January 8, 2010
Have You Seen These Massings For 1127 Market?
A plugged-in tipster delivers a few detailed massing models for the development of 1127 Market Street (a.k.a. the Strand Theater which has been shuttered for seven years).
Unfortunately we don’t have any additional information on the origin of these models or the status of any plans for development, but to echo the words of our tipster, "change on this stretch of Market is long overdue."
So if you recognize these massings as your own, or have the scoop, please let us know.
First Published: January 8, 2010 4:45 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I don't have any info on this, but if those are supposed to residential units in 1127 Market, they are going to be uniquely unlivable, with only Market St-facing units having any reasonable access to light and air. Talk about trying to stuff too much onto a small parcel. Cubix to the extreme!
Posted by: hmmm at January 8, 2010 4:58 PM
Massing to be sure. Looks pretty unlivable to me. Reminds me of those old pictures you see of Soviet era public housing.
IMO the city was way more than remiss in approving this whole block.
Posted by: Gil at January 8, 2010 5:09 PM
These were developed by George Hauser, developer of Cubix, who was attempting to develop a Cubix-style building while retaining some element of the Strand for historical preservation purposes.
Apparently there is substantial interest in the block as Trinity, the Federal Building, 50 UN's renovation, the Art Institute's lease of 10 UN, and the Soma Grand are all making the Strand a prime location for redevelopment.
Posted by: market street at January 8, 2010 6:22 PM
"Apparently there is substantial interest in the block as Trinity, the Federal Building, 50 UN's renovation, the Art Institute's lease of 10 UN, and the Soma Grand are all making the Strand a prime location for redevelopment."
But why such a massive amount of housing on a single block? They couldn't have spread this density over 2 or 3 blocks?!
The design of the Federal Building is a joke - I know virtually no one who has walked past it that likes the look. It's like you expect elves or something to peek out of those Alice In Wonderland tiny holes that pass for windows.
Geez, why not totally cover the block front to back, side to side with a 15 story square building. This amounts to pretty much the same thing.
I don't like to see the push to put up tall (20 story plus) building this far up on Market and near Van Ness.
However, if this kind of density is going to be forced on a block, I'd rather they would have taken out the portion of the Trinity complex facing directly on Market, raise the height of the other structures to make up for it and open a wide (100 foot plus) plaza along half the Trinity side of this Market Street block.
I can't see, given the option of other downtown SOMA housing (this is not a great location for transportation or near the downtown draws) this complex being desired as a place to live. It has low income housing project writen all over it. This is going to be an eyesore if it ever gets fully built out that the city will have to live with for a century. Yeah right - the city that knows how.
Posted by: Gil at January 8, 2010 6:41 PM
Can we go tall, maybe really tall here? A least as high as Federal Building? I'm liking - immediate reaction to having interesting housing on Market St. This stretch is poised to be fantastic -- if we dare.
(OK We're not NY but a few more skyscraping towers won't hurt.)
Posted by: invented at January 8, 2010 6:43 PM
I can't see, given the option of other downtown SOMA housing (this is not a great location for transportation or near the downtown draws)
Where would you put thousands of apartments within two blocks of a BART/MUNI station?
Posted by: BobN at January 8, 2010 6:59 PM
Make that one block.
Posted by: BobN at January 8, 2010 7:01 PM
none of the projects near here have been an economic success,so i would not worry about this becoming a reality too soon.
Posted by: louis at January 8, 2010 8:04 PM
This parcel is just steps from BART and Muni Metro, and therefore deserves high density development. There will be thousands of new residents nearby at Trinity Plaza within the next few years. This would be a great location for rentals for people working in Civic Center, Union Square, and the Financial District.
Posted by: Dan at January 8, 2010 9:25 PM
Why does the top picture say "5th St" on the left? That's 7th St.
Posted by: Schlub at January 9, 2010 9:21 AM
"Where would you put thousands of apartments within two blocks of a BART/MUNI station?"
Oh, let's see. How about spreading them over 3 or so blocks. Reducing significantly the massing and increasing livability.
"none of the projects near here have been an economic success,so i would not worry about this becoming a reality too soon."
Good point. This has been and is a bleak almost desolate feeling area. The street people don't help, the dilapidated physical structures throughout the area make it un-attractive. The empty 3A building won't help either.
This looks like a Soviet housing block and, unless the rents are below market, I can't see many folks wanting to live here. Imagine facing on that inner courtyards looking in every direction and seeing massive walls of the adjoining structures. The courtyards or whatever they call them will be cold, dark and uninviting except at around high noon when the shadows will clear for a brief period.
Sub-par housing which didn't have to be. Or maybe it did - this is SF after all.
Posted by: Gil at January 9, 2010 4:48 PM
Car haters will attack this idea, but would it be possible the homeless problem would reduce on the north side of Market if the UN Plaza area were partially opened again to car, bike and bus traffic? Jane Jacobs does a good job in pointing out that the homeless will take over streets when the life and activity are removed (including street traffic from vehicles), and the homeless have taken over this area. What I don't understand is some of the worst homeless activity is right under the offices of various government agencies in this area and nothing is done.
Car haters take note: Turning Market Street into a pedestrian corridor could turn the proposed car free stretch into the worlds longest homeless campground.
Posted by: oh well at January 10, 2010 5:28 PM
The high density is a good thing. Gil calls the neighborhood "desolate" now, but with thousands of new tenants living on this block, the block is likely to improve tremendously, with the new residents patronizing local shops, cafes, etc.
Posted by: Dan at January 10, 2010 6:01 PM
Glad to see Gil's true colors as a NIMBY.
Some people just dont want anything changed in SF - anywhere. Maintain status quo - maintain underused spaces - maintain blight.
He's opposed to the transbay transit tower - and now hes looked into his crystal ball to inform these developers that nobody will ever want their units so why build them ? And while he's at it - lets cut the density of the trinity towers as well. Never mind that van ness and market corners are being zoned for 400'
I dont get why people who dont even live in a certain area, and never frequent said area - fight tooth and nail to never change anything about it.
Posted by: Joe at January 11, 2010 9:05 AM
"Why does the top picture say "5th St" on the left? That's 7th St."
Also the Trinity development are apartments, not condominiums.
Posted by: Michael at January 11, 2010 11:04 AM
It is funny how for ages planning held the line against tall buildings and dreaded "slab" architecture. Now two tall slabs will duel it out on Market for ages to come. Look upon my works, ye mighty ...
Every time I walk by the Federal Building there is some group of people who have traveled over at least one ocean to be photographed smiling in front of it. How strange and telling it is that it takes Federal authority to step out in front of the rest of the City.
Posted by: Mole Man at January 11, 2010 11:14 AM
Using cars to drive the homeless away ? Yeah, I guess that could have an effect. But it is kind of like using loud yapping dogs to drive opossum away.
I hope there's a better solution than replacing a negative with a different negative. And of course if you replace the space in the current UN plaza with a street and intersection there's less places to hang out and loiter.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 11, 2010 11:23 AM
Perfect location for this
If I was a single person I would be interested in buying a condo near to here.
I am a fan of the density planned near Van Ness as well
Posted by: Zig at January 11, 2010 11:31 AM
True about slab architecture and SF. Not appealing or something SF has valued yet the city is going for it big-time here.
I realize that Van Ness/Market has been zoned for a potential 30 story condo/apartment tower. It's the aesthetics that don't work. Go south/west on Market from Van Ness and the height limit drops to what? 10 stories or less, Same for going south of Van ness from Market. Heights drop quickly to 4 or 5 stories.
If built, the Van Ness/Market tower will present a fortress like wall to the low-rise districts immediately adjacent. No transition,no build-down.
Does not make for a pretty postcard picture let alone an inviting environment in which to live or do business.
Posted by: Gil at January 11, 2010 11:32 AM
The bottom line is that this area is really well served by muni and bart, cabs travelling up and down Market make it possible to step out your door and flag one down, and has excellent freeway access a few blocks south.
The buildings that already exist here are tall, so it doesn't hurt to build tall next to them. Just look at that new building at 1 Polk. Not that anyone lives there, but it even looks out of place because it's too short compared to its immediate neighbors.
My recommendation: build tall to VN and use the max height outlined in the Octavia plan for your "scaling down."
Posted by: Ad at January 11, 2010 1:14 PM
You say aesthetics...
Van ness and market is zoned for up to three towers of up to 400'/40 stories. There is an existing 400' office tower at market and van ness.
The existing corner is pathetic. Go there after 10 pm and there is open drug dealing.
What exists there now is not the best use of the space.
Posted by: Bob at January 11, 2010 1:37 PM
I do hope they build a lot of housing here. It is a great location for density. Of course if they do end up filling Trinity Plaza and SOMA Grand and build more on as rendered here, I do hope they put in some more retail. The neighborhood needs another grocery store or two, closest when I lived there were a Trader Joes at 9th and Harrison/Bryant(?) and a small Harvest Urban Market at 8th/Howard.
Posted by: Rillion at January 11, 2010 1:42 PM
Gil - just to understand - this sort of development is only acceptable if you can masterplan the entire area at once to provide an adequate build-down? Do you not think one may develop organically as the land in the area becomes more valuable and more ripe for additional development?
Sometimes you have to add a little spark to get a fire. . .
Posted by: Mr. E. at January 11, 2010 2:06 PM
"The existing corner is pathetic. Go there after 10 pm and there is open drug dealing.
What exists there now is not the best use of the space."
Are you referring to the 3A building?
Good luck getting them to do anything now - 3A is pulling out of SF. It's true that currently 3A is letting these buildings go so to speak. Especially the low rise green building connected by a bridge to the tower. That building is nasty at street level.
And what happens now with the 3A tower? Doubt an office user would be interested. Will it be converted to apartments or left empty for an extended period?
Posted by: Gil at January 11, 2010 3:34 PM
3a is not the only tenant in the office building. I know that there are other clients in there which are not leaving. The building isnt going anywhere.
The problem is that there is no street level activation other than the horrible 2 story on the edge of a surface parking lot donut shop.
The entire area needs to be overhauled. There is tons of room for housing on that corner alone.
Posted by: Bob at January 11, 2010 4:20 PM
Why is everyone hating this idea? Yes, there is blight in midmarket but thats exactly the reason to build new buildings like this one to clean it up.
And whoever said that none of the projects here are an economic success is simply uninformed. Look at soma grand, trinity place, city place, the renovation of the u.n. plaza, etc. etc. Soma grand is already basically sold out, trinity place is doing very well and so will the other projects here. This is the doorstep of the financial district, there is no way midmarket will remain the way it is for long.
Posted by: Jason at February 12, 2010 2:46 PM
Posted by: SocketSite at October 4, 2012 10:19 AM