Commercial property

Brookfield Properties Completes $1 Billion Mixed-Use Project in San Francisco

Mayor London Breed addresses the crowd at the opening ceremony of 5M. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Sheffer

Brookfield Propertiesin partnership with Hearst Corp., has completed construction on 5M, a $1 billion mixed-use development in San Francisco’s SoMa. An opening ceremony was held on March 1, attended by municipal representatives, arts organizations and community groups.

Started in 2019 and completed in February last year, 5M is billed as a cultural arts district by developers and includes a 25-story office building, an apartment building, a park and three restored historic buildings. Spread over 4 acres, the project is bounded by Mission, Howard and 5th streets. In addition to office, multi-family and retail space, 5M also has space dedicated to arts, culture and education.


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“From affordable housing to new outdoor space and cultural programming, this community-led project addresses a wide range of neighborhood needs that have too long been overlooked,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. addressing the crowd at the inauguration ceremony. The event also included a performance by PUSH Dance Co.

The project created 1,200 construction jobs, according to Brookfield. SITELAB Urban Studio was the principal urban designer for the 5M Master Plan and led public realm planning efforts. Fox by Kohn Pedersen worked in partnership with SITELAB for the masterplan.

SoMa’s new mixed-use destination

415 Natoma office building. Photo by Kyle Jeffers, courtesy of KPF

The developers have constructed three new buildings on the site. One of them is the 415 Natoma office tower, offering 640,000 square feet of rental space. Its first 10 floors offer an average of 36,000 square feet per floor, with ceiling heights of 14 and 15 feet. The Class A tower was designed by KPF with House & Robertson Architects and includes features that promote interaction at street level. Its lobby will include retail and restaurants. The developers are aiming for LEED Gold certification for the 415 Natoma. According to business advantage data, the building was the subject of a $393 million loan, provided by United Overseas Bank in 2020.

Home management platform Bug announced last month that it had signed a lease for an entire floor at 415 Natoma, totaling 20,000 square feet.

The partnership also redesigned two buildings, which now provide an additional 200,000 square feet of office space. One of the structures is the historic San Francisco Chronicle building, where the media organization will maintain its presence.

The newly constructed park totals 26,100 square feet and includes a performance area, children’s play area, and dog play area. Community programming is set to begin this spring, with events, performances, art and food, among many other activities. The parks at 5M have been estimated at $20 million in development. Cliff Lowe Associates and !melk provided landscape architecture services for the open spaces.

“The themes of industry, innovation, reinvention and community are central to the history and evolution of SoMa, and are reflected in everything we do. For example, The Parks at 5M is a community advocated amenity, our retail range and opportunities are rooted in the advancement of local small businesses, our cultural and arts programming reflects the cultural ethos and institutions of the neighborhood, and our design draws on the neighborhood’s industrial heritage,” said Swathi Bonda, Senior Development Manager at Brookfield Properties. Commercial Real Estate Manager.

5M will also include a total of 856 new residences, including 245 affordable units. A newly constructed 20 storey building called The George will comprise 302 of the total units built within a 5M radius. The George offers studios, one- and two-bedroom floor plans, a double-height public lobby, and an extensive set of amenities, with several wellness and sustainability features.

Reactivate the urban core

Aerial View of the Parks at 5M. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Sheffer

The restored 5M Dempster Building was donated by Brookfield Properties to Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), for cultural, artistic and educational uses and programming. Its tenants currently include Women’s Audio Mission and Push Dance Co. The other restored historic building, the Cameline, is intended for commercial use.

“Arts and cultural organizations – groups like Women’s Audio Mission and PUSH Dance – are so essential to our city because they push the boundaries of creativity and equity while building community cohesion,” said Moy Eng, CEO of CAST, during the event.

Brookfield announced plans to continue working with local businesses, nonprofits and residents on other neighborhood programs and improvements. Among other community benefits, an arts and nonprofit endowment fund has been established, with a commitment of $600,000.

The San Francisco office market continued to struggle at the start of the new year. Metro vacancy was 15.9% in January, according to CommercialEdge, down 410 basis points year-over-year. Urban submarkets like SoMa have been hit hard as companies have made new plans for their workforce, reduced their footprint or relocated.

On the other hand, office construction activity is doing well throughout the Bay. The San Francisco metro area had more than 6 million square feet of new office space underway in January, representing 3.8% of existing stock, 160 basis points above the national average. Several other major projects are currently underway in other submarkets, such as Brookfield’s Pier 70 which is taking shape along the central waterfront. The $3 billion redevelopment is the result of a public-private partnership between Brookfield Properties and the Port of San Francisco.

In the southern financial district, hines is working on another city block-sized mixed-use project – the former Pacific Gas and Electricity Headquarter. Along the same lines, the developer will build an 85-story multi-family tower next to the 1.6 million square foot office building. Construction is expected to begin in 2023.