8 Washington Rendering
As a tipster notes, Pacific Waterfront Partners’ website for the development of 8 Washington (and San Francisco’s Seawall Lot 351) has been updated to include a couple of snazzy new renderings of the proposed SOM design (the faux-French design is no longer) and a copy of the developers’ RFP (big but worth a gander for design wonks).
8 Washington: Embarcadero Elevation
As proposed, up to 170 residential units over ground floor retail and restaurants, up to 420 parking spaces, and 27,900 square feet of public open space not including a new recreation club and tennis courts.
8 Washington Development Website [8washington.com]
Cosmic Development Karma For San Francisco’s Seawall Lot 351? [SocketSite]
SWL 351 And The Proposed 8 Washington Street Project: Port Hearing [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Scoop On The 8 Washington Street Project [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by wcp

    Too short.

  2. Posted by Jack of ALLTrades

    I am very unhappy to see a proposal for one of the premier Bay Bridge/E. Bay facing lots to be turned into a slightly taller version of an office park in San Jose. Glad the economy is in the tank so that we can go back to “conservative” architecture in places that will scar the landscape far further into the future than any of us will live to see.
    Thanks Pacific Waterfront Partners. It is clear to me where your priorities lie… Long Beach, Los Angeles, et. al.
    I have no issue with development there however let’s make it something to welcome, create interest, inspiration, and higher density… this is a city after all.

  3. Posted by rr

    Yes, too short.

  4. Posted by Brutus

    Jack – I’m sure that the developer would prefer to build something much higher density, and perhaps much more “inspirational”, but this site is plagued with the NIMBY virus more than most others in the city. I’m sure Frederick will post soon telling us how we need to keep the precious “open space” present there now (parking lot and private tennis club).

  5. Posted by Paul Hwang

    This is one of my favorite locations in the city. Close to the Embarcadero Center, Ferry building, steps to Coit Tower, North Beach, Chinatown and Financial District.
    Added benefits; Safeway, Starbucks and one of the best park for sculptures in the cities.

  6. Posted by invented

    These are very handsome — even if a bit formulaic. The second one in should be double the height. Take a walk on the West Side Highway from 21st to the village to see what a brilliant shoreline could look like. Urban, inventive and exciting architecture.

  7. Posted by sparky-C

    invented,
    I did that last Saturday and there are a ton of butt ugly buildings on that walk. Some nice new towers, yes, but the city buildings, the city college? and a lot of the others…c’mon. Now the redone pier where they have the sports center, bowling alley, etc. that is well done.

  8. Posted by iAMentitledTO3parkingSPOTS

    My plot has come true! Hahaha, suckers!

  9. Posted by jessep

    this is my neighborhood.
    I absolutely love living here.
    Having said that, I think it’s short bcause of the Barbary coast neighbors and telegrpah hill dwellers

  10. Posted by Bob

    I always thought short was good in these cases. Step up from the waterfront, isn’t that the principle?

  11. Posted by rr

    Bob-
    True, but as proposed, some of the adjoining buildings are 5-6 times taller than the new construction, which just looks strange and out of place.
    The graded building heights are well done at china basin, with 4-5 levels of height.

  12. Posted by Zig

    To me there is nothing odder visually than putting new short buildings next to older mid-rises which is essentially what this is. I don’t see a “step down” here at all. It is abrupt and arbitrary
    I thought Broadway was the dividing line?
    This would be an excellent pocket for new residential mid-rises like the neighbors. I feel the same way about Cathedral Hill to the J-Town area. I think modern midrises would enhance what we already have.

  13. Posted by waiting2nest

    What will happen to the Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club that occupies that space today?

  14. Posted by Delancey

    I’m afraid they look squat and dull in the renderings, and rather uninspired. Is this a stalinist interpretation of a saitowitz box?
    These might be the only residences directly on the Embarcadero for a mile in either direction. Better triple-pane those windows, against the Harleys blasting off on their way from Pier 23 to the bay bridge.

  15. Posted by jessep

    They should turn this into a cool residential/mixed use high rise like the Embarcadero Center.
    Too bad the NIMBYs in my ‘hood won’t allow it.

  16. Posted by Ryan

    One of the most prime spots in SF that you could ever ask to build a development on, and this is what we have to look forward to?
    What a depressing design, and stap back for San Francisco. Please go back to the drawing board and build something San Franciscans will actually want to live in and be a part of!

  17. Posted by beggarscan'tbechoosers

    Those of you who clamour that every vacant lot in the city be replaced with “anything” should stop complaining.

  18. Posted by lolcat_94123

    I like the french version. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the usual boring SF developments.

  19. Posted by Salarywoman

    I think this project would look vastly better if it had a horizontal emphasis rather than its current vertical punctuation, which is what makes it look squat. If you are handed a lemon of a height limit, make lemonade with a beautiful, horizontal building.

  20. Posted by rickrocket

    Not great if you are a tennis player. 9 courts down to 4.

  21. Posted by Timosha

    The heights here could be fine, but they should be complimented with two or three much taller, slender crowning corner towers.

  22. Posted by Rillion

    I believe the heights are low because of the requirement that any new construction in the that area not cast any shadows on existing open space. Its been that way for a very long time, don’t think it is any particular group of NIMBY’s. That is why so many places downtown get themselves considered ‘open space’, like the Embarcadero Center’s top floor retail area, Martime Plaza’s lawns, some of the various rooftoop “gardens”, etc, it prevents anyone else from building something that will then cast a shadow on them.

  23. Posted by eastbaymike

    The shadow ban only applies to properties under the jurisdiction of the department of parks and rec.

  24. Posted by BobN

    Stack the whole thing up into a single, slender tower of 30 to 40 floors and leave the rest as private AND public open space.

  25. Posted by jessep

    Oh there are DEFINETLY NIMBYs in that area.
    Did you ever go the BCNA meeting or the District 3 Supervisor Candidates debate?
    It was vicious on that project. The THD doesn’t want it either.
    No one wants anything to block their pristine Bay Bridge views.

  26. Posted by MM

    Can we stop with the palm trees? They’re not native to this area, plus they always look kind of goofy and cheap. Not only is the housing for people bland (what people is another question), but the palm tree housing for wharf rats is already overbuilt.
    For those complaining about NIMBYs, it is, after all those in the neighborhood who are most affected. They should be the ones whose input is considered among most valuable. Developers and speculators (and possibly supervisors) do not have interests beyond their own profit.
    Any reason to add more high end housing with all those empty towers and condos nearby?

  27. Posted by jessep

    MM,
    I live in this neighborhood, and I can tell most condo buildings nearby are not “empty”.
    I don’t blame the NIMBYs, I’m just attributing this stringent height regulation to that. In fact, I’d call myself one of them.

  28. Posted by Jim

    A beautiful and sophisticated design by one of San Francisco’s most talented architects, Craig Hartman of SOM. The massing (i.e., too-low height) is a result of the NIMBY neighbors (the renters in the towers behind who want to ‘own” their views forever, the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, who want nothing built anywhere, ever and are more properly called “BANANAs” (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything)than NIMBYs. San Francisco is the only city in the world that keeps the maximum number of people from where they most want to be – on the waterfront. Everywhere else in the world, there are towers along the waterfront. Instead, a few score snobs on Tel Hill get to pickle the land that could provide much needed housing in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. (The current recession is just that; demand will outstrip supply again in a few years.) One of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers more hilarious (if it weren’t so sad) arguments is that anything taller would block “historic views” of their houses on the hill from the Embarcadero. Yee gods!

  29. Posted by Delancey

    Pages 56, 57, 60 and 61 of the proposal PDF have more detailed renderings of the residential buildings. They look better than the images on the website. The project sponsors would do well to get some of the PDF’s renderings onto the website–I (and others, I assume) would not have bothered to look for more info, until reading Jim’s post above.
    FWIW, the buildings are to be faced with limestone with wood and bronze window frames & railings, rather than the concrete one might assume from the website images (and the obvious intent to connect with the hyatt & embarcadero centre towers). The glass in the cubbyholes will be set at slightly differing angles to create a more organic ripple effect. Still, one rather wishes they had ignored some of the stark concrete buildings behind them.

  30. Posted by ppc

    The first plans shown south (a couple of days ago) won’t happen, at least without gov’t money that isn’t there. This project…less chance. I hate to be sour, but this stinks from the city’s admin. to the top. Fix the new bridge – I know different admin. – but same principal.

  31. Posted by Dan

    Palm trees are planted along streetcar lines because they won’t grow branches to block the streetcars.

  32. Posted by nimbywhimper

    Didn’t these same neighborhood trolls also initially try to block the construction of the bay bridge because it interfered with their view? Now they want a view of the bridge they tried to initially block? This is Nimbyism in its sick, pathetic essence. And the city puts up with it? How much longer until we get a dictatorial mayor or planning department? A fascist is looking more and more appealing everyday.

  33. Posted by jlasf

    From the angle shown in this drawing, it looks like the building is too short compared to the towers behind it. But if you looked
    from the other side – from the Embarcadero Center – you would
    see that this height is consistent with the red brick Golden Gateway
    complex on the other side of the tennis courts.
    If this was a tower, people would complain. If it’s a shorter building, people would complain. Hey, sometimes you can’t win.

  34. Posted by nadjatam

    I really hope this doesn’t go through. The current Golden Gateway club is a great community, and this plan would destroy one of the few recreational options we have in the downtown area. The Port of San Francisco is holding a public meeting to discuss the plans on Wednesday, Feb. 4th, from 5-7pm in Pier 1.

  35. Posted by jessep

    So insane.
    This is a textbook example of the destructive effects of NIMBYism.
    This area is close to BART, several food/dining establishments, etc. and should be planned with something tall accordingly.
    Jim is absolutely spot on.
    The snobs on Telegraph Hill and the Gateway will fight and fight this, I hope something taller is approved.

  36. Posted by jessep

    So insane.
    This is a textbook example of the destructive effects of NIMBYism.
    This area is close to BART, several food/dining establishments, etc. and should be planned with something tall accordingly.
    Jim is absolutely spot on.
    The snobs on Telegraph Hill and the Gateway will fight and fight this, I hope something taller is approved.

  37. Posted by formerTelHillrenter

    As a former Telegraph Hill resident, I can honestly say I wish this had been there when I lived in the neighborhood. Looking down on more concrete and parked cars from up on the hill is really not that attractive.
    With all of the park space, increased access to the Embarcadero, underground parking for the already struggling farmers market (who can afford to park in Embarcadero Center honestly?), added restaurants, bike lockers, fitness club, etc that this project brings to the neighborhood… how can locals oppose it?
    As far as I can tell, the opposition is made up of a few very vocal and obstinate individuals with too much time on their hands. How sad that the majority of those who would enjoy this (working professionals, restaurant goers, etc) don’t enjoy as much free time to devote to defending it as our typically retired and NIMBY opposition.
    On a recent walk along the Embarcadero I peeked into a conference room immediately North of La Mar in Pier 3. I found that Pacific Waterfront Partner’s offices are right there, and they have a model of the project, along with all of the renderings, set up there. While I had originally been divided on this project, and the developer’s intentions, I came away from this visit a strong advocate. I would suggest anyone interested in more information do the same…

  38. Posted by anonanon

    “underground parking for the already struggling farmers market”
    250 public spaces wouldn’t make a huge difference. The Golden Gateway Garage has 1095 public spaces. Embarcadero Center has 2400 according to their website.
    “who can afford to park in Embarcadero Center honestly?”
    On Saturdays, you can park for 2 hours for $2 with Farmers Market validation according to CUESA.
    http://www.cuesa.org/markets/best_parking_options2.pdf
    “the majority of those who would enjoy this (working professionals, restaurant goers, etc)”
    I believe the existing tennis club has about 1600 members, many of whom are working professionals who use the club for recreation. It’s also pretty safe to say that the vast majority of the people who use the club are against the development since it would essentially ruin it as a tennis club. You can’t go from 9 courts to 4 without serious consequences for court availability for teaching pros, kids camp, USTA league matches, or just regular court time for members.
    “I found that Pacific Waterfront Partner’s offices are right there”
    Purely by chance, of course.

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