November 17, 2008
Japantown: The Question, The Answer And Your Chance To Embellish
The question: what’s the deal with the development of Japantown?
The answer: while the the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan continues to move forward, and J-POP is rising, 3D Investments' redevelopment of the Japan Center Mall and Peace Plaza has been pushed back a couple of years. Yes, the economy.
You embellish (if you can).
∙ Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan [SFGov]
∙ The J-POP Center [jpopcenter.com]
∙ The 4 Design Concepts For The Future Of San Francisco’s Japantown [SocketSite]
First Published: November 17, 2008 7:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I don't know if it is part of the Japantown plan but the renovated Safeway across Geary is sooooo much better and is now one of the nicest in the city as far as I'm concerned. Keep the changes coming!
Posted by: toni at November 17, 2008 9:41 AM
that one is called the "not so Safe Way"
Posted by: spencer at November 17, 2008 12:54 PM
This area should jam with high-rises for living and work (what about play). J-Town and up the hill to Cathedral---is the cities PRIME area for high rise growth...plenty of space, good transit, and best of all---a location that should not cause howls of protest about obstructing views.
Posted by: MH at November 17, 2008 1:00 PM
I agree with MH that Japantown and Cathedral Hill would benefit from new construction and increased density to repair an urban fabric damaged by an insensitive urban renewal in the 60's, but the question is: What form should it take, high-rises or mid-rises? You can achieve a much higher density, and a more liveable neighborhood, with tightly packed mid-rises, along the model of central Paris and DC.
Posted by: flaneur at November 17, 2008 1:38 PM
I live in this area, a couple comments in response to previous posts.
1) If they build more housing here they need to improve the transit. The 38 is already packed in the mornings. The BRT would be nice but I'm doubtful if it will ever get done.
2) The new Safeway is much nicer, now they just need to improve some of the other stores in that shopping center. Fillmore Street in this area is improving and I hope it manages to survive the recession without backsliding. I noticed that it looks like a nice Indian place is going into the old Salvation Army store across from the Sundance Theater.
Posted by: Rillion at November 17, 2008 4:07 PM
"You can achieve a much higher density, and a more liveable neighborhood, with tightly packed mid-rises, along the model of central Paris and DC."
One must give developers their incentives too.
High-rises in Pacific Heights or the UWS of Manhattan do not make those liveable neighborhoods any less liveable. Plus, it's hard to pass up the fact that much of this area would allow for view-obstructing-free high-rises.
Posted by: Timosha at November 17, 2008 4:31 PM
"One must give developers their incentives too."
High-rises vs. mid-rises affects the value of the land, resulting in equivalent developer's incentive in either case.
As to those 60's high-rises in Pacific Heights, the Pacific Heights resident fought hard to stop that urban form because they felt it made their neighborhood less liveable. Anyone who walks by these I think will agree.
Posted by: flaneur at November 17, 2008 5:23 PM
to me there is nothing odder than the 60's style high rise next to a new 4 story box. There is one example off the highway 80 in the east bay that looks ridiculous.
Personally I think the hysteria over tall buildings in these areas is now being over done and there are many many examples of how this can down with the street in mind. Other areas maybe not but around J-town to Van Ness is prime for this
Paris style density isn't happening in this city. Its going to be piecemeal development with parking requirements and the areas that already have some tall residential buildings could stand to add some more IMO
Posted by: Zig at November 17, 2008 6:37 PM
Also to be clear this is the Western Addition
Posted by: Zig at November 17, 2008 6:38 PM
Agree with you on several counts.
The 60's style high-rise and a new 4 story book look odd next to one another. But how about said high-rise and a new 10 to 12 story building?
The reason Paris style density is happening in cental Paris and DC is these cities have strong zoning and lot owners know their lots will never, ever, be upzoned. Here, lot owners hold on to their underdeveloped lots, hoping for an eventual upzoning or special use district.
Last, yes, this is the Western Addition: High-rises are expensive to build and operate(think structural and mechanical systems), resulting in high rents or high unit prices and high HOA's. Mid-rises would be a better fit for the area.
Posted by: flaneur at November 17, 2008 7:18 PM
The Indian Place is Dosa, or at least another outpost from the owners of Dosa.
A great additions..
Posted by: bdb at November 17, 2008 9:19 PM
Build it, and build it TALL! The NIMBYS have waaayyy too much time on the hands (flaneur: get a job!!!) Why don't you guys sit this one out, mmkay?
Posted by: sf at November 17, 2008 11:50 PM