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The Best Large Building Developers in San Francisco

October 10, 2018 19 Min Read

San Francisco has a vibrant scene for large construction. High-rise towers and sprawling edifices are rising everywhere, despite challenges and concerns inherent in constructing such developments in a historically, culturally and economically significant yet disaster-prone city.

These projects are made possible, in part, by intrepid developers who are sensitive to the distinct developmental milieu and concerns of the city. The fifteen featured large building developers here are the best among those in San Francisco.

Millennium Partners

995 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Millenium Partners is a New York-based real estate development firm with developments in major metropolises in the country, particularly San Francisco, New York, Miami, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. The firm has an impressive portfolio consisting of more than 2,900 luxury condominiums, eight five-star hotels, two extended-stay luxury hotels, 1,200,000 square feet of office space, 1,000,000 square feet of retail space, 3,750 parking spaces, five Loews Cineplex theaters, and five health clubs, with a total valuation of $4 billion. The firm is a proud pioneer in the “new urbanism” development model that seeks not only to create city spaces in which to live, but also to influence new ways of urban living.

Project by Millennium Partners

Millennium Partners developed the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences at 757 Market Street. The mixed-use tower offers 277 guestrooms and 142 luxury residences on upper floors. Amenities include a 75 sq. ft. indoor swimming pool, an art collection, and a signature restaurant. Millennium also added the Yerba Buena Lane, a new upscale retail-lined pedestrian walk connecting The Four Seasons to the Metreon – a multi-use entertainment complex and an earlier project by the firm.

Hudson Pacific Properties

121 Spear St, Ste 220, San Francisco, CA 94105

Hudson Pacific Properties is a vertically integrated real estate investment trust focused on acquiring, repositioning, developing and operating high-quality office and state-of-the-art media and entertainment properties in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle metro areas. The firm was formed in 2006 as Hudson Capital, then went public in 2010. Hudson Pacific’s real estate offerings are particularly configured towards Fortune 500 and leading growth companies, manly in the technology, media, and entertainment sectors. CEO, Chairman and President Victor J. Coleman currently leads the firm.

One of Hudson Pacific’s most notable mixed-use developments is the Rincon Center at 101 Spear Street. This nearly 600,000 square-foot development is spread over two towers, one five stories high and the other six. The property includes significant ground floor retail, subterranean parking, and a historic lobby converted from an art-deco post office listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lincoln Property Company West

55 Francisco St., Ste 450, San Francisco, CA 94133

Lincoln Property Company West (LPC West) is the six-office West Coast unit of the Lincoln Property Company, a Dallas-based national real estate developer and manager focused on residential and commercial markets. The West Coast unit includes the firm’s offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. The unit is a recent creation, having only been established in 2017, but the firm has been delivering developments since its founding in 1965. Lincoln now has a portfolio of projects all over the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Project by Lincoln Property Company West

LPC West is responsible for developing and managing the 19-story tower at 350 Bush Street. The 385,000 square-foot building incorporates as its primary portal and grand lobby the historic San Francisco Mining Exchange Building. The combined structure is designed to balance modernity and antiquity by utilizing rusticated stone cladding with glass curtain wall accents and ornamental balconies. The project’s advanced green technologies is aimed at achieving LEED Platinum certification.

Maximus Real Estate Partners

1 Maritime Plaza, Ste 1900, San Francisco, CA 94111

Maximus Real Estate Partners is a San Francisco-based real estate investment and development company primarily focused in the residential sector. Principal Rob Rosania founded the firm in 2012, after finding great success in his previous venture, Stellar Management in New York, and aiming to bring the same success westward. Maximus currently owns nearly 5,000 units, and has over 7,000 more in various stages of development. The firm was the recipient of the AIA Urban Design Award.

Project by Maximus Real Estate Partners

Maximus is responsible for Parkmerced Block 20, a complex consisting of a 17-story tower and 8-story mid-rise over shared lobby and parking garage. The block is part of the Parkmerced neighborhood development project, the largest urban multifamily development in North America. The complex boasts 299 residential units spread over 475,117 square feet of building space. The building also features a 354-space parking podium, an activity lounge with demonstration kitchen, outdoor patios with fire pits, shared office space and conference rooms, 4th floor outdoor lounge, double height lounge with large media screen, and a roof deck with outdoor kitchen.

Union Investment Real Estate

1330 Ave of the Americas, Ste 800A, New York, NY 10019

Union Investment Real Estate is an international real estate development and investment firm from Hamburg, Germany with a representative U.S. office in New York. The firm currently has 375 assets under management across 22 countries with a total worth over $40 billion, about $5 billion of which is in the United States. Union’s portfolio covers various sectors, including office, retail, hotel, logistics, and residential. Since 2009, the firm has been led by Chairman and CEO Dr. Reinhard Kutscher, a trustee of the Urban Land Institute.

Project by Union Investment Real Estate

In San Francisco, Union Investment continues to develop the 33-story office tower at 555 Mission Street since purchasing it from Tishman Speyer in 2012. The 557,173 square-foot office building is adjacent to the future Transbay Transit Center. The tower, designed by the collaboration of award-winning firms Kohn Pedersen Fox and Heller Manus Architects, was certified LEED Core & Shell Gold in 2009.

Tishman Speyer

45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

Chairman Jerry Speyer co-founded Tishman Speyer in 1978 with his former father-in-law Robert Tishman, growing out of the old Tishman Realty & Development Company. The company currently owns 167 million square feet of real estate across the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, with a portfolio currently valued at over $88 billion.

Project by Tishman Speyer

Lumina at 201 Folsom Street is one of the most recent developments by Tishman Speyer. This 1,046,700 square-foot condominium development is composed of 656 units spread in two towers of 42 and 37 stories, and two mid-rise plaza buildings of eight stories each. Amenities include a 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, children’s playroom, and more. The project is aimed at achieving LEED Silver Certification.

Forest City Realty Trust

875 Howard St, Ste 330, San Francisco, CA 94103

Forest City Realty Trust is a real estate development and management firm headquartered in Cleveland, OH, with offices and core markets in San Francisco, New York City, Washington, DC, Dallas, and Denver. Brothers Charles, Max, Leonard and Fannie Ratner founded the firm in 1920 after they emigrated from Poland. The company originally sold materials to contractors, then eventually moved on to development by the 1930’s. In 1960, Forest City went public with an initial offering of 450,000 shares over the counter, eventually moving to its current trading spot in the New York Stock Exchange. The firm has won many awards throughout the country, including the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award, the USGBC Outstanding LEED Homes Multi-family Developer of the Year Award, and the ULI New York Award for Excellence.

Project by Forest City Realty Trust

Forest City developed the Westfield San Francisco Centre, an enclosed, multi-level urban retail center at 835 Market Street. The center has a floor area totaling 1.2 million square feet spread over 5 levels of retail space for more than 200 top-quality retailers and restaurants, and the three floors of office space for the Emporium Office Center above.

TMG Partners

100 Bush St, 26th Flr, San Francisco, CA 94104

Headquartered in San Francisco, TMG Partners is a full-service development company with an exclusive focus on urban infill developments in the San Francisco Bay area. The company currently enjoys a portfolio of approximately 23 million square feet of office, research and development, for-sale and multifamily residential and retail projects, with a valuation totaling $3.5 billion. The San Francisco Business Times has recognized TMG as the #1 Real Estate Developer in the Bay Area by total area in development, for the several recent years running. SFBT has also marked some of TMG’s projects as Real Estate Deals of the Year.

Project by TMG Partners

TMG was responsible for redeveloping the 12-story, 525,000 square-foot tower at 680 Folsom Street. The project included the comprehensive rehabilitation of the original 1964 Pacific Bell building, and a 100,000 square foot expansion. TMG sold the property to Boston Properties in 2012 while being retained as Development Manager.


275 Battery St, Ste 300, San Francisco, CA 94111

Strada is a San Francisco-based vertically-integrated real estate investment company formed by Principals Jesse Blout, Michael Cohen and Scott Stafford in 2010. The firm is focused on acquisitions, asset management, construction and development. The company currently has a portfolio of $1 billion of managed real estate assets and more than 2 million square feet in various stages of development.

Project by Strada

Currently in the pipeline is the Chase Center, the future home of NBA’s Golden State Warriors, where Strada serves as the development manager. The center includes an 18,000-seat arena with structured parking, new headquarters and practice facility for the team, and additional office and retail spaces. The 12-acre development is slated to open before the start of 2019–20 NBA season. Major local and national publications, particularly the San Francisco Business Times and Curbed SF, have featured the project.

Urban Pacific Development

489 Harrison St, Ste 306, San Francisco, CA 94105

Urban Pacific Development is a real estate and development firm in San Francisco with a particular focus on large-scale developments. Principals Michael Kriozere and Chris Collins formed the company in 2012, bringing with them more than 75 years of combined development experience to deliver transformative urban projects in San Francisco and other major cities in the West Coast. The firm is currently focused on residential and mixed-use developments.

Project by Urban Pacific Development

Urban Pacific was the developer behind One Rincon Hill, a two-phase development project at 425 and 401 1st Street. The first phase included the construction of the One Rincon Hill South Tower, a 64-story, 400-unit condominium complex at 425 1st Street, completed in 2008. The second phase, meanwhile, was the construction of the Harrison, or the North Tower, a 52-story, 300-unit condominium complex at 401 1st Street. By 2015, the South Tower had been 100% sold out, while the Harrison was sold to Maximus Real Estate Partners. Both towers were successfully developed despite the global recession of 2008. Currently Urban Pacific is co-developing two of the last tower sites in San Francisco known as Transbay Parcel F and Block 4. Parcel F will be the 4th tallest tower in the City when completed, and Block 4 will provide hundreds of market rate and affordable housing units.

Kilroy Realty

100 1st St, Ste 250, San Francisco, CA, 94105

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Kilroy Realty Corporation is an S&P MidCap 400 indexed real estate investment trust active in the coastal regions of Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, and greater Seattle. The firm is primarily focused on office developments, with a stabilized portfolio consisted of 105 office buildings, encompassing an aggregate rentable area of more than 14 million square feet and an occupancy rate of 94.1%. Kilroy Realty was incorporated in 1996 as the predecessor to Kilroy Industries, a development firm established in 1947 with a focus on defense and aerospace markets. The current company has been the recipient of multiple awards in the recent years, including the Energy STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, and the Office Leader in the Light Award.

Project by Kilroy Realty

Kilroy was responsible for developing The Exchange on Sixteenth Street at 1800 Owens Street. This office complex consists of 4 interconnected buildings with a total floor area of 750,000 square feet. Currently under construction, the entire complex has already been leased completely to Dropbox. Another notable project is the 30-story office tower at 350 Mission Street, an ambitious project completed in 2015 most known for its goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification and its dynamic 70 x 40 foot media wall.

Golub and Company

2100 International Park Dr, Birmingham, AL 35243

Golub and Company is a family-run Chicago-headquartered investor-developer with a combined local and international portfolio of commercial, mixed-use and multifamily real estate properties. The portfolio currently stands at an aggregate floor area of more than 50 million square feet, valued at more than $10 billion. Chairman Eugene Golub formed the company in 1960, and his work in the industry through the years was honored by ULI with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In San Francisco, Golub and Company won the SFBT Real Estate Deal of the Year Award.

Project by Golub and Company

Currently under development is the Park Tower at Transbay, located at 250 Howard Street, where Golub serves as co-developer, owner and manager. The 43-story tower features 750,000 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail spaces, and parking for 130 cars. The LEED Gold pre-certified project is set to be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2018. Another notable Golub project in San Francisco is Solaire, a 32-story, 409-unit residential tower at 299 Fremont which was completed in 2016.

Related California

44 Montgomery St, Ste 1300, San Francisco, CA 94104

Related California is the California-based wholly-owned unit of the Related Companies, a full service real estate development firm headquartered in New York. The company was formed in 1972 by Chairman Stephen Ross, and has since expanded its business from New York to establish offices and major developments across US, Europe and Asia. The firm’s combined portfolio is currently valued at $50 billion, and is primarily made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office and affordable properties. The California unit’s portion of the portfolio consists of more than 14,000 completed residences and more than 7,000 in various stages of development. Related has won many awards both within and beyond California, including the PCBC Gold Nugget Award, the SAGE Award, and the Westside Urban Forum Honor Award.

Project by Related California

Currently in Related’s pipeline are some soon-to-be iconic residential and mixed-use edifices in San Francisco. One is Transbay Block 8 at 420-488 Folsom Street, a 55-story, 548-unit residential tower being constructed blocks away from the Salesforce Tower, set to open in 2019. Another is the mixed-use development at 1500 Mission Street, consisting of a 39-story tower that would feature 760,000 square feet of luxury apartments spread over 540 units, and an adjacent 466,000-square-foot office building that will be the new home of the San Francisco Planning, Building and Public Works Departments.

Boston Properties

425 California St, Ste 2200, San Francisco, CA 94104

Boston Properties is a Boston-headquartered, fully-integrated real estate investment trust with significant developments in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC. The firm was established in 1970 by Mortimer B. Zuckerman and Edward H. Linde, and has since owned, managed and developed Class A office properties across those five cities. The firm’s current portfolio consists of 164 office properties, five retail properties, five residential properties, and a hotel with an aggregate floor area of approximately 48.4 million square feet. Such impressive portfolio has Boston Properties honored with various awards, including the Most Innovative Leader in the Light Award, the BOMA National Commercial Real Estate Customer Service Award for Excellence, the BOMA Developer of the Year Award, and the NACORE Developer of the Year Award.

Project by Boston Properties

Boston Properties was responsible for the development of the property at 535 Mission Street. The 27-story office tower is a 307,000 square-foot building ideally positioned within SOMA, being near the Transbay Transit Center, SF MOMA, and Yerba Buena. The building has been designated as LEED Platinum Core & Shell; the first office building in San Francisco with this certification. Boston is also the current owner of the entire Embarcadero Center, a 3.3 million square feet office and retail development. Additionally, Boston is the majority co-owner, co-developer and property manager of Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco.


101 California St, Ste 1000, San Francisco, CA 94111-5894

Hines is a privately-owned Houston-based full-service real estate investment, development, and management firm. Chairman Gerald D. Hines formed the company in 1957, and has since expanded on a global portfolio that currently covers 201 cities in 24 countries, with 1,295 completed and acquired properties and 108 developments in the pipeline. The firm has a property and asset management portfolio with a an aggregate area of over 210 million square feet represented through 506 properties. This extensive resume has earned Hines a multitude of awards and accolades across the United States and the globe, including the TOBY Earth Award, International BOMA Awards, Regional BOMA Awards, and the BOMA Innovation of the Year Award.

Project by Hines

Hines was the original owner and developer behind the Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco. The tower stands at 1.4 million square feet spread over 61 stories above ground. The tower’s crown houses the nine-story electronic sculpture “Day for Night” by artist Jim Campbell. This LEED Platinum pre-certified tower is the centerpiece of the San Francisco Transit Center District Plan, a massive 145-acre development that includes residential, hospitality and retail spaces, and the Transbay Transit Center, the future northern terminus of the California High-Speed Rail. Another notable property Hines has developed is the office tower at 101 California Street, the award-winning 48-story, 1.2 million square-foot building certified LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings. Additionally, Hines was responsible for the redevelopment of the San Francisco Civic Center Complex, the 1,030,000 square feet complex that houses several offices and agencies of the State of California, including the State Supreme Court.