August 1, 2008
From The Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Portfolio: Pine Street
As a plugged-in tipster notes, a number of interesting multi-family projects have popped up in the Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects portfolio (including designs for 19 Tehama, 1600 Harrison, and "Hubbel Street”). One that caught our attention, “Pine Street."
As best we can tell, “Pine Street” would span 1527-1545 Pine, currently a trio of buildings (from boarded up to an active auto shop) which appear to be owned by the same entity.
Based on the floor plans, we might expect a proposal for around 96 units.
And perhaps a ground floor cafe.
As far as we know it's currently just a concept (tipsters?). But obviously it's a concept that's being explored. And don't panic people, Grubsteak would survive.
∙ Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects: Portfolio [saitowitz.com]
First Published: August 1, 2008 8:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Sweet Jesus! Gag the NIMBYS and “preservationists” and build this NOW!
Posted by: Anna at August 1, 2008 8:39 PM
Drats! Should've called the owners a long time ago and seen if they wanted to sell these lots. Been passing by them multiple times a week and knew it could be develop them. A buyer of mine would've loved them.
Posted by: SperryVanNess at August 1, 2008 8:54 PM
The immediate area features greasy spoons, plenty of liquor stores, a tattoo parlor, and a motorcyle dealership across the street. Oh, and isn't that an auto repair shop (AAMCO transmissions) next door to the site?
I can't understand why these high-powered architects want to build a wildly expensive, chi-chi modern glass box in the middle of a perfectly liveable slum.
Posted by: Anonymous at August 1, 2008 10:06 PM
Read "As best we can tell, “Pine Street” would span 1527-1545 Pine, currently a trio of buildings (from boarded up to active auto shop) which appear to be owned by the same entity."
So the auto shop will be gone.
And it is a building with studios, basically for singles. So the things you listed may not be bad for the target market.
Oh, and I am sure we will have another big discussion when it is finally built, like the Cubix YB thread.
Posted by: John at August 1, 2008 11:45 PM
Sorry, no way this will ever be built with the existing city planning codes and the adjacent noisy neighbors.
Posted by: Jake at August 1, 2008 11:57 PM
am I the only one who doesn't understand the floor plan?
do you walk in and it's one big room with the kitchen appliances/cabinets, toilet, sink, and shower along one wall? and then a separator of some sort that you put the bed behind?
what about the bigger units. Is it a big room with a kitchen island in the middle of it with 2 bedroom "nooks" and then 2 linear bath/sink/shower areas?
seems odd to me, but I'm very traditional
FWIW: For whatever reason socketsite won't load on my IE browser. it aborts mid-way through as the ads are coming up. I can browse on Safari just fine.
Posted by: ex SF-er at August 2, 2008 5:07 AM
I am having same problem with IE browser and Socketsite. It is not Socketsite alone with this problem, but thousands of blogs that use "Sitecounter" which is conflicting with IE. (At least from what I am reading) I have no problem with Mozilla. Many blog owners are un-installing Sitecounter to get rid of the problem with IE. (but who knows, with IE, it can be one of many many problems) Many of the biggest political blogs are down because of this current "IE abort" problem as well.
Regarding the Saitowitz design, strange floorplans or not, I think it is a welcome addition to that neighborhood that can use the help.
Posted by: Morgan at August 2, 2008 6:07 AM
I apologize. IE is not loading properly because of Sitemeter, not Sitecounter.
"Now back to the Saitowitz Design" that is growing on me btw.
[Editor's Note: No, we apologize (and as of 8:30 this morning, SiteMeter has been disabled).]
Posted by: Morgan at August 2, 2008 6:17 AM
As pleasantly disorienting & confusing as is that area of Polk. If that neighborhood were not essentially in the way of the Bush/Pine/Vaness BMV/SUV mini highway system I could figure it all out. It's dense, diverse area with a lot ofengaging life but since 4 wheels rule, each block is a desperate holder-on in an absurd sea of relentless commute traffic. It's overall an unsettling area that can't find its center without rethinking the street flow including traffic calming measures.
Posted by: invented at August 2, 2008 8:07 AM
I like it. And, please people, this area is not that bad. Sure, Polk going south from there starts to get a little sketchy, but Polk going north does the exact opposite. This is exactly the type of area that just needs a little bit more redevelopment to become a really nice area.
Agree with invented though, cars do rule here. I have to question how well outdoor seating on the Pine freeway will work, but maybe with some nice trees (though none are shown in the renderings).
The floorplans are kind of "interesting", but seem par for the course for Saitowitz. I'll reserve judgment for actually seeing them.
Posted by: Brutus at August 2, 2008 9:13 AM
There are all those coffee shops and great places to eat on that stretch of Polk. Swan's Oyster Depot, the See's Candies shop, and the Lumiere Theater around the corner, emphasize the tradiional neighborhood feel. Some of the units seem really small but it probably works for some.
Posted by: flaneur at August 2, 2008 9:39 AM
It's a great area for younger people sans families, that's for sure. My only reservation would be that it's on an up-hill section of Pine. It's going to be loud as people gas it going up the hill.
The difference between living on up-hill and down-hill sections of Pine and Bush is pretty marked.
Still, I'm down for some improvements in my hood.
Posted by: scurvy at August 2, 2008 10:52 AM
Another Saitowitz that looks great but is essentially unlivable.
Posted by: another-anon at August 2, 2008 11:22 AM
Manhattan !! We're turning into Manhattan !! STOP IT !!!!
Posted by: sf at August 2, 2008 11:23 AM
That would be a welcome addition to the area.
Very good point, Scurvy, but aren't double pane windows required on all new construction, which, if true, would largely take care of the noise issue for this building.
Posted by: tipster at August 2, 2008 11:24 AM
^^^If your windows are always closed, that takes care of the noise issue. I'd still opt for one of the units facing away from the street, because I like to have a couple windows open most of the time. That's one of the things I enjoy most about SF - you can have windows open year round without roasting or freezing and always have some good, fresh air circulating.
Posted by: Brutus at August 2, 2008 11:29 AM
Uh oh, one of the other new designs on the Saitowitz site is 1600 Harrison, which from the image and google maps is clearly where the SF Eagle bar is currently located. Is a long standing SF leather bar about to be replaced by super-modern condos?
Posted by: Tom at August 2, 2008 11:41 AM
Tom- if it is then it is the Eagle owners (John Gardener) to blame, not the developers. Nobody had him tied up and chained to a chair (which he actually might enjoy teehee) forcing him to sell.
Posted by: sf at August 2, 2008 12:10 PM
Since this is not actually on Van Ness, doesn't it violate height restrictions? Would the three Comrades on the Planning Commission allow an exception of the limits?
Posted by: Conifer at August 2, 2008 1:09 PM
It seems more likely that 1600 Harrison would be the parking lot on the other side of 12th. The Eagle is at 398 12th, but could potentially be redeveloped either as a whole or subdivided. It would also be interesting to know is the fate of the light industrial buildings on the other side of Harrison, but that address would have an odd number.
Posted by: Mole Man at August 2, 2008 3:51 PM
From Google Maps, it looks like the parking lot is on the 1500 block of Harrison. Maybe the developer is using the 1600 Harrison address to obscure the possibility of the demise of the Eagle.
Posted by: Dan at August 2, 2008 4:20 PM
Don't know about the address but look at this:
Then look at the rendering for 1600 Harrison. That's the Eagle site.
Posted by: Michael at August 2, 2008 4:58 PM
Yeah, that's the Eagle site, and if this is anything but a "fantasy" project then that's a shame, since the neighborhood has large parcels of parking lots and dilapidated buildings that could easily be filled in first. But I'm sure the Eagle's made no friends in the expensive lofts next door...
Posted by: doogie at August 2, 2008 5:52 PM
But, great designs as always from these Saitowitz. Hope some of these actually get built...
Posted by: doogie at August 2, 2008 5:56 PM
i love the design, but i think you would be hard pressed to sell at a premium 1/2 block from tranny hooker heaven and liquor store mania. and only 3 blocks to strip bar and violent crime mania.
Posted by: spencer at August 2, 2008 6:15 PM
I hear those tranny hookers make good money.
Maybe they can market these condos to them - as live/"work" spaces!
Posted by: tipster at August 2, 2008 8:50 PM
Spencer: best to tear everything out and put in a large whole foods with a 4 story above ground parking garage.
Posted by: sf at August 2, 2008 8:52 PM
Here is a link to the zoning height and bulk district map:
I think the site is zoned 130-V, meaning the allowed height is 130' and the bulk is controlled by the Van Ness Avenue plan.
Posted by: flaneur at August 2, 2008 10:00 PM
I would love to know the ratio of random SF street pictures that have AAU busses in them.
Posted by: sf at August 2, 2008 11:00 PM
In reply to the poster who said we are becoming Manhattan, this recalls the reaction to so-called Manhattanization when DiFi was mayor. We cannot become Manhattan because they will always be so far ahead of us. But the risk, however small, is that we will become another anonymous modern city, say Atlanta. In fact the question raised by all of these huge monolithic condo buildings is whether there really is an unlimited demand for them. So far, the developers seem to be filling them, and lately at prices equal to the best old SF neighborhoods.
Posted by: Conifer at August 3, 2008 9:42 PM
Have you ever lived in Manhattan? Oh my god, it's awful. I don't want this place to be Manhattan, it's way too nice.
I live in downtown SF now and it's a DREAM compared to Manhattan. At least the homeless people here leave me alone.
I was on the Upper East Side and I couldn't walk to the grocery store without fearing I'd get mugged or raped. Subways were very scary too.
I don't know what people think of as "manhattan living", but it is not that great in my opinion.
I'll take this city anyday.
Posted by: hihi at August 3, 2008 11:55 PM
I think you are confusing the movie "escape from manhattan" 1981 with actually living in manhattan...
I can go an entire weekend in Manhattan and not see a single homeless person - try that in SF. There are cops on every corner of manhattan - you wont ever see one in SF.
SF would be lucky to have half the vibrancy and dynanism of manhattan.
Having said that, there is no way in hell SF would allow this building to be built. They'd cut it down to less than half and slap the sides with fake stucco, press on brick, and bay windows.
Posted by: Joe at August 4, 2008 8:43 AM
The homeless here leave you alone? Are we walking on different streets? There is no comparison. San Francisco has the worst in-your-face homeless problem in the US. I sometimes see more people with shopping carts on a block than I do normal pedestrians.
Posted by: Denial at August 4, 2008 9:54 AM
"I sometimes see more people with shopping carts on a block than I do normal pedestrians"
You should read what European Travel blogs warn visitors about San Francisco.("Don't make eye contact", "typically nobody will assist you if you are followed by a screaming street person", "our visit reminded us of Calcutta?) You would think we were a third world city with the various warnings and stories posted about the "crime, homeless and filth". At least the water is still safe to drink.
Posted by: anonfedup at August 4, 2008 10:05 AM
spencer, if you're going to criticize someplace outside of your Marina confines (and fail) at least get the facts right. That building would be 3.5 blocks from tranny hookers, not half.
True, there are two liquor stores at the end of the block, but one of them closes early at night around 10 (are they Algerian?)
They're also 6.5 not 3 blocks from "strip bar and violent crime mania." Don't fool yourself, people kill each other in the Marina, too.
Posted by: scurvy at August 4, 2008 11:37 AM
The great cities of the western world simply do not tolerate homelessness the way the People's Republic of San Francisco. New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Amsterdam --- none of these have even five percent the number we do, most of them have almost none. In a month's stay in Paris one may (or may not) encounter three or four homeless people. In downtown San Francisco, one encounters 3 or 4 in 3 or 4 minutes. Of course what we are seeing here in SF is neglect of the homeless and the mentally ill, not civil liberties protection, which is just an excuse.
Posted by: Conifer at August 4, 2008 1:04 PM
I believe the reason you see so much fake stucco, press on brick, and bay windows has more to do with the real estate development process than the SF planning process. Stucco and press on brick are cheaper than glass, so developers will favor them to control their construction costs. More importantly, banks are risk adverse, and will not grant construction loans unless they feel the project will appeal to a wide public. There is a must see movie, "The TV Set", on why sitcoms are so bad (it has nothing to do with government intervention). I'd bet the very same forces shown in the movie are at work in real estate development. The short of it is some people feel the public weants crap and they will be happy to give them crap.
Posted by: flaneur at August 4, 2008 1:27 PM
"Spencer, if you're going to criticize someplace outside of your Marina confines (and fail) at least get the facts right."
I don't live in the Marina.
"That building would be 3.5 blocks from tranny hookers, not half."
disagree with you. seen the tranny hookers as well as underage boys plenty of times between pine and bush on polk
"They're also 6.5 not 3 blocks from "strip bar and violent crime mania." Don't fool yourself, people kill each other in the Marina, too."
5 blocks to mitchell brothers, I stand corrected, not 3 or 6.5
to get this straight, i don't blame people for living in these areas. i blame the city for allowing the crime to continue unabashed
Posted by: spencer at August 4, 2008 1:46 PM
while me may not see a decrease in rampant drug use, targeting of alcoholic bums by corner stores, tranny hookers, underage and forced sex slave labor, and rampant rampant homelessness,
at least the number of plastic bags on the street should decrease.
Posted by: spencer at August 4, 2008 1:52 PM
Why has nobody brought up the KIMOS factor?
Posted by: anonandon at August 4, 2008 1:55 PM
Why is this site even zoned 130' - there isnt a chance in hell that neighbors would allow a building that tall on the site. Basically anything that rises a foot off the ground or more is manna for the protest anything anywhere set in this town.
Posted by: Bob at August 4, 2008 3:08 PM
"rampant drug use, alcoholic bums, tranny hookers, underage and forced sex slave labor, rampant homelessness"
They all get together in the wee hours at the Grubstake all-night restaurant, which appears to be next door.
Posted by: redseca2 at August 4, 2008 6:01 PM
Spencer, we're crashing on terms. You're considering Mitchell Brothers to be a bad place, which it really isn't. I thought you were referring to New Century, which really is a bad place.
Still, I disagree about the hookers on Polk & Pine thing. They really don't hang out there at all. If you saw them, they were just passing through. They hang out on Post & Sutter b/w Polk and Larkin. I know b/c I walk past them every night and it's saddening (on all counts).
redseca2, Grubstake closes at 4AM and is generally quiet. Much quieter than the building full of illegal immigrants next door to me who live 12 to a room and play that mexican polka-like stuff until 3AM every Wednesday.
Most of the mission is still worse off than this stretch of Polk.
Posted by: scurvy at August 5, 2008 9:52 AM
Sounds like a "world class" neighborhood.
Posted by: anonfedup at August 5, 2008 3:25 PM
"True, there are two liquor stores at the end of the block, but one of them closes early at night around 10 (are they Algerian?)"
Eritrean. Run by Andy who is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. And I really think of his shop as more of a convenience store.
I live a block away on Bush and love the area. Let's just say it has "character". But no doubt, the crowd at Grubstake at 2am and at Kimo's any time of day may take some getting used to...
Traffic noise would be bad on Pine so there's no way I'd take a unit facing the street. On the other hand, highway access is great (with the Bush/Pine and Gough/Franklin corridors).
Posted by: neighbour at August 5, 2008 9:34 PM
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