May 24, 2011
Parkmerced Poised For Board Vote And 5,700 New Residences
In a special session this morning, San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee is expected to back the Development Agreement and a host of related ordinances for the proposed redevelopment of Parkmerced which will then be presented to San Francisco’s full Board of Supervisors this afternoon for adoption along with a scheduled vote on the certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report for the massive project.
∙ Parkmerced Development Agreement Close To Board Vote [SocketSite]
∙ Parkmerced's Proposed Urban Design, Open Space, And Sustainability [SocketSite]
∙ Two Big Tests For San Francisco's New Board Of Supervisors [SocketSite]
First Published: May 24, 2011 9:45 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Hard to appreciate the rush to embrace this ugly plan. The developer must have some amazing lobbyists. Or perhaps SF Sups just don't care about the future of SF's west side. 5700 new residences crammed into the already horrific Stonestown-SF State-19th Avenue traffic mess is.... well.... insane. Do any of these people ever try to negotiate this area? Or visit? A quick drive by maybe? Obviously none of them, from the developer on thru the politicians, would ever seriously consider trying to live in this sure to be cluster$) of a mess. This project has 'quick cash' written all over it.
Posted by: 4oceans at May 24, 2011 10:22 AM
I hope this goes through with a "yes". Parkmerced and the surrounding neighborhoods could benefit from higher density. And it can be done without the loss of green space.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 24, 2011 10:23 AM
I also hope this project gets approved. The City as a whole needs higher density development, and this is a good first step in that direction. Traffic concerns will be ameliorated by people freely choosing to drive less and walk, and bike more.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at May 24, 2011 11:08 AM
This is one of the least dense parts of the city, and it could benefit from increased density. If only we thought about increasing density in other parts of the city...
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 24, 2011 11:33 AM
Reading is fundemental
Please explain how a project that is expected to take 20 years to build out is "quick cash"
Posted by: Joe at May 24, 2011 11:38 AM
@4oceans - I know the area well, and my only problem with the plan is that it is not enough units. 20,000+ would be much better and create the demand for excellent transit service and a sweet set of walkable retail.
Posted by: anon at May 24, 2011 11:54 AM
The developer voluntarily building metro stops in the development is a step in the right direction. I hope the buildings are laid out clustered close together as possible- touching, even- for that unique SF feel. The spaced out communistic look of the buildings now just screams "Park LaBrea," which is what Park Merced is a replica of. Less LA, more SF, thank you!
Posted by: sf at May 24, 2011 1:22 PM
Yaayyy for density. This is a good move for SF. Please build.
Posted by: Snark17 at May 24, 2011 3:57 PM
Posted by: anon at May 24, 2011 4:44 PM
Woohoo! As for transit: "The developer plans to build a new light-rail station and extend Muni M line into Parkmerced."
Of course, the "let's never improve San Francisco ever!" progressive wing (Mar, Campos, Avalos, and Mirkarimi) voted against this. No surprise there.
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 24, 2011 4:54 PM
Re "Please explain how a project that is expected to take 20 years to build out is "quick cash""
Wall Street is involved and they know how to pull the strings to get quick cash, as we have seen before...
Posted by: fred at May 24, 2011 6:06 PM
^so your argument is wall st is involved so it must be evil? Are there any housing plans where wall st isn't involved? They're even involved in most of the non-profit housing, by providing financing or selling debt.
Posted by: anon at May 24, 2011 6:14 PM
So happy to see increased density planned out in a thoughful way. The towers are indeed problematic since the empty space around them detracts from the public realm. Oh well, nothing's perfect; it's good that we're moving in the right direction.
Understand the sentiments toward Wall Street. They wrecked our economy; and then gave themselves a bonus! Straight gangster! Who would have ever thought that "long term greedy" would not be good enough.... :(.
Posted by: VancouverJones at May 24, 2011 8:16 PM
Everyone is yelling for density, but would they be as in favor of "more towers touching eachother, not like L.A. where there is space in between" if it was on Lombard in the Marina/Cow Hollow neighborhood, or Geary, or the Mission or Noe Valley (GASP!). There are many parts of this city that could use greater density, but I bet some of the ones barking the loudest for these towers way out there somewhere, would fight the most if these towers were proposed in their own neighborhoods. For the record, I am in of this plan, but also in favor of more towers throughout the city.
Posted by: anonfedup at May 25, 2011 4:04 AM
I'm in agreement anonfedup, density should be increased in other parts of the city. Even better is to increase density throughout the bay area and in particular near existing large transportation nodes.
There was significant opposition to this plan. Was all of the opposition based on density and traffic congestion or were there other concerns?
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 25, 2011 9:10 AM
As a long time Noe Valley resident, I would definitely support more density and some increased height limits in our neighborhood. Some corner locations could be increased to 5-8 stories, especially along transit lines like the J-church.
Posted by: noearch at May 25, 2011 9:21 AM
I think most of the opposition was focused on the displacement & rent-control issues. Happily, the plan calls for displaced residents (about half of the existing) to move into the first phase of newly constructed units at the same rent-controlled rents they would currently pay.
Yes, the rest of the city should densify intelligently. Look at Taraval and Judah - mostly 1-3 story buildings with the streetcars right there!
Unfortunately, up-zoning a district or street doesn't guarantee any progress - take Mission street: it's been zoned 105 feet and 85 feet for much of the stretch between 25th & 16th, and yet....
Zoning in this city is almost meaningless given how many projects can't get approved even though they meet code.
Posted by: rubber_chicken at May 25, 2011 9:33 AM
@anonfedup - I am definitely in favor of more density all over the city. I can understand not having towers everywhere, but I see no reason to not have eight stories everywhere, with 20-40 story towers lining Geary all the way to the ocean, lining Golden Gate Park on both sides, lining Market and Mission along their entire lengths, lining 3rd St, etc.
Posted by: anon at May 25, 2011 9:41 AM
I can't see 20-40 story towers lining Geary all the way to the ocean happening in my lifetime.
Posted by: kthnxybe at May 25, 2011 10:18 AM
"I can't see 20-40 story towers lining Geary all the way to the ocean happening in my lifetime."
Really?! I have watched the Wilshire Corridor grow up in the last 25 years to become a major residential destination. In fact, despite the Los Angeles bashing by some, I do think there are places in San Francisco where the Wilshire Boulevard model could be used (Lombard, Geary, Van Ness, etc.). I actually like how some of the most desirable single family home neighborhoods in Los Angeles surround the Wilshire corridor. See image..
Posted by: Anonfedup at May 25, 2011 10:46 AM
This project will be a good start to creating more density in the SW part of the city. The primary opposition was from tenant's advocates concerned with the loss of rent control units. One only has to look at the reaction of the SFTU to see that they are only concerned with rent controlled units and disregard entirely the fact that this project will add a significant number of new units to the marketplace.
Posted by: Guest666 at May 25, 2011 10:54 AM
"There are many parts of this city that could use greater density, but I bet some of the ones barking the loudest for these towers way out there somewhere, would fight the most if these towers were proposed in their own neighborhoods. For the record, I am in of this plan, but also in favor of more towers throughout the city."
I agree with that completely -- typical SF NIMBY attitudes are in play here. We should start increasing the density on major corridors and keep going from there. anon @ 9:41AM and Milkshake have it right.
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 25, 2011 10:57 AM
And the reason it's a GOOD thing to have increased density in this unique City is what again?
Posted by: youkookybuyers at May 25, 2011 11:30 AM
^Too many reasons to list. I can't think of a single bad reason. What are the bad reasons?
Posted by: anon at May 25, 2011 11:54 AM
"I can't see 20-40 story towers lining Geary all the way to the ocean happening in my lifetime."
If only we could see the return of BART on Geary or at least the B-Geary equivalent (BRT won't cut it). Do you realize they have planned a rapid transit line to the Richmond since at least 1904? The 1904 plan included subway under Post to about Masonic and then elevated on Post and Cabrillo. In the 1930s, the proposed mostly subway line got moved to Geary with some elevated between Fillmore and Divis. Later, in the BART plans, it got moved to Post and Geary with various alignments.
Every other historic rapid transit line in SF transit plans has been achieved by BART via Mission/280 and Muni Metro, although the T-Third took a long time to come to fruition.
107 years and ticking, and 55 years since the B-Geary's demise...
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 25, 2011 12:06 PM
Is the demand even there? The biggest thing outer Geary has going for it is that *is* lower density and suburban. Let's face it, it's cold, foggy, windy, and kind of boring. I could see it happening east of Park Presidio but after that, no.
Posted by: kthnxybe at May 25, 2011 12:11 PM
If you're talking to me kthnxybe, east of Park Presidio would be far better than the big nothing thus far. This corridor is way underserved by the 38-Geary and the parallel lines nearby.
Some of the plans stopped short of outer Geary, although the 1904 plan had an elevated line all the way out to Great Highway, probably because the line that became the L-Taraval turned right and went up Great Highway to meet the Geary line and the then-Kirkham line as well.
The 1930s plans stopped the Geary line around 11th with a loop to turn around to the west of that. The then-Irving line stopped a little after 20th, which I believe was proposed as being the "highway" as 19th St is today, and had a loop to the west.
BART had various termini for the line under Post/Geary. One thought was to cut north to Marin County after 11th with a station at 11th. Another was to cut northwest to Marin after the Presidio Ave station. When the Marin portion was dead, they proposed terminating at 25th Ave with a station at 11th and one at Masonic as well. For some reason they kept a dotted line to Marin that cut northwest before Masonic Station.
For other trivia, the other line to disappear was the H-Potrero, and part of that is coming back as Van Ness BRT.
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 25, 2011 12:58 PM
">propinquity second person exegesis brogue density - 7 dictionary results
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Perhaps the connotations of the meaning may reflect on the good/bad of why not all believe increased density is only good
den·si·ty /ˈdɛnsɪti/ Show Spelled
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or quality of being dense; compactness; closely set or crowded condition.
2. stupidity; slow-wittedness; obtuseness.
3. the number of inhabitants, dwellings, or the like, per unit area:
Posted by: guest at May 25, 2011 1:37 PM
@kthnxbye - considering the fact that the average house in the outer Richmond is still more expensive than 98% of the US, and the fact that the average apartment there is still more expensive than 98% of the US, yes, I would say that there is plenty of demand there.
Are you supposing that apartments built in the outer Richmond would remain empty? That's absurd. We might see a fall in rents, but every indication is that we have years and year and years of unmet demand in nearly every corner of the city.
Posted by: anona at May 25, 2011 2:11 PM