September 18, 2012

Is It Prime Time To Develop Muni's 5.4-Acre Presidio Yard?

Muni's Presidio Yard

With the redesign of Masonic Avenue in the works, Target on its way across the Boulevard, and money flowing for development projects in San Francisco, a reader can't help but wonder if now is the time for San Francisco's Municipal Railway to solicit proposals for the redevelopment of its Presidio Bus Yard bounded by Geary, Masonic, Euclid and Presidio:

Muni's Presidio Yard Aerial

While Muni can't operationally abandon the Presidio Yard, a commercial, retail, or housing development could be built over the centrally located and rather transit rich 5.4-acre site, an idea that has been floated in the past.

New Design For Masonic Avenue To Be Approved This Afternoon [SocketSite]
Targeting Spring 2013 For Unanimously Approved City Center Target [SocketSite]

First Published: September 18, 2012 10:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Great post / great topic.

Wow, that site is 5.4 acres? jeez, didn't realize it was that big.
Can you imagine how much of an uproar from all of those folks above the minute you did build something high? Though I would think you could go a few stories before impacting views (yes, even though they are not guaranteed, this would sit in 'review' for years (decades?) if you don't work with the neighbors)

Posted by: DanRH at September 18, 2012 10:55 AM

Indeed -- and integrate death-trap Trader Joe's across street into a larger, safer store in the Presidio Yards development. Rezone current TJs for housing (views forever).

Meanwhile, this whole intersection & area needs to be reconsidered. It's not only a vehicular mess, but pity pedestrians and cyclists who try to navigate the area.

Posted by: Invented at September 18, 2012 11:15 AM

What does this have to do with Deion Sanders?

Posted by: scurvy at September 18, 2012 12:27 PM

@scurvy "must be the money..."

Posted by: Deon at September 18, 2012 12:48 PM

while you're at it there are also Muni yards begging to covered with housing at 17th St & Bryant and at 22nd St and Indiana. If the city of SF were truly interested in adding affordable housing they could get 2000 units across these and other sites.

Posted by: jose at September 18, 2012 1:04 PM

I'm rather sorry that Target is moving in across the street, since that too is underused, especially the lots to the east with the concrete wall facing Geary. Could be much more.

This + an improved Geary BRT/whatever + a nicer Masonic, added to some redevelopment of the Trader Joe's site, and the building currently used for public storage(!), and it would turn this intersection into a real center of activity.

Some of the plans for the Geary BRT have stations on the lower tunnel level. If they do that, I'd like to see access directly from the sidewalks or buildings on the corners, as in the Market St. subway (no concourse, though, so you'd still have to cross if you were going the other way).

Posted by: Alai at September 18, 2012 1:24 PM

one of you geniuses want to tell me where all the buses will be stored after you do away with all of the depots?

Yes, let's get rid of all the bus depots and build affordable housing (as Jose suggests). Only problem is how will all of the people get to work since the developers won't be allowed to add parking and the city will no longer have anywhere to park a bus?

Posted by: anon$random at September 18, 2012 1:37 PM

It's a brilliant location that could anchor a whole new biz and residential district.

Living in a city, residents should expect change....and its coming to that lot eventually.
Can you say mixed use (with residential towers as key component)?

Muni needs/wants the money and for residents a new development could be a significant upgrade for the sad headquarters building facing Geary (does Muni have no idea what a poor message that building telegraphs about their agency?).

Yes, a major Geary/Masonic intersection upgrade is needed...one where the focus flips from cars to people.

Posted by: SFOrange at September 18, 2012 1:42 PM

I think the idea is that the buses remain where they are (well below grade relative to Geary & Masonic) and a building is constructed on top.

Posted by: Alai at September 18, 2012 1:47 PM

@anon$random: "development could be built *over* the centrally located and rather transit rich 5.4-acre site..."

This happens all the time. A much better use of the land, particularly on a sloping site with street access at different stories.

Posted by: Jeremy at September 18, 2012 2:00 PM

this would be a perfect place for a 7-8 story mixed use building or 2.

Posted by: spencer at September 18, 2012 3:09 PM

I can only imagine the damage MUNI drivers could do navigating a subterranean garage with their buses. Yee hah!

Posted by: R at September 18, 2012 3:09 PM

Is this a proposal, an idea, or a rumor? What's the source of this speculation?

Posted by: James at September 18, 2012 3:53 PM

They can tear down the Lucky Penny while they're at it.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at September 18, 2012 3:54 PM

In San Francisco no stoned stoner's stone is left unturned. Its a friggin' busyard you dopes.

Posted by: Stucco_Sux at September 18, 2012 8:50 PM

You may need to be stoned to be visionary, Stucco, but it comes natural to us geniuses ;)

Posted by: Jose at September 18, 2012 11:21 PM

If they replaced Lucky Penny, we would lose the view of the massive blank wall behind it. That's the biggest blank wall in the city-- I think that's a historically significant feature which merits preservation, don't you?

Posted by: Alai at September 19, 2012 1:50 AM

What no one has mentioned is that this bus yard is the first municipally-owned transit yard, and is therefore eligible for inclusion as a National Historic Landmark. Muni has been operating this site (first as a streetcar yard, then a trackless trolley yard) since 1912! Muni's head offices are also in the building. (on the Geary street level...)

Posted by: Paul Sullivan at February 18, 2013 9:43 AM

A historic parking lot!

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 19, 2013 9:46 AM

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