A new 400-unit luxury apartment complex is being converted from a high-rise office building in the San Francisco Civic Center.
The 29 story former office building was originally constructed in 1974, serving as the headquarters for the California State Automobile Association.
This conversion development is being performed by Emerald Fund. Included in the conversion is the complete removal of the existing exterior concrete facade to the more modern and open look of glazing.
The removal of all four concrete exterior walls of a 400 foot building is not a small endeavor. It requires methodical cracking and removal of small sections using numerous cranes.
Additionally, there are numerous building code requirements that must be addressed when converting a 1974 high-rise office building into a newly code compliant residential complex.
New high rise residencies are required to be provided with a complete automatic sprinkler system to control a fire in its early stages, a fire alarm system to notify occupants to evacuate the building, a smoke control system to limit the smoke spread in the building, fire service access elevators to allow firefighters to quickly and (more) safely respond to a high-rise fire, 1-hour rated corridors to allow occupants a higher level of safety when using the exit access, pressurized stairs to prevent smoke from entering the stairs while occupants are evacuating, and 2-hour rated exit enclosures to ensure the hot gases from a fire won’t enter the stairs.
Emerald fund could have opted to spend less than $50 million in restoring the building as an office facility but is well aware of the high demand for additional residences in San Francisco and chose, instead, to invest approximately $200 million to convert the building to residencies. The commitment they have shown to understanding its need and improving the city of San Francisco, as a whole, should not go unrecognized.