1532 Howard Site

Shuttered three years ago this month, the former Suriya Thai restaurant space at 1532 Howard Street has been vacant since. But plans to raze the restaurant and construct a six-story building which would rise 55-feet in height and include 15 Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units (i.e., studios with kitchenettes) on the site have just been granted an exemption from a lengthy environmental review and are close to being permitted.

1532 Howard Street Design

1532 Howard Street Typical Floor Plan

As designed, the 15 units average around 300 square feet apiece and the project doesn’t include any commercial space nor parking except for 8 bikes in the rear yard.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by soccermom

    Does the applicant call them SRO’s or is Socketsite calling them that? Maybe calling them SRO’s in the application process seems more palatable to those approving the plans, and then you call them studios when you market them?

    I thought normally SRO connoted a shared bathroom(?) I don’t imagine anyone in New York would ever call a studio apartment an SRO. Not that New York parlance is particularly important, just that “studio apartments” seem more prevalent there.

    As for the design and density, this is what we will get from here on out. Tokyo dimensions squeezed into buildable envelopes and the good lord help us if Uber gets shut down, because parking is getting incrementally more competitive with each smallish project like this. Nice bike idea, but on a Friday night when it’s raining and you’re out for a nice dinner and a few drinks…

    • Posted by Joel

      SROs have certain exemptions from code requirements (I think open space & exposure…)

    • Posted by Jon Schwark

      If you are out for a few drinks on friday night you shouldn’t be driving home anyway.

      • Posted by soccermom

        A designated driver should. Please read Socketsite responsibly.

  2. Posted by Oh Dear

    SRO=PC=WSOMA

  3. Posted by curmudgeon

    Friday night – rain – dinner and drinks…..suck up to Uber surge pricing. Not so bad considering the avoided cost of car ownership and parking tickets.

    • Posted by soccermom

      Totally agree. I just hope the taxi lobby or some other vested interest doesn’t find a way to regulate the system into inconvenience and expense. For relatively short intra city trips Uber provides a much more immediate and low cost alternative to getting around than a massive infratstructure project ever will. It’s too much to hope for a Geary subway. Just don’t make all of the people who move into this building wait for a finite number of taxicabs driven in 12 hour shifts by weary newcomers.

  4. Posted by GoBlueInSF

    SROs can have bathrooms. Many of city’s subsidized SRO buildings, for example, have individual bathrooms and kitchenettes (typically, a two burner stovetop, small sink with a single cabinet above, half-sized fridge). And then often a larger shared communal kitchen on the ground floor.

    Modern SROs = microhousing, for the most part.

    The shared bathroom thing is really an outdated model that you see in old SROs that typically started out their lives 100 years ago as boarding houses. Which is basically what they still are. We’ve just changed the name to avoid certain connotations which make NIMBYs feel icky.

  5. Posted by Frisco

    Interesting to think that much of the Tenderloin was built as “residence hotels” for traveling workers, and we’ve come around to that model again with the tech/1099 economy here. SROs are a viable model for the City’s current labor force.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      but what happens in a big downturn. will it be another 6th street?

  6. Posted by Vanillablue

    I miss Suriya Thai.

  7. Posted by SanctuaryChitty

    Gotta make room for the endless supply of bums the city is so eager to attract. Perhaps if we stopped luring them here, they would stop coming (or being sent by bus, i.e. Nevada). The imported bums don’t enhance the quality of life for San Francisco residents one iota.

  8. Posted by Jamie

    Is this another instance where the 55′ height is intended for a 15′ first floor retail space but Planning is allowing abuse of the zoning because they don’t stand for anything?

  9. Posted by Mrmagcore

    What this neighborhood needs is more ground-floor retail. That is the only thing that will clean up the streets.

  10. Posted by mamiel

    Suriya was my favorite Thai place in San Francisco.

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