December 26, 2013

SoMa Rising: Plans For Up To Fifty New Units On Folsom Street


Plans to largely demolish the auto repair shop at 1465 Folsom Street and construct a five-story vertical addition with between forty (40) and fifty (50) new dwelling units have been submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for their preliminary review and reaction.

As proposed, the five-story addition would be setback from the existing building's facades on Folsom and Juniper and the ground floor of the development would become 3,384 square feet of commercial space along Folsom Street, a bit of interior open space, and a 28-space garage.

First Published: December 26, 2013 1:30 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

One thing about these new developments: city regulations require that the street frontage be occupied by commercial space, but the ground floor area needs to be used for parking. The compromise is wide but shallow retail space, unlike older commercial districts which have narrow but deep storefronts.

It probably means that the bustling older commercial districts like Clement or Valencia are a thing of the past. You can't have a pub, or a sit-down restaurant, or a hardware store, without the front of it being 80 feet wide. Even a laundromat suddenly has a major street presence. The result is that lots of those street-facing retail windows get painted over, because the space is actually used for mundane things like storage and kitchens which used to be in the back, and the street life remains moribund despite all the new people living there.

Posted by: Alai at December 26, 2013 9:03 PM

If parking is allowed at all, it should be underground.

Posted by: Dan at December 26, 2013 9:35 PM

These sort of 'set back' designs never look that great in my opinion. They either look totally out of place within the context of the older structure, or like an afterthought. Hopefully they get this right... I love the old brewery building... it'd be nice to have something that tied that block together.

Posted by: Rob at December 27, 2013 10:08 AM

Oh well...the West SOMA Plan hermetically sealed this part of the city. It will take a demographic shift of the D6 voters to elect a moderate (perhaps in 15-20 years or as the population ages) in order to change anything much in this part of the city. In the mean time rents will continue to rise upon vacancy and a more upwardly mobile population will live turn demanding more services. It is difficult to have neighborhood services which allow only nightclubs, med dope clubs, bike shops and tattoo parlors.

Posted by: План Запад SOMA at December 27, 2013 10:48 AM

The large brick structure next to the new development site had part of the "tower" come down in the 1989 earthquake. I would not want to live next to his very dangerous building. All of South of Market is fill & will suffer a lot of sinking in a quake

Posted by: Cody at December 27, 2013 12:22 PM

Cody, that structure was seismically strengthened before it was sold off as condos. I wouldn't worry yourself too too much.

Posted by: curmudgeon at December 27, 2013 12:50 PM

@Alai: very good point! The new commercial spaces definitely don't have the feel of the old. Seems like commercial density in the new buildings is lower than it should be.

Posted by: Brad at December 27, 2013 3:09 PM

Parking can go underground (common in SoMa), or could be a 2nd floor above retail (separating retal and residential, and thereby raising residential a bit higher for better views and less street noise).

Shallower retail spaces are also brighter (higher window-to-floor-area ratio) and hence need less daytime lighting.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at December 27, 2013 3:42 PM

What is the historic significance of this shop? Why keep the facade?

Posted by: sfholic at December 27, 2013 4:44 PM

"raising residential a bit higher for better views and less street noise"

Given that height limits are generally the limiting factor, above-ground parking doesn't "raise" residential, it replaces it.

Posted by: Alai at December 29, 2013 7:08 PM

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