While its overall height and envelope remain the same, one floor has been eliminated from the proposed 250-foot-tall Hub District tower and podium to rise at the intersection of Otis, South Van Ness Avenue and 12th Street, as newly rendered by Gould Evans.

As such, the now 26-story tower and 9-story podium complex would yield a total of 416 smaller apartments (now a mix of 212 studios, 98 one-bedrooms and 106 twos) over 16,000 square feet of replacement space for the existing City Ballet School (which currently sits on the 30 Otis Street site); a reduced 2,200 square feet of ground floor retail space divided in three; and a little larger garage for 95 cars and 224 bikes.

As we first reported back in 2016, the proposed development includes a new Hub District plaza on the corner and re-working of 12th Street as well.

And with the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed tower slated to be certified in two weeks time, the development could soon be approved.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by JWS

    This project is such a winner to me: 600ish residents assuming 1.5 person unit occupancy rate, starts to get foot traffic near this troubled stretch of Market, the retail slots are smaller slots that will be more likely to yield successful tenancies than the massive cavernous slots at other developments, and finally a brand new facility for a local cultural institution. I mean looking at even “fast tracked” projects like 555 Howard, I’m assuming two years in permitting (insane) even if/when approved so no chance it gets built this cycle which is a shame.

    With all the hand wringing about Central SOMA’s jobs housing balance, if we had created a system that could get the new Hub heights approved in a reasonable timeframe, as well as streamline approval and permitting, we could have seen several thousands more units built this cycle (instead of just NEMA, Goodwill, and the Emerald Fund Van Ness projects) that would funnel people right into Central SOMA via the Van Ness Muni Metro station. 1 Oak lost its window of feasibility, Honda/Ballet School/French American still in pre-development hell, and the city offices at Van Ness and Market waiting on Goodwill.

    • Posted by Scott F

      I agree; I love this one. Everything you said and also it’s only a 0.23 parking ratio, which is how it’s supposed to be! We heard other developers in the area insisting they could only make it work with twice that much parking. I hope they pull it off here and this manages to break ground in 2019.

  2. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    i think these downtown high density developments will help the people in the outskirts of the city too with all the extra underground trains that will be running. i think eventually we’ll have 22-24hrs trains for free, which oughta already be.

  3. Posted by A.Goodman

    So well planned with the BRT dead-ending and not continuing down and out towards Ceasar Chavez, or looping around so that it can connect back up to the Potrero SFGH and T-Line changes along with HSR. (Where is the transit planning?) The subways are overstuffed… so does everyone in these towers Lyft/Uber and bike? Or are the sidewalks nearing manhattan styled density and all the “troubled-stretch” being just pushed outwards without serious resolution of the humanistic concerns of all this super-density?

    The crunch of buildings in this zone, does not indicate a well thought review of transit planning here… Looping and linking the CPMC Van Ness, to St.Luke’s and SFGH seems ideal, and if it links to mass-transit options is even better, but the transit capacity and frequency MUST be addressed… Alongside some serious approach to essential new SRO and affordable rental units. (maybe the site shown just to the east here…?

    • Posted by van nessident

      Mission south of Division isn’t wide enough for van ness style BRT, which is why the SFMTA put down the red lanes only in the southbound direction.

  4. Posted by MOW

    Some of the buildings on this block have character. It would be nice to see them renovated instead of being torn down. Besides, I like the rug store on the corner and there’s no shortage of luxury housing.

    • Posted by Jermon

      Actually there is a major shortage of housing. And this isn’t ‘luxury housing’, it’s market-rate housing.

      • Posted by Maurepas

        Market rate housing IS luxury housing in this environment.

        • Posted by ItMe

          Nope, this has always been the claim and it’s always been tautologically untrue.

      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        I think everyone here would agree that 1.) there is a major shortage of housing (i.e., that current residents can afford), and 2.) real estate agents will never admit that there’s a surplus of luxury housing (i.e., housing units targeted at a “market” of people who largely don’t live here but can afford to pay more than the people who currently do).

        • Posted by Alai

          So would you consider Victorian single-family homes to be luxury housing? Certainly most people living here can’t afford one…

          • Posted by JK

            No. Because there’re no amenities inside a Victorian house.

          • Posted by Alai

            I don’t follow. So luxury is defined by amenities, not price?

            The #1 amenity (and #2 and 3) is location.

            In any case, people who can afford to buy single family homes will likely be able to afford to add amenities to them.

    • Posted by Kyle S.

      Nothing but economics prevents rug stores from occupying ground-floor retail in a mixed-use tower. There are three ways the rug store can come back:

      1) The rug shop could be profitable enough to pay market rent in the new location. Having lived in the area and even bought something from that rug shop, I doubt that is the case.
      2) Subsidize the rug shop’s rent. This behavior ranges from compensating for local market distortion to economic nepotism.
      3) Prevent the tower from being built. In other words, forcibly suppress the value of the land. This seems to be your preferred solution, yet results in more displacement and gentrification.

  5. Posted by folderpete

    This design eliminates the possibility of a contra-flow bike lane going up 12th St and connecting Mission & Market/Page St bikeway. Plus, that garage will be hella difficult to access from anything other than E/B on Market (unless its just park-n-forget storage).

    Plus, I hate bike lanes inside bus islands. Trash collectors and transient flops is what they become.

    And the whole question of transit in the Hub seems based on wild phantasies of existing capacity.

    • Posted by Scott F

      Why would you want a bike lane on 12th there? In addition to it being low-traffic, I don’t see what it would connect. Maybe you’re thinking of the other segment of 12th? This is the one block from Market to the Mission/S Van Ness intersection.

      • Posted by folderpete

        There is a bike lane on 11th St, from Mkt to Division. Coming N/B on 11th, there is no way to go W/B at Market (right turn only). One can certainly go left on Mission – and if the destination is Castro or Mission, take McCoppin off of Mission->Otis. However, if you are going west, up Page – or even north into Hayes Valley/West.Addit., a contra-flow up 12th is logical, if currently illegal. There is little traffic, so civic-minded folk get off their bikes and walk 50′ onto 12th; but a contra-flow bike line would be so much better.

        I still wonder how those cars are going to get into that garage though, without a convoluted journey.

  6. Posted by Jb10

    What is the ‘planning gain’ for such an uninspired builing.

  7. Posted by socketome

    That detail on the façade where the glazing is angled slightly in relation to the cantilever slab may look jazzy on the exterior but is awkward from in the unit interior. It feels like a construction error.

    • Posted by Seth

      The angled walls are due to zoning regulations that limit the maximum diagonal dimension of a tower. That’s why so many towers in SF have angled or notched corners.

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