Strada walks away from office tower project in SF’s SoMa

Trammell Crow will now develop 270K sf office highrise entitled by local outfit

Trammell Crow’s Mike Lafitte and rendering of office project at 490 Brannan Street (Trammell Crow, Perkins & Will)
Trammell Crow’s Mike Lafitte and rendering of office project at 490 Brannan Street (Trammell Crow, Perkins & Will)

A Texas developer has replaced Strada Investment Group as leader of a 270,000-square-foot office tower project in San Francisco’s South of Market.

Trammell Crow, based in Dallas, is now advising a strategic investor and CBRE Investment Management in the 12-story, mixed-use tower at 490 Brannan St., the San Francisco Business Times reported.

Strada Investment, based in San Francisco, had pitched the 185-foot highrise and won entitlements before stepping away from the project.

“The partnership is planning to proceed with the existing entitlements and is eager to advance the project,” a Trammell Crow representative told the Business Times.

The strategic investor behind the project is the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, an educator pension fund.

The office high-rise at 490 Brannan St. is a key development in the Central SoMa neighborhood. Strada and CalSTRS declined to comment on the developer switch.

The site was transferred last month from Strada to a limited liability company, CSHV Brannan Street LLC, for $54.1 million, according to city records.

In 2015, Strada began to eye the 490 Brannan St. site, which now has a surface parking lot and a Wells Fargo building.

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It then teamed up with Pasadena-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities, one of the nation’s leading biotech developers. Strada ultimately formed a partnership with CalSTRS to secure the project’s entitlements, unidentified sources told the Business Times.

The site was owned by the Estrin family when Strada pitched its proposal to redevelop it in 2019.

In September 2021, a Strada principal convinced the San Francisco Planning Commission to approve the project, despite concerns about the health of the city’s office market during the pandemic.

Founding Principal Jesse Blout said Strada didn’t believe demand for premium office space was likely to fade, even office subleases flooded the market. The office project has also been approved for life sciences laboratory space.
In May, Strada Investment Group filed plans to construct a 16-story, 500-unit apartment complex on Bryant Street in SoMa. The $220-million tower is expected to break ground in November.

Strada and Trammell Crow are also behind a $1.2 billion plan to redevelop two aging San Francisco piers and an adjacent site along the Embarcadero into offices, housing and a floating swimming pool.

In March, Trammell Crow was looking to redevelop four properties in South San Francisco to redevelop into a 232,000-square-foot life sciences complex.

[San Francisco Business Times] – Dana Bartholomew

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