923 Folsom Street Rendering
Trumark Urban’s proposed development of a nine-story building at 923 Folsom Street, adjacent to San Francisco’s new Fire Station #1 and across the Street from Mosso at 900 Folsom, has been approved.

Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the project includes 114 condos, 80 underground parking spaces, and 1,600 square feet of retail which will front Folsom Street.

923 Folsom Street Cafe

In addition to the nine-story building along Folsom, the development includes a four-story building on the south side of the lot fronting Shipley Street, with a rooftop deck and mid‐block courtyard for residents between the two.

923 Folsom: Shipley Facade

The planned unit mix for the development includes eight studios, 59 one-bedroom and 47 two-bedrooms.  Fourteen of the condos (one studio, eight one-bedrooms, and five two-bedrooms) will be for Below Market Rate buyers.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by blabla

    I am thankful for the trees that mask the horrors of the relentlessly ugly boxes that pass for architecture in these developments.

    • Posted by Futurist

      I am thankful for all the new trees being added to our city, along with new residential development. design will always be subjective. Any given design will NEVER please everyone. Let the architects do their job.

      • Posted by blabla

        Do their job? You mean maximizing developer profits?

        • Posted by seriously

          Last time I checked that’s how architecture worked.

        • Posted by woolie

          Yes. Most likely, the exact same mechanism used to build the structure you inhabit.

        • Posted by R

          You caught them?!

        • Posted by Futurist

          Profit from any kind of business enterprise is not illegal. Perhaps you would enjoy life better in Communist China in worker housing?

          • Posted by blabla

            Now that you mention it, that’s exactly what it looks like.

          • Posted by seriously

            if only people would build buildings for the goodness of their own kind… and rainbows… and sunflowers… and babies. not any of this evil dirty “profit” stuff! how DARE they TAINT, yes TAINT our fair city with their monies for buildings?! my house was built by bartering with a jute co-op.

          • Posted by jlasf

            Actually, China is producing more interesting and innovative architecture than we are. Look at the “Bird’s Nest” stadium by Herzog & DeMeuron and the CCTV building by Koolhaas.

          • Posted by seriously

            it’s a wonderful thing when you don’t have any unions or workers rights. those people move into camp towns and work 24 hours on buildings. in america, labor is always more expensive that materials.

  2. Posted by Howard Rourke

    Why have these out-of-town architects selected our city to ruin with their half-baked designs? It’s almost as if SCB & Architectonica are in competition with each other on who can design a worse building. I guess I should be thankful this project is not 40+ stories tall. SCB has already ruined our skyline with a few of those!

    • Posted by Futurist

      Oh boo hoo. Our poor skyline.
      Then go to school for 5 years, get some experience, take the architects licensing exam, and IF you pass then open your own firm to design what you think is NOT half baked.

      The armchair critics here never cease to amaze with me with their uninformed rant about design.

      • Posted by SFJohn

        Anyone on here is a critic, including those who say they’ve been to Architecture school….

      • Posted by jlasf

        How can we distinguish between “informed” and “uninformed” rants? Should we require an arts or architecture degree before posting opinions? Having studied architecture and worked with a great
        architect, I would put myself in the “informed” category. But, perhaps not.

    • Posted by steve

      Don’t forget Handel Architects

    • Posted by Balanced

      The type of buildings being built here are being built all over the world right now, no one has “selected our city to ruin”. It’s all about economics. There are amazing buildings being built in countries where labor costs are a fraction of what they are here, like Singapore and Russia. And there are amazing buildings being built in places that simply have more money than San Francisco, like New York and London.

      Everything that’s being built here now is a vast improvement over the vapid 1960s boxes, the viral 1980s Richmond Specials, and the infestation of flat-front one story Victorians that are not only ugly but functionally obsolete.

    • Posted by Chris

      I think these posts lamenting the design of these new buildings most be from out-of-towers. Those of use who live in SF know SOMA is flat and ugly, has no trees, and it is full of poorly maintained, old, and ugly buildings (there are a handful of exceptions, but most of the buildings should be torn down). Any new building going up in SOMA is an improvement simply because it is not a rundown ugly building.

    • Posted by Brad

      They are not ruining anything. These new buildings are not replacing anything worth keeping.

  3. Posted by Ari

    Question: who would you both suggest as a architecturally more pleasing alternative to the current plans..just curious

  4. Posted by jill

    this is remarkably few units for the amount of land it is taking. why are people building for the present instead of the future? this ugly squat short suburban box will be here for another 50 yrs.

  5. Posted by Jerry of San Fran

    I like those balconies.

  6. Posted by enzo

    Mannerism.

  7. Posted by anon2

    Profit from any kind of business enterprise is not illegal. Perhaps you would enjoy life better in Communist China in worker housing?

    But the market produces both French Laundries and Denny’s, Folgers and Blue Bottles, Googles and Zyngas, exceptional buildings and bland ones.

    People want what they want and the market will provide. So the solution is to advocate for smarter behavior on the demand side.

    If you think that a Grand Slam breakfast is the pinnacle of haute cuisine it’s not the market’s fault if most restaurants are Denny’s quality. And it doesn’t make someone who advocates for better quality food a Communist.

    • Posted by Futurist

      The trouble with that train of thought is that the “market”, or call it the “public” or the “average man/woman on the street” simply does not know, nor understand, anything about urban architectural design. they don’t like, or rarely like what is being built here in SF. and they don’t really know why, they just don’t. they simply reduce their idea of “critique” to calling it a suburban box, or half baked.

      Does it matter? not really. Architects don’t really care what the public thinks. Architects work for, and care about what the developer owner wants, what works for approvals, what fits the budget, and very importantly the particular design philosophy/ideology of that particular architect.

      That’s what really matters. That’s how design works.

      • Posted by blabla

        I would argue that architects should design buildings for the people who live in and near them. And that’s what really matters.

        • Posted by Futurist

          Ok, elaborate on what you just said. Architects do exactly what you would like them to do.

          Architectural design is a business and a service. They are in it to make money, not always much, and developers are in the business to make money. Trust me: these units will all sell and quickly.

      • Posted by Can't think of Cool Name

        Sounds like its time for architects to control their future. They should give being a “developer owner” a shot, and as they talk about in tech – be a vertically integrated provider. That should lead to some very interesting designs totally conceived of, developed and marketed by the architects.

  8. Posted by Sierrajeff

    The design’s fine.

    I’m just somewhere between chortling and aghast that housing is what someone wants to build adjacent to a fire station.

    • Posted by mow

      That’s true. I remember when the station was next to the W Hotel some of the guests would complain about the constant emergency vehicle noise. It will require a lot of sound proofing.

    • Posted by jlasf

      I would assume/expect that they would install additional sound insulation to….um….insulate them from the issues that potential buyers might have with that location.

  9. Posted by Gary Keim

    @Sierrajeff: Yes. I live between 7th & 8th and I’ve started to seriously wonder if my tinnitus has been caused by the god-awful number of emergency vehicles that pass by daily and not that Who concert I attended in ’78. I now plug my ears.

  10. Posted by Ken

    Ten more please! Decent density and design is design, WE NEED HOUSING.

  11. Posted by MarketSt

    I think it looks fine… Nice even! But I’m middle aged+, so I do also understand the pleasure and self-satisfaction that comes from bitching about new things … “They just don’t make them like they used to in my day, the seventies!! Now THAT was architecture”

  12. Posted by jamesjr

    Why only four stories on Shipley?

    • Posted by Futurist

      I believe it’s to scale down the massing on that side to relate to the existing context and height of Shipley.

  13. Posted by jamesjr

    Sierrajeff: The noise IS a problem there. I’m at 4th and Folsom and very glad not to be at 5th and Folsom next to the new fire station.

  14. Posted by dlepotrero

    And then we’d have tons of great looking sketches that receive accolades for design and never get built.

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