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First proposed in 2005, the plan to demolish all the buildings along the south side of Harrison Street between the surface parking lot at 725 Harrison and west to the corner of Fourth Street have been quietly dusted off and revised.

While the original plan called for 572 residential units over retail in six buildings up to 85 feet in height, the new plan proposes to build a sixteen-story, 240-foot office building at the corner of Harrison and Fourth Streets with the remainder of the site covered by a six-story, 95-foot tall office building connected to the high-rise building at the ground floor.

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Currently zoned for up to 85-feet in height, while the Planning Department’s proposed Central Corridor Plan would upzone the 725 Harrison Street site to a maximum of 160-feet, and only for a portion of the parcel, apparently “the Department is evaluating a 240-foot height limit” for the corner.

The revised project also includes the construction of a two-level subterranean parking garage with up to 575 parking spaces and 113 bicycle spaces for tenants.

The final Central Corridor Plan is anticipated to be up for approval in late 2014.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by sf

    What this area needs is a PARK or some green space.. or maybe a couple of trees. There is nothing attractive about living here.

  2. Posted by Mark

    Agreed. Much of SOMA is turning into another Midtown Manhattan filled with block after block of highrises with almost zero concern for aesthetics and green space. There’s no reason why South Park-type green spaces can’t be incorporated into larger design schemes.

  3. Posted by conifer

    And with lovely views, from the rear of the building, of what Google Maps labels the Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway.

  4. Posted by curmudgeon

    commenters above…The Central Corridor Plan identifies a South Park – like internal block park in the plan, so hopefully you wishes will in fact come to pass.

  5. Posted by anon

    Not really sure why we couldn’t use something so horrible as a “Midtown Manhattan” (which SOMA is laughably far away from being similar to), but I’d certainly be fine with some more green space in exchange for some height increases. 160′ is astoundingly low for a blank slate area with such good transit connections.
    Waaaaaaay too much parking in the proposal though. Like an order of magnitude too much.

  6. Posted by kddid

    And why is the movement away from housing and toward more offices? Seems like housing demand continues to rise (see the increase in median prices) and office demand is leveling off even before millions of square feet currently in construction comes on line (see article linked on my name). Are developers going to get caught chasing the last bubble here?
    That said, it will be good to replace the current low rise parking lot with something more dynamic.

  7. Posted by Jobs and Housing

    @”And why is the movement away from housing and toward more offices? ”
    Office vacancy rates are way to low in the City during normal times. Add to that the fact that thousands of new housing units (rental and ownership) are being built, entitled or in various stages of planning and development. You have got to connect jobs and housing, when commute out of the city if you can work right here? Office space or activity based space=jobs housed.

  8. Posted by Mark

    @anon: I worked in Midtown for several years and hated the look and feel of the area, the same look and feel SOMA is giving me, as laughable as you may think it is.

  9. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    A 16-story “tower” flanked by 6-story office buildings = Midtown Manhattan? Sure, and Japantown = Tokyo.

  10. Posted by cbf

    “I worked in Midtown for several years and hated the look and feel of the area, the same look and feel SOMA is giving me, as laughable as you may think it is.” -Mark
    SOMA isn’t even the densest part of SF–not by a long shot–and it’s certainly far less dense and built up than midtown manhattan. SOMA is really the best area for SF’s future growth, and smart growth means lots of highrises. A 240 foot building here makes more sense than midrises, lowrises, or parking lots. Still, SOMA will most likely never be even close to as dense/busy/intense as midtown manhattan is…That would require razing pretty much every single low rise (of which there are many in SOMA), replacing them all with midrise and highrise buildings, and then vastly improving public transit. And it would still be less intense than midtown manhattan simply becuase of the smaller size of the neighborhood/city/metro area.

  11. Posted by 7by7

    Plenty of spaces in the city should be upzoned, but this one should be a no-brainer. Spaces that look right at the freeway aren’t so desirable, sure, but the parcels become a lot more valuable if you’re up high above the freeway. 20 floors up, who cares if there’s a freeway there? Especially if it’s commercial and not residential.
    Agreed on need for a little more green space here & there throughout SOMA – or at least some more love for the existing green spaces. More middle class users daytime and nighttime should help make the Social Services on Sixth corridor a little less of a factor here.

  12. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    It is across the street from whole food. And just more than 1 block from Moscone Station. You can probably envision something nicer than the picture here suggest.
    Anyone know the street level design of the Moscone Station? That block of 4th St need some aesthetic upgrade too.

  13. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    There is also a piece of space next to Pacific Bicycle on 4th St that has good potential to turn into a park. Right now it is lined with under used parking space and loading dock.

  14. Posted by SFRealist

    “There is nothing attractive about living here.”
    Actually I live around here and it’s not so bad. Whatever is built can’t be as unattractive as the parking garage that’s there now.

  15. Posted by Rob

    Isn’t it fair to say that the majority of trees and upgraded streetscapes come from these types of private developments?
    I’m definitely into the idea of putting offices near the highway like this… much better idea than filing in BMRs along the elevated highway, etc…

  16. Posted by Alai

    Streets in SOMA are extremely wide, and trees don’t need all that much room. If I had my druthers, I’d take a lane of each street and add a lot more greenery. This is already happening on 2nd St., I believe.
    I’d much rather have that than another mini-park you have to specifically go to, which most people will never encounter in the course of an ordinary day. Make every street pleasant, not just one corner of one intersection.

  17. Posted by Jake

    Been waiting for this for more than ten years.
    A geotech I’ve worked with on a couple of SOMA buildings told me that buildings in the marshlands including 4th and Harrison slid about 18 inches downhill (toward Mission Creek/Bay) in the 1906 quake. I was only looking at 2-3 story buildings for remediation. Does anyone know the cost/tradeoffs for new buildings of 5-6 story versus 10-12?
    They need to widen the sidewalk on 4th Street to 15 foot width. It gets plenty of foot traffic and the other side is prohibited from crossing Harrison because of the highway onramp traffic.
    I’m all for more parks as SOMA gets denser, something like the nearby Alice Street Community Gardens or a half-sized Victoria Manalo Draves Park would be a good fit next to the Bessie Carmichael School on Harrison between 4th and 5th.

  18. Posted by chirpy_pro_developer

    I am so thrilled the way San Francisco is jacking up one after another cookie cutter hideous building and hiding the sheer greed of it all under a thin veneer of transit 1st smart growth. Really. Thrilled. The way a whole ecosystem can be ruined by people hiding behind an eco-veneer.

  19. Posted by Alai

    The way a whole ecosystem can be ruined by people hiding behind an eco-veneer.
    Personally I think that’s better applied to people who are happy to allow 20 acres of greenfield development (plus parking lots for them to commute to) as long as you get a quarter acre of manicured “green space” in the city.

  20. Posted by cbf

    “I am so thrilled the way San Francisco is jacking up one after another cookie cutter hideous building and hiding the sheer greed of it all under a thin veneer of transit 1st smart growth. Really. Thrilled. The way a whole ecosystem can be ruined by people hiding behind an eco-veneer.” -chirpy_pro_developer
    Ah yes, the “ecosystem” of parking lots, ugly one-story commercial/light industrial buildings, and busy roads, is truly something that needs to be saved. It should be kept the same forever. Who needs new development? It’s not like people want to live and work here, right? That would be crazy!

  21. Posted by Sabatini

    Agreed. Much of SOMA is turning into another Midtown Manhattan filled with block after block of highrises with almost zero concern for aesthetics and green space.
    Have you ever worked or lived in Midtown Manhattan? There are pocket parks all over (to say nothing of Bryant Park). Green Acre, the UN, etc (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/top-lists/midtown-manhattans-5-best-pocket-parks/)
    SOMA has a looong way to go before it becomes midtown Manhattan.

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