With an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the formally proposed semi-massive redevelopment of CPMC’s nearly 5-acre California Hospital Campus at 3700 California Street about to be drafted, the project team has refined their plans and projected timing for the project.

The refined plans now include 273 units of high-end housing, up from 258 as previously envisioned, spread across 31 new buildings rising up to seven stories in height on the southern border of Presidio Heights.

At the same time, the number of off-street parking spaces, which Planning had recommended be reduced, has been increased from 393 to 416, including 2 spaces for each of the 12 single-family homes.

And in terms of timing, TMG Partners now appears to be positioning for a ground breaking around 2021, phasing the project on a block-by-block, but potentially overlapping, basis over three and a half years, moving east to west and potentially finishing construction around 2024, “dictated by market conditions” and assuming the project is approved as proposed.  We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Maurice

    Ugh, makes me sad that this lovely spot in this transit rich neighborhood has to be so low density (except for parking).

    • Posted by Mark

      Please. This is higher density than a lot of development directly on mass transit. 7 stories? How many of the new condo buildings on upper Market St. are 7 stories? Or along 3rd St.?

      This yet another high end development focused on the car. The people living here won’t be taking Muni.

      • Posted by Hunter

        I agree about the parking (plenty of future residents won’t want to own cars), but this is the type of density we should encourage from the beach to the bay. Sensitive to surroundings, tall enough to support lots of local businesses, walkable, attractive, etc.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        Keep in mind that “height” and “density” are not the same things (and the buildings as proposed average under four stories in height).

        • Posted by Hunter

          Single-family homes are certainly unnecessary. I thought the *shortest* buildings were four stories, so that’s a big disappointment if not.

    • Posted by Frisco

      I’m not sure the 1-California makes this “transit rich.”

      • Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

        19% of all muni trips are on lines within 2 blocks of this site: 1 California (+A/BX), 2 Jackson, 38 Geary (+R,A/BX) and they are building the BRT line, scheduled to begin service 2021, 2 blocks away on Geary. This is one of the most transit-rich sites in the city.

        • Posted by Mark

          Sorry, but if this was a transit-rich area we’d have mass transit running under Geary shuttling 80,000+ riders in this transit-dependent area from the Richmond to downtown in under 20 minutes. Huge difference between transit-rich and transit-dependent.

        • Posted by Chris

          I support taking transit (and I usually walk in the city because I am fortunate to be able to walk to work and many other of my destinations ), but I think we need to be honest about what “transit-rich” means. Yes, compared to the rest of the city this may be a “transit-rich” corridor, but it sucks compared to real mass transit systems found in certain other cities in the U.S. and around the world. Three bus lines on an over-congested street just means you have three choices of getting stuck in traffic while riding the bus. If you are lucky, and there are no major delays, it takes about 35 minutes by bus to get to the Financial District, which is a distance of only about 3 miles. Of course, this assumes you work downtown, which is supposedly what the city wants to encourage people to do (live close to where they work). If you work on the edges of the city or outside the city, you are most likely going to need to drive, or spend an insane amount of time trying to get to work.

          Most people are not like me, and they cannot rely on walking or public transit to get where they need to go in a reasonable amount of time. Or, some people have to rely on public transit because they cannot afford any other option, but it means they have a miserable life spending a lot of time waiting for Muni (or BART), getting stuck on Muni (or BART), and spending very long commutes on Muni (or BART).

          If you want a transit-rich city, then build a truly transit-rich city. But, this requires spending major tax dollars to improve and expand the public transit system. Don’t drop a few buses on an over-congested street and call it “transit-rich.”

          • Posted by Scott F

            We are building a transit-rich city. as Jeffrey mentioned, the 38-Geary will become BRT (bus rapid transit), first phase of which starts construction next month.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            Painting red lines on Geary isn’t going to magically speed up Muni – especially since SFMTA has acknowledged that private vehicles will be able to use the lanes too; in addition, the busses are still subject to traffic lights, ambling peds, box-blocking cars, and all the other ills that make *real* mass transit (like an underground line) beneficial.

            And how long is this magic red carpet going to take to implement? Van Ness has been torn up for 18 months, with literally no sign of progress in the last several of those months (I know, I cross it every day). It’s been a decade since the Van Ness BRT was kicked off and all we have right now are constrained, uneven and dangerous traffic lanes and mangled crosswalks.

            Besides which, Geary is a *long* 2 blocks south of even the southernmost edge of this redevelopment – at its eastern edge, equivalent to 4 or 5 downtown-sized blocks. That’s not “close” even for an able-bodied person.

        • Posted by jimbo

          its sad if this is one of the most transit rich. i live within 6 blocks of here, and the transit is terrible. and the Geary BRT will make it all worse. its going to shave 1-2 minutes off a ride from Arguello to downtown, while at the same time snarling traffic for everyone else. we need to go underground

    • Posted by SFRealist

      This seems significantly more dense than what is there now. And taller than anything nearby.

      Rather than complain about this, it would be better to ask why this isn’t the standard.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Some of the highest density (and among the most sought-after) neighborhoods in the world – central Paris, SoHo, Greenwich Village, etc. – are 5, 6 and 7 stories. Not everything needs to be a tower in order to be “dense” – let alone human scaled and desirable.

    • Posted by jimbo

      transit rich? seriously? there are buses but it still take >30minutes to go 3 miles on the bus to downtown. Its still faster to get from oakland to downtown SF than from here. and this is pretty dense, much denser than most of SF

  2. Posted by Frank

    Folks who can afford these homes won’t be taking Muni.

    • Posted by SF is expensive - and its not getting cheaper so - lets talk about something else.

      folks who will afford these units will have to take muni – because that is all they would be able to afford after paying their housing

      • Posted by jimbo

        when you pay in cash for a $4M condo, you can throw in a $50K car pretty easily

  3. Posted by anon2.5

    The comments about parking here are so ridiculously out of touch with reality. Fact of the matter is owning a car in SF is only lightly correlated with affordability or availability of secured parking, and much more related to the individual needs of those families.

    A modest income family with family or other social ties outside of SF and in the Bay Area may need a car for mobility on weekends. At the same time, a high income family without those same ties will find owning a car burdensome or completely unnecessary.

    With or without a car, if you’re working in the financial district, you’re not going to be relying on a car (yours or shared) for commuting unless you have guaranteed parking in the financial district. So close proximity to transit lines matter a lot. I live on a transit rich corridor (6/7 lines). On average, Muni is much faster than Uber, Lyft or Chariot during commute hours.

    We should be encouraging higher density on major transit lines – whether or not you call it transit rich – because if you build it, they will come, and MUNI will have to increase capacity and frequency on those lines, which benefits old and new residents.

    Weekend travel within the city is much more likely to be done through Uber/Lyft, etc. even by those owning cars. Otherwise, where would you park it? and Why would you both with having to park several blocks from where you need to be?

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      You need to take into account residence tenure. I don’t have any data to back that up; it’s my intuition telling me that people who haven’t lived here for long are more likely to have a car and think they can commute like they live in the suburbs of Irvine.

      Everytime I am at the gym on the stairmaster or running on the treadmill, that commercial from the Bay Area Volvo dealers group comes on that shows the well-coiffed woman driving around the financial district with no other cars on the road, alone, mid-morning, in her luxury SUV with the showtune “My Favorite Things” playing in the background, I think to myself: who are they trying to kid?

      The answer is: some highly-compensated professional who currently does not live in S.F. or is a recent transplant.

      • Posted by Chris

        You are talking about a commercial, which is intended to sell a product, not reflect an accurate portrayal of real life. I assume the intended message of the commercial is that when you drive a Volvo, it feels as if you are the only person on the road. But, again, that has nothing to do with real life.

        I walk to work (because I am lucky to be able to do so). But, I have lived her for over 20 years, and I know a good number of native San Franciscans who own cars and drive them around in the city, including driving to work every day.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Well said – my b.f. bikes to work downtown, and generally bikes for weekend errands and events, or in the evening takes Uber/Lyft … but he keeps a car to visit family in Marin and on the Peninsula, and to easily take hiking trips further afield. The mere fact of having a car – of having a space to park a car – doesn’t mean that hundreds of additional cars are suddenly going to flood the roads. (Having a space to park a car *does* mean that it’s one less car on the street.)

  4. Posted by UnlivableCity

    It’s a haul to get out there and will only get worse as the BRT boulevard killer deploys. Being forced to lurch and lumber on awful Muni busses an hour each way is not Transit rich. It’s a transit spinal twitch.

    • Posted by busrider

      More uninformed, anti-Muni hyperbole. BRT improves public transit and helps ensure a smoother ride for all Muni riders.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        I’m willing to place a money bet on that … especially since now SFMTA has acknowledged that they’ve always planned to allow private vehicles (Chariot, etc.) use the red lanes too. I can (and do) bike downtown from Park Presidio faster than even the BX “express” buses, so how this is “transit rich” escapes me.

        • Posted by busrider

          Red carpet lanes on Mission Street, and other related measures that somewhat prioritize transit along Mission, directly contributed to noticeably quicker (and more reliable) 14 and 14R bus service along this corridor, saving riders minutes each day (which adds up to hours each month and days’ worth of time savings each year).

  5. Posted by Dave

    This is an exquisite project. The architecture is engaging and varied. The buildings are unique but work together to form a whole that is inviting and worthy to be called home by its future residents. From the use of varied façade materials to the different roof treatments. The little courtyard on California flanked by trees – spot on. The balconies, greening at the rooflines and throughout the project. The architectural team paid attention to the details and cared. Outstanding job!

    It is great to see such a project in SF. It’s unfortunate that there are so few other mid-sized residential projects worthy of note in San Francisco – built in the last decade or proposed to be built in the coming years. If one travels to other cities one finds many spectacular newer or planned residential developments. Projects like this should be the norm for San Francisco medium density residential development.

    • Posted by David

      Well put Dave. This project is far superior to much of what has been proposed in SF, leaving aside downtown high-rise condos as that is a completely different context. We should be lucky to have such highly rigorous and qualified architects working on more projects in this city.

      I also believe that the focus on parking is misguided. I highly doubt that the inclusion of parking is leading to a reduction in unit count.

    • Posted by capkurtan

      Agree. So obvious that most of the architects in Mission Bay/SoMa did not really care about what they were doing. The creek-facing architecture in Mission Bay was a huge wasted opportunity. Could have been a new attraction/landmark, instead its a sleepy, sterile walkway that’s empty despite thousands of people living in a .1 mile radius.

      • Posted by Hunter

        Ditto. Hoping the new section nearer to the hotel is better executed.

      • Posted by Brian M

        I don’t know. I usually see people walking their dogs, relaxing on the benches, etc. I kinda like the housing design myself.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Agree with Dave. This is appropriate density and look/feel for this location. On the whole, this is what we should be encouraging.

  6. Posted by Amewsed

    I like it. Look forward to seeing it when done. The Laurel Village shops are going to be packed when the new residents arrive. More shops are necessary.

  7. Posted by Fred

    The demolition of the existing buildings should be quite a mess.

  8. Posted by alwaysalurker

    and the asbestos.

  9. Posted by David Burnett

    What happens to the parking for the 3838 California medical building in the left side of the photo? A number of doctors and patients use the existing garage.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The 460 Cherry Street garage is slated to be razed to make room for a 5-story building with 29 residential units and a private garage for 57 cars.

  10. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    California and Geary need a LOOP line that extends from the F-Line Fishermans Wharf and Ghiradelli out to Ft.Funston and extend over to Chrissy Field than south to California and Geary and 19th Ave along Sunset Blvd. or 19th tunneling… Without this massive change traffic and gridlock will continue to worsen…

  11. Posted by S

    273 units is a joke. they could be fitting a greater number of smaller (read more affordable units) here in the same footprint. Inequality will keep rising as homeownership becomes more and more out of reach.

  12. Posted by Conifer

    It seems that many of these comments have appeared before on socketsite. The social engineers who think that cars are bad use the phrase “transit rich” as an excuse for limiting parking spaces. Anyone who travels to other large cities knows that San Francisco is not “transit rich” and will not be for many decades at best.

    Then the pro-car people, who live in the real world, especially the world of people who inhabit Presidio Heights and Jordan Park, note that cars are not options but necessities for most. We then have someone telling us how they take their bicycle all over town, ignoring the fact that only a minority, fit people between about 15 and 70 can do this.

    Then we have the advocate for small apartments, which would preclude rational families from buying here.

    I suspect that these positions will not change –nor will mine– and they will populate these discussions, forever and ever amen.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Fit people between about 15 and 70 are “a minority” in San Francisco? If that’s true (where’s a link to the survey you’re basing that on?), perhaps we need a public education campaign to let people in on the fact that if they ride a bicycle all over town, that would contribute to them getting (and staying) fit.

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