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The Local Development Group has officially filed their application to raze the former Bay Lighting & Design building and adjacent parking lot on the northeast corner of Folsom and Rausch and construct a mixed-use development with 112 residential units, 5,600 square feet of ground floor retail, and 100 parking stalls on the West SoMa site.

While currently known as the 1140 Folsom Street project, the development which is being designed by BAR Architects will be dubbed 99 Rausch.

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The design details and full Rausch Street facade by way of a plugged-in source:

The plan is to demolish the existing commercial building on the site and construct a project that will include 45 two-bedroom units, 52 one-bedroom units and 15 studios at a height of 6 stories along Folsom and 4 stories along the Rausch frontage. Additionally, one level of underground parking would be access from Rausch Street. We are excited to activate the Folsom frontage with ground-floor retail and building entrances where the current building has only a blank façade all along Folsom.

The project design builds on the unique character of the Rausch Street neighborhood. The Folsom façade highlights three elements. First, a clearly defined retail base will enhance the pedestrian experience by lowering the façade’s scale and providing richness with stone material and storefront variety. The housing above the retail is appropriately scaled with large windows and brick material, reminiscent of several brick buildings along Folsom Street. Finally, the corner of Folsom and Rausch will be accentuated by a lighter structure with expansive windows to create a sense of openness and maximize views. The developer is committed to activating the street-level experience along Folsom where they propose sidewalk bulb-outs at Folsom/Rausch, public bicycle parking, and enhanced landscaping at street level designed by landscape architect Cliff Lowe.

Along Rausch, the project utilizes a rhythm of smaller scaled units that is contextual to the charming nature of the existing environment. The project steps down to four stories along Rausch and the building features garden stoop entrances, enhanced landscaping and trees to activate the sidewalk experience. Bay windows will also reduce the scale along Rausch and provide southern light and views to the residents.

The full Rausch Street facade and elevation, click the rendering to enlarge:

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by woolie

    Again, ideal infill project. I’d just make the entire structure 6 stories, not just the corner. And less parking.

  2. Posted by Sam

    I’m skeptical the retail will be even remotely interesting, but fine enough

  3. Posted by Gary Keim

    I live in the adjacent building and will lose my views to this project…. but I like it. Big improvement. In the end, everyone loses their views. ;^)

  4. Posted by anon

    Corner should be minimum 10-12 stories, with 6-8 for the rest. No idea why we would want a street this enormously wide to have only four story buildings.

  5. Posted by enzo

    Looks great, until you get to the standard fare housing in the middle of the Rausche facade. An unfortunate but probably necessary capitulation. The grid element on the corner with infill panels is rich and elegant, complemented by the simple, honest and unapologetic massing next to it on Folsom.

  6. Posted by Futurist

    Actually the street isn’t “enormously wide”.
    And Folsom works quite well with this height limit. It feels right and is an appropriate scale within the context of this particular neighborhood.
    Plus it’s right across from the Powerhouse bar.:)

  7. Posted by BernalDweller

    @Futurist. Not across the street from the Powerhouse, which is at Dore and Folsom (bet 9th and 10th). This is near 7th and Folsom.

  8. Posted by Futurist

    Darn, well close enuf.

  9. Posted by Sam

    @Futurist
    “It feels right”
    Oh, ok

  10. Posted by Gary Keim

    City Beer, Bloodhound.

  11. Posted by Mark

    One of the major drawbacks of the western SOMA development plan is the lack of appropriate height in many places. I’m not pushing for Rinconization of the entire area, but this development easily could be doubled in the number of units without adversely affecting the “character” of the neighborhood.
    This stretch of Folsom is wide…4 lanes of one-way traffic speaks “freeway” to me. Perhaps the city should consider making it a two-way street with a center median to create a different flow and feel.

  12. Posted by S

    @Mark – that’s actually the plan. there will be a lot of changes coming to the south of market streets that will include 2 way streets, bike lanes, and dedicated bus lanes.

  13. Posted by Sierrajeff

    The long side is along Rausch, which is a narrow street (1 lane plus parking on each side). The short side is along Folsom. 4 stories is perfectly adequate for Rausch; more would turn it into a dark alley – which I think is the opposite of what’s intended here.
    This is no different than building 4-story row houses along the E-W streets in Manhattan, such as on the Lower or Upper East Side, off the main avenues. (Which, BTW, creates a perfectly nice neighborhood.) Not everything need be a tower reaching for the sky.

  14. Posted by Futurist

    Yea Same. It does “feel right”.
    Urban planning and architecture are not exact sciences. The successes are not just based on pure numbers, dimensions and calculations.
    But sometimes “failures” occur because those are the ONLY metrics put into the equation. The human emotion of how something may feel is an equally important element.
    There is a reason for the Golden Mean. The Greeks knew what they were doing.

  15. Posted by anon

    6 stories is hardly a tower, Sierrajeff.

  16. Posted by Frank C.

    Given the housing shortage, 10 to 12 stories minimum on a site like this. I’d say even that’s too small.
    If anyone thinks that that’s “too big” for SF in 2014 on this street, please say where you think 12, 20, and 30+ story buildings actually should go, in the quantity that would get us 50k units.
    To me, that’s everywhere along the Eastern waterfront and most parcels in SOMA.

  17. Posted by the wolf

    agree with the others. this could easily been 10 stories. Why waste the space? new space to buid on is hard to come by

  18. Posted by james jr

    Taller, taller, taller.
    More 3 BR units for families.
    If not here, where?

  19. Posted by Mark

    @Frank C., the wolf and james jr.: thank you.

  20. Posted by Futurist

    Families will not be able to afford these, unless these are heavily subsidized.
    I hope the height stays at 6 floors along Folsom. This is human scale. This is a livable “neighborhood” scale.

  21. Posted by Fishchum

    Futurist – So anything over 6 stories isn’t a “livable, neighborhood” scale? How do all those people in New York and Chicago manage?

  22. Posted by Jim

    An urban design guideline, used at least since the middle ages, recognizes that the eye, looking straight forward, sees 45 degrees in each direction. If Folsom St is 85′ wide building face to building face, and your eye is 5′ above ground, then a building 90′ (or something like 9 residential stories) will not block the “open” feel of the sky. If the building is shorter, the experience is “suburban” as opposed to “urban” and not pedestrian friendly. As the building gets higher the experience becomes more enclosed and pedestrian scale. At some point, (several times the 45 degree angle height) continuous buildings create a canyon, where the sky is mostly blocked out. This general guideline would suggest that the height limits in the Eastern Neighborhoods plan are too low (and this building is too low) to begin to change the suburban auto-oriented feel of Folsom Street into an urban pedestrian scaled space.

  23. Posted by JL

    Yes, ideally this would be taller, but it’s being built to the height limits established in the Western SOMA Plan that was passed last year.
    Previously, the whole parcel was zoned to to 50 feet. The plan changed it to 65 feet along Folsom and 40 feet along Rausch. This is solid infill, and if it conforms to the Western SOMA Plan, it will sail through the approval process (relatively speaking).
    Before: http://www.sf-planning.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7503
    After: http://commissions.sfplanning.org/soma/WesternSoMa_Final%20Adopted_Heights.pdf

  24. Posted by Futurist

    So maybe all of you who simply are obsessed with taller height limits, I suggest you petition the BOS and the Planning Commission to change the Western Soma plan to reflect your desires to make ALL buildings taller.
    Rather than working with and accepting the current in place zoning controls, make changes to suit your desires. Good luck.
    @ Fishchum, I would just say this: Once AGAIN, we are not NY or Chicago nor is there any compelling need to be like them. Many neighborhoods with very tall buildings are canyons of dark, shadow and wind a lot of the time. We don’t have to emulate that.
    If so, then prove to us why.

  25. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Accommodation for growth is a compelling reason to build taller.

  26. Posted by Fischum

    “canyons of dark, shadow and wind a lot of the time.”
    - Yes, this is what springs to mind when I think of Manhattan’s UES and UWS.
    Instead, let’s continue to under build, virtually guaranteeing anyone making under the salary median will be unable to afford to buy in San Francisco.

  27. Posted by Futurist

    Building taller has nothing to do with affordability, Fishchum.
    High cost of housing here, as you know, can be traced way back to many definable issues: land cost, lack of new land, cost (salaries) of construction, entitlements, fees, delays, and more delays. I doubt that will change.
    If current thinking really wants and demands re-visiting the zoning and height limits of neighborhoods, then people need to begin to build consensus and seriously lobby City Hall to make changes.
    Instead of just complaining here on SS.

  28. Posted by Fishchum

    San Francisco has a housing crisis. Period. The fact that this area is only being built up 5 stories so close to downtown and transit access is absolutely asinine. There’s absolutely no logical reason for this while a few blocks away we have 30+ story towers.

  29. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The approach that Futurist suggests is the way to go: influence politics to change zoning. The problem is that the tenured elite (whether via RC or prop13) votes and has no motivation to accommodate growth. They have shown their willingness to hobble future generations so the current residents don’t need to deal with new construction. That’s essentially greed of a less monetary form. This is not just a SF problem, it is pervasive throughout “the Real California”.

  30. Posted by Futurist

    Oh, I don’t mind dealing with new construction. I support it at all levels: while working within the current zoning and height limit laws.
    Example: There are several new homes being built near me here in Noe. They are much taller than the adjacent houses, but they fit WITHIN the approved 40′ height limit. All good. The complaining neighbors seem to forget that their little one level 100 year old cottage is way BELOW the existing height limit. That’s their problem.
    And it is perfectly logical to build up Western Soma to 5 stories. It meets zoning and height. 30 story buildings are perfectly appropriate when that particular area is zoned for 30 story buildings.
    And fishchum: Building taller does not address any affordability “crisis”. If so, then why aren’t the units at 1 Rincon and other high rises affordable to tons of average working class, middle class people?
    Unless your solution is to build massive Chinese style, subsidized blocks of housing for anyone who WANTS to live in SF proper. Good luck with quality of life then.

  31. Posted by cmak

    I still don’t get the argument that more housing, regardless of level, won’t help the current situation (and orgs like SPUR don’t either).
    anecdotally, I currently live in a unit that’s very affordable for me atm (not under RC, btw). I’ve been there for almost 5 years now, but now that there are some new developments n the area I’m thinking about making a jump to a higher-amenity unit in a new building, which will free up my place for someone else who may not be able to afford 1RH or whatever.
    Housing is needed across all bands. Please point me to any study that shows that more housing, regardless of bracket, will *not* help the situation (genuinely interested here).

  32. Posted by Futurist

    Here’s why:
    More housing, built un-limited is just more housing. Prices will not come down but will simply allow higher income groups to move here. Is that bad or good? IMO it’s fine.
    No one has a “god given right” to live here, as someone here also recently said. There are lots of other less expensive places to live just outside of SF than here.
    More housing, especially more tall housing will simply add to our density, our traffic, our loss of the quality of life that is UNIQUE to SF.
    I’m all for balanced growth, but not growth for growth’s sake, just so we can become a city of 2m and puff up to compete with Chicago and NY.
    Not gonna happen.

  33. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    cmak, depends on what you are referring to as “the current situation”.
    SPUR and CRG are in my mind primarily propaganda organs pushing pro developer arguments, sorta like The Cato Institute does for politics at the U.S. federal level. If one thinks “the current situation” is that real estate developers in S.F. don’t have an easy enough time exploring money making opportunities, then one would easily accept their point of view uncritically.
    I don’t agree that “housing is needed across all bands”, there are plenty of choices for the rich people in The City. Point me to any study that shows there is a shortage of housing for the wealthy.
    What I believe is “the current situation” is that there is a shortage of housing that people who have jobs in San Francisco can afford to purchase. And I don’t mean the median household can’t afford the median unit on the market, either (I believe that’s a common metric in real estate markets).
    I haven’t checked recently, but you can probably take a standard deviation above the median household here and that household can’t afford the median unit on the market.

  34. Posted by Futurist

    Then, guess what Brahma?
    They can’t afford to buy here. Then they buy elsewhere.
    Why is that such a complex idea to some (many)? It’s not rocket science.

  35. Posted by Fishchum

    Of course Futurist advocates the current SOMA zoning the way it is. Like any property owner, a scarcity of housing inflates his homes value.
    We have a lack of supply. That’s clear to anyone. Will building more housing all of a sudden open units at ORH to someone making the median? No, it won’t. But more housing, as expensive as it may be, will draw buyers away from other neighborhoods and units that they’ve been forced to look in. All of a sudden the buyers looking at new housing won’t be at that open house in a less expensive part of town.
    It amazes me that people like Futurist look at the current housing situation and think “let’s keep things the way they are” despite the fact that it’s this kind of thinking that got us here in first place.

  36. Posted by Jake

    Can anyone estimate how much money would be saved by the developer if they built an extra 28 units (25% more) on top of this building instead of building them as a second project of similar density to this plan on a bare lot a block away or a mile away in the dog patch?
    I’m not looking for detail, just a reasonable number or range.

  37. Posted by Futurist

    Trouble is fishchum, you don’t listen or get it.
    Your attitude seems to always be an “us vs. them” way of thinking. House values, like mine or others will always vary, up or down. Regardless of more new housing. My house value is not going down just because there could be a flood of new condos/houses. Those people looking to buy a condo are not in the market for a house, nor can they probably afford it.
    I was very confused about your statement that some buyers are “forced” to look in other neighborhoods. Really? forced? wow.
    And what exactly is wrong with a less expensive part of town? I have no sympathy for the buyers who whine and complain about prices in Upper Market/Valencia/Dolores corridor, AND yet refuse to look south of Glen Park. Boo Hoo. Cry me a big wet river.
    You really should re-read my previous comments. No where did I say I want things to stay the way they are. I stated I am all for “balanced growth”.
    And I believe the Western Soma plan represents that.

  38. Posted by Fishchum

    “balanced growth”
    The Western SoMa Plan in no way represents “balanced growth”. 5 stories when only a few blocks away there are 30+ story hi-rises? How exactly is this “balanced”? Balanced growth would be buildings in Western SoMa twice this height.
    Buyers looking in the Upper Market/Valencia/Dolores corridor who don’t buy get pushed to the outer neighborhoods, driving up prices and putting those neighborhoods out of the reach of families making the median. Increase the supply in the UM/V/D and SoMa corridors and it takes the pressure off the outer neighborhood.
    It’s simple supply and demand.

  39. Posted by Gregg

    “99 Rausch”? How many people do you think will show up thinking that this place is a “99 Ranch” grocery store?

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