March 11, 2014
Mission Bay 360 Building Is On Fire, Quite Literally
Half of BRE Properties' Mission Bay 360 project under construction at Fourth and China Basin has been on fire since 5pm with firefighters trying to contain the five-alarm fire to the 170-unit building on Mission Bay Block 5 which is expected to be a complete loss.
The second-half of the of the Mission Bay 360 development with 190 units on Mission Bay Block 11 appears to have been spared.
Salesforce Ready To Sell Two Mission Bay Parcels, And Not To Google
As we originally reported when Salesforce acquired 14 acres in South Mission Bay with the intention of building a nearly 2 million square-foot urban campus in San Francisco:
Two of the acquired lots are directly across the street from UCSF’s new Mission Bay Medical Center which is now under construction, thanks in large part to a $100 million donation from Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff.
With Salesforce having since abandoned their Mission Bay plans and rumors flying that Google might be planning to acquire the parcels to build an urban campus of their own, UCSF is now in "advanced discussions" to purchase Mission Bay Blocks 33 and 34 from Salesforce to build administrative offices and consolidate their leased and remote sites.
UCSF will be presenting their proposed purchase to the Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee this week. No word on the fate of the other five and one-half blocks of land.
Ironic Or Not: Designs For Condos Cater-Corner To Protest Site
Plans to raze the existing Unocal 76 Station on the northwest corner of Valencia and 24th Streets and construct a six-story condo building on the parcel have been drafted by Ian Birchall and Associates and submitted to Planning for their consideration and comments.
Zoned for development up to 55 feet in height, the plans for the 1298 Valencia Street site include 35 housing units atop a 3,500-square-foot retail space on the ground floor.
And yes, the gas station parcel is cater-corner to the very bus stop at which protesters first started blocking tech buses last year, protesting the gentrification of the Mission.
Another Battle Brewing Over Plans For Housing On Port Land
The Port of San Francisco has drafted a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of Seawall 322-1, with plans to build affordable housing upon the underdeveloped half-block parcel fronting Front Street between Broadway and Vallejo.
The Site is a paved, flat, rectangular land parcel, approximately 37,810 square feet in area; and it is currently being used as surface parking [for up to 225 cars,] leased on a month-to-month basis to Priority Parking [for $47,000 a month]. The Site is approximately 500 feet from the shoreline and under current estimates of sea level rise would not be affected in 2050 and only small portions of the site identified as becoming inundated under current estimates of 2100 sea levels. Anticipated impacts of climate change will be addressed during site and building design phases.
Current zoning for the Site is C-2 (Community Business), which allows residential as a permitted use; ground floor retail and podium parking may be appropriate companion uses subject to feedback during the entitlement process. The Site is in the City’s Northeast Waterfront Historic District and a 65-foot height limit is set for the Site. Given the Site’s development potential, and its location upland, away from the water, it appears to offer the greatest affordable housing development opportunity among the Port’s seawall lots in the northeastern waterfront.
As envisioned by the Port, the proposed development on the site would include affordable apartments above a ground level parking podium (for both the building and public) and retail space with the exact level of affordability for the apartments to be determined by the Mayor's Office of Housing and the selected developer "with appropriate public input."
Having reviewed the MOU for the parcel and "plan to develop affordable housing in the middle of the Barbary Coast neighborhood," the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association, Friends of Golden Gateway, SoTel Neighbors, and Telegraph Hill Dwellers are concerned.
The neighborhood groups' letter of disappointment and concern which was sent to the members of the Port Commission yesterday:
(Continue reading: "Another Battle Brewing Over Plans For Housing On Port Land")
Potrero Hill Compound Sells For $3.9 Million
Listed for $5,995,000 last June, reduced to $4,995,000 in September, and then cut to $4,350,000 in November, the sale of the 6,645 square foot former art school building at 2255 Mariposa Street and Utah which was remodeled and converted to legal dwelling units in 1987 has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,900,000.
From a plugged-in reader's rather rough assessment of the property late last year, keep in mind that the compound sits upon a 12,500 square foot parcel of bedrock:
(Continue reading: "Potrero Hill Compound Sells For $3.9 Million")
March 10, 2014
A New Peak For A Well-Designed Noe Valley Home
Listed for $2,599,000 last month, the John Maniscalco designed home at 836 Alvarado has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,400,000 ($1,037 per square foot). Yes, that's $801,000 "over asking," but more meaningfully, that's 27 percent over its purchase price of $2,700,000 in August of 2007, about a half year before the last cycle peak.
Stewardship For Self-Sustaining Public Plazas In San Francisco
The proposed San Francisco Plaza Program aims to boost the utilization of city-owned open spaces throughout San Francisco by allowing non-profit groups to assume their management, creating a network of self-sustaining plazas for community supported activities, such as art and music events, farmers’ markets, and local food/retail.
This [San Francisco Plaza Program] is designed to activate the public realm while empowering interested and City-identified stakeholder groups to steward the long term care, maintenance and/or activation of plazas adopted into the Plaza Program. If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the program would leverage benefits for the public realm by supporting community-based groups in becoming stewards of their neighborhood open space.
Plazas that fit criteria to be adopted in this program would be located on City-owned property in active areas of San Francisco, like commercial corridors, transit or bicycle hubs or other naturally active areas. Only City property generally over 2,000 square feet and outside of the Recreation and Parks Department jurisdiction would be eligible. Each proposed plaza would have a demonstrable need for a long-term activation and/or maintenance solution.
Plaza Stewards would be responsible for generating enough revenue to cover their approved activation, management and maintenance budgets. A portion of any excess plaza revenue could be used by the City to fund underperforming plazas in the program. And while the plazas will remain public spaces, a number of private events may be allowed.
If the Plaza Program is adopted, proposals for at least three plazas and plaza stewards are expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year.
∙ San Francisco Plaza Program Overview [oewd.org]
Filling Up Along The Van Ness Corridor: Filbert Street Corner Plans
On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, plans for a six-story building to rise on the former service station and perennial Delancy Street Christmas tree lot on the northwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and Filbert (a.k.a. 2601 Van Ness).
As proposed, the development includes 27 residential units (a mix of 1 one-bedroom, 18 two's and 8 three's) over 3 commercial spaces on the ground floor totaling 7,200 square feet and 35 underground parking spaces.
(Continue reading: "Filling Up Along The Van Ness Corridor: Filbert Street Corner Plans")
March 7, 2014
Three Teams And A Starchitect Bidding To Develop Transbay Block 8
Three teams have responded to the city's request for proposals to develop San Francisco's Transbay Block 8, the one-acre parcel fronting Folsom Street between First and Fremont.
The three developers bidding are Millennium Partners (think Millennium Tower), Related California (think the Paramount at 680 Mission), and Golub (think 299 Fremont). And according to the Business Times, a starchitect has been drafted for one of the designs.
The teams feature two well-known local architects as well as one of the "starchitect" variety. Related California has picked Rem Koolhaas' Office For Metropolitan Architecture. Koolhas has never completed a San Francisco building, though he is familiar with the city because a controversial Prada store he designed near Union Square was rejected more than a decade ago.
Golub is working with Chris Pemberton of Soloman Cordwell Buenz, which also is designing 299 Fremont. Millennium has selected Glenn Rescalvo of Handel Architects, who also designed the Four Seasons and Millennium Tower.
With a site that's zoned for a tower up to 550 feet in height, the city is seeking "a high-density, residential project with approximately 740 units, 27 percent of which must be affordable to qualifying households, and ground-floor retail in multiple building types," including the tower, townhouses, and podium buildings as rendered in red above.
A request for proposals to develop Transbay Block 8 was first issued back in 2008 but then cancelled in 2009 when when bids for the property came in "well below the potential value of the site in a healthier real estate market." The cancelled request had targeted the development of 597 housing units on the site, nearly 20 percent fewer than today.
Heads Up: Judge Rules Against FAA's Ban On Commercial Drone Use
A Federal Judge has ruled against the FAA with respect to their ban on the use of drones for commercial purposes, such as filming real estate from overhead, dismissing a $10,000 fine the FAA had issued to one such operator who was filming a commercial in Virginia.
The judge’s decision could open up the skies below 400 feet to farmers, photographers and entrepreneurs who have been battling the FAA over the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles.
NTSB Administrative Law Judge Patrick Geraghty ruled Thursday that the policy notices the FAA issued as a basis for the ban weren’t enforceable because they hadn’t been written as part of a formal rulemaking process.
The ruling, for now, appears to make it legal for drones to fly at the low altitude as part of a business — whether that’s delivering beer, photographing a baseball game or spraying crops.
The FAA had pledged to issue a formal rule on the commercial use of small drones by the end. In the meantime, the FAA could issue an emergency rule or appeal the judge's decision.