Having been pushed back a few months, the Planning Commission hearing at which the legislative process required to formally adopt San Francisco’s revised Central SoMa Plan is slated to be initiated has been slated for August 31.

As proposed, the revised plan raises the proposed height limits for numerous neighborhood parcels, including an up-zoning of the Flower Mart site to allow development up to 270 feet in height; a 400-foot height limit for the Creamery/HD Buttercup parcels at the corner of Townsend and Fourth (upon which Tishman Speyer has proposed to build a residential tower or two); and a re-revised 240-foot height limit for the 725 Harrison Street site to allow Boston Properties’ proposed office project to rise as rendered above, or at least with a few tweaks.

And if adopted, the plan could pave the way for an additional 7,800 units of housing, and office space for an additional 45,000 jobs, to rise in the area roughly bounded by Folsom, Second, Townsend and Sixth.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    “and office space for an additional 45,000 jobs”

    isn’t that the de facto declaration of war against competing business districts – I’m looking at you DO – as well as a perpetuation of the housing “shortage” so many on here complain about? I hope they’ll take an afternoon (or evening) off from blogging to attend the hearing (the Giant’s are playing the Cards that night but this year it hardly seems like an excuse).

  2. Posted by Brian

    Love that building!

  3. Posted by Dan

    Anyone who lives near BART throughout the Bay Area will have transit access to those jobs. Of course most people won’t live right where they work.

  4. Posted by Mark

    additional 45,000 jobs? oh please. how many of these purported jobs will pay enough to live within 90 minutes of central SOMA?

    • Posted by cfb

      …most, if not all of them?

      • Posted by Mark

        Right. Because someone making 60k is going to be able to afford to live in the area.

        • Posted by ijustworkhere

          Somehow I don’t think the employees will be making only 60K.

        • Posted by cfb

          You realize that “within 90 minutes of central SOMA” covers a giant area (the entire city+Oakland+plus a lot of suburbia), right?

      • Posted by SFRealist

        But someone making $160K will.

  5. Posted by Dave

    The jobs/housing imbalance is ridiculous. Other things aside, the latest office vacancy report indicates a weakening of the office market here and calls into question assumptions made that there is the demand for office space to support 45K workers in the Central SOMA.

    The city does not have the infrastructure or transportation structure to support this. Until they do, go for a more modest proposal. There will be plenty of pushback on this if it goes forward in its current form. Lots of opposition WofTP. This massive up-zoning has been a hot topic at my neighborhood association . For starters, the jobs/housing ration needs to come much closer to 1/1, then there is the issue of expanding the high-rise zone. Few support that. The 300 foot towers need to be scaled back. There are many more issues stirring the opposition to this. The planning hearing on this should be interesting.

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      I say fantastic. Add more jobs, add more office space. We’re a city after all. Most of these buildings probably wouldn’t go up for another 5-10 years (next economic cycle). We probably are somewhat oversupplied at the moment, so this won’t happen overnight.

      All of this activity will push up housing values in the city – especially on the West Side. The “Hub” will be a traffic nightmare where the 101 offramp spills into the street grid. All of SOMA will be chock-a-block with self-driving cars parking themselves in traffic. We’ll institute congestion pricing to stem the tide of Stockton-dwelling Uber aspirants.

      Meanwhile, the 280 / 19th / Sunset / Great Highway track will improve (which is to say, worsen, but not as much as 101). Park Merced prices, Parkside/Sunset/Richmond, even Ocean on the up up up.

      • Posted by Mark

        Outer Sunset is already getting over a million for dumps that haven’t seen one upgrade in 80 years. All yours, folks.

    • Posted by Mark

      We can’t get the L line running faster without major opposition. Good luck with zoning and towers…and the 1:1 housing/jobs ratio.

  6. Posted by two beers

    “All of this activity will push up housing values in the city ”

    Hey, at least you’re not parroting the myth that adding market rate housing makes other housing more affordable.

  7. Posted by donjuan

    Really wish they were going more slim and vertical in this plan with the same amount of density. SF’s mid-rise architecture has a track record of being awful, sterile, blocky, while still forming a wall along the skyline. Avalon and One MIssion Bay are prefect examples of this.

  8. Posted by RobBob

    Hope the housing market stays such that the residential towers get built. This plan has taken so long that it missed the condo peak which would have assured a large amount of supply in SOMA.

  9. Posted by Orland

    SF Business Times seems to believe that the basic upzoning of Central SOMA per the Plan to be submitted faces serious opposition from wealthy condo owners on its periphery according to recent published articles.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      If true, that would be depressing but not surprising. The best way for condo values to keep increasing is to stop building them.

    • Posted by Dave

      There is a broad coalition emerging against the Central SOMA plan and up-zoning. The basic question is does the city really need this up-zoning? If built to it’s current zoning regs thousands of new housing units could be added without a commensurate addition of thousands of new jobs which the city can’t support – that would help the housing situation while this plan will very negatively impact it. .

      There is no sensitivity to context or neighborhood in the plan. There should be green space requirements across the board – if only requiring all new large projects to be set back 10 feet from the property line the narrow sidewalk situation would be helped – and this would make room for artwork, water features and shrubs that would greatly enhance the Central SOMA sidewalk experience which is bleak today and would remain so under the current plan.

      We’ll see but, if the city PTB don’t accommodate neighbor and neighborhood concerns, this could be a Proposition M moment for this new century..

      • Posted by Orland

        But would the “thousands of new housing units” get built without a “commensurate” commercial investment?

        • Posted by Dave

          Why not? Park Merced is adding 4K plus new units without any nearby new commercial projects. Western SOMA has seen a number of proposals for new residential construction without any nearby major new commercial projects. Same goes for the Balboa Reservoir project .

  10. Posted by pablito

    What a disaster for jobs / housing balance. Fiscal zoning at its worst. San Mateo and Alameda counties should demand impact fees $$$ in the 9 figure range. Is there no regional planning?

    • Posted by Dave

      Agree this is a disaster for the jobs/housing balance. It ignores the weakening job situation in SF and assumes another 10 million plus feet of office space is needed in SF. At a time when space about to come online in the remainder of the year is just 50% leased and 3 million feet will come online in 2018 – 2020 and there is a boatload of existing vacant space. Not to mention plans for another 10 million square feet of space in MR, HP/CP, 5M, Flower Mart and on and on.

      There is no apparent need for significantly more office space in SF beyond what has been proposed, but there is demand for more housing in SF. Remove the office upgrade from the plan and have all the new development geared to housing and made less dense. Density can be reduced if the office component is eliminated – there is no need for 250-foot towers in Central SOMA.

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