April 9, 2008

32 Condos Coming "Soon" To The Corner Of Hayes And Franklin

Corner of Hayes and Franklin

Patrons of the arts (and Hayes Valley) take note, the surface area parking lot at the corner of Hayes and Franklin is no longer (nor is the little building next door) as they're finally preparing the site for the newest addition to the neighborhood.

Hayes and Franklin: Coming Soon (www.SocketSite.com)

The mixed-use development will consist of thirty-two (32) condos over ground floor retail with design by Sternberg Benjamin Architects and development by Village Properties/Hayes Franklin Builders Corp.

Hayes and Franklin: Design

UPDATE: The site does indeed include the structure next to the parking lot (which is in the process of being razed); and while they're in the process of preparing the site, they haven't yet broken ground (but pilings have been delivered).

First Published: April 9, 2008 5:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

As a patron of the symphony I hate to see a cut in the number of parking spots- but that lot is a pretty inefficient use of a few parking spaces and fairly ugly. Probably not a big loss.

Maybe this would be a good time for some of the most plugged in readers to comment on the state of condo supply in SF. The numbers just seem to keep going up. Worried about the impact on pricing but glad I live in a 1920s Edwardian instead of a cookie cutter south of Market. (yes I know this one is North of Market)

Posted by: resp at April 9, 2008 6:33 AM

Pretty sweet location, if I recall correctly - there's a bunch of good restaurants located along that stretch of Hayes, including my second favorite burger joint in The City - Flippers (I still put Joe's Cable Car at #1). But it's painful to think about the dining options in San Francisco now that I don't live there anymore. Please, someone, have some dim sum for me.

Posted by: Mose at April 9, 2008 7:15 AM

I just walked by the site the other day and think it includes the adjacent lot to the rear with the small building on it.

Posted by: jal at April 9, 2008 7:39 AM

Kind of generic, but nice to see this being developed.

Posted by: Michael E at April 9, 2008 7:53 AM

There are plenty of mostly empty parking garages around the symphony. Surface parking in the area really needs to go - great to see one of the lots will be gone soon, even if the building is too short and bland. Why not 6-8 stories here? I don't get it.

Posted by: anon at April 9, 2008 8:15 AM

Agree about parking in the symphony area. I've parked on surface lots for years on nights out at the symphony, and love the easy in and out, but there really is plenty of parking even as these lots get developed. I'd rather see a building than an ugly surface parking lot. There is always space in the Civic Center garage, and it's very close by. It just needs better management.

Posted by: curmudgeon at April 9, 2008 8:28 AM

It seems like the developers and architects just cut-and-paste the building design from any number of generic low-rise condo buildings.

Where's the imagination?

Posted by: greater fool at April 9, 2008 8:30 AM

More density! More housing in SF! And, RESP, with all due respect, take the bus!

Posted by: Tweety at April 9, 2008 8:34 AM

I have to agree that I feel like I have seen this building design several times already, but it's good to see something go through that adds density and improves land use in SF.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at April 9, 2008 9:00 AM

the design is essential 'the Hayes' part 2.

but not too bad. but definitely not innovative.

same old story, unfortunately

as for a parking.. i couldn't give a darn. all parking lots should be developed into housing, imo.

Posted by: Gabriel at April 9, 2008 9:11 AM

Dittos on the ultra-bland design. Given the slowdown on the Octavia Corridor actually being developed, couldn't "they" take some of the more innovative housing designs and move it here?

Overall, though, a parking lot used a few times a year replaced by housing and shop space? Bring it on.

Posted by: Brian at April 9, 2008 9:30 AM

A bit more precision this morning (i.e., UPDATE): As "jal" notes, the site does include the structure next to the parking lot (which is in the process of being razed); and while they're in the process of preparing the lot (with pilings already on site), they haven't yet broken ground.

And as an aside, Sternberg Benjamin Architects was commissioned circa 2005. Simply food for thought.

Posted by: SocketSite at April 9, 2008 9:49 AM

I think anything that replaces a surface lot and brings more housing density (and ground floor retail) to the area is good.
Re: "the building is too short and bland. Why not 6-8 stories here? I don't get it." -- there are pretty strict height limits for this area, as shown here:
For some areas, taller isn't always better.

Posted by: MovingSoon at April 9, 2008 9:52 AM

I was just about to say that it looks like a shorter, earth-toned version of the Palms on 4th street. I guess it's a generic enough design that it looks like any multitude of new condos.

Posted by: g at April 9, 2008 9:54 AM

32 condos at 4 stories is 8 condos per floor. When I look at the photo, including hallway space, those are going to be mighty small.

I have the perfect marketing plan! "Parking has become harder for the symphony ever since we started building these condos...so, with the more difficult parking situation, now you'll want a pied-a-terre you can use when you come to the symphony!

Posted by: tipster at April 9, 2008 10:06 AM

Like everybody else, bummed about the parking loss, but will find other options...wish the building could be a little less cookie-cutter, but it's better than nothing.

Posted by: Foolio at April 9, 2008 10:10 AM

Nice to see the elimination of old-generation, car-oriented use of precious space.

Building isn't offensive, but another example of an important site which is underbuilt. If we build @ heights which were common in 1908 um, let's just forget about, and stop the density-leaning myth. This corner site could have taken the lead from a few other more prominent neighboring buildings and risen to 6-8 stories. (and yes even a well designed taller building would have worked well in this location).

With the growing bicycle network, excellent bus service to everywhere, MUNI and BART steps away -- a walk-to-work location -- we have to be kidding to be building just 4 stories of housing in one of the few developable sites in the area (Octavia parcels exempted).


Posted by: Invented at April 9, 2008 10:34 AM

The average age of symphony patrons is approaching 178 years, so driving to the symphony is probably on the wane.

Posted by: Jeffrey W. Baker at April 9, 2008 10:45 AM

glad to see more density in area.

2 points.
1) I think this should be at least 3 floors taller. the building is currently short and squat and plain and boring

2) I would hate to see less parking in this neighborhood too. Publci transportation to hayes valley sucks. Hopefully they plan to build an extra floor of underground parking for retail, restaurants and symphony/opera

Posted by: Spencer at April 9, 2008 10:52 AM

"And as an aside, Sternberg Benjamin Architects was commissioned circa 2005. Simply food for thought....

Food for thought indeed! Three years' preparation for a 32 unit development that's barely getting underway! Time is money, and three years' delay has to add to the final cost of the units.

Posted by: zzzzzzz at April 9, 2008 10:59 AM

The reason it looks so bland is that the politburo, er, Planning Board, is so ultra-conservative and backwards that nothing avant-garde would ever get approved. So developers just follow the path of least resistance.

Posted by: Jimmy (Bitter Renter) at April 9, 2008 11:18 AM

"Publci transportation to hayes valley sucks."

Spencer - you've gotta be kidding. This location is about 3 blocks from Market St. which carries some of the most dense transit in the bay area.

Sure, you might not get door-to-door service from Hayes+Franklin to wherever, but walk about 5 minutes and you can.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 9, 2008 11:27 AM

"Publci transportation to hayes valley sucks."

Yeah, geez, I live a few blocks from this site and it's gotta be the one place east of the Mississippi where it's most senseless to own a car. It's well under a 5 minutes' walk to the Van Ness station. Public transportation access in Hayes Valley is so good that even MUNI can't ruin the experience -- there's rarely a need to transfer because so many lines run through HV. For people that still want to drive here, the performing arts garage is plenty big.

Hopefully this new development has the 2:1 parking ratio mandated in the Market Octavia plan.

Posted by: Gdog at April 9, 2008 12:21 PM

ditto on response to spencer's 'no good transit' comment.

i'd love to see us have an equivalent system to the Paris Metro (stops every 2 blocks no matter where you are, trains every 2 minutes), but until people start using Muni, as mediocre as it is, nothing will change. stop complaining and push for things like bus rapid transit as realistic short term improvements. What we need is the well dressed Yuppie type going into a condo sales office and saying "yeah, it's nice, but it's not very close to the ___ line, otherwise i might buy", not "so how big is the parking space for my BMW?" THEN, you get developers putting pressure on city hall to change things. money talks. just remember that at the turn of the century developers actually built streetcar lines to attract buyers.

Posted by: sf_engineer at April 9, 2008 1:09 PM

"i'd love to see us have an equivalent system to the Paris Metro (stops every 2 blocks no matter where you are, trains every 2 minutes), but until people start using Muni, as mediocre as it is, nothing will change"

Paris has many times the density of San Francisco. We need to be realistic about who we are. BRT seems like cost effective for SF

Posted by: Zig at April 9, 2008 2:55 PM

My wife and I own a 2 flat Edwardian (and live in on of the flats) in Hayes Valley. As we walked past this construction site the other evening, she asked what I think all this new condo construction in the neighborhood (this one + The Hayes and the building at Fell and Van Ness) will do for the value of our property.

I said I think in the short-term it would hurt our property value (more supply in the immediate area), but it would help in the long-term (people with money and more restaurants/retail vs. parking lots and old warehouses are better for property value). We plan on owning our HV property (but not necessarily living there) for the long-term (10-15+ years), so I think this development is good for us.

My wife thought it was good both near and long term. Her rationale is that (people with money/retail/restaurants = good +) the folks buying condos are not the same folks buying Edwardian buildings (or flats, as we would likely sell as 2 TIC's when and if we do sell).

So what do the plugged-in readers of Socketsite think?

BTW, public transit in HV is pretty good (by SF standards), and I have no sympathy for symphony parkers (but that's a whole other topic of discussion).

Posted by: gmlight at April 9, 2008 3:44 PM

Gdoy, Hayes Valley is actually WEST of the Mississipi.

Again though, I think this parking lot is wasted space -there are plenty of other options nearby in Hayes Valley.

However, in defense of patrons of the arts...... We paying lots of money for tickets to keep culture alive in this city (and pay MTT his $1.5 million). Taking muni to work every day makes perfect sense, but going to a special event on saturday night with a suit or a nice dress warrants breaking out the bimmer a few times per year to avoid dodging the various urchins that can be found on muni 10:30 pm. ok? Plus we shouldn't forget all the suburban arts patrons that don't have public transportation options, yet support your Hayes Valley neighborhood by dropping $300 bucks at Jardinaire before the sypmphony or $100 bucks at the Power Exchange afterwards!

Posted by: resp at April 9, 2008 8:55 PM

gmlight- your wife is right in this case. a few nice, new developments in highly built up areas only help your property values. unless you have to sell right as a new development comes to market, you will not have any negative effects.

imo, you're smart to keep that bldg as a rental, even if you move out. if you want to go for the gauntlet, try to condo convert the bldg now- as condos are not under rent control...and let me tell you, there is nothing better than owning non-rent controlled units in a rent controlled city!

if you manage this property right, it could be your retirement income+.

fyi- i own a few bldg's in the city and am doing exactly what i said.

best of luck.

Posted by: AMinSF at April 9, 2008 11:20 PM

Posted by: guest at May 27, 2008 10:13 AM

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