Transit Center design team
offers $350 million to project
Illustration courtesy TransbayCenter.org
By Caitlin Cassady
September 20, 2007
A $350 million offering from the design team that won the right
to build a proposed Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco would
help the project kick off on stable financial ground, according
to a transit official.
Pelli Clark Pelli Architects and Hines Interests teamed to design
and develop what would be the Grand Central Station of the West
at First and Mission streets.
"The Hines commitment of more than a third of a billion
dollars in hard cash moves us in the right direction toward ensuring
the financial viability of this project," Alameda-Contra
Costa Transit Board Member Elsa Ortiz said in a statement.
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors decided
today on the proposed design, which would include an over five-acre
city park atop the transit terminal and the tallest skyscraper
on the West Coast, according to the board.
The skyscraper would be obelisk in shape and its base would be
encased in glass to let in natural light. The park would absorb
pollution, treat and recycle water and provide a habitat for local
wildlife, according to the Transbay Joint Authority.
"The Transit Center, with its accompanying tower, will have
an immeasurable impact in the life and form of the city,"
architect Cesar Pelli said.
The transit center would accommodate nine regional transportation
systems, including Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, Caltrain,
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, Golden Gate
Transit, San Mateo County Transit District, Greyhound, Bay Area
Rapid Transit, Western Contra Costa Transit Authority and the
future California High-Speed Rail.
California High Speed Rail promises to reduce travel between
San Francisco and Los Angeles to two and a half hours, according
The design would not only offer a new transit center, but would
incorporate homes, shops and parks adjacent to the transit center.
"The selection of Pelli and Hines to build this transit
hub and tower is a testament to the values, the vision and the
excitement of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area region,''
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.
The AC Transit board of directors has approved the recommendations
of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority in hopes of speeding up
the project's starting date, according to AC Transit.
The board of directors considered three different firms to build
the new complex. A design and development competition was launched
in November 2006.
The Design and Development Competition Jury, a panel of design,
planning, engineering, transit and real estate development professionals,
unanimously recommended Pelli Clark Pelli and Hines as the best
design to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board on Sept. 10.
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