August 26, 2008

899 North Point Rising: A Reader Asks, We Answer, You Embellish

899 North Point (www.SocketSite.com)

A reader asks: "Does anyone know what they are building on the corner of Larkin and North Point? Are they condos or rentals? Used to be a gas station or automotive repair shop."

We answer: As far as we know, it’s officially three lots with a total of eight condos rising, one two-unit building (2998 Larkin) and two three-unit buildings (889 and 899 North Point).

You embellish (if you’ve got the full scoop).

First Published: August 26, 2008 7:45 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Glad to see this lot was finally developed. I had an exchange with a NIMBY neighbor who was trying to organize opposition to development on this site - "development as planned is out of character with the existing architecture of the neighborhood"
Cant find it now, but there was one of those "save blah blah blah" websites for it.

Posted by: Joe at August 26, 2008 9:00 AM

I sold a neighboring property. The NIMBYs in this area are masterminds in the black arts of obstuctive quasi-legal machinations. Word has it one guy literally wrote a book on the process of getting projects stalled at SF building/planning.

Posted by: fluj at August 26, 2008 9:19 AM

More housing stock the better.

Posted by: ben at August 26, 2008 9:32 AM

Project looks good and in keeping with the neighborhood, at least in framed stage. That block needs it, for as good a location as it "should" be, it is actually quite ratty. The NIMBYs should be praising it.

Posted by: gh at August 26, 2008 10:00 AM

Was this project entitled before the 5 unit trigger for the inclusionary housing policy? Is there a BMR unit? It may be three lots but it seems to be one project.

Posted by: JOE Leland at August 26, 2008 10:26 AM

This is 3 separate buildings on 3 separate lots, total of 8 units - what a waste. The Aquatic Park NIMBYs, aided by Peskin who has a beef against the developer, objected to a single building on the merged lots but the 3 separate buildings are entitled by right as opposed to the single building which required a conditional use from the Planning Commission (and didn't get it). This means 3 separate curb cuts, 6 separate staircases, 3 separate elevators, no BMR affordable units required and a lot of wasted common area space - serves the neighbors right IMHO (perhaps they see that as a win - no pesky BMR tenants in our neighborhood?). Part of their beef too was that they were losing the parking lot (ex-gas-station) where they all rented monthly parking.

Another triumph of NIMBYs over common sense.

Posted by: Aquatic Park non-NIMBY at August 26, 2008 12:04 PM

Interesting background on the project, but at least it is being built. I hope the curb cuts are just far enough apart to not leave room for cars to park between them. Thank god they didn't leave out the bay windows. That would have been a tragedy.

Posted by: kaya at August 26, 2008 12:36 PM

Aquatic Park non-NIMBY,
Do you recall how many units they originally proposed before the forced lot subdivision? Based upon the RH-3 zoning, the current proposal falls short by one unit, presumably the required BMR unit, if the site maxed out at 9 units (3 units per lot). Although the building does seem to fit the surroundings, its ashamed that “infill” and “density” are only buzz words for certain neighborhoods.

Posted by: JOE Leland at August 26, 2008 1:58 PM

i suppose i have to be the first to mention how incredibly Fugly this building is!

great that it's been built.. but the build anything philosophy is not the way to go. we need a planning commission that demands that architects build something more in keeping with the times we live in.

creating a cheap imitation of the edwardian architecture of sf cheapens it even more. blech on this building. if you're developer and you're reading this.. please stop putting stupid peaked accent roofs on urban buildings. keep it simple clean and modern. that is all.

Posted by: Gabriel at August 26, 2008 6:49 PM

Gabriel,

2 point in regards to your post;

1)It is often the planning department requiring the crappy design, and not the architect. Othertimes it's the NIMBY's

2)"simple,clean, and modern" is going to be the new art-deco. It will often look dated, except the very well thought out and detailed projects. It's just trendy, we don't know that it has legs.

Posted by: sparky at August 26, 2008 7:47 PM

Yes, simple, clean and modern has legs, cf. this reconstruction the Barcelona Pavilion, originally built in 1928:

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/spain/barcelona/mies/rthalf2.jpg

Posted by: flaneur at August 26, 2008 10:26 PM

All kind of Glass House stuff could be inserted there, but it's not the same thing as a 9 unit residential (or a 2 unit, 3 unit, 20 unit).

Posted by: sparky at August 27, 2008 8:33 AM

Some more background info on this project:

The "Neighbors" still seem a little bitter about this project: http://aquaticpark.org/projects_html/899_North_Point_Street.html

The details of the Planning hearings for the under-construction project are at http://film.sfgov.org/site/planning_page.asp?id=43390

Hearings for the originally-proposed project (5-units) were http://sfgov.org/site/planning_page.asp?id=36310

For some background info on the reasons the developer had so much trouble with this one look no further than the Bermuda Triangle (his brother dared to disagree with Peskin and his wife e.g. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/10/23/BAG322H9241.DTL)

Posted by: Aquatic Park non-NIMBY at August 27, 2008 5:00 PM

Regardless of whose fault (NIMBYs, architects, developers) this is really low quality design -- inexcusable formulaic crap that adds nothing to the architecture of this city. Pathetic actually...

Posted by: citicritter at September 3, 2008 8:36 PM

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! You are missing the point about this tragic construction: The project sponsors consistently lied, mislead the City, misrepresented their plans to the community, failed to acknowledge the local neighbors' needs (air, light)...bullied anyone who wanted information, gamed the system, did not follow the Residential Design Guidelines and basically committed fraud. They should be jailed and fined. The neighbors fought this IN THEIR SPARE TIME and because the builders made so many mis-steps, were able to hold off this abomination for five years! THANK GOD FOR NIMBY'S...they are fighting for what is right all over the City.

Posted by: Wake Up at March 12, 2009 4:34 PM

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