July 6, 2007

Fox Plaza (1390 Market): 250 New Condos In The Works

Fox Plaza: 1390 Market Street

According to J.K. Dineen, “Archstone-Smith is pushing forward with plans to raze the corner retail element [of Fox Plaza] and replace it with a 250-unit flatiron-style condo building.”

The planned wedge-shaped terra-cotta and glass 120-foot structure, with retail, would replace the low-slung building that houses Starbucks and a stationery shop, according to Presidio Development Partners President Mark Conroe, who was retained by Archstone-Smith to obtain city approvals for the residential development and sell off the office part. The new building would cost about $150 million based on current construction costs.

HellerManus has been tapped for the design (which will "speak to the energy level of the Civic Center area”) and the current 446 renal apartments (and 550-car garage) will remain in place.

Fox Plaza to replace retail with condos [Business Times]

First Published: July 6, 2007 7:41 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

please, please, please can't they just take down that hideous tower while they're at it? what an eyesore!

Posted by: teardownfox at July 6, 2007 9:00 AM

Sure, its not the prettiest building, but I don't think it'll stick out like a sore thumb as much in the future as it does today. With this new building, Argenta (which is being built) and other future buildings in the area, we should see a nicer neighborhood in the coming years. I for one am looking forward to it.

Posted by: SFhighrise at July 6, 2007 9:05 AM

I agree, SFhighrise, Fox Plaza is going to become less the 'sore thumb' with the current development across the street, the one kitty corner across Market and now this...who knows, in another 20 years perhaps it will be a 'classic' example of some sort of design school or other. (yes, I'm kidding)

Posted by: CameronRex at July 6, 2007 10:17 AM

Fox Plaza is ugly on the outside, but the views from the inside are absolutely wonderful. I should think that the views from the new highrise condos in the area will be a big selling point.

Posted by: Damion at July 6, 2007 10:59 AM

I just hope that some of the new buildings in the area help with the wind tunnel effect there.

They only mention the Starbucks and the stationary store - is the Post Office a separate building, or is that just left out? I'm having trouble recalling exactly how that low-rise stuff is set up right there...

Posted by: Brutus at July 6, 2007 11:21 AM

I guess I'm weird. I hope they don't change a thing there designwise. I've always liked the whatever-era quality of the buildings.

Posted by: EH at July 6, 2007 12:25 PM

I think the new builing should have burnt orange or a teal and some tarnished gold finishes to try to make the rotten chocolate bar brown retro-mode. I mean theres a big style hiccup in furniture, why not on building color. If any city, SF can pull it off. ha ha ha

Posted by: cd at July 6, 2007 1:23 PM

I have always been curious myself why they have never changed the color of THAT building! To think it is sitting on the site of what was called the "grandest" theater in America at one time. Though not my taste, the old theater was truly over the top, and would have been a fun place today for concerts and other events.

Posted by: anon2 at July 6, 2007 1:32 PM

yea, there's a post office there. they probably forgot to mention it. i too hope the new buildings are designed to curb the wind tunnel effect there. i doubt it though. may of the people who are all for these hi-risers don't live in the neighborhood and don't understand how terrible these buildings make the wind tunnel effect. it's barely walkable. and forget the view. if you live south of market in this area, your entire northwest view is blocked. no where else in SF is your view so obstructed.

Posted by: upper-mid-market at July 6, 2007 1:34 PM

upper-mid-market,

There are wind ordinances in effect now, primarily because of Fox Plaza. The EIR for any new tower would certainly look at the wind tunnel effect - my hope was that this new tower would HELP the old tower in some way - not sure if it can, but mitigation of the wind would be nice.

Posted by: Brutus at July 6, 2007 1:49 PM

According to the article the new structure will be just a not so towering 120 feet. That's about the heigth of the 12 floors of office space at Fox Plaza. This mid-rise proposal will disappoint (ok, anger) those who have patiently waited decades for new development to [camouflage] the Fox Plaza mistake.

I have seen renderings done in recent years for a proposed "Fox Plaza II" that roughly equals the 350' existing building. Clearly a TON of potential housing units are being lost here. I guess the housing crisis must be over.

While thousands of property owners have been fed the Planning Department's public gospel that "views are not protected by the The City"- the renters at Fox Plaza appear to have such protection. No doubt they put the syndicate of 'tenant rights' organizations to work to protect their views.

The Planning Department will politely say with a straight face that the 120' height has nothing to do with views but instead is the result of the developer's respect of the 'street wall' along Market or similar planning bureaucracy non-sense.

In reality, they likely dictated to the developer that any new building not block views from existing rental apartments. And then...just in case, quietly prepared to have the Civic Auditorium building redefined as a public park protected by the shadow ordinance - or some such.

... Just one more shining example of the upside down poverty-first political dogma that is in control of our town.

Posted by: sonofsoma at July 6, 2007 5:05 PM

So it sounds like the views from the apartments will be nicer than views from the condos at the same site. Should be interesting explaining that to buyers.

Posted by: Damion at July 6, 2007 5:57 PM

Why should it be interesting explaining that to buyers? If buyers want the better view, they're free to rent an apartment. Not all owned places should have better views than all rental places. (I'm not saying that this building should be shorter to protect views, I just get tired of the view that renters are a part of the proletariat throngs and nobody who owns a place should have anything inferior to those nasty renters)

Posted by: Damion checker at July 7, 2007 12:38 AM

I hope they make them keep the public plaza in front of the post office...

Posted by: BobN at July 16, 2007 11:23 PM

I have lived in the Fox Plaza for 36 years.

Every lease signed has a clause that the view is NOT guaranteed, an indication that the original owners had a guarantee by the city to build on the lowrise end of the building.

I am one of the minority that really likes the architecture of the Fox Plaza. It was one of the first buildings in the city built as an office/dwelling. My only quibble is that it was built broadside into the prevailing wind - I have actually heard my furniture creak in a wind storm. It will be interesting to see how the winds change with the new buildings going up in the neighborhood. Most people in the Fox Plaza like the new development - the neighborhood has been a desert at night with no restaurants. In the day we hope to see more services available.

Posted by: Jerry of San Francisco at July 26, 2007 11:57 PM

I've lived in Fox Plaza for 2 years. It's got to be one of the ugliest buildings i've ever seen, but it sure is sturdy. The wind on the west side is awful, but I love my view (which fortunately won't be obstructed by the Argenta). The only thing I wish I had was Jerry of San Francisco's rent- 36 years under rent control?!

Posted by: pica1986 at September 7, 2007 2:31 PM

I still can't believe, even after all these years the Fox Theater was demolished for this. And sadly, there will be nothing like it again.

Posted by: Mark W Schoenthal at July 11, 2008 3:10 PM

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