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Rockefeller Group Development Corporation and Skidmore Owings & Merrill Present Transbay Transit Center and Tower Design Proposals to San Francisco Public.

Design Engages Urban Environment Architecturally and Environmentally; Creates Great New Civic Space and Major Public Asset

Embodies San Francisco's Belief in a Sustainable Future

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockefeller Group Development Corporation (RGDC) and Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) presented their design proposal for the Transbay Transit Center and Tower design competition to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and the public at a special hearing held at City Hall that began at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, August 6th. One of three teams in the competition, RGDC/SOM is a partnership of a subsidiary of The Rockefeller Group, renowned as the developer of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, and SOM, the internationally acclaimed architectural firm, most recently the designers of the international terminal at The San Francisco International Airport.

Designed by SOM's San Francisco-based design partners Craig W. Hartman and Brian Douglas Lee, the new multi-modal Transit Center and 1,200-foot-high mixed-use tower (including living, working, cultural and tourism uses), is expected to serve 130,000 passengers daily and redefine urban living and working in San Francisco's expanding downtown core.

"In a single stroke, this design will redefine for the world San Francisco's architectural, urban and environmental intentions. As expressed on the city's skyline, it will be a light and luminous grace note -- appropriately marking the physical and metaphorical center of the new San Francisco for the 21st Century," said Craig Hartman.

Added Brian Lee, "This is an opportunity for our age and we have a responsibility to build a civic architecture that represents San Francisco's spirit of urbanity, conservation and innovation."

Creates New Urban Gateway

The design proposal presented included a description of a transit center, which meets all operational requirements of eight different transit service operators -- including future high-speed rail. The design creates a double-deck platform to free up a two block area for a dramatic arrival hall and possibly a new performing arts park on the created "opportunity site." The Transit Center as proposed would be people friendly with clear orientation to all modes of transit and the city itself along with reduced walking distances. The rail platforms would be double height and filled with light.

Creates Iconic Vertical Neighborhood

The proposed Transbay Tower would have a base lifted 100 feet above street level to create a public plaza and a main portal to the Transit Terminal. The mixed-use building, at a maximum proposed height of 1375 feet, would have 92 stories and consist of 98,000 square feet of retail and special office space; 800,000 square feet of office; 108 hotel rooms; and a 35,000 square foot home for the Sutro Library. The Tower would offer 44 units of affordable housing and 250 units at market rate. In addition, the Tower would contain a Sky Room event space at the top of the building with panoramic views while the terminal portal at the base would display video art exhibitions in partnership with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Creates Environmental Benchmark

The Center is designed to be a fully-integrated, high-performance building which will serve as a "showcase of achievement" and will establish a new

environmental benchmark for all future construction in the city of San Francisco.

The Transbay Transit Center will achieve the following goals:

* "Net-Zero" energy impact on the city of San Francisco.

* "Less-Than-Zero" carbon emissions.

* A LEED([R]) Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council.

The design of the Transbay Transit Center follows a unique approach to high performance building design that provides a framework for determining system strategies that meet the goals and objectives of a project.

The foundation of these guiding principals has been defined by four pillars of sustainable design:

Reduction: The use of innovation to decrease the energy and water use typically required by "conventional" architecture and engineering design.

Reclamation: Capturing the embodied energy (and water) within the physical body of the facility and continually reusing these energy streams to offset the need for "new" energy.

Absorption: Creating physical architectural, mechanical and dynamic linkages between the built structure and the energies which flow around, through, over and under the building's structure. These energies are then converted into a "free" source of fuel for necessary functions within the facility. By capturing the energy of the sun, wind, rain and the earth, dependency on fossil fuels will be reduced.

Generation: In the United States, the existing electrical infrastructure is aging and inefficient. Our country's electricity is produced primarily by burning coal, which produces twice the CO2 levels compared to fuel oil, per unit of energy. By producing power onsite through the use of advanced technologies, the facility can produce energy for its own use. The net impact is the reduction of fossil fuel consumption and a decrease in the production of harmful "global warming" gases to our atmosphere.

The Team: Experience & Dedication

RGDC is a national owner, developer and manager of prestigious commercial real estate properties. In the approximately 75 years since its inception, RGDC has developed, leased and managed tens of millions of square feet of commercial real estate, including high-rise office towers, multi-use urban complexes, suburban office campuses, mixed-use business parks, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, foreign-trade zones, data centers and hotels. RGDC had a major role in the development of Embarcadero Center and Embarcadero Center West in San Francisco. RGDC currently has offices and properties in New York, New Jersey, California, and Florida with over 15 million square feet of space in various stages of development, including some $300 million of projects underway in California alone. Conversion Management Associates, Inc. is the local owners' representative.

"We commit ourselves and our resources unconditionally to work collaboratively with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), the community of neighbors and the City of San Francisco to create one of the world's most beautiful buildings in America's most beautiful city," said Jon Green, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rockefeller Group International.

Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is a multidisciplinary practice providing architecture, engineering, planning, interior design, and graphic design services. Deeply committed to the highest standards of design, technical, and management excellence, SOM has received more than 850 awards for quality, innovation and management. SOM is the only firm to have been twice recognized by the American Institute of Architects' Firm Award, the organizations' highest honor for a firm.

Since opening its San Francisco office in 1946, SOM has designed numerous urban plans and more than 40 buildings in the city. Several of these buildings -- including the Crown Zellerbach Building, the Alcoa Building, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Arena, and the International Terminal at The San Francisco International Airport -- are considered landmarks. The firm's recent and current projects include St. Regis Museum Hotel & Residences and 101 Second Street in San Francisco, the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland and the U.S. Embassy Complex in Beijing.

For more information about SOM as well as images of the proposed design, please visit:

For more information about RGDC, please visit:
Media: For more information and high-resolution imagery and animation,
please contact:
Kate O'Sullivan

Danny Miller
COPYRIGHT 2007 Business Wire
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 8, 2007
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