CATEGORY ARCHIVE: Being Green

April 10, 2014

Congestion Pricing Coming To Treasure Island, Transportation Too

Treasury%20Island%20Aerial%20SOM%20Rendering%202014.jpg

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority has been named the Mobility Management Agency for Treasure Island and will be responsible for managing the transportation plan for the island’s approved redevelopment which includes up to 8,000 housing units, 300 acres of open space, 500 hotel rooms and 450,000 square feet of retail and historic reuse.

Treasure Island Promenade

At the center of the transportation plan for Treasure Island, a congestion pricing program for those in cars, the first such program in the country, and better public transportation, too:

Drivers coming to or from the island during peak periods will pay a toll, and all parking on the island will be priced. Revenues from the program will be used to fund bus and ferry service, as well as shuttles and pedestrian and bicycle amenities within Treasure Island.
In addition to the fee for motorists traveling to or from the island during peak hours, the travel demand management strategy calls for parking spaces to be sold separately from residential units in the new developments, requires pricing of all visitor parking on the island, and requires that residents and hotel guests purchase transit vouchers.

Ferry service will operate from a new Terminal and Transit Hub to be located on the western shore of Treasure Island, serving buses and a fleet of four alternative-fuel island shuttles for residents, employees, and visitors as well (click map to enlarge).

The pricing program policy analysis to determine who, when, how much and in what direction tolls will be paid is underway with recommendations due by the end of the year. Design and installation is slated to get rolling in 2015.

The Treasure Island Transportation Plan [sftreasureisland.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (42) | (email story)

April 3, 2014

Ballot Measure To Block Approved Golden Gate Park Project Planned

Beach Chalet Field Plan

The Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park has filed a notice of intent to start gathering signatures in support of a November ballot measure to ensure "voters have a voice in deciding the future of Golden Gate Park."

More specifically, the proposed "Golden Gate Park Recreational Fields Renovation Act" would require that all athletic fields in Golden Gate Park west of Crossover Drive be maintained as natural grass and without any nighttime lighting.

And in other words, the proposed ballot measure would block the approved renovation of the Beach Chalet Athletic Fields, a project which is slated to break ground this year and convert the four grass fields to synthetic turf and light them for evening use.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

March 28, 2014

The Push To Landmark An At-Risk Market Street Tree

Seeking an "open aesthetic," the buyer of 3066 Market Street, a speculative project which had been stalled mid-construction and ended up selling on the courthouse steps earlier this year, was planning to chop down the 75-foot-tall redwood tree in the backyard.

Sponsored by Supervisor Wiener and recommended by San Francisco's Land Use and Economic Development Committee, the Sequoiadendron giganteum at 3066 Market Street has been nominated for Landmark Tree status. Yes, that’s a real thing.

If approved by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors next week, the tree will likely have to be trimmed and maintained rather than removed as planned. The best line from San Francisco's Landmark Tree Program Criteria and Procedures which were adopted in 2006:

Whereas, Older mature trees with historic, cultural, economic, or visual significance to a municipality can be designated as “landmark” trees; which is not to say that younger tress are insignificant or may not be designated as a landmark tree in the future…

While not historic, the 3066 Market Street redwood has been described as "majestic and unique for the area," provides a wind and sound barrier from Market Street for the neighbors, and "reflects the aesthetic of the homes of the area," other than the one it's behind.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

McCoppin Hub Plaza Is On Its Way To Becoming Open Space

McCoppin%20Hub%20site.gif

Originally envisioned as a community garden, the McCoppin cul-de-sac between Valencia Street and the Central Freeway ramp will become the mixed-use McCoppin Hub Plaza, with pads for food trucks, farmers markets, or other community events (click to enlarge).

The ordinance to rezone the cul-de-sac as open space has just been introduced, construction is underway, and the Department of Public Works is coordinating with Caltrans to include the fenced Caltrans land at the back of the parcel in the overall plaza design.

For those who may not know, Frank McCoppin was the first foreign-born Mayor of San Francisco. Born in the Republic of Ireland in 1834, McCoppin married Elizabeth Bird Van Ness in 1862 and was the Mayor of San Francisco from 1867 to 1869.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

March 27, 2014

The Block-By-Block Plans And Conceptual Designs For Polk Street

The conceptual designs and detailed plans for the complete makeover of Polk Street from Union to Market, including bike lane placements (both dedicated and shared); proposed lighting, pedestrian safety, alley and streetscape improvements; and a block-by-block count of the parking spaces to be lost, or gained, were unveiled last night.

Polk%20Street%20Redesign%20Detail.gif

The block-by-block plans for Polk Street: from Union to Sutter and from Sutter to Market.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

March 24, 2014

Polk Street Redesign: Unveiling The Grand Plan

The grand plan for redesigning Polk Street between McAllister and Union, a project which includes improved lighting, landscaping, curb extensions, alley improvements, improved bicycle facilities and a repaving of the road will be unveiled this Wednesday.

The contentious Polk Street redesign and fight over the removal of on-street parking spaces is intended to "improve pedestrian safety, mobility for cyclists and transit riders, and support overall commercial activity along Polk Street."

Construction on the Polk Street redesign and repaving is slated to begin in 2015.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (56) | (email story)

March 13, 2014

A Showcase Connection Between Potrero, Dogpatch, And The Bay

One of five designs to showcase San Francisco's Green Connections project, a 115 mile network of walking and biking paths to crisscross San Francisco, the concept for connecting Potrero Hill and Dogpatch includes a staircase and improved pathway along the 22nd street right of way, linking Potrero to Dogpatch's commercial core; improvements to the 22nd Street Caltrain station; and the greening of 22nd Street (click images to enlarge).

In addition, the obsolete train tracks on Illinois Street will be removed and the sidewalks improved; the construction cranes currently parked along 24th Street will be moved; and an off-street trail will eventually connect to trails at the Warm Water Cove Park.

The next steps and timeline for the elements of the Potrero to Dogpatch Connection:

Hillclimb Linking Potrero to Dogpatch: TBD. May be funded via the redevelopment of adjacent properties.

Dogpatch Commercial Core Improvements: The City anticipates roughly $2M in development impact fees that can be allocated toward the project in FY 2016.

Illinois Street (Short Term): Plans to work with the Port and PG&E to replace the asphalt sidewalk in front of the Power Plant with modern concrete sidewalk and landscaping.

Warm Water Cove Park: Project planning is scheduled to begin in mid-2014 and construction is scheduled to start in mid-2016 be completed in mid-2017.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (44) | (email story)

March 10, 2014

Stewardship For Self-Sustaining Public Plazas In San Francisco

The proposed San Francisco Plaza Program aims to boost the utilization of city-owned open spaces throughout San Francisco by allowing non-profit groups to assume their management, creating a network of self-sustaining plazas for community supported activities, such as art and music events, farmers’ markets, and local food/retail.

This [San Francisco Plaza Program] is designed to activate the public realm while empowering interested and City-identified stakeholder groups to steward the long term care, maintenance and/or activation of plazas adopted into the Plaza Program. If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the program would leverage benefits for the public realm by supporting community-based groups in becoming stewards of their neighborhood open space.
Plazas that fit criteria to be adopted in this program would be located on City-owned property in active areas of San Francisco, like commercial corridors, transit or bicycle hubs or other naturally active areas. Only City property generally over 2,000 square feet and outside of the Recreation and Parks Department jurisdiction would be eligible. Each proposed plaza would have a demonstrable need for a long-term activation and/or maintenance solution.

Plaza Stewards would be responsible for generating enough revenue to cover their approved activation, management and maintenance budgets. A portion of any excess plaza revenue could be used by the City to fund underperforming plazas in the program. And while the plazas will remain public spaces, a number of private events may be allowed.

If the Plaza Program is adopted, proposals for at least three plazas and plaza stewards are expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year.

San Francisco Plaza Program Overview [oewd.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

March 7, 2014

The Vision For San Francisco's Open Space And Green Streets

ROSE%20Priority.gif

San Francisco's Planning Department has updated its vision and policy plan for recreation and open space across the city, adding an emphasis on the recreation in addition to open space, re-prioritizing the high needs areas, and planning for a network of living streets.

The current reality for many blocks in the city:

ROSE%20Before.gif

And the vision for what could be:

ROSE%20After.gif

San Francisco Recreation & Open Space Element Overview [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (50) | (email story)

February 18, 2014

Plans For A Pair Of Passive Houses In SF, And The Active Opposition

2123-2127%20Castro.gif

As proposed, the existing two-story house at 2123 Castro Street which was built in 1912 will be demolished in order to make way for a contemporary, three-story home to rise with designs for it to be a certified Net-Zero Energy (NZE) building.

Despite a building size of over 3,670 square feet including the garage, the proposed Noe Valley home will not have a furnace nor air-conditioning and will be "passive" in design, a super-insulated structure with an air-tight building shell which will primarily derive its heat from the sun and people inside, the first new passive house in San Francisco.

A second three-story home of equally efficient and ambitious design is proposed to rise on the adjacent 2127 Castro Street parcel, upon which the 500-square-foot garage for the existing home at 2123 Castro Street currently sits.

2123-2127%20Castro%20Marked.gif

Opposing the project, a nearby neighbor and 44 signers of a petition who are concerned that the development will replace affordable housing with high-cost housing and that the scale and design of the buildings are out of context with the neighborhood:

2123-2127%20Castro%20Parcels.gif

Keep in mind that the existing "affordable home" at 2123 Castro Street has recently been appraised for $1,525,000 and neither of the neighbors in the adjacent single-story homes to the north and south of the proposed project are opposed to the plans.

San Francisco's Planning Commission is slated to issue a decision with respect to the proposed plans for 2123 Castro Street this week with the Planning Department's recommendation that they be approved.

The proposed sister building at 2127 Castro Street is following under cover of a separate permit.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

February 4, 2014

Folsom Street Park Cleared To Move Forward (With Possible Flooding)

17th and Folsom

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has determined that building a wet weather storage basin to reduce neighborhood flooding as part of the park project at 17th and Folsom "would not make enough of a beneficial impact locally to justify the high costs to San Francisco ratepayers" and the SFPUC will not proceed with their storage basin plan.

Final park design and construction are now clear to move forward with the new tentative opening date for the park scheduled for Summer 2015. And while the SFPUC will continue to assess their options for reducing area flooding, in the near-term they're recommending property owners install protective measures for when the storms do come.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

January 24, 2014

At What Price Should The Francisco Reservoir Become A Park?

San Francisco's Francisco Street Reservoir

As we first reported about the state of San Francisco’s old reservoir between Francisco and Hyde back in 2012:

In early 2008, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission floated the idea of selling off the Francisco Reservoir to developers with hopes of getting as much as $50 million for the site which has sat unused for 71 years, an idea which was quickly sunk by neighborhood and local Supervisor opposition, not to mention a market turnabout at the end of 2008.
While San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution reaffirming the reservoir’s status as open space, the resolution was non-binding, the site remains undeveloped and in disrepair, and the market for developable property is picking up.
Perhaps sensing another turning point, a consortium of four neighborhood groups is holding a community-wide meeting to review "proposed ideas and conceptual plans for public open space uses" for the reservoir…

The rotting roof over the reservoir has since been razed, the aforementioned consortium has raised commitments of $8 million towards the Chronicle's reported $11 million cost of transforming the reservoir into a park, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is reportedly in talks with the Recreation and Park Department to purchase the 4-acre parcel.

The purchase of the parcel, however, is not atop the list of the parks department’s priorities and any sale would have to be at fair market value (note that $50 million figure that was bantered about back in 2008).

As neighborhood Supervisor Farrell notes, “where else in San Francisco do you have a multi-acre plot of concrete that's been decaying for decades, in the middle of a neighborhood and close to the tourism industry, where you can build a brand-new park?” That being said, you might recall the Mayor’s recent state of the city address, the cornerstone of which was his seven point plan for solving San Francisco’s housing crisis and a commitment to building more housing, and there aren’t many "multi-acre plot of concrete that's been decaying for decades, in the middle of a neighborhood" upon which to build.

And perhaps not coincidentally in terms of the timing of the story, the framework for a new inter-agency strategy to coordinate the development of underutilized publicly-owned sites across San Francisco is slated to be presented next week.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (40) | (email story)

January 23, 2014

Recommendations For Implementing An Eco-District In San Francisco

Eco-District%20Underpass.gif

About to be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission, an update on the plans for developing a Central SoMa "eco-district" and a series of recommendations and detailed strategies for how the eco-district should be implemented.

The eco-district task force's key recommendations around the areas of (1) equitable development, (2) economic development, (3) community building, (4) energy, (5) water, (6) waste, (7) habitat and eco-system function, (8) access and mobility, (9) health and well-being, and (10) the actual implementation of the eco-district:

1.1 Promote Equity and Local Opportunity
2.1 Enhance Local Economic Development
2.2 Create a Resilient Central SoMa
3.1 Foster the creation of new community driven initiatives
3.2 Create an Innovation District
4.1 Establish a Net Zero Carbon Energy District
5.1 Create a district where only non-potable water is used for non-potable uses.
6.1 Strive for a Zero Waste District
7.1 Expand and Enhance Habitat and Eco-System Function
8.1 Reduce Emissions from Transportation
9.1 Leverage Eco-District Projects to Promote Public Health and Well-Being
9.2 Activate Rooftops
10.1 Establish a Steering Committee to Formalize the Eco-District Organization
10.2 Identify Short, Medium and Long Term Goals to Facilitate Eco-District Implementation

The Task Force’s detailed strategies for implementing its aforementioned recommendations: Central SoMa Eco-District: Task Force Recommendations.

The Framework For San Francisco's First Urban Eco-District [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

December 24, 2013

The Economics Of Urban Trees

Holiday%20Street%20Trees.jpg

As part of the due diligence for San Francisco's Urban Forest Plan, an inventory and accounting for 24,858 publicly managed "street trees" was conducted. And while the math is a little fuzzy, especially when it comes to the socioeconomic benefits, each tree was estimated to contribute just under $160 a year in benefits to the community at large.

A breakdown of the estimated economic benefits and accounting per tree:

1. [The 24,858 inventoried] trees reduce electricity and natural gas use in their neighborhoods through shading and climate effects; a benefit totaling $257,418, an average of $10.36 per tree.
2. [The inventoried trees] sequester 1,173 tons of atmospheric CO2 per year. An additional 626 tons is circumvented through decreased energy use, resulting in a net value of $24,691.45 and an average of $0.99 per tree.
3. Trees improve air quality through the absorption and deposition of chemical pollutants. The trees in this inventory remove 5,089 lbs of Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide and particulate matter (PM10) annually for an estimated benefit to the City of $53,360 each year. [Editor's Note: Biogenic volatile organic compound emissions, especially from Redflower gums, offsets the total air quality benefit by $79,866, for an annual net cost of $0.53 per tree.]
4. San Francisco’s inventoried trees intercept an estimated 19.2 million gallons of storm water annually for a total value of $1,999,994 per year, an average of $80.46 per tree.
5. The total annual benefits contributed by San Francisco's inventoried trees to property value increases, aesthetics, and socioeconomic value are approximately $1.7 million, an average of $67.52 per tree.

On the expense side, it was estimated that the City of San Francisco currently spends roughly $900,000 per year to maintain the inventoried trees, an average of just over $36 per tree. An accounting for the private investment to maintain the city's inventory of trees, in terms of time and money, was not included as part of the study.

Speaking For The Trees In San Francisco: The Urban Forest Plan [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

December 23, 2013

Luxury Platinum Living In Noe Valley

4365%2026th%20Street.jpg

Purchased as an 810-square-foot Noe Valley fixer for $850,000 in 2011, an expansion of 4365 26th Street's main floor by 540 square feet and the addition an all-new 1,300 square foot second floor were approved for the home in 2012, a project which survived a Discretionary Review.

4365%2026th%20Street%20Kitchen.jpg

Designed to be LEED Platinum certified, green features of the rebuilt home include 16 solar panels on the roof, a 1,000 gallon rainwater catchment system for irrigating the greens out back, and a reclaimed-wood floating staircase from a Warner Brother's warehouse inside.

4365%2026th%20Street%20Staircase.jpg

With four bedrooms on the new upper level, the main level has been opened-up and opens up to an outdoor kitchen, patio and the terraced edible garden (click the floor plans to enlarge):

4365%2026th%20Street%20Yard.jpg

While not yet officially listed, the Noe home is now on the market for $3,995,000. And yes, the garage is wired for an electric vehicle charger should a new Tesla arrive tied with a bow.

∙ Listing: 4365 26th Street (4/3.5) - $3,995,000 | Floor Plan [noeleed.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (51) | (email story)

December 18, 2013

Speaking For The Trees In San Francisco: The Urban Forest Plan

San%20Francisco%20Street%20Chart.gif

Once a largely treeless landscape of grassy hills and sand dunes, there are now an estimated 670,000 trees growing in the "Urban Forest" of San Francisco with an estimated 105,000 street trees located in the public right-of-way.

In collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Friends of the Urban Forest, San Francisco's Planning Department is now working on a plan to promote San Francisco's Urban Forest with a primary focus on managing and growing the city's street tree population, a population which could grow by upwards of 50,000 new trees over the next 20 years.

In conjunction with the Urban Forest Plan, a Municipal Street Tree Program under which the Department of Public Works (DPW) would assume the responsibility for the planting and maintenance of all street trees in San Francisco is also being considered.

Under a comprehensive municipal street tree program, property owners who currently care for street trees would no longer be required to maintain trees or repair sidewalks damaged as a result of a street tree. In addition, the City would cover the liability associated with tree-related sidewalk falls, which have averaged just over $23,000 per claim over the past eight years.
A municipal program would save property owners between $10 and $65 per tree annually compared to current costs (estimated at between $160 and $175 annually) incurred for maintenance, sidewalk repair and claims associated with sidewalk falls.

Funding to execute the Urban Forest Plan would likely come by way of General Obligation bonds, state grants, capital improvement funds or contributions while a parcel tax tiered by street frontage has been recommended for funding the municipal street tree program.

The first draft of San Francisco's Urban Forest Plan will be published next month.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (45) | (email story)

December 11, 2013

Alta Vista School Drafts Plans To Double In Size

Alta%20Vista%20School%20Site.gif

The Alta Vista School moved from 3,500 square feet of start-up space in 2012 to a one-acre Portola campus at 450 Somerset Street with a three-story school building of 23,000 square feet, a two-car garage, and a paved play yard which doubles as parking for the adjacent church.

With a current enrolment of around 160 students, the school has drafted plans to raze the garage along Wayland and construct a second three-story building of 21,000 square feet on the site with classrooms, administrative space, and a landscaped green roof with open space for the students. The paved play yard would be reconfigured with play/sports areas, a garden and new landscaping. A parking pad for six cars would be provided at the rear of the site.

With the proposed addition, the Alta Vista School would be able to accommodate an enrolment of up to 420 students.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

December 10, 2013

Due Date And Decision For Mid-Crissy Field Plans Pushed Back

Presidio%20Commissary%20Site%20Full.jpg

While revised proposals for redeveloping the Presidio’s former Commissary and current Sports Basement site across from Crissy Field were originally due on January 3, the deadline has been pushed back by two weeks to January 17, 2014.

The date for the Presidio Trust’s public Board Meeting to discuss the revised proposals remains unscheduled and the reference to the Trust Board indicating a direction for the Mid-Crissy Field site in January has just been removed from the Presidio Trust’s timeline.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

December 5, 2013

The Plan To Transform Central SoMa's Streets

Central%20SoMa%20Street%20Plan.gif

Acknowledging that the existing Central SoMa transportation network isn't sufficient today, much less sufficient to support a potential doubling of residents and workers in the area as proposed, a plan to improve the network, streets, and environment for pedestrians in SoMa has been drafted.

The six key principles that guided the development of the draft plan:

1. Create a safe, convenient, attractive environment for pedestrians
2. Design transit routes to serve the area and improve performance
3. Improve bicycling conditions
4. Employ Transportation Demand Management Measures
5. Restrict curb cuts
6. Where and when necessary, accommodate regional and through traffic

Proposed improvements include a plethora of new mid-block crosswalks, wider sidewalks, cycle tracks and the redevelopment of Folsom Street as a civic boulevard as has long been proposed.

The Impact Study for the proposed transportation plan should be finalized by May of 2014 with a Draft Environmental Report for the project slated to be ready in September.

Central SoMa Transportation Network Plan Presentation [sfmta]
Are The Big Plans For San Francisco's Central Corridor Big Enough? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (57) | (email story)

November 27, 2013

The Designs For Apple's Proposed Union Square Store Plaza

Apple%20Store%20Union%20Square%20Rear.jpg

As part of the design for Apple's proposed flagship store on Union Square, the Grand Hyatt Hotel Plaza between the existing Levi’s Store and Grand Hyatt Hotel will be reconfigured.

In addition to moving Ruth Asawa's San Francisco Fountain a little to the north and a foot closer to the street, the rectangular tree-lined plaza behind the proposed Apple store would terminate at a new water feature wall at the west end of the plaza with concrete benches, large planter boxes, and a stone-paved area for tables and chairs between.

Apple%20Store%20Union%20Square%20Plaza.jpg

Recessed light fixtures would illuminate the plaza, fountain and wall of water at night:

Apple%20Store%20Union%20Square%20Plaza%20night.jpg

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

November 25, 2013

The Final Map For 115 Miles Of Green Connections To Crisscross SF

San Francisco's Green Connections Map

The final map for 115 miles of walking and biking paths to crisscross San Francisco will be officially unveiled next week on December 4, along with the conceptual plans for the first six "Green Connections" in the Bayview, Chinatown, Potrero Hill, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley, and Western Addition neighborhoods.

As we first reported last year when the draft map and 25 proposed routes were announced, the goal of San Francisco's "Green Connections" project is to improve non-motorized access to San Francisco's parks, open space and waterfront by re-envisioning target City streets and paths as a network of 'green connectors' to be landscaped, traffic calmed, and improved for pedestrian and bicycle access over the next twenty years.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (75) | (email story)

November 14, 2013

Six Designs For A Zero Net Energy Building In San Francisco

AAZ%202013%20Winners.jpg

This year's Architecture at Zero competition, co-sponsored by PG&E and the American Institute of Architects San Francisco in collaboration with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, was to create a zero net energy design for a 150-unit affordable apartment building and grocery store in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.

The six award winning concept designs for the site on the northwest corner of Taylor and Eddy Streets which is currently used as a surface parking lot but fully approved for development, albeit with a non-zero net energy design:

1. Living in Flux by Victor Bao (Student Entry Merit Award)
AAZ%202013%20Living%20in%20Flux.jpg

With respect to Living in Flux, the competition jury commented that there was "a huge amount of analysis, perhaps more sophisticated and thought-through than any other student and professional entries. [The designer] was careful to treat the facades differently according to their in-depth analysis of the different facades… there is a nice presence on the ground floor that addresses the street and outdoor space for residents. We feel [the designer] thought about the architecture in a refined and simple way, with an honest presentation of the design ideas. The cross ventilation is well done, with good lighting, and PV is used very effectively and nicely expressed on the façade of the building."

2. Catalyst SF by Booth Hansen (Merit Award)
AAZ%202013%20Catalyst%20SF.jpg

The jury noted that Catalyst SF was "architecturally one of the most successful projects– it relates to the streetscape and breaks up the façade. There is a detailed scale of the project on the lower stories and it simplifies higher up on the building. It deals well with the unit count—one tower and 4 or 5 story massing on the side and on the back of the building to provide open space on the upper level. It is a well-articulated, interesting and believable design."

3. Prime Cut by Rutz Architects (Merit Award)
AAZ%202013%20Prime%20Cut.jpg

The jury noted that Prime Cut was "the most successful and deeply thought-out plan for achieving cross ventilation and light. There is interesting access to open space for individual units with seasonal covered porches. Southern exposure for the sunlight provides daylighting for retail space. This is a very imaginative plan and studiously designed so the building doesn’t need a heating or cooling system. The inventive plan results in a civilized building."

4. NZ+ Beyond Net Zero Energy by Drew Adams, Joseph Yau and Mark Alocilja (Citation Award)
AAZ%202013%20NZ%2B.jpg

The jury commented that the NZ+ Beyond Net Zero Energy design had a "good diagram with the main horizontal tower on the south side with open space. Each unit has access to two facades for cross ventilation. [The design] eliminated the corridor space so costs could be cut for the affordable housing project. The designers used an integrated design process to integrate energy with their design solutions. The open space angles to the southwest which provides open space on the second floor as well as daylighting for the retail space."

5. Folium by Herman Coliver Locus Architecture, EBS Consultants, and Architecural Lighting Design (Special Recognition Award)
AAZ%202013%20Folium.jpg

The jury commented that "the key aspect of [the Folium] project is how they optimized the [photovoltaic] and integrated it into the architecture of the building. The spacing allows for nice views and ventilation for the building. The PV is optimized in terms of productivity, thoughtfully completed and nicely pieced together."

6. Tetris Block by Duane B. Carter, Mike Stopka, Simon Mance, Scott Farbman and Courtney Brower (Special Recognition Award)
AAZ%20Tetris%20Block.jpg

With respect to Tetris Block, the jury commented that "there is nice solar gain management and use of stairwells into ventilation tower system. The use of towers broke up the mass of the building. The glass towers were not just for solar chimneys but also important elements for circulation and open stair towers that will bring the community together. The stair element is key to a successful project; stair space must be alluring for people to want to use them."

The Architecture at Zero competition supports an action plan of the California Public Utilities Commission that all new residential construction in California be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020. The goal for new commercial construction is to achieve ZNE by 2030.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 12, 2013

Warriors' SF Arena Design Slimmed-Down And Opened Up

With parks, plazas and paths along the bay, the open space for the proposed Warriors Arena in San Francisco has grown from half of the project area to 60 percent in Design 3.0.

The slimmed-down design lowers the 18,064 seat arena's height from 135 to 125 feet, reduces the proposed retail and event center area along the Embarcadero by 30,000 square feet, and expands the open space to 7.6 acres (up by nearly an acre).

The entrance to the arena's 500 space garage has been moved "mid-pier" to between Bryant and Beale and the height of the roof over the practice facility, parking garage and fire station on the northern end of the Piers 30/32 site has been lowered from 55 to 37 feet.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (70) | (email story)

November 5, 2013

The Polls Are Open In San Francisco And It's Time To Vote

8%20Washinton%202013.jpg

Perhaps you've already mailed your ballot or cast an early vote at City Hall, but if not, the polls are now open in San Francisco and it's time to vote.

Local Ballot Measures B and C are the two that we'll be tracking, with Yes votes on the two measures supporting the development of 8 Washington Street as rendered above and the "Open Up the Waterfront" initiative, while No votes on the two measures will overturn the increased building height limits for the development, the initiative of the "No Wall On The Waterfront" folks.

As always, we're more concerned with whether you vote versus which way you do. You have until 8pm today to make your vote count.

UPDATE: Early SF Election Results: Measures B And C Facing Defeat.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

October 25, 2013

A Move To Close All San Francisco Parks At Midnight

The hours at which San Francisco's public parks are considered to be closed and off-limits are currently set on an ad-hoc basis, making it difficult to effectively police and enforce.

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors next week, an ordinance which would establish a midnight closing time for all City parks in San Francisco including Golden Gate Park, Union Square and the Panhandle. That being said, roadways and paved paths would remain open for the purposes of traversing any park or plaza, but no stopping or stepping on the grass.

San Francisco's parks would open again at 5am daily.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

October 21, 2013

Permits To Redevelop Entire SoMa Block Close To Being Approved

The permits to demolish the little maintenance buildings and three acre bus depot at 8th and Harrison in order to make way for eight buildings with 408 new rental units over ground floor retail, arts, and commercial space are close to being approved, as is the permit to construct the five and six-story 350 8th Street buildings which is currently on hold in order to resolve some issues with respect to the street and sidewalk improvements attached to the plans (click images to enlarge).

The 350 8th Street project's 315 off-street parking spaces for cars and 414 spaces for bikes will mostly be located underground or within the interior of the Stud-adjacent site.

350 8th Street Rendering via SocketSite.com

In addition to 44,000 square feet of open space throughout the development, the project includes a 5,400 square foot public plaza and café on the corner of 8th and Ringold:

Construction is currently slated to start in early 2014.

Big Plans For The "Short-Sited" SoMa Block At 8th And Harrison [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (62) | (email story)

October 18, 2013

The Park Service's Plans To Limit Off-Leash Areas For Dogs

A hearing on the National Park Service’s draft dog management plan for the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas which would greatly limit the off-leash activity areas for dogs at Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and Ocean Beach amongst other areas is the first item on the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this coming Monday, October 21.

Fearing that "restricting dog access on these federal lands could lead to dog over-crowding in our already crowded parks," Supervisors Wiener, Tang and Breed are sponsoring a resolution to oppose the proposed dog management plan and urging the Park Service to adopt a different approach.

The official 90-day public comment period for the Dog Management Plan expires on December 4, 2013. Following the public comment period, the plan will be revised, a final version of the plan will be released, and a 30-day no-action period will follow after which the revised plan will be signed by the Pacific West Regional Director and the new rules will be adopted.

The Park Service's preferred plan for Crissy Field is above (click plan to enlarge), their preferred plans for Ocean Beach and Fort Funston are below:

Park%20Service%20Dog%20Plan%20Ocean%20Beach.gif

Park%20Service%20Dog%20Plan%20Fort%20Funston.gif

Draft Dog Management Plan [nps.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

October 15, 2013

The New Plan For 1601 Mariposa And 320 New Apartments

The plans for the proposed 320-unit Potrero Hill development known as 1601 Mariposa which stretches from Mariposa and Carolina to 18th and Arkansas have been tweaked a bit as have the numbers (click site plan to enlarge).

1601%20Mariposa%20Rendered.gif

In addition to increasing the number of proposed apartments from 291 to 320, the ground floor retail space has increased to 9,000 square feet and the number of underground parking spaces is up to 275, including 6 spaces for car share.

1601%20Mariposa%20Rendering.gif

And in terms of open space, in addition to 13,000 square feet for residents, a 21,000 square foot public greenway would provide passage between Mariposa and 18th Streets, "designed to encourage child’s play and community engagement such as farmers markets."

1601%20Mariposa%20Greenway.gif

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

October 9, 2013

Five Story Building On Brannan Refined And Ready For Approval

345%20Brannan%20Site.jpg

As we first reported earlier this year with respect to the proposed development of the parking lot at the corner of Brannan and Stanford down in South Beach:

Currently a 94-space parking lot down near the ballpark, plans to build a five-story building with roughly 100,000 square feet office space over either 7,000 square feet for ground-floor retail/restaurant use or additional commercial space at 345 Brannan Street have received a Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration from Planning [which is good thing if you’re the developer].
A 4,000 square foot roof deck for tenants would be constructed atop the 65-foot-tall building while an underground garage for 26 cars would be built below.
Assuming approvals from the Planning Commission, and no extended delays or appeals, construction on the proposed 275-foot deep building is currently scheduled to start this summer and last for ten to twelve months.

While the summer start was missed, and construction will likely take closer to eighteen months, this week San Francisco’s Planning Commission is slated to approve the project which has been tweaked to coordinate with the approved design for the adjacent development at 333 Brannan.

345%20Brannan%20Design.gif

345%20Brannan%20Detail.gif

The developers of 345 Brannan Street have also agreed to apply for and construct a parklet in the area in front of the existing Brannan Street curb cut if approved:

345%20Brannan%20Parklet.gif

Parking Lot And Development Alert: The Designs For 345 Brannan [SocketSite]
Designs For 333 Brannan And Millions For The Neighborhood [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

September 20, 2013

Hidden Behind A Neo-Gothic Façade On Hyde Street

2430%20Hyde%20Garden.jpg

Behind the neo-Gothic façade of the single-family Russian Hill home at 2430 Hyde Street, a courtyard English Garden and renovated interior are hidden.

2430%20Hyde%20Living.jpg

The kitchen and adjacent mud room overlook and open to the garden as well.

2430%20Hyde%20Kitchen.jpg

The rounded stairway with arched windows leads to three bedrooms on the upper level, including the four-chambered master suite.

2430%20Hyde%20Bedroom%202.jpg

And yes, there are famed and framed Bridge and Bay views.

2430%20Hyde%20Sitting.jpg

Full Disclosure: The listing agent for 2340 Hyde Street advertises on SocketSite but provided no compensation for this post.

∙ Listing: 2430 Hyde Street (3/3.5) 2,880 sqft - $4,950,000 [gregglynn.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

August 26, 2013

Proposed Waterfront Open Space Meeting Postponed

75%20Howard%20Plaza.jpg

The meeting scheduled for August 28 to discuss the designs for the concrete triangle at the end of Howard between Steuart and Embarcadero has been postponed. From the team behind the proposed 31-story building to rise at 75 Howard Street, at the base of which the triangle sits:

Unfortunately, we have just learned that we need to have additional information in hand and further discussions with the City, the owner of the triangle lot. As we want to have a meaningful and comprehensive community discussion about the site, we need to postpone this Wednesday’s meeting.

We'll let you know when the meeting is rescheduled. In the meantime, we'll leave you with a reader's thought that the triangle could make for a rather interesting location for Ruth Asawa's San Francisco Fountain should it be moved to make way for an Apple store on Union Square.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | (email story)

August 21, 2013

Going To The Dogs Over At The New Brannan Street Wharf?

Brannan%20Street%20Wharf%208-21.jpg

With the ribbon for San Francisco's Brannan Street Wharf project having been cut last month, has the new park gone to the dogs?

While the Wharf's 400-foot lawn was intended for "informal play," it’s perfect for running a pooch. And while it isn't a designated dog park, the use of it as such by some is keeping others off the grass and raises the question of whether the lawn can effectively serve as an informal play area for both kids and canines.

The count this afternoon: 1 person, 1 pooch and 2 new stations with free pet waste bags.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (40) | (email story)

August 20, 2013

Seeking Support For Waterfront Open Space (And Development)

75%20Howard%20Plaza.jpg

As part of the 31-story condo tower project proposed to rise at 75 Howard Street, the existing concrete triangle at the end of Howard between Steuart and Embarcadero is proposed to be remade as a 5,000 square foot public open space.

75%20Howard%20Plaza%20Rendering.jpg

While rendered as a sculpture garden at the base of the proposed tower, the developers are now seeking community input with respect to designs for the triangle, hoping to reach "community consensus" and support for their plan(s).

A public meeting to discuss the designs and proposed programming for the triangle will be held next Wednesday, August 28 from 6-8pm at the Embarcadero YMCA. And if a consensus is reached, "the Paramount Group will propose that design to the City and County of San Francisco as part of their overall site proposal."

UPDATE: Proposed Waterfront Open Space Meeting Postponed.

The Impact Of A Proposed 31-Story Tower On SF's Waterfront [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

July 30, 2013

Hines And Boston Balk At Having To Pay For Transbay Park Upkeep

Transbay Center Revised Design

Having paid the City $160 million less than they originally bid for the land upon which they are building the 1,050-foot Transbay Tower, Hines and Boston Properties are now balking at having to contribute around $450,000 a year for the maintenance of the adjacent 5-acre City Park they are building atop the Transbay Transit Center.

Apparently the development deal which the City cut with Hines didn't include a clause for the park's upkeep, but "somebody is going to have to maintain the park and it’s not going to be the city" according to Transbay Joint Powers Authority spokesman Adam Alberti.

Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
Transbay Tower Site Transferred And Ceremonially Breaks Ground [SocketSite]
Hines, Boston Properties lock horns with city over Transbay Tower park [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

July 25, 2013

Rincon Hill’s New Public Green And Play Area: Announcing Emerald Park

Rincon%20Green.jpg

This afternoon, Rincon Hill will officially gain a new half-acre public park as the Emerald Fund will permanently relinquish its development rights to the open space in front of Rincon Green at 333 Harrison, the green will be renamed Emerald Park.

While the Emerald Fund will continue to fund the maintenance and upkeep, the San Francisco Parks Alliance will act as steward of the park. In addition, a children’s play area which was part of the original park design will be completed by the end of the year.

Rincon Hill Park Plan

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

July 18, 2013

Polk Street Showdown: The Redrawn Lines, Lanes, And New Plan

Polk%20Street%20Sharrow.jpg

Having run head-on into a wall of seemingly unexpected opposition, the SFMTA was forced to revisit and redraw their plans for removing metered parking along Polk Street to make way for dedicated bike lanes from Union to McAllister.

The revised project has been divided into two segments, with two different designs for Polk Street, one from Union to California and another from California to McAllister.

Roughly 90% of the metered parking spaces on Polk Street between Union and California will be retained by adding a green bike lane in one direction, adding green shared lane markings in the other direction, and implementing morning tow-away regulations on the shared side of the street to provide more space for cars and bikes to share the road (click plan to enlarge):

From California to McAllister, roughly 50% of the metered parking spaces on Polk will be removed in order to install buffered bike lanes on either side of the street with a raised "cycle track" in the southbound direction (click plan to enlarge):

High visibility crosswalks, red zones near intersections to improve visibility, and corner "bulb-out" sidewalk extensions at key locations remain part of the overall plan for both segements.

The revised plan and designs will be presented to the public on July 25 (5pm at 1751 Sacramento Street) after which they will undergo a full environmental review. If approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors, the project will implemented as part of the planned repaving of Polk Street in 2015.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (90) | (email story)

July 17, 2013

Two Year Rain Delay For Folsom Street Park Project

17th and Folsom

Having identified the area under the funded park to be built at 17th and Folsom as the ideal location for a storage basin to help manage stormwater and reduce neighborhood flooding, the opening of the park will likely be delayed from 2014 to the summer of 2016 in order to accommodate a joint construction project with the San Francisco Public Utilities.

With the southern half of the parking lot upon which the park is to be built slated to close this summer, a plan to construct temporary community gardens on the site until construction of the of the storage basin is ready to commence is being considered.

The northern half of the existing parking lot will remain open until housing is constructed on that side of the site, a project which is at least three years away.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

July 9, 2013

Brannan Street Wharf Ribbon Cutting Is One Week Away

Brannan%20Street%20Wharf%202013.jpg

The ribbon cutting for the Brannan Street Wharf project, San Francisco’s newest 57,000 square foot park with lawn, shade, tables and chairs along the Embarcadero between Piers 30-32 and Pier 38 will take place next Wednesday, July 17. Click the plan below to enlarge.

Noting that parking is very limited down in the heart of South Beach/Rincon Park neighborhood, the use of public transit to reach the cutting is encouraged. No word on how the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and members of the Port Commission are planning to arrive, but we will note the Muni platform right across the street and our policy is transit-first, correct?

From Piers To Park And The Brannan Street Wharf By 2012 2013? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (90) | (email story)

June 18, 2013

Designs For A Network Of Living Alleys

San Francisco’s Market and Octavia Area Plan includes the development of a network of "Living Alleys" (click map to enlarge) with corner plazas, community gardens, and little public spaces, aiming to create "traffic calmed environments that contrast the heavy traffic on the surrounding arterial streets" and "a common front yard for public use and enjoyment."

Market%20Octavia%20Living%20Alley%20Design.jpg

Next month, a two-year community-based program to design and implement the network of Living Alleys will commence, enabling residents "to create a public realm that strengthens the community, creates a sense of identity, and makes a more useful, safe, and attractive neighborhood."

The first community workshop for the Living Alleys project will be held on July 9, from 6 to 8 pm at 699 Hayes Street. The project will also identify opportunities for mid-block crosswalks to link the living alleys together.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

June 17, 2013

First Parklet To Lose Its Permit: Martin Macks' On Haight Street

Martin%20Macks%20Parklet%202013.jpg

Citing a lack of compliance with maintenance guidelines and neighbors’ complaints, the City of San Francisco has decided not to renew the permit for the parklet in front of Martin Macks on Haight Street, the first such decision not to renew a permit since the parklet program began.

Martin Macks has two weeks to appeal the Department of Public Works' decision or remove the parklet at their own expense. No word on whether or not the piglet parklet over on Castro Street could be next.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

June 6, 2013

The Brewing 8 Washington Street Ballot Measure Battle Simplified

8%20Washinton%202013.jpg

Once again, the approved 8 Washington Street project would raze the existing Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club and adjacent Port of San Francisco owned parking lot and construct a 165-unit condo building rising up to 136 feet in height upon the site.

The development would also yield new retail, a fitness facility with outdoor pools, and 30,000 square feet of public open space, playground, and park (click images to enlarge).

While not labeled on "Open up the Waterfront's" schematic for the proposed 8 Washington Street project above, the new recreation center and pools would remain private as would the green space between the proposed condominium buildings ("Housing").

Originally zoned for buildings up to 84 feet in height, a portion of the 8 Washington Street parcel was upzoned to 136 feet to accommodate the development, the basis for the brewing 8 Washington Street ballot measure battle.

Simplified, the "No Wall on The Waterfront" ballot measure would overturn the upzoning for the parcel whiles the proposed "Open up The Waterfront" ballot measure would maintain the increase in height and allow the project to move forward as approved. And while a few people found our presentation of the two competing measures earlier this week a bit confusing, that was part of the point.

As of noon today, the "Likes" for the proposed 8 Washington Street development are outpacing the "Dislikes" by a ratio of 15 to 2.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

June 5, 2013

A Competition To Rethink The Space Beneath Highway 280

280%20Freeway%20Competition.gif

With a conceptual plan to take down Highway 280 north of 16th Street in San Francisco, eliminating the ramps at Sixth and Brannan and at Fourth and King and building a street-level boulevard in its place, a design competition to rethink the use of the space beneath the highway in San Francisco is underway.

Competition participants are invited to submit concepts for public art, buildings, landscape treatments, public amenities and infrastructure, or other urban design interventions that are made possible through the replacement of the elevated Highway 280 north of 16th Street. Suggested areas of focus are the parcels of land freed up by this transformation, especially along the western edge of Mission Bay, as well as the open space/landscape opportunities at the west end of Mission Creek to unify both sides of the creek.

280%20Freeway%20Competition%20Site.gif

In the words of the design competition’s organizers: "The tradition of removing freeways is not a new one for our city– two neighborhoods, the Embarcadero and Hayes Valley, have enjoyed a renaissance through freeway demolition that healed scarred communities."

And in the words of a plugged-in reader, might some of San Francisco's elevated highway have the potential to become the equivalent of New York's High Line?

A Bold Plan To Tear Down I-280 North Of 16th Street In San Francisco [SocketSite]
280 Freeway Competition [cadsf.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (66) | (email story)

May 23, 2013

Mission Dolores Park Makeover Schedule Switcheroo

With the $13 million makeover of Mission Dolores Park slated to kickoff this October, the proposed timing for the two phases of the project has been flipped.

Dolores%20Park%20Phase%201%20revised.gif

The first phase of the proposed makeover would now close the north half of Dolores Park from October 2013 to March 2014. The second phase of the project would now close the south half of the park for eight months, beginning March 2014 and finishing October 2014.

Dolores%20Park%20Phase%202%20revised.gif

The construction of the new restroom in the north corner of the park would span the two phases while construction of the proposed pPod pissior would occur in phase 2.

The Grand Dolores Park Makeover Plan, Timing, And "pPod" Pissoir [SocketSite]
Proposed Dolores Park pPod: A Pissoir To Manage Public Urination [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

May 20, 2013

SF Team Pedals Away With Portable Bike Corral Competition Win

With entries from around the Bay Area as well as Slovenia, Spain, India, and Iran, a team from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University has won the student competition to design a portable bicycle corral for the City’s Yerba Buena neighborhood, designed to meet the growing demand for bike parking at cultural and special events.

The winning design (click image above to enlarge), "Pedalution," incorporates a foldable bicycle rack on recycled rubber casters for easy transport by one or two people. The design guidelines required the unit to be moved by 1-2 people, secure, easily compressed, visually engaging, easy to use by cyclists, and built for under $10,000.

The four other finalists’ designs from three other teams at the Academy of Art (Stop-n-Lock, Park-Kit, and BAMdesign) and San Jose State University (reCYCLE), click to enlarge:

First Of 250 New "Artful" Yerba Buena Bicycle Racks Unveiled [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

May 16, 2013

San Francisco's Dying Palms Problem Could Have Been Avoided

Embarcadero%20Palm%20Trees.jpg

As a plugged-in reader first reported two years ago:

The [Embarcadero] palms won't be there much longer. The city has fired all their educated arborists. Those who are left trim them to that odd pineapple shape while the fronds are still green and alive. A fusarium-type wilt then infects the palm and it slowly dies. At least 3 have died since the last trimming - that's what killed the dead palms around Justin Herman Plaza.

With twenty-six of the $35,000 trees now infected, the palms have, in fact, been dying in droves ever since our reader's report warned. But according to the Chronicle's report today, the Department of Public Works crew doesn't know how the trees were infected.

An educated arborist is a terrible, and rather expensive, thing to waste.

For The Love (And Hate) Of Palm Trees In San Francisco [SocketSite]
Chronicle Watch: Palms dying in droves [sfgate.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

May 13, 2013

The Recreation Of 2750 Vallejo: Inside And Out And Over The Top

2750%20Vallejo%20Before.jpg

Purchased for $4,000,000 in 2006, plans to demolish the Charles Peter Weeks designed Pacific Heights home at 2750 Vallejo Street and build anew were challenged and rejected.

And while its renovation was opposed by preservationists as "insultingly posed as the ‘recreation’ of a never existing ‘original design’ that in fact would destroy the real existing original design," the project was approved and the transformation is now complete.

2750%20Vallejo.jpg

The LEED Platinum redesigned home features showstopping views and finishes throughout.

2750%20Vallejo%20Dining.jpg

A skylit pentroom now sits atop with a garden level, outdoor lap pool, and spa below.

2750%20Vallejo%20Rear.jpg

And there's even a hidden parking spot in the garage for the weekend Porsche:

2750%20Vallejo%20Parking.jpg

While not yet listed as official inventory on the MLS, plugged-in people know the four bedroom home with seven and one-half baths is on the market for $23,000,000.

∙ Listing: 2750 Vallejo (4/7.5) - $23,000,000 [Sotheby’s]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (45) | (email story)

Castro Street Makeover: Expected Features And Formal Unveiling

Castro%20Street%20Makeover%20-%20Market%20Street%20Corner.gif

Slated to start construction in January 2014 and last ten months, the final design concept for the Planning Department’s Castro Street Makeover project will be unveiled at a community open house tomorrow from 7 to 9 pm at 2278 Market Street.

The makeover includes the widening of sidewalks; addition of street trees, landscaping, and lighting; and improved intersection safety between Market and 19th Streets.

Based on vetted design concepts and community input, expect the final plan to include the reconfiguring of the crosswalk at Castro and Market Street so that it is aligned with Jane Warner Plaza and bulb-outs on the corners of Castro and 18th Streets.

Castro%20Street%20Makeover%20-%2018th%20Street%20Corners.gif

A mid-block bulb-out and mini-plaza in front of the historic Harvey Milk Residence and Castro Camera Shop site is also expected to make the final design cut:

Castro%20Street%20Makeover%20-%20mini%20plaza.jpg

The Castro Street Design Project And Public Workshop [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

May 10, 2013

A Cool Noe Breeze Or Conscientious Repricing Strategy?

3961%2025th%202013.jpg

Purchased for $2,850,000 in June of 2009, the contemporary Noe Valley home "with a conscience" at 3961 25th Street returned to the market ten days ago listed for $3,299,000. In the words of a plugged-in Noe Valley resident at the time:

"I would very tentatively say that Noe is cooling off just a tad. It is still hot, just not hot, hot, hot."

Last night, the list price for 3961 25th Street was reduced by $400,000 (12 percent), now asking $2,899,000 or two percent over its 2009 sale price on an apples-to-apples basis.

The House With A Conscience Returns [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

Play On: Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Cleared For Construction

Beach Chalet Field Plan

Having survived an appeal to San Francisco's Planning Commission last year, yesterday the California Coastal Commission rejected a final appeal based on the project's potential environmental impacts and cleared the way for the four grass Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in Golden Gate Park to be converted to synthetic turf and lighted for evening use.

The city plans to break ground in 2014 with construction expected to take roughly a year.

Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Renovation Survives Challenge [SocketSite]
Beach Chalet Athletic Fields Facility As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

April 29, 2013

Dolores Park Plan Appeal: It's Going To The Dogs (And Commission)

Earlier this month, the proposed plan for renovating Mission Dolores Park was appealed, challenging the environmental impacts of the proposed project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The seven issues the appellant raises which all boil down to the dogs with a reference to the childhood obesity pandemic for good measure or scare:

1. The number of existing and proposed dog play areas at the Park
2. Loss of open space
3. Hazards
4. Aesthetics
5. Hydrology and Water Quality
6. Traffic and Noise
7. Parking

The Planning Department's response to each point:

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 1 ("off-leash dog play areas were hotly debated during the community outreach meetings and are by no means acceptable to many families with school-aged children who are using this park"):

The appellant asserts that the existing Park only includes one off-leash dog play area and, therefore, the project description in the PMND is inaccurate. The appellant bases this assertion on a Recreation and Park website that was provided to the Planning Department in prior communications between the two parties. The appellant is incorrect.
Under the proposed project, the existing two off-leash dog play areas would be reduced in size by roughly 4,000 square feet to an estimated 96,250 square feet.

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 2 (an increase in off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in a loss of open space desperately needed "for children to run and play in order to stem [our] childhood obesity pandemic"):

As described in detail in Response 1 above, the proposed project would not increase the number or size of off-leash dog play areas at the Park, but rather would slightly reduce the size of the existing off-leash dog play areas.
The 0.8 acre reduction of "open space" described and analyzed…is attributable to loss in pervious surfaces such as turf or grass due to the addition of pathways and the reconfiguration of the athletic courts, among other changes and not due to the proposed project’s modifications to the off-leash dog play areas.
Moreover, the proposed change of 0.8 acres from pervious to impervious surfaces in the 16.1 acre public park is not a reduction in public open space. The entire Park would still be considered public open space.

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 3 (the increase in off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in a significant hazard to the public and environment):

The appellant asserts that increasing the number of off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in significant safety and health risk hazards through an increase in the number of dogs at the Park. As discussed in Response 1 above, the proposed project would not increase the number or size of off-leash dog play areas at the Park.

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 4 (the increase in off-leash dog play areas at the Park, "with their modern trappings of plastic bag holders," would result in a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista through substantial physical deterioration of the park):

The appellant asserts that increasing the number of off-leash dog play areas at the Park and associated other items (e.g., trash receptacles, bag dispensers, and drinking fountains) would result in a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista through an increase in the number of dogs at the Park and associated other items. As discussed in Response 1 above, the proposed project would not increase the number or size of off-leash dog play areas at the Park.
The proposed project’s visible items associated with the off-leash dog play areas (e.g., trash receptacles, bag dispensers, and drinking fountains) would not be substantially tall or large enough to block views of prominent structures and features outside of the Park or noticeable enough to substantially change the foreground of the existing scenic vistas. Moreover, the appellant brings forth no substantial evidence that the proposed project would result in additional dogs at the Park, resulting in a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista.

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 5 (the increase in off-leash dog play areas at the Park would violate water quality standards and pet waste discharge requirements):

The appellant asserts that increasing the number of off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in a violation of water quality standards through an increase in the number of dogs at the Park. It is unclear what the appellant means by pet waste discharge requirements. As described in Response 1 above, the proposed project would not increase the number or size of off-leash dog play areas at the Park.

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 6 (The increase in off-leash dog play areas at the Park would create an increase in noise and traffic "as many more non-neighborhood professional dog walkers and dog owners are attracted as opposed to families within walking distance"):

The appellant asserts that increasing the number of off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in an increase of noise and traffic through an increase in the number of non-neighborhood professional dog walkers and dog owners visiting the Park. As discussed in Response 1 above, the proposed project would not increase the number or size of off-leash dog play areas at the Park.

RESPONSE TO CONCERN 7 (the increase in off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in inadequate parking capacity):

The appellant asserts that increasing the number of off-leash dog play areas at the Park would result in inadequate parking capacity through an increase in the number of professional dog walkers and dog owners that would make a vehicle trip to the Park. As discussed in Response 1 above, the proposed project would not increase the number or size of off-leash dog play areas at the Park.

On Thursday, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will hear the appeal and decided whether to allow the makeover of Mission Dolores Park to move forward as proposed or require additional environmental study.

The Grand Dolores Park Makeover Plan, Timing, And "pPod" Pissoir [SocketSite]
Supervisor Showdown: Wiener Versus Kim, CEQA, And Waste [SocketSite]
Appeal of Mission Dolores Park Rehabilitation and Improvement Project [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

April 19, 2013

Push For New Public Open Space About To Pay Off Over In Noe

24th and Sanchez Parking Lot

The years long push to purchase the privately owned parking lot at 24th and Sanchez from the Noe Valley Ministry and turn the space into a permanent public open space with trees, play areas, and space for the fixture Saturday farmers market is about to pay off and out.

Aiming to close escrow by the end of June and unpave the parking lot to put up a little paradise, San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department is planning to spend $4.2 million of its open-space fund to acquire the parcel.

Noe Valley Open Space Meeting This Week, Cameras Will Be Rolling... [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

April 5, 2013

Competing India Basin Shoreline Plan: A 15-Acre Adventure Park

India%20Basin%20Shoreline%20Aerial.jpg

As we first reported earlier this week, the 15 acre parcel of San Francisco Bay front property which is in foreclosure and scheduled to hit courthouse steps this month sits at the center of the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s plan for a major mixed-use development and new India Basin Shoreline neighborhood.

But there is a competing vision for the site: a 15-acre San Francisco Adventure Park (click on the proposed park design to enlarge):

With funding from the EPA, the San Francisco Parks Alliance has spent the past two years conceptualizing an open space alternative for the site as a part of San Francisco’s Blue Greenway Program, calling for the transformation of the southeastern waterfront into a world-class series of parks and trails woven through industry and new development.

With an aquatic dog park, mountain biking, bouldering, bonfire pits, boat launches, an exercise circuit, serpentine grasslands, skating, and parkour facilities amongst other planned features, the proposed adventure park would diversify the recreation options for San Francisco citizens, relieve pressure on our natural areas and open spaces, and host larger scale activities that cannot occur or are damaging to other San Francisco Parks.

Once again, the site of the proposed Adventure Park, or mixed-use neighborhood, is currently scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in two weeks. And as always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

San Francisco's Great Blue Greenway Vision And Interconnected Plans [SocketSite]
15 Acres Of San Francisco Bay Front Property Up For Grabs [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

April 2, 2013

Polk Street Showdown: Bike Lanes Versus Parking & Local Opposition

Fearing the removal of an estimated 170 street parking spaces along Polk Street to make way for dedicated bike lanes and parklets stretching from McAllister to Union Street, local business owners and residents have upped their opposition to the SFMTA’s proposed Polk Street Improvement Project which is "primarily be focused on people who walk, use transit and ride a bicycle along Polk Street" and is slated to start construction in 2015.

Business owners along Polk Street fear the loss of parking will negatively impact their sales while local residents without off-street parking (perhaps in-part due to City policy restricting the development of off-street spaces) fear increased competition for parking on the street.

The last public meeting to review the Polk Street Improvement Project was a rather raucous affair with the vast majority of attendees loudly opposing the SFMTA’s plan which seems to have taken the Agency and supporters by surprise.

The next public meeting for the project is scheduled for April 27 starting at 10 am at 1300 Polk Street and should be even more raucous as the San Francisco Bicycle Collation is encouraging supporters of the project to attend and counter the voices of the opposition.

Polk Street Improvement Project: Overview Slides [sfmta.com]
A Call For New Parklets And Chance To Praise (Or Dish) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (287) | (email story)

March 14, 2013

Proposed Dolores Park pPod: A Pissoir To Manage Public Urination

Proposed pPod Rendering

Citing problems with public urination, the grand plan for the $13 million makeover of Mission Dolores Park now includes San Francisco's first pissoir, the "pPod," to be built at the southwestern corner of the park, between the Muni tracks and north-south pathway.

Everything you wanted to know about the design and use of the proposed pPod:

The pissoir would have a front and back semi-circle screen consisting of specialized wire fencing covered with vines a three-foot diameter concrete base and a sanitary drain with a fine mesh grate. A user would enter the pissoir from the existing north-south internal pathway and face the interior of the Park (click image above to enlarge).

Views of the pissoir user from the interior of the Park would be blocked by a seven-foot-tall vine covered screen facing the Muni tracks. Views of the user from the perimeter of the Park and public right-of-way near Church and 20th Streets would be partially hidden by a four-foot-tall partial back screen "to maintain modesty without creating hidden space."

The sanitary drain would include a one way valve that would pass urine and capture odor without flushing. Poles would be placed within the pissoir that would be "intended to prevent users from squatting and using the pissoir for defecation."

No word on whether opponents have yet decried the Amsterdamnation™ of San Francisco, so we're slapping a quick TM on it just in case.

The Grand Dolores Park Makeover Plan, Timing, And "pPod" Pissoir [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (51) | (email story)

The Grand Dolores Park Makeover Plan, Timing, And "pPod" Pissoir

Following in the footsteps of the Dolores Park Playground renovation, it’s finally time for the rest of the 16-acre park’s "athletic courts, buildings, open space, edges and entrance points, [and] internal circulation system" to be rehabilitated (click images to enlarge).

The full plans and timing for the makeover including the installation of a "pPod" pissoir:

Athletic court changes would include reconfiguring existing athletic courts near their existing locations and constructing a new 7,200-square-foot multi-use court adjacent to the reconfigured athletic courts near the northwest corner of the Park.
Building changes would include removing an existing 24-foot, six-inch-tall, 980-square-foot building and two 10-foot-tall, 220-square-foot portable storage containers located near the center of the Park and constructing three new buildings: a 12-foot-tall, 1,250-square-foot restroom located adjacent to the southeastern side of the existing playground; a 13-foot-tall, 1,270-square-foot restroom and 1,013-square-foot paved plaza located near the reconfigured athletic courts; and a 12-foot-tall, 3,365-square-foot operations building and 2,610-square-foot reinforced concrete platform with a crawl space built beneath the new location of the basketball court.

Dolores%20Park%20South%20Restroom%20Rendering.jpg

The new operations building would be adjacent to a new 2,233-square-foot service yard and driveway from 18th Street. In addition, the proposed project would construct a new pissoir, located in the Park’s southwest quadrant.

pPod%20Location.jpg

Open space changes [include a] reduction in approximately 0.8 acre of grass or turf...and providing new markings for two existing off-leash dog play areas.
At various edges and entrance points to the Park, the proposed project would add new ADA accessible ramps, access paths to the internal circulation system, and design changes. Internal circulation changes would include removal and widening of existing and constructing new internal pathways, for a total net increase of 786 lineal feet.

Dolores%20Park%20Entrance%20Rendering.gif

Changes to the Muni system would include repaving the Muni tracks within the Park, removing the chain link structure on the existing bridge over the tracks, placing planters over and adjacent to the abandoned Muni stop under the bridge and over the stairs leading to it, and relocating the Muni shelter for the Muni stop at 20th Street and Church Street 10 feet southwest of its current location.
Other Park-wide rehabilitations and improvements would include vegetation removal and plantings, grading, upgrades to the drainage and irrigation system, and adding new signage, lighting, bicycle parking, benches, picnic tables, and trash receptacles.

Construction on the park will last 14 months and be stagged in two phases, the first phase is slated to close the south half of the park for six months, starting in October of 2013.

Dolores%20Park%20Phase%201.jpg

The second Phase of the project is slated to close the north half of the park for eight months, beginning in March of 2014.

Dolores%20Park%20Phase%202.jpg

And of course, a rendering of the proposed "pPod" pissoir in place:

pPod Rendering

Dolores Park To Close In 2011! (For Renovations) [SocketSite]
Vandals In SF: Mayoral Q&A (Question & Accusation) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

February 25, 2013

The Proposed Park, Plaza, And Mission Rock Square

Mission Rock Open Space Plan

As part of the Giants’ proposed Mission Rock Development, a new park, plaza and public square at the heart of the development will be built on eight of the area’s 27-acres.

Originally constructed as part of the AT&T Park project, China Basin Park will be expanded to 5-acres with a waterfront great lawn and special event area, a waterfront café with outdoor seating, a junior baseball field, gardens and picnic areas, and a promenade connection to the new Channel Plaza between Piers 48 and 50.

Mission%20Rock%20Rendering%20-%20China%20Basin%20Park.jpg

The area between Piers 48 and 50 will be converted into a hardscaped ½-acre "Channel Plaza" with views of working vessels and other maritime uses.

And at the heart of the development, Mission Rock Square will be a 1.3-acre park with a multi-use lawn, plaza, and café pavilion framed by a mix of residential and commercial uses, including ground-floor retail with a pedestrian connection to Channel Plaza.

Mission%20Rock%20Rendering%20-%20Plaza.jpg

The park and open spaces will be owned by, and remain under the jurisdiction of, the Port but managed and programmed by the Giants subject to Port approval. Maintenance of the parks and open spaces will be funded by special taxes imposed on the development.

Plug in tomorrow Wednesday for the proposed financial terms, project phasing, and block-by-block heights for the Giants’ Mission Rock Development to rise.

Giants Moving Forward With Massive "Mission Rock" Development [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

February 22, 2013

A Call For New Parklets And Chance To Praise (Or Dish)

Devils%20Teeth%20Baking%20Parklet.jpg

With 38 Parklets having been built across San Francisco, some of which are better than others, and a new Parklet Manual outlining the policies, procedures and guidelines for creating a parklet now online, the City is calling for proposals for new Parklets to rise.

Which raises our question, which of San Francisco’s existing Parklets deserve accolades and emulation and which deserve to be razed?

Mojo Parklet Opens Up, Divsiadero Street Improvements "Unveiled" [SocketSite]
Parklet Or Piglet? [SocketSite]
San Francisco Parklet Manual [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (68) | (email story)

January 23, 2013

Three Thousand Square Feet And Zero Dollars To Heat?

10 Portola Drive

The Twin Peaks home at 10 Portola Drive now boasts three bedrooms, three and one-half baths and almost three thousand square feet of living space. And thanks to a 3kW rooftop solar system, the listing for 10 Portola boasts a PG&E bill of zero dollars for the home in 2010 and $79 in 2011.

Purchased as a 1,170 square foot home for $760,000 in 2002, the property was rebuilt and expanded to 2,827 square feet in 2005 and first returned to the market in 2008 listed for $2,395,000. Reduced and relisted six times since, the Portola Drive has just been listed with an official "one day" on the market for $1,825,000.

No word on the PG&E total for 2012 or how utilization of the home might have changed over the past couple of years.

∙ Listing: 10 Portola Drive (3/3.5) 2,827 sqft - $1,825,000 [10portola.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

January 10, 2013

The Green Designs For Block 6: Folsom Street From Fremont To Beale

As we first reported yesterday, the winning proposal to develop Transbay Block 6/7, from Folsom Street to Clementina Alley and Fremont to Beale, includes a 300-foot tower on the corner of Folsom and Fremont, 40-foot townhomes along Clementina, and three 50 to 85-foot mid-rise buildings on Fremont, Beal, and Folsom (click images to enlarge):

In total, 545 residential units (a mix of market-rate and subsidized), 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 136 undergrounding parking spaces will be built on the site with multiple green roof gardens and decks above, parks and a mid-block paseo below.

Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the Block 6 Tower will attempt to leverage prevailing winds to ventilate and cool the building without air conditioning.

Block%206%20Tower%20Ventilation.gif

And as envisioned, a smart phone app will allow residents to remotely open and close their units' blinds, regulating temperatures on the fly and from afar (click image to enlarge):

Up the tower, a series of sky gardens will grow.

Block 6 Tower Gardens

The Winning Bid And Plan To Develop Folsom From Fremont To Beale [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

January 8, 2013

Are Parking Spots A Disincentive To Walk Or Take Public Transport?

As we first reported yesterday, San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending that the Planning Commission approve the redevelopment of the New Mission Theater and the construction of 114 condos at 2558 Mission Street next door. That being said, conditions of the Department's recommendation include a reduction in the number of off-street parking spots, down from a proposed 89.

From the Planning Department:

The Project Sponsor proposes a quantity of parking beyond the principally permitted amount through Conditional Use Authorization [Editor’s Note: the principally permitted amount is 57 (.5 per unit)], pursuant to Section 151.1. The [environmental report] prepared for the project does not identify transportation or circulation impacts that rise to the level of a significant impact under CEQA. However, the ready availability of excessive parking for the project may serve as a disincentive for residents to travel by means other than the private automobile. The resulting movement of additional vehicles around the Project Site and in the vicinity may degrade the experience of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Excessive parking to this degree also conflicts with multiple policies in the General Plan, and specifically the Mission Area Plan, to contribute to a built environment that encourages a variety of transportation options and discourages private automobile use as a primary mode of travel in walkable, transit-rich neighborhoods.
Therefore, this Conditional Use Authorization is subject to a condition of approval limiting the amount of parking permitted for the project. The residential parking is limited to an amount smaller than permitted by Conditional Use Authorization by Section 151.1 for the Mission Street NCT District, not to exceed 77 spaces (equal to .67 cars for each dwelling unit). Therefore, the condition of approval limits the number of residential parking spaces to 77.

The question of the day: If you own a car, are you more likely to take walk, bike or take public transportation if your car is parked in a garage (where it's easy to come and go) or on the street (where it can't stay parked for a prolonged period of time)?

On The Agenda: New Mission Theater And New Condos Approvals [SocketSite]
New Mission Theater Plans Moving Forward, Targeting 2013 Opening [SocketSite]
The Next Big Housing Thing To Define The New Mission [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (140) | (email story)

December 18, 2012

A Map Of All Privately-Owned Public Open Spaces And Public Art In SF

POPOS%20and%20Public%20Art%20Map.jpg

Privately-Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS) are publicly accessible spaces in the form of plazas, terraces, atriums and small parks that are maintained by private developers but accessible to all.

Prior to 1985, developers provided POPOS under three general circumstances: voluntarily, in exchange for a density bonus, or as a condition of approval. The 1985 Downtown Plan created the first systemic requirements for developers to provide publicly accessible open space as a part of projects in C-3 Districts. The goal was to “provide in the downtown quality open space in sufficient quantity and variety to meet the needs of downtown workers, residents and visitors.” Since then project sponsors may provide POPOS instead of their required open spaces in other districts such as Eastern Neighborhoods.

Over the past two summers, San Francisco’s Planning Department has cataloged all POPOS and required Public Artworks in San Francisco, mapping the results of their survey for all to interactively search and see.

Beginning next month, the Planning Department’s Zoning and Compliance Division will begin reviewing POPOS sites that were approved subject to the Downtown Plan for compliance with signage and access.

Privately-Owned Public Open Space and Public Art Interactive Map [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

November 30, 2012

The Economic Value Of Being Labeled Green In California

The Green Label Premium in California

From San Francisco’s Assessor-Recorder’s office with respect to their new Green Labels for properties in San Francisco: "While no re-assessments will be triggered by earning an environmental distinction for your home, there is evidence that a Green Label enhances the re-sale value."

The aforementioned evidence was in the form of an academic study, The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market, financed by the San Francisco Department of the Environment and StopWaste.Org. The key finding from the report:

This study, conducted by economists at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Los Angeles, finds that California homes labeled by Energy Star, LEED for Homes and GreenPoint Rated sell for 9 percent more (±4%) than comparable, non-labeled homes.
Because real estate prices depend on a variety of factors, the study controlled for key variables that influence home prices including location, size, vintage, and the presence of major amenities such as swimming pools, views and air conditioning.
Considering that the average sales price of a non-labeled home in California is $400,000, the price premium for a certified green home translates into some $34,800 more than the value of a comparable home nearby.

Green Labels Migrate From Marketing Materials To Property Records [SocketSite]
The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market [builditgreen.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

Green Labels Migrate From Marketing Materials To Property Records

San Francisco's Assessor-Recorder’s office has started recording and tracking "Green Labels" for individual properties as part of the official land records maintained by the City and County of San Francisco.

The labels which are currently being recorded include the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Build It Green’s Green Point Rated, Home Energy Rating System II (HERS II), Home Energy Score (US Dept of Energy) and ENERGYSTAR.

So far, the Assessor-Recorder’s Office has entered Green Label information on 1,057 properties, including 647 condominiums and 105 multi-family buildings. The Department of Environment estimates that over 3,000 residential units have either earned a Green Label, or are in a building that has achieved one of the distinctions, in San Francisco.

On the commercial side, almost 200 buildings with nearly 55 million square feet of space have officially been recorded as Green.

San Francisco Set To Start Recording Green Labels [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 15, 2012

The Framework For San Francisco's First Urban Eco-District

Eco-District%20Overpass%20Image.jpg

With ideas including the use of the elevated highway along the southern border of San Francisco's Central Corridor to capture rainwater for community or rooftop gardens, and utilizing the space underneath the highway for stormwater management facilities, Planning’s framework for a Central Corridor Eco-District has been drawn:

With the framework in hand, a plan and implementation program is expected by fall 2013.

Envisioning San Francisco’s Central Corridor As An EcoDistrict [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

November 7, 2012

Presidio Parkway's Final Phase And Commissary’s Sporting Days

Presidio Commissary Site

With Phase II construction of the Presidio Parkway (a.k.a. the Re-envisioning of Doyle Drive) underway, next week the Presidio Trust will release a Request for Concept Proposals, seeking concepts for reusing the former Commissary and current Sports Basement site at Crissy Field as a cultural facility. The Trust is working with the Basement to find a permanent replacement location in the park.

Phase II construction of the Presidio Parkway is slated to continue through 2015 which includes construction of the Presidio Viaduct and Battery Tunnel, the Main Post Tunnels, the new Girard Road Interchange, and the final landscaping as watercolored above.

Presidio Parkway [presidioparkway.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

October 2, 2012

140 Miles Of Green Connectors Proposed To Crisscross San Francsico

Draft Green Connections Network Map

The goal of San Francisco's "Green Connections" project is to improve non-motorized access to parks, open space and the waterfront in San Francisco by re-envisioning target City streets and paths as 'green connectors,' "building on current efforts to create sustainable corridors that enhance mobility, green neighborhood streets, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access to community amenities and recreational opportunities."

The connector streets "provide opportunities for greening and landscaping; enhancing wildlife habitat; managing stormwater; and calming traffic. They will be designed to encourage and support active transportation, to enhance urban ecology and promote stewardship and placemaking, making it easier and safer to connect to parks."

Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Planning Department will unveil a draft map of over 140 miles of potential ‘green connectors’ throughout the city, a network of 25 routes identified by a geographic start and end point, and a target species associated with the route:

1. Presidio to Bay: Monarch
2. China Beach to Bay: Pygmy Nuthatch
3. Market to Beach: Anna's Hummingbird
4. Bay to Beach: Cedar Waxwing
5. Sunset to Hills: Green Hairstreak
6. Mission to Peaks: Anise Swallowtail
7. Precita Creek to Beach: California Buckeye
8. Islais Creek: Holly-leaf Cherry
9. Yosemite Creek: Red-winged Blackbird
10. Ingleside: Coast Live Oak
11. Lake Merced to Candlestick: Cliff Swallow
12. Lincoln Park to Zoo: Pacific Dunegrass
13. Presidio to Park Merced: Coast Buckwheat
14. West of Twin Peaks: White-crowned Sparrow
15. Marina Green to Dolores Park: West Coast Painted Lady
16. Excelsior: Western Fence Lizard
17. Tenderloin to Potrero: Western Tiger Swallowtail
18. Wharf to Yerba Buena: Wild Bees
19. Downtown to Mission Bay: Western Gull
20. Folsom Street: Red Admiral
21. Mission Creek to McLaren: Blue Elderberry
22. Bayview to Bay Trail: Black-tailed Jackrabbit
23. Ridge Trail: California Quail
24. Crosstown Trail: Coyote
25. Shoreline: Western Snowy Plover and Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse

The network will likely take at least twenty years to be built out, with the first six connectors (Bayview-Hunters Point, Chinatown, Potrero Hill, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley, and Western Addition) slated to be designed over the next year.

While plugged-in people get a sneak peak today, the official unveiling will take place tomorrow, October 3, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the LGBT Community Center’s Rainbow Room at 1800 Market Street.

Green Connections: Project Overview & Context | DRAFT Network Map

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

September 18, 2012

New Design For Masonic Avenue To Be Approved This Afternoon

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors and Parking Authority Commission this afternoon, the approval of the proposed $18 million "Boulevard" redesign of Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell.

Masonic%20Avenue%20Plan%20View%20Rendering.jpg

As proposed, all on-street parking on Masonic within the project area (approximately 167 spaces) and two lanes of traffic will be removed while a landscaped median, 1.2 miles of raised cycletracks (bike lanes separated from car traffic) and bus bulbs will be added along with new streetscape greening and lighting.

In addition, the Target coming to the corner of Masonic and Geary will fund a new traffic signal at the intersection of Masonic and Ewing Terrace, "providing a new signalized crossing for pedestrians."

The full Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project, for which the funding has yet to be secured, will take at least four years to complete once the ground has been broken.

Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project: Presentation [sfmta.com]
Targeting Spring 2013 For Unanimously Approved City Center Target [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (62) | (email story)

July 25, 2012

An "Ultra Modern" Mission Noe Apple On Ames

155 Ames Exterior

Having hit the market in early 2010 as new construction listed for $1,495,000, the list price for 155 Ames was reduced to $1,395,000 that June and it sold for $1,360,000 that July.

155 Ames Bathroom

With three-bedrooms and two and one-half baths across four levels and 2,190 "ultra modern" square feet, the LEED Platinum certified condo which was built in the Mission has returned to the market, but now it's in Noe Valley and listed for $1,495,000 once again.

155 Ames Kitchen

There are three terraces and a deeded deck, perfect for soaking up the Mission Noe sun.

155 Ames Deck

And in terms of being apples-to-apples, we'll let the old neighborhood switcheroo slide.

∙ Listing: 155 Ames Street (3/2.5) 2,190 sqft - $1,495,000 [155ames.com]
Now "Nove" On Guerrero (Formerly Flora Grubb) [SocketSite]
San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]
Flora Grubb On Guerrero (1074) Is Gone, Nine New Homes Up Next [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s New Neighborhoods And Boundaries Come August 10 [SocketSite]
A Rose By Any Other Name (But Not Necessarily A Neighborhood) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

July 20, 2012

55 Laguna: The Revised Designs And Latest Development Scoop

Existing

As Laguna Street between Haight and Hermann in San Francisco currently appears above, as the streetscape will appear after the development of 55 Laguna as proposed below.

55 Laguna Streetscape As Proposed

In addition to rehabilitating the existing Richardson and Woods halls, the proposed project will include ten new buildings with courtyards, a community garden, a new pedestrian street ("The Mews" or "Palm Lane") and the new Waller Park at its core.

55 Laguna Revised Site Plan

The historic buildings on the site "were designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and have a quiet, inward-looking character" while the new buildings will have a contemporary design and "will be recognized as buildings of their own time."

55 Laguna Revised Rendering Elevation

The buildings are "neither quiet nor inward-looking," intended to bring vitality to the street.

55 Laguna Revised Rendering - Haight Street

The new buildings "will have a scale that is sensitive to the existing buildings, especially at adjacencies. Roof lines will be used to guide heights and setbacks. The massing of the new buildings will be broken down to reduce their apparent scale on the site."

55 Laguna Revised Elevation

The project includes an Amenity Building and circular outdoor stair, the "Mews Terminus," built in formed concrete and glass for some extra modern flair.

55%20Laguna%20Revised%20Rendering%20-%20Terminus.jpg

The project is designed and "organized in a way that allows the site to be accessible to both the future residents and the surrounding neighborhood."

55 Laguna Revised Rendering - The Mews

As proposed, the 55 Laguna development will yield a total of 413 new housing units including the 85-unit OpenHouse development for seniors targeting the LGBT community.

55 Laguna Back In Play [SocketSite]
55 Laguna: The Latest Rehabilitation Plans And Progress [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (52) | (email story)

June 28, 2012

Oscar The Park: Designs For An Acre Of Outdoor Space Downtown

Transit Center District Plan Parks

As plugged-in people know, Oscar Park will bring over an acre of green and outdoor recreation space to the Transbay neighborhood, stretching from Howard to Harrison and extending east to west down the new Oscar Alley.

Oscar Park Concept

If you feel like weighing in or reporting back, conceptual designs for the park will be presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on July 12, starting at 5:30PM.

Presenting Oscar Park (And A Chance To Provide Feedback) [SocketSite]
The Plan To Transform San Francisco's Transit Center District [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

June 27, 2012

Where East Meets West: The Grand Plan For Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez East

With the Cesar Chavez West remodeling project underway, tomorrow San Francisco’s Planning Commission will review the plan to remake Cesar Chavez East, a plan that "promotes safety, comfort and accessibility to all modes of transportation."

The Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan area comprises approximately one mile of Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco’s southeast quadrant. The plan area includes access points to two freeways (Highway 101 and i-280) and intersections with several other major city streets (Potrero Avenue, Bayshore Boulevard, 3rd street), and is close to stops of several transit lines (Caltrain, BART, and Muni 9L and T-3rd).
While the westernmost part of the plan is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and city parks, most of the eastern part of Cesar Chavez Street is a vital truck route connecting the City’s main industrial districts to highways leading to the Bay Bridge and to the peninsula.
As an important east/west connector, Cesar Chavez brings together the Mission, Potrero, Bernal Heights, Bayview, and Dogpatch neighborhoods and is also a vital link to the Blue Greenway and the Bay.

Key elements of the plan include a public space network "addressing the need to gather and be in the public realm;" an ecological network "addressing the need to make ecological values an integral part of the final design of the corridor;" and dedicated bicycle lanes with robust landscaped buffers from traffic along with pedestrian improvements.

Cesar Chavez East Design Concepts

Having developed the plan, Planning's next big challenge is to find a source of funding.

Cesar Chavez Reconfiguration Update (And Some Objections) [SocketSite]
Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan [SFPlanning]
San Francisco's Great Blue Greenway Vision And Interconnected Plans [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

June 8, 2012

Mid-Market's Newest Secret Garden

1355 Market Street Rooftop Garden

Speaking of the reincarnation of 1355 Market Street, a plugged-in tipster captures the rooftop garden which has been rising atop the building.

In the words of our tipster who lives across the street in Fox Plaza, "I can tell you that the wind can be fierce, so I don't know how anyone will be able to enjoy the rooftop garden."

With the remake of Stevenson Alley in the works, perhaps an artistic turbine garden atop the building would have been a better call. And watch out for flying furniture.

The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]
Fox Plaza Facelift In Progress [SocketSite]
Market Square's Mid-Market Retail Revolution [SocketSite]
Is The Wind Of Change Blowing Through San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

June 4, 2012

Chinatown Broadway Street (re)Design Sneak Peek And Unveiling

Chinatown Broadway Street Design Boundary

The final Chinatown Broadway Street (re)Design is set to be unveiled this Wednesday.

Broadway Street Before

Stretching from the Broadway Tunnel to Columbus Avenue, the goal is to improve pedestrian conditions while developing plan that is "safe, gracious and lively."

Broadway Street After

Improvements as mostly rendered above include sidewalk widening, bulb-outs and curb ramps; new benches, street lights, and signal lights; public art installations; and trees!

The Chinatown Broadway Street Design Project [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

May 7, 2012

Open Space Or Condos For The Francisco Reservoir?

San Francisco's Francisco Street Reservoir

In early 2008, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission floated the idea of selling off the Francisco Reservoir to developers with hopes of getting as much as $50 million for the site which has sat unused for 71 years, an idea which was quickly sunk by neighborhood and local Supervisor opposition, not to mention a market turnabout at the end of 2008.

While San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution reaffirming the reservoir’s status as open space, the resolution was non-binding, the site remains undeveloped and in disrepair, and the market for developable property is picking up.

Perhaps sensing another turning point, a consortium of four neighborhood groups is holding a community-wide meeting to review "proposed ideas and conceptual plans for public open space uses" for the reservoir on May 23, 6pm in the Galileo High Auditorium.

We'll keep you plugged-in.

The SocketSite Scoop: Francisco Street Reservoir On The Market [SocketSite] 

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

May 1, 2012

San Francisco’s 31 Natural Resource Areas And Plans To Protect

San Francisco Natural Resource Areas Map

Thirty-one (31) Significant Natural Resource Areas have been identified within San Francisco, Natural Areas of unique plant and animal habitats within the parks that are managed by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

With Areas ranging in size from a 0.3 acre patch of native oak trees and habitat for resident and migratory bird species by the 15th Avenue Steps, to the 395 acres of Lake Merced, the mission of the Natural Areas Management Program is to preserve, restore, and enhance the Areas armed with a proposed plan for the next 20 years.

Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan Project EIR [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

March 21, 2012

Envisioning San Francisco’s Central Corridor As An EcoDistrict

Central Corridor Area of Study

With an opportunity to build between 6,600 and 14,000 new housing units, and office space to support 22,900 to 46,700 new workers, San Francisco’s Planning Department is working to develop an innovative vision for San Francisco’s Central Corridor.

One of the visions presented earlier this month, the redevelopment of the Corridor as a central "EcoDistrict," improving self-reliance and reducing environmental impacts.

Preaching To The Choir With Respect To Architectural Innovation [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Central Subway Corridor Project [SocketSite]
Central Corridor EcoDistrict And Public Realm Improvements Presentation [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

March 7, 2012

The Bluepeter Building Loses Its Battle

Bluepeter Building

As a plugged-in reader reports, the fight to save the Bluepeter building at 555 Illinois is over and the wrecking balls and heavy machinery have won.

Bluepeter Building Demo

While neighbors had wanted the building to be repurposed as a community center, the land on which the Bluepeter Building sits will become part of Bayfront Park, part of the Blue Greenway and Regional Baytrail open space initiative, stretching over seven acres along the waterfront from Agua Vista Park to Mission Bay.

Bayfront Park Rendering

Not A Typical NIMBY Fight To Preserve The Bluepeter In Mission Bay [SocketSite]
San Francisco's Great Blue Greenway Vision And Interconnected Plans [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

March 2, 2012

17th And Folsom Street Park Funded And Opening 2014

17th and Folsom

The proposed subdivision of the 219-space surface area parking lot on the north side of 17th Street between Folsom and Shotwell and the building of a 34,300-square-foot neighborhood park on half the site has been funded thanks to grant from the State.

17th and Folsom Park Plan

The design of the park will be refined and finalized over the next twelve months with construction planed to commence next Spring and be completed in early 2014.

Parking Not Parks! (A Less Popular Mission District Bumper Sticker) [SocketSite]
OMG! ODC Connected Appeal Of 17th And Folsom Park Is Withdrawn [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

January 20, 2012

The Designs For Daggett Park

Daggett Park Schematic

This Monday, January 23, San Francisco's Planning commission will present the schematic design for Daggett Park to the San Francisco Arts Commission, which, through their Civic Design Review process, is tasked with reviewing the design of all public projects.

Daggett Park Rendering

As proposed, the park will include a tilted lawn, "penta-step" installation, wave bench and a dog run amongst other features. The full presentation for the park to be built between 7th and 16th Streets and the buildings of Daggett Place:

Daggett Park: Phase 1 Schematic Design Presentation [sf-planning.org]
Revised Plans For Daggett Place (AKA 1000 16th St.) Up For Approval [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

January 17, 2012

The Proposed Model(s) For A Modern EV Changing Station In SF

As proposed, structures will rise on the surface area parking lot at 708 Davis Street and serve as an electric vehicle battery changing station and visitor center for Better Place Inc.

The proposed project [click image above to enlarge], based on architectural plans by Stantec Consulting Inc., would consist of a group of interconnected structures including a long, narrow building with roof deck, a drive-through garage bay, metal equipment containers behind screen walls, and and several...signs. The proposed structure would be clad with ACM (aluminum composite) panels, channel glass (Bendheim), and corrugated metal.

708 Davis Rendering Detail

Located at the southeastern edge of the Northeast Waterfront Historic District, the proposed changing station project is scheduled to be reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee of San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission tomorrow.

As the site currently appears, without the deck on which models will apparently congregate:

708 Davis Street Site

Plans And Review for 708 Davis Street Station As Proposed [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (176) | (email story)

November 28, 2011

Presenting Oscar Park (And A Chance To Provide Feedback)

Oscar Park Map

Slated to bring over an acre of green and outdoor recreation space to the Transbay neighborhood, the bulk of Oscar Park will reside between Clementina and Tehama Streets, extending north and south along the new Oscar Alley.

Oscar Alley Plan

In addition, "extensions of the park east to First Street, north to Howard Street, and south to Folsom Boulevard will provide enhanced pedestrian corridors that will facilitate pedestrian movements to and from the Terminal and Rincon Hill."

On December 8, the initial designs for Oscar Park, Essex Street, and portions of the Folsom Streetscape will be presented for community feedback from 5:30 to 7:30pm in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts second floor conference room at 701 Mission Street.

Scoop: Transbay Interactive Map (And New Transit Center Website) [SocketSite]
Transbay Center Plans: Revised, Refined, And Unveiled Today [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

November 22, 2011

San Francisco Parklets Present And Proposed

Parklet Map: 11/2011

Since early 2010, 21 Parklets and the Powell Street Promenade have sprouted up across San Francisco, a few "parkmobiles" are making the rounds, and seeds have been planted for more to grow. Speaking of which, proposals for new parklets are due by December 5, the process, application, and guidelines for which (click image to enlarge) are online.

Soon To Be Sitting Pretty In A Series Of New Plazas And Parklets [SocketSite]
Powell Street Promenade Making Progress [SocketSite]
Bringing New Life And Portable "Parkmobile" Gardens To The YBCBD [SocketSite]
Map of San Francisco Parklets [Google]
Request for proposals for temporary Parklets [sfgreatstreets.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

November 21, 2011

Woot Woof!

543 Howard

Forget the bike storage and in-building showers, the feature of "San Francisco's First Green Office Conversion" at 543 Howard Street that caught our eye: the rooftop dog park.

Purchased for $6,600,000 in 1999, converted and refinanced in 2006 with a $17,500,000 loan to which a second mortgage for $4,500,000 was added in 2009, the roughly 23,000 square foot building at 543 Howard Street is scheduled to hit the San Francisco courthouse steps tomorrow with $18,588,582 now due on that first alone.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

October 13, 2011

San Francisco Set To Start Recording Green Labels

This morning, Phil Ting will announce that San Francisco will become the first county in California to adopt a policy of recording "green labels" in the City’s official property records, beginning with EnergyStar ratings and LEED certifications.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

October 5, 2011

Got Filtration? (A.K.A. Estimated Transit Center District Cancer Risks)

Transit Center District Estimated Cancer Risk at Ground Level

Speaking of the Plan for building out San Francisco’s Transit Center District, from the Plan’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) with respect to the Transit Center’s estimated impact on air quality and resultant neighborhood cancer risk:

Regarding operation of the Transit Center, because bus operations can be estimated, air quality modeling of diesel buses that will serve the Transit Center was undertaken. The analysis focused on the new Transit Center, because that is where there will be the greatest concentration of diesel-powered buses in the Plan area. The analysis revealed that those bus operations could generate a lifetime cancer risk in excess of 10 in one million at locations proximate to the Transit Center and the ramp linking the terminal to the Bay Bridge, and at elevations from at grade to approximately 100 feet (30 meters) above street level.

Transit Center District Estimated Cancer Risk at 30 Meters

Subsequent residential development projects (and other projects with sensitive receptors) in these areas, therefore, would be subject to a potential significant impact from diesel bus emissions, exceeding the 10 in one million BAAQMD project‐specific guideline for a single source impact on new receptors. Therefore, these projects would likely have to implement mitigation measures, such as [installation of a filtration system].
These potential significant air-quality impacts due to exposure to roadway pollutants and stationary source risks, including PM2.5 concentrations and cancer and non‐cancer health risks, would be reduced with implementation of…an overlay zone in which site specific analysis or refined modeling would be required in advance of the approval of subsequent development projects that would include sensitive receptors, and that the Transit Center District Plan include “goals, policies, and objectives to minimize potential impacts.”
Mitigation [Measures] would also require that residential development projects in the Plan area be designed to reduce air quality impacts to residents through building design (e.g., ventilation and air filtration systems). This measure would apply to the entire Plan area because of the large number of permitted and unpermitted stationary sources—mostly diesel generators and boilers—and the high percentage of streets with traffic volumes that could generate relatively high concentrations of PM2.5 throughout the Plan area and vicinity.
Because the pollutant concentrations vary by location, it is not possible to conclude that Mitigation Measures would bring concentrations or the resulting health risks below the BAAQMD‐specified levels for each subsequent project with sensitive receptors. Therefore, this impact would remain significant at the Plan level after mitigation.

Or as has previously been discussed, Freeway Pollution: Conjecture Or Consideration?

The Plan For San Francisco's Tallest Tower And Transit Center District [SocketSite]
Transit Center District Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures [sfplanning.org]
Freeway Pollution: Conjecture Or Consideration? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

August 26, 2011

David Baker's ZeroCottage Rising

ZeroCottage Design

The goal, to build the first "Net Zero Energy, LEED Platinum, Green Point Rated, Living Building Challenge Certified, PassivHaus Certified Residence in San Francisco."

Zero Cottage Rising

The approach, a three story addition designed by David Baker + Partners and dubbed the ZeroCottage to built on the lot behind the existing dwelling at 337 Shotwell, which some might recognize as the residence of the architecture firm’s namesake.

337 Shotwell Rear

339 Shotwell ZeroCottage: Construction Drawings [dbarchitect.com]
ZeroCottage Blog [zerocottage.net]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

August 22, 2011

Complete With Living Roof, Of Course

Center%20for%20Sustainable%20Gardening%20Site.jpg

As proposed, the existing 4,642 square foot nursery within San Francisco’s Botanical Garden will be razed and a new 9,830 square foot nursery and Center for Sustainable Gardening will rise to the west.

The new Nursery: Center for Sustainable Gardening, if approved, will replace the existing antiquated nursery with a state-of-the art facility targeted at the LEED Platinum level and constructed with renewable materials that will have a living roof, rainwater collection and recycling system and serve as a teaching tool for the City’s maintenance staff and residents interested in sustainable building and gardening practices.

Center%20for%20Sustainable%20Gardening%20Rendering.jpg

Elements will include a greenhouse, headhouse and shadehouse as well as outdoor growing grounds and an outdoor learning area. The Center will also include public restrooms, office and meeting space for Botanical Garden staff, City Gardeners and volunteers.

The site of the existing greenhouse will be replanted as an extension of the California Native Plant Garden and comments on the proposed development will be accepted by Planning until 5:00 PM on September 16.

No word on whether the new Center will offer courses on trimming palm trees as well.

San Francisco Botanical Gardens Nursery: Center for Sustainable Gardening [sfplanning]
SFBGS's Nursery: Center for Sustainable Gardening Project [sfbotanicalgarden.org]
For The Love (And Hate) Of Palm Trees In San Francisco [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

August 10, 2011

Simply Lip Service For Green Landscaping In San Francisco?

San Francisco Sidewalk Scofflaws

It’s time for a (slightly edited) guest editorial from a plugged-in reader:

I am a homeowner in SF's 11th political district. The neighborhoods in my district have the potential to be charming, but unfortunately many people think it's OK to pave over their front yards to then use the space to park their cars on the sidewalk illegally.
Almost every month I see a new front yard disappearing to make space to park cars on the sidewalk. The result is blighted, dire looking neighborhoods, lower property prices, and an unsafe environment for pedestrians who have to navigate around cars parked on the sidewalk.
In addition to laws against sidewalk parking (which is not enforced by the city, only upon complaint), to my knowledge, the city of San Francisco has laws against paving over front yards, as well as the "Green Landscaping Ordinance" which stipulates that a certain percentage in front of every building has to be devoted to landscaping. Yet I have been unable to get the city to enforce the law in my district, even though I made repeated attempts to do so.
There are three cases I can mention, each of which I have filed a complaint for with the city authorities:
1. 730 Huron Ave: has their front yard paved over. The complaint can be tracked here. The case has been "abated", but I wonder how that came about, since the building clearly is not in compliance with the code. Thanks to the City "abating this case", in the space of the former front yard now often one or two cars are parked, blocking the entirety of the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians into the street. I do sometimes call this in to the DPT, but I do have a day job and it would be nice if instead the City authorities could do their job.
2. 40 Sears Street: had a very large front yard paved over on which now a pickup truck regularly parks. I have filed a complaint with the DBI and am awaiting the results.
3. 901 Huron Ave: a house that was one of the best looking on our street, a corner house with beautiful lawn all around it. It recently sold and yesterday my wife and I noticed that a part of the lawn was already paved over, with a pickup parked on the sidewalk and former site of the lawn.
My questions are these: are we simply we wasting taxpayer dollars on making ordinances and printing colorful brochures about sidewalk greening, since we don't actually take them seriously and enforce them? Or will these laws be ever enforced to prevent further blighting of the City's neighborhoods?
San Francisco is said to be a beautiful city, but once you look beyond the parks and beaches, City Hall, Russian Hill and Valencia Street, the neighborhoods where actual families live look more and more terrible by the day.

Good questions. Let's see if we can't drum up some equally good answers.

Guide To San Francisco's Green Landscaping Ordinance [SocketSite]
Coming Soon: Guidelines For Tending Concrete Gardens Out Front [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (54) | (email story)

August 2, 2011

Bringing New Life And Portable "Parkmobile" Gardens To The YBCBD

Solar Dock

This evening, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will officially unveil the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan, 36 projects and initiatives to be implemented over the next ten years for new public spaces, redesigned alleys, public art and sidewalk improvements throughout the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD), including clean energy solar docking stations.

Other plan projects include new dog parks and dog runs, new garden streets with storm water improvements, new bike paths and bike parking, lighting, and artistic crosswalks.

In addittion, Mayor Lee will also unveil six "mobile gardens" dubbed "Parkmobiles."

Parkmobile

The 16’ x 5’9” planted containers which will be circulated throughout the YBCBD will each borrow two parking spaces for two to six months, with the first placed in front of the Catharine Clark Gallery on Minna Street at 3rd Street, and another at the 5M Project on 5th Street at Mission Street.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (56) | (email story)

July 1, 2011

Bloomin' Fireworks On Broderick

Drew School Addition: 7/1/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

Patrick Blanc's living wall has yet to fully fill out.

Drew School Addition: 7/1/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

And only the first of its many blooms have bloomed like little fireworks in the air.

Drew School Addition: 7/1/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

But we’re going to go out on a limb, or perhaps a stem, and call the Drew School expansion one of the best new additions to San Francisco's architectural repertoire.

UPDATE: As the site looked before the addition:

Before The Drew School Addition

Drew School Living Wall Mapped And Planted By Patrick Blanc [SocketSite]
Destruction Before Construction: Drew School Expansion [SocketSite]
Drew School Expansion Plans Pass Their Appeals Test(s) [SocketSite]
Drawings For A Proposed Drew School Expansion Along Broderick [SocketSite]
The Drew School Addition Rendering Scoop: Its Living Wall And All [SocketSite]
Patrick Blanc "Living Wall" Testimonial And Broderick Street Blueprint [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

June 30, 2011

Siemens Gives San Francisco A Green Thumbs Up

Alamo Square

In a study commissioned by Siemens, San Francisco landed atop the "Green City Index" to be deemed the "greenest" major city in the U.S. and Canada.

The Index compared 27 cities on environmental performance and policies across nine categories: CO2 emissions, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air quality and environmental governance.

San Francisco ranked first overall in the Index due to an impressive performance across the board, with a top five ranking in six of its nine categories. San Francisco’s strongest area is waste, where it led the pack with efforts such as being the first U.S. city to mandate composting and recycling for residents, food establishments and events in 2009. The city also claimed second place in buildings, transport and air, bolstered by strong green building and energy efficiency building standards, the second longest public transport network, and low levels of all pollutants measured in the Index.

San Francisco Green City Index Rankings

"San Francisco’s sustainability programs deliver on multiple levels simultaneously," said Environment Director Melanie Nutter. "They need to be good for the environment, but in order to have community-wide impact, they also have to address the economic needs of individuals, improve the local economy, and reverse social inequalities. You can see that commitment in play from our recycling and toxics reduction programs to our all-out effort to shut down gas-burning power plants operating within city limits."

New York, Seattle, Denver and Boston rounded out the top five U.S. cities.

In terms of Land Use, however, San Francisco ranked 8th with a score of 66.6 versus 93.0 for New York City and just above Charlotte at 64.6 and Miami at 59.2.

Can you say density?

US and Canada Green City Index [siemens.com]
Study: US and Canada Green City Index [siemens.com]
Presentation of the final results, Economist Intelligence Unit [siemens.com]
Potrero Hill's "Mirant" Power Plant Finally To Close January First [SocketSite]
The Next Era In San Francisco’s Development: It’s All About Density [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

June 27, 2011

Powell Street Promenade Making Progress

Powell Street Promenade Design

Construction is now underway between Ellis and Geary on the "Powell Street Promenade," the City’s latest Pavement to Parks project.

Over an average weekend, up to 100,000 pedestrians walk along this portion of Powell Street, contributing to a highly animated yet often congested sidewalk experience. The Powell Street Promenade will provide extra space for people to walk, sit at a table or on a bench, chat with a friend, or just watch as thousands of people pass by. Wood, stone, and metal trim will provide a rich visual quality to the space, softened by landscaping and pedestrian scale lighting.

Originally expected to be finished by April 2011, we’ll keep you plugged-in. And as that stretch has long appeared:

Powell Street at O'Farrell

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

June 24, 2011

For The Love (And Hate) Of Palm Trees In San Francisco

They’ve been called names. And the planting of palm trees in San Francisco can be a polarizing issue. An issue that might be short lived, for as a plugged-in reader editorializes and educates:

The palms won't be there much longer. The city has fired all their educated arborists. Those who are left trim them to that odd pineapple shape while the fronds are still green and alive. A fusarium-type wilt then infects the palm and it slowly dies. At least 3 have died since the last trimming - that's what killed the dead palms around Justin Herman Plaza.

A Most Unfortunate Quote [SocketSite]
A Plugged-In Reader's Report: Third Street Sprouts Some Trees [SocketSite]
The Impact Of 8 Washington [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

June 21, 2011

Approved For 17 Stories But 34 Trees For Now As Proposed

55 9th Street Design

The 17-story story building proposed to be built at 55 9th Street was approved by the Planning Commission at the end of 2007, but the now grassed over ground on the lot between Market and Mission has yet to be broken behind its chain link fence.

55 Ninth Street: Lot

On Thursday the project sponsor will seek a three-year extension and window in which to start construction on the building which was designed to yield 260 housing units, 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and 113 parking spaces.

In conjunction, or perhaps exchange, for the extension, the project sponsor "has proposed an interim landscaping plan that would plant a mix of trees and understory along the 9th Street frontage, in order to soften and screen views of the site."

More specifically, the sponsor has proposed a wall of 23 Pittosporum Tenuifolium and 11 Acer R. Bowhall trees along the fence line on 9th Street.

Australian Anka Aims To Add 260 Condos At 55 Ninth Near The Argenta [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

April 15, 2011

OMG! ODC Connected Appeal Of 17th And Folsom Park Is Withdrawn

As a few plugged-in readers report, the appeal against the proposed park at 17th and Folsom which was filed by a board member and past President of the neighboring ODC Dance Center (which is building a new center cater-corner to the park), has been withdrawn.

Parking Not Parks! (A Less Popular Mission District Bumper Sticker) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | (email story)

April 13, 2011

Parking Not Parks! (A Less Popular Mission District Bumper Sticker)

17th and Folsom

As proposed, the 219-space surface are parking lot on the north side of 17th Street between Folsom and Shotwell will be subdivided with 26,625 square feet remaining for parking and a 34,300-square-foot neighborhood park rising on the rest.

17th and Folsom Park Plan

Supported by Planning which determined the project did not warrant a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR), an appeal of Planning's decision will be heard by San Francisco's Planning Commission tomorrow. In the words of the appellant:

The project will cause 124 parking spaces will be lost in a parking lot that is 90% + capacity a majority of time during the workweek and serves as a vital resource to neighborhood health organizations, arts organizations and small and medium sized businesses.
The review documents have not described the usage of the parking lot, capacity or any alternatives other than existing public transit options. In fact, at a meeting held with the Municipal Transportation Agency in June 2010, there was indication that the neighborhood would have other projects that would further reduce supply of an increasing demand for parking spaces. This includes the consolidation of bus routes, the narrowing of Folsom street with wider sidewalks, a proposed bike lane along 17th Street.
This is all in an area where demand for parking has continuously increased as the neighborhood has become safer, the home to more small businesses and provides more health care, arts access and community outreach resources to the Mission neighborhood.
The parking lot is currently used by:
1. UCSF staff
2. Doctors, nurses and staff of the Mission Neighborhood Health Center, which draws medical professional staff at below market wages who are willing to work there due to the convenience and sponsorship of parking. Elimination of these available spaces could have a significant negative impact on the retention and attraction of needed medical expertise to provide health care services to Mission neighborhood residents. More than 10,000 people are served by the center each year and many of those use that parking lot as well. The parking lot is used day and night usage is expanding.
3. ODC students, teachers, staff and audience members including more than 25,000 theatre attendees, 13,000 individual students and lOOs of artists and staff members. As with the health center, usage is all day and increasing at night.
4. More than 100 small businesses are located within a full one block radius of the parking lot. Many of those have employees and customers who use that parking lot.
Elimination of more than half of the parking spaces alone, not to even consider the cumulative reduction of parking in the area due to other projects, will be detrimental to health care, arts, community outreach, businesses and employment in a low and moderate income neighborhood. As the Certificate of Determination states, people will initially circle for parking-and then ultimately give up without getting access to health care, arts and / or forcing businesses to reduce staff or close.

And while the appellant also cites concerns with respect to the cost of maintaining the park and its safety during a time of budgetary woes for San Francisco, the Planning department recommends the Commission uphold their support for the park.

Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration for 17th and Folsom Park Appeal [sfplanning]
Proposed Park Site at 17th and Folsom

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

April 6, 2011

399 Fremont: April Showers (And Site Prep) Will Bring...Wildflowers

399 Fremont Flowers

As we wrote last June:

Approved for development in 2006 with a performance period set to expire in June 2008, Fifield started clearing the site for the proposed Californian at 399 Freemont in November of 2007. In August of 2008 the Planning Commission granted a 12 month extension of the performance period to June 2009, and then again in June 2009 to June 15, 2010.
On Thursday the Planning Commission is expected to grant another 12 month extension for the now 452 unit (and 238 parking spot) project which would expire on June 15, 2011. The site will be planted and bloom with wildflowers in the interim.

And while one curious tipster is hopeful that this weekend’s site work is a sign that the Californian is on the rise, as Jamie Whitaker reports, it’s actually the Fifield folks prepping the Fremont lot for the aforementioned wildflower meadow ten months into the interim.

Once again, a rough rendering of what’s expected to eventually rise on the site:

399 Fremont Rendering

399 Fremont: Interim Plans Set To Bloom For The Californian Site [SocketSite]
The Californian on Rincon Hill: 375 Fremont St. [SocketSite]
Are They Clearing The Way For Someone's Californian On Rincon Hill? [SocketSite]
The Californian on Rincon Hill (375 Fremont): Website And Renderings [SocketSite]
The Californian On Rincon Hill: No Longer Coming Soon (If At All) [SocketSite]
Native California Wildflower Meadow Interim Use at 399 Fremont [rinconhillsf.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (53) | (email story)

April 4, 2011

Mission District Streetscape Plan Close To Committee Adoption

Mission District Streetscape Plan Project Example

With amendments emphasizing pedestrian safety and comfort, usable public space, and public transportation, this afternoon San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee will likely vote on an ordinance amending San Francisco’s General Plan to adopt, and set the shovels in motion for, the Mission District Streetscape Plan.

General Plan Amendment - Mission District Streetscape Plan [sfbos.org]
Mission District Streetscape Project: Final Plan And Declaration [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (54) | (email story)

March 28, 2011

More Green For The Red And Gold And New Urban Agriculture Rules

Amongst the items on the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this afternoon: Another informational hearing on the on the proposed Parkmerced Project, a planning code amendment related to urban agriculture, and a $12,852,000 settlement between the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Forty Niners in the form of rent credits, rent reductions, and $3,000,000 in stadium improvements to settle a claim over the current state of Candlestick Park.

Land Use and Economic Development Committee Agenda: March 28, 2011 [sfbos.org]
Parkmerced's Proposed Urban Design, Open Space, And Sustainability [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

February 14, 2011

Drew School Living Wall Mapped And Planted By Patrick Blanc

Drew School Living Wall planting

The Drew School’s three-story Living Wall has been planted with over 4,150 individual plants and 100 native California species as mapped by Parisian botanist Patrick Blanc.

Drew School Planting Map

The 1,720 square foot wall is Blanc’s largest installation in the States. A 2,630 square foot green roof will be planted atop the building by Rana Creek, the firm behind the living roof atop the California Academy of Sciences.

Destruction Before Construction: Drew School Expansion [SocketSite]
Drew School Expansion Plans Pass Their Appeals Test(s) [SocketSite]
Drawings For A Proposed Drew School Expansion Along Broderick [SocketSite]
The Drew School Addition Rendering Scoop: Its Living Wall And All [SocketSite]
Patrick Blanc "Living Wall" Testimonial And Broderick Street Blueprint [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

February 9, 2011

From Piers To Park And The Brannan Street Wharf By 2012 2013?

Brannan Street Wharf Rendering

As proposed, the "Brannan Street Wharf" project will demolish the existing Pier 36 and marginal wharf at the site, and construct a new 57,000 square foot public open space in their place. From the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR):

The proposed Brannan Street Wharf would consist of a 26,000 sq.ft. lawn, shade structure, tables, chairs and benches, litter receptacles, drinking fountain, lighting, space for public art installations, and a 2,000 sq.ft. small craft float with accessible gangway.
Brannan Street Wharf would be wedge-shaped, generally oriented in a north-south configuration, connecting alongside The Embarcadero Promenade. The north end of the park would begin south of Pier 30-32, extending south for about 830 feet to a point south of Pier 36. The park would be approximately 10 feet wide at its narrowest point at the north end, widening to approximately 140 feet at the south end.
The new small craft float would be approximately 30 feet by 68 feet with a low edge suitable for small human powered craft such as kayaks and row boats, and which complies with Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements and would connect the float to the wharf. The lawn would primarily be flat with the lawn laid in a raised planter about 18 inches in height, and would accommodate a variety of passive recreation uses.

Project construction will cost an estimated estimated $25 million and take approximately 21 months. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received federal funding for the demolition of Pier 36 and will most likely take the lead for that component of the project.

As the aforementioned Pier 36 and rendered outlook above currently appears:

Pier 36

From Piers To Park And The Brannan Street Wharf By 2012 [SocketSite]
Brannan Street Wharf: Draft Environmental Impact Report [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

February 2, 2011

A $1,568,176 "Waiver" For Rincon Hill Park (And $6,331,824 To Go)

Rincon Hill Park Plan

The land fronting the proposed 333 Harrison Street development has been valued by the city at $6,000,000. And the budget to develop the parcel into the proposed Rincon Hill Park has been estimated at an additional $1,900,000.

Subject to $2,140,471 in impact fees for the development of 248,892 new occupiable square feet, the sponsors of 333 Harrison Street are requesting $1,568,176 of the fees be "waived" as in-kind partial payment for the acquisition and development of the land.

How the City will close the $6,331,824 gap necessary to acquire and develop the Park Land has yet to be determined, but the $22 million in proposed Rincon Hill Area Infrastructure Financing District bonds we mentioned last week are currently high atop the list of hopes.

A Plugged-In Reader's 12 Notes On The "PC" Approved 333 Harrison [SocketSite]
DO NOT READ THIS Unless You Really Need To Know Re: 333 Harrison [SocketSite]
Energy Audits And Twenty-Two Million In Rincon Hill Area Bonds [SocketSite]
333 Harrison Street Impact Fee Waiver [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 24, 2011

Energy Audits And Twenty-Two Million In Rincon Hill Area Bonds

Amongst the items on San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development committee agenda this afternoon is an ordinance requiring owners of nonresidential buildings to conduct "Energy Efficiency Audits" of their properties and file annual "Energy Benchmark Summaries."

Under the proposed ordinance, building owners would be required to annually "benchmark" the energy use of their buildings and conduct energy audits of buildings. Energy reports would be made available to buyers, lenders and the city. The rules would apply first to commercial properties larger than 50,000 square feet starting in October 2011, and then phase in so that by 2013, the rules would apply to all commercial properties 10,000 square feet or larger.

Also on the Committee's agenda, legislation establishing a Rincon Hill Area Infrastructure Financing District and authorizing up $22 million in San Francisco bonds to finance "public improvements of communitywide significance" related to the development of ten proposed residential buildings within the Rincon Hill area.

Land Use and Economic Development Committee Agenda: 1/24/11 [sfbos.org]
Infrastructure Financing District Ordinance: Rincon Hill Area [sfbos.org]
Rincon Hill Area Infrastructure Financing District Bonds [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

January 21, 2011

Now Asking 10 Percent Less Green For A Green Mission Apple

3280 22nd Street #D

As we wrote just four months ago:

New construction in 2007 featuring siding from reclaimed olive oil barrels, hardwood floors from reclaimed mine timbers, and bathrooms with Zuma tubs and Duravit sinks, 3280 Mission Street #D was listed for $1,399,000 that July and sold for $1,450,000.
It’s now three years later, the Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project has been completed, and the three-bedroom atop 3280 22nd Street has returned to the market asking $1,550,000.

Withdrawn from the MLS in December, yesterday the green apple to be returned to the market listed for $1,395,000 and with just "one" day on the market and no reductions in the eyes of those friendly neighborhood trends reports.

UPDATE: A plugged-in reader adds a "very crude and grainy picture...taken from 3280 22nd street looking out at the neighbors [in 2007]. clearly, the neighbors were not happy about the new development":

3280 22nd Street 'Welcome' Banner

Rough translation: "Enough of the rich people and their condos."

∙ Listing: 3280 22nd Street #D (3/2) 1,808 sqft - $1,395,000 [MLS]
Going Green In The Mission (3280 22nd St.): Prices/Additional Details [SocketSite]
A Green Apple To Be Atop 3280 22nd Street (#D) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

January 19, 2011

Plans For The Inner Mission Fixer At 1376 Florida Come Up Short

1376 Florida

In April 2007 the Inner Mission fixer at 1376 Florida sold for $700,000. Since then "fully approved plans" have been secured and "permits are ready to be issued" for rebuilding the property as two "low energy condominiums" totaling 3,000 square feet.

1376 Florida Plan

Returned to the market professionally priced at $850,000 early last year, reduced to $799,000, then to $749,000, and then to $649,000 before being withdrawn last October, the property has just returned to the market as a short-sale listed for "$300,000."

∙ Listing: 1376 Florida (3/2) – "$300,000" [MLS] [1376florida-sf.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

December 27, 2010

Mary, Mary How Did Your Roof Atop One South Van Ness Grow?

One South Van Ness Roof Garden

Completed this past October, the new living roof atop One South Van Ness "percolates storm water, reduces peak runoff, reduces cooling loads and energy use within the building, provides a suitable habitat for butterflies & honey bees, and a...park-like view from neighboring buildings."

The living roof is 9,500 square foot and captures, stores, and delivers rainwater for irrigation via a 6,500 gallon tank and pump system; which will help reduce the use of potable water during the summer or dry months.
The plants on the living roof include a variety of California native and adopted plants including Buckwheat, Stonecrop, Tufted Hair Grass and San Bruno Mountain Manzanita.
In addition to the greenery and environmental benefits, the project team prioritized the reuse of roofing and insulation materials. River rock ballasts were reused around the edges of the living roof, provided by the Park and Recreation Department, and the pathways were made out of existing concrete roof pavers.

Cost of construction: $3 million over 10 months, compressed to under 3 minutes below:

One South Van Ness Roof Replacement/Living Roof Project [sfdpw.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

November 18, 2010

Parkmerced's Proposed Urban Design, Open Space, And Sustainability

Parkmerced Proposed Garden

In addition to 5,679 net new residences over the next two to three decades, the proposed redevelopment plan for Parkmerced includes the "the addition of new neighborhood serving retail and office space, new and re-configured public open spaces including neighborhood parks, pedestrian and bike paths, athletic fields, a new organic farm, and community gardens, overall transportation improvements, ecological hydrology improvements, and provision of renewable energy and water infrastructure."

The proposed new neighborhood core [concentrated on Crespi Drive, near the northeast part of the site and the light-rail line] would be located within walking distance of all the residences within Parkmerced.
Small neighborhood-serving retail establishments would be constructed outside of the neighborhood core, in close proximity to residential units throughout the site. A new elementary school (to replace an existing one on-site) and daycare facility, fitness center, and new open space uses including athletic fields, walking and biking paths, a new organic farm, and community gardens would also be provided on the Project Site.
Infrastructure improvements would include the installation of renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines and photovoltaic cells.
The proposed Project would provide 68 acres of open space in a network of publically accessible neighborhood parks, athletic fields, public plazas, greenways and an organic farm....In addition to these 68 acres of open space, the Project would provide significant additional open space in the form of private or semi-private open space areas such as outdoor courtyards, roof decks, and balconies.
The transportation system modifications proposed as part of the Parkmerced Development Project, as described in the Transportation Plan, would include rerouting the existing MUNI Metro M Ocean View line from 19th Avenue through the development, new and re-designed public streets, and modifications to intersections and streets around the perimeter of the site.
Off-street parking for the residential units will primarily, but not exclusively be in underground garages, and will be concentrated on the west side of the site (while units are concentrated toward the eastern half) to discourage casual usage.

This afternoon the Planning Commission will host an informational hearing and overview of the Parkmerced Project with a particular focus on the aforementioned urban design, open space, and sustainability.

The Parkmerced Thirty Year Plan: Public Scoping Meeting Tonight [SocketSite]
The Parkmerced Project [sf-planning.org]
Parkmerced Vision Plan [sf-planning.org]
Parkmerced Sustainability Plan [sf-planning.org]
Parkmerced Transportation Plan [sf-planning.org]
San Francisco Planning Commission Agenda: November 18, 2010 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

October 27, 2010

The Margarido House Sells "At Asking" (And 38% Below Original List)

Two weeks shy of a year on the market, the sale of the "Margarido House" over at 5950 Margarido Drive in Oakland appears to have closed escrow on October 12 with an MLS reported contract price of $3,395,000.

Interestingly enough, the brokerage represent both buyer and seller is advertising the sale in print touting "Originally offered at $3,395,000." Not $5,500,000. Or $4,795,000. Or $4,300,000. Or even $3,950,000.

But hey, having reduced its list price to $3,395,000 in September after relisting anew in June, it is an official sale at "100% of asking" and just under "four" months on the market according to MLS based reports.

Mmmm...Margarido Even More Happy Hour Pricing (If You're Buying) [SocketSite]
The (5950) Margarido Happy Hour Now Starts At (Just Under) Four [SocketSite]
March Madness For 5950 Margarido (Coincidence?) [SocketSite]
It’s March Margarita Margarido Madness As 5950 Goes Live At $5.5M [SocketSite]
There’s Green (And Perhaps Even Platinum) Up In Them Thar Hills [SocketSite]
A Margarido (Sale) On The Rocks [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

October 5, 2010

San Francisco's Great Blue Greenway Vision And Interconnected Plans

As developers have until November 18 to decide whether or not to throw their hats into the ring with respect to San Francisco’s Pier 70, the Port reminds us of their vision for a series of interconnected waterfront parks lining the bay known as the Blue Greenway Project.

The Blue Greenway vision for Pier 70 includes picnic areas, a plaza or amphitheater, a multi-use green with viewing platforms, and perhaps a fishing pier and playground while the vision for Warm Water Cover at the end of 25th Street to the south (and to which Pier 70’s greenway could connect) includes includes acres of new vegetation, furnished picnic grounds, and even a potential off road bicycling (BMX) track or skate park.

Click either image to enlarge.

Now Calling All Developers For San Francisco’s Pier 70 [SocketSite]
Blue Greenway Planning and Design Guidelines [sf-port.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

September 27, 2010

A Green Apple To Be Atop 3280 22nd Street (#D)

3280 22nd Street #D

New construction in 2007 featuring siding from reclaimed olive oil barrels, hardwood floors from reclaimed mine timbers, and bathrooms with Zuma tubs and Duravit sinks, 3280 Mission Street #D was listed for $1,399,000 that July and sold for $1,450,000.

It’s now three years later, the Valencia Streetscape Improvement Project has been completed, and the three-bedroom atop 3280 22nd Street has returned to the market asking $1,550,000.

∙ Listing: 3280 22nd Street #D (3/2) 1,808 sqft - $1,550,000 [MLS]
Going Green In The Mission (3280 22nd St.): Prices/Additional Details [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

September 24, 2010

Mmmm...Margarido Even More Happy Hour Pricing (If You're Buying)

As we wrote last month:

In contract this past March after reducing its list price from $5,500,000 to $4,795,000, as plugged-in people know 5950 Margarido over in Rockridge fell out of contract when the sale of the buyer’s house fell out of contract as well.
Relisted for $4,300,000 in June, on Friday its list price was reduced to $3,950,000.

As we write today, the asking price for 5950 Maragrido has been reduced to $3,395,000.

∙ Listing: 5950 Margarido (5/5) - $3,395,000 [5950margarido.com] [Redfin]
The (5950) Margarido Happy Hour Now Starts At (Just Under) Four [SocketSite]
March Madness For 5950 Margarido (Coincidence?) [SocketSite]
It’s March Margarita Margarido Madness As 5950 Goes Live At $5.5M [SocketSite]
There’s Green (And Perhaps Even Platinum) Up In Them Thar Hills [SocketSite]
A Margarido (Sale) On The Rocks [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

September 23, 2010

Will The Presidio Belles Toll For Thee?

Belles Townhomes

In conjunction with Forest City’s Presidio Landmark redevelopment, the seven three-bedroom, three-bath, and three-story new construction Belles Townhomes are about to hit the rental market.

Belles Kitchen

Specific rents have yet to be revealed, but "local executive Alexa Arena said they will be comparable to what you might pay in Nob Hill or Russian Hill for a three-bedroom home with private decks, views, and parking."

Each unit is connected to a solar panel array to reduce electric bills and its carbon footprint that will cut home energy greenhouse gas impacts by 36 percent. In addition, the Belles homes are equipped with a “energy saving dashboard” that keeps track of electricity, water, and gas usage in real time over the internet or on a LCD screen.

A representative floor plan and a few more interior shots are available online.

UPDATE: In response to a plugged-in reader's inquiry, the leasing office is targeting $7,500 to $9,000 per month for the townhomes.

UPDATE (9/24): The Green Grand Opening Event this Saturday is for the re-opening of the Presidio's Public Health Service District in general, the Belles Townhomes won't yet be open to the general public and likely won't be for another few weeks.

Presidio Landmark Building 1801 Recovering Nicely From Wingectomy [SocketSite]
The Presidio Landmark: The Belles Townhomes [thepresidiolandmark.com]
Forest City's Belles of the Presidio [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

September 7, 2010

$2,000 In Tax Credits For 20 Percent In Energy Savings

"The City this week is launching a new tax credit for residents who are interested in retrofitting their homes to cutback on their energy use. Homeowners can get up to $2,000 in tax credits, depending on their income level, if they get an energy audit and go through with improvements that will result in a 20 percent energy savings, at minimum."

City launches tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements [SFExaminer]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

September 4, 2010

The Pitch To Sail The America’s Cup Into San Francisco's Bay

Pier 30-32 SOM Rendering

San Francisco’s pitch to bring the next America’s Cup to The Bay includes providing the "free [use of] land and future development rights on the property in exchange for the America's Cup event authority paying $100 million to $150 million to shore up the piers, dredge the area around them, and install new breakwaters and utility lines."

At the center of it all, a proposed amphitheater at Piers 30-32 designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to be covered by "a tensile net structure evocative of a sail that would allow diffuse light through but provide shelter from rain, wind and direct sun."

Teams would be based at Pier 50, event offices would occupy Pier 48, a temporary marina for mega-yachts would be built off the Brannan Street Wharf, and Pier 28 would become a media center.

The plan will soon be presented to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors for approval with City officials pledging to have the facilities ready for racing by the end of 2012.

San Francisco's plan for hosting America's Cup [SFGate]
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) [som.com]
SocketSite Weekend Special: One Proposal For San Francisco SWL 337 [SocketSite]
From Piers To Park And The Brannan Street Wharf By 2012 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

September 1, 2010

From The Flames Of St. Paulus The Free Farm Blooms

St. Paulus Church

At the corner of Gough and Eddy where the St. Paulus Lutheran Church once stood before burning down in 1995, the Free Farm is now in full bloom. Founded this past January and true to its name, the farm has already grown and given away well over 1,000 pounds of fresh organic produce from the 1/3 acre parcel on loan from the Church.

Free Farm at Gough and Eddy

It’s simply a sunny day shout out to the farm which is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am-2pm for those seeking fresh produce or willing to lend a hand. Cheers.

The Free Farm [thefreefarm.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

July 30, 2010

Will There Be A(nother) Battle Over Battery Caulfield Road?

Battery Caulfield Road

Having just finished the renovation and conversion of the Public Health Service Hospital into the 154-unit Presidio Landmark with parking for all residents at the end of Battery Caulfield Road, the Presidio Trust is now considering two approaches to limit cut-through vehicular on said road in the name of "public health and safety, to protect environmental values, to protect natural resources, and to avoid conflict among visitor uses."

The two proposed approaches are: 1) limitation of vehicular use during weekday peak AM and PM hours, 7 to 9 am and 5 to 7 pm, as well as on weekends (Alternative 1); and 2) limitation of vehicular use at all times (Alternative 2).

Comments on the proposed limits will be accepted until September 1.

Notice of Proposed Use Limit of Battery Caulfield Road [presidio.gov]
Presidio Landmark Opening Its Doors Next Week [SocketSite]
Presidio Landmark Priced And On Track For An Opening In July [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

July 7, 2010

Dark Days For San Francisco's GreenFinanceSF (Solar) Program

"San Francisco's new, $150 million [GreenFinanceSF] program to help property owners finance solar and other energy-saving programs is all but dead, according to city officials, after a federal agency announced Tuesday that the program and others like it across the state are potentially risky and inadvisable for mortgage lenders."

"The problem, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, is that the local loans attach to the properties as liens if they are not paid off and those liens, because they are property taxes, trump banks for who gets paid back first from proceeds of a foreclosed home. In a housing market that is - at best - recovering, the risk of home loan defaults remains high and lenders do not want to risk losing more money."

Feds pull plug on cities' green home loans [SFGate]
GreenFinanceSF [greenfinancesf.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

June 18, 2010

A Beacon Two-Bedroom Sells For Under $400 Per Square Foot

As a plugged-in reader commented yesterday (and we've co-opted for use today):

We've got a sale at under $400/sf in SOMA (plus the price of a refrigerator, it appears). Do I hear 300 anybody? 300?

The 1,345 square foot bank-owned two-bedroom at The Beacon (250 King Street #516) sold for $525,000 ($390 per square foot), it had been purchased for $872,500 ($649 per square) in February 2007, a drop of 40 percent over the past three years.

∙ Listing: 250 King Street #516 (2/2) 1,345 sqft - $525,000 (SOLD) [Redfin]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

June 8, 2010

Ideas And Concepts For (A) Gateway Park Across The Bay

Gateway Park Area of Study

"As officials from nine governmental bodies explore the idea of adding a park along the south edge of where the [Bay Bridge] will touch down, this much is clear: The only way to make such a space fulfill its potential - or be worth pursuing - is to approach it as an act of transformation, where nature and industry collide for everyone to see."

Gateway Park Concept

All we ask is that Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel somehow return to protect the bay.

Bay Bridge Gateway Park a chance for big ideas [SFGate]
Gateway Park [baybridgegatewaypark.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

Fisherman’s Wharf Public Realm Plan To Be Presented Wednesday

Original Wharf Street Design

Returning to the public’s eye like the sea lions to the wharf, tomorrow at 4pm the Planning Department (in partnership with the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District) will present the Draft Fisherman's Wharf Public Realm Plan to the public.

Meeting topics will include: "the design for Jefferson Street; the streetscape design guidelines for the remainder of the streets in the study area; the design guidelines for new development; the parking and circulation management plan; and the designs for new and refurbished open spaces."

Fisherman's Wharf Public Realm Plan Meeting: 6/9/10 [sfnpc.org]
San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf Public Ream Realm Plan [SocketSite]
Trolling For Tourists And Locals Alike On Fisherman's Wharf [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

April 29, 2010

Mission District Streetscape Project: Final Plan And Declaration

Mission District Streetscape Plan Project Example

Chicanes, bulb-outs, bollards, green gutters, rain gardens, living streets, and road diets are all part of the proposed the Mission District Streetscape Project, the final plan for which is now online.

The [Mission District Streetscape Plan Project] (MDSP) is the product of a community‐based planning process to identify opportunities for the implementation of potential improvements to streets, sidewalks and public spaces in the City’s Mission District (“Plan Area”). The boundaries of the Plan Area are roughly Division Street to the north, US 101 to the east, Precita Avenue, Mission Street and San Jose Avenue to the south, and Dolores Street to the west.

Mission District Streetscape Project Map

The MDSP is intended to result in "a system of neighborhood streets with safe and green sidewalks; well‐marked crosswalks; widened sidewalks; creative parking arrangements; bike paths and routes; well integrated transit; and roadways that accommodate automobile traffic but encourage appropriate vehicular speeds." The MDSP seeks "to improve pedestrian safety and comfort, increase the amount of usable public space in the neighborhood, and support environmentally‐sustainable stormwater management."

All great macro goals. Of course plugged-in people should be thinking in terms of the micro (i.e., which blocks will actually benefit the most) as well.

Mission District Streetscape Project Plan: Mitigated Negative Declaration [sf-planning.org]
Mission Streetscape Project [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

April 26, 2010

Guide To San Francisco's Green Landscaping Ordinance

San Francisco's Green Landscaping Ordinance Graphic

Mayor Newsom symbolically signed into law San Francisco’s Green Landscaping Ordinance last week on Earth Day. And the Planning Department published a full Guide.

The goals of the ordinance once again: "Healthier and more plentiful plantings through screening, parking lot, and street tree controls; Increased permeability through front yard and parking lot controls; Encourage responsible water use through increasing "climate appropriate" plantings; and Improved screening by creating an ornamental fencing requirement and requiring screening for newly defined “vehicle use areas.”

Green Landscaping Ordinance Gets The Green Light [SocketSite]
Guide To San Francisco’s Green Landscaping Ordinance [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

April 22, 2010

Transbay Center Plans: Revised, Refined, And Unveiled Today

Transbay Transit Center Revised Design

The revised and refined plans and designs for San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center will officially be unveiled today. From John King at the Chronicle:

It's a mark of today's slow economy that the elaborate project remains on the budget set in 2007, when the Transbay authority held a competition to select a design team for the new terminal and a developer for the adjacent parcel at First and Mission streets, a site seen as the future home of San Francisco's tallest building.
Not only that, the $1.189 billion budget now includes the rooftop park, which in 2007 was to be financed separately.

Transbay Center Revised Design

The final park design by PWP Landscape Architecture isn't as elaborate as the original rooftop concept: The waterway along one edge is gone, as is a thin southern extension that would have covered the ramp that will be used by buses to and from the Bay Bridge.
But the park space remains expansive, 1,400 feet long and 170 feet wide. A grassy bowl at one end could seat 1,000 people. The design also includes a picnic meadow, a children's park and a small cafe.

Demolition of the existing terminal is now slated for August or September with an opening of the new terminal by 2017.

The proposed Transbay Tower is the tallest building fully rendered above (and on the left).

Plan for new Transbay Terminal in, under budget [SFGate]
Scoop: Transbay Interactive Map (And New Transit Center Website) [SocketSite]
Hines And Pelli Clarke Pelli Bid The Most (And Get The Transbay Nod) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (52) | (email story)

April 14, 2010

Green Landscaping Ordinance Gets The Green Light

A planning code amendment “to address screening, greening, street tree, and permeability requirements; creating definitions for “vehicle use area,” “ornamental fencing,” and “permeable surface;” [creating] requirements for the establishment of new street trees, replacement of dead street trees, and removal of street trees and [defining] climate appropriate standards for plantings in the public right-of-way” (a.k.a. the Green Landscaping Ordinance) was passed by the Board of Supervisors yesterday.

For the most part the new requirements are triggered upon new construction or an addition, or the paving or repaving of more than 200 square feet of a front setback.

San Francisco Planning Code Amendment: Green Landscaping Ordinance [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

April 12, 2010

Treasure Island: Another Work Of Fiction Or Bounty To Be?

Treasure Island Rendering (Image Source: SOM)

"The vision was conceived in 2005, and the most optimistic scenario has the first homes opening in 2013. Now, though, the push for approvals is gearing up, and the public can begin to gauge whether the much-ballyhooed green neighborhood could someday offer a truly different way to live or simply a denser version of Emeryville and Mission Bay."

Treasure Island plan a trove full of promise [SFGate]
The (SOM) Master Plan For San Francisco’s Treasure Island [SocketSite]
Model For Turning Treasure Island Into A "Green City Of The Future" [SocketSite]
An Overview Of Mission Bay [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

March 18, 2010

Mojo Parklet Opens Up, Divsiadero Street Improvements "Unveiled"

Mojo Cafe Parklet (www.SocketSite.com)

As the sun comes up, the police barricades around Mojo Café’s parklet are down.

Mojo Cafe Parklet (www.SocketSite.com)

And in about an hour, Mayor Newsom will officially "unveil" the parklet, street improvements, and new median strip green along lower Divisadero.

New Divisadero Median (www.SocketSite.com)

We give both initiatives two enthusiastic thumbs up. Perhaps even two snaps up in a circle.

Mojo Parklet In Place (And Rather Popular On This Sunny Day) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (67) | (email story)

March 15, 2010

Mojo Parklet In Place (And Rather Popular On This Sunny Day)

Mojo Bicycle Cafe Parklet (www.SocketSite.com)

While it hasn’t officially been unveiled, the new "parklet" in front of Mojo Bicycle Café is in place and already rather popular on a sunny day. Designed by RG Architecture, the six-month trial parklet has turned two traditional parking spaces into a forty foot deck with seating (not exclusively for the use of Mojo patrons), planters, and parking for six bikes.

Soon To Be Sitting Pretty In A Series Of New Plazas And Parklets [SocketSite]
Pavement to Parks [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

March 8, 2010

Presidio Landmark Building 1801 Recovering Nicely From Wingectomy

Presidio Landmark Building 1801 (www.SocketSite.com)

The non-historic wings have been removed and Forest City’s redevelopment of Building 1801 (soon to be known as "Presidio Landmark," previously known as the rather less inviting and marketable Public Health Service Hospital) into 154 studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments continues to make great strides.

Where possible, the historic wood windows and brick and stone facades [have been] refurbished...A three-story addition is being added added at the rear of the building...[and] Seven small townhomes are being added totaling about 16,000 square feet.

A smattering of floor plans for the marble, granite and stainless steel adorned units are online but rates have yet to be set. First occupancy is slated for this summer.

From Graffiti Canvas To Apartment Campus: PHSH Breaking Ground [SocketSite]
The Public Health Service Hospital Through A Reader's Eyes And Lens [SocketSite]
Public Health Service Hospital Project [presidio.gov]
Presidio Landmark [thepresidiolandmark.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

February 25, 2010

Soon To Be Sitting Pretty In A Series Of New Plazas And Parklets

San Francisco's New Plazas and Parklets (Image Source: SFGate.com)

The Chronicle reports:

The first pedestrian plaza opened in May at 17th and Market streets in the Castro and has become so popular that four more plazas as well as five "parklets" - two or three successive parking spaces turned into teeny parks - are slated to open by this summer. More are expected to be built this fall and next year.

New plazas open today at Guerrero and San Jose and Eighth and 16th while new plazas at Noe and 24th and Naples and Geneva will open later this year.

Parklets are planned for 22nd between Valencia and Mission, on Divisadero between Grove and Hayes in front of Mojo Cafe, on Clement at Fifth in front of Toy Boat Cafe, and of course a couple along Columbus in front of Caffe Roma and Cafe Greco.

S.F. plazas, 'parklets' spout, squeeze out cars [SFGate]
Make That 441,469 Spaces: Proposed Curbside Cafe Conversions [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

February 12, 2010

147 Laidley Returns Asking $400K Less For The AIA Recognized Home

147 Laidley

Listed for $3,350,000 last June but then withdrawn from the market last October, the AIA award winning 147 Laidley designed by and for Zack | de Vito Architecture is back on the market and asking $2,950,000.

A brief flirtation with the rental market last month was quickly rethought.

∙ Listing: 147 Laidley (4/3) 3,256 sqft - $2,950,000 [MLS]
The Scoop On 147 Laidley: AIA Award Winner "Coming Soon" [SocketSite]
2009 AIA Citation Award: Laidley Street Residence [aiasf.org]
Get A Feel For 147 Laidley Living For $12,500 Per Month [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

February 2, 2010

Parcel P Update (Hayes Valley Farm Sprouts New Website) And Plan

Hayes Valley Farm and Garden 2009

While new dirt is being delivered, Hayes Valley Farm has already sprouted a new website.

The Hayes Valley Farm and Garden Education Project (HVF) is an exciting new opportunity to create a working urban farm and education center in Hayes Valley on a City of San Francisco-owned lot located between Oak, Fell, Laguna and Octavia streets.
The project is organized by a coalition of urban farmers, garden educators, social service organizations, and landscape designers. The project is proposed as an interim use - a one to five year time frame - until the City moves forward with other development plans for the site.

An interim vision for HVF is above, the longer term vision from Build Inc. is below.

Parcel P Site Plan

In our collective discussions concerning Parcel P, we struggled to find a solution that was less cosmetic and more genuine in its diversity. At some point, it dawned on us that perhaps the most genuine approach to diversifying the site was to actually break it up into smaller parcels with each of the parcels having a different architect designing to the specifics of a particular program and place; a recreation in spirit, not form of the surrounding organically grown neighborhood.

Build Inc's Parcel P Plan

239 new residences as envisoned. And yes, with a central mews.

Hayes Valley Farm [hayesvalleyfarm.com]
RFPs For Housing Along Octavia Boulevard [SocketSite]
Octavia Boulevard [Parcel P] Plan [buildinc.biz]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

The Old Bonus Rooms (So To Speak) At 130 Cresta Vista Drive

130 Cresta Vista Drive (Image Source: MapJack.com)

From yesterday's listing of 130 Cresta Vista Drive:

Immaculate Westwood Highlands 4-story residence with amazing views! Main floor offers spacious dining/living/kitchen and 1/2 bath. Upper floor consists of 3brm 3ba. Two lower levels have additional rooms which could be used as extra bedrooms, office rooms or entertainment rooms.

From the San Francisco Police with respect to the arrest of four suspects across four properties three weeks ago for growing marijuana on a relatively large scale.

The locations searched were 130 Cresta Vista Drive, 15 Dorchester Way, and 1400-1402 Kansas Street. Officers observed an elaborate marijuana grow operation with numerous grow lights and ballasts in place at each location, including both flats on Kansas. Police seized a total of over 5,900 marijuana plants, with an estimated street value in excess of $200,000.

We'll assume the electric meter bypass has since been removed from that lower level. And while it appears the suspect arrested at 130 Cresta Vista was renting, no word on 15 Dorchester Way or 1400-1402 Kansas Street which said suspect appears to own.

∙ Listing: 130 Cresta Vista Drive (5/5.5) - $1,350,000 [MLS]
San Francisco Police Arrest Four Suspects In Marijuana Grow Busts [sf-police.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

January 29, 2010

It's All About Density (Okay, And Dollars) On Treasure Island

Treasury Island Development Aerial SOM Rendering (Image Source: SOM)

From the San Francisco Business Times today:

The Treasure Island development team has increased the target number of housing units from 6,000 to 8,000, a move that could help attract stores and other services to the new neighborhood and make the staggeringly expensive project economically viable.
Kheay Loke, project manager for developer Wilson Meany Sullivan, said the bump up in density is being driven by public response to the project "notice of preparation" — part of the environmental review process — as well as calculations about the how many residents will be needed to support the variety of retail and services that will make the island a real neighborhood.

Yes, it's all about density. Okay, and dollars.

Treasure Island boosts housing [San Francisco Business Times]
The (SOM) Master Plan For San Francisco’s Treasure Island [SocketSite]
Treasure Island: Sold To The Bidder Across The Bay For $105M (Plus) [SocketSite]
The Next Era In San Francisco’s Development: It’s All About Density [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

January 25, 2010

Cesar Chavez Reconfiguration Update (And Some Objections)

Cesar Chavez Street with rendered 14-foot median

An update on the redesign of Cesar Chavez Street via Mission Loc@l:

The first phase, which is likely to start this summer, involves redoing the sewage system to reduce flooding.
Above ground, the second phase will involve planting more trees, using energy-efficient street lights and converting the three lanes of traffic in each direction to two lanes. With concerns over safety, a 14-foot tree-lined median and widened curbs will be paved to decrease the time needed for pedestrians to cross the intersection. Bicyclists will also be able to enjoy the additional street space through permanent bike lanes.
The redesign has brought attention to the day laborers along Cesar Chavez Street, most of whom object to the city’s plans to relocate them at a new site on Bayshore Boulevard.

It’s about time for Cesar Chavez (Army) to break out of its amber. And it's another piece of the bigger picture Mission Streetscape Plan.

The Reconfiguration Of Cesar Chavez: It’s All About The Pedestrians [SocketSite]
Cesar Chavez Redesign [Mission Loc@l]
Like A Bug In Amber And Not Just On Bernal (Via Laughing Squid) [SocketSite]
Mission Streetscape Plan [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

November 25, 2009

Warm Thoughts Of A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (2009 Edition)

173 Downey Kitchen

Our Thanksgiving time tradition has been thwarted in 2009 by a lack of gorgeous old stoves. So this year it's the (semi) recent reduction (listed for $2,565,000 on 9/17, reduced to $2,398,000 on 10/13) of a renovated "green" kitchen and we call it a day.

Here's to hoping your pantry is plentiful along with your family and friends. Safe travels if you are (traveling). And thanks for plugging in. We'll see you next week.

∙ Listing: 173 Downey (5/3.5) - $2,398,000 [173downeyst.com] [MLS]
Warm Thoughts Of A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (2008 Edition) [SocketSite]
Conjuring Up Warm Thoughts Of A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

November 17, 2009

2342 Broadway Returns Anew, "Green," And Asking $14,000,000

2342 Broadway

It’s not yet officially listed inventory, nor is the address even mentioned on the Sotheby’s site. But a few doors down from 2306 and 2310 Broadway, and across the street from the Party of Five house at 2311 Broadway, lies 2342 Broadway.

2342 Broadway Back

Purchased as a total fixer for what tax records would suggest was $5,610,000 in May 2008 (asking just under six million at the time), the Pacific Heights big humongous view home has been completely remade from front to back and bottom to top.

2342 Broadway Bed

And in addition to the requisite eight figure finishings, solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system could help the home achieve LEED Platinum certification.

2342 Broadway Bath

Asking $14,000,000. And a tip of the hat to the always plugged-in sleepiguy for the scoop.

∙ Listing: "Luxurious, Sustainable Paradise" (2342 Broadway) - $14,000,000 [Sotheby's]
An Überprime Data Point Closes Escrow Down On Upper Broadway [SocketSite]
The Side Story (Quite Literally) For 2306 Broadway: 2310 Next Door [SocketSite]
A Peek Inside The "Party Of Five" House At 2311 Broadway [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (55) | (email story)

October 30, 2009

It’s March Margarita Margarido Madness As 5950 Goes Live At $5.5M

With the flick of a switch and a plugged-in tip, The Margarido House (5950 Margarido Drive, Oakland) has officially gone from coming soon to on the market online.

The marketing site features a full gallery, plans and description for the five bedroom, five bath and 4,665 square foot LEED Platinum certified house in the Oakland Hills. The only detail that's conspicuously missing from the site, an official asking price.

UPDATE: Make that an official $5,500,000 (and the next time we spell Margarido correctly when searching Redfin).

∙ Listing: 5950 Margarido Drive (5/5), Oakland [themargaridohouse.com] [Redfin]
There’s Green (And Perhaps Even Platinum) Up In Them Thar Hills [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

October 22, 2009

525 Golden Gate Avenue "Officially" Breaks Ground

525 Golden Gate Avenue Renderings

Put on hold in 2008 due to rising costs and lower than expected efficiencies, earlier this year a plugged-in tipster caught the crews laying the foundation for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s new "Ultra-Green" headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue.

Yesterday the ceremonial "ground breaking" took place. Expect an opening early 2012.

When Being Green Costs Too Much: 525 Golden Gate Avenue On Hold [SocketSite]
Laying The Foundation For An "Ultra-Green" 525 Golden Gate Avenue [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

October 20, 2009

Hating On Solar Panels In The Upper Haight

Four excerpts from the San Francisco Examiner:

"After installation of the [solar] panels for the three-unit building [in the Upper Haight]…nearby homeowners filed an appeal with The City against the plans. The neighbors are arguing that the panels are dangerous and could harm the character of and property values in the neighborhood."
"The solar panels erected ... are egregiously not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood and are now embarrassingly visible landmarks to pedestrians,” [the neighbors] wrote in the appeal. “This significantly detracts from the character of the neighborhood."
"[The neighbors] have urged the Board of Appeals — which rules on filings against permits or licenses issued, revoked or suspended by The City — to order the panels to face more directly upward. The couple says that change would protect passers-by from falling panels in strong winds or during an earthquake."
"Tilting the panels would also improve the view for the objecting pair."

And suddenly the Haighting all makes sense.

Solar array causes conflict with neighbors [San Francisco Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

October 19, 2009

Conservation Of Land When Cash Is King

"The [595 acres] of chaparral-covered land 15 miles outside of Marysville had been slated to be bulldozed for homes. But the bottom dropped out of the economy and the plan to build homes was yanked, allowing the [the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land] to swoop in with a $4 million offer that was quickly accepted."

Developers' bust proves a boon for land trusts [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

October 5, 2009

Treasure Island: We Have A Plan, So Can't We Just Have The Land?

Treasure Island Rendering (Image Source: SOM)

It’s been over two years since we first plugged you in to SOM’s design for an ubergreen urban redevelopment of Treasure Island. And ever since then, The City has unsuccessfully been trying to talk the Navy down from an upfront payment in the "hundreds of millions of dollars" to deed the island to San Francisco.

“We thought we had big problems with the Bush Administration and the Navy because we couldn’t get a zero cost or no cost transfer of the property,” Mayor Gavin Newsom told The Examiner. “We thought that would change with the new administration, so we kind of delayed the last six months of the old administration until we got a new secretary of the Navy.”
The new administration does not support handing over for free Treasure Island or any of the other dozens of shuttered military bases around the nation, according to a recent letter from Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and the environment.
San Francisco officials, however, are confident there will be a deal before the end of the year.

The Mayor’s Office has been pushing for a mostly back-end deal (up to 50% of the profits) funded by the sale of 6,000 plus residential units and 700,000 plus square feet of commercial space once the development is done. But the Navy hasn’t bitten.

If a deal is in fact brokered by the end of the year, however, The City believes infrastructure work could start as early as 2011 with the first residences ready for occupancy in 2013 and an Island complete by 2022.

The (SOM) Master Plan For San Francisco’s Treasure Island [SocketSite]
Model For Turning Treasure Island Into A "Green City Of The Future" [SocketSite]
Feds, city haggle over cost of isle [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

September 3, 2009

Rincon Hill Streetscape Plan In Action On Spear: New Mini-Park

Spear Mini-Park (Image Source: The Sluice Box)

As we wrote with respect to the Rincon Hill Area Plan back in 2006:

As part of the Area Plan, a streetscape plan "calls for extensive sidewalk widenings, tree plantings, street furniture, and the creation of new public spaces along streets throughout the district." And that’s great. Especially considering that the plan currently characterizes "Rincon Hill’s streets [as] unsafe and unpleasant for pedestrians—sidewalks are narrow, intersection crossings dangerous, and few active uses line the sidewalk edge."

From a plugged-in Aaron over Park On The Sidewalkon The Sluice Box today:

The sacrifice of a lane of traffic and the widening of a sidewalk have enabled the creation of a slender mini park on Spear Street, between Folsom and Harrison Streets in San Francisco's evolving Rincon Hill neighborhood.
Over the past couple of months this park has begun to take shape as the varied plantings have matured. The parallel rows of trees are filling in and the ground cover is in full purple bloom. While the term park might conjure up thoughts of Golden Gate Park or Central Park, this stretch of sidewalk does manage to contain an impressive combination of elements. A number of wooden benches and substantial concrete rectangles provide seating, while grass covered mounds and loose gravel inject variety into the block-long expanse of sidewalk. This is the first of what should eventually be several similar neighborhood parks.

We love it when an area plan starts to come together. Now about those empty lots...

The (Traffic) Plan For Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
Park On The Sidewalk [The Sluice Box]
A Five To Ten Year (Currently) Empty Lot Plan [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

August 12, 2009

50 UN Plaza: The British Aren’t Coming! The British Aren’t Coming!

50 United Nations Plaza

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has backpedaled on their original decision to award a $121 million stimulus-funded contract to renovate San Francisco’s 50 United Nations Plaza to British firm Foster + Partners.

Instead, the San Francisco office of HKS Architects will be overseeing the project and doling out the dollars.

Photovoltaic panels, an ultra-efficient mechanical system, energy efficiency initiatives and environmentally friendly materials are planned to be installed in an effort to achieve LEED Gold certification for the finished building from the U.S. Green Building Council.

As we originally wrote, hell hath no fury as architects scorned.

50 UN Plaza Update: Hell Hath No Fury As Architects Scorned [SocketSite]
UN Plaza Building design work to begin [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

August 4, 2009

Additional Green Reserves To Satisfy Lenders For SFPUC's Green HQ

525 Golden Gate Avenue Renderings

"A committee hearing into the planned construction of a $190 million super-green San Francisco Public Utilities Commission headquarters will be postponed, after officials decided to add $47.4 million in additional appropriations....the cash reserve needs to be appropriated and squirreled away to satisfy the requirements of lenders...."

Hearing delay for SFPUC's ultragreen HQ [San Francisco Examiner]
Laying The Foundation For An "Ultra-Green" 525 Golden Gate Avenue [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

July 31, 2009

The United Nations Of Hunters Point?

Proposed United Nations Global Compact Center

Speaking of the redevelopment of Hunters Point, from the Business Times:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to put a United Nations center focused on global warming at Hunters Point Shipyard…The proposed center, called the United Nations Global Compact Center, would cost about $16 million to $20 million.

If we build it will the world come?

Can You Say San Francisco Earthquakes? [SocketSite]
S.F. Mayor proposes UN center at Hunters Point [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

July 24, 2009

Arterra (300 Berry) Takes LEED Silver, Hits 75% Closed Or In Contract

Arterra Architecture (www.SocketSite.com)

Intracorp’s Arterra at 300 Berry has officially been granted LEED Silver Certification, "making it San Francisco’s only residential high-rise to earn Silver status from the United States Green Building Council (USGBG)."

75% of Arterra’s 269 condos are currently either closed or in contract, up from roughly 50% "sold" last September while The Hayes has since sold out (literally not figuratively).

The Hayes And Arterra: A Grand Opening And Both Roughly 50% Sold [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

A (195) Beacon Of Renovated "Hollywood Hills Style" Up In Glen Park

195 Beacon

It’s a Ross Levy renovation of a "1960's Hollywood Hills style view home" up in Glen Park.

195 Beacon: Living

Did we mention the courtyard pool? If only we shared that Hollywood Hills styled weather.

195 Beacon: Courtyard Pool

And if it looks familiar, to plugged-in people it should (especially if your name's Dave). Asking $6,000 a month in rent in May, purchased for $1,650,000 in October of 2007.

∙ Listing: 195 Beacon Street (4/3) - $1,650,000 [195beacon.com] [MLS]
Name That "Noe Valley" House (And Architect) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

July 6, 2009

A Five To Ten Year (Currently) Empty Lot Plan

As we wrote in February with regard to numerous recently cleared but undeveloped lots now dotting the landscape in San Francisco facing the loss of their city entitlements:

Our suggestion, grant the extensions but in exchange for turning undeveloped lots into public parks and maintaining them as such until construction is underway.

As John King adds today (or rather yesterday):

With ingenuity and a modest investment, San Francisco could breathe life into these voids until the demand for development returns. Some could be landscaped with fast-growing trees and shrubs that offer environmental benefits. Others could display art or offer casual spots for social interaction.
There are no clear models to follow: Any initiative must be acceptable to landowners, with details worked out in advance regarding such issues as maintenance and security. Done well, though, the payoff could far exceed the cost - creating short-term showcases rather than blight that drags its neighbors down.

Hear, hear!

Entitlement Extensions? We Say Yes, But With A Green Twist… [SocketSite]
High-rises on hold: What to do with empty lots? [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

June 23, 2009

It Goes To Zero (The New Eleven)

Zeta Communities 'Zero-Energy Home' (Image Source: The Chronicle)

It’s not yet San Francisco real estate news per se, but ZETA Communities is based in the city. From the Chronicle:

Zeta Communities, which is headquartered in South of Market and owns a manufacturing plant in San Leandro, is close to completing its first "zero energy" townhome in Oakland and is working with a developer on a proposed 30-unit studio apartment building in Berkeley.
The firm plans to build segments of housing units indoors and ship them to development sites for assembly.
Energy-saving features include extra-thick windows, dense insulation, efficient appliances and a monitoring system that manages temperature and ventilation and tracks electricity use. Warmth in the house is used to heat incoming air, and recovered hot wastewater helps warm shower and sink water. Solar panels generate new energy.

Zero, it's the new eleven.

Startup's prefab homes aim for zero energy bills [SFGate]
ZETA Communities [zetacommunities.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

June 22, 2009

Avalon At Mission Bay III (240 Berry): Now Open And The Rents

Avalon at Mission Bay III (www.SocketSite.com)

With a grand opening last week, the first wave of the 260 Avalon At Mission Bay III apartments at 240 Berry are now officially rental inventory. Currently advertised asking rents (with "up to $3,000 off" the first month):

∙ Studios: $1,865 to $2,230
∙ One-bedrooms: $2,365 to $2,970
∙ Two-bedrooms: $2,950 to $4,480

A couple of features that caught our eye: ZipCars in the garage; a residents’ courtyard with outdoor bocce ball, theater, and Viking grills and ice machines; and an on-site recycling program that includes composting.

And if all goes as planned, Avalon At Mission Bay III will be the first LEED Certified rental building in San Francisco.

Avalon At Mission Bay Phase III (240 Berry): True To Design [SocketSite]
240 Berry: No Condos For You [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (59) | (email story)

June 16, 2009

Laying The Foundation For An "Ultra-Green" 525 Golden Gate Avenue

525 Golden Gate Ave (www.SocketSite.com)

Placed "on hold" a year ago due to rising costs and "lower than expected efficiencies," but now angling for some stimulus funds too, it’s a plugged-in tipster that catches the crews at work on 525 Golden Gate Avenue:

Crews from [Malcolm] Drilling are hard at work on the site. I asked one of them whether their being there meant the new building was proceeding and the answer was, "Yes, we are shoring for the foundation because the foundation for the new building is deeper than the old one." I could see what appeared to be a dewatering tank of the sort used to keep deep foundation excavations dry.

The earthquake-damaged and twenty-years vacant building that once stood on the site was recently razed (much to the chagrin of Trader Vic's next door), and as permitted a 12-story "ultra-green" San Francisco Public Utilities building is proposed to rise.

When Being Green Costs Too Much: 525 Golden Gate Avenue On Hold [SocketSite]
PUC site a 'poster child for stimulus package' [SFGate]
Tiki lounge owners try to halt nearby demolition [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

June 11, 2009

An Eco-Friendly "Baker Acres" Prepares Its Return (2201 Baker)

2201 Baker Street (www.SocketSite.com)

Built as a single-family home in 1904, converted to a boarding house known as "Baker Acres" in the 1940’s, and then Ellis Acted in 2002, an almost fully gutted and foreclosed upon 2201 Baker Street went on the market in November of 2007 asking $2,490,000.

Purchased for $2,538,000 and completely rebuilt as a single-family home by RBR Development (think Regina Callan), 2201 Baker Street is about to return to the market as the first "eco-friendly" Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhome.

This 7,700 square foot home, is outfitted with the latest green technologies [Regrid solar photovoltaic panels], building materials [high efficiency insulation, low u-value glazing, low VOC paints, recycled brick], mechanical systems [two high efficiency furnaces with air purification system]...and spectacular cutting-edge modern design on 4-levels of impressive living space and outdoor spaces including a large walk-out garden and roof garden to accommodate the lifestyle of a modern San Francisco family.

As a plugged-in eddy correctly surmised (and stole a bit of our thunder), Barbabra and Robert Callan have the listing with a whisper price of $7.1 million. The first VIP tours are scheduled to start in a week with a month of public tours starting on June 20th ($25 tickets benefit the San Francisco Ballet).

And as it looked before:

2201 Baker Street

∙ Coming Soon: 2201 Baker Street (7/9) [streetsofsanfrancisco.com]
Prime Pacific Heights Single Family For Under Five Hundred A Square! [SocketSite]
Modern by Design Showhouse 2009 [Metropolitan Home]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

June 4, 2009

A Noe "House With A Conscience" (And Listing Lob): 3961 25th Street

3961 25th Street

From the the listing for 3961 25th Street:

A house with a conscience. Everything about this house is centered on a simple, yet noble premise: minimize waste for maximum grace. Now you can do what is right for your environment without sacrificing the pleasures of your everyday living.

From a reader who couldn’t resist the lob:

What happens when your house-with-a-conscience starts to feel guilty about the $2.85M you paid for it?

3961 25th Street: Living

Regardless, we will note some sweet Noe Valley indoor/outdoor living and deck action with floor plans and a full list of green features online.

∙ Listing: 3961 25th Street (4/3.5) - $2,850,000 [3961-25thstreet.com] [Floor Plans] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (78) | (email story)

April 17, 2009

118 Cervantes Boulevard: Listed, Numbers, And Your Peek Inside

118 Cervantes

A few numbers for 118-120 Cervantes Boulevard: a total of 2 parking spaces, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and 2992 square feet; a 4.8kw photovoltaic system (façade and roof) with solar assisted heating (water and interior); and asking $3,000,000 for the whole shebang.

118 Cervantes Boulevard: Kitchen

And while legally two units, from the listing: "...top floor (or apartment with separate street entrance); also accessed via the Mezzanine/Den; can be a family room, homework or conference room, secondary eating area; partial kitchen and laundry...."

∙ Listing: 118-120 Cervantes (4/4.5) - $3,000,000 [118cervantes.com] [MLS]
118 Cervantes: From Architecture Watch To (Almost) On The Market [SocketSite]
Architecture Watch: 118 Cervantes Boulevard Gone Green/Modern [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (35) | (email story)

April 14, 2009

118 Cervantes: From Architecture Watch To (Almost) On The Market

118 Cervantes Boulevard: 4/14/09 (www.SocketSite.com)

In the words of a reader with regard to 118 Cervantes Boulevard:

For all of you wondering how this design managed to be approved by the neighbors... it wasn't.
I live a couple houses away on the same side of the street and we received no notification. We're not pleased.
And FWIW... a sale sign went up this weekend.

Listing to be (and Sotheby’s sign out front) by Rebecca Schumacher.

118 Cervantes Boulevard (www.SocketSite.com)

No word on whether or not it’s only one of the units heading to market or the two.

Editor's Note: Another plugged-in reader adds:

According to the online database the project went out for Section 311 Neighborhood notification and was signed off by planning back in 2004.

Architecture Watch: 118 Cervantes Boulevard Gone Green/Modern [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (57) | (email story)

March 26, 2009

More New Trees: A Reader’s Report (And Photo) From Mission Street

Trees on Mission in front of The Millennium (www.SocketSite.com)

"Keeping in line with the post earlier this week about new trees on 3rd Street, I noticed these in front of the Millennium today on Mission."

A Plugged-In Reader's Report: Third Street Sprouts Some Trees [SocketSite]
Millennium Tower: Sales Timeline, Additional Details And Renderings [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

March 24, 2009

Architecture Watch: 118 Cervantes Boulevard Gone Green/Modern

118 Cervantes Boulevard (www.SocketSite.com)

It’s a rather dramatic rebuild and rebranding of 118 Cervantes Boulevard that incorporates wood, concrete and two arrays of exposed photovoltaic cells on its façade.

118 Cervantes Boulevard: Detail (www.SocketSite.com)

And of course, how it looked before:

118 Cervantes Boulevard: Before (Image Source: MapJack.com)

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (66) | (email story)

March 20, 2009

A Plugged-In Reader's 12 Notes On The "PC" Approved 333 Harrison

333 Harrison: Neighborhood Context (Image Source: dbarchitect.com)

A plugged-in reader's (slightly edited) 12 notes on Emerald Fund's proposal to develop 333 Harrison Street which has been approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission:

1. The new building will be sandwiched between Bridgeview and One Rincon.
2. Some Bridgeview owners will be adversely affected. The lower level units will lose their views as the new building will be 40 feet away.
3. The building will house rental units.
4. Rents will be expensive: from $ 3,000 to $ 3,500 per month.
5. Approximately [7-stories] high.
6. The units are small, mostly one bedroom units averaging 500 square ft.
7. They will have a great public park, looks like a courtyard.

333 Harrison: Design (Image Source: dbarchitect.com)

8. It will take approximately 2 years to complete.
9. One Rincon Hill is not at all affected.
10. The Metropolitan will not be affected.
11. Another nice perk: they will have a dog run (Park South below).
12. They have plans to convert them into condos within 15-20 years (that is what they told us). But, it is most likely much sooner than that time frame.

333 Harrison: Plan

Design (and all images) by David Baker + Partners Architects.

UPDATE: A bit of clarification on those parks from another reader:

Emerald Fund is not building either park, especially not the dog run at Bryant/Beale. Caltrans is building that one on their own land. Caltrans would only agree to do that if they could sell their Fremont/Harrison parcel for a decent amount of dough, and they will use some of that money for Bryant/Beale.

Cheers.

685 Units Looking Beyond The Current San Francisco Downturn [SocketSite]
333 Harrison Street Design: Slide Show [dbarchitect.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

March 18, 2009

Rehabilitating Rather Than Razing Building 101 At Hunters Point

Rather than razing Building 101 and relocating the artist studios within as part of Lennar’s redevelopment of Hunters Point Shipyard, the former Navy fallout shelter (and piece of "The Point") will be rehabilitated thanks to a $2.1 million federal grant.

The renovated Building 101 will become the hub of a new Hunters Point arts district.

JustQuotes: The Redevelopment Of Hunters/Candlestick Point [SocketSite]
"The Point" [thepointart.com]
Demolition plan turns into rehab effort for art studios [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

February 20, 2009

Entitlement Extensions? We Say Yes, But With A Green Twist…

Rincon Hill Entitled Lots

From J.K. Dineen with respect to many of those recently cleared but undeveloped lots now dotting the landscape in San Francisco:

With residential and commercial construction stuck in a deep freeze, the San Francisco Planning Department wants to allow developers of some high-profile projects to hold off on building until the economic climate warms up — without losing their coveted city entitlements.
The extensions would apply to downtown office tower developers, who are now legally required to begin construction within 18 months of winning approvals. It would also cover Rincon Hill condo developers, who are normally given 24 months to start building. Finally, the proposed extension covers a more general group of projects across the city, including residential projects of 20 or more dwellings, 100 percent affordable projects and sustainable buildings designed to meet standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The proposed extension would offer some relief to developers like Lincoln Property Co., which has fully entitled office projects ready to go at 350 Bush St. and 500 Pine St. On the residential side, the law would extend approved condo developments ranging from Crescent Heights’ two-tower, 720-unit project at 10th and Market streets to Turnberry Associates’ 227-unit deluxe skyscraper planned for 45 Lansing St. Altogether, developers of more than 12,000 units of approved housing would get a grace period under the proposal.

Our suggestion, grant the extensions but in exchange for turning undeveloped lots into public parks and maintaining them as such until construction is underway.

S.F. planners may put entitlements on hold [San Francisco Business Times]
Argenta Rises While Buildings For Crescent Heights Are Razed [SocketSite]
The Turnberry (45 Lansing) Scoop: Construction Starting Early 2009? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

February 10, 2009

The Rather “Studly” Julian Waybur House (3232 Pacific) For Sale

3232 Pacific Avenue

The Julian Waybur House at 3232 Pacific Avenue is a “Historic [Ernest] Coxhead Shingle-Style Home with Presidio and Golden Gate Views.” And while it wasn't in bad shape “before,” it’s now down to the studs and awaiting a “green” renovation.

Coxhead's signature redwood paneling remains in the living room and the celebrated staircase has been restored off-site and is now ready for re-installation and finishing in place.

3232 Pacific: Staircase and Paneling

Included in the offering are preliminary plans by Page and Turnbull to create a luxury "green home" consisting of: 3 bedrooms, 3 full and two-half baths, living room, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen with breakfast area and recycling center, media room and study.

Full details, history and plans for 3232 Pacific are on a "special website," the address for which we somehow managed to surmise.

UPDATE: As a plugged-in “sleepiguy” notes, after the "before" but before any "after" there was an "in-between" (a.k.a. a fire).

3232 Pacific Avenue: 2/10/09 (www.SocketSite.com)

∙ Listing: 3232 Pacific Avenue (3/4) - $2,500,000 [MLS] [3232pacific.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (79) | (email story)

January 15, 2009

Candlestick Development Public Airing (And Environmental Challenge)

"A plan for turning San Francisco's Candlestick Point and the Hunters Point Shipyard into a neighborhood and business district twice the size of Treasure Island - one that could include a new 49ers stadium - fails to focus enough on the area's natural ecology, according to a report due today from environmental groups.

The 133-page report by ARC Ecology and Bionic, both environmental and planning organizations, suggests that the city and Lennar Corp. have tried to force their development ideas onto an area that includes important wildlife habitat instead of building a project that prioritizes and protects nature."

"The city's complete plan is scheduled to get a public airing before two public advisory groups tonight [from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 1800 Oakdale Ave]. The city will seek the groups' endorsement of the plan in the next couple of weeks, a significant step toward completing the massive development that 61 percent of city voters endorsed in June."

City's Candlestick plan under fire [SFGate]
JustQuotes: The Redevelopment Of Hunters/Candlestick Point [SocketSite]
Results: Proposition 98 Fails/99 Passes, Measure F Fails/G Passes [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

January 5, 2009

Parkmerced: A Cultural Landscape Foundation "Marvel of Modernism"

Parkmerced: Cultural Landscape Foundation Marvel of Modernism

As a plugged-in tipster notes, San Francisco’s Parkmerced has been named to the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s 2008 "Marvels of Modernism" list. From the Foundation:

Parkmerced was designed as “a city within a city” by architect Leonard Schultze and Associates with planning and landscape architecture by Thomas Church with Robert Royston.
Today, it is one of this country’s four remaining examples of large-scale, post-World War II residential developments. Unfortunately, there are numerous threats to the design, including plans by the current owners to subdivide portions of the site and make changes to the property’s pioneering landscape design.

From our tipster: "preservation = green + sustainable." We’ll let you write your own equation. Bonus points for proof of work.

Landslide 2008: Marvels of Modernism – Parkmerced [tclf.org]
Planning For 5,700 New Homes In San Francisco’s Parkmerced [SocketSite]
Parkmerced: From The Plans To Develop, To The Plans To Preserve [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

December 11, 2008

Transbay Park Potential: Post-Temporary Transbay Terminal (Et Al.)

Transbay Park Post-Temporary Terminal (www.SocketSite.com)

You know how the site looks now. And you know how it will look for the next six years or so as home to the temporary Transbay Terminal. But do you know how the area might one day look once the Transbay Park and other proposed development takes place?

Plugged-in people can now answer yes (and click the image above to enlarge).

Transbay Transit Center Groundbreaking, Fat Mike & Infinity All In One [SocketSite]
T-Minus Two Weeks Until Transbay Temporary Bus Terminal Start [SocketSite]
Transbay Park Plan (pdf) [SFGov]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

December 1, 2008

48 Langton: Not “Official” Inventory (But On The Market Nonetheless)

48 Langton

Three new condos touting “green features” like recycled insulation and tank-less hot water heaters sprouted up at 48 Langton. Two car tandem parking per unit (keep it green with two cars off the street…) and a higher quality of finish than we've come to expect.

48 Langton: Kitchen

An urban neighborhood you’ll either love or hate (okay, or perhaps just like). And a couple of great views from the decks of the city and 60 Rausch (at least for now).

48 Langton: Deck

48 Langton #1 (2/2) - $889,000; #2 (2/2.5) - $899,000; and #3 (2/2.5) - $899,000.

∙ Listing: 48 Langton Street [48langton.com]
The Mullen Buildings: 52/60 Rausch & 73 Sumner [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

November 13, 2008

Putting Some Green On Guy Place: A Rincon Mini Park In The Works

Guy Place Park: Location

It’s a new San Francisco “mini park” in the works in Rincon Hill on Guy Place off of First.

Guy Place Park: Street View

Currently a vacant lot hidden behind a wooden fence and locked chain link gate.

Guy%20Place%20Park%20Lot.jpg

With conceptual plans, however, to develop into a little green neighborhood escape.

Guy Place Park: Conceptual Designs

Community review and comment on the plans next Wednesday (11/19/08) from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. (South Beach Harbor Services Building between Pier 40 and AT&T Park). And if you're interested, the presentation from community meeting number one.

Guy Place Mini Park Community Meeting #1 (pdf) [SFGov]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

November 3, 2008

Some Scary Numbers Behind The Bankruptcy Of "La Casa Verde"

3027-3029 25th Street (www.SocketSite.com)

It was three months ago we noted a Notice of Default (NOD) had been filed for “La Casa Verde" (a.k.a. Sunset’s San Francisco Idea House). And now as a plugged-in tipster notes, the developer has declared bankruptcy. Let's focus on the property (not the personal).

A couple of things from the filing that stuck out: A claimed value of $1,400,000 for the duplex with secured claims of $3,070,880 (and unsecured of $353,970); a gross rent from the smaller unit of $3,000 per month (with operating expenses of $1,389); and an "electricity and heating fuel expense" of $1,200 per month.

UPDATE: And if a reader is correct, "The reason the power bills are so high is because she never paid the consultant their final payment to have all the green technology hooked up. The windmill is spinning away, making electricity that goes nowhere. The new owner will be able to hook up all the energy saving features that are filling up the utility room that are currently doing nothing."

It's Not That Easy Being Green For “La Casa Verde” (3027-3029 25th) [SocketSite]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

September 23, 2008

350 Mission Street Scoop Redux: Building Website Live

350 Mission Street: Entrance Rendering

As we wrote two months ago:

A plugged-in tipster delivers a rendering of the SOM/Craig Hartman design to compliment the scoop on 350 Mission Street, a 27-story green tower that’s in the works for the corner of Mission and Fremont. We’re loving the openness of the triple-height lobby.

As a plugged-in tipster writes today (okay, so actually last week): the 350 Mission website is live with renderings, an overview, virtual tour/views (note the Transbay) and more.

350 Mission: Moving Benches Rendering

Did we mention how much we're digging the design of that lobby?

350 Mission Street [350mission.com]
350 Mission Street Scoop: A Plugged-In Tipster Delivers The Rendering [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

Two Different Perspectives, One Marina Block And An Oasis Of Green

On Alhambra Looking West (www.SocketSite.com)

Two different perspectives, one Marina block. Looking west-ish from out front of 147-149 Alhambra above. Looking east-ish across 143-149 Alhambra below.

143-149 Alhambra (www.SocketSite.com)

Kudos to the owners for this little oasis of neighborhood green (and our encouragement for others to follow suit).

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (63) | (email story)

September 22, 2008

Go For The Architecture, Stay For The Amphibians

Inside the California Academy of Sciences (Image Source: SFGate.com)

The California Academy of Sciences (photos) officially opens its doors to the public this weekend with free admission on Saturday (9/27) and activities, performances and "green technology" demonstrations throughout.

Photos: Rebuilding Academy of Sciences no walk in park [SFGate]
California Academy of Sciences: Opening Weekend [calacademy.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

August 13, 2008

There’s Green (And Perhaps Even Platinum) Up In Them Thar Hills

Margarido House: Exterior

The Margarido House (5950 Margarido Drive) is slated to become the first LEED certified Platinum home in Northern California. And while it wasn’t built in San Francisco (nor is it on the market), it was built right across the bay in Oakland (and there will be tours).

Margarido House: Interior

The details (and plenty of blue green porn) online. Oh, and the developer's story as well.

UPDATE: As a plugged-in reader notes, while there might be green and platinum up in them thar hills, apparently there's a foreclosure too (6001 Margarido).

The Margarido House (5950 Margarido Drive, Oakland) [margaridohouse.com]
Green In The Hills [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (34) | (email story)

August 5, 2008

San Francisco Takes The LEED (And GreenPoint) On Building Codes

"San Francisco took a major step Monday to cement its reputation as the most environmentally progressive city in the United States, as Mayor Gavin Newsom signed into law stringent green building codes for new construction and renovations of existing structures in the city.

The new codes focus on water and energy conservation, recycling and reduction of carbon emissions. They apply to most buildings in the city, including residential projects of all sizes, new commercial buildings over a certain size, and renovations of large commercial spaces."

"The new codes are to be phased in by 2012. Projects will be evaluated on a point system with credit given for materials used in the building, the location of the building site and water and energy efficiencies.

Large residential and commercial buildings will be evaluated under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Medium and small residential construction will use the GreenPoint rating system, which is less stringent."

Newsom signs strict green building codes into law [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: More Green For Greener Building Codes In San Francisco [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

July 31, 2008

Is The Wind Of Change Blowing Through San Francisco?


The number of San Francisco based wind-energy companies (four) currently outnumbers the residential turbine installations (three), but the wind of change appears to be blowing.

Earlier this month, Newsom eliminated one of The City’s biggest barriers to residential wind energy by sending out directives asking planning and building-inspection departments to “expedite permitting and minimize costs” needed to install residential, commercial and municipal wind turbines in The City.
Prospective wind harvesters have been hamstrung by the lack of a standard turbine-permit application process, said San Francisco builder Robin Wilson [think Sunset Idea House], a task force member who last year founded Whirligig Inc., which sells and installs turbines.
Until now, San Francisco has been able to take only small steps on the path to wind power, those paved by city supervisors who have supported individual wind projects in their districts. Supervisor Tom Ammiano, a task-force member, tweaked height rules to help Todd Pelman, founder of the San Francisco start-up Blue Green Pacific, install a turbine on his Bernal Heights home. Board colleague Bevan Dufty also helped secure a permit for a residential turbine on a home in the Castro.
In addition to encouraging wind-power technology for residents and businesses, Newsom also ordered city departments to incorporate wind turbines into city facilities “whenever and wherever possible” in his July 17 directives.

Our apologies to Prime Minister Macmillan for the headline.

The magic of wind power [Examiner]
The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

July 23, 2008

When Being Green Costs Too Much: 525 Golden Gate Avenue On Hold

525 Golden Gate Avenue Renderings

“Lofty city plans to construct an ultra-green windmill-studded, solar-panel-embedded, water-recycling office building near City Hall have been thwarted by growing costs.

Work on the 12-story San Francisco Public Utilities building was slated to begin this year but SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington announced Tuesday the project will be placed “on hold” because of rising costs [and lower than expected efficiencies].”

SFPUC plan for green building held up by cost [Examiner]
525 Golden Gate Avenue (SFPUC Building) [SFGov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

July 18, 2008

JustQuotes: Like Fluorescent Lighting In The Kitchen? (Wink, Wink)

"California on Thursday became the first state in the nation to approve green building standards to cut energy and water usage, a move that officials say will help the state meet its ambitious goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan, adopted by the California Building Standards Commission, requires that all new construction - from commercial buildings to homes, schools and hospitals - reduce energy usage by 15 percent, water use by 20 percent and water for landscaping by 50 percent. A voluntary form of the code is scheduled to kick in on July 1, 2009."

"The rules do not specify how to make the reductions, but ideas range from installing energy-efficient appliances and increasing natural lighting to using low-flow toilets and planting drought-resistant vegetation. The code will be voluntary while the commission works on a mandatory regulation, which the panel hopes to have in place by end of 2010 or beginning of 2011..."

State is first to OK green building standards [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

July 11, 2008

Speaking Of Green, Commercial, And New Towers: 350 Mission Street

350 Mission: Existing Building

And speaking of Green, commercial and new development (although this time on this side of the bay), from J.K. Dineen:

In the latest sign that Mission Street continues to thrive despite the economic downturn, GLL Development & Management is pushing forward with a 27-story tower at 350 Mission St, a super green design that could be the first San Francisco skyscraper to use non-biodegradable materials like plastic bottles and Styrofoam in some places instead of concrete.

Now don't be shy, who has the renderings and would like to share? You know we'd do the same for you.

UPDATE (7/14): 350 Mission Street Scoop: A Plugged-In Tipster Delivers The Rendering.

S.F. tower developer GLL goes to green extreme [San Francisco Business Times]
Green Building Over In Oakland And Over BART (1100 Broadway) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

July 2, 2008

Can You Really Eat Your Eco-Cake And Have It Too?

'Green' Hillsborough House (Image Source: SFGate.com)

From a reader yesterday (in response to an interesting comment from a car-less couple happily inhabiting a 470 square foot studio in the city):

i'm sick of people flaunting their eco credentials when they have two Prius's (or would that be Prii?) sitting in the driveway of their 2000+ sq ft house while they eat steak and foie gras at the latest hot restaurant living in a small studio space is not for everyone, but doing so, without a car, is the definition of sustainability.
i happen to drive a car to work that is not a hybrid, and i have too many sq ft for my family size, but I have not nor will i ever present myself as living an ecologically friendly lifestyle.

And ironically, from the Chronicle today:

From the looks of their new, contemporary-on-the-outside, luxe-on-the-inside, 6,000-square-foot Hillsborough home and from the smiles on their faces, the Rubensteins' effort to make the greenest selection at every step of the building process seems to have yielded a harmonious synergy of livability, luxury and environmental responsibility.

A glam, glitzy and green Hillsborough mansion [SFGate]
Mini Meltdown At The Metropolitan? (333 1st Street #N1906) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (55) | (email story)

June 26, 2008

The SocketSite Scoop On 900 Folsom/260 Fifth: Condo Idol Comes!

900 Folsom/260 Fifth: Project Site

Avant Housing, a joint venture between AGI Capital and TMG Partners, has launched a website providing some unique insight into the development process and soliciting community feedback for a trio of interconnected buildings in the works at 900 Folsom/260 Fifth Street.

The two adjacent parcels at 900 Folsom Street and 260 Fifth Street are the locations of a new mixed-use development project. What is currently a large surface parking lot, office building and adjoining small parking lot, will be transformed into a transit oriented, green, residential project. Airy 19 foot high, neighborhood-serving retail will be located at the ground level.

The two buildings, which are aiming to be LEED Gold certified, will bring 466 units, 466 parking spaces, and over 10,000 square feet of retail to the neighborhood.

900 Folsom/260 Fifth: Draft Design

And while Architecture International is driving the exterior design, here’s where it gets really interesting:

Word on the street is that the project sponsor has not designed the [interiors of the units] yet, and will be eventually using this site [for] polls on different floor plans, types of stone for counters, appliance brands, public amenity space, etc.. And the winners will actually be constructed. The American Idol of condos…

Actually involving potential buyers early on in the design process? What a novel concept. And a big hallelujah (and it's about time) assuming they can actually pull it off.

900 Folsom & 260 Fifth Street [900folsom.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (28) | (email story)

June 20, 2008

Name This East Bay House Compound In One Photo/Map Or Less

Devon Way East Bay House

It’s not our usual fare, and it’s a bit outside our wheelhouse (at least this month...), but we do aim to please. Plus it’s Friday, it’s hot (did you notice that pool?) and it’s past time for a cocktail. So a reader's question to end the week:

Any idea what this house is? It looks like it's off Devon Way in Berkeley.

We can’t answer, but perhaps another will. Represent (and then join us on the deck).

UPDATE: And one again, represent you do (and frighteningly fast for late on a Friday). A plugged-in reader correctly identifies the Oakland Hills mansion that was built by Robert Felton in the year 2000 and then follows up with a reference to its 45 kilowatt solar system as featured (with a great title) in the New York Times. Cheers.

∙ Map: Unknown East Bay House Compound [Microsoft Maps]
Plugging Into the Sun [New York Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

June 18, 2008

San Francisco Takes 1 Step Forward, Congress Risks 2 Steps Back

While San Francisco took one step forward last week with regard to credits for solar installations, the federal government is at risk of taking two steps back:

If Congress doesn't act soon, many federal credits that have fueled the rapid growth of wind and solar energy in recent years will expire at the end of this year. Here are some of the key programs that would be affected:
Solar investment tax credit: The government now pays 30 percent of the cost to businesses to invest in solar power to meet their energy needs. Cost to extend for 10 years: $1.7 billion.
Residential energy-efficient property tax credit: Residential users also get a 30 percent tax credit for installing solar panels, geothermal heat pumps or small wind equipment. The tax credit, however, has a limit of $2,000, which lawmakers are trying to raise. Cost to extend for 10 years: $907 million.
Renewable energy production tax credit: This program gives wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable power sources a leg up with a 1.9-cent per kilowatt-hour credit, which makes them more competitive with natural gas or coal-fired power plants. Congress has let the tax credit lapse before, and each time investment in wind and other renewable energy projects dropped. Cost to extend for one year: $7 billion.

And while a lapse in federal solar tax credits would impact the end consumer, it would have an even greater impact on the industry and its investors.

Here Comes The Sun: San Francisco’s Solar Subsidy Program Adopted [SocketSite]
Congressional stalemate over renewable energy [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

June 11, 2008

Here Comes The Sun: San Francisco’s Solar Subsidy Program Adopted

It was six months in the making and now it’s an ordinance. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors have passed the Solar Energy Incentive Program which provides incentives ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 for the installation of photovoltaic systems on residential properties (1kw minimum) and incentives of up to $10,000 for the installation of photovoltaic systems on commercial properties ($1,500 per kw).

The initial budget for the program is $3 million and the subsidy is available for new systems (on existing buildings) which were "committed to" after December 11, 2007 (but not before).

UPDATE: A draft overview of the program and application (both of which need to be updated to reflect the final ordinance language and incentive amounts).

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

June 6, 2008

Too Much Green For The Hood Too Soon? (In More Ways Than One)

1303 Alabama

After 261 days on the market (and a 9% price cut), the listing for 1303 Alabama (a.k.a. half of the Sunset Idea House) has been withdrawn from the market. No word on why or what's next.

The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market [SocketSite]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: A Few Facts [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

June 2, 2008

The SocketSite Scoop On The Eight Semi-Solar TICs Of 2828 Greenwich

2828 Greenwich: Facade

Readers keep asking, and we finally have all (okay, so more like most) of the answers with regard to 2828 Greenwich Street. Eight TIC units (six two-bedroom/one-bath, two three-bedroom/two-bath); built in 1960, extensively renovated in 2008, no evictions, individual financing; and one car parking per unit.

2828 Greenwich: Kitchen

Individual solar-generated electrical systems (2-kilowatt on average) with reverse meters for account credit when use is less than what’s gathered, “solar hot water panels to supplement the building’s gas fired hot water heater,” and a common 400+ square foot roof deck with glass railings (for individual solar bathing).

2828 Greenwich: Roof Deck

Pricing isn’t yet set in stone, but the two-bedrooms are expected to start around $800,000 with the three-bedrooms around $1,200,000; first official showings either this Sunday or next Thursday; and floor plans with square footage for all units are available online.

2828 Greenwich Street [2828greenwich.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

March 26, 2008

We’re All In Favor (But Wondering If It Will Actually Work)

Paved Over For Parking (Image Source: MapJack.com)

District 11 Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval’s legislation empowering Planning Department inspectors to issue citations for having an illegally paved-over front yard (or other planning code violations) has received initial approval by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The motivation is usually to gain an extra parking space, but Sandoval said the violation reduces the beauty of the neighborhood. Also, he said, when the rain has no place to go, it will flow into The City’s storm drains, putting the area at risk to flooding.

The questions remain, will the inspectors start citing and will property owners actually respond without a bigger stick (the maximum fine of $500 is peanuts relative to the value of a parking space in the city).

Forget About The In-Law, What If The Parking Is (Was) Unwarranted? [SocketSite]
Supes approve fine for paving over front yard [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (46) | (email story)

March 20, 2008

JustQuotes: More Green For Greener Building Codes In San Francisco

“San Francisco moved a step closer Wednesday to imposing the country's most stringent green building codes, regulations that would require new large commercial buildings and residential high-rises to contain such environmentally friendly features as solar power, nontoxic paints and plumbing fixtures that decrease water usage."

"New residential high-rises taller than 75 feet, new commercial buildings larger than 5,000 square feet and renovations on buildings larger than 25,000 square feet would have to comply with the environmentally friendly building standards known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED."

"All new residential construction would have to comply with another nationally accepted standard, known as GreenPoint Rated, which requires home builders to use such features as paint made from recycled materials and solar-powered water-heating systems."

S.F. moves to greenest building codes in U.S. [SFGate]
JustQuotes: Standards Are One Thing, Actual Certification Another [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

March 19, 2008

Arterra (300 Berry) Selectively Starts To Shed Its Bovis Blue Wrapper

Arterra (300 Berry): 3/18/08 (www.SocketSite.com)

As a number of plugged-in readers have noted, Arterra has selectively started to shed its Bovis blue wrapper (which we really think should have been green). And while they were aiming for a spring opening last July, at this point we have more than just a feeling that summer might be the new new target.

Arterra (300 Berry) Tops Off At 16 And Aims For A Spring '08 Opening [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

February 19, 2008

The SocketSite Scoop: The Build Inc. Proposal For Seawall Lot 337

SWL 337 Proposal: Build Inc.

Thanks to a seriously plugged-in tipster, we have the sketch (larger size) and additional details for Build Inc.’s proposal for the development of San Francisco’s Seawall Lot 337 (SWL 337):

This is a sketch of Build Inc.'s proposal [for Seawall lot 337] - essentially an open porous mixed use project of Green Tech office (the round building), 900 for sale homes, 700 for lease homes (mix of affordable, affordable by design (unsubsidized), mid level, and high level), extensive artist studio/ gallery space, flower mart, contemporary arts exhibition space, approx. 7 acres of outdoor open space, sustainable energy/utility towers/gardens, (including geothermal, wind, solar, fuel cell, etc).

We’re digging the “affordable by design” line (as well as emphasis on the arts). And that's two down, two to go. Tipsters?

Four Teams Submit Development Proposals For Seawall Lot 337 [SocketSite]
The Rendering And Additional Details For The Giants SWL 337 Proposal [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

January 10, 2008

Model For Turning Treasure Island Into A "Green City Of The Future"

Treasure Island Model (Image Source: Popular Mechanics)

At first there was a rendering and master plan for the future of Treasure Island. Now there’s a model and more geeky details (which we happen to love) emerging.

According to Popular Mechanics, "[a]fter ground is broken in 2009, Treasure Island will become a testbed for the newest ideas in energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management and low-impact living." But as a plugged-in reader notes, "[s]eems like [Treasure Island] is keeping a low profile if we're breaking ground in but a year."

Oh, and to which our reader also alludes, think 13,500 people who will either be living or working within what might be considered walking distance of a Treasure Island ferry terminal.

Why Treasure Island Is the Super-Green City of the Future [Popular Mechanics]
The (SOM) Master Plan For San Francisco’s Treasure Island [SocketSite]
And Of Course, How Might It Affect Property Values Around The Bay? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

December 21, 2007

Planning For 5,700 New Homes In San Francisco’s Parkmerced

Parkmerced Map

From J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times: “Parkmerced's owners want to add 5,700 housing units to San Francisco's largest apartment complex in a dramatic redesign that would cost billions of dollars and nearly triple the west side community to 9,000 units.

Stellar Management and Rockpoint Group's aggressive plan calls for the construction of between 200 and 300 units a year over the next 15 to 20 years. The owners plan to file an application for environmental review with the city before the end of the year, according to spokesman P.J. Johnston.

The proposal, as envisioned by architects Skidmore Owings Merrill, would reinvent the automobile-centric World War II-era community as a denser, more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with a new transit stop, parks, and grocery shopping. Ten of the 11 existing 13-story towers would be preserved. Approximately 70 percent of the 5,700 new units would be in townhouses of three or four stories. Others would be in new towers up to 13 stories. The housing will include a mixture of rental apartments and for-sale condos.”

Parkmerced Map

“The heart of the future Parkmerced would be a new Muni station. The developers are proposing to bankroll moving the San Francisco State University Muni station from 19th Ave. and Holloway, considered one of the city's most dangerous intersections, onto the Parkmerced property. The new station would be built on Crespi Drive and would be integrated into a Parkmerced village center with a grocery store, farmers' market, cafe, and other small shops. The owners are also considering adding one or two more Muni stops on the 110-acre property.”

"The Stellar/Rockpoint scheme calls for a number of extreme green measures. Some, like narrower streets with bike and walking paths, are commonplace. Others are more unusual, like a plan to remove the entire property off the city's power grid and instead generate electricity through wind turbines and microturbines that operate on a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels and emit very low emissions. Skidmore's design partner for the project, Craig Hartman, said cleantech advances can reduce energy consumption by 62 percent per household. A highly-efficient plumbing system and a new water recycling plant could reduce water and sewer consumption by 43 percent per home, he said."

Huge housing plan to add 5,700 units [Business Times]
Parkmerced [parkmerced.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

December 18, 2007

San Francisco Idea House Update: Open Into January And A Reduction

1303 Alabama: Master Bath

As a plugged-in reader noted last week, Sunset’s San Francisco Idea House webpage has been updated to read:

The San Francisco Idea House will be open from 11/30/2007 through 1/27/2008 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 9am-4pm. PLEASE NOTE THE HOUSE WILL BE CLOSED THE WEEKEND OF 12/21 and 12/28 due to the holidays. After the holidays we will resume our open schedule the weekend of 1/4/2008.

And if you were interested in 1303 Alabama but didn't think it was worth more than a million, we’ll note that it was just reduced $94,000 (or 8.6%) and is now listed (along with some new interior photos) at $995,000.

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House Officially Opens Its Doors [SocketSite]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: A Few Facts [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 1303 Alabama (2/2.5) -$995,000 (TIC) [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

December 13, 2007

JustQuotes: Standards Are One Thing, Actual Certification Another

“[Mayor] Newsom [has] proposed a new green building ordinance that would apply to new commercial and residential development as well as renovations to existing buildings.

The green building proposal would impose stringent environmental standards on new construction and renovation to current buildings, according to Newsom. The standards would increase every year through 2012, when The City hopes to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels, according to a press release from his office.”

“If the Board of Supervisors passes the ordinance in January — as the mayor said he expects — new commercial buildings of more than 5,000 square feet, residential buildings more than 75 feet tall, and renovations on buildings more than 25,000 square feet must be certified by standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED.

LEED standards go up to platinum — The City’s new Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park is LEED Platinum with its living roof — and by 2012, most large buildings in The City must meet LEED Gold or Silver standards, according to the proposed ordinance.

New commercial buildings smaller than 25,000 square feet and shorter than 75 feet, as well as small residential buildings will also have standards placed upon them.”

Newsom envisions green City by the Bay [Examiner]
Mayor Newsom Proposes Ground-Breaking Green Building Ordinance [SFGov]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

November 30, 2007

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House Officially Opens Its Doors

As a plugged-in tipster notes, Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House officially opened its doors to the public today and will be open from 11/30 to 12/16 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (9am-4pm). And yes, it looks like its ten week run has been reduced to two.

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: A Few Facts [SocketSite]
2007 San Francisco Idea House [Sunset]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

October 19, 2007

RandomRumors: The Other Half Of Sunset's Idea House Coming Soon?

Listing photo for 1303 Alabama (half of the 'Idea House')

According to a non-exclusive tipster (apparently monogamy isn't everyone’s cup of tea), rumor has it that:

"...the larger portion of [the Sunset Idea House] will not finish for 2 more months (final sign off from bldg. dept) but will go on the market any day now for $4mil and that the owner will never get to live in it...The tour will still happen in late November and possession of the house by the new buyer can not happen until 12 weeks after the Sunset first open date."

And yes, at this point it's unconfirmed (see UPDATE below).

UPDATE: Not only is this rumor unconfirmed, but it looks as though it has actually been busted by a plugged-in reader: "This information is completely inaccurate. Sunset tours scheduled to start shortly. house is not on the market and owner will occupy. Your tipster, as usual, is off the mark." And yes, we should have known better.

Editor's Note: Confirmed or not, props to the listing agent for 1303 Alabama for his caption to the listing photo we poached above: "2 unit project...one for sale (1st 2 floors facing)...car in mint condition but not included...."

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: A Few Facts [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market [SocketSite]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

October 17, 2007

JustQuotes: But Do They Have To Be Mutually Exclusive?

"The green guys, their moralism and do-gooderness - phew. Horrible. There has to be joy in architecture." (Sustainability and aesthetics in one building?)

Posted by socketadmin at 2:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

October 8, 2007

Just In Time For The Holidays 338 Holladay Returns (For Even Less)

338 Holladay

And speaking of Holidays, 338 Holladay is back on the market. As you might recall, this modern Green home first hit the market in July of 2006 for $1,279,000 and was systematically reduced down to $994,000 before being withdrawn. It was an outcome that caused the owner/developer to decree that people "couldn't care less” about being green.

And while we don’t (and didn’t) agree (that people could care less), we continue to believe that very few people are willing to go green at the expense of design or location. And while neither of those two things have changed for this property, we will note that the price once again has (now asking $899,000 or 30% below the original list).

And yes, it's now officially four days on the market and a new new "original list" price of $899,000 (at least in the eyes of the MLS and their reported statistics).

∙ Listing: 338 Holladay (3/3) - $899,000 [Zephyr]
Not Our Cup Of Tea [SocketSite]
RealRecentReduction: Previously Featured Edition [SocketSite]
A Tale Of Two Green Houses [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

October 1, 2007

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: A Few Facts

1303 Alabama: Recycled Staircase Railing

While it’s true that one-half (as in one of two units) of the Sunset Idea House hit the market last week, it’s not true that the developer and Sunset have parted ways. Expect all 4,800 square feet (1,200 at 1303 Alabama and 3,600 at 3027 25th) to be on tour for ten weekends starting in November. And according to a tipster, expect the buyer of 1303 Alabama to wait until the end of January to take occupancy (or negotiate an alternative arrangement with Sunset).

And while we’re not going to get in the middle of the neighborhood notification, permitting and design debate, we will note that “a provisional permit was issued [for the wind turbine] and the system will be monitored to ensure it meets expectations for low noise levels and bird safety.” And that the devlelopment does incorporate a number of eco-friendly features (think grey water catchment, recycled/salvaged materials, and landscaping) beyond the turbine and solar panels.

The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

September 28, 2007

The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market

A plugged-in tipster forwards an email exchange between two incredulous San Francisco real estate watchers. The basic gist:

A: Half of that “freaky-eco project” on Alabama and 25th just hit the market. Open this weekend. For free!
M: $900/sqft for a TIC in this part of the Mission? And after selling tickets to see it this past Sunday? That’s so wrong.
A: No, that’s some funny sh&*! [And destined for SocketSite]

That’s right, 1303 Alabama (half of Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House) will be open this Sunday (9/30). No ticket (or donation) necessary. Although tips (email tips@socketsite.com) are always appreciated.

And no, we can't imagine Sunset is all too pleased.

∙ Listing: 1303 Alabama (2/2.5) -$1,089,000 (TIC) [MLS]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]
Lotus House Rising (And A Plug For SF’s Build It Green Home Tour) [SocketSite]
An Early Peek Inside “La Casa Verde” (a.k.a. The Future Idea House) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

September 18, 2007

Lotus House Rising (And A Plug For SF’s Build It Green Home Tour)

A mkLotus House Rises Across From San Francisco's City Hall (www.SocketSite.com)

One plugged-in tipster directs our attention to the fabulous mkLotus modular home (i.e., prefab) that’s sprouted up in the plaza across from San Francisco’s City Hall (and marks the near-arrival of this weekend’s West Coast Green conference and expo). While another seeks a plug for this Sunday’s (9/23) Build It Green Home Tour (co-sponsored by SF Environment) and teases us with the possibility that the Idea House might participate.

Build It Green: San Francisco Home Tour (9/23/07) [builditgreen.org]
West Coast Green Conference + Expo [westcoastgreen.com]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

September 5, 2007

Modern Architecture Hits The Market Up On Mullen (306 Mullen)

306 Mullen

306 Mullen: Living Room

The approval process to build at 306 Mullen can be measured in years (and tears), but it has finally paid off. And as a tipster notes, it's now on the market with a four car garage (albeit in “tandem”); three stop elevator; two kilowatt solar panel system; and one sweet master suite. And as always, let's not forget those invitations to the housewarming.

∙ Listing: 306 Mullen (4/4) - $2,295,000 [306mullen.com] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (62) | (email story)

August 27, 2007

An Early Peek Inside “La Casa Verde” (a.k.a. The Future Idea House)

La Casa Verde (www.SocketSite.com)

A reader notes that one “Chicken John” will be holding a political fundraiser this evening at “La Casa Verde.” And if the location (corner of 25th and Alabama) and design (a showcase for green tech) sound strangely familiar, well…they should (at least if you're plugged-in).

[Editor’s Note: This should not be construed as any type of political endorsement. But comments are encouraged (about the house, not Chicken John) should you attend.]

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]
La Casa Verde, the showcase house for green tech [voteforchicken.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

A Greener View In The Works For Some At BLŪ (And Others)

680 Folsom

TMG Partners has engaged Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) to bring a completely new skin (likely glass and stone), public plaza (at third and Folsom), and green overhaul (targeting LEED silver) to the ex-AT&T compound at 680 Folsom. And while it might not seem like a typical SocketSite story, think of it in terms of the (positive) impact on BLŪ and others residences right down the block (or in the neighborhood).

TMG to rehab SoMa buildings as offices [SF Business Times]
631 Folsom: Recently Christened “SF BLŪ” (And Down To 108 Units) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

August 15, 2007

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: Opening Delayed

As a tipster notes, “The San Francisco Idea Home open house has been delayed.” No word on the anticipated opening ("Please check back often for updates"). And of course we have to ask, any plugged-in tipsters have the inside scoop?

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

July 30, 2007

JustQuotes: The Green Building Exchange In Redwood City

The Green Building Exchange

“[Michael] Schaeffer, a longtime California home builder who started using more-efficient methods before "eco-friendly" was a catchphrase, has started the Green Building Exchange in Redwood City, a kind of year-round trade show, education center and retail shop designed to steer builders away from natural resources and low-efficiency items and toward cabinets made from reclaimed sorghum straw and non-electrical glow-in-the-dark "exit" signs.” (Getting Green Under One Roof)

The Green Building Exchange [Redwood City]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

July 27, 2007

Going Green In The Mission (3280 22nd St.): Prices/Additional Details

3280 22nd Street

A few weeks ago we let you know they were coming (and a reader nailed the tentative pricing). And today, we offer a few more details (Halila limestone, Zuma soaking tubs, and Duravit sinks in the bathrooms; Alpi & Teak cabinetry; hardwood floors made from reclaimed mine timbers), an exact address (3280 22nd Street), and "official" pricing:

∙ 3280 22nd Street #B (2/2) - $899,000
∙ 3280 22nd Street #C (2/2) - $849,000
∙ 3280 22nd Street #D (3/2) - $1,399,000

Going Green (And Modern) In The Mission: 22nd And Valencia [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

July 12, 2007

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street

3027 25th Street (www.SocketSite.com)

Walter gets it right. The 2007 San Francisco Idea House looks to be located at the corner of 25th and Alabama (3027 25th Street to be exact). And if PropertyShark is as accurate as Walter, the lot size is 2,238 square feet (and it’s zoned RH2).

JustQuotes: Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

July 11, 2007

JustQuotes: Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House

Sunset%202007%20SF%20Idea%20House.jpg

“Sunset, in a joint venture with Meridian Builders & Developers, Inc., will create a 2007 Idea House in San Francisco that will take the magazine's Idea House Program into a dense urban area for the first time, and demonstrate how to maximize construction on a compact site. Opening in August 2007, the Mission District home will be one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residential remodeled homes in the nation."

UPDATE: We now have the actual address (and a photo of the work in progress).

2007 San Francisco Idea House: Dates And Details [Sunset]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

July 6, 2007

Going Green (And Modern) In The Mission: 22nd And Valencia

Lorax Development: 22nd and Valencia

Another “Green” building by LORAX Development (and design by John Maniscalco) is about to hit the market. This time it’s the long awaited condo development at 22nd and Valencia. Two of our favorite green features: a “living roof” and “siding from reclaimed olive oil barrels.” And yes, pricing and photos when we have them.

New Development: 22nd And Valencia [Lorax Development]
The Greenest Home In San Francisco [SocketSite]
A Week Of Atonement [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

June 19, 2007

The (SOM) Master Plan For San Francisco’s Treasure Island

Treasure Island Rendering (Image Source: SOM)

A plugged-in tipster directs us to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Master Plan for Treasure Island and an overview from NewcitySkyline:

The Treasure Island Plan involves a unique, 21st century San Francisco community that is socially and economically diverse and supported by close-knit neighborhoods, unprecedented open space, resource-conserving technology and a robust network of transportation choices. Envisioned as both a great place to live and a regional destination, the plan proposes three compact neighborhoods centered around an energizing, mixed-use hub and ferry terminal set within a richly faceted 275-acre Great Park.
The new development would take up only a quarter of the island’s area and will be built in phases. In the residential phase, there will be approximately 5,900 residential units built, of which 30 percent will be affordable. The residential area will accommodate around 13,500 residents, and will be divided by high-density, low-to-midrise blocks of townhouses, flats clustered around neighborhood open spaces, and residential towers approximately 14 stories high.

With preliminary approval from the Board of Supervisors in hand, residents could begin moving by as early as 2013 (with overall completion of the development around 2022).

SOM Rendering of San Francisco and Treasure Island (Image Source: SOM)

Treasure Island Master Plan [SOM]
Reawakening Treasure Island [NewcitySkyline]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (81) | (email story)

May 25, 2007

The “Marina Green Showcase” Hits The Market (1771 North Point)

1771 North Point

1771 North Point: Interior

1771 North Point: Entry

1771 North Point is a down to the studs total overhaul (remodel doesn’t do it justice) and the showcase home for the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. By the numbers: One elevator, two powder rooms, three floors, four full bathrooms, five car garage, six bedrooms, five thousand square feet (approximately), and five million dollars (asking).

And it’s not just another pretty facade. Proceeds from public tours ($20 from June 2nd to June 10th) and a Gala Auction on June 9th (“Everything in the house will be auctioned off!”) will benefit the Northern California Cancer Center. Oh, and it's also “eco-friendly” and a “shining example of how to build responsibly and address the needs of today’s families.” (Although at 5,000 square feet...)

∙ Listing: 1771 North Point (6/6) - $4,995,000 [McGuire] [Photos] [MLS]
1771 North Point: Marina Green Showcase [1771northpoint.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

April 18, 2007

Inside The LEED Certified Folsom Dore Apartments

Folsom Dore Apartments

The Folsom Dore Apartments houses a mix of low-income and formerly homeless residents in 98 well designed, and LEED certified, units. And if you’ve ever wanted to get a closer look at this innovative green building, tomorrow’s your chance.

WHAT:Citizens Housing Corporation invites you to join them as they install the LEED Silver plaque at Folsom/Dore Apartments. WHEN: Thursday, April 19th, 2007, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. WHERE: Folsom Street + Dore Alley (between 9th & 10th streets). WHY: LEED certification is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. And site tours will be available.

Citizens Housing Corporation – Folsom / Dore Apartments [citizenshousing.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

February 26, 2007

Just Quotes: Let's Hear It For (Or Against) The Feds

San Francisco Federal Building: Rendering (Image Source: natural-works.com)

“If they'd had a choice, city planners wouldn't have allowed either the slab or the imposing design, because the complex sits across Seventh Street from the U.S. Court of Appeals building, a Beaux-Arts landmark from 1905. But city zoning doesn't apply to federal projects.” (TOWERING EXPECTATIONS)

TOWERING EXPECTATIONS: S.F.'s new federal building [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

January 3, 2007

Worth The Wait: 900 Minnesota (An Update)

900 Minnesota Courtyard Sketch

An update on the redevelopment of 900 Minnesota (the former Esprit campus) from an insider: “[T]he project is now expected to deliver finished homes this fall (2007) in the adapted/ renovated brick buildings. The second phase will follow over the subsequent 10 months. Recycling pre-existing materials has taken longer than expected, but worth it.”

900 Minnesota: Now And Then [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

November 30, 2006

QuickLinks: Don’t Get Bamboozled

Bamboo leads green revolution [SFGate]
“Prices for bamboo flooring range from about $1.99 to $8 per square foot...[and] you get what you pay for. Bamboo can be as soft as fir or harder than maple, depending on when it is harvested. If it is harvested too early, say after three years instead of the preferable five or six, the bamboo will produce an inferior floor...[so] ask the manufacturer for data on the hardness of the wood.”

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

November 27, 2006

“The Epitome Of Gracious Green Living” (Oakland)

7257 Skyline: Family Room

7257 Skyline: Living Room

Okay, so it might be across the bay (Oakland Hills), but we’ve always had a thing for the integration of garage doors and living space. And we can’t help but feature a property that’s (self) described as “the epitome of gracious green living.” (Designed by Sallie Lang of Bliss Building and developed by Green Lane Development.)

∙ Listing: 7257 Skyline, Oakland Hills (3/5) – $2,600,000 [residentphotography]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

November 15, 2006

900 Minnesota: Now And Then

900 Minnesota Now (Image Source: SFGate)

900 Minnesota Then

The former Esprit de Corp. headquarters in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood (900 Minnesota) is being “deconstructed” and its lumber recycled (a practice that’s both “environmentally sound as well as lucrative”).

In its place, Build Inc. is developing 142 new condominiums, “a commercial component, a café, 168 inside parking spaces and significant open space." Prices on the individual condos (one and two bedrooms) have not been set, but back in February they were expected to range from $600,000 to $1,000,000.

And according to a tipster over at Potrero Hill, San Francisco, the condos are “scheduled for delivery [sales] around Spring of 2007 (about 3 months behind right now),” the development is “spread over several buildings (both new and renovated ones),” and units will range from ~800 to 1,700+ square feet.

SAN FRANCISCO: OLD TIMBERS GET NEW LIFE [SFGate]
McGuire gets nod to market Esprit condos [bizjournals]
900 Minnesota Update [PotreroHillSF]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

October 10, 2006

Arterra Update: 19% Pre-Sold?

Virtual Arterra (Image Source: arterrasf.com)

According to a tipster, around 50 of 269 condos have been pre-sold at Arterra over the past ten days. No breakdown on what percentage of the 50 were pre-pre-sold to friends and family (or inside sales), or what percentage have been reserved versus receiving non-refundable deposits.

Occupancy is slated for “early 2008” and we’re still looking for more detailed information on pricing. And based on the recent great valet debate, we thought you’d like to know that it’s deeded, not assigned, parking in the building.

Arterra and The Hayes: Sales Centers [SocketSite]
Arterra First Release: September 30 [SocketSite]
The Arterra: “Clean Design, Pure Living” At 300 Berry Street [SocketSite]
V Is For Valet (And Ventless) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

September 6, 2006

Raising The Bar On Green Building

LivingHomes Platinum LEED Home (Image Source: LivingHomes.us)

It’s a bit south (Santa Monica), but the house is still worth noting for two reasons: 1. it’s the first home in the country to be “given ‘platinum’ status in the U.S. Green Building Council's influential LEED rating system (for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design),” and 2. it’s the prototype for LivingHomes, a builder of prefabricated homes. (In fact, the “bulk of the house was built at a factory in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and assembled in one day.”)

According to LivingHomes founder, "We're targeting consumers who buy organic food, do yoga, and shop at Design Within Reach." We’re guessing there just might be some of those folks around here. And despite what some might think, we’re guessing they’ll actually pay a premium to live in a well designed (and located) green house.

LivingHomes [LivingHomes.us]
The Greenest House On The Planet [BusinessWeek]
A Tale Of Two Green Houses [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

August 22, 2006

A Tale Of Two Green Houses

338 Holladay Statement

One Green house sells within days for nearly two million dollars (520 Clipper). The other Green house languishes on the market, is reduced twice, and is still available for about a million (338 Holladay).

The owner/builder of the second house draws the conclusion that people could “care less” about being green (despite the success of the first). But we suggest that it might be the design, location, and fact that based on the marketing materials (above) and positioning, we didn’t have a clue that this was supposed to be a “Green” house (unlike the first).

We believe that most people in San Francisco want to be "Green." But that very few are willing to do so at the expense of good design, quality, or utility location. And we really can’t blame them.

Yet Another Reason To Plug In To SocketSite [SocketSite]
Not Our Cup Of Tea [SocketSite]
Letters to the Editor: A 'green' house nobody wants [SFGate]
338 Holladay Property Statement (pdf) [Zephyr]
The Greenest Home In San Francisco [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

July 13, 2006

Plant Some Trees Or Landscape Some Sidewalk

PlantSF: Shotwell Street Greenway (Before and After)

The SFHomeBlog makes a great discovery that well deserves to be passed around:

The Department of Public Works - Bureau of Urban Forestry is now accepting [applications] for sidewalk landscaping [permits]. In addition to planting trees, this permit allows property owners to convert a portion of the sidewalk in front of their property into an attractive landscaped area. It looks great, provides habitat, reduces flooding, and is good for property values!

If you’re into trees you might want to check out Friends of the Urban Forest. If not, you might want to consider some permeable landscaping (“which allows water and air to penetrate the soil”), as championed by Plant*SF (responsible for the “before/after” above). Either way, get out there and plant/landscape.

Sidewalk Landscaping Permits [SFHomeBlog]
Sidewalk Landscaping Permits [SFGov.org]
Friends of the Urban Forest [fuf.net]
What Is Permeable Landscaping? [PlantSF.org]
Plant*SF [PlantSF.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

June 13, 2006

Salvaging An Office

Recycled Brick (Image Source: SFGate.com)

It’s no ScrapHouse, but then again, it’s permanent. The Chronicle profiles the "recycled" new office of Intero Real Estate in Walnut Creek (designed by Holey Associates of San Francisco and built by Doug Allinger):

High design it ain't. But this conversion of a drive-through bank offers something that today is all too rare: tactile delight. In a world where office towers are clad in wafer-thin granite and shopping centers wear columns of stucco-covered Styrofoam, it's great to see the arrival of a downtown building that wants to make an enduring mark on the landscape.

And the fact that 1700 North Main is a triumph of recycling makes the show better still.

"Except for the windows and doors, I'd say close to 95 percent of what you see was salvaged," guesses Primo Facchini, 42, the easygoing construction manager. "I'm not an environmentalist by any means. But I hate to see good materials being discarded. Nobody makes stuff like this anymore."

Actually, we’re guessing that they do. And we’re hoping that our tipsters might send us proof.

San Francisco ScrapHouse Nearly Complete [SocketSite]
A commercial space that's fit for a fantasy [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

May 25, 2006

Build It Green

Build It Green

Build It Green is a “professional non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy and resource-efficient buildings in California.” The organization offers workshops, green home tours (next tour on June 4th), and general information about green building.

Build It Green: Workshops for Homeowners [builditgreen.org]
Build It Green: Green Home Tours [builditgreen.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

May 1, 2006

Commercial Green Building Tour: May 2nd

The San Francisco Department of the Environment is sponsoring a tour of Swinerton Headquarters (260 Townsend), a LEED (Gold) certified building.

The building is equipped with fully digital building management system, advanced lighting system, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and a cool roof. Materials throughout the building were selected to maximize recycled content with a minimum amount of volatile organic compounds.

The tour will be held from noon to 1pm on May 2nd, $10.98 per person and pre-registration is required (online). More information by calling (415) 355-3718.

San Francisco Department of the Environment [SF Environment]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

April 26, 2006

The Arterra: “Clean Design, Pure Living” At 300 Berry Street

The Arterra: 300 Berry Street (Image Source: arterrasf.com)

The Arterra, a 268-unit ‘Green’ condo development, has broken ground at 300 Berry Street. Developed by Intracorp San Francisco (also developing The Hayes) and architected by Kwan Henmi, the Arterra is marketed as “clean design, pure living,” and billed as a "pioneering green building of sophisticated design."

The three-level complex will be the first San Francisco building clad in Trespa, smooth and colorful panels produced with recycled materials. It will have natural coastal grass-covered roofs on parts of the fourth, sixth, and tenth floors, a high thermal insulation glazing system with operable windows and a water-efficient landscape design. Interiors will be built with rapid renewal materials, like bamboo and cork, and energy-efficient appliances.

And if good design and environmental consciousness aren’t strong enough selling points for you, there’s always the pure sex appeal (sultry female pic, sultry male pic). You had us at hello green.

Update: The Arterra website has been updated. Gone are the sultry pictures. In their place, actual details.

The Arterra [300 Berry Street]
New Condos Starting In The $400,000s? [SocketSite]
Condo project painted 'green' [bizjournal]
First Green Condo Project Breaks Ground in San Francisco [Green Key]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

April 22, 2006

Yet Another Reason To Plug In To SocketSite

520 Clipper

Almost six weeks since we brought the “Greenest Home In San Francisco” to your attention, the Chronicle publishes a great overview of the house (520 Clipper). If you were plugged in to SocketSite, you actually had a chance to tour (or purchase) the pad. If not, you’ll just have to settle for all the pretty pictures

Green pioneers [SFGate]
The Greenest Home In San Francisco [SocketSite]
A Week Of Atonement [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 17, 2006

A Week Of Atonement

John Maniscalco / Architecture

So we mange to wax poetic (“stunning - from the design, to the finishes, to the views”) about the new “Green” house at 520 Clipper. We give accolades to the builder (Lorax Development) and even point out the broker (Brown & Co.). The only person we forget to mention? Uhh, that would be the actual architect…

John Maniscalco, of John Maniscalco / Architecture, designed 520 Clipper from “top to bottom, including cabinets, finishes, etc.”, and is also the architect for the new Lorax development at 22nd and Valencia. John’s studio focuses on two principles, “creating livable, modern spaces and engaging the clients in the design process.” It shows. (And we’re fans.)

John Maniscalco / Architecture [M-Architecture]
The Greenest Home In San Francisco [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 13, 2006

The Greenest Home In San Francisco

520 Clipper

Advertising the “very first City-approved installation of a rainwater catchment system”, recycled blue jean denim insulation, reclaimed hardwood flooring, and solar heating (along with numerous other "Green" features) , Brown & Co. and Lorax Development have dubbed 520 Clipper “The Greenest Home in San Francisco”. We just might have to agree.

And although we have yet to see it in person, it sounds/looks spectacular. And Lorax Development? Love it.

[Update: This place is stunning - from the design, to the finishes, to the views. Granted, some will be bothered by the loft-like openness, and we’re not so sure about that “wine cellar”, but we’re still in awe. We officially bow down to Lorax.]

∙ Listing: 520 Clipper - $1,899,000 [MLS]
Lorax Development: Building Green in San Francisco [loraxdevelopment.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

October 11, 2005

Flexcar Comes To San Francisco

Flexcar

As of today, City Carshare and Zipcar have some competition in the San Francisco car-share arena. Two important things to note: 1. up to 75% of Flexcar’s fleet will by hybrid vehicles, and 2. if you join and drive by the end of the year, Flexcar will waive both the application and first years membership fees (details).

We only mention it because we’ve added Flexcar to our “Getting Around” section of “Resources & Links”. If you didn’t even realize that we had a Resources & Links section, perhaps now would be a good time to check it out...

Flexcar Introductory Promotion: San Francisco [Flexcar]
New car-share program comes to San Francisco [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:46 PM | Permalink | (email story)

August 26, 2005

Salvation Through Salvage

Salvage
(Image from Rejuvenation Online)

Carol Lloyd jumps on the salvage bandwagon with insight on six Bay Area sources for salvaged building supplies (supplementing our previous list of two). She also sheds light on a new source of bargain building materials: “pre-demolition sales”. The six local sources:

Building REsources (San Francisco)
"Part old-fashioned junkyard/part art installation, Building REsources has a lot of stuff at great prices amid the rubble."

Caldwell's Building Salvage (San Francisco)
"Mostly lumber and doors -- with a great affordable door shop to build frames for old doors. Some windows, hardwood, the occasional claw-foot tub -- there's a showroom with new flooring, bathrooms, etc."

Ohmega Salvage (Berkeley)
"Restoration materials and furniture from older (pre-1950) buildings."

Urban Ore (Berkeley)
"Everything and lots of it. Also a showcase for sustainable building materials and design features."

The ReUse People (Alameda)
"This nonprofit does whole-house deconstruction and maintains an extensive warehouse of used building supplies."

Whole House Building Supply (East Palo Alto)
"Sign up for predemolition sale e-mails or call the hotline at 650-328-8732. Lots of wood, doors and windows; some tubs, cabinets, mantles, sinks and appliances."

· Salvage Heaven [Chronicle]
· Mining Urban Ore [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:44 PM | Permalink | (email story)

July 19, 2005

Green Clean: The Book

Now that you own/rent it, keep it clean. Finally, a “Green” cleaning book that doesn’t look like something mimeographed in the basement by a couple of hippies (not that we've got anything against hippies). From Amazon:

GREEN CLEAN is the definitive, step-by-step guide to cleaning better while using natural, safe products.

Room by room and stain by stain, GREEN CLEAN offers non-carcinogenic strategies for cleaning deeply and more efficiently.

Spot illustrations enliven each chapter, showing time-saving techniques, products, and equipment.

Also included are recipes for safe, simple, and economic cleaning solutions and the lowdown on the best eco-friendly cleaning products on the market today.

· GREEN CLEAN – Product Link [Amazon]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | (email story)

July 13, 2005

QuickLinks: Green Building

Green Cities by SocketSite.com

Links to a list of America's top 10 Green Cities (we made the list), two green building projects (one urban and one suburban), and one green building product (roof blocks) are all on tap for today. And we’d love to profile some green homes in San Francisco proper, so tipsters, keep your eyes and ears open, and drop us a note, picture, or lead.

· America's Top 10 Green Cities [Green Guide]
· A Green Building Custom-Made For Two Families [NYT]
· Soft landing: After years in the air, pilot retires to a straw nest [Chronicle]
· Green Roof Blocks [Product Website]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:12 AM | Permalink | (email story)

June 24, 2005

True Curb Appeal

TRASHed Collection

If you visited ScrapHouse, you might also have stumbled upon the TRASHed art exhibit (as did we).

The TRASHed campaign is a year long trash education program developed by Fashion Peace that redefines the way people and businesses view recycling and trash collection. TRASHed develops programs that fit seamlessly within the surrounding environment and provide creative options in the way people approach waste management.

One such program was a challenge to design the coolest Recycling Bin in the land. Probably not street legal, but these bins would definitely make the curbs of San Francisco that much more appealing.

· Gallery of 100 Recycle Bins [TRASHed]
· TRASHed:: the art of recycling [Fashion Peace]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | (email story)