The City’s nearly $10 million deal to acquire the five Western SoMa buildings at 145-165 11th Street, 964 Natoma and 973 Minna Street could be approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors tomorrow afternoon.

If approved and ratified, the five buildings would be placed under the jurisdiction of the City’s Recreation and Park Department, which plans to level the buildings to make way for a new half-acre park, which would be about the same size as Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley, to be created.

The $9.825 million purchase, which includes an estimated $100,000 for closing costs which are to be paid by the City, is to be funded by way of the City’s Open Space Acquisition Fund which currently totals $11.2 million.

And while originally expected to terminate in 2024, the last of the existing commercial leases for the five buildings, all of which will be transferred to the City, is now slated to expire in September 2021.

San Francisco’s Supervisorial District 6, of which SoMa is part, has the least amount open space of any District in the city.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by BTinSF

    Great! Less actual housing (which could be built here) and a new homeless campground!

    • Posted by Tony

      The amount of housing is ultimately decided by the density they’re planning to upzone. This is a relatively small plot of land, but will be a much appreciated open space with the expected population increase. Parks only become homeless encampments when there aren’t residents living nearby to use them.

      • Posted by sfdragonboy

        Right, and that is the excuse you are going to use with respect to sidewalks too? Oh, people don’t use them, so the homeless should have every right to pitch tents and just live there? NO!!!!

  2. Posted by Hunter

    Yes! District 6 needs more park space (even as we also need more tall residential buildings). This is a good start, but I also wish the city would create some smaller pocket parks in the area like those scattered about in other neighborhoods. The overgrown parking lot at 5th street and shipley would be a great spot to convert as well…

    • Posted by scott f

      Take a look at the parks in the Hub plan. They’re carving little pocket parks out of extra road width on Gough at McCoppin, 12th at South Van Ness, and Market at Valencia in front of the Flax site.

      I only wish the neighborhood were getting one large park or public square. It’s all scattered and tiny spaces. This is a half acre, Brady Park will be a half acre. For comparison Duboce Park is four acres and Dolores Park is 13 acres. 9,000 new high rise units deserve a little more open space, but I realize it’s hard to make that happen in an already built out neighborhood, and this is a good effort by the city.

      • Posted by Hunter

        True, but I was referring more to central/western SoMa rather than the Hub area (which is already closer to several large parks than downtown). Every couple blocks in SoMa should have a pocket park for folks to walk dogs, bring kids, sit and have coffee, etc. I’ve also lived in the Lower Nob Hill, where there’s a similar lack of large parks and it was pretty frustrating. Ideally the city will eventually cap the freeway(s) and perhaps that would be an opportunity for a really sizable park.

        • Posted by scott f

          Capping 80 and removing the spur of 101 that divides SoMa/Mission would be great. And in the near term, what happened to parklets? There are some beautiful parklets on Valencia and side streets in the Mission. Maybe we could put some new ones in SoMa.

      • Posted by Buck

        I’m hoping the CalTrain rail yards will be designated for parkland, rather than housing. I agree that SoMa needs a larger park.

  3. Posted by Spencer

    Awesome. A new homeless encampment coming to SOMA

  4. Posted by Spencer

    What western soma needs most is to be upzoned

  5. Posted by Invented

    Upzone of course and cap 80 and the highway that is above Division so 100,000+ new residents in neighboring hoods will have a mile or two of green space. Join Denver, LA, Dallas et al. Hello Planning?

  6. Posted by Jay78

    This is a horrible idea. The city is better off keeping the buildings and turning them into a rehab center.

  7. Posted by curmudgeon

    Haters gotta hate. I drove by the brand new park at 17th and Folsom yesterday. Very similar neighborhood context of formerly industrial land now increasingly residential. FULL of kids. Similarly, Victoria Manolo Draves Park (old Bessie Charmichael school site at Folsom nr. 7th is very well utilized. Well designed parks are NOT generally taken over by homeless people…and, more importantly, there is clearly a pressing need in SOMA for more park space.

    • Posted by scott f

      Well said. There will be plenty of activity in this park with the Goodwill site’s residential and office towers within shouting distance and other Hub towers just beyond that.

  8. Posted by oh my

    Let’s just hope that this public open space is well managed by Parks and Rec. That means also a good and attractive fence and gate system that is locked at sundown and unlocked at sunrise, perhaps embassy type fence that will prevent people from climbing over it.

    Unfortunately this is needed to keep a park in this location in tack and one in which people will not sleep or do drugs. If not this space will be a magnet for people behaving very very badly and all the new Hub residents will not use it.

  9. Posted by Pablito

    Very cool. This area needs half a dozen new parks.

  10. Posted by Simpleton

    Nice in theory…let’s see how they manage it. Other commenters are correct, it will take a sustained effort to keep this from being a drug use and homeless encampment.

  11. Posted by Kathleen Gilheany

    there is very little green space South of Market. Good idea.

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