SAN FRANCISCO-The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) Board of Directors on Thursday (May 15, 2008) unanimously approved a $105-million contract with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, which last fall won the right to for the design of the new landmark Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco. PCPA and Hines won an international competition several months ago to select a design-build team for Transit Center and a landmark office tower.The Scope of the Pelli design contract includes the complete design of the Transit Center building and bus ramps connecting to the Bay Bridge, which will be constructed in two phases. The first phase includes the new Transit Center, the bus ramps connecting the building to the west approach of the Bay Bridge and bus storage facilities. The second phase of the project includes the construction of the below-grade train platform and mezzanine levels of the new Transit Center.

The new Transbay Transit Center at First and Mission streets will centralize the region’s transportation network by accommodating nine transportation systems under one roof: AC Transit, Caltrain, MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, Greyhound, BART, WestCAT and future California High-Speed Rail. The area surrounding the Transit Center will be redeveloped to include housing, retail and the office tower.

Pelli-Hines’ design and development proposal calls for a 1.8-million-sf, 1,300-foot tower alongside a new transit terminal topped by a public park. Two defining components of the Pelli-Hines proposal were the price it offered to pay for the Tower property, which, at $350 million, is more than double that of the other proposals; and the elevated 5.4-acre park it designed atop the Transit Center Building, something the two other proposals do not include.

In addition, Hines envisions the tower containing exclusively office space – and annual gross office rents of $83 per sf — while two other tower proposals had significant residential and hospitality components. The Pelli design also includes “Mission Square,” a grand public plaza covered by a billowing glass-and-steel canopy, and public art space.

PCPA’s “City Park” design was scored a 90 by the jury, a panel of design, planning, engineering, transit and real estate development professionals. The jury said it was superior in all respects — aesthetically, functionally and financially — to the two other proposals, neither of which scored higher than 72.

Groundbreaking on the Temporary Terminal will begin in November 2008. Construction of the new Transit Center will begin in 2010 and be completed in 2014.

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