CityPlace Rendering

As a plugged-in reader reports, the CityPlace development at 935-965 Market has been approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission, and with, rather than without, parking.

CityPlace: Rendering

CityPlace could start serving shoppers in San Francisco as soon as 2012. The impact on that stretch of Market and the neighborhood overall? Even sooner we would say.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Michael E

    This is great news!

  2. Posted by SF Fan

    This is wonderful news! Market Street should be a world class boulevard and this is a step forward. Naturally, the anti-gentrification crowd may have other opinions and the elitists who sneer at Targets and Kohls may not agree, but I am very excited about having some of that blight removed.

  3. Posted by BT

    I attended the hearing. The ONLY aspect of the project anyone objected to was the parking but the bike and walking advocates hate that in spite of the fact it seems very unlikely the project could get done without it and this project seems like the best hope for Mid-Market in decades. As was pointed out at the hearing, the anti-parking crowds contention that there is already plenty of parking in the area is wrong on several counts, starting with the fact that most of the existing suface lots will eventually be developed. But it is also likely that the intended retailers like Target will not be interested if there is not the intended amount of parking–or so said independent comnercial realtors as well as the developers.
    There is still a high probability the Supervisors will get involved in this which would probably cause delays a la Trinity Plaza and, if they demand removal ofntye parking, kill the project.

  4. Posted by gabriel

    I wish this project was actually further down ‘Mid-Market’.
    It’s essentially another Mall right next to 2 or 3 other Malls. Mid Market to me is the area from 8th to Van Ness. That’s the area that needs work, right?

  5. Posted by Turin

    IMO, everything west of 5th could use some help, so this is a good step.
    I just wish I could be more optimistic that this will actually happen. Look at how many projects get approved by the planning commission only to die with the BOS or sit unbuilt with full entitlements. I don’t want to look at a huge whole in the streetwall, so hopefully demo won’t take place until they’re ready to actually build.

  6. Posted by BT

    gabriel, as several people said at the hearing, retaking Mid-Market will have to be one block at a time and this is a major step. Personally, I think Mid-Market starts pretty much at this site (at least, the boarded up and decaying store fronts do).
    If and when Trinity Plaza is completed, that will do wonders for the area around 8th St. and the owner of the Warfield has plans for his block when things get rolling enough to justify them (and this project will be a large part of that). And, of course, there’s the large residential project long planned at 10th and Market.
    But the immediate need is to stop the rot. Even Pearl, who, as I recall, spoke admiringly of the area’s grit when they moved in years ago, couldn’t survive under present circumstances. But CityPlace should stabilize several blocks and lead to other projects moving forward.

  7. Posted by BT

    @ Turin–everything I heard at the hearing, including from the developer, indicated they are ready to go when allowed to. Today’s Business Times says they could be “retailing” by 2012.

  8. Posted by guest

    2012? As in 1 1/2 years? LOL!!!! Too late for April Fools guys!

  9. Posted by Conifer

    Note than even in this case, Premier Commissar Kathrin Moore voted NO.
    With her two fellow travelers, she also voted NO on Pet Express on California at Presidio, because it is “formula retail” but the four saner ones passed it.
    Does anyone keep a tabular record of the votes of the commissioners?
    Moore is opposed to development of any kind, but especially any place to park a car, “formula retail,” and dwelling unit mergers. She sees evil in cars, successful business, and large condos or houses. In other words, no one should have anything more than anyone else. That belief describes the “C” word.
    As we know from the political experiments of the 20th century, such people are dangerous.

  10. Posted by anon

    But it is also likely that the intended retailers like Target will not be interested if there is not the intended amount of parking–or so said independent comnercial realtors as well as the developers.
    Your theory seems to have one GIGANTIC hole in it. Target is already in negotiations to go into the Metreon location, which you’ll note does not have any parking of its own. Maybe it’s different for a site two blocks away? Yeah, that must be it.

  11. Posted by jamie

    Hah … I see the nutbags are at their keyboards again – and I’d say the nutbags are the ones who are “dangerous.” Kathrin Moore is the most valuable member of the Commission because she actually expects us to live up to the “Transit First” and “Livability” expectations voters of San Francisco have set. If the rules say 70 parking spots, you should have pretty good justification for asking for 188 parking spots in an area that is very well served by public transit and bike lanes and such. Who gets screwed in this deal, as always, are the residents who live in South of Market and walk the streets between your highway ramps to I-80, I-280, and I-101 and your destination Market Street. I’m happy CityPlace is approved, but miffed that the Commissioners were suckered by this developer into taking steps backwards on trying to mitigate the environmental and public safety hazards by upholding the Downtown Plan’s limit of 70 parking spaces. I guess some people only want some laws enforced when it suits their personal biases …. and let’s call people who want to enforce the downtown plan parking limits “dangerous” … haha … nutbag.

  12. Posted by zzzzzzzz

    The article in today’s Chronicle points out that this development will have fewer parking spaces than comparable developments in New York, Chicago, and DC – all of which has superior transit systems to SF, in my opinion. The amount of parking that’s been approved is not unreasonable by any measure.

  13. Posted by Conifer

    We are so lucky to have people like “jamie” on this list. He calls people names, as a schoolboy would, and admires the least reasonable, most inflexible, most dogmatic member of the Planning Commission.
    He is no doubt a charter member of the Peskin for President committee, with running mate Chris Daly.

  14. Posted by Name

    @Conifer And calling somebody dangerous is healthy debate?
    How about we close the city borders and charge $20 for outsiders to enter and pay for the street and neighborhood improvements that these aliens with their Acura SUVs use to destroy our streets with.

  15. Posted by Conifer

    The “progressive” politicians in this city are not progressive in the sense of a (T or FD)Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Obama or Clinton.
    They are further to the left than any ruling Labour Party prime minister of England.
    They would like to tell people how to live. Dangerous is the correct word.

  16. Posted by Tom Tom

    “I want to see the area thrive, but I don’t want to throw out all our values in San Francisco to let it thrive,” said Tom Radulovich, executive director of Livable City.
    “Our values”….whose values exactly tom???

  17. Posted by Name

    Even the leader of the socialist party of America says that Obama is a “hedge fund Democrat.”
    I WISH Obama were a leftist.
    The republicans on the other hand are withering circus folk.

  18. Posted by mwsf

    Jamie the project cannot attract any tenants by living within the rules on parking…No developer is going to invest 10’s of millions of $$ in this marginal location without being able to attract tenants. So is it your preference to leave the block as the run down rat hole that it now over a few parking spaces?? And if you don’t want this project to happen what is your idea to make something work in this area where nothing has worked for 50 years!!

  19. Posted by mwsf

    “Mid Market to me is the area from 8th to Van Ness. That’s the area that needs work, right?”
    Mid market is everything from 4th to Octavia. The crappy part that needs work is 5th to Van Ness.

  20. Posted by LetThemPark

    Why is it that you can go to Vancouver or Chicago and enjoy A+ walking neighborhoods with retail that happen to provide lots of parking as well, and nobody in those cities gets upset? Union Square is a giant parking garage, but I am sure the parking haters would make sure that if Union Square were to be re-built today, the parking spaces underground would not be allowed. Why not accept the fact that the Bay Area is a sprawling region with poor transit infrastructure, and if this city is to survive, it needs to make it easier for people to shop here. I don’t care if they drive to the city and park their cars downtown and walk around to shop and dine, how else would someone from Fairfax, Portola Valley, or Half Moon Bay get here?

  21. Posted by guest

    You think walnut crackers et al will actually be driving here to shop? This is going to be the scariest Target in the country, too much for those delicate types.

  22. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “The article in today’s Chronicle points out that this development will have fewer parking spaces than comparable developments in New York, Chicago, and DC …”
    Comparable developments perhaps, but how about comparable locations ? Those three cities are huge and all have low density areas that are not very well served by transit but have excess street capacity. I’m not so sure that this is an apples to apples comparison. Does anyone know which exact developments are being compared here ? We could be talking about something way down south on Cicero Ave. in Chicago or out in the far reaches in NYC’s Queens where things get a bit suburban.
    I’m glad this is getting built but sad about the precedent set. If the same entitlement is extended to other properties on this block then we’re looking at about a parking spot per every eight inches or so of Market. I think I heard that the owner of this site also owns some of the properties across the street. What a great gift the city has given to the developer. Lets hope that in turn it doesn’t snuff out the possibility of creating a viable, livable street by clogging it with congestion.

  23. Posted by Pedestrianist

    “Why not accept the fact that the Bay Area is a sprawling region with poor transit infrastructure, and if this city is to survive, it needs to make it easier for people to shop here.”
    This ignores 50 or so years of historical example, in which SF was always a harder place to drive to and park in than the surrounding suburbs, and yet maintained a healthier downtown and shopping district.

  24. Posted by anon

    Jamie the project cannot attract any tenants by living within the rules on parking…No developer is going to invest 10’s of millions of $$ in this marginal location without being able to attract tenants.
    Isn’t this what the SF Centre developer claimed before buckling and building what is now one of the highest grossing shopping malls in the US, with ZERO parking spots? Must be different one block over. Yeah, that must be it.
    So, let’s keep score – according to the commenters on Socketsite: A giant shopping mall a block away doesn’t need parking to pencil out, but no developer will touch this without it. Target, one of the largest big box operators in the country, will not even think about moving into this location without parking, but is CURRENTLY in negotiations to put a store less than three blocks away into a building with ZERO parking. I guess I need someone to explain the paradox that has seemed to form here…

  25. Posted by S.W.

    The entire system is broken. The Planning Commission makes decisions that the Transit Authority can’t deliver on. And nobody has the will to tell the NIMBYs to STFU unless they have constructive alternatives to offer. This city has never been more ready for “the big one” to come and wipe the slate clean again.

  26. Posted by Conifer

    S.W., if the big one comes, and wipes the slate clean, as you put it, you can the sure that the three Comrades of the Apocalypse on the Planning Commission will vote against reconstructing the Sutter-Stockton, Union Square, Ellis-O’Farrell, Green Street North Beach, 5th & Mission, and Japan Center garages, among others. This would put an end to much commercial and entertainment business in San Francisco, and we will revert to a city of no importance. But they will have their mad fantasy of a world without cars.

  27. Posted by anon

    ^Clearly. Because the two areas in the US with the most restrictive parking allowances (Manhattan and SF) of the past 50 years have both turned into steaming piles of !@#$.

  28. Posted by Dan

    This is the type of project that in many cities gets redevelopment agency subsidies, due to its importance in urban renewal. Allowing some parking is like a city subsidy to encourage redevelopment in a location that sorely needs it. I don’t think that incentives like this are necessary east of 5th St, but between 5th and Van Ness St., clearly there has been a lack of private investment to turn that strip around. I don’t think any driveways should open onto Market St., but when there is access from South of Market, and cars remain banned on Market St. itself, a limited incentive of allowing parking for some projects seems like a reasonable incentive.

  29. Posted by LetThemPark

    “I don’t think any driveways should open onto Market St., but when there is access from South of Market, and cars remain banned on Market St. itself, a limited incentive of allowing parking for some projects seems like a reasonable incentive.”
    I agree with this comment and think it is partially responsible for the renaisance of downtown Chicago. Many of Michigan Avenues vertical shopping centers and retail/hotel structures have parking that is available from side alleys or a block or two behind the main boulevard. There is nowhere in San Francisco with the pedestrian traffic of Michigan Avenue.
    http://www.themagnificentmile.com/images/uploads/magmile-shopping-2010.pdf

  30. Posted by Jim

    Kathrin Moore, what a joke. An unemployed and unemployable architect who has gotten fired form every job she ever had because she is completely incompetant. Christine Olague- who is so clearly above her ability to comprehend. H. Suguaya, who has never seen a building built after 1880 he could stand. No wonder this city is in desparate financial shape!

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