May 31, 2012

From 76 Station To 88 Apartments At 2175 Market Street As Proposed

2175 Market Street Site

Having acquired the land on which the 76 Station at the intersection of 15th and Market Streets sits last year, Forest City is now joining the fray of Market Street mixed-use developments in the works having submitted their plans for the site to Planning.

2175 Market Street Rendering

As proposed, 88 apartments will rise over 44 parking spaces and 6,500 square feet of ground floor retail at 2175 Market Street, topped by a 3,791 square foot rooftop deck.

In recognition of the years of work and input by the surrounding neighborhoods on recent rezoning efforts, 2175 Market is designed to be fully compliant with the Market & Octavia Plan, and will not seek conditional use authorization for additional parking, nor for formula retail tenancies. In response to the community’s preference for construction of inclusionary units over payment of the in-lieu fee, 15% of the project’s apartments will be permanently affordable.

The project endeavors to receive a LEED Silver rating for environmentally sustainable design. In order to achieve this rating, the project will focus on reducing building energy demand and consumption through...energy efficiency measures that include high performing fenestration and the use of Title 24 lighting. Additionally, the project will capture and treat 100% of the onsite storm water runoff through a stormwater infiltration system.

2175 Market Street Design: Aerial

Along 15th Street the project responds to the lower scale residential neighborhood by stepping down to 45 feet from 65 feet at Market Street. This 15th Street building is designed to relate to the height and material typology of its neighbors. The 15th Street frontage introduces stoops, generous landscaping elements and a distinctive entry point, promoting a neighborhood feel. Ground floor units are accessible via stoop entries, helping to activate and place additional eyes on the street.

The Planning Department's review will likely take 6 to 9 months, after which the project will head to San Francisco’s Planning Commission for approvals.

As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.

2175 Market Street: Preliminary Project Assessment Application [2175market.com]
Market-Octavia Plan And Requisite Rezoning Approved By The Board [SocketSite]

First Published: May 31, 2012 10:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Is it just me, or are all of these new residential buildings being proposed looking almost exactly the same? Sure this one has some wood siding slaped on the corner (ugh!), but such a sad tired architectural gesture for such an interesting corner. Is it wrong to expect more, especially at a location such as this?

Posted by: sigh at May 31, 2012 10:58 AM

I'm not sure if the buildings look a like, or the comments do? Let's be a little less general with our critiques, and maybe share some potentially beneficial feedback for a change.

I think that this is a great design, honest, sharp and considerate of the other structures in the area. Retail, LEED certified and affordable housing ON SITE. Wins all around. Build the damn thing.

Posted by: Rob at May 31, 2012 11:10 AM

I like it. Including the whack a mole bay windows.

If this project meets all the parameters of the Octavia plan, why is it going to take 6-9 months for planning to review? Isn't that why we went through the years (decades?) long process to get the plan in the first place?

Can you imagine taking 6-9 months to review work at your job? You'd be fired. I really hope Ed Lee makes it easier for development if he really cares about the business and housing issues.

[Editor's Note: While the site meets the plan parameters, it isn't currently entitled for housing.]

Posted by: sf at May 31, 2012 11:14 AM

Imagine the kick ass flatiron-esque building they could put here.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at May 31, 2012 11:14 AM

@lolcat Ironically, the Flatiron Building isn't a very unique structure in New York. I imagine the reason it's become something of an icon is for it's location on Broadway.

The key to great architecture isn't a unique aesthetic, but the effectiveness of its utility to the people and location. That's something that a lot of critics seem to pass. Success can not be measured by "pretty."

Posted by: Andreas at May 31, 2012 11:28 AM

I agree with Rob. We continue to hear on SS a huge amount of negative, very generalized comments about the architecture and design of each new project marching its' way up Market St.

If you're going to criticize, and you certainly should, then I'd like to see more detailed, descriptive, focused commentary on the actual design and materials other than "it looks like every other new building going up..."

As for this project, this is an outstanding example of new urban infill, using a rich variety of materials that both add character to the neighborhood and compliment existing materials.The facade is broken up into several distinct masses and window expressions, each one offering variety and richness to the facade. The sharply angled corner is especially clean, fresh, modern and unique.

Like Rob said, along with retail, LEED certification, affordable housing, bike parking, etc. what is NOT to like about this project.

Build it now. This is a great addition to Upper Market.

Posted by: futurist at May 31, 2012 11:55 AM

I agree with Rob and futurist, I like the design. In addition to the points already raised I enjoy, the "chevron" roof line at the forward end of the building, the angled bay windows that reflect the sharp angle of the building itself, and the smaller detached building along 15th street, which has it's own distinct character.

Kudos to the architect.

Posted by: lyqwyd at May 31, 2012 12:11 PM

Had no idea this site was even up for development (and I think of myself in the know - this is my hood!).

When all the Victorians (and Queen Annes and Edwardians etc) were going up, I'm sure there were people complaining about how they all looked the same as well. Look at things in the context of their time.

I'm sure this design is one that developers have come up with that both appeals to the largest amount of buyers while giving the highest possible return on investment.

Personally, I think this one stands out as more interesting then some we've seen lately.

I'd be interested to know what kind of design the would-be architects on this site would prefer.

Posted by: wc1 at May 31, 2012 12:13 PM

I'm with lolcat, a flatiron-type building would have been awesome at this corner, and if such a design were proposed, the resulting project still could/would have been "an outstanding example of new urban infill", AND could have included the affordable housing, retail mixes use, bike parking features etc.

I don't see how those features of the project or the relevant zoning in this neighborhood dictated a re-tread modernist design that looks interchangeable with every recent building in Mission Bay. Or downtown Walnut Creek, for that matter.

asking fellow commenters to limit themselves to "more detailed, descriptive, focused commentary on the actual design and materials" misses (or perhaps deliberately attempts to misdirect) the point that those comments are trying to make regarding the proposed building versus other recent buildings and the existing neighborhoods in question. Unless you somehow think that context doesn't matter.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at May 31, 2012 12:24 PM

I like it soooo much, I wish it were twice as tall!

(Is that the sort of positive commentary we're looking for?)

Posted by: BobN at May 31, 2012 12:26 PM

What do you all mean by "a flatiron-type building"?

Taller? More traditional architecture? More masonry?

Posted by: R at May 31, 2012 12:34 PM

Ok, Brahma, so you would prefer a "flat-iron type" building on this site.

What do you mean? What exactly is a "flat-iron" type building to you? Are you saying that you want an exact replica of the Flat Iron Building in NYC?

Would appreciate hearing your idea in more detail, and why. And yes, asking people to elaborate more on their comments other than just not "liking it", or that it looks like every other modern building, is a way to engage in a serious dialogue.

@ wc1: I would assign more value of the design shown to the architects than to the developer. A good developer respects and understands the architects' role and value in designing a building. Yes, it's a team effort, but the architects and designers behind the scene are the ones who created this particular solution, and a solution that the developer approves.

Since I'm not a would-be architect, but a real one, I would design this project, most likely, with a very similar expression. I like all the materials, shapes, sizes and details that I have seen so far.

Posted by: futurist at May 31, 2012 12:43 PM

Looks pretty flat iron to me.

Posted by: sf at May 31, 2012 1:00 PM

Fabulous. A stormwater infiltration system on top of an old gas station.

What could possibly go wrong...

Posted by: anon at May 31, 2012 1:50 PM

THE Flatiron Building is in New York (originally Fuller Building). But I think of A flatiron building as any building that has an acute corner angle, and is built to express it. And I think this one does a really good job of it. It's one of my favorite new building design that's been presented on here recently (and I do agree with many commentors that the "mission bay -ization" of SF architecture is kinda regrettable).

I too was surprised by this project, and didn't realize this site was in play. As much as I like it, I do have one concern. GAS. We've currently got too many gas stations in the corridor, but it looks like we're going to get rid of nearly all of them. While I hate to see an iconic corridor like Market dominated by gas stations, i do acknowledge that we need SOME that are relatively convenient to where people live. The station across Market is cleared for development, the Arco at Castro and Market has a dev't proposal. The "tragedy of the commons" in all this is it looks like the one station we will be left with in the Castro, the Chevron at Castro and Market, is the one that is MOST desirable, in an urban design sense, to redevelop.

So...I enthusiastically endorse this project, but it is with a sigh, because I think we'll be stuck with Chevron forever....

Posted by: curmudgeon at May 31, 2012 1:52 PM

@futurist

I'm sorry if what I wrote came across as if the design of this building was the lone work of a developer. I agree with you that it was the architect who met with the developer and they came up with the design together. However, I have no doubt that there are certain elements and features that are known to appeal to the most people, and that these were included in the design. That is why IMO this is such a good proposal.

It is most definitely keeping with today's design trends but still manages to look unique in context of the other buildings going up in the neighborhood.

If what the "Flat Iron" style that is being thrown around means having the corner of the building that meets the corner of the two streets come to a sharp point, then I'd guess this building is the architect's interpretation of a 'flat iron' style.

Posted by: wc1 at May 31, 2012 1:54 PM

The future is in home charging stations. Adapt or be left behind!

Posted by: sf at May 31, 2012 1:54 PM

Right - combine the unique architectural aspects that an acute corner design brings, plus add in more traditional architecture than we're seeing in basically every other new development. Imagine a killer modern-esque take on a high rise gothic revival or beax-arts building on that corner.

Not too many of these corner plots available, I was just suggesting it would be cool to push the limits.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at May 31, 2012 2:00 PM

@curmudgeon

There are plans to develop the plot where the Chevron on Castro/Market is no?

[Editor's Note: Correct intersection but wrong corner and station: 376 Castro: Consider Yourself Notified (And Plugged-In).]

Posted by: wc1 at May 31, 2012 2:15 PM

Well, I submit they did push the limits: the limits of the Planning Code, the Building codes, the project budget, the design parameters such as number of living units allowable (or desirable), parking requirements, and other constraints.

These components are the drivers of any design solution. The success of any solution comes from working with and understanding these restrictions, AND then applying great collective creativity to the mix.

I don't know of many architects and firms who begin a project thinking "let's start with a gothic revival look, or some other historical image" and make it "killer modernesque". It just isn't how the design process works for most architects, this firm, VanMeter, Williams and Pollack included.

Posted by: futurist at May 31, 2012 2:34 PM

I realize that we are a Transit First city, however, will we have any gas stations here within the next 20 years?

Posted by: Menachem M at May 31, 2012 2:54 PM

I'm sure there will be those who won't be happy until there are no gas stations left in the city.

Posted by: 94114 at May 31, 2012 3:07 PM

I think it's beautiful and appropriate addition to the neighborhood. I especially love the transparency of the corner wedge. It looks like just a simple mullion at the joint; this gives a dramatic sharpness but I wonder where the structural support will be for that stack of glass? It'd be a shame to have a big pillar inside each apartment's window (but still better than outside).

Posted by: James at May 31, 2012 3:29 PM

No problem with gas stations for me, but we should absolutely get rid of all gas stations with parking lots and nothing built above. Just build them into the bottom floor of buildings, a la Tokyo (had to use Tokyo as an example, since I'm sure many will say that it can't be done in an earthquake zone, etc).

Posted by: anon at May 31, 2012 3:57 PM

I like the diversity in describing bay windows here.

neonoefuturequeen says "The facade is broken up into several distinct masses and window expressions, each one offering variety and richness to the facade."

whereas sf summarizes "...the whack a mole bay windows"

I hope "whack-a-mole windows" makes it into the architectural lexicon.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 31, 2012 5:53 PM

Does anyone really think Harvey Milk would have moved into *this* Castro to reinvent himself? Honestly I'm ok with it. I get its the natural evolution of things. But I'm sanguin, and beginning to wonder if that type of creative/cultural nexus will ever reappear.

Posted by: Stucco_Sux at May 31, 2012 7:26 PM

Good question, but I'm having hard time understanding exactly what you mean:

What is the "reinvention" of Harvey Milk referring to? Yes, he was an amazing, creative, highly optimistic and progressive man. He was a true leader and took bold steps.

Also, what do you mean when you refer to the "cultural/creative nexus", and if it will ever reappear. Do you mean bring back The Castro of the 70's? Do you mean an actual person who could fill the role that Harvey once had?

Would enjoy hearing more thoughts on this.

Posted by: futurist at May 31, 2012 8:55 PM

Personally, I'm over bay windows and floor-to-ceiling windows that I see in a lot of developments (such as the one at Valencia and 15th). I lived in a place with floor-to-ceiling windows. Felt like I lived in a fishbowl and fewer furniture options. I get it - we're a cloudy city and the bay window got its name from here - but I definitely see these features repeated in a lot of designs and they're prominent features.

Posted by: matlaw at May 31, 2012 9:03 PM

I like the corner, the massing and the way it's broken into two separate buildings. Not sure how I'll feel about the rest until there is more detail available on the white parts. If that's all stucco, I'll be disappointed. But it could look just fine with the right materials.

Posted by: Turin at May 31, 2012 10:31 PM

My specific criticism is that this building in no way distinguishes itself as a San Francisco building and I don't get why someone who reallyl loves it here would want to live in such a building in this neighborhood--why not just head straight to SOMA rather than turning the whole city into a condo ghetto? At least there, the buildings together look good. Plopped here, it seems like an affront. It looks inexpensive and generic, in my opinion, vs. San Franciscos Victorians and Edwardians, without saying anything new. So there's no reference to history and nothing uniquely forward looking. If I could compare it to something other than SOMA, it looks like a Kimpton hotel I recently stayed in in Seattle. I'd prefer the 76 station to it and I hate the density of it, too, not just the design--this neighborhood is already crowded enough and between this development and the addition of Whole Foods, I'm saddened. I know I'd said Seattle but what it really says to me? Welcome to Denver. Generic housing for folks who don't want to live in a building that in any way says "San Francisco."

Posted by: imho, don't lose your blob at May 31, 2012 11:08 PM

There is nothing "San Francisco" about Victorians and Edwardians – similar buildings were build all over the country, typically from standard plans, sometimes from Sears Roebuck kits, with machine made milled parts tacked on. (Go to Denver and Seattle). San Francisco just has more of them left than many other places.

SF Victorians were inexpensive and generic, and rolled out like wallpaper across the landscape. 99% did not say anything new; they had no reference to history and nothing uniquely forward looking.

There IS a San Francisco style from that era, well documented in historical and architectural circles, but it sure isn't the Victorians or Edwardians. (Try Maybeck's houses for one example).

Posted by: JIm at June 1, 2012 8:16 AM

"this neighborhood is already crowded enough"

That is a very funny comment - clearly intended as irony, right?

Posted by: anon at June 1, 2012 8:35 AM

The corner "V" shape may excite people but how abut the living room it encloses. There looks like the prow makes for a loss of 4-6 feet in useable space. Not too practical. Also the town houses with those outside steps look plain ugly.

Posted by: Live By at June 1, 2012 8:47 AM

@ IMHO. Nice to see a reasoned differing view of SF. It is refreshing to see someone not in love with increased density, less cars, more parks, and new defining building styles.

the common attitudes presented here result in the loss of the character which has defined SF as an interesting, desirable place to live.

I really think that such projects as infill removes much of the SF character which brought me and many others here.

The city is losing its natural skyline, and the itneresting mix of commercial, residential and civic uses to a homogeneous mid and high rise residential urban area.

Posted by: guest at June 1, 2012 8:53 AM

Another one bites the dust... Jeez!! - will there be any gas stations left in this City??

Posted by: reginald at June 1, 2012 8:55 AM

How is anyone opposed to infill? I have no idea how it would make SF seem less of an interesting place to live or how it results in a loss of character. We need it. Building on underdeveloped land (and taller) is of giant importance, especially in dense cities. Surely, we can't all live out of tiny awkward shaped Victorian-esque apartments—which now, and always will dominate our cityscape.

High density neighborhoods and cities are some of the most livable places in the world... less cars and ultimately more walkable is amazing, more parks is fantastic, new building styles is necessary-all of which defines SF as unique.

Posted by: Rob at June 1, 2012 9:08 AM

"The city is losing its natural skyline, and the itneresting mix of commercial, residential and civic uses to a homogeneous mid and high rise residential urban area."

This has been the standard SF rally cry against change for the past 50 years. The city you're all so worried about losing didn't exist a generation ago. And that condo, apartment, house, loft you live in likely blocked someone's view when it was first constructed. It's time to lose the "I'm here now, don't allow anything to change" attitude.

Posted by: emanon at June 1, 2012 9:46 AM

I'm still seeing a lot of 'I don't like it, it doesn't fit SF" comments.

What do you want? Faux Edwardians? Little single family houses lined up along Market?

Please stop articulating what you don't want, and give us some examples of what you do want.

Posted by: wc1 at June 1, 2012 9:57 AM

imho says: "there's no reference to history and nothing uniquely forward looking. ...I'd prefer the 76 station to it." Because the gas station is local and historic, or because it's so forward looking? This is hilarious. Did you move to the City because of the diversity of gas stations?

Posted by: James at June 1, 2012 10:00 AM

@curmudgeon wrote: "..As much as I like it, I do have one concern. GAS."

If gas stations were actually more profitable at the local level, they wouldn't be disappearing so easily. The few that will remain in the City will be those on industrial land where more valuable uses can't displace them or they will be those owned directly by the gas companies. Most gas stations you see are franchises on land owned by Joe Shmo property owner, and the owners often make a pittance on gas and just try to hope you buy a coke and cheetos while you're pumping.

If we didn't pay so little for gas, and if there were fewer gas stations with less competition, they would be more economically desirable for their owners/franchisees. Every time you choose one gas station over another to save a couple pennies a gallon, you're contributing to this squeezing out of the gas stations in urban areas. (In suburban and rural areas, the development opportunity cost of keeping the gas station just isn't the same.) If there was less competition in the City, then the franchisees could charge more for gas and actually make more money on the gas, rather than hoping to have a craving for junk food.

The ones owned directly by the gas companies are more likely to stick around longer because those companies are huge multi-national behemoths to whom the small value of selling the land to a developer is meaningless to them in their trillion dollar balance sheets, compared to just keeping their stations running and pumping out cash. Also, a huge corporation like that certainly doesn't pay any attention to the micro-nuances of land use/development opportunities at their tens of thousands of gas stations around the globe.

Posted by: hmmm at June 1, 2012 11:46 AM

Great discussion, a few thoughts:

I see some folks disagree but it seems like, worldwide, San Francisco is associated with the types of Victorians and Edwardians you see here (not to the exclusion of other exclusively San Francisco styles, agreed), the way some historic areas of New York, Philly and Boston are associated with brownstones (albeit different types of them). Given the diversity and specificity of brownstones to each of those cities, I’m doubtful that the typical, still-standing San Francisco Victorian or Edwardian is exactly the type of Victorian or Edwardian built elsewhere in such quantities (vs. more local variations, e.g., in Denver, which I know well) but I’ll take that on faith. Put differently, whatever San Francisco’s Edwardians and Victorians said and were at the time they were built (e.g., generic), or when compared to other cities at the time they were built, my view is that say “San Francisco” now. I like this particular expression of San Francisco’s heritage and apparently millions of tourists do, too.

I like that San Francisco is a medium-high density city that, in its way, is pedestrian, car and bike friendly (I do all three during a given week, as I suspect others do). I love my garage and I love the bike lanes. I love that I can walk to and through Dolores Park or Kite Hill. I love that most of the buildings in my neighborhood are just a few stories. It feels like a bustling, vibrant village, not teeming, overwhelming Midtown Manhattan or Soho in London.

Unlike the 76 Station, this is not a building that contributes to what I believe is San Francisco’s signature feel (as it exists in this neighborhood) and it will block the light; it doesn’t contribute to a village-y, human feel to me. No the 76 station isn’t charming but it doesn’t cast a shadow from a height that is 1-2 times taller than its neighbors.

So no I wasn’t kidding about the density. I get that high density neighborhoods are some of the most livable places in the world, having lived in the Village in New York and Chelsea in London. I get it. But we are dense already. Not that we can’t get more dense, but we already have what so many others aspire to.

My parting shot is maybe that I just don’t like this kind of building in a more low-rise, more typically San Francisco neighborhood (vs. some of the newer neighborhoods like SOMA). It’s not about rolling up the welcome mats to the whole city and saying “don’t change.” It’s just about challenging architects and developers to be inspired by and live with what came before more seamlessly. I’m not the expert to say what that is but I know it when I see it. (Lower height? Setbacks if taller? More historic references in the street-level facade?) This is the same impulse that has helped preserve beautiful, historic and semi-historic neighborhoods in the world’s greatest cities. It’s also the impulse that imposes building heights in cities as diverse as Washington, DC, Santa Fe and Salt Lake City, without mandating replicas of prior buildings (and without somehow destroying the free market or ruining the economy, which is sometimes a trope I hear on Socketsite) . You could build this new proposed building in a historic district of Paris, London, New York, Philly, Boston, Amsterdam but I hope it wouldn’t happen. Instead I would hope that the building would relate more to the neighborhood, not as an ersatz copy, but they way the rare new building in one of the New York, etc. low-rise historic neighborhoods often does, or else stand out in a world-class way (also how it is sometimes done in those places). In any case, it's an ongoing argument. Sometimes the developer/architect will win out over the historic preservationist, sometimes vice versa, and that's all okay. I'm on the side of building on the traditions that are there or breaking new ground and I don't see this building doing either.

Posted by: imho, don't lose your blob at June 1, 2012 12:20 PM

^ IMHO it is 6 F#$%ing stories!!!!! 65 feet on Market Street. This is not DENSE, it is not light blocking, it is not out of scale with its' neighbors. JEESH!

Market Street is the grand boulevard of San Francisco. It can easily accommodate buildings of this scale. In fact, it NEEDS them much more than it needs vacant or half built lots.

The 76 Station contributes to San Francisco's "signature feel"? In what respect?

Wow, people amaze me sometimes.

Posted by: curmudgeon at June 1, 2012 1:12 PM

I seriously don't want to hear anyone ever use "shadows" as an excuse to not build something, again.

Actually, we should all live in teepees. Those don't block that much light.

Posted by: anon at June 1, 2012 1:13 PM

The rendering should include the victorian lamp-pole just to see just how well this building REALLY fits.

Posted by: grumpy at June 1, 2012 1:42 PM

San Francisco is full of 6+ story buildings that were built 100 years ago, when it was proudly the dominant city on the west coast. The 1-2 story buildings of upper Market are mostly from the midcentury when mixed-use was out of style. This proposal is a return to the Victorian/Edwardian vision of city life, but with a contemporary aesthetic. They even put bay windows on it here, in a nod to local traditions. Aside from the fact that it's opaque (as buildings tend to be) this seems like a slam dunk by IMHO's own standards.

Posted by: James at June 1, 2012 4:40 PM

Sorry, but I'm just not very impressed with this building. Six stories along Market is fine, density is welcome on that somewhat empty block, LEED silver is great, and I don't expect ersatz Victorian. But come on, how many "whack a mole" window arrangements have we seen by now? Does that say "modern" or something? (I do like the term though, sf.) In a similar vein, the blocks of color à la Cézanne on the 15th St side are humdrum by now. The corner "pavilion" is interesting at least, and the stairwell at the opposite end frames the building nicely. But the roofline on the Market street side does not do these features justice. Why do modern buildings have to simply stop at the top of the uppermost story, with no hint that the structure actually includes a roof? A setback, a gable, a visible roof garden trellis - would that be too much to ask? A curve or two would also be a relief in a city that seems averse to the trend toward undulating façades and surprising curves now seen in other cities.

Posted by: Farallon at September 30, 2012 6:51 PM

Why do modern buildings have to simply stop at the top of the uppermost story, with no hint that the structure actually includes a roof?

Because of absurdly low height limits. If you want decorative roofs, etc, you need to abolish height limits or at least allow X amount higher for decorative roofs (many of the skyscraper height limits do allow this). In most neighborhood zones, the only piece of the building that can go above the height limit is mechanical equipment, so no developer in their right mind is going to lose a story of housing just to make a pretty roof.

Posted by: anon at October 1, 2012 10:32 AM

I've lived on the block for year, and I'm moving out! God am I glad, this going to be a crowed yuppie fuckhold

Posted by: zippydick at January 18, 2013 8:59 AM

Ok, I'm a bit late to this florid gab-fest but tickled non-the-less. With respect to almost everyone elses mostly esthetic concerns...yeah, I know. It's nice and innocuous at best. The far greater impact of this development is that it brings the joy of owning a spanking new home to 13 BMR qualified households in an exceptionally desirable location. That makes it aces by me.

Posted by: Munchdad at January 3, 2014 2:45 PM

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