349 8th Street Site

As originally envisioned, a modern five-story building designed by RG-Architecture was to rise up to 55 feet in height upon the 349 8th Street site, between Folsom and Heron in Western SoMa.

And while the revised designs for the proposed development still include 38 condos over a ground floor café space, the new façade is looking a bit more contemporary.

The rear of the development would front Rodgers street, with a common outer court, private entrances, and a number of balconies above but no garage.

The three-parcel site is currently leased to a parking company with a 90-day notice to terminate. And the development could be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission tomorrow afternoon.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by David

    More “contemporary”? That means more generic and banal?

    • Posted by Orland

      Agreed. I much prefer the laudable original proposal.

  2. Posted by Montgomery

    Should be taller. Missed opportunity.

      • Posted by spencer

        the western SOMA zoning is a joke and needs to be revised.

        • Posted by Chris

          Good luck with that. Buildings generally get downsized in SF, if they get built at all.

        • Posted by scott f

          The Planning Department staff seem to agree. If you drummed up enough political support to give them cover they’d probably upzone the area. Just have to be heard over the erstwhile “community” resistance to upzoning.

    • Posted by scott f

      Agreed. Grossly underbuilding three short blocks from a BART and Muni station.

      • Posted by Martin

        Do consider that this has 38 condo units and 0 parking. So while we’re not winning in number of units, we are winning in how little traffic gets added.

  3. Posted by Sassy

    A step in the wrong direction. Sad.

  4. Posted by IANAA

    I’m not an architect, but isn’t the project moving the other way? From the contemporary original proposal, to a more modern one?

    I can imagine the latest design (way less interesting, IMHO) fitting in in the post-WWII era (modern), while I don’t believe that the original design would.

  5. Posted by Ohno

    Planning effs things up yet again. From mostly interesting to totally generic. SF is the NIMBY village-city of America…

    • Posted by wiger toods

      Do we know it was planning? Or was the developer VE’ing the original design plus a reality check? Original design was probably ~$600/sf, while new design is ~$400/sf. Original design had some constructability flaws too. Don’t get me wrong. Original design is preferable.

      • Posted by Orland

        There’s no indication Planning had anything to do with the developer’s request that its architect do a redesign.

        • Posted by ohno

          if you had any experience dealing with Planning I’m pretty certain you would be nodding your head in vigorous agreement

  6. Posted by Dandywhatsoever

    Oh well, the large windows and unusual highly glassy appearance were a statement of class and privilege anyway.

  7. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Who’s the new architect? Or did RG work on this as well? Regardless, it’s definitely not as admirable.

  8. Posted by Kh73

    Design went from interesting to meh. Sad indeed. Either got value engineered by the owner or neighbor “engineered” by NIMBYs.

  9. Posted by John Hopewell

    This is a drastic improvement to 8th street with good, clean, sophisticated design. Definitely difficult to understand the naysayers.

  10. Posted by Metroliner

    Funny, they show a Tesla going the wrong way up 8th in the original proposal. That being said, that cafe space will forever be empty. This block is not much more than a freeway entrance for half the day.

  11. Posted by Mark Cole

    The new design is ugly. The older design is much better. All in all, it looks like the soulless building could be anywhere. Keep destroying SF’s uniqueness till we look like Hong Kong and Singapore and Sao Paolo and Toronto and every other nondescript, bland, soulless global city

    • Posted by

      Destroying SF’s uniqueness? You mean the parking lot that currently exists on this lot?

      Somehow people think that replacing a parking lot or an abandoned gas station is the same as tearing down classic Victorians.

  12. Posted by citicritter

    Totally agree with IANAA: “I’m not an architect, but isn’t the project moving the other way? From the contemporary original proposal, to a more modern one?” and I AM an architect. The original design was more contemporary (and better).

    But totally disagree with Mark Cole – that those cities mentioned are “soulless” – each of those cities certainly has a soul, i.e. unique, site-specific form/order, with very particular aesthetic, cultural quality/character, and some great architecture (maybe not a huge percentage, but definitely some…)

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