Photography by Sonya Revell
Have you ever been at a five-star hotel and seen a slew of kids romping through the lobby, parents in tow? The sight of ten-year-olds playing in the pool of an exclusive property always makes me wonder what these youngsters have to look forward to when they get older; if you cut your teeth at the Ritz-Carlton or the Four Seasons, what do you aspire to when you grow up and make a name for yourself?
Millennium Partners has the answer. As a company, Millennium spent its youth acting as the development firm for a mix of Ritz-Carltons and Four Seasons hotel and residence projects. They learned the ropes, got the routine down pat, and now are ready for the next step: creating their own legacy.
“We took all of the knowledge that we have acquired over the past 20 years,” says Baumert, “which has allowed us to create the next evolution of urban living.”
Millennium Tower San Francisco is the 18-year-old firm’s first company-branded West Coast project. “The building represents an evolution of Millennium as a company,” explains Richard Baumert, managing director of Millennium Partners. The mixed-use development company has completed 25 buildings in its history, including eight luxury hotel properties, like the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, in New York; Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences, in Boston; and the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences, in San Francisco. In fact, Millennium can be credited with starting the movement of five-star hotel/residence combinations in 2001 with their development of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences, in Washington D.C. The motivation behind combining luxury hotels with living quarters was simple: they wanted to provide residents with the best views possible in urban areas, which was easily accomplished by putting retail on the ground level, a hotel in the middle, and the residences perched atop. Couple the unparalleled views with the finest white-glove service and it turned into a five-star way of living. Customers responded in droves, kicking off a trend that resulted in residential components of five-star hotels in virtually every city across the globe.
So now that Millennium Partners has the formula down pat, the logical next step is to raise the bar. “We took all of the knowledge that we have acquired over the past 20 years,” says Baumert, “which has allowed us to create the next evolution of urban living.” While Millennium Tower doesn’t contain a hotel aspect, the tower offers all of the standards of service that one would expect to find in a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons, without the disturbance of transient guests.
Millennium Tower will entail three distinct residential categories: Residences, City Residences, and Grand Residences. These categories offer unique levels of finish, layouts, and sizes, each with their own lobby, concierge, and elevators.
The 60-story tower, located at 301 Mission Street in the South of Market neighborhood, is the tallest reinforced concrete building in California, the tallest building constructed in San Francisco in the last 30 years, and the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi. Designed by architect Glenn Rescalvo from Handel Architects, the striking glass edifice, which seems to shift and conform as the day goes by, creates a new landmark on the city’s skyline, shining like a beacon for anyone looking for a new way of city living. Along with an adjacent 11-story midrise building, the tower houses 419 residences (one-, two-, and three-bedroom; two-bedroom plus library; and penthouse).
No matter the residential category selected, the service will be top notch. “We have a highly trained staff recruited from the best of San Francisco,” says Baumert. “They all have a resume that includes one or more five-star hotels.” The building offers 24-hour private residence concierges who will cater to the owners’ every whim.
In addition to infusing SoMA with a new, affluent population, Millennium Tower is inspiring positive change throughout the neighborhood.
What’s more, each resident will have access to completely unmatched amenities. The 20,000-square-foot club level, an exclusive haven in the midst of the bustling city, is more of a complex than a typical residential club. It houses a Sports Club/LA (“the five-star fitness management company,” as Baumert says); owners lounge; wine cellar and tasting room; children’s play room; screening room; pool, Jacuzzi, and pool terrace; and a private dining room that will be serviced by none other than Michael Mina. “He is one of the best chefs in the world,” Baumert exclaims. “He is operating our restaurant on the ground floor [RN74], which provides food service for the owners and for the private room and bar up on the club level.”
RN74 is already the talk of the town, and guests lined up around the block for the opening night in late April. The space is a collaboration between Millennium Partners, Michael Mina, and Mina Group Wine Director Rajat Parr. Mina and Parr are two of the most celebrated names in food and wine; to have such an acclaimed duo service a residential building is virtually unheard of, but it speaks to Millennium’s commitment to offering their residents nothing but the best. The superb restaurant also enhances the neighborhood as a whole, which has been Millennium Partner’s goal since the inception of the company. “We don’t build buildings, we create communities,” Baumert explains.
In addition to infusing SoMA with a new, affluent population, Millennium Tower is inspiring positive change throughout the neighborhood. “Anytime you take $600 million and invest into an area, you make a positive change,” says Baumert. “New restaurants are opening and the neighborhood is transforming. This is the next great neighborhood of San Francisco.” That statement will be further realized when the new Transbay Terminal is completed. (The current terminal is scheduled for demolition later this year, and the new center’s design is being hailed as the ideal model for downtown intermodal stations.)
The tower has received its residency permits, and owners began move-in at the end of April. However, there are still units available in each of the three residential components, and there is also a limited-opportunity rental program within select residences. To really grasp Millennium’s level of commitment to excellence, head down to Mission Street; grab a bite to eat and a glass of wine at RN74 and explore the building. Then imagine making that experience part of your daily living. Even if you grew up touring the world’s finest hotels, Millennium Tower gives you something to aspire to.
301 Mission Street