July 11, 2007
JustQuotes: Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House
“Sunset, in a joint venture with Meridian Builders & Developers, Inc., will create a 2007 Idea House in San Francisco that will take the magazine's Idea House Program into a dense urban area for the first time, and demonstrate how to maximize construction on a compact site. Opening in August 2007, the Mission District home will be one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residential remodeled homes in the nation."
UPDATE: We now have the actual address (and a photo of the work in progress).
First Published: July 11, 2007 3:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Very interesting that the Sunset Magazine web article does not give the address of the house. It does tell you how DRIVE to the parking garage for the shuttle for the house. Does anyone know where the house is actually located in case we would want to WALK, BIKE, or take public transportation to check it out?
Nice job by architect John Lum, I like the subtle references to William Wurster.
Posted by: anonwalker at July 11, 2007 3:53 AM
Great piece of innovative infill, on location I think this has already been mentioned in one of the earlier posting, but I'm sure a 'plugged in' Socketsite'r knows this.
Posted by: Observer at July 11, 2007 7:10 AM
It is in the Mission at Alabama and I believe 25th.
Posted by: walter at July 11, 2007 7:32 AM
is that just one house??? it looks quite large in the rendering. certainly enough for 2 homes if you're talking urban infill. Anyone know the lot size?
Posted by: artsybroad at July 11, 2007 11:00 AM
It looks like it has a 2 car garage also. I know this will get Brutus all wound up.
Posted by: anon3 at July 11, 2007 11:12 AM
Posted by: Brutus at July 11, 2007 12:19 PM
Glad you knew I was just having fun Brutus. :)
It is rather strange that they would want to do a home that is rather large for an urban area, with a suburban style garage with two parking spaces? Is this home showing the "wave of the future" in city living, for there are very few who could afford such luxury of space and parking. I would be curious to see what they will price this at when they go to sell it.
Posted by: anon3 at July 11, 2007 12:57 PM
25th & Alabama it is, and it took no end of searching to find out even that. (I should've just waited for Walter!)
I plan to take the 12 from Broadway & Montgomery to 25th & Folsom and then walk five blocks east to Alabama.
I tried to drop a note to Sunset to ask them how come what with a green building and all they neglected to put some public-transit-friendly directions on their writeup, but I couldn't easily find a Sunset e-addr to send suggestions to.
http://transit.511.org is your friend.
Posted by: Sal at July 12, 2007 1:29 PM
The 2 unit building is on 25th and Alabama. It is a remodel and the 2 car garage is existing and has been there for 60 years. The garage will contain an natural gas pump for natural gas vehicles.
Posted by: Lyssa at July 14, 2007 3:20 PM
Its a lot more convincing as an urban "idea house" (i.e. a prototype of sorts) if it is in fact at least 2 units on a lot that size. As such, urbanistically it seems reasonable, but nevertheless there does somehow seem to be a tinge of "suburban loft" to it so far... but I'm witholding final judgement until its fully complete.
Posted by: citicritter at July 15, 2007 10:05 PM
I have to wonder if they will hire 24-hr. private security to ensure no Mission-bingo articles (poo, panties, needles, etc.) are left on the corner. Perhaps it'll be too well-lighted for those sorts of shenanigans.
Posted by: baldguy at July 16, 2007 12:31 PM
I wonder how well the color and outer decor of the house will go with the ubiquitous black graffiti that decorates the rest of the neighborhood...
Posted by: vll at July 16, 2007 4:26 PM
The garage will contain an natural gas pump for natural gas vehicles.
Holy bejeezus! They should have expanded it to six cars then. Natural gas cars for everyone! Global warming solved! Runoff problems solved! Every other land use and pollution problem solved!
This house is like a dude putting hemp seat covers inside his Hummer and proclaiming it "green". A suburban rancher with two car garage in one of the most transit-friendly areas of the West in a lot zoned RH-2? Oh, it's green - 'cuz it has naty gas pumps in the garage.
Gimme a break!
Posted by: anon at July 16, 2007 4:37 PM
Thanks for the laugh. This has become one of my newest problems with clients. They want their home "green", but yet still want everything they did before (subzero, two dishwashers, 5 bath including the master "spa bathroom", etc.) Like the Sunset Magazine house, I have now had 3 clients ask me for a "Spa Bathroom", with overflowing tub, and all the right zen tiles, sinks and lamps. I just roll my eyes because a 800 sq. ft. bathroom is still not very "earth friendly" imho.
Posted by: Morgan at July 16, 2007 5:10 PM
It is indeed zoned RH-2, but has in fact been a single-family above retail for as long as I've know it (about 15 years).
Posted by: CRS at July 19, 2007 1:45 AM
We live in this neighborhood.
The owner never did a Pre-App meeting, and when the plywood sheathing went up around the exterior siding, we thought it was to protect the facade. Little did we know that what they were doing inside of that wall of sheathing was what seems to have been an illegal demolition.
The Building Inspector says that there is nothing we can do about any of this.
We call the Monster on the Corner various things; the most obvious is "the refrigerator."
Another of us says it reminds him of Ren & Stimpy. I think he says that because it's so ugly, with no redeeming neighborhood character whatsoever. Or maybe because it's the ghastly color(s) on unremittingly cheap composite siding.
Leafing through the Architectural Design Guidelines,
what stands out are the sheer number of items which are "out of compliance," "out of character," "out of place" in contrasting this structure with the house which was demolished.
It's difficult to say which of the many many Design Guidelines/ Design Principles it violates are the most egregious, but perhaps in the two top positions may be
- the lack of a 15-foot 3rd-storey setback,
- the bad fit with the rest of the neighborhood in each and every Design Guideline category.
The sheer Ren & Stimpy refrigerator-ness of it is appalling, and as we learned today we are looking forward to a windmill rising in its backyard which will tower over 15 feet over all surrounding structures. Aren't we lucky to have this as a neighbor!
We know this was supposed to be "green," but we know from the trash blowing around the neighborhood during construction that the builders took no care to contain the materials and trash.
Posted by: CRS at July 19, 2007 2:05 AM
hello everyone considering i live down the street for over 20 years the previuos building was like a edward mixed used building i remember that of structure it looked like it was going major renavation and putting a two sided parking but then after the winter storm i saw the empty lot and saw this new structure going up honesty i think that this building going to blend well even the color
has anyone walked around the place there are other older homes that have bad colors for thier facades
Posted by: archtecture student at July 22, 2007 12:50 AM
"archtecture (sic) student":
If you truly do live here, then you know that there never was an "empty lot."
They sheathed the original building in plywood to hide the illegal demolition, and then built what they had intended to build from the outset.
What the heck is "two sided parking"? There has been a two car garage on the property for years and years. As written above, it has been there for 60 years.
When was there a "winter storm"? This past winter was really mild.
Bad colors on nearby facades? There is *one* house nearby badly painted in what is basically three unfortunately vivid trim colors. Outside of that, most are bland taupes and tans.
The 3027 - 25th St project should never have been OKd by the Planning Commission.
Posted by: CRS at July 26, 2007 11:50 AM
there is no need to be all ms huffy puffy about the building its already going up and we need to deal with it its nice and its green deal with it what up with mr crs sounds like wants to be mr know it all gosh its a simple blog and people are just trying to provide info about the area and express thier ideas about the project so there is no need to be insulting other peoples coments and act like you know everything about it or so dramatic like they wrote walk around the area to see other colors like york and harrison streets gishh well everyone take care and hopefully crs doesnt insult me for writing this
Posted by: ms victorian lady at August 2, 2007 4:44 PM
No need to.
Congratulations: you've handily taken care of that detail yourself!
Posted by: CRS at August 2, 2007 6:53 PM
It's whining busybodies like CRS that make the city nearly unbearable to live and work in, demanding that the rest of the world honor their aesthetic fetishes, stifling creativity, and in doing so impeding growth and improvement in the quality of life. You should just be glad the place isn't a burnt out, derelict crackhouse and get over their choice of paint.
Posted by: sidney W. at August 28, 2007 2:28 PM
Seems like sidney W. misses CRS main point...the fact that this developer and architect somehow were able to get this project past planning and that justice to the rest of the neighborhood wasn't served. The developer will sell this off and the rest of those in the neighborhood will be stuck with the after shock of it for years to come.
CRS did you ever receive the 311, neighborhood notification? If not, you may have a strong point with the city, the inspector and others. If you didn't receive the 311's, then how could you have possibly voiced your right to protest?
Posted by: tini at August 28, 2007 10:56 PM
Thank you tini,
You hit the nail on the head: the various greens on the house are not the issue AT ALL. Indeed, as you note, Mr W misses the point completely.
Actually, we did not get a 311 Notice.
It was NEVER a "burnt out derelict crackhouse." Given the active neighbors, I doubt it would be allowed to become such...
We're all for improvement in quality of life, but there are certain City standards -- not personal standards -- that should be complied with, in this case the Architectural Design Guidelines.
All we're saying is that it could have been done in a respectful manner, and in compliance with Code and Guidelines.
I just posted a reply at the other socketsite discussion of this property.
So as not to repeat, I'll simply paste the URL here:
Posted by: CRS at August 30, 2007 2:03 PM
I just wanted to let you all know the house is wonderful i am a close friend of owner it is not for sale and is entirely green wind and solar power rain water waters garden and toilets all of interior is made green or with scraps and everything is up to code and legal. you are all just mad because you like to whine get a life and a job. and stop trying to slow down progress go bitch on your own
Posted by: mars at August 30, 2007 5:12 PM
Ugh, Mars, this is a public blog where people are allowed to voice their opinions and "bitch" in a public forum. Do you have any concept or understanding of this whatsoever?
and since you are such a good friend with the owner, are you stating that the building won't be sold at any point in time?
Did the owner "notify" the neighbors that there would be a huge wind turbine in their neighborhood? Was it on the original 311's that went out?
Are you stating that any of us can now go and get a permit for a wind turbine or a natural gas pump? I guess so since this house got permits for it, right?
And who, are you referring to that is trying to "slow down progress". I would probably argue that most bloggers here are for progress....but progress that is rationally thought through with an eye for it's future implications.
Posted by: tini at September 7, 2007 12:11 PM
It really IS great that the house is green and all that. And that it is up to code and "legal."
But it was also an illegal demolition, no 311 Notice, and a lot of the structure's original support timbers and siding were NOT reused. They went into the dumpster.
Please do not make this part of the discussion something about which it is not: it is not about how green the house is.
It is not about that it is all Code-compliant. (Although the legality of a gas tank/pump smack dab in a crowded residential neighborhood is, well, odd now isn't it?)
What this IS about is the owner's lack of communication and outreach to the neighbors.
As an example; the owner made no attempt at keeping up the exterior in the years before she began the *cough* "extensive renovations."
If she had been a good neighbor and done that, and if she had had the required Pre-App neighborhood meeting, perhaps we would not be here now because we could have some level of trust in her to act in a responsible way.
Are we to expect the same level of neglect with the new plantings as she showed with the previous street trees, etc?
Are we to expect the same disregard of the neighbors as before?
What is upsetting is her attitude and pattern of "You don't count; I can do anything I want."
Posted by: CRS at September 13, 2007 9:41 PM
Its people like CRS that ruin SF for anybody that's trying to build new modern structures in place of the crap that makes up 99% of the housing stock here.
The problem is $$$$. Unless know-it-alls and people with nothing to do are willing to put up $$$$$$$ (like 50%-100% of the cost of design revisions) to get the owner to "redesign" the house to what they'd rather see it be, then their talk is cheap.
Architects can do changes, but changes cost $$$$. So unless someone is putting up $$$, talk is cheap.
The "You don't count" mentality is easily justified: its the owner's property and the owner's money. Are YOU willing to give the owner 150K to change the design?
If you aren't, then here's a hard life lesson for you: you DON'T count.
Posted by: SickofSFNeighbors at September 18, 2007 9:01 AM
First sickofsfneighbors (sure hope you don't live in this city), it seems you know this project pretty intimately, how is that? Are you a developer that lives somewhere else? A realtor/financier who just has money involved?
And this fast track you speak of, is there still the 311 process?
Can anyone now remodel their house green (solar, thermal, wind, etc.) and fast track it? That would be great. What level of "green" must one have and is that level determined before or after construction?
Regarding how the system works: the system wasn't set up so that only people who have $$ involved (owners, developers, etc.) are the ones to have a voice...it was set up for all the people who must live around it.
It seems like you have a fundamental problem with the system and one that you should direct to the city of SF and spend your time and money changing.
However, until you and others who agree with you make that change, you must abide by the law of the land which says that neighbors due have a voice.
You kind of sound like someone who thinks law and rules don't apply to them....kind of like OJ Simpson and Bill Belichick!
Posted by: tini at September 19, 2007 3:47 PM
I live in the neighborhood and happen to know that a lot of the neighbors love the house. I also recieved a 311 notice about the project few years ago. If you didn't it is probably because you are a renter and don't own your property. Also, if you were not invited to the pre app meeting, perhaps you do not live in one of the five houses that the meeting was for.
(It is the mission, not bernal. Get your neghiborhood requirements right or you sound like a fool.)
Once you get a job and buy a house you too will be informed and have the right to complain to the planning department about progress. Until then, all you have is a computer and other not employeed complainers to make up shit with.
I know for a fact that the building took a few years to get permits due the historic review and design revisions requested by the planning department.
Not really sure where all of you get your miss-information but it is all public record; just look it up.
Nevermind, I get it. It is more fun to make up bullshit and gossip than talk about facts.
Posted by: lgeore at September 24, 2007 7:14 PM
I rent in this neighborhood and many of the neighbors HATE this building and it is YOU who have your facts mistaken. All people within 300 feet of the project (business owners, home owners, renters) should receive a 311 notification..not just home owners. Just call the planning department and ask! It is all public information.
So, even a lowly renter like me should still have notice of changes to my neighborhood that are withing 300 feet.
Also, the creation of a wind turbine that was NOT originally in the 311's should cause NEW 311 notification to go out....again, just ask the planning department!
Posted by: you'reignorant at September 26, 2007 4:11 PM
you are all [Removed by Editor] talk about your own lives [Removed by Editor] grow a pair and get a job the house is great and CRS your'e the biggest [Removed by Editor] i have ever heard
Posted by: Brody at September 27, 2007 8:05 PM
So, it looks like it is going to sell after all....could the developer have run out money earlier than expected and needs to earn a quick buck????
the secondary, smaller unit which faces Alabama hits the market this weekend. The MLS claims it is 1200 square feet...i'll bet it is closer to 900- seemed that way last weekend when i went in and saw it. 900 or 1200....it is still asking over $1mil as a TIC....what a deal! I wonder how long the new owners will stay when they get sick of not seeing out their bedroom windows or getting any fresh air and then they are woken up at all hours of the night by the bums that use 25th as their interstate hwy to recycling land.
do a google search and you'll see the link for the curbed article.
I also wonder if they get to live there while the tour is going on or if they have to close after the final tour? Who would want to do that or has the money to do that?
[Editor's Note: The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market]
Posted by: modernlover at September 28, 2007 11:49 PM
the house is green and environmentally friendly plus the house was never Demolished so just leave the family that is building the house alone the project is behind schedule so they probably have enough to deal with
Posted by: John at October 8, 2007 8:48 PM
yes you truely are ignorant. 311 address mailers are pulled off property tax records. Only the people on title get the notice. so unless your landlord is willing to put you on the title of the house, don't expect to be counted in as someone who matters.
The mailer goes to the address of the owner that is listed. if you are renting then the owner of the building probably has a different mailing address. the 311 notice will be mailed to them directly. NOT YOU.
ALSO FOR ALL YOU IDIOTS WHO ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT A 311 NOTICE FOR THE WIND TURBINE:
RENEABLE ENERGY DOES NOT REQUIRE A 311 NOTICE.
NEIGHBORS CANNOT PREVENT RENEWABLE ENERGY SO QUIT BITCHING ABOUT IT.
Instead why don't you work on ways so you too can lessen the enviornmental impact you and your house cause.
Posted by: lgeore at October 23, 2007 3:56 PM
I'm a neighbor to this house and I'm disappointed with what I perceive as sanctimonious profiteering. Our neighborhood doesn't need a $2M luxury concept. Further, what good is their windmill if they leave the lights on all night for marketing purposes?
Neighbors are complaining about the way that they (Sunset and Meridian) have used constantly changing signs and an inexplicable SFPD presence to block locals out of approximately 8 parking spots at the corner of 25th and Alabama. Meanwhile Meridian parks their SUV in front of other homes!
Not very enlightened or sustainable behavior in my opinion.
Posted by: Annoyed at January 13, 2008 7:20 PM
As a resident of the block between 25th and 26th Street and Alabama Street, I can attest that this house has NOT been a boon to the neighborhood and that the builders have conducted no outreach to residents. Rather, they've somehow snookered a deal to block off parking and they regularly tow residents that park in "their" spots. Note that there are 2 churches on this block as well and neither of these long standing community ventures have access to protected street parking.
Posted by: Michele at January 13, 2008 7:35 PM
you people need to get a life ,i went to a party here not long ago.I have to say that the house is beyond cool. all you haters should just let it go. Its not like all your winning is going to make the building go away is it? o yeah i almost forgot the owner of the house is super sweet.
Posted by: 131 at September 13, 2009 11:19 AM