Hines to develop San Francisco office tower at transit hub

The Houston-based real estate investment firm is paying a record $235m – $4,900 per square foot – for the San Francisco site of the firm’s planned Transbay Tower project. The development is expected to be the tallest building on the US West Coast.

Hines and MetLife Real Estate Investments, a subsidiary of insurer MetLife, are paying $235 million for the site of Hines’ planned Transbay Tower at the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. 

The sale price for the land parcel is expected to set a record for San Francisco, at approximately $4,900 per square foot, according to a statement. Equity financing for the deal came from MetLife Real Estate Investments, a spokesperson for Hines told PERE.

The real estate investment firm, together with MetLife Real Estate Investments, and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) negotiated terms for the development, to be heard publicly at the TJPA board meeting on September 29.

Hines’ planned 1,000-foot Transbay Tower will be situated on the 48,000-square-foot parcel, located at Mission and First streets in San Francisco’s financial district. The tower, designed by architects Pelli Clarke Pelli, is expected to be the tallest building on the US West Coast, according to Hines. It will feature approximately 1.6 million square feet of office space as well as a ground-floor retail component, and is being built to LEED Gold certification.

The Transbay Tower will be adjacent to the city’s planned Transbay Transit Center, which includes the construction of a new Transit Center building to replace the existing Transbay Terminal. It will also comprise 3,500 housing units, with 35 percent constituting affordable housing. Proceeds from the $235 million land sale will be used to help fund the development of the Transbay Transit Center. 

The Transbay Tower will be connected to the Transit Center by a main promenade and other walkways. The development is expected to break ground as early as 2010, according to Hines, with the sale of the land site expected for late 2009.