999 Van Ness Avenue

When the Bentley and Lamborghini dealership at Van Ness and O’Farrell moved down the block and combined forces with British Motor Car earlier this year, we were inundated with questions of what was to become of the historic building at 999 Van Ness Avenue.

As we replied to those who inquired, while the site is zoned for development up to 130 feet in height, the historic building wasn’t about to be razed and a renovation of the existing showroom was underway.

And if all goes according to plan, Tesla Motors will open their first San Francisco showroom in the space this summer.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by sassySFboy

    Nice upscale add to Van Ness!

    • Posted by BTinSF

      So you’re saying Tesla is more “upscale” than Lamborghini?

  2. Posted by redseca2

    I will miss seeing the Lamborghini in the corner window while smashed and squeezed into a 38 Geary.

    • Posted by Notcom

      But you’ll be able to see a Tesla while s&s into an electric bus on Van Ness…less horsepower but much more irony!

      • Posted by van nessident

        Even more irony, by the time it opens the 49 will be running on diesel until Van Ness BRT is done

  3. Posted by soccermom

    The bassist (guitar player? can’t remember for sure) from Tesla owns a parcel in Sacramento that would be good to build on. I’ve tried to buy it two different times, but there’s no good sewer access, so you’d have to pay to put in two or three blocks worth of sewer main yourself.

    “Love Song” was a phenomenal merging of renaissance faire and redneckery. The live cover of “Signs” is obviously well known and with good reason.

    Surprised they can afford a showroom on Van Ness, but maybe they get more Spotify kickback money than I imagined.

    • Posted by EBGuy

      I think you misread the announcement. They’ll just be singing at the opening of the showroom. Spotify doesn’t pay that well (just ask David Lowery). SIlvery Legacy, now that’s real money.

  4. Posted by DemoSpecial

    Why is this a historic building? Looks like a promising pile of rubble.

    • Posted by AnonAnon

      I don’t know but please save the clock for me if you’re planning to tear it down.

    • Posted by Emanon

      Since you asked…. The building is related to the automobile industry in San Francisco and specifically the Van Ness Avenue corridor which was known as the city’s “Auto Row” from the 1910s through the 1980s. It was the last showroom for new automobiles built along Van Ness Avenue and was designed in the “Art Deco and Streamlined Moderne styles”.

      The building is eligible for listing on the California Register of Historical Resources under Criterion 1: “Associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local or regional history or the cultural heritage of California or the United States”; Criterion 2: “Associated with the lives of persons important to local, California or national history”; and Criterion 3: “Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, region or method of construction or represents the work of a master or possesses high artistic values”.

  5. Posted by Jaff

    Thanks Emanon. It’s nice to be reminded of the sound reasoning behind most preservation, especially in our rush to build the bland profit first residential boxes that will be taking up space for the next 100 or more years, ala Saitowitz.

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      Right, so if we just refuse to build anything eventually people will be forced to use the vacant / derelict buildings that haven’t been used in some time. We couldn’t possibly do anything to address the housing / density issues, that would hurt the cultural value of San Francisco.

  6. Posted by JRetail

    I am surprised Tesla hasn’t moved quicker into SF considering how many Teslas there are in the City. I’m even more surprised they haven’t paid to secure one of these last remaining gas station sites for a Supercharger station. I do commercial real estate and Auto Sales zoning is incredibly tough to find in SF. As stated above, this is a special use district in SF. I’d imagine having a site to do Service and Maintenance was very high up on their list as well. Has anyone heard of whats going on at 1595 Van Ness (Fiat/Maserati)? I know its currently registered to Fiat Chrysler in Michigan.

    • Posted by Dr. House

      Crazy, I didn’t know Chrysler owned the property. Isn’t that kinda uncommon with car dealerships?

      Anyway, I too am interested in seeing what happens with that property. But I worry it will sit on FCA’s books for 10 years without anyone there caring.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      Service isn’t a very big deal on electric cars.

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