top of page

Forge Development Partners takes historic lead in office-to-housing conversion in Downtown San Francisco

Submits plans to acquire and convert Humboldt Bank Commercial Space to Essential Housing

Project will bring 120 units of new housing to the core of downtown San Francisco


January 15, 2024 – San Francisco, California –With another commitment to housing in San Francisco,
Forge Development Partners (Forge) plans to invest over $70 million to acquire and transform the
historic Humboldt Bank office building at 785 Market Street into 120 residential units using its proven
successful model of creating scaled apartment homes for middle income earners in San Francisco. Built
in 1908, the 19-story building was one of the first constructed in the post-1906 earthquake revitalization
of San Francisco. Working closely with City agencies, Forge submitted plans that put the building again at
the center of the City’s revitalization in this post-pandemic era by transforming it into state-of-the-art
apartment units and ground floor retail space that meets the new needs of downtown San Francisco. As
such, historic 785 Market will have played a pivotal role in the revitalization of San Francisco in two
separate eras of renewal for the city.

The 785 Market Street project is the latest milestone in Forge’s commitment to work with the City to
plan and invest in the future of San Francisco. The company has already built 240 units of housing at 361
Turk Street and 145 Leavenworth and recently announced an additional 90 units at 468 Turk Street.
Forge is proud to be working with Mayor London Breed’s Office and the San Francisco Planning
Department and anticipates starting construction at 785 Market Street in late 2024 and reaching first
occupancy by early 2025.

“At a time when San Francisco is reinventing its downtown and adapting to a new post-pandemic time,
it’s fitting to see this creative blend of history and progress,” said District 6 Supervisor Mat Dorsey, who
represents 785 Market. “To meet our ambitious housing element goal of building 82,000 units, it’s these
kinds of creative projects that will get us there. I look forward to welcoming hundreds of new neighbors
and creating a more vibrant mixed-use downtown.”

Forge’s planned renovations of the building will modernize the interior of the 116-year-old property and
convert the commercial office space into studio and one-bedroom scaled residential living units. Forge

will preserve the building’s historic façade, retail ground floor and iconic Baroque-style dome, while
upgrading the infrastructure of the building to provide a high-quality and sustainable living experience
for its middle-income residents.

The Humboldt Bank Building being constructed in 1907.

The Humboldt Bank Building seen from One Kearny

Street in 2017.

Like all Forge housing projects, 785 Market Street targets a zero net carbon and energy solution,
exceeding existing environmental requirements for residential buildings and setting a new parameter for
the possibilities of middle-income housing. 785 Market Street will benefit from innovative solutions
supported by PG&E that will reduce the impact of change and reduce costs of conversion and occupancy
for the project and support the Zero Net Energy goals of Forge.

“We are long on San Francisco. Bringing our new unit pipeline to almost 750 units with 785 Market
Street, we deliver a demonstration that not only is it possible to build housing that is meant for your
everyday middle-income resident, but that it can be done in a way that is sustainable, preserves historic
fabric and improves the human experience without relying on government financial support,” said
Richard Hannum, CEO and Founding Partner of Forge. “With innovative partnerships with the likes of
PG&E and proactive city agencies, we are creating a rich urban lifestyle for a strong and vibrant San

Gensler, one of San Francisco’s hometown design leaders, will serve as the chief architectural firm for
this project. Gensler is an ideal partner for Forge on this project as the firm is the leader in office to
residential conversions having analyzed more than 1,000 office buildings in North America and over 40 in San Francisco. Gensler also worked with SPUR to spearhead a study that was instrumental in influencing
policy changes that have taken place within the City to encourage office to residential conversions. With
a unique integrated team of architects and preservation specialists, Gensler will help Forge adapt 785
Market Street into a modern, and sustainably designed building with today’s amenities while honoring
the property’s history and heritage.

785 Market Street is located steps from the Powel Street MUNI and BART station and only four blocks
from the I-80 freeway. The central location of the building, as well as the rental range of the units, make
it the ideal place for those that work in the heart of San Francisco. Units at 785 Market Street will be
rented to those making 80 to 135 percent of the adjusted median income (AMI) in the San Francisco
metropolitan area. To make the project more attractive, the developer will pay in lieu fees to support
affordable housing in the city where it is most needed.


ABC7 San Francisco- 785 Market Announcement
bottom of page