October 11, 2012

Details For The Starchitect Designed SF Tower Dubbed One Van Ness

One Van Ness Rendering

The Richard Meier & Partners designed 37-story tower that’s proposed to rise at the corner of Market, Van Ness and Oak Streets would reach 445 feet, 435 feet to the roof line with mechanical hidden by a parapet above (click elevations to enlarge).

Tentatively dubbed One Van Ness, the tower would contain 258 condos (one, two and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 500 to 2,500 square feet), 5,377 square feet of ground level retail, and 69 underground parking spaces accessed by way of a car elevator.

The proposed project also includes pedestrian improvements on Oak Street to the north of the project site that could include the installation of decorative paving/bricks, benches and landscaping. Additionally, the project entails construction of a wind screen structural feature that would extend across the width of Oak Street. Preliminary conceptual descriptions indicate that it would consist of a free standing, horizontal canopy that would allow wind to pass through.
The proposed wind screen would extend from the third floor roof (top of the base) across Oak Street at a height of 42 feet over the length of the project site. The wind screen would be anchored to the ground near the existing buildings at 11-35 Van Ness Avenue and 70 Oak Street. The canopy would consist of a porous material to diffuse the effects of ground-level winds.

Click the proposed ground level and plaza plan to enlarge:

In the words of a plugged-in reader earlier this year:

The tower would be a joke if the [All Star] Donut Shop remains in front as proposed. The developer currently will not buy the property and included it in the tower as the Market-Octavia Plan intended. The shop owner is willing to sell. People should tell the Planning Department that this project would be an abomination if the Donut Shop is not included.

The All Star Café site is still not include in the plan and the building will remain at the base of the modern One Van Ness tower as proposed.

All Star Cafe

An All-Star Architect's Design For An All Star Site At One Van Ness [SocketSite]

First Published: October 11, 2012 10:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Glad to see additional details. This site (and design) could support another 10 stories.

From the SF Business Times a few years ago: "Goodwill industries may be selling its South of Market Headquarters located at 1500 and 1570-1580 Mission Street (South Van Ness @ Mission). The 2.3 acre site (about 110,000 square feet) could sell for between $40 and $50 million dollars. Under current zoning, the site could accommodate more than 800 homes. This area falls within the Market-Octavia up-zoning plan which means that in the future buildings on this site could go as high as 400 feet."

Posted by: Invented at October 11, 2012 10:36 AM

This beautiful building is going to be blocked at the base by the All Star Cafe'? Are you kidding me? Isn't there eminent domain or some zoning that could get rid of this eyesore?

We get a chance for an important building by an important architect in an important location - and we are messing it up.

Posted by: jlasf at October 11, 2012 10:38 AM

This is beautiful. Are there any proposals (collecting dust even) for the San Francisco Honda site across Market from this proposal?

[Editor's Note: See the renderings for 10 South Van Ness.]

Posted by: Oaktownres at October 11, 2012 10:44 AM

Funny, I don't see the All Star Cafe in the photo-shop at the top.

Posted by: SFMichael at October 11, 2012 10:45 AM

Glad to see the limited parking.

Posted by: JK at October 11, 2012 10:47 AM

Overall, the design looks super nice/interesting but seems awkward in this area; especially with the height and uber modern aesthetic.

I'm on the fence about the idea to build over Oak St. and don't really understand why you would create "open space" underneath a roof at street level... especially when Patricias Green AND Civic Center Plaza are so close. Wind blocking technology or not, that shit sounds like something everyone will hate in ten years.

Posted by: Rob at October 11, 2012 10:59 AM

Happy to see the historically important All Star Cafe remaining. How will we ever remember that the most important corner in SF used to have a donut shop if we don't keep that donut shop around in perpetuity?

Posted by: anon at October 11, 2012 11:03 AM

Love it. Proud to finally see some vision in SF. With the upzoned development sites surrounding this corner, its going to be a massive improvement from what exists currently.
SF despite the best intentions of some of its residents continues to improve

Posted by: Bob at October 11, 2012 11:12 AM

Instead of keeping the All Start Cafe, can't they create a monument to bad drip coffee? Then put a good coffee shop in its place. Mediocrity shouldn't be perpetuated.

Posted by: lol at October 11, 2012 11:18 AM

"Funny, I don't see the All Star Cafe in the photo-shop at the top."

It's there. You can see it's shadow on the street. It's just hard to see because the rendering is small, and it's dwarfed by the tower.

Posted by: cbf at October 11, 2012 11:19 AM

@Rob, this area will be much different in 5-10 years. The city has re-zoned height limits, and there are several residential towers proposed. Also, a big renovation at 100 Van Ness in the works.

Posted by: taco taco at October 11, 2012 11:23 AM

@editor

Seems it would be a 10 foot parapet right? 445 - 435 = 10.

[Editor’s Note: There seems to be a discrepancy between the architects' drawings which note 445 feet to the top of the parapet and Planning’s prose ("The height of the proposed tower would be 435 feet above street grade to its roof; mechanical equipment and a parapet would extend an additional 20 feet above the roof line.").]

Posted by: lyqwyd at October 11, 2012 11:28 AM

Only 69 parking spots for 258 living units? Is this a mis-print?

And 86 the All Star Cafe. It's a blight to a first class development.

[Editor’s Note: No misprint nor typo. There are only 69 parking spaces for cars as proposed which would be accessible via a robotic parking system, but there would be space for 82 bicycles as well.]

Posted by: Cade at October 11, 2012 11:37 AM

...69 parking spots for 258 living units? Is this a mis-print?

I thought that at first too - still excessively high (~20 would be better), but it's not too terrible.

Posted by: anon at October 11, 2012 11:57 AM

"but seems awkward in this area; especially with the height"

There's a 400' tower just one block to the north, the 300' city hall another block past that, and multiple 300'+ towers a block to the east. So how exactly is the height awkward for this location?

Posted by: cbf at October 11, 2012 12:06 PM

re "seems awkward in this area" -- this is probably the most awkward/underwhelming major intersection in the city. The 2-story Honda dealership is awkward. The 60s prefab BofA and Walgreens buildings are nonentities. For being the crossroads of the city's two biggest streets, this intersection really demands a landmark like this proposal. I wouldn't want another building that matches the mediocre standard that's there currently.

Posted by: James at October 11, 2012 12:20 PM

Heh, yeah, keep the Allstar Cafe. Why not? Sure, it would mar the base of this elegant new building. On the other hand, it could enhance the sense of urban texture and variety. Maybe this isn't really the place for it, sure, but I'm guessing the juxtaposition could also be visually entertaining.

Posted by: John at October 11, 2012 12:21 PM

Any height anywhere is awkward to the SF NIMBY

Posted by: Bob at October 11, 2012 12:21 PM

So, how will the facade on the "corner" of this building look if the All Star stays? Presumably that lot could also go up a few stories?

Posted by: teug at October 11, 2012 12:31 PM

I hate to break it to the project team, but you can't call it One Van Ness if it's not actually on the street. That has to have either a Market or Oak street number.

Posted by: Jeremy at October 11, 2012 12:33 PM

Way, way, way too much parking.
No more parking in SF! No more cars.

All Star Cafe is a work of folk art, and must be preserved so that future generations will know and appreciate the genius of untutored architects and builders. A monument to natural, God-given talent. As Rick Santorum told us, college is for snobs.

In addition to these wise decisions, we have a sheriff who is a convicted wife-batterer.

What a great place we have become. A model for all peoples and places.

Posted by: conifer at October 11, 2012 12:39 PM

jlasf: I'm not a land-user lawyer but it seems to me that in this post Kelo vs. City of New London world we're in, the Café would be a slam-dunk candidate for the use of eminent domain to transfer the site to the tower developer.

Maybe the planning commission just didn't want to "go there" for some reason; seems odd that they'd just let that issue go unaddressed. Also seems odd that the developer didn't want to buy the site, but that could just be due to the current owner being unreasonable about the selling price.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at October 11, 2012 12:40 PM

Ugh that All Star Cafe building is probably the ugliest thing in the city!

Posted by: Jason at October 11, 2012 12:42 PM

Are there any other buildings with such limited parking that have sold out? I'm curious how sales go for high-end condo buildings with so few spots.

Posted by: Michael at October 11, 2012 12:50 PM

I read somewhere that Sue Hestor is personally organizing a ballot referendum to outlaw this building

Posted by: Blake at October 11, 2012 12:56 PM

Maybe the developer doesn't want the Muni elevator in his beautiful building?

Posted by: Connor at October 11, 2012 1:36 PM

Can't wait to see who steps up to make a loan on this project. So far, all the residential high rises under construction this cycle are rentals (unless I'm forgetting one). I think the lack of parking is going to give a lot of lender's major heartburn.....we'll see....

Posted by: DB73 at October 11, 2012 3:13 PM

a few thoughts.

1) i really like the thoughtful setback to address the issue of the muni entrance;
2) i really dislike the idea of a covered plaza in that space and hope that it's removed in favor of more commercial space. obviously, given the neighborhood, the last thing we want outside of that very same muni entrance is a space for people to congregate;
3) love the small intervention/curb cut on the oak street side that comes with the mechanical parking feature, also find the number of spaces just right for the building and area;
4) also like the market street orientation of the building with an oak street lobby entrance, it's a good use of the site, given the muni entrance and other traffic in front;
5) finally, i would think that they've some other renders that are being held back - i doubt very much that they're looking at this corner, calling the project one van ness, and building this high without basically assuming that they'll incorporate the doughnut shop into the project.

Posted by: david m at October 11, 2012 3:14 PM

and obviously:
6) the canopy and plaza idea is genius and pathbreaking.

Posted by: david m at October 11, 2012 3:23 PM

In the new construction I heard that All-Star Cafe was beat out by Zim's.

Posted by: EH at October 11, 2012 3:32 PM

What if they build this and people refuse to pay a million for a one bedroom without parking?
Seriously, what then?

Posted by: conifer at October 11, 2012 3:37 PM

Even though I understand the rationale for keeping your ground in a negotiation, the All Start Coffee owner could be missing out on a great sale oportunity. Once this One Van Ness tower is built, the Coffee shop location will not be worth much more than walls and business. The lot way too small for a free standing tower, which means the only value would be for a transformation into a better quality building of a similar size. With a lot that seems to be less than 1000sf, what kind of project can you do? For small scale projects, purchase prices matter a great deal.

If they can't seem to agree on a sale price, I'd suggest they upgrade the space a bit and make a restaurant with seating downstairs and on the 1st floor with a Lookout-style balcony like at Noe and Market, and kitchen/office on the 3rd floor. Better eating options are greatly needed on that section of Market.

Posted by: lol at October 11, 2012 3:38 PM

All Star Cafe is one of our city's last cultural gems and needs to be fast-tracked for historical preservation.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at October 11, 2012 3:50 PM

What if they build this and people refuse to pay a million for a one bedroom without parking?
Seriously, what then?

Someone needs to take an economics course. If people refuse to pay a million for a one bedroom without parking, then the price will drop to whatever price people are willing to pay without parking.

If other developers see that the drop is substantial, then the price of land for other parcels with similar amounts of parking per unit allowed will drop accordingly, until an equilibrium is attained.

This ain't rocket science folks. There isn't some law saying that one bedroom units have to cost a million dollars and million dollar units must have parking. The market figures these things out, trust me.

Posted by: anon at October 11, 2012 3:51 PM

Um, what kind of person thinks that its just so easy to build a building like this and throw millions of dollars around that a developer isnt going to know what will and what wont sell.

Seriously, that's some serious "I can see russia from my window" level stuff

Posted by: Craig at October 11, 2012 4:32 PM

^Um, the developer knows what he's building. He's taking the risk with eyes wide open.

conifer was making it seem as though the sky would fall if the units fail to sell. His reasoning is no different than "what happens if no one will buy $1 million units with crappy floor plans" or "what happens if no one will buy $1 million units without views" or "what happens if no one will buy $1 million units with homeless encampments on the street outside" - in each case, the market will figure it out and clear the units. And yes, if a developer underestimates the risk going in or overestimates the potential profit, he'll lose money.

I don't see what it is about parking limitations that's somehow different from height limits or anything else. The developer knows what he can build, and he's choosing to build. If he loses his shorts, that's on him.

Posted by: anon at October 11, 2012 4:36 PM

The Market-Octavia Plan clearly calls for the development of all the five parcels at this location in the 400 tower. This was confirmed in a letter to former Supervisor McGoldrick by the Planning Director some years ago.

The developer does not want to spend the funds to by the donut shop property and include it in the property and so far the Planning Department has not raised an objection saying that they can't force a developer to buy it?????? The property owners has a broker and is willing to sell at the market price.

People who think that the donut shop to be removed from that corner and a nice plan for it as part of the tower be prepared should send their views to the Department.

I would think that Richard Meyer would not be a part of a development which has a "carbuncle" attached to his sleek building.

Posted by: MSTBLD at October 11, 2012 5:20 PM

I have a hunch that the owner of the Allstar property is bluffing and holding out for a higher sales price. But the site itself isn't very valuable to the developer of 1 Van Ness being deeper into the "flatiron point" part of the property.

It is just one of the realities of infill development. There's not much that can be done about ugly neighbors.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 11, 2012 5:37 PM

50% porous canopy? Odd choice.

Posted by: BobN at October 11, 2012 6:32 PM

To all you typical, ever present complainers"

Focus on the new building. It's a great building by a great architect for a great location.

Stop whining about the little cafe. It will eventually go away.

Posted by: futurist at October 11, 2012 8:24 PM

Genuine question for urban planners (others please contain your snark):

Why do you think this building makes sense in this location? It seems entirely out of context. The neighbors include a car wash, a discount grocery, an auto dealer, Goodwill, etc. Yes, all of these *might* go away, and this building *might* anchor a new section of the CIty. But maybe not. Though the proposed building seems generally amazing, it also seems at odds with everything around it. Sorta like that modern office tower on 101 in South SF.

Posted by: Joshua at October 11, 2012 11:13 PM

^We plan for what we want to happen. All of the things that you mentioned are planned to go away. We shouldn't plan considering what might not happen, but what should happen. You have to start somewhere.

Posted by: anon at October 11, 2012 11:24 PM

This sounds pretty exciting. Making San Francisco more and more like a big city with bigger and more beautiful architecture is fine by me!

Posted by: Ginny at October 12, 2012 7:13 AM

@bob @james @cbf I'm not a NIMBY in anyway.. I genuinely believe that there could be a better design with consideration for this location... This area doesn't have a ton of open lots in this vicinity, and the city isn't in the habit of allowing developers to tear down 100 year old 2-3 story structures to make room for new high rises.

It's neither the, the location, nor the design that seems "awkward" to me, but all three combined. Honestly as long as they nail the street level facade... I'm cool.

Posted by: Rob at October 12, 2012 9:34 AM

" It seems entirely out of context. The neighbors include a car wash, a discount grocery, an auto dealer, Goodwill, etc"

OK, if we're going within a 2-block radius (Goodwill & the car wash), I could make a different list saying: the neighbors include Twitter HQ, the future Market Square, Crescent Heights, the Argenta, a renovated 101 Van Ness, Fox Plaza, and the Symphony. I think it fits right in with that neighborhood context.

Posted by: James at October 12, 2012 9:44 AM

Simply look at the first picture of this post. The tower, as great as it may be, is on the wrong side of Van Ness.

If the plan is to build several more towers nearby (and west of Van Ness), then that's a lot better.

Posted by: Joshua at October 12, 2012 10:48 AM

Wrong side of Van Ness? Why? Because no other towers exist there, yet there are two literally across the street? Bizarre reasoning.

Posted by: anon at October 12, 2012 10:51 AM

Look at the photo and explain how this tower fits into the west side of Van Ness.

Posted by: Joshua at October 12, 2012 10:57 AM

This is a cold and forelorn area at streetscape. I wonder how many will be willing to plunk down up to a million for a small condo to live here?

Isn't Sue Hestor getting a petition to stop this as someone said above. Actually I think the idea is to vote on rezoning all the 400 foot parcels back to their original height limits.

Posted by: Tobias at October 12, 2012 10:58 AM

Look at the photo and explain how this tower fits into the west side of Van Ness.

The same way that it fits into the east side of Van Ness? It's new and taller than some other stuff around it - is that what you mean? Again, really baffled at what you're talking about, it's directly across the street from other towers. Are we now deciding which side of the street tall buildings are appropriate for? lol

Posted by: anon at October 12, 2012 11:59 AM

God, I dont know where some people come from.
As stated numerous times and even in this thread, ALL of the lots surrounding this lot, including the Honda location DIRECTLY across the street have been upzoned with the tallest lots closest to Van ness and market.
The honda dealership will eventually have a 400' building on it.

Posted by: Bob at October 12, 2012 12:28 PM

Is there going to be retail on the Market side? They have it marked as commercial, but the elevations don't show anything that looks like storefronts.

If they're serious about retail they should do an underground Muni connection.

Posted by: KWillets at October 12, 2012 12:59 PM

The bird's-eye rendering is bizarre anyway. Seen in human street-level context, it's clear that this will fit in just fine.

via Google Maps street view: http://goo.gl/maps/kVta0

Posted by: James at October 12, 2012 1:24 PM

The starchitects seem to have forgotten that exit stairs in high rises need to be separated by at least 30' (CBC section 403). That ground floor is going to be a lot more constrained once reality sets in. Maybe then they will want the All Star site.

Posted by: spruce at October 12, 2012 9:26 PM

Only 69 parking spots for 258 living units?

this is a disgrace. There should be at least 300 parking spots for this many units. The majority of people living in a 3bdr unit are going to have 2 cars and most of the 1bdr and 2bdr are going to have 1 car. THis is just going to create more congestion. People are going to be crowding the street with cars, or another garage will open up to take advantage of the market for parking. this is a driving city. The public transit stinks. Most people are not going to give up their cars anytime soon.

Posted by: spencer at October 14, 2012 7:27 PM

A tad too much parking, but like the design.

Posted by: anon at October 14, 2012 10:48 PM

A good point from some of the previous posts. This is the first expansion of high-rises west of VN.

I could bet this is not the last one. One day high rises could reach Octavia. It is only logical. There's a lot of under-utilized space along Market Street and so much potential.

Posted by: lol at October 15, 2012 8:50 AM

A much needed taste of good design finally reaches this city. More please!

Posted by: Anon94123 at October 15, 2012 10:36 AM

Those who answered my last post do not seem to have understood it, taking it literally instead.

I was asking a question about policy. If the city continues to restrict parking in new expensive apartments, I believe there is a limit to the number of rich people willing to buy.

Of course the law of supply and demand has not been repealed, but supply depends on profitability.

Will SF change its anti-parking policy when it realizes that developers are not willing or able to develop?

Can we predict when that will happen?

Or will it never happen because the demand is not indeed finite?

Perhaps there are plenty of people from around the world willing to move to SF and sacrifice their cars and enjoy MUNI for the very privilege of being in this egalitarian paradise of low carbon footprint.


Posted by: conifer at October 15, 2012 11:14 AM

conifer, we all, even the most vociferous critics of the previously-existing orthodoxy of minimum parking regulations and automobile-centric zoning, agree with you that "there is a limit to the number of rich people willing to buy" new, expensive apartments where residents can't easily park two privately owned and operated automobiles.

By separating the acquisition of parking from housing, the city is (and developers are) actually taking advantage of market action to discover where the limits of demand for low carbon footprint living lies.

And that demand, of course, isn't fixed, as some people who now can't imagine living without a car and "free" parking will voluntarily adjust.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at October 15, 2012 12:11 PM

My hunch in that rational developers are not interested in discovering the limits, and will stop building as soon as a very few their colleagues stop making profits.

There is a theory that developers "always overbuild." This is one time where they can see the cause of their problems in advance, and I contend will stop short of serious losses.

Many new high end condos in Manhattan are being built with parking. NYC for all its evident problems has many fewer social engineers and many more businessmen running the city. Starting with the Mayor, who is after all, the richest man in NY.

Posted by: conifer at October 15, 2012 12:22 PM

Many new high end condos in Manhattan are being built with parking.

Yes, but MOST aren't.

Of course there is some limit to the number of units that can be built for folks who don't want cars. Why do you assume that we're somewhere near that number?

I laugh at the notion that people who don't want to buy parking are "going to take Muni" instead. I sold my car years ago (live in Hayes Valley), but I can probably count the number of Muni trips that I've taken in the last five years on one hand.

I walk to work 90% of the time and use cabs or a bike the other 10%. Most nights out on the town are via cab or Uber. I go out of the city on weekend trips at least a couple times a month and rent cars for that (the local rental place on Sutter knows me by name and drops off the BMW or Land Rover within 10 minutes of calling). All of my groceries are delivered and they have access to my unit, so they deliver during the day while I'm at work, so they're waiting IN MY FRIDGE when I get home.

I want more density simply because it makes my lifestyle better (and there seem to be other folks desiring the same thing). That's fine if you don't, plenty of other places to buy with loads of parking included.

Posted by: anon at October 15, 2012 12:44 PM

conifer,

wow, you'd think these developers are not-for-profits from your comment.

I don't think builders always overbuild. These are cycles. Developers are often in a waiting mode after a painful downturn, missing out when things start to get better, then go back to start making projects move when they see the wave is there, then go full throttle when the market is at its healthiest and maybe encountering oversupply at the other end of the wave.

But it takes years to get something built and the ones who "overbuild" are the ones latest in the game. Of course builders are not stupid, but it's more often than not financing that requires this delay. Lenders who are still licking their wounds from a recent downturn take time before they jump into the water again. Once financing is there, all the other parts have to be aligned.

Eventually everything clears up in a growing city like SF. Places are built and sold. Most developers make money.

Posted by: lol at October 15, 2012 12:44 PM

They are not non-profits and they do not want to be and should not be.
Plainly put, I think the no parking policy is wrong and stupid, and will be overturned at some point by the forces of the market if necessary.
If there were an abundance of parking spaces, the streets would be less crowded, not more, and people would be less angry and frustrated.

Posted by: conifer at October 15, 2012 1:44 PM

I had the priveledge of enjoying muni on a Sunday (yesterday) and it made me want to kill myself. SFMTA needs to get serious if this city is to be 100% anti-car. What kind of city leaves everyone in the lurch? If you don't have a limo, you're screwed in this town.

Posted by: philip themholes at October 15, 2012 1:48 PM

A number of comments include concerns about the mediocre standard that's there currently. Have any of you seen what the San Francisco Conservatory has done to lovingly restore a building ... inside and outside ... that is right across the street on Oak?

Posted by: Oceangoer at October 15, 2012 2:50 PM

If there were an abundance of parking spaces, the streets would be less crowded, not more, and people would be less angry and frustrated.

Well, this is just nonsense. You're basically saying: "Ignore all data that we have for cities all over the world and trust me". Do you believe the world is 6000 years old too? Lol.

I don't have any anti-car agenda (I own three, they're all just at my other places in Montana and Arizona), but I think that it would be ludicrous for the city to not pursue what is so clearly in everyone's interest - congestion reduction on the streets and more people on the sidewalks. A no-brainer really.

Posted by: anon at October 15, 2012 2:56 PM

I had the priveledge of enjoying muni on a Sunday (yesterday) and it made me want to kill myself. SFMTA needs to get serious if this city is to be 100% anti-car. What kind of city leaves everyone in the lurch? If you don't have a limo, you're screwed in this town.

Posted by: philip themholes at October 15, 2012 3:02 PM

I had the priveledge of enjoying muni on a Sunday (yesterday) and it made me want to kill myself. SFMTA needs to get serious if this city is to be 100% anti-car. What kind of city leaves everyone in the lurch? If you don't have a limo, you're screwed in this town.

Posted by: philipthemholes at October 15, 2012 3:14 PM

I had the priveledge of enjoying muni on a Sunday (yesterday) and it made me want to kill myself. SFMTA needs to get serious if this city is to be 100% anti-car. What kind of city leaves everyone in the lurch? If you don't have a limo, you're screwed in this town.

Posted by: philipthemholes at October 15, 2012 3:14 PM

Yes, Muni sucks. No idea what this has to do with limiting the number of parking spaces though. Two separate issues.

Posted by: anon at October 15, 2012 3:28 PM

Yes, Muni sucks. No idea what this has to do with limiting the number of parking spaces though. Two separate issues.

Posted by: anon at October 15, 2012 3:30 PM

If you limit the number of parking spaces you're assuming people will have an alternative.

A quick wild guesstimate:

There will be 350 to 400 driving age working adults who need to move around. 69 households will have a garage, where maybe around 1/2 will use their cars to commute. 300 will have to find another way to go to work.

There won't be 300 cyclists, maybe 30-40? The rest will have to walk (through Mid-Market Zombieland) or take public transit. You can be certain this building will add an extra 100 cars or more in addition to the local parking capacity.

Public transit quality DOES matter. This is the wild card that can make this work. The units will sell, no question, but the day-to-day workings for the dwellers will not be optimal.

Posted by: lol at October 15, 2012 3:46 PM

^I think that's probably the case in a few more years when we start to have a substantial number of these buildings come online. At this point, it seems to be mostly reshuffling of folks - those that don't want parking are more likely to go after a building like this, where those that do want parking will go after any one of the thousands of other buildings that have parking for all units. We're a long ways away from really having to "worry" about not enough parking, because we overbuilt for so long.

Posted by: anon at October 15, 2012 4:40 PM

Would love to see Oak truncated before Van Ness. There's no reason to have that intersection so close to Market. Make that plaza entirely pedestrian.

Posted by: michael at October 15, 2012 9:46 PM

The proposed bus rapid transit improvements on Van Ness, with dedicated lanes, fewer stops, and other improvements to increase transit speed, and this project's proximity to Muni Metro, BART, and many bus lines make it an ideal spot to limit parking. Muni Metro subway service is usually fast and reliable.

Posted by: Sprague at October 15, 2012 10:52 PM

There is only one Sprague in the world, and he is definitely an anti-car guy, but he lives by his principles, at considerable inconvenience to himself.

Anon, on the other hand, reveals in his post 2:56 pm 10/15/12, that he is young, energetic, rich, well-organized, and fit.
Other, less fortunate, people will not as easily do without a car in SF.
If you are old, tired, poor, disorganized or disabled, you will not be able to live the anon lifestyle without a car.
The privileged are always willing to allow others to suffer the indignities caused by their knowing better. They are sometimes called "limousine liberals."

Posted by: conifer at October 16, 2012 3:12 AM

Outside of the SOMA Bay Bridge area where is the traffic so many of you lament? Allowing this building to accommodate some parking will not ruin the city.

I cannot think of a time when I saw traffic on residential streets in ANY of the desirable in town neighborhoods. I also just dog-sat a friend's pooch at the Four Seasons tower and nightly watched Market Street during rush hour and NEVER saw any back up. In 20 years I can never remember a traffic situation in Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow,Russian Hill or the Marina. Where is this auto traffic catastrophe so many complain about?

Posted by: GreenStreet at October 16, 2012 5:08 AM

If you are old, tired, poor, disorganized or disabled, you will not be able to live the anon lifestyle without a car.

True. But you will also not be able to afford a million dollar condo. That's what we're talking about here, right?

Or are you assuming that developers are going to randomly build cheap condos now?

Posted by: anon at October 16, 2012 6:46 AM

They are sometimes called "limousine liberals."

And please. I'm just about as market-oriented as they come and extremely libertarian on 99% of issues. That's the entire reason that I support restricting parking - congestion is a market failure caused by our inability to price street use at market rates. If we can find a way to do that, I'm more than happy to finally move parking construction to the market completely - however, since we forced developers to overbuild parking for 50 years (ridiculous nanny-state policies of 1:1 parking), we're drowning in congestion and the inefficiencies caused by that.

Outside of the SOMA Bay Bridge area where is the traffic so many of you lament?

If you have never seen absurd traffic at the corner of Van Ness and Market, I would assume you to be blind...

Posted by: anon at October 16, 2012 6:57 AM

"I'm...extremely libertarian on 99% of issues. That's the entire reason that I support restricting parking"

That makes no sense whatever.

Posted by: R at October 16, 2012 8:42 AM

^Sure it does. Libertarians are not for "whatever goes". We're for liberty - ie not allowing rights of one individual to infringe on another. Since we have no way to adequately price the use of roads, the only way to avoid Jane from infringing on Adam's right to an uncongested road is to price parking at market levels. Since we're unwilling to price the use of existing parking, the only alternative is to restrict the amount of new parking built.

But hey, I'm all for pricing current driving and/or current parking at market levels and then allowing a free-for-all on construction.

Posted by: anon at October 16, 2012 9:13 AM

^^^ true, a libertarian would put no restrictions on usage of any kind and would let the marketplace work its supposedly "magic" in pure Monopoly/Ayn Rand fashion. There would be no taxes, no regulation, no government oversight. Aaahhh the beautiful world this would be [/end tongue in cheek].

Now, putting a libertarian "twist" to society is a different story. Government needs to be accountable while facilitating society at every level. Not an easy task.

If you're 99% libertarian then you have to reject all the things that Government has created for society. Your last option for living the libertarian life is living off the land having your own power, water, fuel, paving your own road, home-schooling your kids with textbooks you wrote yourself (govt has a say into what's in the textbooks).

My opinion:

Libertarians grew their success in great part thanks to government and do not want to give anything back. Because taxes are THE best way to give back to society. Charities are just a band-aid often put on the wrong wound.

Posted by: lol at October 16, 2012 9:18 AM

Libertarian does not mean "no restrictions of any kind". Libertarianism does not equal crazy Randian ideas like Objectivism. I know that the term has been co-opted in recent years by the crazies, but I'm not at all anti-tax, etc.

I just want proper market pricing of all aspects of society, free movement of people (open borders), and zero infringement on civil liberties from the government (US citizens and non-US citizens - it's absolutely out of control these days from both parties).

Posted by: anon at October 16, 2012 10:09 AM

Cherry-picking libertarian ideas? Accept taxes? Open borders? Sounds like you're a cafetarian, not really a libertarian ;)

Posted by: lol at October 16, 2012 10:58 AM

Even though I am not one, I believe the closest comment to the dogmatic Objectivist position would be the one posted by conifer above at 10/15, 11:14 AM, where he posits that soon real property developers will pull a "strike" like Ayn Rand's protagonist John Galt and refuse to develop any more luxury condos until the regulations discouraging including automobile parking in the price of housing, whether buyers want to pay for it or not, are reversed.

Deprived of their genius and entrepreneurial wealth creation, million dollar condos will stop being built, starving the municipal government of property tax revenue and leading inexorably to the collapse of civilization as the city no longer is able to collect the revenue necessary to fund police, fire departments, and the social services that hold back the forces of chaos.

Yes. The only way we can stop this parade of horribles for taking place is to make it easier for parking facilities to be forced on luxury condo buyers regardless of whether or not those buyers want to pay for it by having it included in the price of their condo and regardless of the location of the condo unit in question. It's for the good of society, you see. Anything less would be socialist!

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at October 16, 2012 11:09 AM

Luxury condo buyers on average use a vehicle perhaps twice a week. One must remember these buyers own other residences outside the "city".

Posted by: Oh really? at October 16, 2012 11:28 AM

^ I doubt this will be the Millenium crowd. More like the SOMA Grand or the BLU crowd who are overwhelmingly purchasing these as their primary residence. This is Van Ness and Market after all.

Posted by: lol at October 16, 2012 11:35 AM

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