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San Francisco, California

233 Geary

Client: Sand Hill Property Company

Role: Owner’s representative

Define, Design, Develop

Challenge

Sand Hill Property Company acquired the iconic 233 Geary building in January 2019. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s center of retail, tourism, and global innovation, the property underperforms in the market because of its age and function. Retail use has changed dramatically, building systems are outdated, and new competing properties were completed recently. The owner’s intent is to reposition the building through comprehensive adaptive reuse, bringing the property in line with contemporary architecture in San Francisco, and to expand the asset’s purpose, making it a world-class mixed-use property.

Solution

The 20th-century single-use retail property will be transformed by Handel Architects into a 21st-century multi-tenant building with retail, office, and residential uses. The existing 250,000 square feet of floor space will be reused—a sustainable choice that aligns well with San Francisco’s aspirations regarding climate change and environmental responsibility. It conserves land, saves energy and resources, and restores San Francisco’s heritage. The development will create a balance between past and future by preserving what makes the architecture iconic, and by modernizing what does not.

Impact

WOWA WEST has acted as owner’s representative within the client organization from the beginning. We established the planning and design strategy, developed the client brief, and helped procure the design team. We continue to ensure that the owner’s goals are achieved through the entitlements and design process by translating architecture and design priorities into financial, marketing, legal, and entitlement language. Surrounded by technology innovation, we introduced digital services and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to improve brand, personalization, amenities, and operational efficiencies that will appeal to employees and residents alike.