September 27, 2011

The Renderings For What’s Rising At 1150 Ocean Avenue

1150 Ocean Avenue Rendering

With construction well underway on 173 rental units and a Whole Foods to be at 1150 Ocean Avenue, it’s a plugged-in reader that directs us to the renderings for what’s rising.

1150 Ocean Avenue Rendering

1150 Ocean Avenue Rendering

From Auto Parts To Whole Foods (And Apartments) On Ocean Avenue [SocketSite]
1150 Ocean Avenue Prepares To Break Ground [SocketSite]
Ocean Avenue [Pyatok Architects]

First Published: September 27, 2011 2:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What an enormous difference those trees make. Please, please, please don't leave out the trees! XOXO - Sunnyside

Posted by: Sunnyside at September 27, 2011 4:04 PM

Great addition to the neighborhood, good access to public transportation. More please.

Posted by: CH at September 27, 2011 4:04 PM

Barely any parking for all those units. What a nightmare for all the neighbors.

Plus the developer is using non-union workers in a traditionally union-worker neighborhood. Unbelievable for a project of that size in SF... that's just greedy.

My bet is that this place is cheaply built and will look like crap in a few years. People will be asking why this thing was approved...

Posted by: Ridler at September 27, 2011 5:01 PM

Wow. Some people, even in this day and age, don't get it.

Ridler, say it with me: Walkable Urbanism. Transit First. You can try Googling those two terms along with "San Francisco" if you'd like. Doesn't that feel better? Now you know.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 27, 2011 5:17 PM

There is just one set of plug & play plans for these sorts of developments now right...?

Posted by: ph_goat at September 27, 2011 5:19 PM

What's the latest on the Phelan Loop project?

Posted by: TEJ at September 27, 2011 5:34 PM


Yeah...this could be Mission Bay, or it could be North Point Street, or it could be San Jose.

Posted by: Sausalito_Res at September 27, 2011 5:38 PM

This is a great project. The neighborhood needs it.

Posted by: jimmythekid at September 27, 2011 6:33 PM

@ saus res: what's your point?

This is a good project. Glad it's getting built.

Posted by: Modernqueen at September 27, 2011 7:13 PM

I agree with you - good project, glad it is being built.

I don't want to speak for saus res, but it does feel like it could be anywhere. Sometimes I drive from in greater LA for a couple hours from Thousand Oaks to Orange County and I feel like I'm in one of those cheaply made cartoons of my youth in which there is a chase and the background just keeps repeating and repeating and repeating.

At some point, a little more variation would be nice.

And please do put in the trees.

Posted by: nolongerbitter at September 27, 2011 7:54 PM

Well at least the form is correct (for a variety of health, sustainabilty, energy security etc. reasons). Unfortunately, it's too much to ask to get the form AND the architecture (style) correct. Of course, it's extremely difficult to design something that fits in since there is nothing really unique about SF architecture. In fact the only unifying theme that I've seen so far is the very odd notion that entry ways into homes should recede deeply into the property instead of joyfully reaching out into the public realm. At this point, all I can do is thank the stars that SF wasn't founded in the 1970's (otherwise we'd be stuck with 70's bulidings with tunnels in the front for entry ways).

Posted by: VancouverJones at September 27, 2011 9:23 PM


My point is that this is generic and BLAND. And the lack of human forms in all but one of the renderings is suggestive of yet another development that fails to engage positively with its surroundings.

The renderings are uninspiring and it has been pointed-out by others on this blog that reality tends to underperform renderings.

That said, I would much rather see this sort of development here than in the northeast quadrant.

Posted by: Sausalito_Res at September 27, 2011 11:20 PM

I agree that it's bland and we have seen it before (though there looks to be some great large balconies to the left of WF), but at least something is being build in SF. More housing, more density, please!

Posted by: Tweety at September 28, 2011 7:55 AM

The renderings should show a gray sky and windswept trash blowing for accuracy.

Posted by: fred at September 28, 2011 8:43 AM

Brahma, I agree with those principals in the right neighborhoods... But, have you even lived in that area? Get real, people will have cars out there. My point is that the people who live in SFRs nearby will have to deal with the impact of these cars and I feel sorry for them. You obviously don't... Principals above people, huh?... it's easy to preach from across town...

Posted by: Ridler at September 28, 2011 9:52 AM

"At some point, a little more variation would be nice."

I don't disagree, but note the post below (Eureka St) showing the traditional Edwardian structure is ALL OVER San Francisco. Noe, Sunset, Richmond,Potrero Castro of course. Tens of thousands of cookie cutter tiny homes. Never bland bc they're so damn cute and liveable (even if tiny). Same layouts, plug and play all over SF.

Posted by: Invented at September 28, 2011 10:09 AM

^ It does seem that it is economically difficult for builders to provide much in the way of style diversity within a given time period. In my opinion, having buildings around built during a wide variety of time periods is how areas get style diversity.

Posted by: tc_sf at September 28, 2011 10:15 AM

"Generic and bland" has become the tired and standard criticism from the armchair critics here for anything they simply don't like.

These buildings are full of variety, character, color and articulation. There is a large amount of street level storefront activity. There is ample color,materials and the addition of balconies and sunshades.

Generic and bland these are not.

Posted by: Modernqueen at September 28, 2011 11:09 AM

...and "armchair critic" is the standard label for someone whose opinions differ from yours?

This stuff could be in any city, anywhere. Nothing about it says "San Francisco". And that's OK, I guess, but it isn't particularly interesting.


Posted by: Sausalito_Res at September 28, 2011 11:25 AM

I'm cautiously optimistic that this isn't going to be a burden for our neighborhood over and above the already existing burden of the congestion caused by City College student drivers. From my perspective as a resident, it seems like the neighborhood has already adopted a transit-first policy. From who I see out on a daily basis, I'd guess that 80% of my neighbors are regular bikers, walkers, bus or BART users even though the vast majority of residents are SFH owners with garages. Although I am a transit-first violator when it comes to the grocery shopping, so I am looking forward to walking to Whole Foods instead of driving up the hill to Tower Mollie's for my fix of over-priced produce!

Posted by: Sunnyside at September 28, 2011 12:00 PM

I agree with VancouverJones observation. It is more important to have the right density and mix than leading edge aesthetics. Both would be great but given the choice between the two I'd take an appropriate form factor with a bland skin rather than an over or undersized but award winning design.


Ridler - Thought the west side is somewhat suburban in nature, increased density is coming to accommodate growth. Given the choice of people over machines it makes sense to give priority to people. And it isn't just SF that is becoming more dense. Even the real bay area 'burbs are beginning to encourage greater density in select zones. The transition will put pressure on the suburban "drive everywhere" lifestyle but other solutions will emerge to help us get around.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 28, 2011 1:09 PM

I'm all for redevelopment and this area needs some. BUT these images look like all that cookie cutter, uninteresting stuff around the ballpark in SOMA. Also, is a whole foods (aka whole paycheck) really the right store for this part of town? How about a trader joes? we need a supermarket, but personally I'd rather spend my money elsewhere. I don't think whole foods is all that good of a company.

Posted by: jackie at September 28, 2011 1:23 PM

What exactly does "fit in" mean? There is probably an extremely wide definition of that.

Fitting in would most likely result in design having to conform to a small minded definition of relating to context. Bad idea. Architectural variety is what makes any city great and interesting, including ours. SF architecture has a wide variety of styles and character.

The "tunnel entry" of some homes is a very small percentage of actual unique residential characteristics. And, for the record, "tunnel entries" were not a 70's creation. Most homes with that deep entry style were built in the 30's and 40's.

Design quality is hardly about choosing one component over another. Design excellence, which does exist in San Francisco, can achieve both the right density mix and high quality urban form.

It's absolutely possible.

Posted by: Modernqueen at September 28, 2011 1:23 PM

Just for confirmation, I hope none of the postings against additional parking are from people who secretly own automobiles themselves. There is nothing more San Francisco than "Do as I say, not as I do". If the anti parking advocates do not own cars, and have no plans to own them in the future, I still find it curious why they feel they should have such a large say in how other people live and commute to work.

Posted by: carowner at September 28, 2011 1:41 PM

OK, you busted me carowner. I have a car. It is even an SUV.

But I can't even remember the last time I drove it. I think it was some time in early August.

Had my place not been bundled with copious off street parking I would not own a car that is rarely driven.

Yes, even in less dense areas awash with parking it is possible to get around without hauling two tons of stuff around with you. And the presence of "free parking" does induce car ownership.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 28, 2011 2:01 PM

"uninteresting stuff around the ballpark"

What do you expect with Avalon Bay at the helm?

Development in SF usually reflects what can happen, not what should happen. Avalon's got cash. Everyone else merely has an opinion.

Posted by: rubber_chicken at September 28, 2011 2:56 PM

Ridler, yes, it is easy to "easy to preach from across town", but it seems to me that if any new development had to yield to the desire of incumbent homeowners to not see existing on-street parking opportunities diminished, that would easily be enough to thwart any city-wide policy of not subsidizing parking.

Yes, I don't feel sorry for SFR owners, they can just park in their garage they paid for any time they want to (yes, that's a generalization; I don't know if homes in the subject area commonly feature garages).

Your point about taking into account conditions in specific neighborhoods is an interesting one that I can't cite a Ocean Avenue NCT District-specific source on, so I'll refrain from opining.

Good try at selling the Tu quoque argument, carowner, but I'm not buying today. It's not about having a say in how other people live and commute to work. Reducing the regulatory mandates for parking so that the price of parking is no longer externalized, subsidized or amortized (or at least less so) is established policy.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 28, 2011 3:11 PM

My understanding is that the transit first policies are meant for downtown and transit corridors (which Ocean Ave is). If you read the many small newspapers distributed in the western side of the city, there is a strong resistance to these types of projects getting built out there. My opinion is that this project got through because the neighbors in that area do not have a strong voice. If they tried to built this along Judah, Taraval or West Portal it would have been crushed by the neighborhood groups regardless of current city policy. There is a sleeping giant out there.

Posted by: Ridler at September 28, 2011 4:50 PM

Judah, Taraval, and West Portal are already densely filled. They don't have 10 acre parking lots containing only a junky auto parts store. As a nearby resident, I can tell you I think this is a big improvement (& hopefully the Phelan Loop project as well) and just the type of help this transit corridor needs. I just don't feel ignored or steamrolled.

Posted by: TEJ at September 29, 2011 8:23 AM

It depends on your definition of densely filled. I bet a lot of the "transit first" folks don't think Judah, Taraval, and West Portal are densely filled.

Posted by: Ridler at September 29, 2011 12:04 PM

Ok, fine, I'm sure the nefarious transit first folks have taken notice of your shots across their bow. But we're not weak, voiceless people who've been run over. Many of us are not objecting because we're just happy for some improvement to the area.

Posted by: TEJ at September 29, 2011 2:21 PM

I heard this project is an affordable housing project that are built for low income people ?

But it doesn't make sense for whole Food to come in?

[Editor's Note: That's incorrect. The project at 1150 Ocean Avenue is not the same as the project at 1100 Ocean.]

Posted by: Saphire at September 29, 2011 9:18 PM

So, there are just next to each other...

Posted by: Saphire at September 30, 2011 1:10 PM

I am excited about the "revitalization" of Ocean ave. although I think this new Avalon building is a bit much. I have a hard time imagining somebody spending $2,200(+) on a studio at this location-it is not SOMA. And a whole foods? Again, a Trader Joe's would have been more appropriate.Obviously the idea is to cater to a certain demographic not necessarily to the demographics within the vicinity. Either way, I am very happy that finally our community is starting to come together and build up our neighborhood-it has been in need of attention for quite a while now.

Posted by: Jenny K at July 12, 2012 4:06 PM

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