Jay Paul Breaks Ground on San Francisco’s 181 Fremont Tower

Jay Paul Co. broke ground on 181 Fremont St., a 54-story, 684,000-square-foot residential and office tower near the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco’s South of Market district.

FREMONTGround was officially broken Wednesday on 181 Fremont St., a 54-story, 684,000-square-foot residential and office tower near the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco’s South of Market district. The project’s developer is the Jay Paul Co., of San Francisco, which took over the project last April from SKS Investments.

The $500 million tower is JPC’s first urban high-rise project and at 802 feet will be the tallest mixed-use office/residential tower in the Western United States.

It’s scheduled to open in early 2016. “We’re just digging down into the earth right now,” a JPC spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. “We’ll be a year down and two years up for construction.”

The tower will feature 411,000 square feet and 33 floors of Class A+ office space with open floor plates.

Sixty-eight two- and three-bedroom luxury residences ranging from 1,400 to 3,600 square feet will occupy floors 39 through 53. Amenities will include an Owners’ Lounge, fitness center, wrap-around balcony, BBQ grill, fire pit, kitchen and a dining room on the 37th floor, providing a transition between the office and residential floors.

The building, which was designed by Heller Manus Architects and will target LEED Platinum certification, will also include 2,600 square feet of retail space on the first and fifth floors.

It will connect directly to the 5.4-acre rooftop park atop the Transbay Transit Center, which will connect various rail and bus lines, paratransit services, and a proposed California high-speed rail project.

181 Fremont borders the South Financial District and SOMA markets, which are extremely tight right now with 5.7 and 7.4 percent office vacancy rates, respectively, according to figures from Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, which has been tapped to market the office space.

“181 Fremont Street is positioned to come online as the vacancy rate for the Class A office market is poised to dip below 5 percent,” Karl Baldauf, a senior vice president with Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank, told CPE. “The technology industry continues to grow at such a rapid pace, there is an enormous demand for large blocks of contiguous space, which are in short supply in San Francisco; the SOMA Financial District is even more constricted. Rental rates have increased to the point that they support a good return on new construction.”

JPC has retained The Mark Co., of San Francisco, to handle sales and marketing for the residences, which will be marketed under the name Park 181.

There has been plenty of activity in the Transbay district, whose skyline will be dominated by the 61-story Transbay Tower, which will be the tallest building in San Francisco when it’s completed in 2017.

But other projects, too, are moving forward. In mid-April, for example, CPE reported that Kilroy Realty had broken ground on its 350 Mission St., a 27-story office tower at Mission and Fremont.