Terrabay back at it with two towers in Phase III project 

The giant Terrabay Phase III project, set to go before the Planning Commission on Thursday, has been revived and reinvented,from one 665,000-square-foot building into two towers that add floors but cut down by nearly half the size of the construction site.

Myers Development Co.’s new proposal has the office space being split into a 21-story structure and an accompanying 12-story building. It also would include 25,000 square feet of commercial retail space, a minimum of one "quality restaurant," a shared-use 150-seat performing arts center, a 100-child day care, a public art program and 32 moderate income housing units, according to the city’s staff report.

Mayor Joe Fernekes withheld comment on the project Tuesday, preferring to hear the Planning Commission’s discussion on the matter.

Jack Myers, the owner and CEO of Meyers Development Co., pulled the project in February because of a lack of investor interest due to the large construction costs incurred by the site’s size. The new project scales down the total acreage of the project from 21 acres to 12 acres, as Myers maintained that market indicators showed an opportunity for so much office space in South City.

He wouldn’t comment on investor interest in the project just yet, only saying, "There’s a ton of interest."

Community leader Kamala Silva-Wolfe called it inevitable that something would be built at the site but wanted the city to ensure the security of neighborhoods, diminishing adverse impacts from the project.

"The city is really missing an opportunity to mix the new and old together," Silva-Wolfe said.

Myers Development has hired the design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and its architect, Craig Hartman, who designed the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and the new St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.

"It’s a gateway project, and we are addressing at the request of the Planning Commission further modification of the buildings to make these two towers signature properties in terms of their architecture and design," Myers said.

Silva-Wolfe lamented that the towers would obscure the view of San Bruno Mountain.

The towers would front U.S. Highway 101 at the intersection of Sister Cities and Airport boulevards. Phases I and II of Terrabay are made up strictly of residential units, and city officials had hoped Phase III would have more commercial and retail space to bring more revenue to the city.

The new project was presented at a joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting Aug. 1. The South San Francisco Planning Commission meets Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Services Building, 33 Arroyo Dr.

dsmith@examiner.com

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