April 24, 2014

19-Story Tower To Rise Over SF's Mining Exchange Building

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A joint venture between the Gemdale Corporation and Lincoln Property Company has been formed to develop the 19-story office tower to rise at 350 Bush Street as designed by Heller Manus, incorporating the historic terra cotta facade and columns of the historic San Francisco Mining Exchange Building on the parcel and developing the long-vacant lot next door.

The development will provide 360,000 square feet of office space with a grand lobby in the historic exchange hall, a galleria at the street level, a mid-block pedestrian link between Bush and Pine Streets, and outdoor space above the addition on the adjacent lot.

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Readers' Comments (1) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Bay Buildings, Breaking News, Commercial, Design & Architecture

Ballot Measure "To Restore SF's Transportation Balance" Proposed

A proposed ballot measure entitled "Restoring Transportation Balance in San Francisco" has been submitted to San Francisco's Department of Elections for processing.

From the draft summary for the decidedly pro-car measure, which starts by noting that, "with 79% of San Francisco households owning or leasing an automobile...it is time for the Mayor, the Supervisors, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board to restore a balanced transportation policy for all San Franciscans":

The Board of Supervisors created a Transit First policy in 1973. In 1999, the SFMTA was created. Its unelected board was granted exclusive authority to dictate the City’s transportation policies. Since then, the Transit First policy has morphed into one that favors public transportation and bicycles, to the exclusion of any other mode of transportation. Nevertheless, a majority of San Franciscans want the automobile option for its convenience, personal safety, and freedom of movement.
The City has eliminated thousands of off-street and on-street parking spaces through new construction and the creation of new bike lanes. The City also removed the requirement that one parking space be created for each new residential unit constructed. To make matters worse, the SFMTA has not constructed a single new parking garage since the 1990s. These out-of-balance policies have contributed to a severe shortage of parking spaces in the City.

If passed, the measure would eliminate the operation of parking meters in San Francisco on holidays, Sundays, and outside the hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm and would freeze the fees for meters, garages, tickets and parking permits for five years. In addition, the introduction of new meters or variable meter pricing into neighborhoods where they currently do not exist would only be allowed "upon petition by the majority of the affected household and merchants."

The measure also calls for traffic laws to be "enforced equally for everyone," for any proposed re-engineering of traffic flows to achieve "smoother-flowing streets," and for SFMTA monies to be earmarked for the construction and operation of new neighborhood parking garages.

Readers' Comments (59) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: As Proposed, Breaking News, Neighborhoods

San Francisco's City Attorney Sues Short-Term Rental Scofflaws

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed two lawsuits against landlords in San Francisco for illegally converting their apartments into short-term rentals, which the property owners then marketed through online platforms such as Airbnb, Homeway, and VRBO.

"In the midst of a housing crisis of historic proportions, illegal short-term rental conversions of our scarce residential housing stock risks becoming a major contributing factor," said Herrera. "[These] cases are the first among several housing-related matters under investigation by my office, and we intend to crack down hard on unlawful conduct that’s exacerbating - and in many cases profiting from - San Francisco’s alarming lack of affordable housing."

If successful, the litigation could result in permanent court-ordered injunctions; civil penalties of up to $200 per day for Planning Code violations; up to $2,500 for each unlawful business act (i.e., rental); disgorgement of illegally obtained profits; and attorneys' fees.

As we first reported in 2012: How To Lose Up To $1,000 A Day (Or Your Lease) Using Airbnb. At the time, there were 2,518 apartments in San Francisco listed on airbnb as short term rentals. As of last week, there were over 6,200 rentals listed.

The addresses and actions behind the two lawsuits:

(Continue reading: "San Francisco's City Attorney Sues Short-Term Rental Scofflaws")

Readers' Comments (42) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Industry Stuff, Rentals

April 23, 2014

Polk Street Parking Lot Shuttered, Apartments Ready To Rise

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The parking lot on the 101 Polk Street parcel has been shuttered, its kiosk razed, and the heavy equipment should soon appear to start preparing the site on the northwest corner of Polk and Hayes for the 13-story building with 162 rental units over a subterranean garage to rise.

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Readers' Comments (17) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Design & Architecture, Neighborhoods, New Developments

New Home Sales Tumble While Inventory Jumps

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The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. dropped to 384,000 in March, down 14.5 percent from the 449,000 pace as measured in February and 13.3 percent lower on a year-over-year basis. At the same time, the inventory of new single-family homes for sale in the U.S. is up 25 percent, year-over-year.

The pace of new single-family home sales as measured in March has averaged 656,000 over the past 50 years and peaked at 1,328,000 in 2005.

Readers' Comments (28) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Trends

A Swing And A Miss For The Oakland A's Proposed Lease Extension

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Having pitched a proposed 10-year lease extension for the Oakland Coliseum, the Oakland A's have rejected the terms offered by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority yesterday, saying little more than the deal "did not address all of [their] issues."

Readers' Comments (2) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: As Proposed, East Bay

Going, Going, And Nearly Gone On Cathedral Hill

As a plugged-in reader reports, there's not much left of the old Jack Tar/Cathedral Hill Hotel and the block should be cleared by the end of the month (click image to enlarge), making room for CPMC's Cathedral Hill Hospital to rise.

Readers' Comments (11) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Bay Buildings, Neighborhoods, SocketSite Readers Report

April 22, 2014

Five Teams Competing To Design A New Gateway To The Presidio

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Twenty-five teams responded to a request for qualifications to design 10 acres of new parkland in the Presidio which will connect the Presidio's Main Post with Crissy Field, the Presidio Gateway project, and the Presidio Trust has just announced the finalists.

The Gateway project also includes three acres of newly designed parklands adjacent to the Crissy Field Center, including facilities and grounds for youth programs.

The final five teams, their pitches, and examples of their work (which includes the High Line in New York, Tongva Park in Santa Monica, and Waller Creek in Austin):

1. CMG Landscape Architecture (San Francisco)
2. James Corner Field Operations (New York)
3. OLIN (Philadelphia/Los Angeles)
4. SNØHETTA (Oslo/New York /San Francisco)
5. West 8 Team (Rotterdam/Brussels/New York)

Each of the teams will be awarded a $25,000 stipend to develop its proposal over the next two months and their designs will be presented to the public in the fall. And speaking of the public, the Presidio Trust will launch an open "ideas competition" next month and is inviting the public to meet the five design teams at a forum on May 6.

Readers' Comments (8) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Being Green, Design & Architecture, Neighborhoods

Existing US Home Sales Slip Again, Slowest Pace Since 2012

While the number of homes on the market in the US is now 9.5 percent higher on a year-over-year basis, and "the weather" is no longer an even remotely credible excuse, existing-home sales slipped again in March and are now running 7.5 percent lower year-over-year, the slowest pace of sales since July of 2012.

The pace of existing-home sales in the West fell 3.7 percent from February to March and is running 13.4 percent lower on a year-over-year basis versus 10.1 percent lower last month.

Readers' Comments (0) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Trends

LinkedIn Snags An Entire San Francisco Tower To Call Their Own

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LinkedIn has reportedly agreed to lease the entire 26-story building rising at 222 Second Street, on the southwest corner of Second and Howard, according to Bloomberg. The 450,000-square-foot building which is being developed by Tishman Speyer is slated to be ready for occupancy in late 2017.

Readers' Comments (20) | Permalink | Email Story | Filed under: Bay Buildings, Commercial


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