January 23, 2014
Market Street Site Zoned For 400-Foot Tower In Play
Sitting on a prime corner parcel that was partially up-zoned for development up to 400 feet in height as part of San Francisco's Market & Octavia Plan, the Boas family is preparing to sell the two-story Honda dealership at the intersection of Market and South Van Ness Ave.
The potential 400-foot tower would be built on the southern portion of the triangular parcel with the Market Street frontage rising up to 120 feet in height. As the parcel's development was envisioned by Brand + Allen back in 2007:
An estimated 500 to 700 housing units could be built on the site.
∙ San Francisco’s Market & Octavia Neighborhood Plan Moves Forward [SocketSite]
∙ Market Street Honda dealership site revs up for housing [Business Times]
First Published: January 23, 2014 11:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I can't complain, considering this is one of the more disgusting major intersections in the city. Funny that there will be towers on all four corners plus the tiny donut shop.
Posted by: Mark at January 23, 2014 12:02 PM
The tower should be at the corner with Market Street, not set back. Towers - at least at major intersections - should be intersection landmarks, not buried in the interior of the lot.
Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 23, 2014 12:12 PM
Unbelievable. With 1 Van Ness still chugging through the planning department, and Goodwill and the Honda Dealership looking like they may want to sell, this intersection will look radically different 10 years from now. So exciting, especially since NEMA came out looking nice, in my opinion.
Posted by: JWS at January 23, 2014 12:17 PM
I like the set back of the tower especially given that the building takes up the entire block. Now, if the building only comprised a section of the site then perhaps I can see the want for a tower fronting Market St. directly.
Posted by: Mark at January 23, 2014 12:25 PM
now if the city would only take out that fugly overhead freeway running over division and turn it into a boulevard connecting to octavia. doing so would open up almost a mile of division st. for new development without few if any housing impacts.
Posted by: MossyBuddha at January 23, 2014 12:37 PM
So now the plumber's union hotel's "residents" just across the street will have some more people to bother. LOL
Posted by: What to do at January 23, 2014 1:06 PM
@Sierrajeff et al: The tower probably can't be at the corner of Market. The BART tunnel runs under this site and severely constricts potential foundations for whatever is built on it according to the SF Business Times. Their article implied this placement of the tower is about the best, or only, option.
Also, of course, there is the zoning: Right on Market it's only 120 ft.
Posted by: BTinSF at January 23, 2014 1:10 PM
Also the location of the old Fillmore West.
Posted by: EH at January 23, 2014 1:12 PM
@What to do: Reportedly, the Plumbers' Union is considering a sale for development also.
Posted by: BTinSF at January 23, 2014 1:12 PM
My comment was more directed towards zoning... though I find it hard to imagine that they couldn't build a tower over the BART tunnels, given similar structures built over even larger rail spacees in other cities (see, e.g., Chicago and the original Prudential tower).
As far as tearing down the freeway stub over Division - sure, there'd be "few if any housing impacts". But there'd be a helluva lot of traffic impacts. Traffic on Division itself is often backed up, as is the freeway above. Not sure how you propose to put the two together into the same space without creating a nightmare (oh, wait, I know - somehow a huge percent of those people will decide to abandon their cars and take transit or bike...).
Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 23, 2014 1:50 PM
They will need more MUNI entrances/exits on those corners from the streetcar tunnel to accomodate all those riders going to all those apartments.
Posted by: noe mom at January 23, 2014 1:54 PM
I wonder what the chance is for this or one of the other lots to get a taller, landmark tower. The growing cluster of 400' buildings is not too interesting from a skyline perspective.
Posted by: Snark17 at January 23, 2014 2:04 PM
Taller? With OG Manhattanization-reminder Fox Plaza within eyeshot, it's highly doubtful.
Posted by: EH at January 23, 2014 2:12 PM
Hope the design for the Honda site is more exciting than what's shown from 2007.
Setbacks are what will allow the skyline to be defined, so definitely a good thing.
A landmark in SF––not very often, but if #1 Van Ness ever gets built as planned, it will certainly be the showplace of the intersection.
Purportedly there are a couple more sites being looked at in the area. The property at the corner of 12th & Otis, currently A&M Carpets, is supposedly for sale. I also heard from another neighbor that the Tower Car Wash and Chevron Station at 1601 Mission may be for sale. I haven't had that verified, and as of today the tax records don't show a sale there.
Posted by: Mark et Van Ness at January 23, 2014 2:24 PM
Currently, there are 4 entry/exit points to the Van Ness Station. Perhaps adding some escalators wouldn't be a bad idea (with protective canopies).
Now if we could only demolish Fox Plaza...
Removing the freeway over Division could be a great way to integrate western SOMA with Mid-Market, but reconfiguration of streets to work with the new boulevard will pose a challenge (challenge, not impossibility).
Posted by: Mark at January 23, 2014 2:24 PM
I used to walk by the Honda dealership every day over the past several months as it renovated, oddly wondering if this was somehow in preparation for a big development on the site.
Would there have been any advantage to doing this?
Posted by: Scott at January 23, 2014 2:47 PM
All right Lee, now's the time to see if you are just full of hot air, or if you are really serious about putting your 7 point plan into play.
Posted by: sf at January 23, 2014 2:47 PM
Will they ever be able to get rid of the All Star Cafe at the corner by 1 Van Ness? It is/will be a horrible eyesore. Is the owner holding out for a higher price? Can it be claimed under eminent domain?
[Editor's Note: See: Details For The Starchitect Designed SF Tower Dubbed One Van Ness.]
Posted by: jlasf at January 23, 2014 3:28 PM
Should be a landmark for being Carousel Ballroom then the Fillmore West. At least a plaque or something!
Posted by: Music Lover at January 23, 2014 3:37 PM
As a SF Honda patron this location has been outstanding. I can leave the car and use the MUNI underground to return home.
Posted by: d-b at January 23, 2014 4:10 PM
with Goodwill, SFMTA going the route of being developed and looking at 50M each I was wondering when the Honda location would be put in play, anyone else think the Public Storage is going next?
Posted by: Joseph A at January 23, 2014 4:15 PM
Pretty sure the $1 million renovation was before Boas family decided to sell. Even if they sell the site, they will probably lease back pending entitlements, and so the improvements could be worth it.
Posted by: JKD at January 23, 2014 4:41 PM
@Music Lover - exactly; if the ultimate developer's smart, they'll call it the "Fillmore West Tower" (assuming there are no trademark rights issues).
re: recent Honda site renovations - it may have been part of a required upgrade per a franchise agreement, over which they had no control. And it doesn't hurt to spiffy up the place, in case a sale doesn't go through.
Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 23, 2014 5:02 PM
Both of these sites went on the market before the last downturn. NEMA was originally purchased for a little under $30 million. Besides what is being built all over town - does the market / the city have legs to entitle and build these projects or will the market slow down?
Posted by: blabla at January 23, 2014 5:56 PM
Also , even if the market slows down there is a huge demand for housing in San Francisco , the only make or break is how much is being spent for the land these developments will be built on ,
Posted by: Joseph A at January 24, 2014 11:10 AM
They can't completely "get rid of" All Star Café, since that's where the elevator access to Van Ness Station is. I hope the new building isn't too tall...towers might look cool from a distance but they suck for neighbors in lower profile buildings.
Posted by: Lee S. at January 24, 2014 12:42 PM
Of course they can get rid of All Star. It's not like the MUNI elevator runs through the building.
Posted by: Mark at January 24, 2014 2:46 PM
*sigh*... I feel that something public and grand should be at Market and Van Ness. You know, something to mark the center of the city. Like a big square or park or something. Not a big private skyscraper on each corner.
Posted by: MutationStation at January 24, 2014 8:08 PM
Congratulations, they found a way to build something even uglier than a car dealership!
Posted by: yermom72 at January 25, 2014 5:33 AM