A rendering shows the future look of 3 Transamerica, the redesign and expansion of 545 Sansome St. Every floor will include outdoor terraces with tenants’ choice of a gym, conference room or lounge space. The makeover is designed by architect Norman Foster.
Foster + Partners
One of the historic buildings next to the Transamerica Pyramid and Redwood Park is set to get even more outdoor space, an enticing amenity for tenants in the post-COVID age.
Plans filed Thursday by owner Shvo call for a redesign and expansion of 545 Sansome St. that will feature outdoor terraces on every floor, designed by architect Norman Foster.
A rendering of 3 Transamerica, adjacent to the Transamerica Pyramid, shows the planned the outdoor terraces.
Foster + Partners
Shvo has begun work to modernize the interior of the Pyramid and is hoping for additional approval by the end of this year to roughly double 545 Sansome St. to around 100,000 square feet. The property will be rebranded as 3 Transamerica.
Michael Shvo, founder of Shvo, said the redesign of the building, plus an expansion of adjacent Redwood Park, made it a good fit for the pandemic age.
“Office tenants are even more interested and more keen to have outdoor space post-COVID,” said Shvo, who hopes to lease the building to one tenant.
The property will have customizable amenities depending on tenant preference, which could include a gym, conference room and lounge space, Shvo said.
Shvo said the redesign would be “complementary but shows the contrast of new and old.”
The 3 Transamerica project is part of a $400 million redevelopment of the Transamerica Pyramid block.
Foster + Partners
“I have always argued in favor of the reuse of historic structures, as a sustainable approach that continues the historic tradition of change, while preserving the spirit of the past. Three Transamerica is set to become a unique architectural addition to the Transamerica site, that is wholly of its place and time,” Foster said in a statement.
Foster’s previous work includes new additions to historic structures at Germany’s Reichstag and the Manhattan headquarters of Hearst, owner of The Chronicle.
Last week, Foster revealed its designs for JPMorgan Chase’s massive, new 1,388-foot-tall headquarters tower in Manhattan, which also features outdoor terraces. That project, which is under construction, replaced a 708-foot skyscraper on Park Avenue that was demolished.
This is the third effort to redevelop the 545 Sansome St. building, which was formerly headquarters of California Ink Co. More than a decade ago, former owner Aegon, parent of Transamerica Corp., wanted to replace it with a 430-foot condo tower. That effort moved through the Planning Commission but was ultimately rejected by the Board of Supervisors in 2010 amid neighborhood opposition.
A few years ago, Aegon proposed a similar office expansion at 545 Sansome, though with a different design. The plans weren’t approved before Shvo and its partners bought the building.
Shvo didn’t disclose what rents are being sought at 3 Transamerica, but previously said leases at the Pyramid have been signed over $100 per square foot annually, among the highest in the city.
San Francisco’s office vacancy rose again in the first quarter to 21.7%, a pandemic high, according to brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, evidence that leasing is still moribund despite some major employers returning to the office.
But Shvo said premium office properties are outperforming the market.
“I’m concerned for San Francisco as a city,” Shvo said. “I’m not concerned about the Transamerica Pyramid.”