The permits to demolish the little maintenance buildings and three acre bus depot at 8th and Harrison in order to make way for eight buildings with 408 new rental units over ground floor retail, arts, and commercial space are close to being approved, as is the permit to construct the five and six-story 350 8th Street buildings which is currently on hold in order to resolve some issues with respect to the street and sidewalk improvements attached to the plans (click images to enlarge).

The 350 8th Street project’s 315 off-street parking spaces for cars and 414 spaces for bikes will mostly be located underground or within the interior of the Stud-adjacent site.

In addition to 44,000 square feet of open space throughout the development, the project includes a 5,400 square foot public plaza and café on the corner of 8th and Ringold:



Construction is currently slated to start in early 2014.
Big Plans For The “Short-Sited” SoMa Block At 8th And Harrison [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Snark17

    Twice as tall please.
    [Editor's Note: As we wrote last year: A Short-Sighted Plan For Western SoMa?]

  2. Posted by Mike

    Yeah, why so low?
    I don’t get it.
    Wasted space.
    I like it though.

  3. Posted by two beers

    hideous.garbage. more unimaginative, quick-profit crapboxes for undemanding tech transients.

  4. Posted by OMN

    IMO, all new construction in SOMA should be >250 feet tall.

    • Posted by Name

      So that the rest of us who, unlike you, live in small RED areas will never see the sun again.

      • Posted by anon

        You’re welcome to buy the lots around you and turn them into parks.

        • Posted by justice herman

          absolutely, if you can’t afford to buy a private park or a penthouse, you certainly shouldn’t expect sunlight in your hovel.

          afterall,

          “This land is too valuable to permit poor people to park on it.”
          –Justin Herman, Executive Director, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, 1970

          • Posted by anon

            There are other places you can move to. The desire to prevent other people from having a place to live is selfishness that I will just never understand.

          • Posted by tall tales

            Yup, more open space causes more homeless. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many sleeping in the parks who would rather live in luxury high-rises. Econ 404.

            There are other places you can build up up up.

            The desire to prevent other people from having sunlight and a decent place to live is selfishness that I understand, just don’t agree with.

          • Posted by anon

            If there are other places to build up up up, you should mention them! This seems to be one of the best places on the entire planet to do it, considering proximity to existing infrastructure, etc. Again, it just seems that you’re being selfish and don’t want people to have the opportunity to live in the same area that you do. That’s despicable.

          • Posted by moche et méchant

            Yes, everyone that doesn’t want everything built in SOMA to be taller than 250 ft is “despicable” or so it seems to you.

            Certainly no one could have any reason that is not “selfish” and would not “prevent other people from having a place to live.”

            So much beyond your understanding, but not your contempt, or so it would seem.

            If there are places in SOMA or elsewhere you want built taller, maybe you should buy them, convince the community to rezone, and build up up up.

            Are you the same 28-year-old anon that wrote “I don’t like pushing my desires on everyone else”?

          • Posted by anon

            I’m not trying to block something from being built, you are. That’s the difference here – you’re attempting to curtail other people’s rights.

          • Posted by 30 story stiletto heels

            Does your “right” to build as tall as you want wherever you want preempt all other rights?

            Maybe we have planning and zoning as means to balance conflicting rights.

            Maybe you would like to curtail the rights of the community to plan and zone their community.

          • Posted by anon

            I’m not arguing for changing zoning, you’re the one arguing that you should be able to downzone parcels. After a zoning plan is established, all development should be by-right. The rights of all individuals should be determined when negotiating the plan, then no blockage should be allowable as long as the development fits requirements of the plan.

          • Posted by zoned for 65 feet max

            Where have I argued to change zoning on anything?

            The zoning for this parcel is 55/65-X. This development appears to fit that zoning.

            This thread of comments began with OMN writing: “IMO, all new construction in SOMA should be >250 feet tall.”

            To which I have explicitly referred and rejected and to which you seem to have been supporting.

            So which is it: 65 feet high max for this location is ok or not?

            And the western SOMA zoning is ok as is or does it curtail too many human rights?

          • Posted by Anon

            Sounds like we’re in agreement then.

          • Posted by twinswept

            Not sure about agreeing in this thread with this Anon who has written so little to be agreed with in substance or that anon who has written so much to be disagreed with in tone.

            Too many known unknowns to know for sure.

          • Posted by anon

            lots of different Anons, lots of different folks responding to anon. I agree with the idea of no spot zoning changes or appeals though.

  5. Posted by anon

    Absolutely criminal level of underbuilding for this location. This is an entire block (!!!) and we can only fit 408 units? Are you kidding me?
    This should be a minimum of 1000 units, preferably more like 2000. 8 story streetwall with several 40ish story towers seems appropriate.

  6. Posted by MarinaBoy

    I like it! Why does everything need to be so tall? This seems like a fun design with a great sense of community and seems to go with the area.

  7. Posted by Moto mayhem

    Way too short and boxy. This should be atleast 12 floors. Also, needs more motorcycle parking

  8. Posted by anon

    Why does everything need to be so tall?
    Everything doesn’t, hence the 99.99% of American development that takes place outside of dense urban cities. This, however, is a development site within a dense urban city suffering under oppressively high prices. Artificially constraining development in one of the .01% of areas in the US that can support a higher level of density is morally reprehensible.

  9. Posted by JWS

    This sort of underzoning scares me a bit.
    For example, the rash of high-rise projects in Mid-Market will probably create enough supply to take care of a year or two’s worth of new transplants. But 6,000 new units in Mid-Market/Rincon Hill will not satiate the market in the long term. That is just the first wave over the next 40 years.
    So when you have a full city block, in an area where there are no real residents or neighborhoods to preserve in the first place, I think you waste it by only building 400 or so units. In the future, eventually we will run out of these prime parcels, and so it seems like a waste to build so little here. I don’t want to see skyscrapers in, say, the Haight or the Marina or Noe Valley any more than your average NIMBY. But that’s where we’ll go (in the far future) if we keep blowing these gigantic opportunities of land.

  10. Posted by james jr

    Taller, taller, taller.
    What a waisted opportunity.
    Is the Planning Commission on cruise control?
    The building at 5th and Folsom is also way to short.
    These buildings should all be 20 stories or more.

  11. Posted by Michael

    400 units in an entire block? What a joke.

  12. Posted by contrarian

    Density in the natural world.
    Ants, Termites, Grunion, Lemmings, Starlings
    or
    Lion, Eagles, Sharks, Bears,
    just some thoughts

  13. Posted by two beers

    Also:
    rats, cockroaches, worms
    or
    dogs, cats, primates.
    hmmm……
    pack ‘em in, sez the developerman!

  14. Posted by Mark

    So much for a first step in housing residents to handle the 100,000 new jobs projected for the city over the next twenty years.
    Then again, why should we be surprised. Several months ago SS posted the western SOMA plan which is basically this type of development throughout the area.

  15. Posted by SFRealist

    Count me with the (almost) universal crowd here who thinks it’s too short. We don’t have as many opportunities to build big buildings here. This big block will now be permanently underdeveloped.
    As someone who pays attention to SOMA, the reason we’re building short buildings is that Chris Daly let Jim Meko run the western SOMA planning process, and Meko wants to strictly limit development. Yes, Meko allowed everyone to talk, but the only people in the room were NIMBYs. The whole western SOMA plan should be thrown out and it should be upzoned.

  16. Posted by Kurt Brown

    An entire block
    Make it look like San Jose
    The new “real SF”

  17. Posted by mdg

    TALLER
    WHy isnt this 12, 15 or 25 stories high
    Or at least a 25 story in the middle
    THE SKY IS WAITING TO EB FILLED…!!!!
    Sigh

  18. Posted by Invented

    Hi
    I can only hope this almost suburban type development in the heart of our city (and the pattern of continual under-building site after site) will create pressure to upzone select areas soon. This low rise dev is a factor of the larger low-rise planning for SOMA which I don’t really understand.
    SPUR and SocketSite Action can help with the needed advocacy, voice, & visioning required for change.
    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/10/san-francisco-exodus/7205/

  19. Posted by grumpy

    just like Paris

  20. Posted by SFRealist

    Invented, yes they can help, but the power is in City Hall. Even there, it’s probably most concentrated in Room 200. If we want to change our zoning, we need to get whoever occupies that building to pay attention to it.

  21. Posted by Louis

    This is the type of mediocre low rise architecture that looks OK, barely , in rendering and will look poor and worn down in 3 years.
    Look at 300 Ivy is you would like an example of this , it looks mediocre and its just unwrapped, not even opened yet.
    Why San Francisco is still a city that tolerates mediocre building — opposite of New York we like to feel superior to — is a tough question.
    This is another predictable (big) developer production building, just get it approved, rent it up now at $4.50 per square, sell at a 4% cap rate, and get out. it will boost thy stock price a nickel. I dont own avb or eqr.
    The City and the Planning department really owe us better, including the comments here re higher rise zoning on a site this vast.
    Maybe its time to stop caving into to “Western SOMA” because its easier to do so. Mr Daly (who i happen to respect), but not for empowering Mr Meko, is long gone and now works for SEIU.

  22. Posted by taco

    Can’t think of a more uninspired looking development. Generic and lame, like a college dorm. The deterioration of SF’s cultural diversity is reflected in architecture like this. Large developers throwing up thoughtless compounds the size of a city block.

  23. Posted by djt

    Can’t quite put my finger on it but those interior “streets” are fine for fake urban development in suburban areas but are totally inappropriate for a city that has a well developed street grid system.
    Seems more suitable for the avenues than for downtown.

  24. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this yet, but this should be TALLER.

  25. Posted by cfb

    So can we start a petition and ballot measure to force this development and other new developments in that area to be taller/denser? Let’s use the NIMBYs’ favorite weapon against them. And it actually would be for the good of the city as a whole, unlike when NIMBYs abuse the system.

  26. Posted by Jack

    Apropos of djt comment. Those internal private streets make me uncomfortable too. They should be dedicated to the city with future maintenance paid out of HOA fees. I bet most people who live in cities have a strong aversion to private streets.

  27. Posted by anon

    I just don’t get the ‘needs to be taller’ comments.
    As if bulldozing Rome or Paris and building Vancouver-style towers would make it for a better city. Height in and of itself is a vapid aspiration.

  28. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    ^^^ I think the concern is that most of SF is two story and the only opportunities to counterbalance that near-suburban density comes in parcels like this.
    If we could upzone Noe and the Sunset and the bulk of SF to Parisian 6-8 stories then that would be a winning plan. But since that’s very unlikely the attention is on SOMA and other similar brownfields to bring the city’s average density up to urban scales.

  29. Posted by anon

    As if bulldozing Rome or Paris and building Vancouver-style towers would make it for a better city. Height in and of itself is a vapid aspiration.
    That’s why no one is talking about taller buildings for height “in and of itself”.
    If you’re fine with achieving decent density through other means (much narrower streets, 6-8 stories across broad swaths of the city, smaller units, etc) then I’m totally on board with that. However, since those seem to be off the table, the only way to significantly increase density is to build tall in some areas while preserving others in amber.

  30. Posted by soccermom

    I think that if people pay HOA fees to live in a nice place, they should be able to enjoy private open space, be it a street, a park, a fountain or whathaveyou, without the acoutrements of lowest-common-denominator SF public behavior, including Castro nude weirdos, leashless dogs crapping-with-abandon in the company of their shirking owners, and panhandling fragant youth.
    If we let the owner build one or more taller structures, you wouldn’t get the ‘donut’ block effect that creates an internal private space.
    We get what we vote for. And what our bureaucrats allow.

  31. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    I can only hope this almost suburban type development in the heart of our city (and the pattern of continual under-building site after site) will create pressure to upzone select areas soon.

    It already has.
    Check the area surrounding the the Transit Center.

  32. Posted by Futurist

    Why should the city be upzoned? Why do people want it denser and more crowded?
    Upzoning Noe and similar neighborhoods to 6 floors will never happen, and why should it?
    Yes, there are some defined areas, like Rincon and downtown that are appropriate for high rise construction and living.
    I’m really challenging this constant whining about all new development being “too low”, because I’m trying to understand why taller is better, especially in neighborhoods that are low scale.
    Does anyone really want a 30 story building at the corner of Dolores and Market instead of the newly built 7 story, well designed, project?
    Does anyone really believe if our city population eventually grew to, say, 2 million our quality of life would not be affected negatively?

  33. Posted by anon

    @Futurist, see, I can do it too:
    Why shouldn’t the city be upzoned? Why do people want it less dense and more deserted when there are literally millions of places to live in the US that already have these features?
    Upzoning Noe and similar neighborhoods to 6 floors will likely never happen, but why shouldn’t it?
    Why are only specific areas “appropriate” for highrise living? Who are you to decide? (I own three places in SF, so don’t try pulling the “I own here” BS).
    Taller is better because it allows more people access to a great city. Dense cities are rare in the US, and clearly the market desires more of a good thing. I’d be fine with simply “denser” rather than taller (narrower streets, smaller or nonexistent setbacks, allowance of smaller units, etc), but I’m assuming that you’re against that type of thing too.
    A 30 story building at the corner of Dolores and Market? Why not? That wouldn’t be my first place to put one, but I don’t see the horrible damage that would occur if that happened. Aren’t we talking about a completely undeveloped lot in SOMA? Why bring up Market?
    If our city population grew to 2 million we’d be able to support all sorts of sweet new infrastructure. I believe that our quality of life would improve dramatically. Size of city and quality of life are pretty separate issues though, IMO. The quality of life in Paris is great with 2 million people. The quality of life in Modesto sucks, even with fewer people than SF.

  34. Posted by Futurist

    Well, that’s a clever, cute response, but what’s your point?
    And it’s hardly up to “me” to decide. Our zoning and planning code is in place. Why be so defensive? I mentioned nothing about me owning here. So where is the bs you detected? And yes, I’m against smaller or no setbacks. The quality of light and open space in a rear yard or front yard would be diminished, and likewise, diminish OUR particular quality of urban living.
    I’m moving more and more toward the belief that our density in SF is pretty much ok. Yes, there is room for height and growth in selected zones.
    But in the neighborhoods? No.
    I think our city at 2 million (as an example) would be a disaster. Remember we have NO more land to build on. We are a peninsula surrounded by water on 3 sides.
    Unlike London and Paris, as an example, they are huge in population precisely BECAUSE they have land around them. Paris is huge physically compared to us. And the rather typical 6-8 floors in Paris works because there it is a larger city.
    Comparing the ‘quality of life” in Modesto to Paris is laughable.
    It’s NOT about the number of people. It truly is about the quality of life: the culture, the arts, the architecture, the food, the street life, the history.
    Actually San Francisco has almost got it “right” with our density and population. The cost of living here will NEVER go down just because we build more and we build up.

    • Posted by The next generation

      FWIW Paris is smaller than SF in terms of surface area.

  35. Posted by Fishchum

    “Yes, there is room for height and growth in selected zones.”
    - Which is why 4 stories in this location makes no sense whatsoever.

  36. Posted by contrarian

    high density, see ants, pigeons, mice
    low density, see raptors, leopards, pacific heights

  37. Posted by Futurist

    And yes, this area does make sense for more height and density, selectivity.
    Balancing height of 20-30 stories is appropriate with 4-6 stories surrounding it.
    I like this particular project: scale, height, design and materials. I like the private street, because the residents will pay for it with their hoa’s. Id’ rather see more parking.
    I agree with soccermom that this “private” street will keep out some of the urban crap we have, sadly, gotten used to, but dislike.

  38. Posted by zig

    “high density, see ants, pigeons, mice
    low density, see raptors, leopards, pacific heights”
    We should have never stopped being hunter gathers. Now we are 7 billion food growing milk drinking domesticated mutants

  39. Posted by anon

    Paris is huge physically compared to us.
    Um. No. Paris is 40.7 square miles in size, with 2.2 million people living in those 40.7 square miles.
    SF is 46.87 square miles, with just over 800,000 people living in those 46.87 square miles.
    Is this new “futurist” math that supposes 40.7 to be larger than 46.87?

  40. Posted by Futurist

    Thanks for your little numbers quiz. I mean nitpicking.
    Of course we all know that the “city” part of Paris is small, similar to our city.
    But we also know that Paris spreads out in land mass to over 12.1 m people. It has no water on 3 sides like we do, just for the record.
    But getting back to the more important issue: Increased density and height will NOT decrease the cost of housing here.

  41. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “Does anyone really believe if our city population eventually grew to, say, 2 million our quality of life would not be affected negatively?”
    “The quality of light and open space in a rear yard or front yard would be diminished, and likewise, diminish OUR particular quality of urban living.”
    Once you recognize that the word “our” in the above quotes means “current resident” you’ll see the antisocial sentiment of those statements. Planning for the future means adjusting for and accommodating change. Unless there’s an abatement in both population increase and the desire to live in denser urban situations we should plan to accommodate future residents, including those who aren’t even born yet.
    So long as the public good of a policy is only measured by people who have an entrenched interest we’ll be making the wrong decisions and planning for an unrealistic future.

  42. Posted by anon

    But we also know that Paris spreads out in land mass to over 12.1 m people. It has no water on 3 sides like we do, just for the record.
    This is different from the Bay Area spreading out in three directions and including 7.15 million?
    The city of Paris contains less than 20% of the population of the Paris metro, just as the city of SF does. I’m not seeing your point.
    You claimed that Paris was bigger because it has more land, which is just absurdly wrong. The city of SF has more land than the city of Paris, and the metropolitan Bay Area covers more land than the metro area of Paris. How are you planning to spin that?

  43. Posted by lol

    Paris has a “moat” called the peripherique which used to be fortified walls. It acts a bit like our 3 sides of water culturally and economically.
    Density in the first mile of that “moat” is actually pretty similar to what you see in Paris proper. Neuilly, Montreuil, Saint Ouen, Montrouge, etc, all have pretty high density. You have to go more than 5 miles away to find what we would consider as low suburban density.
    Paris is 3 times as dense as SF, and it works pretty well.

  44. Posted by Futurist

    Good try MOD: you are very weak in understanding what someone means.
    You’re trying to bait me, as if I am talking ONLY about my stake in the city and those who live here NOW. You are completely wrong. the public good is for now and in the future.
    Planning and Zoning codes deal with open space issues, setbacks, height and bulk issues that are in place for the BETTERMENT all those who may choose to live in the city, NOW or in the future.
    Of course we should accommodate future residents, in a responsible and well thought out plan.
    What would it mean to future residents if we reduced or eliminated setbacks, minimum rear and front yards, minimum open space, etc.?
    The “quality of life” that is NOW a part of our city would be greatly diminished. How would that serve future residents?
    It wouldn’t. And to assume that current Planning/open space/height limits is only because of the “selfish” needs of current residents is an uneducated opinion.

  45. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    As population continues to grow, people have to live somewhere. It is much better for the environment for them to live in a city than in a sprawling suburb. I want to leave a better future for my children and all of humanity.
    The Great Urbanization trend continues apace, in spite of predictions from many here that it would end after the recession ended. If anything, it has picked up pace. We can accommodate the growth in a measured fashion or just deal with the problems after the fact. But the growth will happen, one way or another.
    Of course building more housing will decrease the average price of it. This really is Econ 101 folks, show me a case where holding the supply steady in a market of increasing demand did anything but lead to price increases. I can give plenty of examples of cities that successfully lowered the price of housing by building more of it.

  46. Posted by SFRealist

    Futurist: how will increased height and density lower housing costs in SF?
    It’s economics. We have a high demand for housing here for many reasons. We severely limit supply. When demand is high and supply is limited, prices will be high. (And please, spare us the idiocy of claiming that SF housing isn’t subject to the laws of supply and demand. That is a factually false statement.) The way to limit price is to either lower demand (i.e. Detroit) or increase supply.
    No one is saying that housing costs will be lowered. Prices are high and will continue to rise as long as our economy stays strong. It’s about changing the rate of increase.

  47. Posted by Futurist

    @ NVJ: you left off one important part of the equation:
    Demand and Desirability. If we “carefully” allow for responsible growth and respect for our quality of life in SF proper, then people with the means (not everyone) will WANT to live here, and they will pay to live here.
    Building all of the high rise condos now in Rincon Hill area is not lowering the cost of new housing in the Upper Market area, nor lowering the cost of a SFH in Noe Valley.
    All of the new high rise housing is Manhattan has not lowered the cost of housing there. It just allows more people to live there who have the MONEY to live there.
    Same here in SF. I keep saying this: It’s NOT going to get cheaper to live here. And not everyone who WANTS to live here will be able to.

  48. Posted by anon

    @Futurist, I notice that you have backed away from the absurd claim that Paris is geographically (city or metro) larger than SF. Good call on your part, your limited credibility took a pretty major tumble on such an obvious mistake.

  49. Posted by Futurist

    No anon, I’m not interested in a constant pissing contest with you.

  50. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    If I understand Futurist’s argument correctly (not necessarily the one I’d advance myself), he’s implicitly claiming that even if we build (a lot) more housing, we’re not going to be able to hold the demand constant, because S.F. isn’t in the the 1960′s-era People’s Republic of China and there’s no Hukou residence registration system to control where people move. Accommodating more people in The City proper with housing would induce more demand as more people decide to move here to take advantage of the city amenities.
    This means the ceteris paribus assumption won’t hold and therefore the price level will not decrease. And NoeValleyJim’s Econ 101-level reasoning doesn’t work out in the real world.
    To be charitable, I guess The City could overwhelm the expected level of current demand and in-migration if it “massively upzoned” and targeted density at the Kowloon Walled City level, but you’d almost certainly have a strong backlash before that level of housing could get built. Why? Because quality of life would absolutely be negatively affected.

  51. Posted by Legacy Dude

    I’m generally with the crowd here, but Futurist does raise an interesting point: according to stuff I’ve read in the Chron, a lot of the city’s existing housing stock sits vacant. You’ve got the uber-wealthy with their trophy (atrophy?) mansions in Pac Heights. You’ve got the pied-a-terrors collecting Soma condos they don’t live in. And then you’ve got an entire cohort of people who used to live here but never sold or rented their old houses because of rent control and prop 13.
    While I definitely support new construction, we might also consider doing something to increase the utilization of the existing housing stock. After all, what’s the benefit of building a new tower if it gets sold to absentee millionaires while locals continue to live in garages in the Excelsior?

  52. Posted by SFRealist

    Futurist: how will increased height and density lower housing costs in SF?
    It’s economics. We have a high demand for housing here for many reasons. We severely limit supply. When demand is high and supply is limited, prices will be high. (And please, spare us the idiocy of claiming that SF housing isn’t subject to the laws of supply and demand. That is a factually false statement.) The way to limit price is to either lower demand (i.e. Detroit) or increase supply.
    No one is saying that housing costs will be lowered. Prices are high and will continue to rise as long as our economy stays strong. It’s about changing the rate of increase.

  53. Posted by Futurist

    No, SFRealist.
    Here’s how I see it. Sure we can increase supply. So a developer/owner is going to voluntarily charge LESS for his condo development than what his competitor did last year on the same block?
    Not a chance: Construction materials cost rise. Cost of labor rises. Permits and entitlement fees rise. Land cost rises.
    A developer/owner who understands business will pass on those costs in his new development. Yes, the “rate of increase” could/may change, but costs will not go down.
    The developer will seek out his maximum profit. That’s essential to the market system.
    Again: Responsible growth. New growth and higher density in less “established” areas, or areas with lots of open land. Respect and maintain the low scale character of our residential neighborhoods. People come here to live BECAUSE of our small scale and livability. And they are willing to pay for it.
    Take that “quality of life” we have here, and San Francisco will lose it’s appeal.

  54. Posted by lyqwyd

    “we might also consider doing something to increase the utilization of the existing housing stock”
    I wholeheartedly agree with that, but sadly the only way that’s likely to happen is via repeal of both prop 13 & rent control. While SF can repeal rent control on it’s own, there is very little will to do so, and the city has no ability to do away with prop 13.
    With those two market mangling policies in place there’s very little likelihood of those vacant units coming on to the market.
    The one possibility would be to loosen TIC / condo conversions for buildings that have been vacant for a long time, but that also seems unlikely any time soon.

  55. Posted by SFRealist

    That’s just it. No developer will voluntarily charge less than they could. But they cannot charge more than the market will bear. If there are more units on the market, they will be able to charge less. If you’re agreeing with me that the rate of increase in housing costs will go down if we build more, than I think we’re done on this point.
    It’s worth noting that this is now a parking lot. Nothing is going to be bulldozed, there’s nothing to save. (I don’t think anyone is advocating wholesale destruction of existing housing. The politics of that are impossible.) As a city we should be taking advantage of spots like this and building tall buildings, like what is planned for the area near the train station.
    Also, I failed to notice the interior private roads. Those are also a disgrace. There’s an alley on the north side–they should have taken advantage of this opportunity to cut up this big block and make a liveable small scale street.

  56. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “People come here to live BECAUSE of our small scale and livability. And they are willing to pay for it.”
    That’s one of the reasons, but not the main reason. It probably isn’t even near the top. There are hundreds of locales that can offer the same scale that SF offers. And “livability” includes affordability, which SF definitely does not offer.
    Reasons to move to SF that rank higher include access to high paying jobs and cultural amenities, both of which improve with greater density.
    I wouldn’t worry about an increasing population resulting in a net loss of SF’s desirability. That’s self-regulating. If SF became less desirable then less people would want to move here, no?
    That said I still think that the onus to absorb more population lies with the rest of the Bay Area. But SF still needs to find a way to keep up with demand. Currently it is failing badly.

  57. Posted by anon

    No anon, I’m not interested in a constant pissing contest with you.
    Got it, so you agree that it is not due to “geography” that Paris has a high quality of life and higher density than SF. That must mean that we can maintain a high quality of life in SF with higher density.

  58. Posted by anon

    @Brahma – pretty sure there’s a large gulf between current SF density and Walled City of Kowloon density. It seems likely that prices could stabilize or drop at somewhere far below Kowloon, yet far higher than current SF.

  59. Posted by anon

    It’s pretty clear to me that people arguing here are talking past each other.
    I, for one, think building more (and that means taller) housing here would be a good thing. Not only would it allow more people to enjoy SF, but it would help to break that critical mass necessary to build first-class urban infrastructure.
    Now, we should not kid ourselves to think that 21st century urban housing prices are based on simple supply and demand. While it’s true that more housing lowers prices if all else is equal. Unfortunately, all else is not equal. When you build more housing, then more people move in, the economy expands, there is more economic opportunity, and the incremental cost of doing business goes down, which all increase demand for more housing to a greater degree that the demand that was filled by building the housing in the first place. It’s no coincidence that most of the densely populated cities in the world are also have some of the most expensive housing in the world. Think New York, Hong Kong, Paris, and many others. The only exceptions are the cities where infrastructure hasn’t kept up with population growth, and that’s the thing that people really don’t want.
    Do, building more housing. Price of housing will go down. More people move into the new housing, create economic growth. Price of housing will go right back up again.

  60. Posted by james jr

    The dormitory analogy is perfect.
    BORING. City Hall–HELP. Now that the overpaid BART workers are back on the so-called job, please pay attention to the projects of such small scale metastasizing across SF and particularly SOMA.

  61. Posted by Joseph A

    My issue with the complex has more to do with the use of space ,
    I have no issue with 6 floor building line the road , but thinking there should be 3 or 4 of them and that it is silly to break them up like that , ALSO
    I think its absurd to have 4 structures in the middle , that should be one building and go to at least 10 stories ,

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