SF Chronicle: Big new SF tower project breaks ground

First published in The San Francisco Chronicle

Quite simply, nobody covers architecture in San Francisco like John King does.

This is a complex that, when completed by 2021, will climb higher than the Transamerica Pyramid and contain more space than the nearby Salesforce Tower. So the developers wanted to kick things off in style, and more than 200 people showed up to mark the occasion.

Event staff circled among early guests with platters of carrot-coconut muffins. Two models were on display near the entrance. One, nearly 5 feet tall, was detailed enough to have small figures on view inside the windows.

Read on for his unique, fresh perspective on the Oceanwide Center groundbreaking event.

Curbed: SF’s second-tallest building finally breaks ground

First published in Curbed San Francisco

The Oceanwide Center’s groundbreaking was a little rainy, but Curbed noted the mayor’s remarks about how it may mean good fortune ahead.

Mayor Ed Lee promised that rain means good luck on auspicious occasions as he talked the project up as a community benefit and a way to foster closer ties abroad.

Standing at a podium flanked by one American flag and one Chinese flag, Lee, who just returned from a trip to China, praised Oceanwide Center (named for its Chinese developer) for “creating a relationship” between San Franciscan and Chinese interests.

They also compared the First Street tower to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude – a nice compliment indeed.

Feb 1, 2017 Update

Starting the week of February 6, Oceanwide Center will be completing the final test shafts for its foundation which will require some additional night work. Unfortunately, there is no way around scheduling this work at night as our tests require that rebar and concrete be set immediately after these test shafts are drilled down to bedrock. We will do our best to limit impacts, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Additional crane equipment will be mobilized as the buildings along First Street continue to be demolished. Jessie Street between Ecker and First Street will be closed daily from 7am-5pm to ensure everyone’s safety during demolition. Utility work and pedestrian safety improvements will continue on the portion of Ecker between Mission and Jessie for the next several weeks, and additional sewer upgrade work will continue along First Street in the evenings.

If you have questions, please contact Patrick Otellini from Swinerton Webcor at potellini@swinertonwebcor.com or 415-847-1174.

The project also has a 24-hour construction hotline 415-746-9948

Jan 13, 2017 Update

Beginning this weekend, Oceanwide or its authorized contractors will begin work on the southern portion of Ecker street between Mission and Jessie. This work includes planned pedestrian improvements and safety upgrades. Jessie street will continue to be closed during construction hours for the next 4-6 weeks.

Beginning January 16th and continuing for a period of three weeks, drilled pile work will be performed 24 hours a day. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by night work.  Unfortunately, there is no way around this as our tests require that rebar and concrete be set immediately after these test shafts are drilled down to bedrock. We will do our best to limit impacts.

Please note our 24 Hour Construction Hotline to be used in emergencies. 415.746.9948.

Jan 3, 2017 Update

Beginning the week of December 26th, Oceanwide will continue to demolish buildings along First Street. This work will require large equipment to be moved on and off the site. We will continue to be mindful of our neighbors as we finish this phase of the project. Also beginning the week of December 26th and continuing through the week of January 9th, our foundation contractor will start mobilizing equipment for the start of practice and test piles. During these next few weeks you will notice a lot of large equipment being brought in and assembled in the 526 Mission St. site. This is in preparation for drilling the first 6.5’ diameter (test) piles, which are scheduled to start on January 13th. Although there is very large equipment in a very small site, be reassured all work will be kept inside the site and never allowed beyond the construction fence.

Temporary improvements to this portion of Ecker will be underway to make sure that both pedestrians and automobile traffic can share this segment of Ecker in a safe and responsible way. We will also have people guiding traffic and pedestrians during construction hours.

SF Business Times: Second-tallest tower in SF breaks ground

First published in San Francisco Business Times

The groundbreaking event for Oceanwide Center was filled with fun and fanfare, and the San Francisco Business times was there to take it all in.

“It’s going to help reshape the skyline of San Francisco. At the same time, it really engages with the ground-level pedestrian experience,” said an Oceanwide spokesman.

The project spans a 60,000-square-foot lot, and 26,000 square feet of the ground level will include public open space, parks and and pedestrian passageways. Kathryn Gustafson is the landscape architect.

The project will also preserve two low-rise historic building at 88 and 78 First St., which will be used for office and retail.

Check out their video from the event, with excerpts from featured speakers.