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Glass and Steel Land on Historic Brick in South Beach

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A slightly bigger 178 Townsend was approved yesterday for the former warehousey area near AT&T Park. The building, developed by Martin Building and designed by Ian Birchall and Associates Architecture, consists of a new six-story building "inserted" within the footprint of an existing brick one, should fit right in with its surrounding (88 Townsend just down the street does exactly the same thing). One planning commissioner did express reservations with the design (largely unchanged from what you see above), saying it represents little more than a facade-ectomy of the current building. Still, it got the thumbs up, with promises to finesse — "model and modulate" — the look a bit more. Some bullet points: 62 feet, 94 units (14 below market-rate), 45 at-grade parking spaces, all-rental, LEED Gold, a day care center, and a "premier retail area" on the ground floor somewhere. The high proportion of affordable units and all-rental approach are designed to grease the tax-credit cogs. Savvy, they are.