Purchased for $1.25 million last July, plans to raze the little 1,196-square-foot, two-story home at 714 Rhode Island Street, on the north slope of Potrero Hill, are in the works.

As proposed a 7,234-square-foot, six-story duplex will rise upon the site:

And in terms of projecting who might object to such infill, we’re guessing the neighbors at 740 Rhode Island.

And perhaps the neighbors on Kansas who could lose some views of the Bay. Keep in mind that views aren’t protected in San Francisco, especially when it comes to lot-line windows, but an argument can be made for the loss of light and air.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Mark

    Bummer for 740. Not. Do you think they gave any consideration for those next to them when they built that monstrosity? Nope.

    Enough with that douglas fir siding treatment. How dated is that? Not to mention it doesn’t hold up well at all in this climate.

  2. Posted by Peter

    Does “7,234-square-foot, six-story duplex” imply that the new building will have two units, each of about 3,600 square feet? If so, this seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. 3,600 square foot urban units are GARGANTUAN to the point of being too big for most homebuyers and likely unafffordable for all save the executive class.

    Zoning variances aside (looks like the site is RH-2), it seems like it’d be better to have four large 1,800 units — probably more money for the developer, and more badly-needed housing units to put a dent in SF’s housing crisis.

    • Posted by Mark

      It’s not a missed opportunity for those homebuyers who want a 3,600 sq ft residence and are willing to pay top dollar for it. Turning 2 to 4 units won’t make a dent in the supply issue. As for a housing crisis, it’s only a crisis for those who cannot afford to rent or buy. A developer could put in 100 sq ft micro units but they would still command market rate.

      • Posted by HuskyDown

        By that same “logic” there’d be no healthcare crisis under Trumpcare. It would only be a “crisis” for those unable to afford healthcare.

    • Posted by Mark

      For the record, there are neighborhoods filled with large homes throughout the city, many built a 100 years ago, and those who live there seem satisfied with their size.

      • Posted by HuskyDown

        The argument is not whether some handful of extremely rich people are happy in the McMansions The argument is over whether its the most appropriate use of scarce land in a housing strapped city to use that lot for a mere 2 units.

        • Posted by Mark

          “Mere two units” is one more that’s currently there. And I’m sure there will be folks complaining that the neighborhood charm will be comprised if this little house gets torn down. While we’re at it, let’s turn those oversized painted ladies into more units.

      • Posted by Peter

        My mother actually grew up in one of those old enormous homes (5,000 square feet) out in St Francis Wood. She had four siblings though; somehow I think the demand for housing for large families like hers is way down. And at the price point these duplexes will likely be offered for, I don’t think very many families with 3+ kids are going to be in the target market.

    • Posted by Harambe

      Also, less demand for parking. 2 more units could yield 4 more cars vying for street space.

      • Posted by Mark

        And they will drive too, given our expansive and efficient public transit network.

        • Posted by BobN

          They may just rollerskate, since they’re going to need them around the house anyway.

    • Posted by Harambe

      I partied on the roof deck at 740 Rhode Island a few years ago. It was being rented by an overpaid, young techie who only really cared about the view from his hot tub on the seriously oversized roof deck. Sucker!

    • Posted by scott f

      Totally agree. We should do away with RH-1, RH-2 and RH-3 zoning and upgrade them all to at least RH-4. More if close to rail transit (like around Glen Park BART).

      The market would be very unlikely to produce this outcome on its own. Both progressives and libertarians alike should oppose a government regulation that artificially holds down the cost of a luxury good for rich people (huge 3,600 square foot homes) while making normal-sized homes more expensive for everyone else. That’s what RH-1, -2 and -3 are doing here and across the city.

      • Posted by Futurist

        So now you want to control the square footage of new homes according to the buyers/owners income? Really?

        • Posted by scott f

          That’s not how zoning works. It sets a maximum. If you really want to build a huge single family home on an RH-4 lot you can. I don’t think that’s what developers would do given the option, but if I’m wrong there’s no harm to doing the upzoning.

          • Posted by Futurist

            What I’m referring to is your insistence that “rich” people cannot build a home of the size they want and can afford to build.

  3. Posted by Alamoman

    Wow, that’s insane. Regardless of the size of the units, the overall design aesthetic is garbage. I hope the developer gets blown up by the neighbors and the planning department just on this basis alone. Perhaps planning could force the developer to hire an architect with a little talent? Yikes.

    • Posted by Torger Cobus

      It seems to fit in with the “existing neighborhood character.”

  4. Posted by Adam

    Couldn’t it at least step down the hill a little more than it does in the drawings?

  5. Posted by Brisket

    I think the writing’s on the wall, this little guy is surrounded. Might was well complete the ugly trio.

    • Posted by Harambe

      The north-most building was completed in the last 5 years. I believe it was open lot before then (with serious grading). It was only time for the little forgotten bungalow to get the tech bubble treatment.

  6. Posted by Futurist

    I’m sure the owner of the little bungalow is not complaining about getting $1.25 million for his house.

  7. Posted by Gus

    I live on this block and I think it’s absurd that the building is so tall, blocking significant light and air of neighbors and in service of creating .. 2 stupidly huge units. They seem within the letter of what’s allowed in SF and so it’s unclear how much there is to fight. I’m guessing at best, 740 might win a bigger setback from the property line?

    • Posted by Futurist

      The building meets (as far as I know) the intent and code of the Planning Dept.

      And why are you and others so concerned with the “stupidly huge units” anyway? It’s simply not the business of any neighbor.

  8. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The developer is probably just proposing one story higher than he/she intends to build. I’ll bet his project will settle for one less story so the objectors feel like they have won.

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