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The former warehouse building on the southwest corner of Townsend and 2nd Streets is preparing for a makeover which will remove the non-historic elements from its façade (fire escapes, ducts and pipes), replace the windows, and repaint with a new color scheme.
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And if approved, a deck will be constructed on the roof, although the deck seems to have been rendered without the new building between 101 Townsend and the ballpark:


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The 43,500 square foot building is slated to be available for occupancy at the beginning of June and will return to the market in warm shell condition following the makeover.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Turin

    The deck looks cool, but frankly they should save their money on the rest of the exterior makeover. I like it better as is versus the proposed new look.

  2. Posted by Serge

    The color change doesn’t appear to be necessary, but I do like that they removed the exterior ducting and fire escape. Which makes me wonder, is that just for the sake of the rendering or will they actually be removed?
    [Editor's Note: Removed (as reported above).]

  3. Posted by David

    Does this building actually have historic value (e.g. something important happened there), or is it simply old? Honestly, it’s a rather boring looking building.

  4. Posted by Sierrajeff

    blah Phoenix colors – inappropriate for S.F.’s light, or this neighborhood generally. & I can understand removing the ductwork and such, but it does add character – surprised if the NIMBY’s don’t complain over the loss of “industrial” feel.
    should be required to do new renderings given the (hardly new) building next door. fact is this building is lower than anything around it now, so the deck seems kind of silly. Would rather see them install a couple set-back penthouse floors (and maybe a roof deck on top of *that*).

  5. Posted by hal

    Thankfully they plan to remove the shoe hanging from the overhead line.

  6. Posted by R

    “should be required to do new renderings”
    Why? Who cares? This is a minor fix up of an old building – should be very minimal need to review anything here.

  7. Posted by Serge

    David: This was the site of J.S. Hammond & Company, Car and Eleveator Works. They built cable cars for SF.
    http://www.midcontinent.org/rollingstock/builders/hammond.htm
    On the topic of the building looking bland, I would say that it looks as bland as the boxes being built today. At least this one has some provenance.

  8. Posted by Sierrajeff

    @R – One can argue over whether a private landowner should have to go for approval for something as innocuous as a roof deck. I’d certainly entertain arguments that the answer is “no”.
    But the powers that be have decided otherwise – not just in S.F., where permitting restrictions are particularly onerous, but under code schemes across much of the country. And so long as that’s the rule – that this requires a permit – then the officials assessing the permit should get information that’s accurate, not a completely misleading, incorrect portrayal.
    [Editor's Note: The rendering of the roof deck is from the marketing materials for the building versus the first rendering above which is from the permit application for the project and accurately includes the building next door.]

  9. Posted by S

    Go Serge! lol

  10. Posted by emanon

    Jeff, just curious. What bearing do you think the (missing) adjacent building would have on the decision to permit a deck?

  11. Posted by Mark

    I don’t know…many other cities have embraced their warehouse districts so why not in SF. Not every renovation or construction has to be a bland, boxy condo building with tiny balconies that few residents actually use.

  12. Posted by jsimms3

    So much better as-is. The proposal is…yawn…zzzzzzzz.
    They can improve the ground floor/entrance without screwing up the current look of the building (and I like the fire escape…can do without the duct work, but even that makes the building slightly more “interesting”).
    And I’m far far far from a NIMBY. Love a good tower. But I also see an architectural deterioration when there is one.

  13. Posted by rlv

    love that shoe more than their new color scheme.

  14. Posted by joh

    The shoe will probably still be there, until it is deemed historic. The rendering simply excludes the shoe from the frame of the image, as the perspective is clearly from a closer vantage point, not to mention the tighter crop.

  15. Posted by Observer

    Another good project, would like to have see a couple of floors added to this one.

  16. Posted by jwb

    I see they also eliminated two muni trolley lines.

  17. Posted by emanon

    “I see they also eliminated two muni trolley lines.” and the street signs, the parking restriction signs, the broken asphalt, the bike share…. So what?
    This game makes me feel like I’m a kid at the dentist again reading Highlights.

  18. Posted by cvp

    The reason this project needs to be reviewed is because the building is a contributor to the South End Historic District, one of the City’s older historic districts, and one of two centered around historic warehouses. It is plain because it is a warehouse. A building does not need to have a bunch of ornament to be attractive. Don’t you all like the nice steel industrial windows? Nice, eh?

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