Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Completion of New 198 McAllister St. Building

UC Law SF Chancellor & Dean David Faigman, flanked by the law school’s leaders, partners and supporters, sliced a ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the new building at 198 McAllister St.

Throngs gathered in the heart of San Francisco for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 12 to celebrate the completion of UC Law SF’s newest building, marking a major step forward in the law school’s transformation into a multi-institutional learning and living community. 

UC Law SF Chancellor & Dean David Faigman spoke at a ceremony to celebrate the law school’s new building.

The new state-of-the-art building at 198 McAllister St. adds 656 units of much-needed housing for graduate students and professionals from UC Law SF and other institutions, including UCSF, UC Berkeley, University of the Pacific Dugoni School, and University of San Francisco. It also includes two mock courtrooms, a seventh-floor social commons, fitness center, dog run, and new spaces for the law school’s scholarly publications and innovative LexLab program, among other features. 

The 14-story building is part of a four-phase campus transformation plan known as the Academic Village. It envisions an urban campus community where students from different disciplines – including business, law, and medicine — can collaborate and work together to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. 

“With this building, we are well on our way to meeting our objective of creating an Academic Village in the heart of San Francisco,” said UC Law SF Chancellor & Dean David Faigman. “We aim to be one of the great urban campuses in the country.” 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed praised UC Law SF and its partners for constructing the new building “in record time.”

Hundreds packed into the building’s lower-level auditorium as Faigman sliced the ceremonial ribbon with a giant pair of scissors to mark the momentous occasion. Among those in attendance were city, state, and federal government leaders, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed. 

Addressing the crowd, Breed praised UC Law SF and its partners for constructing the building “in record time,” noting how it is among 2,000 new units of student housing built since 2017 in a city that has long struggled with a housing crisis. 

“This will be a game changer for so many of our institutions of higher learning because one of the first things that so many students complain about is the cost of living, and now we have a place like this to add to our housing portfolio,” Breed said. 

Catherine Lucey is Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UCSF, which will occupy a third of the new building’s 656 housing units.

The building’s 12 floors of student housing, known as the Academe at 198, opened in August, allowing hundreds of students and professionals to start occupying the fully furnished apartments, including efficiency, studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units.

One of the law school’s key partners is UCSF, whose students and professionals will occupy a third of the new housing units. Speaking at the event, UCSF Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Catherine Lucey noted how complex societal problems require solutions that span the fields of medicine, health care, law, health policy, and government. 

“It’s about the opportunity to bring students together in their most formative years to work with each other, to learn from each other, to build relationships with each other, and recognize their shared purpose,” she said. 

Other notable speakers included California Assemblymember Phil Ting, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Ismail Ramsey, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. ’58, and renowned trial attorney Joseph Cotchett ’64. 

UC Law SF Chief Financial Officer David Seward thanked the many individuals and organizations who supported, designed, and constructed the new building.

Before spectators toured the building and enjoyed light refreshments, UC Law SF Chief Financial Officer David Seward thanked the many partners who helped make the building possible, including real estate developer Greystar, general contractor Build Group, and architectural firm Perkins & Will, which designed the new building.

“We together overcame the impacts of a global pandemic, supply chain disruptions, frozen capital markets, and staffing disruptions,” he said. “We got it done, and we did it together.”  

Construction of the new building, which includes nearly 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, started in September 2020 and was funded by $364 million in tax-exempt bonds. The 350,000-square-foot building replaces the previous structure, Snodgrass Hall, which served as the law school’s main academic building from 1953 to 2020. 

The building’s completion is the second step of a four-phase Academic Village plan. The first phase was construction of the Cotchett Law Center, completed in 2020. The final two phases include a full renovation of the 28-story neo-Gothic tower at 100 McAllister St., scheduled to start in 2024, and development of a new structure at 201-247 Golden Gate Ave. in partnership with the union Unite Here Local 2.