City approves redevelopment of Macy’s building in Union Square

Project will be one of few apartment buildings in retail hub

San Francisco /
Sep.September 01, 2021 09:30 AM
City approves redevelopment of Macy’s building in Union Square
Renderings of 233 Geary Street (Handel Architects)

City officials have approved the redevelopment of the former Macy’s department store in Union Square, which will add some rare housing stock to one of the city’s main retail hubs.

The plans for the site at 233 Geary Street call for 63,240 square feet of retail from the basement to the third floor, 81,460 square feet of office on the fourth, fifth sixth, seventh and 11th floors and 49,700 square feet of residential space from the eighth to 10th floors. The property, also known as the I. Magnin Building for the San Francisco retailer that shut down in the 1990s, will have 21 condo units.

The San Francisco Planning Commission approved the exemptions for the project during a hearing July 22. It was officially approved August 24 after a 30-day public comment period lapsed without any appeals being filed, according to city records.

The existing building on the site, which was remodeled in 1946, is 153 feet tall with retail from the basement to the seventh floor. The height of the building will remain unchanged and the exterior of the landmark property would mostly stay the same.

A famous green marble women’s bathroom in the sixth floor of the property, which has been spared from renovation since the 1940s, will be preserved and moved to the third floor. Plans also call for the creation of a 5,300-square-foot roof terrace.

In 2019, the developer for the project, Sand Hill Property Company, bought the property from Macy’s in a $250 million deal. Last year, the firm filed plans for a $70 million redevelopment that called for slightly more office space than the approved version. It did not respond to a request for comment.

If the Geary Street project gets built, it would be one of a handful of developments in Union Square with a residential component. Others include the office-to-residential conversion at the Lofts at One Powell and the Landmark Building at 333 Grant.

The new project comes as home prices in the Bay Area recover from the pandemic. According to a recent report from Compass, many areas in San Francisco’s suburbs have posted price hikes of more than $200,000 since the start of last year.






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