Transbay Transit Center: Everything you need to know about it (updated)

Towering terminus humanizes neighborhood skyline by giving San Franciscans a rooftop park and event space

While the South Beach and Yerba Buena neighborhoods have grown up (and up, and up) over recent years, the new Transbay Transit Center—would-be crown jewel of the neighborhood and linchpin of a transportation network that will, should all go according to plan, one day stretch all the way to Los Angeles by rail—has been spreading.

At a modest five stories tall, instead of soaring up it’s been growing out, 1,400 feet from one end to the other, like a concrete giant that decided to lie down for a nap between Beale and Second streets.

As such, it’s almost impossible to appreciate the scale of the soon-to-be-finished first phase of the building until you step inside, like we did for a hard-hat tour with senior construction manager Dennis Turchon.

It’s been Turchon’s job to oversee a crew of 700-plus on-site workers putting the pieces together since 2012. Now he’s in the homestretch—the first phase of the station must be finished this year.

“It’s a concrete thing now—literally,” he says of watching plans long in the making become real.

The original Transbay Terminal was a Depression-era artifact—and quite a depression piece it was by the end of its life, rundown and seeing only a fraction of its former volume of commuters. 

The new project wants to be all things to all people: not just a bus and train station, but also an architectural display far removed from the hunkered-down concrete design of the old building, a treatise on innovation as the planned terminus for the state’s high-speed rail project, a Union Square-grade retail hub south of Market, and a centerpiece for South Beach as a neighborhood.

Or as the city and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority prefer to think of it, Transbay as a neighborhood. “It’s an entirely new neighborhood,” says facility manager Martha Aragon Velez. “How often does a city get to do something like that?”

If the transit center is going to succeed—not just as a business venture and a way of unifying the pieces of the region’s transit needs, but also as a building that confers definition and identity onto the surrounding blocks—its best asset is the PWP-designed park on the roof.

Not necessarily because of the landscape itself (although it is shaping up to be quite lovely), but simply because, as a wide-open perch high above the streets, the park gives San Franciscans a place from which to confront and relate to the changing skyline.

On one end, the Salesforce Tower protrudes audaciously into the sky. On the other, a few blocks away, the Gothic grandeur of the PacBell Building keeps its peace. Between them, San Francisco’s past and present spreads out in a panorama of architecture and history.

Critics of the new, taller San Francisco sometimes find its scale disconcerting. “Manhattan was always tall, [...] very antithetical to the idea of San Francisco’s connection with nature,” Jasper Rubin, chair of Urban Studies at San Francisco State, said of the skyline in 2015.

Indeed, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the scale of new construction from street level. 

But from the roof of the transit center, with the skyline spread out like a buffet on all sides, the new scene appears a little more accessible. It’s helpful being able to look at the city eye-to-eye again.

Here’s a peek at the work still being done, along with everything you need to know about the incoming transportation collaboration over the next six months:

  • The substantial completion date for the first phase is December 22, 2017. “But that doesn’t mean buses will be running that day,” cautions Turchon. Coordinating the comings and goings of all of the transit agencies will take time in itself, and bus service won’t happen until early 2018.
  • Though originally budgeted at $1.9 billion, Turchon tells Curbed SF the final price tag will end up just under $2.26 billion. 
  • The entire building will run over 1 million square feet, one-tenth of that consisting of retail space.
  • The Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which serves as developer on the project, formed back in 2001, nine years before demolition began on the old Transbay Terminal.
  • The original Transbay Terminal dated to 1939. The erection of the Bay Bridge combined with gas rationing during the war made the terminal extremely popular in the 1940s, serving 26 million people annually.
  • TJPA calculates that the new Transit Center will service more than 45 million passengers per year, or about 100,000 on an average weekday. All of those people are going to come in via a dozen transit agencies that will connect with the building.
  • Note, however, that 100,000 a day is a long-term goal, as some of the relevant agencies won’t connect to the station right away. In fact, some—those related to the state’s high-speed rail plans—don’t themselves even exist yet. 
  • Agencies include AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, WestCAT Lynx, Amtrak, Paratransit, and (fingers crossed) High Speed Rail.
  • The 1.3-mile Caltrain extension, bringing peninsula trains downtown instead of to their present Fourth Street terminus, will cost more than the entire first phase of the transit center ($2.6 billion), and has only just begun preliminary study. 
  • A planned BART pedestrian tunnel “will connect the east end of the Transit Center’s Lower Concourse with the BART/Muni Embarcadero Station” via a block-long passage under Beale Street.
  • But those rail-related plans are part of a planned second phase of construction, which hasn’t been budgeted or fully planned yet.
  • Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the firm behind Salesforce Tower, is the architect of record.
  • To avoid making transit spaces feel claustrophobic, the design incorporates as much natural light as possible, including the dramatic centerpiece light column. “[Even] on a dark winter day the light reflecting off the awning will light up the bus deck,” Turchon says, noting that the qualities of the light change distinctly with each season.
  • The design of the lacy awning surrounding the building (crews were preparing to install the final elements during our visit) borrows from geometric formulas of British mathematician Roger Penrose.
  • And it also takes on the character of the surrounding neighborhood. “It looks like it’s changing colors, because it’s reflecting the buildings around it,” Turchon points out.
  • The rooftop park is 5.4 acres, and measures some 1,400 feet from one end to the other. 
  • On top of green space, the park will include restaurants, a cafe, a playground, and an amphitheater for rooftop concerts and live performances.
  • Also, roughly 470 trees will be added. Turchon’s favorite: monkey puzzle.
  • Piling mountains of soil on top of a building like this wouldn’t be seismically sound, so inflexible building foam makes up most of the park’s foundation.
  • However, as Turchon pointed out, the trees need a base of real soil around their roots too, to keep water and nutrients from escaping.
  • TJPA anticipates that the entire project will create 27,000 regular new jobs in the city.
  • Transbay jobs related to transit center operations will run up a bill of some $20 million per year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier and Ross. “We expect to have an operating deficit” at first, TJPA executive director Mark Zabaneh told the paper.
  • But Transbay facility manager Martha Aragon Velez says she remains optimistic about filling retail space quick enough to fund building operations. “There’s only a 1 percent vacancy rate on this side of Market,” she told Curbed SF. “That shows a lot of pent-up demand.” Retail analysts Kidder Mathews estimated 1.8 percent retail vacancy citywide at the end of 2016.
  • All told, workers in 41 U.S. states have contributed something to the building, mostly via manufacturing. (The only states left out: South Dakota, Vermont, Maine, Montana, Wyoming, Virginia, Mississippi, Hawaii, and Alaska.)
  • The two 134-foot, 670,000-pound cranes used during the major construction themselves took two days to build from more than 100 pieces each.
  • Digging took up over a third of the construction time, from December 2011 to February 2014. More than 640,000 cubic yards of material came out of the ground.
  • The excavation went so deep that it dug down to the “Old Bay Clay” level of strata, the 130,000-year-old blue-green soil deposits that predate the last Ice Age.
  • Archaeological digs underneath the site revealed a variety of Gold Rush artifacts,including a surprising number of creepy broken dolls.
  • Also unearthed: The 13,000-year-old tooth of a Colombian mammoth, now part of the California Academy of Sciences collection. 
  • Almost all of the concrete from the destroyed original terminal ended up recycled.
  • A four-story, human-like statue built from leftovers from the old station was planned, but had to be scrapped as it ended up over budget.
  • The center features a mini eastern span of the Bay Bridge, which can be seen from Howard Street between Second and First.
  • Mixed-use tower 181 Fremont, featuring a $42 million penthouse, will open sometime in 2018.
  • A movement is afoot to change the Transbay Transit Center’s neighborhood from Yerba Buena/South Beach to the East Cut.
  • In July 2017, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) made the renaming of the Transbay Transit Center official. Both the transit hub and park will be known as the Salesforce Transit Center. The 25-year sponsorship cost the tech firm an estimated $110 million.
  • After the rechristening of the center was made official, SFMTA director Ed Reskin slammed the decision as “distasteful,” but was careful to add, “Every dollar we get privately helps us fulfill our public mission.”

Courtesy of Curbed San Francisco - BY ADAM BRINKLOW

OPEN HOUSE: Noe Valley Stunner!

575 28TH Street
San Francisco

SATURDAY June 17 - 2:00PM - 4:00PM
SUNDAY June 18 - 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Feel right at home in this stylishly remodeled Noe Valley residence offering a myriad of magnificent living and entertaining spaces spread over 4 spacious levels, all with sunny, south-facing decks, and a large backyard. With a modern take on Arts and Crafts style the sophisticated color palette and light filled rooms feel welcoming and stylish.

  • Unique opportunity to own a large five bedroom family home in the most sought-after neighborhood in the city
  • Stunning remodeled Noe Valley single family home
  • Five generous bedrooms and four full bathrooms (three ensuite)
  • Showcasing unobstructed Bay, hill and city skyline views
  • Kitchen features thick-cut Carrara marble, custom cabinetry and 6-burner Thermador stove
  • Kitchen flows to open plan family room and dining area with south-facing deck
  • Light-filled penthouse master suite with stunning views, fireplace, his and hers designer closets, double French doors to sunny, south-facing deck
  • Ultra-luxe spa bathroom with Carrara marble, deep soaking tub, double-sink vanity, view deck and separate laundry room and WC.
  • Spacious lower level with home theatre and office
  • In-law or au pair suite with separate sitting room and laundry room with washer dryer hook up
  • Recessed lighting throughout
  • Wine cellar crafted from reclaimed wood
  • Large backyard-access from all four levels
  • South facing sunny decks on every level
  • Two car parking side-by-side garage with interior access
  • Walking distance to Walter Hass Playground and Billy Goat Hill
  • Approximately 4,030 sqft.

OFFERED AT $3,495,000

OFF MARKET LISTING - Turnkey Luxury Living

Move right into this amazing water view luxury condo. Only your suitcase is needed! A serene atmosphere greets you upon entering this sophisticated one bedroom + den residence In the city's highly sought LUMINA. Designed by world-renowned team of Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica and Heller Manus Architects, LUMINA’s striking curves and angles capture the elegance and vibrancy of San Francisco's magnetic waterfront.

Every detail has been taken into consideration and designed for efficiency. Top notch quality and beautiful design make this home the perfect retreat.

Top shelf features include:

  • Gaggenau appliances
  • Premium Caesarstone quartz countertop and backsplash
  • Custom SieMatic kitchen cabinetry
  • Wide plank hardwood floors
  • Built-in cabinetry (with full size Murphy bed) by California Closets
  • Custom built in TV wall cabinet with 72’ Samsung television and Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • Motorized window treatments
  • Custom lighting
  • Bosch washer and dryer
  • Double vanity with Volakas marble counter-top
  • European porcelain flooring and shower tiles
  • Indulgent MAAX soaking tub
  • Smart NEST Learning Thermostat
  • Designer paint colors
  • HOA $1,013.49 per month

Access to a wide array of amenities includes a 24-hour doorman, state-of-the-art fitness center with a climbing wall, two private exercise studios, spa facilities with a private treatment room, 75-foot lap pool, landscaped rooftop terrace with barbecue facilities and outdoor screen, bi-level club lounge, theater-style private screening room, private dining room. High touch valet technology allows residents to summon their car remotely. 24/7 valet parking service. One parking space.

A brilliant take on premier living in San Francisco. Located on San Francisco's Embarcadero promenade, the Ferry Building, Financial District, Union Square, and AT&T Park are nearby.  Owners enjoy convenient access to the Bay Bridge, Bay Area highway ramps, BART, and SF Muni.

Condominium can be purchased fully furnished.

Offered at $1,695,000

South Beach

Bordered by the Financial District, Mission Bay and SOMA the South Beach neighborhood in San Francisco has transformed into exceptional towers packed with contemporary apartments and luxurious penthouses. Trendy clubs and chic cafes now permeate the area. The vicinity boasts picturesque views of the bay and prides itself on being one of the cleanest sections of San Francisco. South Beach serves as home to the San Francisco Giants, giving fans plenty of reasons to cheer them on at AT&T Park.

The Neighborhood

Please fill out form or call me at 415.450.8465 for more information.

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Kona Coast Retreat

Kona Coast Retreat

Nicole Hollis

Nicole Hollis

Sleek Sophistication

Operating from a brilliant light filled atelier in the San Francisco design district, Nicole Hollis imbues her designs with the sleek sophistication of a knowing and seasoned practitioner. Whether gathering inspiration from the vineyards of the Napa valley or the tropical breezes of the Hawaiian islands, Nicole seamlessly blends the alchemy of site and design. I had the recent chance to catch up with Nicole in her brimming studio to discuss her tireless pursuit of inspired collaboration with her designers and clients and the inspiration she draws from her good fortune to live with her family in the former Pacific Heights home of Julia Morgan.






When did you know that interior design would be your creative path?

Nicole Hollis: I was 12 years old and visited friends’ houses in Palm Beach. These beautiful interiors inspired me and I knew from that moment that I wanted to create unique spaces for people to live in.

You came out of Howard Backen’s office to establish your own interior design firm. What did you learn while working with Howard?

NH: Howard can simplify the complex for any client with great charm. The flow of his residential spaces are inspiring and he is always thinking about the context of his architecture.

In the Napa Valley, seasoned locals say you have elevated the time honored Backen look. What do you love about working in the wine country?

NH: We continue to be inspired by Howard’s architecture and interpret the interiors through another lens. Wine country mixes awe-inspiring terrain with pioneering attitudes. Napa Valley continues to integrate old with new in every aspect. This makes it one of the most interesting places to design.

Your husband, Lewis Heathcote, is your business partner. What surprised you about him when you two developed a professional relationship?

NH: He and I have been working together for fifteen years so our working relationship has been evolutionary. My biggest surprise is how well we continue to bounce new ideas off each other.

What type of culture have you developed in your office?

NH: We focus on a culture of “we” not “I”, so it’s collaborative and supportive working environment with clients, architects, contractors, artists, and craftspeople.

Kona Island Residence

Kona Island Residence

Who is you perfect client?

NH: We’ve had a lot of really great clients that can give us a sense of what they think they’d like and then grant us the time and space to elevate that concept into something they couldn’t have imagined.

Do you have a creative routine or process?

NH: I do and I don’t. My process is to keep breaking up the process so I can see everything from different angles and continue to be surprised.

You recently collaborated with Brooks Walker on a Tiburon home. What was your experience like working together?

NH: The house is beautiful and stands as a testament to working with Brooks and his team. He truly understands how to listen to clients, collaborate with other parties and that the best idea always wins.

You and your family are fortunate to live in Julia Morgan’s old home on Divisadero Street. Does her spirit inspire you?

NH: Yes I think about her a lot. I cannot begin to imagine the hurdles she had to overcome in the early 20th century as a woman in design. I think of her coming home and ruminating over her projects and how I sit in the same spot, inspired by her.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

NH: The natural world is of great inspiration to me. I’m also constantly drawn to fashion design.

Who are your design idols?

NH: Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, and Ilse Crawford

Favorite weekend getaway?

NH: We were married in Big Sur and it continues to pull us in.

When were you the happiest?

NH: My two children honestly have excellent senses of humor so there isn’t a week that goes by that we’re not belly laughing with them. That’s hard to top.

The Buchanan Hotel San Francisco

The Buchanan Hotel San Francisco


Many thanks to Nichole Hollis, Katherine Nelson, and Avery Carmassi for working with Joseph Lucier and I on this feature!


In 1962, architect Norman Gilroy rejected the notion that San Francisco’s historic buildings should be sacrificed in the name of progress. 1818 Broadway, a mansion that Willis Polk designed for Dr. Francis Moffitt in 1914, was slated to be razed for an apartment complex. It’s owners agreed to sell Gilroy the mansion if he moved it off the site.

1818 Broadway shown in its original location.

1818 Broadway shown in its original location.

After several months of negotiating for financing and for building transportation permits at both ends of the move, Moffitt Mansion was ready to journey to the property of some partners on Belvedere Island, which was 15 land and sea miles away across the bay. Using a chainsaw, workers literally sliced the 15-room mansion into two neat sections, each 30 feet high, 35 by 40 feet on plan, and weighing 85-100 tons.

"If you hear this particular whistle, don’t think: just run, the foreman warned. As the first house section moved onto the steep Franklin Street hill, its full weight suddenly canted onto its front dolly. With a scream like a train whistle, the impact tore a one inch steel box beam in two, knocking a two-foot hole in the street. Movers scattered like rabbits."


This half of a house is ready to go! Ayen Movers claims this was the “largest and most complicated moving job ever attempted in San Francisco” It required 30-foot-vertical street clearances, navigating a 2.5 mile route through a congested area, and an elevation drop of 185 feet. Completed at night to avoid disrupting traffic, the move required lowering transit and power lines at several major street intersections to allow the sections to pass.

Here, workers jack the house up at 3:30am.

Here, workers jack the house up at 3:30am.

It required 30-foot-vertical street clearances, navigating a 2.5 mile route through a congested area, and an elevation drop of 185 feet.

“If you hear this particular whistle, don’t think: just run, the foreman warned. As the first house section moved onto the steep Franklin Street hill, its full weight suddenly canted onto its front dolly. With a scream like a train whistle, the impact tore a one inch steel box beam in two, knocking a two-foot hole in the street. Movers scattered like rabbits."

Time spent waiting for the right weather conditions was not wasted. This photograph shows the two sections being weather proofed for their sea journey. Meanwhile, temporary tracks and a ramp were being built to slide the building halves over the seawall onto the barge for transport.

A close-up shot of the track to the barge shows the amount of work and detail that went into building the ramp to slide the buildings from land to barge. A similar ramp for unloading was later built on the other side of the bay. With one of the halves of the Moffitt Mansion in the distance, it is easy to appreciate the immense size and scope of the project.

A close-up shot of the track to the barge shows the amount of work and detail that went into building the ramp to slide the buildings from land to barge. A similar ramp for unloading was later built on the other side of the bay. With one of the halves of the Moffitt Mansion in the distance, it is easy to appreciate the immense size and scope of the project.

In this shot, the house and barge with its tug captained by Master Mariner John Seaborne, is leaving the San Francisco shoreline for Belvedere Island. The trip will take one full day battling wind and tides in the Golden Gate all the way. The follow up positioning and siting work was left to Ayen house movers, and contractors were hired to restore and reconstruct the residence and landscape grounds.

In this shot, the house and barge with its tug captained by Master Mariner John Seaborne, is leaving the San Francisco shoreline for Belvedere Island. The trip will take one full day battling wind and tides in the Golden Gate all the way. The follow up positioning and siting work was left to Ayen house movers, and contractors were hired to restore and reconstruct the residence and landscape grounds.

West Shore Blvd

On West Shore Road, the sections were lowered into place on newly poured concrete foundations. The view shows the house after the halves were rejoined. Amazingly, the gap between the sections was exactly the width of the first chainsaw cut made on Broadway. The original Polk drawings, found walled up in the house, guided the restoration, and damaged pilasters and moldings were replaced with plaster casts and high-quality modern-day hand carving.

The Moffitt Mansion move is testimony to how an idealistic gamble by a single architect inspired others to preserve important buildings for posterity. Without Norman Gilroy’s vision and determination to convince city officials that historic houses could still be moved and preserved, the later rescue and restoration of many Painted Lady Victorians in the Western Addition might never have happened.

This interior shot captures just one room of the residence’s restored glory.

This interior shot captures just one room of the residence’s restored glory.

8 West Shore Blvd today!

8 West Shore Blvd today!




SOLD: Marina Private Garden Condo!

“It was a pleasure working with Stacey. She was able to bring in the right stagers and marketing strategy to quickly sell the property well beyond our asking price and expectations. We would certainly recommend her and we hope to work with her again in the future.” --- Robert and Stephanie

Seller Represented - $945,000

Need help with selling your home? Call me so we can get started. 415.450.8465

SOLD: Luminous Lumina

LUMINA is the epitome of an urban oasis in vibrant South Beach and steps away from the Embarcadero. Enlightened Living on the bay and a brilliant take on San Francisco's cosmopolitan lifestyle.

I am thrilled for my clients who now have a two bedroom condo with top notch modern interiors framed by expansive windows that showcase their majestic vistas of the city.

Buyer Represented - $1,680,000

Need help finding your perfect home? Call me so we can get started. 415.450.8465


Vision of a Modern Skyline

In a forest of cranes punctuating our rapidly evolving skyline, the hand of Glenn Rescalvo of Handel Architects shines through. Rescalvo's signature Millennium Tower ushered in a new era of elegant high rise design in 2009 and set a high watermark for the building boom that was soon to come in San Francisco.  As a native San Franciscan, Glenn's knowledge and love of the city's diverse neighborhood culture gives developers the necessary viewpoint to build informed architecture that responds to and enhances the lives of the city's residents.  With projects in over fifteen neighborhoods including The Pacific at 2121 Webster, the new Millennium Partners tower at 706 Mission, and the boutique 240 Pacific located in the historic Jackson Square district, Glenn is charged with a diverse stewardship as his native environment takes new shape.  
Our time together with Glenn at Handel's Market Street offices reveals a man who has a deep love for his hometown of San Francisco, a dreamer's vision for shaping the city's modern skyline, and a grown up kid influenced by his father's passion for exposing him to great architecture at a young age.

CaenLucier: When did you know that you wanted to be an architect?



Glenn Rescalvo: I knew quite early in life that I loved design, especially the lines and shapes of cars like Porsches and Corvettes as well as the designs of modern objects coming out of Italy and Germany. I actually thought of going into industrial design at one point, but because my father was an architect, I was very exposed to building design and construction and it soon became part of my day-to-day life.  Where we traveled was usually chosen by the availability of great architecture.  At the age of seven my father took me to Brasilia to see Oscar Niemeyer's incredible work. It is something I will never forget.

CL: As a native San Franciscan, how do you feel your “home town” status reflects your approach as an architect during this historic boom?

GR: Being a native San Franciscan has its pluses and minuses. First of all, I'm very passionate about this city.  I love the topography, the climate, and the culture of what true San Francisco stands for. Yet many times I'm frustrated that we don't take better care of it and help it grow to become an even greater city. Having the opportunity to live in New York, I was able to witness how government and private interest can work together to create positive change. I don't see enough of that process in San Francisco and I really hope that we can improve upon it.

As an architect here, I always strive to help improve the level of architecture, but, just as importantly, I am passionate about improving the pedestrian realm. Creating great architecture is rewarding only if the project responds appropriately to its contextual place. Collectively as city, we need to improve on our streets, sidewalks and green spaces. New York City has done an amazing job of bettering its streets and providing green spaces throughout the city. I hope that, as we continue to grow, our goals will include improving the public realm through a mix of government and private development.


"Creating great architecture is rewarding only if the project responds appropriately to its contextual place"

CL: Is San Francisco’s skyline getting more interesting with the Transbay Terminal Authority specifically overseeing the design approval process as opposed to the SF Planning Department being involved?

GR: Absolutely!  The skyline has improved tremendously, yet it is critical that these selected authorities continue to maintain the level of integrity and respectfulness to the design profession as they have done so far. To this point, I truly miss the existence of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency which, in my personal opinion, was a tremendous tour de force allowing for great place making for creative architecture to occur.  The Yerba Buena Gardens districtis an excellent case in point.  Ten years from now, I believe the Transbay Terminal district will be another "jewel" of the city.

706 Mission Completion 2019

706 Mission Completion 2019

CL: What scale of residential design are you most enjoying working on at the moment?

GR: It’s difficult to say. I really love designing tall buildings and the gesture they can make to a city's skyline and urban form. More recently, we have been involved on much smaller scale projects. They have been very rewarding and exciting to work on, primarily because of the scale and interplay of spaces and the involved detailing.

CL: When you dream of creating the perfect residential project where would it be, how would it look, and what materials would you use?

GR: Blessed with amazing topography, San Francisco offers so many great opportunities for creating beautiful architecture.  If given the choice of where to design a residential project, I would choose a site in Sea Cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Mt. Tamalpias, and Golden Gate Bridge.  It doesn't get any better than that!  The design would be contemporary with clean lines, but not cold or ultra-static. I would use a combination of natural materials ranging from a variety of woods, polished and raw concrete and vernacular stones. The design and material would embrace the landscape and the two would become one. Room locations, window placement, and outdoor spaces would all be established based on the movement of the sun and prevailing winds. Large overhangs with floor-to-ceiling glass space would also be key features.

The Pacific Pacific Heights

CL: Tell us about working with Trumark Urban on their new project, The Pacific at 2121 Webster

GR: This was our first project with Trumark. In this particular case, I would have to say that the stars were aligned. Both Trumark Urban and Handel Architects saw this development as a unique opportunity knowing it had to be executed extraordinarily well on all levels. One of the key factors to the success of this development was the fact that there would never be an opportunity to build anything this tall in Pacific Heights ever again. Not only was this an existing 9-story structure, it was structurally sound with a parking garage and 12' floor to floors offering with extraordinary views of the Golden Gate Bridge,  Mt. Tamalpias, and the Pacific Ocean.  With all of these factors, the process of team work and collaboration was quite seamless. Not only did the architecture need to be unique and refined, but, given the demographic and the quality one would expect to find in Pacific Heights, it was just as important that the interiors evoke a certain level of sophistication and elegance.  Trumark has been great to work with as they visualized the end product and never hesitated. They simply wanted to make this project better than anything on the market, which certainly made our job very rewarding.

"When we began designing 240 Pacific, we knew that we needed to be extremely sensitive and cognizant of the history and urban fabric of the district."

CL: Jackson Square is such a beloved historic district in the city.  What decisions did you make to integrate 240 Pacific into its L shaped lot and maintain a dialogue with the surrounding buildings?

GR: When we began designing 240 Pacific, we knew that we needed to be extremely sensitive and cognizant of the history and urban fabric of the district. We wanted our design to embrace the location's history and elevate the quality of the neighborhood by creating a design that was contemporary yet sophisticated and contextual.  Historically known as the Barbary Coast, this area of San Francisco was one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. The site sits on the northeast corner of Pacific and Battery where the Old Ship Saloon, dating back to 1851, anchors the corner. The Saloon became one of the key components to a variety of design decisions made for the project.  The use of masonry brick for the exterior facade relates the project to its neighbors.  We felt it was extremely important to maintain a level of continuity not only with the Old Ship Saloon at foreground of our project, but with most of the existing neighboring structures in the district. As we developed the design, we strategically proportioned the window openings and materials to resemble that of the surrounding environment.

240 Pacific Historic Jackson Square District

CL: Where do you like to spend time away from work?                                                       

GR: I either like to be in the mountains skiing or on the ocean. When I travel to other cities - as great as it is - my mind is always working, absorbing images and ideas, and I'm not really relaxing.  When I'm either in the mountains or on the ocean, I have more time to reflect and be inspired.

CL: Favorite restaurants? 

GR: Cotogna and Spruce.

CL: What are you reading now?  

GR: The White Eskimo by Stephen Brown and The Four Quartet by Joseph Ellis

CL: What would you be doing professionally if you were not an architect? 

GR: Early on I really wanted to be a veterinarian.  I love animals and always had a way with them. Maybe next time around!

CL: Blondes or Brunettes…?

GR: Diversity is the best way to live life, but final answer...brunettes

SOLD: Inner Richmond Hidden Treasure!

A detached house in San Francisco! Completely remodeled three bedroom, two and half bath hidden treasure tucked away from the bustle of city life.

My client immediately fell in love with this home and I am absolutely thrilled that we stood out in a very competitive situation. Quick thinking and strong negotiation skills allowed my client to have her dream home!!

Buyer Represented - $1,975,000

Need help finding your perfect home or are you ready to sell? Call me so we can get started. 415.450.8465

Four Spirits and a Sunny Victorian

Atherton Mansion at 1990 California Street

1990 California Street Pacific Heights

1990 California Street Pacific Heights

In 1860, Atherton moved to California. One of his numerous real estate purchases was his estate in San Mateo County, which he called Valparaiso Park. The land now forms much of present-day Atherton. Atherton married Dominga de Goñi, daughter of a prominent Chileno family. They had seven children, among them George H. Bowen, who later married Gertrude Franklin Horn, one of California's most important authors.

Atherton was a notorious womanizer and traveled often. This alienated his wife and family. His wife, Dominga de Goñi, was forced to take charge of the estate and found she much enjoyed the power she wielded. This was unfortunate for their son George, as he often bore the brunt of his mother's dominance.

After Atherton's death, Dominga de Goñi left Fair Oaks (later known as Atherton) and moved into the city. She built the Atherton Mansion at 1990 California on the corner of Octavia and California streets in the exclusive Pacific Heights district in 1881. Dominga de Goñi lived there with her son George and his strong willed wife Gertrude. George was somewhat of an embarrassment to the socially prominent Athertons, and the two strong-willed women with whom he lived constantly called his manhood into question.

In 1887, George found his living situation unbearable and he accepted an invitation to sail to Chile. Ostensibly he was going to visit friends, but in actuality he sought to prove his mettle and earn a place of honor in his family much like his father before him.

The trip proved to be his undoing. George Atherton developed kidney problems during the voyage and died. The ship's captain preserved George's remains by storing the body in a barrel of rum, which was shipped back to the Atherton household several weeks later. However, there was no indication that the cask contained anything more than rum and when it was opened by the Atherton's butler there was quite a stir caused by the sight of his former master.

The ship’s captain preserved George’s remains by storing the body in a barrel of rum, which was shipped back to the Atherton household several weeks later.

George's body was dried out and buried, but shortly thereafter, his spirit apparently decided to avenge itself on the women who'd tormented him in life. Dominga de Goñi and Gertrude reported being awakened at night by knocks at their bedroom doors and by a cold and disturbing presence. The phenomenon grew so troublesome that Dominga de Goñi sold the mansion and moved out. Subsequent tenants also have been unsettled by phantom knockings and roaming cold spots. None stayed very long.

That is until 1923, when the property was purchased by an eccentric Carrie Rousseau. She lived exclusively in the house's ball room surrounded by more than 50 cats until her death in 1974 at the age of 93. Since then the mansion has been remodeled into several apartments. However, the manifestations still occur. Residents report moving cold spots, wind blowing through closed rooms, voices in the night, and knocking sounds.

A séance conducted by Sylvia Brown identified several spirits active in the house. Three were female spirits, "who just don't like men," and a "frail" male spirit. She believes the home is still haunted by the ghosts of Dominga de Goñi, George, and Gertrude Atherton, and Carrie Rousseau.

1990 California Ball Room

NEW LISTING: Marina Private Garden Condo

Walk to everything! A+ Location!
Offered at $825,000

Built in 1993, this attractive 1 bed and 1 bath condominium is located in the heart of the vibrant and sought after Marina district. Accessed through an exclusive foyer or directly from a private garage, this garden condominium offers a tranquil place to come home amidst the bustle of city living. This open plan unit is enhanced by hardwood floors, new carpeting, and a convenient kitchen for entertaining. A spacious bedroom and double vanity bathroom offer comfortable living in this quintessential Marina home. The serene garden and patio are perfect for relaxing and has ample space for an outdoor BBQ.  

The Palace of Fine Arts and Marina Green are just two short blocks for outdoor recreation.  The fashionable boutiques and restaurants of Chestnut Street are just steps away.  Convenient access to public transportation and the Golden Gate Bridge make this the perfect location for work and play.  


  • 1 Bedroom & 1 Bath
  • Private garage with extra storage space
  • Private entrance
  • Serene garden
  • Jacuzzi tub
  • Intercom
  • New lighting
  • In unit washer/dryer
  • Office nook
  • Large closets
  • Professionally managed building

Marina District

This hip area of the city is a veritable mecca for young professionals enjoying their initial years out of college, young families and long time residents who have called the Marina their home for decades. Marina real estate enjoys access to excellent shopping and cafes along Chestnut Street, making Marina the ideal place to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon. More active residents can head to the Marina Green, a large stretch of grass along the water, popular with runners and latte-sipping dog walkers. The Marina is also home to the popular Palace of Fine Arts, a popular and educational tourist destination.

The Neighborhood



For more information, please call Stacey Caen at 415.450.8465 or fill out the form below. Thank you!

Name *

SOLD: Breathtaking Bridge View!

Drop dead Bay Bridge views take center stage in this beautiful two bedroom two bath condo at The Harrison. Designer Ken Fulk chose a neutral palette to help showcase the breathtaking views while using top quality materials.

My clients started their year off with a New Year's Eve party and enjoyed the amazing fireworks. They are absolutely thrilled with their new home.

Buyer Represented - $2,264,000

Need help finding your perfect home? Call me so we can get started. 415.450.8465

SOLD: Perfection in Noe Valley

Beloved Noe Valley Four Bedroom Home

Buyer Represented: $2,225,000

"Stacey is the best. She was knowledgeable and savvy throughout the whole process. It was my first time buying a house - she listened to my needs and found me the perfect place. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a place in the city."


Telegraph Hill City View Stunner!


Glorious modern 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car parking unit in prime Telegragh Hill location. Be wowed by the city views including Saints Peter and Paul Church from the living room and porch. The main level has great natural light and offers an open floor plan ideal for entertaining, including a gourmet kitchen, living room with gas fireplace, formal dining room and large full bath. Downstairs you will find a large pre-wired media room/office/family room, second bedroom, full bath and laundry closet. Wired for sound, lovely front porch, and large beautifully maintained shared garden complete this unit. Coveted location with close proximity to North Beach shops, restaurants and Washington Square.


  • Sirkin TIC agreement in well-funded 6 unit building
  • Rebuilt building in 2008 with seismic upgrades, all new systems (electrical and plumbing) Double-paned windows
  • Fantastic city views
  • In-unit laundry
  • Approximately 1,680 sq.ft. per survey
  • Lots of closet space and private additional storage
  • Wired for sound
  • 2 car tandem parking in garage
  • Walkscore 98: Walkers paradise I Transit score 93: Riders paradise
  • HOA dues: $344.
  • Pet Friendly


SOLD: Outer Richmond Beach Beauty

771 41st Avenue

Sometimes it takes patience!!

Stacey was an absolute pleasure to work with in obtaining our new home.  She stuck with us for the long haul as we were searching for a home in a competitive neighborhood and price range.  We found her to be attentive, thorough, responsive, persistent and compassionate throughout our search efforts.  She went the extra mile several times and her efforts and commitment to us landed us a house even dreamier than we ever anticipated. Our purchase was a nerve-racking process for me and Stacey was there to talk me through it at each point.  She made it clear that we were a priority for her, that she was there for us as a resource and advocate and that she had our best interests at heart. Additionally she offered invaluable help to us during our moving process, which was truly above and beyond the call of duty. We’re so grateful to Stacey and so happy in our new home. She is a gem of a person and an excellent professional in her field. --- Liz and Jeremy

Coffee Dan's - Open all Night

“There will be dancing to the tinkle of a piano; there will be songs and it will never, never close, not even for fire!

No one should forget San Francisco’s riotous Coffee Dan’s. The original club opened in 1879 as a cabaret located in the basement below Daniel Davis’ restaurant on the southeast corner of Sutter and Kearny. After the earthquake and fire of 1906, Dan moved his club to Powell and O’Farrell Streets. Like its predecessor, it opened for breakfast, serving customers long past dinner with entertainers that belied the apparent low station of the café. Posh city magazine The Wasp proclaimed Coffee Dan’s the rendezvous for San Francisco’s elite in their May 20, 1916 issue.

Coffee Dan's O'Farrell Street
Coffee Dan

Coffee Dan

Dan died in 1917 and son John Davis took over management. It was Prohibition and Coffee Dan’s was now a “ham & egger.” Ham & egger was code for a speakeasy, and Dan’s sold more ham and eggs than anyone in the city. Access was via a slide down to the basement level at the first location. Ladies with skirts and dresses soon learned of the slide’s pitfalls, requiring that special Coffee Dan’s grip. Some used the stairs made available for the less adventuresome.

The nighttime entertainment was great jazz, offering far more than just good liquor. Frank Shaw performed at Coffee Dan’s. The club also featured John Davis’ wife, Ruby Adams, an incomparable jazz singer. Small wooden mallets were provided for applause, and the tables took a beating. The dishware was cheap and breaking dishes signaled the highest level of appreciation. Calling for service also required rapping on the table with a mallet or dish. Hold your coffee cup below table level, and a waiter would fill it from his hip flask.

Dan’s gained international fame when featured in 1927’s early talkie, The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson. Frank Shaw recording of A Night at Coffee Dan’s in 1928, captured the spirit of the club.

Leveraging off the fame, Davis opened Coffee Dan’s houses in Los Angeles and aimed for New York, Detroit and Cleveland. San Francisco’s Coffee Dan’s relocated to the famous 430 Mason Street address, just off Geary and below the Cable Car Theatre in 1932 after Davis lost his lease. All remained as it was: slide, hammers and entertainment.

The club went legitimate after the repeal of prohibition but retained the fun and nighttime entertainment. It still claimed the title as the noisiest joint in the city throughout its existence and was a favorite of sailors in WWII. Coffee Dan’s remained open through the 1950s, and then slipped away with minimal clatter.

Today, the club at 430 Mason is known as Slide, a modern day speakeasy that celebrates its predecessor at that location.





When work morphs with life, you need to grab your own perks. This stunning 1430 sq. ft. loft style two bedroom, two bath luxury apartment is airy and sleek with clean lines and artisan finishes and 9 1/2 foot high ceilings! Exclusive SKYVUE lounge access, upgraded interior finishes, energy efficient including dual-pane windows, private balcony, city and bay views. Easy access to downtown, CalTrain, freeways and SFO. A MUST SEE!!


  • Spacious master suite with plush carpeting and custom closet systems
  • Upgraded stainless-steel kitchen appliance package
  • Luxe bathrooms one with dual vanity sinks; ceramic tile flooring and tub surrounds
  • In home laundry room with full-size washers and dryers
  • State-of the-art keyless front door entry
  • Designated parking for an additional $350.00
  • Deposit only $1,000.00



TOP NOTCH building amenities that include:

FIRM, BURN, BALANCE - a three-level fitness experience

AIRE - open air pool and outdoor area to take advantage of the sunniest part of the city

iLINK - a business center that's fully wired and designed for productivity

CONFERENCE - a conference room for business meetings and social gatherings

THE HUB, STADIUM, VUE, ENTERTAIN - three view lounges with kitchens, dining and casual seating

CONNECT - a media theater perfect for big sports events and movie nights

PUPPY LOVE - a dog washing station

PANACHE - exclusive to you and the residents on the top floor feature upgraded finishes, spectacular views and an exclusive SKYVUE lounge

Contact: Stacey Caen for more information
Sotheby's International Realty


3 Bedroom 3.5 Bath - $17,125 PER MONTH

Welcome home to your amazing 3 bedroom 3.5 bath 2,220 sq. ft. luxury penthouse with stunning Bay Bridge, waterfront and harbor views. PH1 at 399 Fremont exemplifies luxury living with the finest finishes, fixtures and design.

Upon entrance into your impressive foyer, you will immediately feel at home and know that you have entered into a special place. You will be engaged as you enter the light filled living room that showcases the breathtaking views through floor to ceiling ventilated windows.

The European style kitchen is equipped with a Thermador refrigerator, 5 burner gas range stove, microwave and dishwasher. A Uline wine cooler, Snaidero cabinetry and quartz counter tops. The kitchen has dual access to the living room and dining room for the ultimate entertaining experience.

The spacious master bedroom has jaw dropping Bay Bridge Views, lush carpet and his and her custom-built walk in closets. The Master Bath is beautifully designed with a dual vessel vanity sink and large soaking tub. The additional two bedrooms have on-suite bathrooms, ample closet space and the same amazing views. Designed for your comfort you have individually controlled heating and air conditioning controls and a full size LG washer and dryer.

The hallways, kitchen, living room and dining room all have beautiful Kember walnut hardwood floors and this beautiful Southeast home comes with two balconies to display the twinkling Bay Bridge view at night.

Penthouse Benefits

  • Dedicated concierge phone line for penthouse residents
  • Complimentary daily newspaper delivered to your door
  • In-home package and dry cleaning delivery
  • Weekly light housekeeping
  • Complimentary wine storage
  • Immediate complimentary access to 1GB of high-speed internet
  • Restricted floor access
  • Penthouse only access to private swim time
  • Unlimited access to Sky View Lounge when not reserved for private events
  • Invitation to 399 Club events
  • Priority reservations and discounted fees for private Sky View Lounge use
  • Usage of the 399 guest suite for four nights per year free of charge
  • First access bookings to future dates for 399 guest suite and amenity spaces

399 Fremont Amenities

  • 25,000 square feet of spacious splendor
  • Picturesque 5th floor veranda
  • Fully equipped outdoor kitchen with gas grilles
  • A full size lap pool and whirlpool spa
  • Expansive entertainment areas including Cabana Lounge
  • Multiple state-of-the art conference rooms
  • A complete catering kitchen along with private dining room and on-site wine storage
  • World-class health and wellness features which include state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga studio, spin/on-demand exercise room, massage/mani/pedi room and childcare room.
  • Commissioned art pieces by world renowned artists
  • Professionally trained full service concierge available 24/7
  • Pet friendly atmosphere and dog park
  • Fleet of custom Public bicycles handmade in San Francisco and exclusive to 399 Fremont, our Concierge Service will meet you in our lobby when you are ready to hit the road.


2 Bedroom - $13,530
2 Bedroom + Den - $14,905
3 Bedroom - $15,955

Contact: Stacey Caen for more information
Sotheby's International Realty

399 Fremont Street is a brand new, distinctive 42-story property offers a best-in-class combination of features, including sweeping views, luxurious finishes spacious residences and more than an abundance of upscale amenities. Sophistication-meets-sustainability with design, art and lifestyle amenities created specifically for the discerning urban dweller in San Francisco's new vibrant center. This LEED Silver-certified building is within walking distance of many attractions, shopping and transportation options.

SOLD: Elegant 1920's Condo

609 22nd Avenue

609 22nd Avenue

From TIC to Condo to SOLD!!!!

“As a first time home buyer, Stacey gave me the extra attention and support I needed throughout the whole process. She was thorough, knowledgeable, and patient. While I got very lucky with my property, it was a complicated one and Stacey’s perseverance and positivity got us through all the ups and downs. I would absolutely recommend working with Stacey, she will give it her all! ” --- Stephanie Tang