Having rejected the Planning Department’s recommendation that the height of a proposed tower to rise upon the Il Massimo building’s parcel at 439 Washington Street, which sits in a “transitional zone” between Downtown and the Jackson Square historic district, should be cut in half, Peninsular Realty is pushing forward with plans for a 200-foot-tall hotel to rise upon the site and the adjacent parcel at 425 Washington Street as well.

As refined and newly rendered by Stanton Architecture, the 22-story tower would now yield 309 hotel rooms with a lobby bar fronting Washington Street, a small retail/café space fronting Merchant, a mid-block “POPOS” passageway between the two streets and a rooftop terrace for guests.

Keep in mind that the proposed tower has been projected to cast some “minor” shadows on a number of nearby public parks and open spaces, the significance of which will need to be assessed and could be disallowed and/or challenged by way San Francisco’s Sunlight Ordinance (a.k.a. Prop K).

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Serge

    That looks quite nice, actually. Too bad we lose another brick building. At least it’s not the Cort Furniture building, though (not yet, at least).

  2. Posted by Dave

    Going forward hotel construction will likely comprise a large share of significant SF projects. Given that new office and major residential development is becoming rarer in SF That said, this is a nice project and looks quite attractive at its 22 stories. Cutting it in half would result in a square blocky building that would not have the nice setbacks and varied façade of this proposal.

  3. Posted by Amewsed

    It is a beauty. Build it. Quiet neighborhood (despite the Fire Station next door) but easy walking access to FiDi.

  4. Posted by redseca2

    You could argue that the San Francisco Fire Department isn’t likely going anywhere soon and add windows to the interior lot line.

  5. Posted by Jon

    Will this project eliminate Cafe Prague on the merchant street side?

  6. Posted by hundo_p

    Siting a hotel next door to an active fire station seems an unwise idea.

    • Posted by Mark

      Do tell, why?

      • Posted by Notcom

        B/c people wouldn’t want to be awakened by sirens at 2 in the morning; but I think ‘hundo_p” is overestimating the frequency of such events, and underestimating the efficiency of soundproofing…and it’s not like they aren’t free to drive around the streets, sirens reverberating off walls, regardless of where the hotel is located (with respect to the origin of the responders)

        • Posted by hundo_p

          “I have a guy right now who’s approaching 200 calls in the last few months,” said Capt. Niels Tangherlini, who works at Station 13 in the Financial District. The last time he saw the man, he’d called four times the previous day and the day before that, and three times the day prior, he said.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Hmmm…. perhaps the gentleman can get a room long-term in the hotel and save the SFFD travel time.

          • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

            hundo_p forgot to include the link to the piece he quoted from so the rest of us could understand the relevance to the earlier comment that “I think ‘hundo_p’ is overestimating the frequency of such events.”

            Here it is, from ‘graph four:

            It was…a typical weekday morning last week for San Francisco’s Fire Engine 1, a South of Market engine often ranked as the busiest in the United States. It responds to about 40 calls per day in a part of the city where many clients dial 911 so frequently that firefighters know them by name, affecting the department’s ability to respond to other emergencies.

            Emphasis added. The piece was from 2014, but of course the problem of homeless inebriates demanding services from the SFFD has only gotten worse since then, it was a major difference in policy proposals put forward in the last Mayoral election.

  7. Posted by oakland lover

    I love this. Great color and nice contrast to existing. Too bad they never approved (or dropped) plans for that other twisty / pyramid like tower planned near the trans america. That and this would have brought some life to the old traidtional FIDI area….it hasnt changed in like 40 years and is booooooooring. The area could use some action.

  8. Posted by Chris Wagner

    First, ugly as sin (but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Second, some degree of setback would add a lot to the design. Third, I’d like a room away from the elevator, ice machine AND the fire station.

    • Posted by JB10

      Agree, what a big mess

      • Posted by that_dude

        You guys are quite delicate and I assume not city people.

        City people expect noise and compromise. Have you seen Mosso and 923 Folsom? They’re apartment buildings (not short term rentals) attached to the busiest fire station in the country, and they pay market rate just like everyone else in SOMA.

        Fire truck noise and police sirens are everywhere in the downtown corridor. (I’ve lived down here for 10 years) If you want peace and quiet, I would stay in Piedmont.

  9. Posted by john parker willis

    we want this giant building there . . . . why?

  10. Posted by Ghostwriter

    Nice design. Any word on the hotel brand? This part of the FiDi could definitely use a fresh looking project.

  11. Posted by keenplanner

    Good site for a tall building but not this mediocre cheap-fest.

  12. Posted by I

    Looks great, build away! We need more density.

  13. Posted by Harvey

    This is the same designer responsible for the pile going up at the McDonalds site on King St. The fake stick on bricks are already starting to fall off it…

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