Articles October 7, 2013

Jay Paul Strikes Again

Source: The Registry

The Transbay district will feature a wide range of activities from transit, offices and homes to shopping, restaurants and parks. One tower being built in the neighborhood will echo its diversity: 181 Fremont St., the only mixed-use building in the district plan so far offering residences and offices. Jay Paul Co. expects to spend approximately $450 million to construct the 54-story structure, including purchasing the site from SKS Investments in March. When completed in mid-2015, it will be the second tallest in the district and have 684,000 square feet. The first 36 floors will hold offices; luxury condominiums will fill the top 17 floors. The 54th floor will be devoted to mechanical equipment. Small retail, such as food and coffee shops, will be on the ground floor. “We are big believers in vertical mixed-use projects. Mixed-use buildings in downtown are extremely sustainable and green because they promote living and working in the same vicinity. It’s the fundamental idea of walkable cities,” said Jeffrey Heller, president of Heller Manus Architects, the San Francisco firm that designed the building and is aiming for at least a LEED Gold rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Jay Paul Chief Investment Officer Matt Lituchy said it is “complementary” to participate simultaneously in the residential and office markets. “It is a way to hedge bets. It’s somewhat of a conservative approach to this development.” The building, just southeast of the Transbay Transit Center, will be a slender tower on a compact site. The glass and steel structure will taper, meaning the floor area gets smaller on higher floors. The relatively small floor plans near the top of the building lend themselves to residences. These will command unobstructed views of water, bridge and city. “Views are one of the top selling Developing offices and condos in 181 Fremont St. “is a way to hedge bets.” Matt Lituchy, chief investment officer, Jay Paul Co. points,” Heller said.

The 75 condos, generally two- to three-bedroom units, will measure an average of 1,450 square feet each. Each floor will have two to eight homes, including penthouse units. Sales prices are expected to be $1,700 a foot to $2,500 a foot, meaning an average-sized condo at the lowest price would sell for about $2.5 million. The new residences will rival high-end San Francisco condos in the Millennium Tower, the Market Street Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts and the St. Regis Residences. Buyers are likely to be upper-level business professionals, retired or semi-retired people, international consumers, young techies and others interested in a downtown location close to everything. Two-thirds of the way up the skyscraper, just below the residences, will be a level notched in from the building’s façade. This level is to be double height and feature amenities such as a gym, spa and community room, inside walls of glass. Encircling the amenities will be an outdoor deck behind a four-foot-high glass wall. The deck, offering an indoor-outdoor experience, can be used for running, walking or just sitting while enjoying panoramic views. The lowest 36 floors will hold 420,000 square feet of column-free office space. Floor plates start at about 15,000 square feet on lower floors and taper to 11,000 square feet on higher floors. There will be uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling heights of at least 10 feet. Net rents could start in the low $50s a square foot a year on lower levels and rise to the $70s a square foot on higher levels, said Karl Baldauf, senior vice president of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, the brokerage marketing the office space. The building could attract both technology and traditional tenants, he said. 181 Fremont also will be one of only two buildings that connect directly to the Transbay Transit Center. On the fifth floor, a wide bridge is to link the tower to the City Park atop the terminal. “The Terminal District is a game changer for San Francisco. When people get a chance to walk around the elevated park, they are going to be thrilled to be above the traffic and noise. This will be the new center of the city,” said Baldauf.

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