A portion of the St. Regis site is occupied by the historic Williams Building, which was built in 1907 and incurred extensive structural damage in a 1989 earthquake. Carpenter was widely praised for its close work with governmental regulators and architects that led to a plan to save the historic building and successfully incorporate it into the project.
Carpenter was selected as the developer of the St. Regis site by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. Nine teams, including the team led by Carpenter, submitted proposals for the site. Among the respondents were Raddison, Wyndham, Penninsula, Promus and Tishman International. Based on an independent review of the proposals prepared by KPMG Peat Marwick (which recommended Carpenter), Carpenter was designated as developer of the site.