Fourth Street: Potential Upzoning
“A wall of high-rise office towers will stretch southeast from San Francisco’s downtown along Fourth Street to the emerging Mission Bay business and biotechnology research hub under a new long-term plan by city officials.
The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development recently directed the Planning Department to scale back modest rezoning proposals for the low-rise Fourth Street corridor between Folsom and Townsend streets. Instead, high-rises may eventually be allowed to crowd the planned Fourth Street path of the Central Subway, a multibillion dollar rail project.”
Fourth Street’s future lined with tall stories [Examiner]
JustQuotes: From Twenty To Seven In A Little Over One (Billion) [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Observer

    This is a step in the right direction, pick the location of the rail line then get serious about zoning.
    Can appreciate that this will not be universally welcomed but this is an encouraging from my prespective.

  2. Posted by YIMBY

    This is great. I think Second, Third, and Fifth-Tenth should follow suite though as well. South of Market has WAY too many short and blighted buildings. 1-5 stories within blocks of downtown is such a waste and the 4 lane freeways running east and west don’t help much either. Widen the sidewalks, build some density, and make use of the prime location and weather.

  3. Posted by curmudgeon

    Note that, from the article at least, there is no description on the height of the proposed towers. The article is hyperbolic and reactionary without being specific; the one bit of real information is that any rezoning will have to await completion of the (idiotic) Eastern Neighborhoods Plan.
    In any case, don’t hold your breath and don’t have high expectations.

  4. Posted by sf

    Wait a minute, the San Francisco mayors office did this? Practical and smart solutions coming from city hall? What is happening here??

  5. Posted by sf

    The Nimby perspective is to simply drag developers down with lawsuits and protests, thus annoying the more naive ones to back down and never come back. Thankfully we have headstrong, committed developers currently building in SF. I have noticed that anything new is planned is ‘TOO TALL.’ Infinity residences? Too tall, cut it by 10- 15 stories. Transbay Tower at 1200′? Too tall, cut it by 200- 500′. Transamerica Pyramid? Too tall, cut it by 200 ft. Round and round we go. There is no logic to their arguments, they just always have to have something smaller to fulfill that ‘me me me me me me me me!!!!’ personality defect and to annoy and drive out developers, which in affect favors large international corporate developers and architects who have the resources to fight the protests and lawsuits, and leaving the local developers and architects who may give us something more enjoyable and relevant left to rot.

  6. Posted by Palm Res

    What impact will this have on residence along or near 4th Street?

  7. Posted by sf

    Palm Res- property values will assuredly rise over the years in the immediate area, especially owners of the single story warehouses that will be able to sell the land for much more after rezoning.

  8. Posted by jamie

    Sensible idea along the Central Subway route … let’s hope the projected demand for downtown San Francisco office space meets the current forecasts for hella lot more.

  9. Posted by sf

    jamie- I believe we are beginning to see the reverse urban flight. Living in urban areas is smarter and more cost effective, and a better incentive for employees of Silicon Valley, most of whom live in the city anyway. (and there is nothing urban about Silicon Valley, or anything south of South San Francisco to Tijuana for that matter).

  10. Posted by anon

    …and a better incentive for employees of Silicon Valley, most of whom live in the city anyway.
    Ok, gotta call BS on that. While a trend of some Silicon Valley employees living in the city has begun, to say that “most” of the employees live up here is ridiculous. Maybe 2-3%? Maybe?

  11. Posted by sf

    Did not mean to say most, but there is a large proportion of those that work there and live in SF, and I am talking about higher end jobs and not janitorial or service industry workers. I would bet it is much higher than 2% of the workforce

  12. Posted by EH

    you know, your point was fine before the hyperbole of “most employees.” it’s a great idea to have more people living near CalTrain and even as a rent-control leech living solo in a Noe Valley 2br apt I can’t wait for SF to densify.
    I can’t imagine the credibility of the NIMBYs is such that they can have 10% lopped off the top of every project sight unseen, but maybe a worthy tactic is to snake-oil the projects by designing them to be 10% “more” than what they want. Just like that HP “7 bedroom” guy last week, raise the stakes.

  13. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “I would bet it is much higher than 2% of the workforce”
    I’d bet that 2% is a fairly reasonable estimate. I know a lot of Silicon Valley employees and most live in Santa Clara County. Imagine that ! Alameda (notably Fremont) and San Mateo counties are the next most popular home locations.
    Though I do know a few people who commute to Silicon Valley from SF it is quite a small number. There are far more people commuting in from Santa Cruz than SF. So many that those who make the twice daily commute over Hwy-17 have a nickname : technopeasants.
    I’ll bet that the net migration between SF and SJ is nearly zero as many people in Santa Clara county work in SF.

  14. Posted by Spencer

    i know a ton of people who live in SF and commute to SSF(for biotech) and SV (for tech). actually, i think i know more people in sf that work outside the city than work in sf. of course, this is skewed to my friends. but i think most of the high paying, non-banking jobs are outside sf proper.

  15. Posted by irrefutable

    Please stop with the misinformation. Actual statistics are here proving the number commuting into SF is nearly three times the number that commutes out of SF.
    http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/Commute-Maps/SanFrCommute.pdf
    Recent article calling SF “Silicon Valley North” here:
    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/06/0617_san_francisco/index_01.htm?technology+slideshows

  16. Posted by Dan

    From the links “irrefutable” provided, more people commute into SF than out of it (overall), but twice as many people commute from San Francisco to Santa Clara County as vice versa.

  17. Posted by sfny10025

    The Examiner article is filled with so many inaccuracies, it made my head hurt. First of all, the “Central Subway” is the MUNI light rail subway which will link Mission Bay to Union Square and Chinatown. This will run under Fourth Street (where the proposed rezoning will occur). There will also be a tunnel linking the Caltrain Depot to the new Transbay Center. This tunnel will run Second Street. And where exactly did the author get the quote: “wall of high-rise office towers”? Typical, sensational Examiner reporting.

  18. Posted by Spencer

    I would venture to say more people commute from SF to SV than vice versa for non-banking jobs paying $150K +

  19. Posted by EH

    When I worked at $large_sv_company in foster city (halfway to sv), the only people who commuted from SF were singles and gays. People get successful, married, have children, then move to the burbs.

  20. Posted by anon

    They should think about value-capture financing to get the central subway moving on this leg of the project. It’d be nice if the project were finished in my lifetime.

  21. Posted by anon

    I would venture to say more people commute from SF to SV than vice versa for non-banking jobs paying $150K +
    No way! Seriously?
    I would venture to say that more people commute from SV to SF than vice versa for non-tech jobs paying $150K +

  22. Posted by Publius

    This is great news! I would love to see this area continue to improve. As an ancedote, I am one of those who commute from SF (4th street) to SV for my $150K+ job. In fact, it’s the primary reason I live in South Beach/SOMA as opposed to another part of SF. Most, but not all, of my friends that live in the area also make the same commute. But that is only anecdotal.

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