Transbay Terminal zoning plan revealed. The city trotted out a new master plan at last evening's public meeting that, if approved, will shift the city's downtown core to SoMA by surrounding the new Transbay Terminal building with a clusterfuck of skyscrapers— OK, seven skyscrapers— all exempt from the current 550-foot height limit in the area; the new Tranny Tower itself is expected to top out at around 1,200 feet. Many planners consider the proposal a natural extension of the city's downtown development plan, citing the bonus fact that increased tax revenues from the project could help to fund the new transit center. Expect this scheme to be banished back to the drawing board more than once: City constituents will say their piece on the project (hurdles #1-50). A full environmental impact must be conducted (hurdle #51), while sundry flaming hoops must be jumped through and burning coals walked over (hurdles #52-100). The plan is expected to take at least 18 months to traverse this bureaucratic obstacle course, with construction dates estimated to begin in 2010 at the earliest. Interestingly enough, though not surprising in the least, today's Chron report (good morning, Mr. King) eschewed the previously much-discussed public concern over earthquake safety for a riveting discussion on shadows and a tentative tip-toe around the topic of historical preservation (see hurdles #1-50). Brace.
· Core of downtown S.F. would move south under new plan for giant skyscrapers near Transbay Terminal [SF Gate]
[Rendering of the new-and-improved San Francisco skyline courtesy the SF Planning Department, via the Chronicle.]