376 Castro Street Site

While approved for the construction of a six-story building, with 24 residential units over 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 14-car garage back in 2013, a legal battle over the ownership and control of the prominent RC gas station site on the northwest corner of Castro and Market precluded the development from moving forward.

But with the legal battle having since been resolved, as we first reported at the time, the 376 Castro Street site and plans are now back on the market with an undisclosed price and soliciting offers.

376-Castro-2013-Front

Developer Joe Tierney, who lost the aforementioned legal battle to secure full ownership of the parcel, paid $340,000 in exchange for a 10 percent interest in the property back in 2004.

And while appraised for $4.2 million, or roughly $175,000 per unit, back in 2013, the majority owners of the parcel were seeking an eye-popping $12 million, or roughly $500,000 per entitled unit, for the site at the time.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Occupied in Oakland

    It’s nice, but other than the cost -does it say SF? Looks a lot like modern Palo Alto. Also, curious if this corner ever had anything other than a gas station on it?

    • Posted by Crbt

      There was an apartment building on the site before the gas station, and you can still see it. The entire building was moved to a lot on the southwest corner of Hartford and 17th a half block away.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        fascinating. Still, I like the open-sky feeling that exists because of the gas station (and the plaza on the opposite corner). So I’m happy to see a building here, replacing the gas station; but I wish it were stepped back from the corner, both at the ground retail level, and then the upper stories.

        • Posted by cfb

          That’s a big wide intersection, and all the other buildings around it are very short. One is another gas station. There will still be tons of open sky for you to enjoy.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            Until that other gas station is built to 7 stories, and the Pottery Barn corner is rebuilt to 7 stories… there’s such a thing as “planning ahead”.

    • Posted by George G

      Serious question: what does say SF in 2017? I don’t like the idea of imitating Victorians and adding bay windows to everything. So any other ideas?

      • Posted by Marc

        That’s a great point. I’m not averse to adding bay windows, but difficult to define what modernity looks like here (or anywhere, I guess). 1645 Pacific is a good example – it looks like it’s from another country. Maybe international inspirations should be the play?

        • Posted by Hunter

          I really like 1645 Pacific as well, but it costs a bit more to do unique detailing on every building. I’m also partial to Saitowitz and buildings like 8 Octavia / 855 Folsom, though I know many people are afraid of such brutalism. Clean forms of concrete and glass!

    • Posted by Bobby Mucho

      It looks like it’s been a fill station since at least 1939. The intersection was pretty torn up when they built the tunnel in the mid / late teens. See this photo.

  2. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    Is this project still fully entitled after four years of inaction or would it need to go before Planning once more?

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      No, my understanding is that there is no longer any entitlement and they would need to start over from scratch.

  3. Posted by Panhandle Amigo

    Really excited for the day when I can walk down Market from Castro to say Van Ness and not see a single gas station or surface parking lot. We will look back at the squalor we lived in with awe!

    Next up: the Chevron kitty corner to this one. Laughable to have a gas station there. Should be a public park, will end up being condos. Either an improvement.

    • Posted by Jason

      I always felt like that site would be ideal for a boutique hotel. Very prominent ground floor retail spot for a restaurant/bar and the noise of the intersection would be less of an issue for a hotel than for full time residents. Plus the neighborhood is lacking in lodging options.

      • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

        There is a boutique hotel in the Planning pipeline for the site on 18th near Diamond that currently houses the “Bite Me” sandwich shop. But yeah, a hotel could work at the RC site.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Had no idea gas stations are part of “squalor”.

      • Posted by BTinSF

        Too many people believe there should be no place to buy gas in San Francisco making vehicular (mine’s a scooter) ownership next to impossible. Then, to get around the city, well all be using vast fleets of Ubers and Lyfts driven by people from the Central Valley who gas up in the East Bay on the way into SF..

        • Posted by

          BTinSF: Ridiculous strawman. Almost nobody is advocating for 0 gas stations, the problem is we have more than necessary (and they are bigger than necessary) while housing is in desperately short supply. Driving a few extra minutes to get gas isn’t “making vehicular ownership impossible”. Give me a break. Motor vehicle owners can act so entitled to absolute convenience. And yes, I own a car and drive in the city, but I don’t think the city should be configured for the marginal convenience of drivers at the expense of places for people to live.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Hmm – glaring lights, empty expanses of (stained) concrete, petrochemical smells (and, usually, ground contamination), constant engine noises and exhaust … yeah, not exactly “a desirable neighbor”…

    • Posted by Mike

      I drive an electric car so I don’t really need gas very often, but I feel like the Chevron station should stay. Well run, and in better shape than the one being torn down. Appropriate to have at least one gas station within several mile radius!

      • Posted by Alai

        Well then you’ll be happy to know that there are seven gas stations within a one mile radius!

    • Posted by Patrick Carroll

      No, not a public park. It would fill up in no time with travelers, junkies and the other street folk who populated Jane Warner Plaza

    • Posted by Michael

      Only in SF are gas stations called “squalor”. Every other city calls them “gas stations”.

      • Posted by

        Only in SF are gas stations on every block while 1BR rent for $4,000.

  4. Posted by Panhandle Amigo

    Per satellite images, here are the remaining Market St surface lots between Castro and Van Ness

    – RC gas station (Castro)
    – Chevron (Castro)
    – Sullivan’s Funeral Home (between Noe/Sanchez)
    – Enterprise Rent-a-Car (Sanchez)
    – Chase Bank (Sanchez)
    – Home restaurant (Church, under construction)
    – Pet Food Express (Dolores)
    – Sheet Metal Workers (Duboce)
    – Flax (under construction)
    – UA Plumbers (12th)

    Let there be none!

    • Posted by Rillion

      You missed probably the largest lot. The Safeway (and other shops) that stretches from Church down to Dolores.

  5. Posted by Jim

    Have the admirers of 1645 Pacific actually seen it in the flesh? The facade is made out of sytrofoam with lumpy stucco sprayed on…about as attractive (and as long-lived) as gangrene.

    • Posted by Hunter

      yep and I still like the agave ladies….for now. When they deteriorate it might be different.

  6. Posted by Laurel Heights

    Is the Castro Safeway in play? A mixed use transit hub development would be amazing a la The Beacon/King Street Safeway.

    [Editor’s Note: No. But…Planning’s Conceptual Strategy For The Market Street Safeway Site.]

    • Posted by Hunter

      Yeah that parking lot is such a tragedy, and it’s right next to one of our few subway stations. DOH!

    • Posted by Friscan

      When the Safeway lot gets developed (and it should; it’s crazy a massive surface parking lot abuts a Muni Station!), I hope the developer can build a second North-of-Market subway entrance. So many commuters from the north and east have to cross Church and 14th just to get a train: I don’t know why they skimped on subway entrances at Church and Castro, providing only 2 when all other subway stations east of there get at least 4 access points.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        True – but compounding the situation is that the Church Street platforms are actually almost a block *west* of Church … when you go into the station, you walk a fair bit west underground to get to the turnsiles and then the platforms. If anything, the 2nd entrance should be west, towards Sanchez. It’d be convenient for people heading to that part of the Castro, and be easy to access the platforms.

  7. Posted by Serge

    Looks good! Especially since it hides that mid-century train wreck behind it.

  8. Posted by Milo Farnsworth

    I say leave it alone. Does every available space in the city of San Francisco have to be built with condos? What in the hell is wrong with the gas station? It’s convenient to the neighborhood, cheaper than most because it’s not a Shell or Chevron. I say leave it alone!

    • Posted by Panhandle Amigo

      We have the highest housing prices in the country by far. People are being forced to move an hour away or leave the region entirely because its so expensive. So yes, we need to replace inefficient uses of space like this gas station and replace it with condos. There are plenty of gas stations around still. Also, in five years, most new cars sold will be electric, making gas stations obsolete.

      • Posted by

        How are people who don’t own garages and park on the street going to charge their electric cars?

        • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

          They can drive hydrogen fuel cell electric cars which make their own electricity (from hydrogen.) They recharge them (with hydrogen) at a fueling station (takes five minutes, similar to putting gas in a conventional car.) These cars are on the road today, and the fueling infrastructure is popping up at existing gas stations (three in SF are in the works.)

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