Parkmerced Vision -- Process


Process Image
Our Commitment


Since late 2006, we have met with residents, neighbors, and other stakeholders and have held over 100 meetings from large workshops to small group briefings. We are committed to making the right improvements to Parkmerced, and that means hearing from everyone who will be affected by this revitalization project.

We have brought in the world's leading urban and transportation planning experts to help us evaluate Parkmerced's constraints, its existing facilities and infrastructure, and the neighboring infrastructure. We are now in the early stages of conducting environmental and technical studies of the concepts and plans included in our long-range vision.

In early 2008, Parkmerced Investors submitted an application for Environmental Evaluation to the San Francisco Planning Department to analyze a long-range plan. The application is used to request an environmental review of the project to fulfill the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA requires a full analysis of any anticipated effects on transportation, air quality, and biological resources, asmong other things to name a few.

In early 2008, Parkmerced Investors submitted an application for Environmental Evaluation to the San Francisco Planning Department to analyze a long-range plan. The application is used to request an environmental review of the project to fulfill the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA requires a full analysis of any anticipated effects on transportation, air quality, and biological resources among other things.

The Team>>
Parkmerced Investors purchased the property in 2005 and immediately began work on a $135 million-plus capital improvement program to address deferred maintenance and other issues. The owners are nationally experienced rental property operators who are committed to to the long term improvement of Parkmerced. Protecting the status of current Parkmerced residents is a top priority for the owners, and they are continuing to look at ways to make the neighborhood a sustainable, vibrant community into the future.


Seeking the world's best architecture and urban planning services, the owner engaged the San Francisco office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) to work collaboratively with the community to define a vision and develop concepts that will guide Parkmerced into the future. Craig Hartman, an internationally renowned architect and SOM's global head of master planning, is leading the planning team, drawing on the firm's more than 60 years of experience in San Francisco and around the world.

The Parkmerced Investors and SOM are supported by some of the world's leading experts in all facets of transportation, community planning, water, energy, and natural resources; as well as other fields. See below for more information on SOM and other key members.

AECOM is a global provider in professional technical and management support services for a broad range of markets including transportation, facilities, environmental and energy. Ranked by the Engineering News Record (ENR) as the number one firm in transportation for the ninth consecutive year, AECOM is one of the largest transportation engineering companies in the country, operating a global network of engineers and technical experts who specialize in planning, transit and rail, highways and bridges, port and marine, and aviation projects. A leader in all of the key markets that it serves, AECOM has been involved continuously in the development of the transportation systems and infrastructure that support cities, counties, and major metropolitan areas. AECOM has over 45,000 employees in over 100 countries, and represented locally by offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. AECOM serves both public and private clients, with a focus on sustainable transportation and green design practices..

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP >>

Urban Design
Craig Hartman, Lead Urban Designer
The San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), is global leader in architecture, urban planning, and engineering with over 60 years of experience working in the City. Led by Craig Hartman, FAIA our Urban Design & Planning Studio has earned accolades for its local and international projects, all of which capture the potential of their unique environmental contexts. SOM's master plans – including Canary Wharf in London, the University of California San Diego, the University of California Merced, Chongming Island in China, and the Knowledge and Innovation Community in Shanghai – areas among the world's most ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable communities. Parkmerced Investors engaged SOM to work collaboratively with the residents and community to define a vision and develop concepts that will guide Parkmerced and the city of San Francisco into the future.

Craig Hartman, Design Partner
SOM has led the international field of architecture for 70 years and has created some of the world’s most iconic and innovative buildings. It is the only firm to have won the AIA’s Firm of the Year Award twice. An interdisciplinary firm, SOM takes a holistic approach to architecture whereby engineering and design are integrated from conception through implementation. Our buildings respond to and enhance their surroundings, adhere to the highest standards of building efficiency, and enhance the quality of life of their occupants. The Sears Tower and John Hancock Center in Chicago, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and the world’s tallest building – the Burj Dubai Tower – are just a handful of SOM projects. The San Francisco office of SOM has designed over 50 buildings in the city.

Performative Design Studio™
As early as 1958, when SOM designed a state-of-the-art polarized, double-skinned curtainwall for the Warren Petroleum Corporation’s executive headquarters, sustainable design has been an integral part of our practice. Our Performative Design Studio™ is comprised of engineers, architects, planners, researchers and technical experts who use simulation tools and sophisticated computer modeling systems to integrate green technology with architectural design. Our work strives to regenerate the environment and conserve natural, economic, and human resources. One of our current projects is the Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, which when completed will be the most energy efficient supertall tower ever built. Since 1973, we have been honored with more than 40 awards for energy efficiency and sustainable design. SOM is an original and active member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has participated in the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System.

Structural Engineering
SOM has pioneered structural systems that when integrated with architecture, have resulted in the safest, most elegant, and efficient designs in the world. Through sophisticated design approaches, building systems are evaluated for wind and seismic conditions and developed to maximize safety, minimize the use of structural materials, and reduce costs. SOM Structures has designed record-breaking structures around the world, including the tallest building (the Burj Dubai), the largest curtainwall (at Beijing Poly Plaza, China), and the largest base-isolated structure (the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport). SOM was awarded a U.S. Patent for a structural seismic device for building frames.

SOM’s environmental design studio enhances large-scale projects with intuitive wayfinding strategies. Whether we are designing wayfinding for cities, campuses, or buildings, we address the needs and abilities of users looking to move through and around the space. Our wayfinding design creates places where people can both access invaluable information and come together as a community. Our work is informed and enhanced by our firm's expertise in planning, architecture, and engineering.

Adavant Consulting, Transportation Planning and Engineering>>

José I. Farrán, Transportation Engineer
José brings 18 years of innovation in transportation planning and engineering in San Francisco, the United States, and abroad. His projects range in scope from large master plans to localized traffic engineering analyses. In San Francisco, José has successfully prepared complex transportation plans such as the Mission Bay Area Plan and UCSF’s Long Range Development Plan. Both of these projects required extensive coordination with public agencies, transit service providers, transportation departments, neighborhood groups, and decision-makers. A core area of José’s work is the assessment of light rail and streetcar operations in urban environments such as San Francisco, Sacramento, Salt Lake, and Barcelona

Steer Davies Gleave, International Transport Planning and Consulting>>

Martin Tillman, Transportation Planner
Martin is a chartered transportation professional and an expert in transportation master planning and urban design. He has worked as a transportation consultant for over 17 years, specializing in the design, layout, and transportation management strategies for new towns and cities through sustainable transportation design. In Surrey, England, Martin is developing new analytical methods to encourage sustainable transport that will reduce car trips and encourage alternative transport. Martin has shown that through a combination of soft and hard measures, very high mode shift can be achieved for the majority of local trips. As well as working throughout the UK, he has provided transportation master planning advice for large scale projects in Hong Kong, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Turkey, France, Ireland, and Puerto Rico, proving that despite the location, many of the transport issues are the same. In Kazakhstan, Martin is providing transportation master planning advice for a new city of 250,000 people. He has developed the highway and transit provision for the overall master plan.

Tom Leader Studio, Landscape Design >>

Tom Leader, Landscape Architect
Tom has 25 years of professional experience as a practicing landscape architect. Tom has completed numerous award-winning and widely published projects throughout the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Australia including college and corporate campuses, urban redevelopments, wetland and forestation projects, regional parks, urban plazas, and museum gardens. Two recent projects under his direction – Longacres Park in Seattle, Washington and Asahikawa River Park on the island of Hokkaido, Japan – won national Honor Awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Longacres Park, on which Tom collaborated with SOM, is an office campus for the Boeing Company that includes a new wetland system constructed out of the existing fragments. The project re-established the natural water flow patterns so that the waters could be reconnected with a nearby creek. New forestation over substantial areas holds water on the site, shelters wildlife, and solidifies the newly graded watercourse. In Birmingham, Alabama Tom developed a 200-acre corridor study and detailed design of a new 21-acre central park in downtown. A major topographic reorganization digs out for a major lake, and ponds interlinked with streams, biofiltering runoff, and major flood storage at the former low point of the city. Tom has practiced in the Bay Area for 25 years, and is currently working on the Stanford University Medical School Master Plan/Learning and Knowledge Center, as well as a project in Napa Valley in collaboration with the artist James Turrell.

Hydroconsult Engineers, Inc., Water Resource and Water Quality Engineering>>

Beth Goldstein, Water Resources Engineer
Beth is currently developing low impact design guidelines for stormwater management for new and redevelopment projects in San Francisco. She is a principal at Hydroconsult Engineers, a civil engineering firm specializing in water resource and water quality engineering. HCE is based in San Francisco and has worked in the city for over 25 years. On the western side of the City, HCE has already worked to address water issues around Parkmerced. Led by Beth, HCE designed a drainage system for Harding Park golf course that incorporated water management measures such as an aquifer regeneration facility to recharge the groundwater. HCE was also responsible for the hydrologic analysis to assess the environmental impacts of adding various sources of water to Lake Merced. Beth represented the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on water/wastewater/stormwater issues during the planning and entitlement process for Mission Bay.

Carollo Engineers, Integrated Water Resources Group>>

Steve McDonald, Water Engineer
Steve manages the development of wastewater/stormwater master planning for municipal and private clients. He specializes in integrating principles of sustainability and low impact development with the latest high-tech treatment processes. Steve has over 26 years of experience, and has master-planned over $6 billion in facilities in the last 10 years. He is a partner at Carollo Engineers and his recent experience includes master plans for the City of San Francisco, Sacramento County, City of Fresno, City of Benicia, and City of Reno. Steve is currently the project manager for the development of the City of San Jose/Santa Clara Wastewater Master Plan.

Habitat Potential, Consulting Ecology and Habitat Stewardship>>

Josiah Clark, Consulting Ecologist
Josiah is a consulting ecologist with expertise in the urban-wildlife interface in the Bay Area. For over 15 years, he has investigated natural processes and the specific needs of wildlife in and around San Francisco. Josiah's work aims to preserve, enhance, and increase biodiversity and beneficial ecological processes in urban settings.

Milestones and Schedule

Owner's Commitment
  • Create a vibrant neighborhood for our residents and the community.
  • Use smart design and planning to reduce Parkmerced and San Francisco's impact on the environment.
  • Protect our residents and provide any who live in apartments slated for replacement with new onsite apartments at the same rent-controlled rate of their existing units. For more information, please click here.
  • Make Parkmerced an international model of 21st century urban sustainability.