5M Mixed-Use Cultural Arts District in San Francisco Celebrates Grand Opening with Launch of Newest Downtown Park

City leaders, arts organizations and community groups celebrated the grand opening of Brookfield Properties’ mixed-use 5M Cultural Arts District today with ceremonies at The Parks at 5M, downtown’s newest park. from San Francisco.

“I am so excited to open 5M as we see more residents, workers and visitors coming together as our city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed. “From affordable housing to new outdoor spaces to cultural programming, this community-led project addresses a wide range of neighborhood needs that have been overlooked for too long. I want to thank Brookfield Properties and the entire SoMa community for their continued work and commitment to the future of this neighborhood.

The George

Since 5M’s grand opening in 2019, the billion-dollar development has transformed four acres of underutilized parking lots in the SoMa neighborhood at 5th Mission and Howard Streets into a hub of creativity, commerce and community focused on pedestrians. Developer Brookfield Properties has completed construction of the 25-storey Natoma 415 office building, The George apartment building with 302 rental units and The Parks at 5M. Additionally, two historic buildings have been restored; the Camelline Building which is intended for commercial and non-profit uses and the Dempster Building, which Brookfield Properties donated to CAST (Community Arts Stabilization Trust) for arts and cultural purposes.

The grand opening celebration marked the completion of construction of Brookfield Properties components and the opening of The Parks at 5M to the public.

Community programming begins this spring at The Parks at 5M

A major benefit to the community is the new $20 million private public park that features a performance area, rolling landscape hills inspired by Northern California landscapes, a children’s playground and a dog run framed by new and historic buildings. Two sinuous, 30-foot-tall, three-dimensional steel canopies serve dual purposes as works of art and to calm breezes. Parks at 5M is the largest ground-level private public open space (POPOS) in the city at 26,100 square feet – nearly the size of six basketball courts. Brookfield provides 24/7 on-site security.

Starting this spring, community programming from Parks to 5M will include a mix of events, performances, art and food curated by Brookfield Properties, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and other innovators such as CAST, Cultivate Labs and Off the Grid. Film screenings, performance art, dance and fitness classes, live music, art exhibits, and Filipino cultural celebrations are among the scheduled activities.

“5M Parks helps meet a civic need for more open spaces in the neighborhood for residents to play, socialize and celebrate,” said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents this SoMa area. . “The diversity of offerings and opportunities here has created a special place that benefits people of all ages and backgrounds.”

“5M underscores our commitment to the neighborhood and our belief that merging creativity, cultural arts and commerce in unique ways strengthens communities,” said Swathi Bonda, Senior Director of Development for Brookfield Properties. “It’s a place that unites us to relax, play, learn and work – grounded in programming for arts, music and cultural activities.”

Bonda said the new tenants, programming and residents will bring energy to the site. The Dempster Building at 447 Minna Street is home to the nonprofit arts organizations PUSH Dance Co. and Women’s Audio Mission. The Dempster Building also has a floor for Pop Up Art projects and a black box theatre. Thumbtack, the modern home management platform, recently signed a lease at 415 Natoma and residents are moving into The George. Brookfield Properties said it plans to announce new leases involving local foods, nonprofits and retailers in the near future.

Today’s ceremony included a ribbon cutting and a performance by PUSH Dance Co.

“Arts and culture play a central role in preserving the fabric of a neighborhood,” said Moy Eng, CEO of CAST. “CAST is pleased to partner with Brookfield in this effort to secure and manage a cultural space where artists and creatives can continue to thrive at SoMa. Arts and culture organizations – groups like Women’s Audio Mission and PUSH Dance – are so vital to our city because they push the boundaries of creativity and equity while building community cohesion. At 447 Minna, we want to ensure artists have a place to grow within the community, interact with local residents, and contribute to the vitality of the neighborhood as a whole.

415 Natoma, San Francisco Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects
photo of Kyle Jeffers

The unique configuration of 5M’s parks and buildings is designed to bring people together in an exchange of ideas. The expansive lobbies of the 415 Natoma and The George office building open onto the parklands to foster lively interaction at street level.

“5M is inspired by SoMa and its network of alleyways, 5M’s design weaves a tapestry of the neighborhood’s history, arts and business with a new public space at the center,” said studio director Laura Crescimano. urban SITELAB, which is associated with the master plan for 5M.

The 640,000 square foot, 415 Natoma Class A office building features a wallless “hospitality focused” lobby with curated retail, food and beverage options; large floor plates; and over 27,000 square feet of outdoor terraces. The building was designed by the famous architect KPF.

“The 415 Natoma welcomes the public at its base with an open hall, integrating perfectly into the ground plan. The layered and divided massing of the towers responds to the surrounding built context with a facade that uses a variety of textures, patterns and colors,” said Trent Tesch, AIA, KPF Design Principal.

Image by Steelblue

Brookfield Properties began renting units at The George in January. The new 20-storey rental building includes 302 apartments, including 211 at market price and 91 BMR middle-income residences. The George has the highest percentage of middle-income BMR units on-site in the city’s history. It includes a double-height public lobby with an integrated retail and coworking library; artwork in common areas by local women, BIPOC artists and other artists; Concierge service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; a rentable 16th-floor club room and open-air amenity terrace with sweeping views of Potrero Hill and the San Francisco Bay; state-of-the-art fitness studio; and much more. More than 4,600 square feet of retail is planned in a café area along the North Mary Street pedestrian paseo.

Overall, 5M will create approximately 856 new residential units in total on site and in the neighborhood, including 245 affordable residential units for middle-income households, seniors and formerly homeless families.

Brookfield Properties has worked with exceptional organizations to move the project forward during the pandemic. In addition to KPF and SITELAB, !melk and Cliff Lowe Associates designed the 5M’s open spaces. The George Residential Building is designed by architectural firm Ankrom Moisan and built by Build Group Inc. Architectural Resources Group led the rehabilitation of the historic Dempster Building. For the 415 Natoma office building, House & Robertson Architects is the executive architect and Swinerton Builders constructed the building.

The long-awaited 5M project, located on a 4-acre site in downtown San Francisco, has been reimagined as a dynamic and truly versatile new place for the community. SITELAB’s public realm planning efforts included developing the project’s programming and urban design plan, to strike a balance between traditional downtown space and the eclectic and culturally rich neighborhood that is SoMa. . The plan emphasizes and reorients SoMa’s signature laneways to connect retail, arts and new public spaces at ground level and on the roof of Chronicle. As we continue to think about space and community post-pandemic, 5M is a great example of what a truly versatile, accessible, and vibrant neighborhood can look like when connected to the surrounding community.

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