September 13, 2013
Polk Gulch Proposal: Ten New Stories And A Non-Formula Store
As proposed, the one-story building at 1433 Bush between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue which currently houses City Rent-A-Car will be razed, and in its place a 10-story building dubbed "Casa D'Ambrosio" with 32 condos, 26 residential parking spaces and ground floor commercial will rise.
If approved by San Francisco's Planning Commission next week, City Rent-A-Car proposes to re-establish operations on the ground floor of the new building with offices and 3 parking spaces dedicated to their business. City Rent-A-Car's fleet of 140 cars would be stored off-site.
The design for the 115-foot tall building includes a central courtyard which would be watered in part by way of a rain water harvesting system while solar panels atop the building would help to power common area needs (click the rendering to enlarge):
As part of the Planning Department’s basis for recommending approval of the project: the proposed retail use is "not Formula Retail" (unlike the proposed CVS on Sutter Street a block away).
UPDATE: The proposed Fern Street elevation in response to a reader's comment:
First Published: September 13, 2013 2:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
It looks like these buildings will have real penthouse style units. Nice.
Unsure if San Francisco is the best place for rainwater harvesting and solar panels, since it mostly doesn't rain here and the sun is a joke west of the Mission.
Posted by: frog at September 13, 2013 3:27 PM
i see the design rationale, but if i were in command at planning, i'd nuke the bush street parking ingress and force them to reorient the two ramps to fern st. obviously, we haven't seen the fern lane side rendered, but i'm guessing that we'd see a loss of at most 2 spaces on the gain of another commercial space (or an expanded one) on the bush st frontage. this is my hood, so i may try to make it out to the meeting to make the point.
Posted by: david m at September 13, 2013 3:39 PM
UPDATE: In response to David's thoughtful comment, the proposed Fern Street elevation for the project has been added above.
Posted by: SocketSite at September 13, 2013 3:56 PM
Nice in many ways. I'm curious about what size rainwater tank. Not in precise terms, but is it a breadbox, dishwasher, minivan, or larger sized reservoir? Those shade garden plants are probably not very thirsty.
My favorite feature is the all glass wraparound facade interrupted only for decks and posts. Could the sideways facing windows could be in jeopardy of being covered if the one and two storied neighbors develop up? Hopefully the sixth and above floors can float above future development.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 13, 2013 4:14 PM
I like it a lot. Best bit of infill I've seen in awhile. The second rendering seems to show bay windows on Polk, yet the first one looks like it's a flat surface. Any idea which is more current, or am I seeing things?
Posted by: Turin at September 13, 2013 5:15 PM
Great building, fantastic neighborhood.
Posted by: SFRealist at September 13, 2013 6:03 PM
The second rendering seems to show bay windows on Polk, yet the first one looks like it's a flat surface. Any idea which is more current, or am I seeing things?
Great catch. The first rendering above has since been updated to represent the revised design with bay-ish windows on Bush.
Posted by: SocketSite at September 13, 2013 6:07 PM
Decent, but it would be much better to shove that parking underground where it belongs, in order to have a couple more floors of housing.
Posted by: anon at September 13, 2013 7:29 PM
Is this height zoning by right or is it a variance request?
I wish good luck to the tree in the hole. Perhaps some weed farmers could consult on grow-light placement.
Posted by: soccermom at September 13, 2013 8:27 PM
Hmm...looking at the old building, it doesn't seem to have any architectural ornamentation that would merit preservation. It's also not a historic resource. But the roofline of the current facade is whimsical, and would enhance the new building facade. Have the developers studied an adaptive reuse alternative?
Posted by: Henry at September 13, 2013 11:13 PM
I would think the value of an extra floor or two of housing would easily cover digging deeper. Am I missing something?
Posted by: BobN at September 14, 2013 7:35 AM
^ you may be missing how expensive it is to excavate.
as for my earlier concern, i guess i'd have to take a more careful look at their plans in order to "council" them on how they might re-orient the parking ingress/egress, but it really looks like they're doing everything possible to avoid any serious excavation and to hit that sweet spot for parking, so i'm guessing they'd be very very resistant to any change to the bush street frontage. mm... a real shame that they're just not confident in a condo project below .75, like with a LANE right there, it shouldn't even be allowed.
Posted by: david m at September 14, 2013 10:38 AM
It's 130V height zoning, so I guess the proposed is well within the existing envelope.
When you dig (especially multiple floors), you need to worry not only about hauling the dirt out of your site. You need to ensure that your neighbors' (here, dated, attached, masonry) buildings don't fall down while you are doing your digging. Consider it building half of a new foundation for each of the neighboring buildings with underpinning, shoring etc. Especially in earthquake land.
Posted by: soccermom at September 14, 2013 11:27 AM
I think it's disappointing that a good 65% of the total frontage is parking. Granted there's not much of interest on Fern at the moment, so you might not care much about the frontage there, but that could change-- there are plenty of really cool small streets and alleys in the city.
Posted by: Alai at September 14, 2013 6:15 PM
Honey the only part of that building anyone interesting here could ever afford is the parking spots. And that's not for long.
Posted by: $AN FRANCI$CO at September 14, 2013 6:48 PM
It is great to see all these developments in the Polk St./Van Ness area. I have always thought that Polk St. should attract more businesses and gentrify all the way through to the Tenderloin.
Posted by: Live Smarter at September 14, 2013 8:26 PM