Plans to raze the former KRON TV building at 1001 Van Ness Avenue and develop a 14-story building, with 239 condos over 5,000 square feet of retail space fronting Van Ness, were approved two years ago but never broke ground. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any behind the scenes movement with respect to redeveloping the site.

In fact, both demolition and building permits for the site have been requested. But the previously approved plans have been scrapped.

Instead, Oryx Partners is now planning to build a residential care facility on the Cathedral Hill site, with 247 assisted living units for seniors over 8,200 square feet of ground floor retail space, the new plans for which are working their way through planning. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Metroliner

    Why the heck are they building another assisted care project on one of the busiest corridors in the city? And if this is less than the previous 14 floors, it’ll be a joke. Another wasted opportunity along the BRT.

    • Posted by Patrick

      Because if any of the elders have a medical issue, the CPMC Van Ness Geary campus is only a block away?

    • Posted by myself

      Proximity to transit is a lifeline for seniors. Furthermore there is a huge deficit of housing for seniors in SF. Your ageism is offensive.

    • Posted by BobN

      The neighborhood already has quite a few projects directed at the needs of seniors. Seems like a good idea.

      Doesn’t do much to encourage nightlife in the area though.

  2. Posted by Dave

    Essentially another major residential project abandoned in SF. More and more these no longer pencil given BMR requirements, stalled condo prices in SF and rising interest rates. A semi-medical use such as assisted living is obviously still viable. The whole elder-care market is “booming” and is one that RE investors have taken notice of in recent years. The potential of multiple revenue streams (coming from residents/their families, government funding and long-term care resources) is appealing. I assume also that there is no BMR requirement here.

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      I think Dave has the correct take here. Retiring baby boomers with lots of money who want to live close to the cultural offerings of San Francisco. Being elderly, they are not the policy revenue targets that young adult renters represent. People don’t want to scrimp on care for mom and dad, so you can keep raising rates. Getting old’s a growth industry. All that said, construction is expensive and it’s probably still a toss-up whether or not this is built in 4 years. Previously approved plans have been scrapped.

      How long until we have BMR requirements for senior care facilities? (ELECT ME BECAUSE WE CAN’T JUST BE A CITY OF RICH RETIRED WHITE PEOPLE!!!!!)

  3. Posted by denis

    I also agree. Retirement/assisted living facilities are needed as people live longer. I think the Towers has a years long wait list. However, it’s also a bit of a racket. My parents live in one of the poorest states and a room in an ok center there is still 6k a month. I can’t imagine what these will cost.

    I am concerned and disappointed that potential housing development sites are being passed over for the aforementioned reasons. It was good while it lasted. My only hope is that the mayor might take note of a massive slowdown in construction actually breaking ground and work hard to expedite the entitlement process and listen to developers in regards to the BMR requirements. Just let me enjoy my fantasies…

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      Even if the city streamlines, they won’t be able to cut worker wages (prevailing-wage especially) or increasing interest rates. More smart young families and companies moving to Oregon or Colorado or Sacramento or Reno is what we will reap given what we have sown. The very rich and very poor will remain. Michael Tilson Thomas and your friendly local heroin dealer. Only one of those guys is retiring soon.

      • Posted by denis

        This is right, of course. I said this in another thread, but the entitlement process for my microscopic project took so long (non-conforming structure), that by the time I was able to get close to an approval the construction and labor costs have soared so that it’s no longer economically feasible. The building didn’t even appraise for the construction cost so good luck getting financing at a decent interest rate. So, I’m with you.

        I mentioned my parents live in an economically impoverished area, but even it saw enough growth pre-recession to make it livable. A 2k square foot home is less than 200k in a decent, safe neighborhood. And there’s a Whole Foods! And a Delfina’s pizza clone!

        • Posted by Dave

          Your parents’ situation is not unique. In fact there are homes to be had for 350K – 500K in quite good neighborhoods in economically booming metros. With lots of tech growth and good paying jobs. Hence the growing domestic net out-migration from the Bay Area. As interest rates rise their negative impact on RE values will be felt more in areas where the affordability index is low. The Bay Area for instance. And less so in growing metros with high affordability indexes. Further spurring migration of people and jobs out of the Bay Area. And making construction of high-priced condos – such as these would have been – increasingly problematic.

  4. Posted by Dave

    As to the Mayor, there is almost nothing she can do at this point to alleviate the major slowdown in construction in SF. One can shorten the entitlement time as much as they want but if a project does not pencil, it does not pencil. The BMR requirement this project and others being abandoned are under is less strict than the current one. The Mayor can encourage a relook at the requirement and maybe an adjustment. IIRC the proposition calls for a relook after a few years. That said, there is no political will to roll back significantly BMR requirements – certainly not to levels below the ones for this project which at this time seem unworkable.

    A number of projects on the Van Ness corridor are stalled and a good bet is they will be dropped. If prices for condos drop significantly, which they have not done, projects like 525 Harrison may not be built. That project was to start construction a year ago. Then a new permit issue or whatever came up and it is still waiting. In the meantime prices for new condos have cooled more and the developer is probably running new numbers as to what they are likely to sell for in 3 years or so when it maybe comes on line. If the numbers don’t pencil watch for that entitlement to be put up for sale.

    • Posted by Dave

      I actually wrote 555 Howard. Not 525 Harrison. Hines has already abandoned the Harrison Street project. I am speculating 555 Howard could possibly be abandoned given the long delay it has experienced and the falling new condo prices.

  5. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Honestly, as long as it’s designed nicely, I’m completely unconcerned with who lives there.

  6. Posted by Pablito

    I always wondered why the existing building was so ugly, but a TV studio makes perfect sense.
    The sooner they demo this eyesore the better.

  7. Posted by Ken

    I am currently in Tokyo and just discussed a project under construction here with some friends. It is a senior care AND apartments/condos. First Floor is retail and services of course, 2-15 are for seniors and 16-45 are apartments. Oh, and it’s a five minute walk to TWO different rail lines. This is why I live part time in Tokyo. They just do things right.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Yes, I am spoiled for choice in terms of easy, clean, fast subway line, MRT, here in Singapore. Each one way trip is about 77 cents, local currency. I get a kick out of seeing so many upscale retail and eateries i.e. Food Republic, a chain which houses 7-10 different stalls selling great and unique food local to the region for around S$5-10 a full set meal. I will no longer look at food courts in subway stations the same way again. There are so many ways of doing things well globally.

  8. Posted by SF_Resident

    The thing is, with San Francisco being so expensive to live in, can a senior citizen afford to live in such a facility?

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      Rich senior citizens can. That’s the market this project would serve.

      Compound interest is a real thing. People who aren’t that bright or dynamic economically who live beneath their means can accrue a ton of money by the time they are 75-80. What’s left to spend it on? A nice place to live with nice people to take care of you. This is not for social security pensioners.

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