Design Completion Paves Way for Start of San Francisco’s $4B Transbay Transit Center
- Apr 26, 2010
April 26, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
The San Francisco Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s (TJPA) development of the city’s new state-of-the-art Transbay Transit Center and Park is right on track. Now that Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has submitted the final design report for the $4 billion downtown project, there is nothing stopping the first phase from getting underway this August.
The Transit Center’s first phase, which carries a development price tag of nearly $1.6 billion, will kick off with the demolition of the existing 71-year-old terminal. While activity is underway, a temporary terminal will accommodate riders. What will ultimately be erected at the intersection of First and Mission streets is a 1 million-square-foot facility that will provide access to 12 transit systems, including high-speed rail, as well as an above-grade bus level.
But the Transit Center will be much more than a massive transportation hub; it will serve as a social gathering point for neighborhood residents and visitors. Cloaked in Pelli Clarke Pelli’s glass-and-steel façade that in itself is a major attraction, the structure will feature such amenities as a 5.4-acre rooftop urban park offering an outdoor amphitheatre and restaurants, in addition to retail on the concourse and ground levels.
“The design evolution of the Transbay Transit Center shows the great progress being made on a crucial piece of transit infrastructure that will transform this part of our city,” Mayor Gavin Newsom noted in a prepared statement. “These designs being unveiled…will deliver an unprecedented addition to the civic and economic fabric of this City.”
Given that it is a public transportation project, the Transit Center will be inherently green, but that fact did not prevent Pelli Clarke Pelli from taking the project’s sustainability to another level. The facility is designed to meet LEED Gold standards and will, upon completion, be one of the greenest properties in the country.
The new Transit Center was conceived several years ago–TJPA was formed in 2001 to orchestrate the creation of the new facility and spearhead its operations–but its development schedule turns out to have been more timely than anyone could have anticipated. In February, the Transit Center project was awarded $400 million in stimulus funds, courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which allotted $35 billion for highway and public transportation infrastructure projects across the country.
Phase I of the Transit Center will create 48,000 construction jobs and is scheduled to reach completion in 2015. The second phase, which will produce the 1.3-mile downtown rail extension, will commence in 2012 and wrap up in 2018.