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Formerly dominated by underutilized properties and an abandoned freeway, the Transit Center District is now the site of a comprehensive planning and redevelopment effort to create a dense, walkable employment center that will feature housing at all levels of affordability, active retail and abundant public open space. The substantial public infrastructure investment needed to undertake this project is funded through a complex and innovative mix of public and private funding sources. The major rezoning of properties throughout the district, along with its significant amenities, has created substantial value while generating enthusiastic response among the development community. 

 

A concurrent session at the recent ULI Fall Meeting, "Transbay Transit Center District: Transforming Downtown San Francisco through Innovative Public/Private Partnerships" examines the redevelopment challenges overcome during the project and strategies used to create this new “Grand Central of the West” and its adjacent neighborhood. 

 

Discussion leaders included Scott Boule of Transbay Joint Powers Authority, Tiffany Bohee of the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, John Eudy of Essex Property Trust, Mike Grisso of Kilroy Realty Corporation and John Rahaim of the City of San Francisco. Libby Seifel served as moderator of the panel, in addition to her duties as local program co-chair of the ULI Fall Meeting. 

 

A video of the session is available for viewing at ULI's webpage, here


On April 8, Libby spoke to members of Victoria, British Columbia’s chapter of the Urban Development Institute (UDI)on what creates value in real estate. Her presentation, “Leveraging Value to Create Great Places”, explored real-world examples of development happening in our very own city: the Transbay Transit Center District and Mission Bay. Looking at the value premiums created by transit, open space, and other neighborhood amenities, Libby shared with UDI members insight into the costs of development and the value creation of these and similar transit-focused and sustainable communities. 

In spring of last year, UDI members paid a visit to San Francisco to observe some of the exciting projects currently underway in our City. With Seifel staff as their guide, UDI members were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Transbay project before heading out to a tour of Mission Bay

UDI is a non-profit association of the development industry in British Columbia, whose members include individuals and organizations involved in all facets of development and land-use planning. UDI is actively involved in government relations, professional development and education, and research. Committed to working with communities and governments to create and achieve balanced, well-planned, and sustainable communities, UDI works to promote efficient urban growth, good planning and good development practices, affordable housing, and high quality commercial and industrial developments. More information on UDI is available here.


To remain globally competitive, cities around the world are expanding their transit networks and encouraging the development of dense urban neighborhoods. The Bay Area is one of the world’s most robust economies and San Francisco is emerging as a major hub for many rapidly expanding technology and knowledge service companies. In the recent publication Transbay Transit Center: Key Investment in San Francisco’s Future as a World Class City, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority hails the Transbay Transit Center, considered the “Grand Central of the West,” as one of San Francisco’s most important investments to assure long term success in an increasingly global economy. (A copy of Transbay Transit Center is available here.)

A public private partnership, the Transbay project, is transforming downtown San Francisco by creating a landmark multi-modal transit hub and a vibrant, walkable, transit-oriented development neighborhood featuring more than 11 acres of parks, public plazas, retail, and tree-lined streets. The improved transit access, public spaces, and neighborhood amenities provided by the project are projected to add $3.9 billion to the value of private property located within ¾ mile of the Transit Center. Additionally, redevelopment of public properties once occupied by the former Transbay Transit Terminal and abandoned freeway ramps is projected to stimulate over $4 billion in new development, much of which is already underway, including the 1.3 million square foot Transbay Transit Tower and more than 1,200 mixed-income residential units.

Research demonstrates that knowledge-service businesses thrive best in a compact, transit-rich environment. Better transit connectivity will help expand the regional labor market and make it easier for workers to reach jobs. Moreover, the use of transit instead of cars will foster increased physical activity, promote healthier living, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by removing thousands of vehicles from our streets and highways. Regionally, the Bay Area will benefit from the creation of approximately 8,300 construction job years, 27,000 permanent jobs, and up to $87 billion in gross regional product through 2030.

For more on the Transbay Transit Center and its development, click here.

Seifel prepared Transbay Transit Center on behalf of the TJPA to highlight the numerous economic benefits that the Transbay Project will bring to San Francisco and the Bay Area region. In collaboration with The Concord Group, Seifel prepared the economic analysis of value premiums from transit, open space, and neighborhood amenities from the Transbay project.

Above construction photo credit: Patricia Chang