December 13, 2013
From Failed Bites To Building Up On Lombard Street A Bit
A long suffering space for a slew of failed restaurants, the one-story building at 2353 Lombard between Pierce and Scott will be razed and a four-story building with 21 residential units over 2,700 square feet of commercial space will be constructed on the site if approved.
The mix of proposed units includes three one-bedrooms of around 700 square feet and eighteen two-bedrooms ranging in size from 1,138 to 1,264 square feet. With plans to pay an in-lieu fee rather than include any below market rate (BMR) units in the building, the entire development will be market rate as proposed.
The entrance to the building's 28 space garage would be from both Lombard and behind. A 2,500 square foot roof deck would serve as the development's common open space:
On the agenda for San Francisco's Planning Commission next week, the Planning Department recommends the project be approved as proposed.
First Published: December 13, 2013 2:30 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Wow! What a beauty. I'm calling this architect now - I have to have some of this sweet, sweet stuff!
Posted by: anon at December 13, 2013 2:34 PM
Only 4 stories? Really? I'm not pushing for a tower here, but come on, it could be 6 stories, if not the entire building, then a good chunk of it. Balconies facing Lombard? Are you kidding me? Between the noise and pollution they will not be used.
Posted by: Mark at December 13, 2013 2:38 PM
I guess Lombard is a place where uninspired buildings won't exactly be out of place, but this building wouldn't look out of place next to a Sunnyvale L-shaped mini-mall.
That said, better than what is there now.
Posted by: Mickey at December 13, 2013 2:46 PM
To call this "uninspired" would be to compliment it.
Really, how much time and thought went into this?
10 minutes? Is such a low level of design caused by
budget, zoning, or just sloth?
Posted by: jlasf at December 13, 2013 2:55 PM
I always look forward to hearing about development on both, Lombard and Geary... two hugely under developed east/west corridors in the city. Though I think these areas could use some additional height/density, I completely understand why they aren't going taller here (views from south on the hill, etc.)
Posted by: Rob at December 13, 2013 3:14 PM
Considering that they don't allow bay windows on the street I Think the design is Great! Love the wood! Why the city doesn't allow 6 stories heard is beyond me. I mean come on, it's on a major street in SF with great transit and all the Tech busses stop on this block every morning!
Posted by: Gerald at December 13, 2013 3:22 PM
Why the hell not? Why should SOMA, Upper Market, Dogpatch, and the Mission have the exclusive rights to godawful new construction?
Spread the ugly!
Posted by: two beers at December 13, 2013 3:27 PM
at least theres enough parking.. lombard is an eyesore and this is better than whats there. nothing higher is going to get put in this area, but at least they could make it a little more pretty
Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 3:30 PM
Too high. Look at this block right now...there is the one story restaurant, the vacant lot, across the street is all one story buildings. There is only one building this size on this block, and everybody I know is constantly talking about what an eyesore it is. I would be OK with the size if it was all BMR housing, but not if we are just building overscaled monstrosities to cater to the tech 1% elite...
The Marina used to be a haven for the middle class before the earthquake, and the tech money has absolutely destroyed affordability over time. Would love to see this proposal downscaled or made entirely BMR to show them that this city will not stand for their form of capitalistic greed any longer!
Posted by: Hawkins at December 13, 2013 3:34 PM
What an improvement to the area and Lombard Street. I love the contemporary design for a mid-block building. San Francisco needs all the new housing it can get. Why didn't they try to get more housing units on a transit corridor?
Posted by: Jared at December 13, 2013 3:41 PM
I'm assuming the "Hawkins" comment is satire. If not, look at what's right next door in the photo/rendering: 4 stories. And how do you think we cap rising housing costs if not by increasing supply as much as we can?
This building certainly will be "contextual". It looks like all the mid-century motels around it. I totally agree with those who suggest the architects and designers spent maybe 10 minutes on it. Actually, I suspect they took the plans out of a paperback available in the checkout line at Home depot.
Posted by: BTinSF at December 13, 2013 4:16 PM
"Would love to see this proposal downscaled or made entirely BMR to show them that this city will not stand for their form of capitalistic greed any longer!"
the capitalism and influx of money is making SF better, not worse. I personally dont see why we would put BMR housing in an area that would command such premiums. the taxes and in-lieu fee are more usable for supporting poverty programs
Posted by: moto mayhem at December 13, 2013 4:20 PM
Not exactly where I would want to live, but 4 stories fits the area, and its hard to argue against more housing to take some pressure off of existing stock.
Posted by: Joseph A at December 13, 2013 4:29 PM
Not only is this building an expression of capitalism -- indeed of running dog capitalists -- but it has enough parking for automobiles, those unrelievedly evil machines that are opposed of what all good comrades of the Party.
Do you not agree that the appropriate disposition for the architect and developer is the same as that given to the uncle of Kim?
Posted by: conifer at December 13, 2013 4:30 PM
@ moto mayhem - Well, we will have to agree to disagree. Your definition of "better" is clearly very different than mine.
@ BTinSF - Only on this site would an objection to a giant glass bunker be deemed as satire.
Posted by: Hawkins at December 13, 2013 4:34 PM
@conifer, your comment caused damage to my keyboard as I spit out my coffee laughing. Always enjoy your posts.
Posted by: anon94123 at December 13, 2013 4:44 PM
@JosephA: 21 market rate units in one of the most expensive areas of the city isn't going to even register, much less take off any pressure.
SF will never again be affordable. NYC too. For those who wail that the middle class has been driven out the harsh reality is that soon there will no longer be a middle class period.
Posted by: Mark at December 13, 2013 4:48 PM
@BTinSF I couldn't agree with you more. Plus I think the developer will have to pay over $1.5 million for the in-lieu alone! That could surely be put to go use around the city to help create more affordable housing.
Posted by: Jared at December 13, 2013 4:49 PM
I'm not sure this should be any higher. Transit connections are ok, but not great. It's easy to get around the Marina/Cow Hollow, but really hard to go anywhere else except by Google Bus.
I would be in favor of 4 stories all along Lombard, but too much higher wouldn't make as much sense.
And yeah, facing Lombard would be awful. Loud, polluted, etc.
Posted by: SFRealist at December 13, 2013 5:12 PM
The Seventies are back! Must be due to that new Abscam movie coming out soon. But seriously I do agree on the lower height Four stories is good neighborhood preservation on Lombard Street.
Posted by: noe mom at December 13, 2013 10:43 PM
Auggggghhhhhh . This is real blight. Cant we have basic, required aesthetic levels for "new" buildings?
Posted by: 2of3jays at December 14, 2013 12:00 AM
It definitely fits into the Roach Motel Chic aesthetic of Lombard St.
Posted by: sf at December 14, 2013 8:26 AM
Was this the old Sambo's Restaurant back in the 1970's!
Posted by: inclinejj at December 14, 2013 10:24 AM
Yes this was the Sambo's
Posted by: Mike Kennedy at December 14, 2013 1:26 PM
Thank God we're going to get some new units in the Marina! All the development has been focused in other parts of the city. I live this area and I think this project will really improve the Lombard corridor. Is there a picture of the entry?
Posted by: Steve at December 14, 2013 3:58 PM
Yes, 2353 Lombard was Sambo's and what was the "Motel Lanai".
For the record, Lombard needs a lot more buildings like what is proposed. and the design is more than suitable. I just hope the MTA does not decide to "calm" or bike lane Lombard as it basically funnels 101/1 traffic and keeps it out of the Marina and Cow hollow.
Posted by: Prado at December 15, 2013 6:15 AM
A north-facing balcony is pointless even when there's not a busy, noisy, ugly, dirty highway below.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at December 16, 2013 12:20 AM
I think the design's perfectly fine - would be curious to see what all you armchair architects have in mind. This fits well with the 50s architecture along Lombard; in fact it could be fun if the City designated that era of design as a preferred form for Lombard - kitschy fun.
And although I'd like to see 6 stories along many major boulevards, I think 4 here makes sense given the low height of Marina construction (and the need to preclude NIMBYs complaining about their views going away).
Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 16, 2013 7:25 AM
Does anyone who how I can find out who is the proposed developer of the site?
Posted by: Peter Bomdale at December 16, 2013 1:03 PM
It's not going to win any awards, but it's not that bad, it's certainly better than what's there now. I would like to see it be 1-3 stories higher, but I can live with it as is...
Posted by: lyqwyd at December 16, 2013 2:26 PM
This is my neighborhood and I'm glad to see something being done with that spot. It's not at all out of line with other local building heights - there are plenty 3-4 story structures within a stone's throw of this site.
And as for why it's not taller, just remember that this area is landfill. Plus making it taller than 3-4 stories would definitely not fit in with the local building heights.
Posted by: Gregg at December 17, 2013 1:07 PM
Planning Commission approved 7-0
Posted by: formerly%whatever at December 19, 2013 4:27 PM
Posted by: SocketSite at December 19, 2013 5:40 PM