98 Franklin Street Site

San Francisco’s Planning Department has completed its preliminary review of the French American International School’s proposed 320-foot tower to rise on its parking lot site at 98 Franklin Street in Hayes Valley. And beyond the proposed height, for which the school has a plan, the Department didn’t raise any substantial red flags.

While the Franklin Street site, which includes a spur to Market, is currently only zoned for development up to 85-feet in height, it falls within the borders of San Francisco’s Market Street HUB Project, which includes increased building heights of up to 600 feet.

And while the City’s draft plan for the 98 Franklin Street parcel had envisioned a height limit of 160 feet, the school is requesting that it simply be doubled to 320.

As designed by Handel Architects, the 31-story tower would yield over 70,000 square feet of new campus space, along with over 300 units of housing, 5,900 square feet of restaurant/retail space on the ground floor, and an underground garage for upwards of 150 cars.

Speaking of which, noting the project’s “central, transit-rich location…as well as the significant long-term capital improvements planned for Van Ness Avenue (BRT) and Market Street,” the City’s Street Design Advisory Team has recommended that the school consider reducing or removing all of the proposed parking from its plans.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Metroliner

    Why remove the parking? I “get” that the city wants people to use transit, but they can also have cars. Being in the real estate industry, no parking hurts the sale and re-sale of a unit. Let there be parking, even if it just houses a car to use on the weekends.

    • Posted by Alai

      The obvious answer is traffic concerns. A garage for 150 cars means 150 more cars driving around central San Francisco, likely every day. Sure, people say “oh it’ll only be for the weekends”, but if you’re paying for a car and paying for a parking space, you’re probably going to be using it a lot more often than that.

      And if it’s hurting the sale and re-sale price that you’re concerned about, well, there are a heck of a lot of other regulations that should probably be addressed first…

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        no it doesn’t mean 150 more cars going around every day. likely 100 cars will exist from these tenants, even without parking, and will cause daily congestion and circling for parking. Having 150 off street storage spots might lead to 30 cars on the street daily, but will keep the congestion of street circling down.

        • Posted by Alai

          Gee, it’s almost like first-come-first-served isn’t the best way to manage scarce resources.

      • Posted by Metroliner

        “Traffic” I’m not so concerned about. The issue is off-street parking spaces for cars that will inevitably come with new development.

        With 300 new homes, maybe 50% will go car-free. What about those other 150 cars? We need to plan that there will be people, no matter how good other transit options are, are going to own a car and there has to be a space to put it.

        Tax payer funded street parking or self-funded (they buy or rent it) parking in the building? Keep the parking or be sensible and adopt a 1:1 off-street parking ratio to unclog the streets.

      • Posted by Brian J Keil

        My son goes to French American and the parking is desperately needed in the area. It’s nearly impossible to find parking around the school currently.

      • Posted by John Pickering

        Look what it would be replacing….a parking lot. So it probably wouldn’t add any congestion to the area.

  2. Posted by Orland

    I’m just wondering how many of these buildings are actually going to get built in the next 5 years.

    I do think “The Hub” built to the maximum heights being discussed would be a great thing for the City so long as great care is also taken with addressing what is done with the streets, walkways, plazas, art and other pedestrian related amenities.

    And, yes, I know, there will be wind!

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      as long as the increased wealth, foot traffic and complaints lowers the homeless problem, i welcome it.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Hasn’t seemed to work very well yet. For every luxury condo, there seems to be another camper.

        Inevitable, especially as much of the SF economy seems to be devoted to eliminating less skilled jobs or centralizing control of the economy in fewer hands. And also making it easier for those with poor impulse control to indulge their various mind altering substances of choice.

  3. Posted by JB10

    Further extension of the monster building blight. [Some people] on this site will disagree – but speak to normal people and these development are generally disliked.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Normal people would probably do better in Fremont. There are suburbs housing six million people eager for these normal people and their autosexual lifestyles.

  4. Posted by Paulish

    There is no such thing as normal people

  5. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    The red flag is that the muni line is at crush capacity, and with all the development in the district it will be a station stop like the castro station where nobody can get on or off the train… SOTA school is proposed nearby, and plenty of other towers, but the muni remains the same….. time to amp it up SFMTA or we be grid-bodied….

  6. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Uber/Lyft are already blocking lanes on 11th and doing u-turns everywhere with more cars and garages this is gridlocked shortly like downtown……

  7. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Maybe some teacher-housing for the Hub?

    • Posted by Sue Yu

      No thanks! No special interest groups wanted. Teachers already shot themselves in the foot (and forever in my book) by being used as fodder for Campos’ teacher renter protections that rightfully got shot down, now they’ll never get a place to rent.

  8. Posted by Dave

    The reason for up-zoning to as much as 600 feet in eight was an increased affordable component in the HUB 2.0 towers. That was the quid pro quo. That is moot now with Prop C which requires 25% affordable. No reason for HUB 2.0 and hopefully there will be huge push back on this unless the developers agrees to exceed the mandated 25% affordable component and/or make major contributions to upgrading publictransit in this area .

  9. Posted by Autodick

    Why the hate for cars? A 150 unit building with 150 parking spots doesn’t mean 150 additional cars on the streets 24/7. People use their cars at varying times during the day/week/month. Following the anti-car meme to its logical conclusion, why have streets? Just build in-fill on streets with walkways. I’m really getting tired of people without cars for whatever reason ($ probably) imposing their will on everybody else.

  10. Posted by JWS

    I live a block away and have often eyed this parcel as perfect for a high-rise. All for this!

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