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New 30-Story Condo Building Pitched Next to SOMA Caltrain

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The changes coming to the area around SOMA Caltrain are now changing themselves

Two years ago, LA-based developer CIM bought a two story, 60,000-square-foot brick building right next to Caltrain. The plan was for a 20-plus story office tower designed by STUDIOS Architecture, which looked something like a giant glowing server from a Tron movie.

But now it seems the offices and cyberspace look are both out, as various outlets report that CIM is jumping into the condo game instead. The new plan calls for a comparably conservative looking, glass-encased, SCB-designed high-rise at 330 Townsend, rising over 30 stories and packed with 374 condos. (SocketSite has the renderings.)

Why the change? As the San Francisco Business Times observes, the city’s annual cap on new office space development is a hurdle of (ironically) ever increasing height for certain kinds of developers.

It’s also possible that, even with some observers and analysts making noise that the condo market is in danger of becoming oversaturated, CIM simply read the writing on the wall and saw that housing demand is the most needful thing in San Francisco, and thus the shortest distance to an investment payoff.

Perhaps once the various other South Beach projects are finished and leased in a few years, additional demand will awaken in the neighborhood.

The hot ticket locale, right next to Caltrain, a few blocks from the ballpark, and near the future site of a Central Subway stop, would be overweeningly attractive to potential residents. In public meetings earlier this year, the Planning Department speculated about turning some of the present Caltrain property into a park years down the line, if/when its service is replaced by nearby high-speed rail.

First, of course, CIM has to get their new building plan approved. The first pitch at the Planning Commission is set for August.


Curbed Video: San Fransisco's MOMA Opening

The now defunct STUDIOS design.