Oceanwide Center at First and Mission Streets was supposed to become SF’s second tallest building when construction broke ground in 2016. But little more than that first groundbreaking has been completed to this day, amid a slew of financial and legal troubles.

Now, a lawsuit brought against Oceanwide Center’s developers by its former general contractors, Swinerton and Webcor Builders, is in its final stages and going before a judge, per the Chronicle.

A quick recap of the long, litigious saga, in case you don’t remember: The Oceanwide Center development was going to be a flashy new, 61-story tower designed by Norman Foster, with a shorter tower beside it — the latter meant to become condos and a new Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Construction on the shorter tower was halted before the pandemic began, in October 2019, in an early signal of Oceanwide's troubles — which were driven by the real-estate bust in China. By December that year, Oceanwide had put the whole thing up for sale for $1 billion, but no one bought it. The project was taken over by Oceanwide creditors in 2021 when Oceanwide missed some payments.

Then, several contractors said that they had never gotten paid. Two firms, Swinerton and Webcor Builders, jointly sued the property’s developer, Oceanwide Holdings, the U.S. unit of Chinese conglomerate China Oceanwide Holdings Group, for unpaid work in 2021. They also filed a $108-million mechanics lien, which is a "hold" against the property by an unpaid contractor, subcontractor, laborer, or material supplier, according to the Chronicle. If unpaid, that forces the sale of the property in lieu of compensation.

The contractors and developers reached a $28 million settlement in November of 2023 to cover the outstanding claims. To get that money, the court could now force the sale of the property, which it seems like there’s little opposition to — except that there are still more related multi-million-dollar lawsuits against Oceanwide Holdings. In the next few weeks, an SF judge will decide on the next steps, the Chronicle reported.

Plus, the big question remains — who would buy a 1.2-acre property with a billion-dollar valuation that’s pretty much a hole in the ground in downtown San Francisco? It doesn’t seem like anyone would want to build new commercial real estate.

Previously: The Crisis Around Chinese Developer Evergrande May Impact Oceanwide Development In SF