adjacent to the Financial District, with
excellent views of San Francisco, the Bay, and the Bay Bridge, and just
two blocks south of the future site of the new Transbay Transit Center,
scheduled for completion in 2017. The Site is a 31,564-square-foot parcel
on Folsom Street between First and Essex Streets. This Site is adjacent to
the proposed new Oscar Park, a set of open space improvements under
the bus ramp to the new Transbay Transit Center and the Folsom-Fremont
off-ramp from I-80.
Block 9 is part of the Transbay Redevelopment Project Area (“Project Area”),
a 40-acre redevelopment district at the foot of Rincon Hill that was
administered by the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (the
“Agency”). Pursuant to State Assembly Bill AB 1×26 (“AB 26”), redevelopment
agencies throughout the State of California were eliminated on February 1,
2012. However, AB 26, as modified by State Assembly Bill AB 1484 (“AB
1484”), allows the Successor Agency and MOH to continue to implement
enforceable obligations previously held by the Agency, including various
interagency agreements that constitute the redevelopment program for
Transbay. The Redevelopment Plan for the Transbay Redevelopment Project
Area (“Redevelopment Plan”) and related documents continue to govern
the development of the Project Area. The Successor Agency will select the
development team and issue all project approvals for Block 9. Pursuant
to Section 4.7.2 of the Redevelopment Plan, the Board of Supervisors
shall have final approval of the sale and/or lease of Block 9. If the Joint
Development Alternative is selected, the Citywide Affordable Housing Loan
Committee must approve any loan provided to the Affordable Developer.
It is anticipated that development teams will include either a single developer
to serve as the project lead and build both the tower and podium buildings
(for the 80/20 Project Alternative), or a partnership between a market-rate
developer (“Lead Developer”) to build the tower and a non-profit developer
(“Affordable Developer”) to build the podium (for the Joint Development
Project Alternative). Each team should also include an architect to design
the residential tower, podium building, and coordinate the master planning
of the entire Project.
Proposals must include a purchase price, which the Successor Agency
will transfer to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority for the construction
of the new Transbay Transit Center. Additionally, each development team
will need to demonstrate its ability to successfully finance, construct, and
operate the Project, and its capacity to initiate development consistent with
the schedule contained in this Request for Proposals (“RFP”).
Joint Venture proposals must also include the payment of the Affordable
Housing Fee to MOH prior to close of escrow for each affordable unit not
included as part of the market-rate project. The Affordable Housing Fee
is based upon the City’s offsite inclusionary housing fee. The fee must be
sufficient to subsidize the development costs of the affordable project in an
amount not to exceed $200,000 per affordable unit.
Proposals must assume a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District special
tax rate of 0.55 percent above the standard City property tax rate of
1.2 percent as well as the cost of the other proposed districts described in
The Transbay Redevelopment Project Area is a 40-acre redevelopment district at the
foot of Rincon Hill which includes the Transbay Transit Center (under construction) and
approximately 12 acres of vacant public land. The Project Area, as depicted in Figure
1 on page 2.6, was established in June 2005 with the adoption of the Redevelopment
Plan by the City and County of San Francisco.
Pursuant to State Assembly Bill AB 26, redevelopment agencies throughout the State of
California were eliminated on February 1, 2012. However, AB 26, as modified by AB 1484,
allows the Successor Agency and MOH to continue to implement the former Agency’s
enforceable obligations for the Project Area, including various interagency agreements
that constitute the redevelopment program for Transbay. The Redevelopment Plan and
related documents continue to govern the development of the Project Area.