2435-2445 16th Street Site

Plans to demolish the two auto shops on the southeast corner of 16th and Florida Streets and develop a modern seven-story building with 53 condos over 1,600 square feet of restaurant/retail space, 2,000 square feet of commercial PDR space, and a basement garage for 40 cars upon the Mission District site were approved last year.

And while the demolition and building permits for the project have been requested and would appear to be close to being approved, the project’s sponsors are now marketing the entitled site and approved plans with a $9.995 million list price rather than preparing to break ground.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    Add another project to the list of those in “play”. This time, as permits were in the process of being pulled, it seems the owner had late in the game second thoughts about the viability of the project at this time. This is not one of the favored SOMA sites which makes it more problematic/risky in this market.

    IIRC, this brings to over 850 the number of housing units in projects which have been entitled but whose owners chose to sell rather than build.

  2. Posted by SOMA Observer

    The property is owned by an intelligent and experienced commercial real estate broker. And, if he is bailing out of the property what does that tell you?

    • Posted by Anon123

      That $188,500 per entitled unit may be a bit optimistic for this location?

  3. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    Looks dated before it even had the chance to break ground!

    • Posted by Serge

      Pretty much. Imagine how it’ll look a few years after it’s built. Wonder how many “architects” are patting themselves on the back for this.

  4. Posted by unlivable city

    I don’t get it frankly. I’m very familiar with that site and while its on 16th which is a hot mess traffic wise, its just a block from Gus’ Market, across from the low lying SPCA — meaning views should be safe — kitty corner from the Chocolate Factory which itself is adding the bro-club house next door… I think its a decent spot. 16th is slated for a bunch of transit work which usually means some streetscape improvements and red lanes… but agreed the building itself is dull. Is it concerns over what’s going to happen in the huge lot behind it?

  5. Posted by scott f

    This project proposal was officially opened with the Planning Department on August 1st, 2014. It’s been 3 years, 2 months and 9 days, and a permit to build the thing is still only “close” to being approved. Blame our planning process if these homes are lost. They should have been able to break ground in early 2015 when this still made sense to build.

    Analysis by Sightline concluded that one month’s delay on a typical project can cost as much as building and throwing away an apartment. With fast approvals, we could’ve mandated this development include 10-15 more BMR units and it would cost them a fraction of the money they instead burned waiting around and accomplishing nothing.

    We need real reform that goes far beyond SB35 and Mayor Lee’s proposals. From proposal to breaking ground should take up to 3-4 months, not 3-4 years.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Agree! But hopefully the statewide legal changes will start getting some new projects from proposal -> construction even during a downturn.

      • Posted by Orland

        All kinds of assumptions in this thread which might not necessarily be warranted.

  6. Posted by ldr

    sf used to be cool.

    • Posted by Harambe

      Do tell, what happened?

      • Posted by scott f

        It’s no longer exactly the same as when ldr moved here (or was a teenager, if ldr grew up here). It was perfect then, so all possible changes are necessarily bad.

  7. Posted by Anon123

    What I like the most about this rendering is that all the powerlines are gone

  8. Posted by Dave

    Can anyone who knows construction costs complete the math? At $188,500 per unit what would the construction costs be/unit? At 7 floors I believe they can’t go all wood frame which is cheaper. Maybe the buyer can shave a few floors and do all wood to make it pencil out? It’s certainly not an outrageous price per unit as some of the recently put into play entitled projects are

    Ironically, with almost 900 units in play and unlikely to be built anytime soon, new housing production in SF over the coming 4/5 years could drop significantly. As it is the north of 3K units we’ve just experienced is going to go south of 3K in 2018 or 2019. The falling production could provide some upward pressure on new unit prices in 4 or 5 years.

    • Posted by scott f

      All wood no, but you can legally do 5 wood floors over 2 concrete now. I believe that’s new in the 2016 CA building code. 5 over 3 is also newly allowed.

      I share your concern about production slowing and prices rising. Hopefully the state housing package, HomeSF, and Mayor Lee’s initiatives to speed up permits, while not enough to solve the crisis, can at least suffice to keep production relatively steady around 5000 homes per year.

      • Posted by Dave

        SF has not been doing anywhere near 5K per year – you are thinking of Seattle. SF has been under 3K/Year for most of the teens until the last two years and maybe next. Then it falls below 3K again – and that is not counting the almost 900 units now not likely to be built out anytime soon.

        • Posted by scott f

          We met the target of 5,000 in 2016 for the first time in a while. You’re correct that the average has been lower. I’m expressing hope 5,000 can become the new normal.

    • Posted by SFrentier

      $250-300 PSF to build

      • Posted by Kraus

        Currently closer to $350-$375 PSF.

        The reason these projects are not moving forward is that our construction industry, as currently organized, is unable to meet demand.

        After the last downturn in 2008, large numbers of workers left construction and the industry has yet to fully recover the necessary workers. 5 years into the current construction boom, it doesn’t look like it is capable of expanding to meet the need.

        This why construction costs are escalating to the point where entitled projects are not moving forward.

        One way out of this situation is to design projects from the get-go to optimize “off-site” (i.e.,lower cost) construction technologies e.g. modular and/or panelization, etc.

        However the building trade unions are fighting this innovation tooth-and-nail.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Construction costs may in fact be “…escalating to the point where entitled projects are not moving forward”, but I haven’t seen anything that would lead me to believe that’s due to the elasticity of the available labor force or the bargaining power of building trade unions.

          In point of fact, real wages in the construction industry have steadily declined for decades. American construction workers today make $5 an hour less than they did in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation. Of course “large numbers of workers left construction”, especially during the Great Recession, what would you expect? Wages need to rise to lure workers back.

          • Posted by sparky-b

            Brahma,
            Those numbers aren’t accurate to the Bay Area (like so many things).

  9. Posted by scott f

    Dropbox just leased 736,000 square feet for its new HQ a 15 minute walk east of here. That might be good news for this thing pencilling.

    • Posted by Dave

      The Exchange is a nicely done single building that looks like 4/5 totally different buildings – depends on POV if it is four or five. If it is maybe this will spur Planning and developers to do interesting stuff with office buildings – The Exchange is all of that.

    • Posted by scott f

      For the record, my link was to J.K. Dineen’s coverage yesterday in the Chronicle, posted before the lease was covered here.

      [Editor’s Note: Which was based on the same press release from Kilroy announcing the terms of the lease (as was our summary today).]

  10. Posted by Metroliner

    God. This thing looks identical to every other development that is going up in the Mission/Valencia area. Sad that this passes for design.

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