SAN FRANCISCO—A groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, December 8 kicked off construction for what is slated to be the city of San Francisco’s second tallest tower upon its completion in 2021.
Oceanwide Center, designed by London-based Foster + Partners and local firm Heller Manus, will be 61 stories and 910 feet—rising higher than the Transamerica Pyramid at 853 feet. Only the Salesforce Tower stands higher, at 1,070 feet.
The development was located in the city’s new Transbay neighborhood and comes equipped with two towers; the shorter one, rising 625 feet, located at 519 Mission, will be a 171-room Waldorf Astoria hotel. In addition to the two buildings, the development offers a big, open floor plan, as well as a network of public plazas that will together total 2.4 million square feet.
“A groundbreaking ceremony for us architects is incredible. You pinch yourselves,” Stefan Behling of Foster + Partners said in a statement. “So many projects start and then stop. When the event occurs and the cranes show up, you know it’s going to happen.”
Mayor Edwin M. Lee called the project “a way to foster closer ties abroad,” acknowledging Oceanwide Center’s Chinese developer Oceanwide Holdings, a Chinese firm with more than 100 subsidiaries and 10,000 employees. In addition, Mayor Lee discussed the overall $130 million funding the project would generate for everything from cultural programs to housing initiatives.