A Chinese billionaire-owned real estate firm is building a huge skyscraper in San Francisco

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Oceanwide Holdings; Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Downtown San Francisco is home to a game of one-upping among real estate developers.

On December 8, city officials broke ground on yet another skyscraper in the city’s hottest area for new construction. Oceanwide Center, named for its Chinese developers, will be the second tallest building in San Francisco upon completion in 2021. The mixed-use hotel, residential, and office development will span eight lots and total approximately 60,000 square feet in size.

Here’s a glimpse at what Oceanwide Center will look like.


Oceanwide Center will actually consist of two towers located at Mission and 1st Streets. The larger building is destined to become the city’s second tallest, reaching 910 feet.

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Oceanwide Holdings

The buildings will be named, simply, First Street Tower and Mission Street Tower. The latter soars a modest 625 feet and will be home to the 171-room Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Its developer, Oceanwide Holdings, is a Chinese real estate firm controlled by self-made billionaire Lu Zhiqiang. His $5.1 billion makes Zhiqiang the 21st richest person in China.


First Street Tower (the taller of the two) is an attention-grabber. Its unique crystalline structure should help it to stand out against its future neighbor, the 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower.

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Oceanwide Holdings

Source: San Francisco Business Times


Designed by London-based Foster + Partners and local architect Jeff Heller of Heller Manus, the two high-rises will add 265 high-end residences, one million square of office space, 12,000 square feet of retail space, and four levels of underground parking to the city.

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Oceanwide Holdings

A 68-foot-tall “Urban Plaza” at the base of the building, designed by renowned landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, will provide a gathering space for public use.

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Oceanwide Holdings

Lush vegetation and natural light fills the Urban Plaza. It will feature a café with outdoor seating, a bar, a bicycle hub, “artisan” coffee carts, and a special events terrace.

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Oceanwide Holdings

Upon completion in 2021, Oceanwide Center will stand among several other giants.

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Oceanwide Holdings

Salesforce Tower, which is expected to cost an estimated $1.1 billion, will be the city’s tallest structure come 2017.

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Cushman & Wakefield

Source: San Francisco Business Times


Just down the street, 181 Fremont will be the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi River — and possibly the most lavish and exclusive.

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Courtesy of 181 Fremont Residences

Source: Business Insider


Millennium Tower, completed in 2008, rises 58 stories over the city’s financial center. The building has sunk 16 inches since it opened, creating an ongoing scandal.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty

Source: Business Insider


While it’s not a skyscraper, the future Transbay Transit Center is sure to make a splash. The $2.3 billion structure could be the most expensive bus terminal in the world come 2017.

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Transbay Transit Center

Source: Business Insider


Oceanwide Center has some steep competition in the neighborhood.

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Oceanwide Holdings