July 24, 2012
Approved Fox Plaza Expansion Seeks Extension To Break Ground
Approved for development in 2009 with a three-year window in which to start building, the developers of the 120-foot-tall, 11-story building with up to 250 residential units over ground floor retail to rise adjacent to Fox Plaza are seeking a two-year extension to break ground "pending future improvements in the national and global economic outlook."
The new building on the corner at 1390 Market Street would yield 80 studios, 120 one-bedrooms and 50 two-bedrooms. And no new parking would be constructed. In fact, 18 existing Fox Plaza parking spaces would be removed.
With no plans to start construction anytime soon, the extension is expected to be granted.
First Published: July 24, 2012 10:45 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
What an eyesore. It fits in.
Posted by: sf at July 24, 2012 10:48 AM
Seriously... I didn't think it could get any worse. What did they use for renderings here, Microsoft Paint?
Posted by: kg at July 24, 2012 10:52 AM
Just a quick rendering. Let it evolve. I like what I see, so far.
Posted by: futurist at July 24, 2012 10:55 AM
Wow. Not only ugly, but with an 80"s retro flair. At least car haters will be happy no parking will be included.
Posted by: Walton at July 24, 2012 10:58 AM
It is indeed a bad rendering, but it at least portrays a project that would be SO MUCH BETTER than what is there now. I hope it proceeds this cycle.
Posted by: curmudgeon at July 24, 2012 11:16 AM
the thing is that with the new residential projects in the area going rental (55 ninth, crescent heights, trinity plaza, the aaa buildings), if they want to go condos (one can only assume), the only real comparison point is 1 polk, which has been on the market for a while, with a pretty rough history.
man, poor design on all counts, but the idea is right - major density increase and streetscape improvements, with a proper retail wall (though the corner and plaza will have to be redone), no additional parking (wtf is with that weird curb cut on hayes street? couldn't be for real).
Posted by: david m at July 24, 2012 11:16 AM
futurist likes a project proposed in San Francisco? I'm shocked!!
Posted by: sf at July 24, 2012 11:23 AM
Futurist actually likes alot of stuff. I'm not the biggest Futurist fan, but he is not anti-development. (He's an architect..so that would be a rather dumb perspective).
Posted by: curmudgeon at July 24, 2012 11:27 AM
Very windy area as I recall. Will this add to the cold, nasty zephyr and block even more sunshine?
Posted by: Cade at July 24, 2012 11:33 AM
I think increasing density along Market should be a higher priority than adding sunshine. I only think this building should be larger.
Posted by: Robert at July 24, 2012 11:42 AM
I have found futurists comments to be in blind defense of architecture in any form. It reminds me of public transit unions defending their workers over any misdeeds- late arrivals, excessive overtime, rude customer service, excessive breaks. They are all one big family and can't see past their own allegiances to get a clear head about the situation. Therefore, I never take any of his "critiques" seriously.
Posted by: sf at July 24, 2012 11:52 AM
I haven't seen Futurist post a discouraging word against a proposed project as long as it's design is modernist/postmodernist and clashes with the other buildings in the neighborhood under the guise of "reflecting its' own particular place in time."
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at July 24, 2012 11:53 AM
Oh, sorry SF I didn't read you sarcasm. Now I get it. But Futurist hates most Saitowitz projects (and I usually agree with him there)....so it's not absolutely universal.
And re: sunlight...this is on the north side of the street...shouldn't make difference to sunlight on Market Street.
Posted by: curmudgeon at July 24, 2012 11:57 AM
Cade, this building is directly in Fox Tower's wind shadow so it won't affect that. And how often do you pause to bask in the sunshine behind the Civic Auditorium?
Posted by: James at July 24, 2012 11:57 AM
No, I don't like every project I see proposed for SF. Some are crap. I dislike any work by Saitowitz, to be specific. And no, I have never liked anything "post-modern" as long as you understand the correct meaning of that style.
I like and prefer modern, clean, functionally expressive, with no "historical" pastiche added on to appease those who don't want a new building to "clash" with existing. And, btw, I really do not know what "clash" means. Not in my vocab.
I'm very pro-development. I'm very pro-green, pro-trees, pro-sidewalk landscape, pro-housing, pro-density and pro-highrise.
And in full disclosure, none of the project here I comment on am I ever involved personally with the design or development.
And one more thing: I have no idea how exactly this proposed project will evolve or turn out. No one else here does either. The concept rendering is just that, with very little complete resolution. Just the fact that a newer building with more residential will replace the hideous, brutal corner that is there now, is a good thing.
Posted by: futurist at July 24, 2012 12:08 PM
The existing building allows for a plaza on the Market Street side. It's actually not a bad place to hang out, sunny in winter and relatively non-windy, as the building sort of protects it ("non-windy" is, again, relative in this area).
The new design chomps up most of that public space.
[Editor's Note: Note the additional rendering added above.]
Posted by: BobN at July 24, 2012 12:23 PM
[Editor's Note: Note the additional rendering added above.]
Thanks! Any comparison shot of what's there now?
Posted by: BobN at July 24, 2012 12:37 PM
Isn't this a Heller Manus design? I'd much rather have a Saitowicz over a Manus. Saitowicz at least has integrity and cohesiveness to their designs- I like the Market and Buchanan project and Yerba Buena Lofts. Manus projects always jumble together mediocre design inspirations and, like all mishmashes, waters it down even further to a mediocre mediocrity. Have you seen the Infinity towers before a talented architect took over? Yikes!!
This project is a total Manus. I think Webster's is calling. Or at least urban dictionary.
Posted by: sf at July 24, 2012 12:43 PM
SF...that is totally a word for the SF version of urban dictionary. Unfortunately, there's way to much Manus around.
Posted by: curmudgeon at July 24, 2012 12:49 PM
The plaza in the new rendering is identical to the current plaza. Looks like it will be unaffected. Not even the stairs are redesigned. The new building replaces the 2-story annex that currently houses a Starbucks, Patrick's office supplies, and Post Office.
Posted by: James at July 24, 2012 1:00 PM
Well, I wouldn't say "identical".
The steps area is largely the same, though more closed on the right side. The two smaller plaza areas are gone entirely. It's hard to tell from the renderings, but it looks like the new facade extends closer to the street than any of the corners of the existing structure that separate the the three sections of public space.
Details aside, there's a significant loss of open area. Not the end of the world, of course, just unfortunate, as there aren't many along that part of Market.
Posted by: BobN at July 24, 2012 1:45 PM
yes, the building is pulled out to align with Market, so if you consider those triangular dead zones part of the plaza, they will be lost. I was thinking of the area around the steps where the cafes put their tables -- as new commercial tenants will also activate the pavement better with the new building.
Posted by: James at July 24, 2012 1:55 PM
I take issue with those who call this new design "modern". This new structure looks more post-modern to my eye and is dated AND ugly before it is even out of the Heller Manus door. Even the free version of GOOGLE Sketch Up could have produced a better rendering.
Better money could have been spent updating the skin of Fox Plaza and combining this new exterior with a complimentary structure in front. Hiding one ugly building behind another different version of ugly is not my idea of a great design solution.
Posted by: LessIsMore at July 24, 2012 3:59 PM
Looks like a ringer binder of some type:
Posted by: jlasf at July 24, 2012 6:51 PM
Corners and hard edges can make wind that much worse, but details can break up an slow down the wind. This looks like it could worsen the winds there. This would be a great location for some retro-faux-beaux-arts futziness with statues on it, but I guess we don't do things that way any more.
Posted by: Mole Man at July 24, 2012 7:44 PM
Every time Chris J.O. Daily, Christina Oh-lague, Scott Weiner, Tom Ami-ammo, Err'n Pesky, Ed Lap Lee and the rest open their collective pie holes, I wonder thusly:
How can you pretend to care when you let absolute tripe like this, the Marriott, the ANA, and the other countless tripelings blossom so in our city.
If I were French I would SPEET on vous et al.
Posted by: Stucco_Sux at July 24, 2012 9:26 PM
Looks fine. Build the damn thing.
Posted by: Zouaf at July 25, 2012 1:32 PM
Meh. Uninspired but hardly horrific.
Pretty much impossible to win an Ugly contest against Fox, so it could be an improvement.
Posted by: justme at July 25, 2012 1:48 PM