Clearing up some confusion with respect to the current home of Cala Foods at 1401 California, the grocery store’s lease ends on December 31, 2010 (not 2009).
And if all goes as the Prado Group (think 2001 Market) plans, demolition will start soon thereafter and in its place will rise around 107 residential units over 30,000 square feet of retail including a replacement “neighborhood-serving grocery store.”

In terms of parking, 82 retail parking spaces with two car share spaces and 96 spaces in a dedicated residential garage with two car share spaces. No variances would be required as proposed, but Conditional Use Authorizations would be required on four counts: parcel size, retail square feet, retail parking, and expected formula retail.
An optimistic project completion is currently projected for summer 2012 with formal public review in early 2010.
1401 California [1401california.com] [Map]
Around A Rendered 2001 Market Street From Market To 14th [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by louis

    This looks like a good project. if the market for condominiums does come back — right now it still costs much more to build a project like this per sq foot than it is worth on the market — this is the type of project that will get financed and built sooner than others. mid rise projects in locations that are reasonably good already in terms of getting higher psf sales prices, and have less than 100 units, so they can sell out during one up market cycle.
    a project like this is something you have seen proposed in other locations — soma , eastern neighborhoods, etc., – but it will sell for $200 psf more in this location.
    moreover, and the price margin that, say, One Rincoon tower 2 would sell above this project will NOT be another $200 psf higher, even with its views.

  2. Posted by kurt7

    A HUGE improvement for a grim site. A crowded overpriced grocery store with the worsts butchers.
    A VERY sleazy location….the aprtments will need to be superior to compensate for the terrible loation. Anything like 1299 Bush will be instant failure. exellent design with good finish at reasonable pricing will be required.

  3. Posted by anonnn

    A VERY sleazy location? Hardly – what sleaze there is, is due to the nasty CALA market itself! It’s just down the hill from the top of Nob Hill where Grace Cathedral etc. is; it’s just south of California where Nob Hill ends; and it’s only 3 blocks to the (edge of) Pacific Heights Whole Foods on California/Franklin. Granted, the apartments in the immediate vicinity aren’t the best and the neighborhood really functions as a kind of outer Chinatown, and some might be turned off by that section of Polk, but just as many might be turned on by it. You have Shalimar, the Lumiere Theatre, Cordon Bleu, Myconos Greek, and multiple hipster bars clustered right around Polk/CA. I think for a lot of people this would be an ideal location. Oh, and it’s only a 10 minute walk to Union Square and easy Cable Car, 1 California, or taxi ride up and over the hill to the Financial District. Heck, you could actually walk up and over CA to Downtown from there.

  4. Posted by Fishchum

    What’s wrong with this location? I used to live at Sacramento/Hyde and it’s a great ‘hood. It’s without a doubt Nob Hill (I don’t get the “Outer Chinatown” comment, Chinatown is all the way up and over on the other side of the hill) and I used to walk to and from work in the Financial District.

  5. Posted by Saylor

    If they’re getting the entitlement process going now(it’s a minimum 2 year process here in SF), demolition and grading will start in 2012 with say an 18 month construction schedule to occupancy. They’d be lucky to start selling units before the end of 2013, which may end up being good timing with the market anyway.
    This isn’t a bad location at all. There are parts of Nob Hill that feel like Chinatown though – poorly maintained buildings with trash blowing in the streets.

  6. Posted by Nob Hill resi

    You must have really high standards if you consider this area “sleazy”. It’s quite the opposite, on Nob Hill, and has the ring of little Cable Cars going by every few minutes.
    Perhaps it’s a knock againts the little old chinese ladies that go there to redeem their cans at the recycling center.
    What do I know?

  7. Posted by Oceangoer

    I think the sleazy location comments may come from the number of homeless you have to step over if you walk from, say, Van Ness up California to Hyde. Its pretty scary sometimes. But maybe this type of building with people actually living there will help make this a more habitable hood.

  8. Posted by condoshopper

    altho it is not sleazy, it is not a nice block by nob hill standards. homeless people can be found strolling on all 4 sides of this lot, but not in great numbers. perhaps a lot of it is related to the presence of Cala itself, due to panhandling, recycling cans, buying liquor, etc.

  9. Posted by BobN

    With a lot that size, it’s a pity that at least partt of the building isn’t taller.

  10. Posted by OneEyedMan

    neighborhood-serving
    Chinatown sleazy Nob Hill
    No pumpkin envy

  11. Posted by b-cool

    I like the look of the Cala foods. Very cool and unique. The look of the proposed building is SF Beige (no soul). I hope someone slaps a historic sticker on it and doesn’t let them demolish, like in Noe. The Cala has character. They may not be the best tenant, but someone with vision would serve this space much better than an uninspired condo.

  12. Posted by blfstyk

    I’ll miss Cala Foods when it’s gone. Yes, it has it’s faults. It’s ugly and it’s old. However, I shop there almost every day as it’s on my route walking from work downtown to home. There are always “specials” and I save a lot of money shopping there. There is no equivalent middle-class supermarket within miles, which is why it is often crowded. Anyone within a mile of this store will have a real problem shopping when it is gone. There is Whole Foods up the hill with ridiculous prices but it is a trek to get there and a rip off.
    But most importantly, Cala provides a very low footprint on a very large area. That corner of California and Hyde is wide open to the sky and that luxury will be gone with a big ugly condo complex that dominates that corner. Newer, bigger, larger, more luxurious is not necessarily better for the neighborhood.
    Personally, I hope the deal falls through and a major grocery store gets the lease on the site and does some slight improvements on the lot.
    Progress ain’t always progress. Haven’t we learned that lesson by now?

  13. Posted by blfstyk

    I just wanted to add, re my “open space” comment, I walk two miles from work to home every day, from One Market Plaza to Pacific Heights, and the only truly “open space” I encounter along the way is at the corner of California and Hyde where Cala Foods sits. That space is the highlight of my walk and makes it all worthwhile, ugly as it is. And I admit it is a pretty ugly block. But it’s open and free and makes my day. It’s why I don’t live in NYC. Let’s keep SF as open as possible.

  14. Posted by anon

    ^Are you not walking over the top of Nob Hill? Past Huntington Park? The Cala parking lot is nicer than that?

  15. Posted by Joe Blfstyk

    ^God no, I’m not Jack LaLanne. I walk up Bush, much less steep than California, and cut over. I guess Huntington Park is a little nicer than the Cala parking lot. More interesting people at Cala, though. :)

  16. Posted by tipster

    “Personally, I hope the deal falls through and a major grocery store gets the lease on the site and does some slight improvements on the lot.”
    No major grocery store will touch a site that small. 30,000 square feet of retain includes the grocery store, so the grocery will be smaller.
    This will be like the crappy fake grocery stores along the run down parts of Divisadero in Pac Heights where the canned goods on the shelves are all dusty because all the “grocery” stores ever really sell is alcohol and cigarettes.

  17. Posted by Informed Skeptic

    With the exception of the close proximity to a Whole Foods, the site is attractive for one of Tesco’s “Fresh & Easy” stores: right size, location, demographic, etc. Such a store would achieve excellent “gravity” – as they say in the grocery store planning biz.
    Whether this development deal happens or not – don’t be surprised to see such a British invasion on Hyde at California.

  18. Posted by anonnnn

    tesco is looking at it.

  19. Posted by harrington

    Seconding “blfstyk at September 29, 2009 9:20 PM”.
    It’s a little gritty and a little urban, but the open space is beautiful. You can see the sky there.
    The prices at Cala are comparable to Safeway, and the parabolic ceiling and tall tall windows to the north are amazing. It’s unique and uplifting in a strange way, and far more valuable to the neighborhood than 100 more cookie cutter boring ass condos rammed up to the sidewalk.
    Sorry the dirty poor people make so many of you uncomfortable. If you dared to speak to them or smiled at them, you would make the earth shattering discovery that most of them are nice people. Like you, but without ipods and phones shoved into all their orifices.

  20. Posted by Mitch Beesom

    Does anyone know what the grocery store anchor will be? Don’t think it will be a Whole Foods. A Safeway? Other?

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