December 7, 2012
Coming To The Corner Of 14th And South Van Ness In Early 2014
San Francisco’s Planning Commission has approved the plans for a new 20,000 square-foot Audi dealership to rise at 300 South Van Ness at the corner of 14th Street in the Mission with an expected opening in early 2014. As the corner currently appears:
And no, the un-rendered electrical lines are not being removed.
First Published: December 7, 2012 12:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
That building looks cool, but I hope with a new building come new better customer service.
Posted by: Geno Endicott at December 7, 2012 12:16 PM
That building belongs in a Peninsula strip mall. It's severely ugly, both in its massing and in its surface finish.
Posted by: tomonoak at December 7, 2012 12:43 PM
What a random, and terrible, use of this location. Anyone have ideas about why this isn't becoming apartments, for which there would certainly be significant demand? Is there an environmental remediation issue?
Posted by: Sarabeth at December 7, 2012 1:14 PM
Like the building. Now if only Audi would stop with the overdone front lights. LED was interesting but they have ruined the look of their vehicles by moving away from their smooth perfectly crafted lines. (Unfortunately they have gone the way of BMW with wacky design elements...)
Posted by: Willow at December 7, 2012 1:19 PM
Maybe, just maybe because not every single, available piece of property in SF is required to be residential.
Maybe that's why.
And what "is" the environmental remediation issue?
I like the building, I like the simple, clean design. I hope it gets built.
Posted by: futurist at December 7, 2012 1:20 PM
I had a similar reaction, but then again, there are car dealerships and body shops sprinkled all over northern SVN and Howard Street. This is like Van Ness Avenue and the remnants of the old Auto Row.
Posted by: lol at December 7, 2012 1:22 PM
"What a random, and terrible, use of this location"
How is it "random"? It's across the street from two other Royal Motors properties. Seems about as un-random as you could get.
Posted by: R at December 7, 2012 1:23 PM
Enclosing the long-standing auto showroom in a box is newsworthy?
Posted by: Invented at December 7, 2012 1:40 PM
Perhaps a mixed-use building instead with some residential units above? Let's get some more height going on here.
Posted by: Mark at December 7, 2012 1:59 PM
A city, by its' very nature is composed up a variety of building types and uses. They can all co-exist in the same city.
Posted by: futurist at December 7, 2012 2:16 PM
Anyone want to trade some of that Audi design cred for better reliability and ease of repair or is it just me?
Who designs a timing belt cover with three different types of fasteners? Who refuses to sell a tone ring (I bought one from England for $2) to replace a damaged one, forcing you to buy an ENTIRE CV axle? Audi, that's who.
Posted by: djt at December 7, 2012 2:23 PM
I'm fine with this. It is at least "urban"..the cars are in a multi-floor building rather than in a surface parking lot. South Van Ness DOES have a number of auto showrooms, repair businesses, etc already, so it's not like it's smacked dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. And I'm mindful that sales tax on vehicles is a significant item, even for San Francisco. So it's good to preserve some locations for auto sales and not exile them all to the suburbs.
Posted by: curmudgeon at December 7, 2012 2:25 PM
@ djt: well, unless I'm mistaken you probably were not held down and forced to buy and Audi.
Maybe check out BMW.:) I'm happy with mine.
Posted by: futurist at December 7, 2012 2:30 PM
I like it. And German food is right across the street.
Posted by: Snark17 at December 7, 2012 2:50 PM
The best alternative to an Audi is a Subaru. AWD is standard in all models, well made, reliable and reasonably priced since there is no pretension mark-up. Although I can't say how expensive they are to repair since I haven't had to repair mine yet.
Posted by: Rillion at December 7, 2012 2:54 PM
6 years on a 10+year Subi and so far so good. When I get older and more insecure I'll go German.
Posted by: lol at December 7, 2012 3:12 PM
I wasn't forced to buy an Audi (VW actually) but it got the best mpg for a wagon with that amount of luggage capacity. Subaru was AWD only SUV's were inefficient and had less luggage space and worse handling. I had heard about legendary VW/Audi repair costs and they were borne out. The cars simply have too many parts.
I also have an older BMW...quite reliabile except for an interior that falls apart, failed head gasket, leaking PS lines, and coolant system components that are weakened by - get this - hot coolant. Frequent track time doesn't help, surely.
Posted by: djt at December 7, 2012 3:49 PM
djt-sounds like you need an MGB, then you'll really appreciated your cars.
Posted by: marko1332 at December 7, 2012 4:05 PM
Take your cars to Marin for service. Royal service blows, I say that based on a Volvo. I think they stole my license plate bolts. True story.
Good building though. Who wants to live next to an on-ramp anyway?
Posted by: soccermom at December 7, 2012 4:48 PM
Is that roof for parking or partying?
Posted by: Marten at December 7, 2012 5:39 PM
I own a renovated rental bldg ~ 150 feet away, and I'm cool with this. Got all the 3.11 notices but didn't bother to meet up. *Any* new, decent bldg going up would be better than a drab lot. I'm satisfied.
Posted by: 48yo hipster at December 7, 2012 8:22 PM
Now, if they can just update that third-world-looking laundromat next door, that would be awesome :)
Posted by: 48yo hipster at December 7, 2012 8:24 PM
In the inner Richmond, our supermarkets are turning into auto dealerships. So count your blessings.
Posted by: Alai at December 7, 2012 8:30 PM
The window shapes are cool, they look like the emblem for the S series.
Posted by: sf at December 7, 2012 9:05 PM
I have lived 1 block away for 5 years and knowing that condos are being built on the following corners:
- 15th and Mission (200+)
- 15th and South Van Ness
- 16th and South Van Ness
this will be a much needed improvement to the horrible lot. All we need to do is get rid of the used car lot on 16th and clean up a bunch of the garages/tire shops that have let themselves go.
Posted by: SFLooking at December 9, 2012 6:34 AM
For all of you who are still slinging the Transit Oriented Development deception around, the reason why Royal Motors is building this is because their Audi sales have risen so much in recent years that Audi HQ now requires a dealership of this size to have a showroom of a certain footprint.
Nobody comes to SF to buy a car who doesn't live here. These are all locals many of whom will be in the market for new housing, most of which is "TOD" and will be wanting to store their new Audis and other German luxury vehicles somewhere.
Posted by: marcos at December 9, 2012 9:44 PM
In addition to the overhead Muni lines, I noticed that a telephone pole, a street light, parking meters, and a fire hydrant have also gone missing from the rendering. 5 pretty big trees were added, though.
Posted by: p3p at December 10, 2012 9:14 AM
^ one can dream, I suppose!
Posted by: 48yo hipster at December 10, 2012 11:23 AM
"Nobody comes to SF to buy a car who doesn't live here."
That's actually not true...a lot of the sales are done online with Internet Sales Managers. I've bought two Audi's from Royal Motors and I've found their pricing to be extremely agressive compared to the nearby competition in Oakland or Burlingame. I'd think someone would be willing to come to SF even if it meant saving a few hundred dollars.
Posted by: Willow at December 10, 2012 12:31 PM
I took Muni to Royal to buy my Audi, right from the lot that will soon be a dealership. Their pricing was fine and the gouging didn't start until after the warrantee expired, but I have to say that so far the overpriced service has been technically pretty good. They are a successful SF business with lots of local employees and I'm glad they're investing in new infrastructure in a part of the city that needs it.
Last I checked there isn't a Subaru dealership in the SF City/County limits. And if you want a Macclaren you have to go all the way to San Mateo county.
Posted by: elbee at December 10, 2012 3:03 PM
Uh, isn't this a building website, not a car review website? :-)
That property is already used by Audi, and their main showroom is right across the street, so this location makes total sense. Their existing showroom is rather non-descript for a luxury car company. I like the design and look of this - simple, clean, fancy-schmancy. Build it.
Full disclosure, they service my car, but I bought it elsewhere.
Posted by: Gregg at December 10, 2012 3:14 PM
Whoops - Macclaren is in Santa Clara county - and they make a very nice AWD vehicle (or so I'm told).
Posted by: elbee at December 10, 2012 4:02 PM