Explore award-winning projects from San Francisco and across the globe—no travel required.

Join these exclusive virtual tours led by the visionaries who developed each project. Gain behind-the-scenes insights and ask questions as if you were there in person. All tours are included with your meeting registration.

Exterior photograph of the Aoyama building from the 2020 ULI Fall Meeting virtual tour

Aoyama Building

Tokyo, Japan
2019 Winner: ULI Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence

Originally built in 1972, the structure sits adjacent to the crown prince’s residence and directly above the Aoyama Itchome subway station. It was purchased in 2015 using an innovative nonrecourse financing package. The goal was to renovate the building through selective refinements to its classic architecture, a dramatic redesign and re-tenanting of its retail and amenities spaces, and extensive updating of its internal systems to meet the needs of modern tenants.

For Japan, where owners of institutional-quality office buildings generally prefer to demolish and redevelop, this was a relatively unusual exercise. The commercial and aesthetic success of the renovation may encourage owners of similar buildings in Japan—those with strategic locations, efficient floorplates, acceptable floor-to-ceiling heights, and excellent transportation access—to follow the same path.

A home in the moderately priced Beach Plum Village of Nantucket Island

Beach Plum Village

Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
2020 Finalist: ULI Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards

On the popular summer resort island of Nantucket, housing prices have gone sky high. Too often, year-round residents—the island’s essential workforce—are priced out or forced to move to the mainland for the summer. Thanks to the state’s innovative affordable housing statute (Chapter 40B), Rising Tide Development was able to create Beach Plum Village with no public subsidies. This residential community of single-family cottages fully integrates 10 permanently affordable dwellings with 30 high-end market-rate homes. 

Chase Center

San Francisco, California, USA

In building a new home for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the team’s owners wanted to create a destination that all of San Francisco and the Bay Area could enjoy. The 10-acre project site in the Mission Bay district offers a huge plaza for live outdoor events, a retail and dining hub filled with some of San Francisco’s top chefs, and a world-class performance venue, all keyed on mass transit and setting the stage for the emerging neighborhood of Mission Bay. 

Exterior photo of the Circl building from the ULI 2020 Fall Meeting virtual tour


Amsterdam, Netherlands 
2020 Finalist: ULI Europe Awards for Excellence 

Circl is a new pavilion created by ABN AMRO in Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, which has been designed and constructed according to sustainable and circular principles. The 3,300m2 pavilion has been created to be energy efficient and easy to disassemble, to make as little impact as possible on the planet. Many of the things used to build Circl have already had a previous life. Other raw materials – from the wood used in its construction to the aluminium on its outer walls – can be put to new uses in the future. What’s more, Circl is a living lab – more than 150.000 professionals, students and neighborhood residents have already visited Circl with thousands participating in circular economy trainings, knowledge sharing and community events. Circl is a building that became a movement: we join forces to accelerate the shift to sustainability. 

Photo of the exterior of the City Center Bishop Ranch virtual tour

City Center Bishop Ranch

San Ramon, California, USA 

Sunset Development Company teamed with internationally renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano to design its 300,000-square-foot City Center. The unique retail and lifestyle destination was designed with a one-acre square as its geographic heart and community gathering space. The square features walkways that direct guests to the center’s 70 tenants anchored by an independent cinema, Equinox Fitness and 24 food and beverage outlets. With the gentle rolling hills of San Ramon in the East Bay of San Francisco as its backdrop, City Center serves as an amenity to Sunset’s 10-million-square foot Bishop Ranch office park. It will also ultimately serve as a community anchor and amenity for Bishop Ranch’s next layer of growth, a planned 4,500-unit housing development and boutique hotel that would complete the family-owned developer’s vision for this increasingly prosperous exurban community. 

Exterior of the Empire Stores building, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background

Empire Stores

New York, New York, USA
2019 Winner: ULI Global Awards for Excellence

A successful public-private partnership has led to a sparkling new development on the Brooklyn waterfront, where a massive, long-disused, 19th-century coffee bean warehouse is now a 21st-century assemblage of stores, dining, a private club, premium tech offices, and lush public space. A diagonal slice through the 450-foot-long property unites all elements, opening the once-dark interior and creating welcoming public spaces. The loss of floor area resulting from this intervention enabled the addition of two new stories to the structure, providing sweeping views of the East River and lower Manhattan Skyline on one side and of a revived Brooklyn on the other. 

Salesforce Tower and Salesforce Park

San Francisco, California, USA
2020 Finalist: ULI Urban Open Space Award

Completed in 2018, the 1.4-million-square-foot Salesforce Tower, developed by Boston Properties, is San Francisco’s tallest building and an exemplar of green design principles. Salesforce Transit Center is not only San Francisco’s marquee transportation hub, it’s also the basis for a 5.4-acre, lushly landscaped rooftop public park, stretching four city blocks south of the city’s Financial District. Linked by a pedestrian bridge, Salesforce Tower is one of two buildings directly connected to the park and together, these structures form the iconic heart of a burgeoning high-density mixed-use neighborhood.  

Exterior of the Victoria Yards building in the 2020 ULI Fall Meeting virtual tour

Victoria Yards

Johannesburg, South Africa
2020 Finalist: ULI Europe Awards for Excellence

At Victoria Yards, a visionary developer has brought together a diverse team of like-minded stakeholders to reclaim and transform abandoned brownfields that had been teeming with auto-body chop-shops into a thriving community resource. The long-term goal of Victoria Yards’ patient private investors is to build a profitable multi-faceted operation that will revitalize the surrounding area – one of Johannesburg’s most hard-pressed districts – through urban regeneration that incorporates gentrification without displacement. The still-evolving 200,000-square-foot site contains vegetable and herb gardens, a small wellness clinic, a vibrant school, and other social enterprises, as well as housing artists and artisans – and a gin distillery. 

Children playing on the Yanaguana Garden playground equipment. See more of the park in the virtual tour.

Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair

San Antonio, Texas, USA
2020 Finalist: ULI Urban Open Space Awards

The 1968 World’s Fair displaced a thriving community in the middle of San Antonio’s downtown. Now, intensive community collaboration with the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation has yielded Yanaguana Garden, a 4.1-acre public park brimming with artistry and innovative recreational features and programming. This hugely popular playground for the entire city, designed to host public gatherings from festivals to protests to sports championship celebrations, is the anchor for a planned redevelopment of the entire 40-acre Hemisfair site, fallow for half a century. Affordable and workforce housing, along with cultural, civic space and local retail, aims to fully reconnect the surrounding community to downtown, the Convention Center and Riverwalk.