Hines rebrands flood-damaged highrise in SF, now called Spera

Residents return to 35-story luxury tower at 33 Tehama after two water disasters in 2022

Hines Rebrands Flood-Damaged Highrise in San Francisco
Hines' Jeff Hines and Laura Hines-Pierce and 33 Tehama in San Francisco (Hines)

Hines hopes to turn its back on two floods that pushed out 400 tenants two years ago from its San Francisco luxury highrise. The firm’s turnaround strategy: change its name.

After $7 million in repairs, the Houston-based developer has hung a new shingle outside the 35-story luxury tower at 33 Tehama Street, in South of Market, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Bold, white letters pasted across windows near the bottom of the 403-unit tower read “SperaSF.com: Now Leasing” — obliterating the former “33Tehama.com.” 

Whatever its origin, the new Spera brand has permeated the development’s website, which shows hipsters running a pool table inside a lofty apartment, cuddling in an outdoor hot tub or swinging a bottle of Inner Circle champagne.  

A banner proclaims newcomers who move into the green-tinted tower before the end of the month can get eight weeks of rent for free. Rents range from $3,147 for a one-bedroom unit to $6,083 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to Apartments.com.

It’s a far cry from June 2022, when a pipe burst on the building’s top floor, sending 20,000 gallons of water cascading through the tower, forcing the evacuation of at least 400 residents.

Just as tenants were told they would be able to move back by fall, a second flood in August drowned the dream of returning home. Nearly 100 apartments were damaged by the deluge.

Hines worked 19 months to repair the damage caused by a water main failure atop the luxury highrise, finally allowing tenants to move back in January.

Marisa Monte-Santoro, a spokeswoman for Hines, told the Chronicle that 33 Tehama was 95 percent occupied when the flooding occurred and that a third of the tower’s original residents have moved back home.

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This month, the newly named Spera was 43 percent occupied, with 129 units filled, of which 113 represent returning tenants who lived in the building before the floods. An additional 50 new leases have signed leases since the building reopened, according to Hines.

“We are delighted to welcome these residents home,” Santoro told the newspaper, adding that spring leasing has been strong. 

For some of the building’s original tenants, Hines must be held accountable for the summer disaster of two years ago.

The developer of the Salesforce Tower faces at least three lawsuits related to the floods,  alleging the company’s actions before and after amounted to negligence. One lawsuit was filed in April. 

A Hines representative denied all of the allegations in the first two legal complaints, saying the company had “worked tirelessly to repair the building.”

Tenants were outraged about allegations of theft, including video footage of what appears to be a contractor stealing stuff from an apartment undergoing repairs. Hines acknowledged the theft last year, firing the contractor and ramping up security surveillance.

Hines hopes new tenants moving into Spera will embrace its 360-degree views of the bay, a rooftop social club, new concierge offerings plus new art to be installed this summer.

“This exceptional property is entering a new chapter,” Santoro told the Chronicle, “and we are delivering an elevated living experience to our residents.” 

— Dana Bartholomew

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