Maria Ayerdi Kaplan, in her role as developer of Salesforce Transit Center and Executive Director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), stewarted the sale of Transbay Development Block 5 to Park Tower Owner LLC on September 24, 2015. The sale price was $172.6 Million.
This information in important, because (as was explained during the Oakland News Now series on Maria Ayerdi Kaplan) there has been an incomplete picture of how Salesforce Transit Center was funded in the wake of the discussion of cost overruns. A story was painted that the City and County of San Francisco has to loan money to “bailout” the project, which was not true.
The sale of Block 5 helped fund construction of the Transbay Transit Center, which, in the press release of the time, was described as “a regional transportation station which will connect eight Bay Area counties via 11 different transit systems, include a 5.4 acre rooftop park, and serve as a new urban core for downtown San Francisco with close to 160,000 square feet of retail space.”
“The sale of Block 5 marks another step in the transformation of the Transbay district into the new heart of downtown San Francisco,” said TJPA Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan. “The funding brings us another step toward bringing safe, convenient and sustainable transit to Transbay, and the development Block 5 project will bring workers to transit.”
The Block 5 site, described as “an undeveloped 26,000 square foot parcel located at the northeast corner of Beale and Howard Streets adjacent to the Transit Center,” was set to be a 43-story office tower with over 750,000 square feet of office called “Park Tower“.
The Park Tower project includes ground-level retail and more than 15,000 square feet of new public open space on adjacent lands owned by the TJPA. A groundbreaking ceremony was planned for October 6, 2015. Park Tower is set to open by the 4th Quarter of 2018.
The TJPA reported: “The Transbay Transit Center project has both benefited from and catalyzed the remarkable level of recent development in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. The promise of a future downtown transit station with retail, open space, and other amenities has significantly increased surrounding property values. An important source of funding for the Transit Center has been the sale of parcels owned by the TJPA, which were formerly owned by the State of California and were transferred to TJPA at no cost. Land sale proceeds have provided over $460,000,000 in funding for the Transit Center to date.”