CATEGORY ARCHIVE: Commercial

April 17, 2014

SoMa McDonald's Site Up For Sale, Zoned For 105-Feet In Height

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The 13,750-square foot SoMa parcel upon which McDonald's sits on the southeast corner of Third and Townsend is on the market and being shopped. McDonald's lease expires in January of 2017.

Zoned for development up to 105-feet in height, the 701 Third Street site is designated "Mixed Use-Office," which encourages office, housing and retail use, as well as hotel, light industrial and arts activities. Adult entertainment and heavy industrial uses would not be allowed.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

April 11, 2014

Office Rents In San Francisco Approaching Dot-Com High

The average asking rent for office space in San Francisco has ticked up to $56 per square foot on an annual basis, 21.5 percent more expensive than at the same time last year.

The least expensive area for office space in the city remains around Mid-Market (Yerba Buena) with an average asking rent of $49.90 per square foot, while the most expensive area is around the Ball Park (and Caltrain) with an average asking rent of $58.50, all according to Cassidy Turley

Cassidy Turley is expecting average office rents to approach $60 per square foot by the end of 2014, a mark only observed in San Francisco once before - during the "tech boom" of 2000. As plugged-in people know, employment in San Francisco is within reach of its all-time high as well.

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Transbay Tower To Become "Salesforce Tower" With Monster Lease

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Salesforce.com will lease just over half of the 1,070-foot-tall Transbay Tower rising at 415 Mission Street, adding 714,000 square feet of space to their collective San Francisco "campus."

The 61-story building will be renamed "Salesforce Tower" and be ready for occupancy in 2017, at which point Salesforce will control over 2 million square feet of office space in the city.

"Salesforce Tower represents an incredible milestone in our company’s history—it will be the heart of our global headquarters in San Francisco," said Marc Benioff, the company chairman and CEO. "We founded salesforce.com in San Francisco 15 years ago and this expansion of our urban campus represents our commitment to growing in the city."

Salesforce is paying $560 million for its 15-1/2 year lease and naming rights, with plans to move into the tower in early 2018. Salesforce will effectively occupy the bottom 30 floors of the tower along with the very top floor.

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April 10, 2014

The Makeover And Return Of A Townsend Street Warehouse

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The former warehouse building on the southwest corner of Townsend and 2nd Streets is preparing for a makeover which will remove the non-historic elements from its façade (fire escapes, ducts and pipes), replace the windows, and repaint with a new color scheme.

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And if approved, a deck will be constructed on the roof, although the deck seems to have been rendered without the new building between 101 Townsend and the ballpark:

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The 43,500 square foot building is slated to be available for occupancy at the beginning of June and will return to the market in warm shell condition following the makeover.

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April 9, 2014

Demand For Office Space Around Oakland Doubles

While the vacancy rate for office space in the East Bay Oakland market was relatively unchanged in the first quarter of 2014, demand for office space in the East Bay has spiked over the past three months.

The active demand for office space around Oakland now measures nearly one million square feet, double the demand at the end of 2013, according to Cassidy Turley.

A big driver of the spike: companies relocating from San Francisco where the average asking rent is around $4.25 per square foot versus $2.30 a foot in the Oakland market.

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April 8, 2014

A New Peek Inside And Around Tishman's 222 Second Street Tower

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With work on Tishman's 350-foot office tower to rise on the southwest corner of Second and Howard well underway, a project which was first approved for development in 2010, a new website for 222 Second is now online. A peek inside and around the building:

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April 7, 2014

Berkeley High-Rise Hotel Ready For Review And Design Debate



The members of Berkeley's Zoning Adjustments Board are slated to offer their advisory comments with respect to the proposed 16-story hotel to rise on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street this week, the 2129 Shattuck Avenue project.

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The development would replace the existing Bank of America building on the corner with 293 hotel rooms, new banking and retail/restaurant space, and a basement garage for 70 cars. As proposed, however, the 284,000-square-foot building is bulkier than allowed:

Existing Development Standards for the site require any portion of the building over 120 feet in height to be less than 120 feet in width when measured at its widest point diagonally. A 15' step back above 76 feet in height is currently required as well.

Amendments to the Standards, however, might not be the only way for the project to proceed as proposed. From a Zoning Adjustments Board Staff Report:

After reviewing the...Development Standards, and based on the pre-application materials presented so far, staff has informed the applicant that we believe this may be instead allowed via a use permit, subject to the Board making specific findings as set forth in...the Zoning Ordinance. However, a final determination will not be made until a formal application is presented to the City, and we complete our full review of that project.

In the words of the project sponsors, "The project has the potential to become an architectural icon as seen at the street and as part of Berkeley's skyline."

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April 3, 2014

An Unexpected Transbay Twist And Block Redesign

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With San Francisco’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure having determined that "economic conditions create a strong preference for commercial development over residential and hotel development" on Transbay Block 5, a request for proposals to build a 550-foot office tower with ground floor retail on the northeast corner of Howard and Beale has been issued.

Originally slated for a residential tower to rise up to 550 feet on the eastern portion of the block at the corner of Howard and Main, as we first noted yesterday, "unforeseen circumstances" have resulted in an unexpected configuration for the site and tower to rise.

The story behind the unforeseen circumstances which involves the driveway for 201 Mission Street (which runs through the middle of the block), the little Art Deco structure and open space on the corner of Howard and Beale (which is owned by 301 Howard across the street) and, of course, a concern about a potential loss of views:

The [Transbay Joint Powers Authority] attempted to negotiate an acquisition of the 201 Mission Street driveway in order to develop the site according to the standard configuration in the Development Controls – with the tower on the eastern portion of the block at the corner of Main and Howard Streets. However, the property owner expressed strong concerns that tenant views in 201 Mission Street would be negatively impacted by a tower on the eastern portion of Block 5 and demanded a price far in excess of the standard market value of the driveway parcel.
In addition, the driveway parcel provides the only access to 201 Mission Street’s parking and loading and therefore it would not be possible to develop the driveway without also negotiating a land swap with TJPA to provide alternate access. As a result, OCII does not expect the property owner of 201 Mission Street to submit a proposal in response to this RFP – and if that property owner did submit a proposal, it would need to conform to all of the restrictions described in this section.
Because of the time spent negotiating an acquisition of the 201 Mission Street driveway and the need to issue the RFP, neither OCII nor TJPA has had discussions with the owner of 301 Howard Street regarding its parcel.

That being said, while a proposal which includes either the parcel owned by 201 Mission Street or the parcel owned by 301 Howard Street will not be considered, once a development team is selected, the OCII is open to exploring alternatives for the open space on the corner of Howard and Beale, "in cooperation with the property owner." Proposals are due at the end of June.

An upside to the unforeseen circumstances, a 10,000-square-foot open space on the corner of Howard and Main is now part of the Block 5 plan as well.

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April 2, 2014

The City Opts For New Office Tower Over More Housing

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The City's official Request For Proposals to develop a 550-foot tower with ground-floor retail and 15,000 square feet of open space on San Francisco's Transbay Block 5 has just been issued with an explicit note attached: "Proposals that include any amount of residential and/or hotel space will not be accepted."

While the Transbay Block bounded by Beale, Howard and Main was originally slated for a residential tower and townhomes, San Francisco's Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure has determined that "economic conditions create a strong preference for commercial development over residential and hotel development on Block 5."

In addition, "unforeseen circumstances" have required an unexpected configuration for the site and tower.

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The Concept Design For Six Stories At Market And Sanchez

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As we first reported earlier this week, with Starbucks' bid to occupy the existing retail space on the southwest corner of Market and Sanchez having been rejected last year, new plans for a six-story building with nine condos over a ground floor commercial space to rise on the 2201 Market Street parcel have been submitted to planning for review.

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The concept design for the building by Edmonds + Lee Architects includes a roof deck atop, an underground garage which would be accessed by way of an elevator along Sanchez Street, and 2,500 square feet of commercial space on the corner.

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March 31, 2014

More Mass In The Mission: Designs For 20 Modern Condos On 24th

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A plan to raze La Parrilla Grill's two-story Mission District building on the southeast corner of Folsom and 24th Streets and construct a five-story building designed by Natoma Architects with 20 modern condos over 2,800 square feet of new ground floor commercial space has been submitted to Planning for review.

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As proposed, a central courtyard would divide the top four floors of the building into two separate masses, but the façade along 24th Street would rise a continuous 55 feet.

A few of the Planning Department's preliminary thoughts with respect to the project's fit:

Although the proposed project is a significant mass increase in comparison to the surrounding buildings, the overall massing, site design, and open space on balance offers the scale and density appropriate to a block termination and nearby public transportation, including MUNI and BART.
However, to further increase its relationship to the character of the block, [the Urban Design Assistance Team] recommends removing the wall on the south side of the courtyard towards the inner portion of the block to align the courtyard and create an extension of the midblock open space.

And with respect to the building's frontage along the street:

While UDAT appreciates the introduction of the arcade element to further define the relationship between the sidewalk and interior retail space, the arcade is out of character with its commercial context as currently designed as the heights of the openings are taller than surrounding facades, the narrow width is not useful public space, and the consistency of the column bays do not accentuate the retail or lobby entrances.
UDAT recommends changing the proportions of the ground floor expression to be more in line with the neighborhood scale in height, changing the bay depth or width or adding elements to emphasize entrances, and offering a more generous lobby space. The arcade should either be narrower to create a deep commercial façade or wider to be a functional and programmed transition to the retail and lobby.

A garage for ten cars via triple car stackers would be located along Lucky Street.

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Plans For Condos On Castro Corner Where Starbucks Was Spurned

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With San Francisco's Planning Commission having rejected Starbucks' bid to take over the one-story retail space at 2201 Market Street last year, the owner of the property has drafted a new plan for the parcel at the corner of Sanchez, with designs for a six-story building with nine condos over ground-floor commercial space to rise.

As drafted, the existing 3,800 square foot building on the triangular parcel would be razed to make way for a 63.5-foot tall building which would nearly cover the entire lot. The first floor of the building would include 2,500 square feet of commercial space with nine condos (four one-bedrooms, four two-bedrooms, and one three) across floors two through six.

A 700 square foot roof deck for residents would rest atop the building while parking for seven cars and ten bikes would be built underground.

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March 28, 2014

Plans To Convert Mission Armory From Porn Studio To Office Use

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Peter Acworth has quietly drafted plans to convert Kink.com's Armory building at Mission and 14th Streets from fetish porn studio to "traditional office use," with the 39,000 square foot Drill Court proposed for "spectator sports, arts, or nighttime entertainment."

San Francisco Armory Drill Court

If approved, the conversion would yield over 140,000 square feet of office space, including 67,000 square feet in the basement of the Armory which is currently used to film the "Arts."

Acworth purchased the Armory for $14.5 million in 2007, at which time a number of plans to convert the building to condos and commercial space had been proposed and rejected.

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Cathedral Hill Demolition: Feasting On The Remnants Of The Rooms

The heavy machinery is feasting on the remnants of the guest rooms, the office portion of the old Jack Tar Hotel has been stripped to its superstructure, and the city block should soon be completed razed in order to make room for CPMC's Cathedral Hill Hospital to rise.

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March 25, 2014

A Much Needed Overhaul Of A Mission District Hotel

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Having quietly changed hands late last year, the Hotel Mirabelle at 1906 Mission, near the intersection of Mission and 15th Street, is undergoing a much needed overhaul, with a number of rooms having already been taken down to the studs and modernized.

Officially purchased by the 1906 Mission LLC, the members of the corporation are the owners of a local tour and travel company.

While a bathroom is being added to the manger's unit, the hotel's guest rooms will continue to share (newly remodeled) shower rooms and the hotel will continue to serve both tourists and long-term tenants.

Expect the dilapidated ground floor retail space along Mission to soon be reborn. And as plugged-in people know, there are plans to develop the garage next door.

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March 24, 2014

Planning's Recommendation To Expand San Francisco's "Green Zone"

In late August of last year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an update to their cannabis enforcement policy. While cannabis remains illegal federally, the Department of Justice is expecting individual states to create "strong, state-based enforcement efforts.... and will defer the right to challenge their legalization laws at this time," reserving the right to challenge the states at any time if necessary.

While San Francisco has instituted strong operational restrictions at a local level, California has yet to adopt “strong, state-based enforcement efforts” to regulate the consumption, cultivation, manufacturing, testing and retail of marijuana. The lack of a state-based regulatory framework could leave San Francisco’s existing 29 Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (MCDs) in the Fed’s crosshairs and at risk.

At the same time, in an attempt to address concerns that local restrictions are leading to an over concentration of MCDs in some neighborhoods and a lack of opportunity in others, San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending a number of policy changes which would expand San Francisco's "Green Zone" in which MCDs would be allowed to operate:

The Department identified three possible ways to expand the Green Zone and increase the number of available commercial spaces.
The first is to allow MCDs in zoning districts where they are not currently permitted, such as PDR, South of Market Districts and NC-1 Districts. The second is to reduce the Planning Code required buffer around schools from 1000’ to 600’ per State Law; and the third is to allow MCDs on the second floor in neighborhood commercial districts.
Doing all three of these actions together would expand the Green Zone approximately five times the current size, from 462 acres to 2373 acres.

In addition, the Planning Department is recommending an elimination of the existing 1,000-foot buffer around Recreational Facilities that cater to those under 18, as the Department has found that most Recreational Facilities in the City serve various age groups "making the distinction hard to make and difficult to map," and the restriction "is rarely used to prohibit an MCD in a particular location."

The Planning Department will present their recommendation for expanding San Francisco’s Green Zone along with a number of other MCD related findings and recommendations to the Planning Commission this week. Any changes would need to be approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

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San Francisco's "Twitter Tax Break" Zone

While the so-called "Twitter Tax Break" was created with Twitter specifically in mind, and the impact of which Supervisor Campos is formally calling into question, the defined area within which businesses can claim the payroll tax exclusion extends well beyond the Market Square building between Ninth and Tenth in which Twitter is headquartered.

In fact, the exclusion area includes 73 office buildings with 3.3 million square feet of office space, both Mid-Market and within the Tenderloin (click the map to enlarge).

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March 21, 2014

Supervisor Calls For Formal Review Of The "Twitter Tax Break"

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With chants of "Twitter you’re no good, pay your taxes like you should" emanating from the lips of protesters in front of San Francisco's City Hall this week, Supervisor David Campos has requested a formal hearing to review the impact that the 2011 legislation which created the Mid-Market tax break, commonly known as the "Twitter Tax Break," has had on the city.

The focus of the proposed hearing includes "a discussion on the amount of the tax break, its impact on commercial rents, including rents for non-profit tenants, as well as its impact on residential housing prices and tenant displacement in San Francisco, and a discussion on the impacts of the City’s decision not to collect Stock Based Compensation."

Originally estimated to cost the city an estimated $22 million in foregone payroll tax revenue, recent estimates put the cost at closer to $55 million. But those "costs" don't account for any of the benefits associated with having kept Twitter and other companies in the city.

Twitter had 350 employees at the time the tax break was passed, a tax break which Supervisor Campos opposed. Twitter now employes closer to 2,500.

And since April of 2011 when the Central Market/Tenderloin Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion became effective, investment in San Francisco's Mid-Market area has exploded and overall employment in San Francisco has increased by 52,800.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (42) | (email story)

March 20, 2014

Massive 31-Acre Tech Campus In San Jose Approved, But For Whom?

A ten-building tech campus with over 2 million square feet of office space and room for 10,000 employees has been approved to rise on a 31-acre parcel in North San Jose, bordering Highway 101 along Brokaw Road, a half mile from the San Jose airport.

While developer Peery-Arrillaga says a tenant has already committed to leasing the entire campus, and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says he knows who, neither have identified the company other than to confirm it's "in the tech sector."

With "no City Council or even planning commission hearings, as it required no zoning changes or other major municipal approvals," the entire approval process for the campus was completed in an enviable six months and construction is slated to begin this year.

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Mystery tech company set for San Jose's biggest-ever office project [mercurynews.com]

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March 14, 2014

Et Tu, Caesar's? Plans For New Condos On The Edge Of North Beach

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While the project has yet to be approved, plans have drawn to raze the former Caesar's Restaurant on the southwest corner of Bay and Powell and construct a four-story building with 17 condos, a new ground floor restaurant, and underground parking in its place:

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From the architects: "On the edge of North Beach this building’s design is a response to the heavily trafficked Bay Street. The glass façade ripples and shimmers in a dynamic way and stands in contrast to the heavy masonry buildings surrounding it."

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Urban Putt Shooting For April Opening, But Likely Without Liquor

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Having raised $53,883 on Kickstarter to fund their final (dog) leg of construction of a mini-golf course within the former mortuary space at 1096 South Van Ness Avenue, Urban Putt is now shooting for an opening on Friday, April 18. But Urban Putt will likely have to open without a liquor license in hand.

Not too coincidently, Supervisor Campos has just introduced a bit of custom-tailored legislation which would amend the Mission Alcoholic Beverage Special Use District, "to allow mini-golf courses functionally and/or physically integrated with a restaurant use to obtain liquor licenses."

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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.

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March 12, 2014

17 Acres Of Opportunity In San Francisco, And Then Some

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Back in 1940, four single-story industrial buildings were built upon 17 acres in west Bayview, a total of just under 450,000 square feet of building space which is currently 96 percent leased and bisected by I-280 in the southern part of San Francisco.

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On the market since the end of last year, the LaSalle Industrial Park represents the largest industrial redevelopment opportunity in San Francisco in over a decade.

Considering the site is zoned for development up to 65 feet in height, as is much of the surrounding area, one can’t help but wonder if the real opportunity, however, extends well beyond the site's redevelopment to a higher class of industrial use.

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Determination Against New Cannabis Dispensary On Divisadero

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It's time to either thank or curse the French American International School which is under construction at 1155 Page Street, the former site of the Florence Martin Child Care Center.

Fielding an official request for determination as to whether a Medical Cannabis Dispensary (MCD) could be established at 505 Divisadero Street, three doors down from Fell and currently home to San Franpsycho, had it not been for the school which will be within 1,000 feet of the property, San Francisco's Zoning Administrator would have likely determined that an MCD would have been permitted versus having just determined that it's not.

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March 11, 2014

Salesforce Ready To Sell Two Mission Bay Parcels, And Not To Google

Salesforce.com Mission Bay Parcels

As we originally reported when Salesforce acquired 14 acres in South Mission Bay with the intention of building a nearly 2 million square-foot urban campus in San Francisco:

Two of the acquired lots are directly across the street from UCSF’s new Mission Bay Medical Center which is now under construction, thanks in large part to a $100 million donation from Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff.

With Salesforce having since abandoned their Mission Bay plans and rumors flying that Google might be planning to acquire the parcels to build an urban campus of their own, UCSF is now in "advanced discussions" to purchase Mission Bay Blocks 33 and 34 from Salesforce to build administrative offices and consolidate their leased and remote sites.

UCSF will be presenting their proposed purchase to the Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee this week. No word on the fate of the other five and one-half blocks of land.

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March 10, 2014

Filling Up Along The Van Ness Corridor: Filbert Street Corner Plans

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On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, plans for a six-story building to rise on the former service station and perennial Delancy Street Christmas tree lot on the northwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and Filbert (a.k.a. 2601 Van Ness).

As proposed, the development includes 27 residential units (a mix of 1 one-bedroom, 18 two's and 8 three's) over 3 commercial spaces on the ground floor totaling 7,200 square feet and 35 underground parking spaces.

The first two floors of the project propose full lot coverage with a bit of commercial space and storage lockers on the second floor. Floors three through six, which would be occupied by the residential units, are configured as an L-shaped building to create a continuous building wall along the blockfaces of Van Ness Avenue and Filbert Street.

The Planning Department recommends the project be approved as proposed.

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March 6, 2014

KRON-TV’s 1001 Van Ness Building On The Market

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With KRON-TV planning to vacate its 107,000 square foot building at Van Ness and O'Farrell and sublet space from KGO, a move which is expected by the end of the year, KRON's parent company has placed 1001 Van Ness Avenue on the market.

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In addition to marketing the four-story building as ideal for a "tech-office conversion" or medical office redevelopment, the property is also being positioned as an "opportunity to entitle and build over 200 units in one of the nation’s premier residential development markets," the conceptual renderings for which a plugged-in tipster delivers:

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The parcel is zoned for development up to 130 feet in height.

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March 4, 2014

Six Story Folsom Street Development Rendered, Dubbed 99 Rausch

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The Local Development Group has officially filed their application to raze the former Bay Lighting & Design building and adjacent parking lot on the northeast corner of Folsom and Rausch and construct a mixed-use development with 112 residential units, 5,600 square feet of ground floor retail, and 100 parking stalls on the West SoMa site.

While currently known as the 1140 Folsom Street project, the development which is being designed by BAR Architects will be dubbed 99 Rausch.

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The design details and full Rausch Street facade by way of a plugged-in source:

The plan is to demolish the existing commercial building on the site and construct a project that will include 45 two-bedroom units, 52 one-bedroom units and 15 studios at a height of 6 stories along Folsom and 4 stories along the Rausch frontage. Additionally, one level of underground parking would be access from Rausch Street. We are excited to activate the Folsom frontage with ground-floor retail and building entrances where the current building has only a blank façade all along Folsom.
The project design builds on the unique character of the Rausch Street neighborhood. The Folsom façade highlights three elements. First, a clearly defined retail base will enhance the pedestrian experience by lowering the façade’s scale and providing richness with stone material and storefront variety. The housing above the retail is appropriately scaled with large windows and brick material, reminiscent of several brick buildings along Folsom Street. Finally, the corner of Folsom and Rausch will be accentuated by a lighter structure with expansive windows to create a sense of openness and maximize views. The developer is committed to activating the street-level experience along Folsom where they propose sidewalk bulb-outs at Folsom/Rausch, public bicycle parking, and enhanced landscaping at street level designed by landscape architect Cliff Lowe.
Along Rausch, the project utilizes a rhythm of smaller scaled units that is contextual to the charming nature of the existing environment. The project steps down to four stories along Rausch and the building features garden stoop entrances, enhanced landscaping and trees to activate the sidewalk experience. Bay windows will also reduce the scale along Rausch and provide southern light and views to the residents.

The full Rausch Street facade and elevation, click the rendering to enlarge:

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Condo Conversion Of Prominent SoMa Corner Proposed

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San Francisco's Planning Department authorized the theoretical conversion of the gas station parcel on northeast corner of Howard and 9th Street to "other uses" seventeen years ago, despite the lack of a proposed alternate use at the time.

Currently zoned for development up to 55 feet in height, a real proposal to raze the Chevron, Burger King and Starbucks on the corner parcel and construct of a mixed-use development with around 120 condo-mapped residential units and 13,000 square feet of commercial space on the site has been submitted to the Planning Department for review.

As part of the proposed project, a mid-block pedestrian alley connecting Howard and Natoma Streets would be constructed. And in terms of timing, keep in mind that Chevron's current lease runs for another five years.

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February 28, 2014

Cathedral Hill Demolition Watch: No Rooms At The Inn, Offices Next

Our plugged-in photographer reports the old Jack Tar Hotel's event spaces, garage and hotel rooms have mostly been razed and the wrecking crew is staring to work on the remaining office section of the block (click photo to enlarge).

As the Cathedral Hill site looked last month and two months before that. And of course, the rendering for CPMC's Cathedral Hill Hospital that's going to rise on the site.

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February 27, 2014

Agents Take Next Step Toward Razing The Elbo Room

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As we first reported last month, the owners of 645 Valencia Street which is currently leased to the Elbo Room have filed preliminary plans to raze the Mission district building and construct a five-story condominium development in its place.

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While some felt our initial report overstated the seriousness of the plans and owners' intentions, our report was actually understated. As we outlined the following week:

A detailed set of architectural plans has been drafted for the project and the building’s owners have authorized the architects to act as their agents in submitting applications for environmental reviews, a historic resource evaluation, variances and Conditional Use. That's every step required to get the project formally approved.
In fact, a month after the Planning Department provided their feedback on the preliminary plans, the application fee for which was nearly $5,000 alone, a follow-up meeting was scheduled between the Planning Department and architects to discuss next steps and plans for submitting the Environmental Evaluation and Historic Resource report for the project to move forward.

While it has yet to be assigned within the Planning Department, the application for Environmental Evaluation has been submitted for the development, a geotechnical report has been completed for the site, and a Historic Resource Evaluation form has been signed with planning for a full Historic Resource Evaluation Report underway.

Once again, while it's possible that the building's owners will abandon their plans at any stage, the extent of work, forward progress and expense to date would suggest that this is more than simply an exploratory exercise, as some have suggested and (been) played.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

Google Owns Over 10% Of Mountain View And Plans To Expand

Including 42 acres upon which Google has proposed to build a 1.2 million square foot Bay View campus (click to enlarge), Google now controls 250 parcels in Mountain View and owns over ten percent of the city’s taxable property, all of which The Verge has mapped.

Google%20Parcels.gif

Google's stated plans for developing nearly four million square feet in Mountain View would provide enough space for an estimated 24,000 people, double its current workforce. And all of which raises some great questions and concerns.

Welcome to Googletown | Interactive Map Of Google's Land [The Verge/Google]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (39) | (email story)

February 26, 2014

Condos Rather Than Cold Ones On Divisadero Street

834%20Divisadero.jpg

A proposal to add four floors of residential space over the existing two-story garage at 834 Divisadero Street is making its way through Planning (click rendering to enlarge).

Designed by Ian Birchall & Associates, the proposed development would rise 65 feet in height and create seven condos across the top four floors, seven parking spaces on the second, and 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail space along the street.

And yes, this is Little Star adjacent building between McAllister and Fulton into which some were expecting Barrel Head Brew House to go.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

February 18, 2014

Google Is NOT Moving Into The Mission, At Least Not Yet

While the Financial Times has reported that Google is taking over the industrial space at 16th and Alabama in the Mission, a story which has been picked-up and republished by numerous other publications including ourselves, we have just confirmed that Google has not signed a lease nor purchased the building.

In fact, the building at 298 Alabama is currently undergoing renovations with plans to subdivide the space for multiple tenants. And while numerous parties have expressed interest, not a single lease has been signed nor negotiated, not by Google nor by any of their acquisitions.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

Google Is Moving Into The Mission

298%20Alabama%20Street%20Aerial.gif

It's a relatively small move in terms of space but perhaps not significance as Google is taking over the 35,000 square foot former printworks building and property at 16th and Alabama in the Mission, "part of an effort to recruit engineers who do not want to work in its vast Silicon Valley headquarters," according to the Financial Times.

The building which was built as a mattress factory in 1923 and last occupied by the family-owned Howard Quinn printing company is large enough to hold up to 200 people and is being earmarked "as a place to house the start-ups [Google] buys, according to several people familiar with the situation."

The property encompasses the entire triangular shaped block and includes its own gated parking lot striped for 29 cars, perfect for those who would rather not take the bus.

UPDATE: Despite the Financial Time's report, we have just confirmed that Google has not signed a lease nor purchased the building on Alabama Street.

Google hits space bar for Bay Area start-ups [Financial Times]
Google Is NOT Moving Into The Mission, At Least Not Yet [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

February 12, 2014

Economists: Formula Retail Controls Could Hurt Consumers/Economy

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Prepared in response to proposed legislation which would further expand formula retail controls in San Francisco, San Francisco's Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) has concluded that formula retail controls could actually hurt consumers and the local economy.

Research by the OEA suggests that local retailers charge prices that average 17% more than chain stores. From their full report:

"Restricting chain stores will therefore likely increase the average cost of retail distribution in the city. Higher costs usually have two effects on markets: higher prices and reduced sales. Businesses pass their higher costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, who react by spending less in the local economy.
Higher prices harm consumers, and reductions in sales harm other businesses."

Anecdotal evidence does suggest, however, that non-formula retailers may spend up to 9.5% more within the local economy than chain stores on business services. That being said, "the economic cost of higher prices on local consumers outweighs the potential benefit of greater local spending by non-formula retailers, and the net local spending impact is somewhat negative."

The OEA was unable to quantify or account for the impact of formula retail on perceptions of "neighborhood quality," the economic value of which is priced into neighborhood rents and housing values.

In the end, the OEA concludes that "expanding the definition of formula retail in the city will not expand the local economy;" a new chain store "could benefit the economy without benefitting existing [local] businesses by offering lower prices to consumers;" and that Planning decisions with respect to allowing or blocking formula retailers should "explicitly consider the views of residents and whether a proposed store could prevent blight."

Expanding Formula Retail Controls: Economic Impact Report [sfcontroller.org]
The Formula For Success Or Protectionism In San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (36) | (email story)

6,000 Housing Units Under Construction In San Francisco, Another 44,000 Units In The Pipeline

While fewer than 2,000 new housing units and 140,000 square feet of commercial space in San Francisco was completed in 2013, there were roughly 6,000 housing units and 2.8 million square feet of commercial space under construction at the end of the year, units which will hit the market over the next year or two.

Permits for another 6,600 housing units to be built in San Francisco have either been approved or requested, units which should start hitting the market in two to four years along with another 4 million square feet of commercial space.

In addition to the nearly 12,600 housing units which are either under construction, ready to break ground or awaiting a permit, another 27,300 units have been approved to be built across the city. The approved projects, however, include 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have overall timelines measured in decades, not years.

And with proposed plans for an additional 10,500 housing units under the Planning Department’s review, San Francisco's Housing Pipeline currently totals over 50,000 units. For context, a total of roughly 12,000 housing units have been built in San Francisco since 2007, a total of 26,000 new units since 2000.

With respect to commercial development in San Francisco, in addition to the nearly 6.6 million square feet under construction, ready to break ground or awaiting a permit, another 5.9 million square feet of commercial development has been approved and plans for an additional 3.5 million square feet are being reviewed.

A breakdown of the residential developments in the works across San Francisco by neighborhood, not including those at Candlestick, Park-Merced or Treasure Island (click the chart to enlarge):

San Francisco Pipeline Report: Fourth Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]
San Francisco's Housing Pipeline Breaks The 50,000 Unit Mark [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

February 7, 2014

Plans To Raze The Elbo Room Are More Than Preliminary

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As we first reported last week, the owners of the Valencia Street building which is currently leased to the Elbo Room have filed their preliminary plans to raze the Mission district building and construct a five-story condo building in its place.

While some felt our report overstated the intent and seriousness of the plans, including Matt Shapiro, the operator of the Elbo Room, who dismissively posted that the Elbo Room wasn’t closing "any time soon" and that the owners of the building weren't serious about acting on the plans, our report was actually understated.

A detailed set of architectural plans has been drafted for the project and the building’s owners have authorized the architects to act as their agents in submitting applications for environmental reviews, a historic resource evaluation, variances and Conditional Use. That's every step required to get the project formally approved.

In fact, a month after the Planning Department provided their feedback on the preliminary plans, the application fee for which was nearly $5,000 alone, a follow-up meeting was scheduled between the Planning Department and architects to discuss next steps and plans for submitting the Environmental Evaluation and Historic Resource report for the project to move forward.

Our report isn't based on hearsay, a carefully worded statement or conjecture, but rather actual documents of which we have copies in hand. And yes, we have the preliminary designs for the proposed five-story building to replace the Elbo Room as well:

645%20Valencia%20Design%20Preliminary.gif

We don’t know if Mr. Shapiro is simply out of the loop or trying to cover up the extent of planning for the project that has been happening behind the scenes. And while it is, of course, entirely possible that the building’s owners abandon their plans at any stage, the extent of work, forward progress and expense to date would suggest that this is more than simply an exploratory exercise.

Elbo Room At Risk Of Being Razed For Mission Housing Development [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (50) | (email story)

February 3, 2014

Dropbox Signs Lease For Entire SoMa Building To Rise On Brannan

Having pre-leased their 30-story tower rising at 350 Mission Street to Salesforce for 14 years, Kilroy Realty has now pre-leased its entire 182,000 square foot building under development at 333 Brannan Street to Dropbox for a term of 12 years.

The Brannan Street building should be ready for Dropbox to occupy in early 2015.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

Concordia-Argonaut Club Building On The Market, Going Condo?

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The Concordia-Argonaut Club has put their 52,000 square foot building at 1142 Van Ness Avenue on the market for $21.5 million. Built for the Concordia Club's members in 1909, the Jewish men's club merged with the Argonaut Club in 1939.

With a current membership of 350, a sale would allow the club to cash out and move into a smaller space. That being said, the club Board's preference is to find a hotel or condo developer willing to carve out a space for the club in the existing building.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

January 31, 2014

Elbo Room At Risk Of Being Razed For Mission Housing Development

Elbo%20Room.gif

The owners of the two-story Mission district building at the corner of Valencia and Sycamore which is currently occupied by the Elbo Room have quietly drafted plans to raze the bar and construct a new five-story building in its place.

Early plans for the development include nine (9) residential units, three one-bedrooms and six two-bedrooms, ranging in size from 500 to 1,000 square feet over a 770 square-foot commercial space and parking for six (6) cars on the ground floor.

While the existing building at 645 Valencia Street wasn’t deemed to be historic when reviewed as part of the Inner Mission Historic Resource Survey in 2011, the Planning Department has since "received additional information that suggests that the subject property may have associations with the history of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in San Francisco."

As such, the owners will be required to provide a Historic Resource Evaluation (HRE) to determine whether the subject property is a historic resource for the purposes of CEQA in order to move forward with any development.

UPDATE: While some might wish it were, and others seem to be implying that it is, our report isn't based on rumor or speculation but rather the Preliminary Project Assessment for the development which was submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for review. The first page and a quarter of the Planning Department’s response to the application, click to enlarge:

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (79) | (email story)

January 30, 2014

Façade For Apple's Flagship Store Redesigned, Opens To The Street

The Post Street façade for Apple’s proposed flagship store on Union Square has been redesigned by Foster + Partners to feature two full-height sliding glass doors, each measuring 23 feet wide and 44.5 feet tall, allowing the store to be opened to the street.

When closed, the columns of the steel-framed doors would divide the façade into four discrete glass bays of 23 to 31 feet each. A six-bay design was also rendered, but the four-bay design above is Apple's preferred execution. Click images to enlarge.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

January 29, 2014

Fearing The Feds, Marijuana Shop On Mission Planning To Move

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Two years ago the United States Department of Justice notified the owners of 2441 Mission Street that their tenant, the medical cannabis dispensary doing business as the "Shambhala Healing Arts Center," was operating in violation of federal law.

Facing a hastily drafted notice to vacate the premises, the operator of the Shambhala Healing Arts Center shut the dispensary down but reopened at the end of 2012 at which point the Fed’s sabre-rattling had seemed to subside.

Last year, however, the U.S. attorney for Northern California filed a forfeiture proceeding against the property at 2441 Mission Street, the first such forfeiture filing for a leased dispensary's real estate in San Francisco.

While the dispensary could not be legally evicted as it does not violate any state or local laws, Shambhala is now planning to move in order to kindly assuage their landlords' ongoing concern with respect to fines, forfeiture, and /or imprisonment. But they’re not planning to move too far.

The likely new location for the dispensary is 2489 Mission Street, a location which San Francisco’s Planning Department has deemed to be permitted for a dispensary business but will require a Mandatory Discretionary Review hearing before the Planning Commission.

San Francisco Landlords Caught Between The Feds And A Pot Club [SocketSite]
A Real (Estate) Attack On Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

January 23, 2014

The $350 Million Plans For Expanding San Francisco’s Moscone Center

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With the total number of annual attendees at events held at the Moscone Center’s North and South buildings – San Francisco’s primary convention, exhibition, and meeting facility – having dropped 20 percent since 2010, a proposed expansion of the Center’s North and South buildings by 20 percent is making its way through Planning.

Moscone%20Center%20After.gif

The plans, timing, and another rendering of the proposed expansion project for San Francisco’s Moscone Center on Howard between Third and Fourth Streets:

The proposed Moscone Center Expansion Project would increase the gross square footage of the Moscone Center facility by about 20 percent, from approximately 1.2 million square feet to 1.5 million square feet.
Through the expansion, as well as through renovation and repurposing of the existing facility, the project would result in an approximately 42 percent increase in functional space, to about 888,300 square feet from 625,600 square feet, as well as reconfigured support space.

Moscone%20Center%20Expansion%20Rendered.gif

New construction would be primarily above grade both north and south of Howard Street in buildings up to approximately 95 feet tall. At completion, the expanded Moscone North structure would be approximately 54 feet in height and the Moscone South structure would be approximately 95 feet in height.

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Additional space would be created by excavating in two locations under Howard Street and expanding the existing below‐grade exhibition halls that connect the Moscone North and South buildings. The proposed project would create a total of approximately 580,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space below ground.
The proposed project would also reconfigure the existing adjacent bus pick‐up and drop off facilities and create two pedestrian bridges spanning Howard Street, which would connect Moscone North and South expansions at the second level above grade.

Moscone%20Center%20Expansion%20Plans.gif

A joint project between the Moscone Expansion District, the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation, and the City and County of San Francisco’s Convention Facilities Department, assuming the plans are approved, construction on the Moscone Center Expansion Project is slated to begin this November and be completed approximately 44 months later at an anticipated cost of $350 million.

Posted by socketadmin at 5:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

January 17, 2014

The 61-Story Vertical Campus Rising At 415 Mission Street

San Francisco’s Transbay Tower has shed its early 101 First Street address in favor of 415 Mission Street and is being positioned as a "vertical campus" with 61 floors of flexible floor plans designed to "attract genius," a positioning at least one reader can't help but think is ingeniously designed to attract one tenant in particular.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (39) | (email story)

January 16, 2014

15-Story Mission Bay Hotel Slated For 2016 Opening And Four Stars

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Originally zoned for the development of a 500-room hotel and up to 50,000 square feet of retail, Mission Bay Block 1 which fronts Channel between Third and Fourth Streets was sold to the Strada Investment Group in 2012 and successfully rezoned for the development of a smaller 250-room hotel, 25,000 square feet of retail, and 350 residential units.

The hotel portion of Mission Bay Block 1 has now been sold to the SOMA Hotel group which plans to start construction on a 15-story hotel at the end of 2014 with a target opening by the end of 2016. While an operator for the hotel has yet to be identified, they're shooting for one with four stars.

And Then There Was (Mission Bay Block) One [SocketSite]
More Housing For Prominent Mission Bay Block Number One [SocketSite]
New hotel on its way to Mission Bay [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

January 9, 2014

Office Rents In San Francisco Are Up 65 Percent Since 2010

With a current vacancy rate of just over 8 percent, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2000, the average asking rent for office space in San Francisco is just over $51 a square foot per year, up 19 percent over the past year and up 65 percent since early 2010 according to Cassidy Turley.

With a little over 1.1 million square feet of net office space leased in 2013, the rate of absorption has significantly slowed as compared to 2012, however, when over 2 million square feet of space was absorbed and is roughly a third the 3.2 million square feet of net space leased in 2011, driven in part by a backlog in the pipeline of new construction which is set to start flowing over the next couple of years.

As we noted yesterday, the East Bay is poised to gain from the spike in San Francisco’s rents.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

Tenants In Illegally Converted Mid-Market Building Suing To Stay

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With the City having suspended their previously issued building permit for the conversion of 1049 Market Street from its current non-compliant residential use back to office space in order "to enable the City to obtain additional details about the building's historic and current occupancies," eleven of the remaining tenants in the building who have defied their eviction notices are now suing the landlord, alleging harassment.

The tenants who pay "around $700 for compact loft-style units with kitchenettes and shared bathrooms" in the Mid-Market building are calling for the landlord to allow them to stay. The owners, who haven't budged, are slated to meet with city officials again next month.

Conversion Of Illegal Mid-Market Apartment Building Suspended [SocketSite]
Mid-Market tenants sue landlord, alleging harassment [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

January 8, 2014

Oakland Market Set To Gain As Companies Exit San Francisco

Oakland’s Central Business District ended 2013 with an office vacancy rate of 12.6 percent and an average asking rent of just over $2.50 a square foot versus closer to $4.25 per square foot in San Francisco according to Cassidy Turley.

With many companies in San Francisco having signed deals for office space in 2009 and 2010 now facing renewals and rent increases in excess of 50 percent, expect the East Bay office market to heat up in 2014 as both established companies in San Francisco and startups seek out less expensive space, particularly in areas with easy access to BART such as Oakland.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (44) | (email story)

January 7, 2014

Cathedral Hill Demolition Watch And Pictorial Progress Report

Having been chipping away at the back of the old Jack Tar/Cathedral Hill Hotel, bulldozing the interior, and stripping the facade from the southern portion of the building, a plugged-in tipster reports the demolition of the hotel has entered a new phase with the superstructure now being jack hammered away in order to make room for CPMC’s Cathedral Hill Medical Center to rise.

As the hotel looked two months ago (click any of the images to enlarge):

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

Development Of 270 Brannan Slated For Second Quarter Start

270%20Brannan%20Rendering%202013.jpg

Approved for development this past October, South Beach Partners is partnering with SKS Partners and Mitsui Fudosan America (the U.S. operations of Japan’s largest real estate company) to develop the 200,000 square foot office building at 270 Brannan Street.

Shooting for LEED Platinum certification with a landscaped atrium in the center of the building to allow natural light to penetrate deep into its core, 270 Brannan will step up from five floors along Brannan to seven floors on the north side of the site with a rooftop deck and city views.

270%20Brannan%20Rendering%20Roof%20Deck.jpg

The development team currently plans to commence construction in the second quarter of 2014 "regardless of the preleasing status" with delivery slated for the second quarter of 2015.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

January 6, 2014

Will San Francisco's Planning Commission Just Do It For Nike?

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With the Metro Theater conversion nearing completion next door, San Francisco's Planning Commission is set to vote on whether to allow Nike to take over and renovate the former Rugby storefront at 2071 Union Street which has sat vacant since January of 2013.

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Despite being formula retail, the Planning Department recommends the Commission approve Nike’s bid to occupy the space and "enhance the economic diversity of the neighborhood."

The Planning Department recommended the Commission allow Pet Foot Express to renovate the long-shuttered Blockbuster location a half-mile away on Lombard as well, a recommendation the Commission rejected four months ago, deeming it "not necessary or desirable."

Posted by socketadmin at 1:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

December 20, 2013

Salesforce Tower Supersized To 30 Stories

350 Mission Rendering

Having survived an appeal and then an appeal to re-hear the appeal, the paperwork has been signed to allow the office tower under construction at 350 Mission Street to reach a full 30 stories and 455 feet in height versus 375 feet as was originally approved.

The 420,000-square-foot building which will be fully occupied by Salesforce when finished includes retail and restaurant space on the ground floor and mezzanine and an open 10,000-square-foot lobby with 50-foot ceilings at the corner of Mission and Fremont.

350%20Mission%20Ground%20Floor%202013.jpg

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

Plans For A 16-Story Hotel In Downtown Berkeley

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A proposal to construct a 16-story building with a 290-room hotel, three floors of office space, and ground floor retail at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street is expected to be submitted to the city of Berkeley tomorrow.

If the plans are approved, construction on the 180-foot-tall hotel development would commence in 2015 according to the Business Times.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

December 19, 2013

It's RIP For Another Parking Lot As 333 Brannan Breaks Ground

Kilroy Realty will officially break ground at 333 Brannan Street this afternoon. The six-story building to rise on the former sixty-six space South Beach parking lot which is two blocks from the ballpark will provide 175,000 square feet of office space and a ground floor café along Brannan.

The 333 Brannan Street development will yield $8 million of impact fees for the City and should be ready for occupancy in early 2015 with a courtyard along Stanford and another along Brannan to break-up the building's mass (click any image to enlarge):

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

December 17, 2013

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline Breaks The 50,000 Unit Mark

Pipeline%20Q32013%20Image.jpg

While only 1,600 new housing units were completed in San Francisco over the past year and commercial space in the city declined by 183,000 square feet (due to conversions to residential use), there are now over 6,000 housing units under construction in the City which should hit the market over the next year or two along with 900,000 feet of commercial space.

Building permits for another 9,500 housing units in San Francisco have either been approved or requested, units which should start hitting the market in two to four years along with another 5,000,000 square feet of commercial space.

In addition to the nearly 16,000 housing units which are either under construction, ready to break ground, or waiting for a permit, another 27,000 housing units have been entitled to be built in San Francisco which includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have timelines measured in decades, not years.

And with plans for an additional 7,650 housing units on the boards, San Francisco's Housing Pipeline currently totals over 50,000 units. For context, a total of roughly 12,000 housing units have been built in San Francisco since 2007; a total of 26,000 new units since 2000.

With respect to commercial development in San Francisco, in addition to the nearly 6,000,0000 square feet already under construction, ready to break ground or awaiting a permit, plans for another 6,000,000 square feet of commercial development have been approved.

A breakdown of the residential developments in the works across San Francisco by neighborhood, not including those at Candlestick, Park-Merced or Treasure Island (click the chart to enlarge):

San Francisco Pipeline Report: Third Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (42) | (email story)

December 13, 2013

From Failed Bites To Building Up On Lombard Street A Bit

2353%20Lombard.jpg

A long suffering space for a slew of failed restaurants, the one-story building at 2353 Lombard between Pierce and Scott will be razed and a four-story building with 21 residential units over 2,700 square feet of commercial space will be constructed on the site if approved.

2353%20Lombard%20Rendering.gif

The mix of proposed units includes three one-bedrooms of around 700 square feet and eighteen two-bedrooms ranging in size from 1,138 to 1,264 square feet. With plans to pay an in-lieu fee rather than include any below market rate (BMR) units in the building, the entire development will be market rate as proposed.

The entrance to the building's 28 space garage would be from both Lombard and behind. A 2,500 square foot roof deck would serve as the development's common open space:

2353%20Lombard%20Roof%20Deck.gif

On the agenda for San Francisco's Planning Commission next week, the Planning Department recommends the project be approved as proposed.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

December 12, 2013

Proposal To Immediately Revitalize San Francisco's Pier 38 Picked

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While it hasn't been announced, TMG's proposal for the redevelopment of San Francisco’s Pier 38 has beaten out the competing proposal from San Francisco Waterfront Partners according to a plugged-in tipster.

TMG's proposal emphasized the speed of redevelopment with a plan for the "immediate revitalization of the Pier 38 Bulkhead with a mix of public, office, and maritime uses." The Waterfront Partners' proposal included a tech co-working facility on the second floor of the building at the front of the pier and a beer garden facing the new Brannan Street Wharf.

The Pier 38 buildings have been red tagged as unsafe for occupancy since 2011 when serving as office space for a number of startups and a couple of venture capital firms. The Port's pick of a plan to quickly re-tenant the front part of the pier shouldn’t catch any plugged-in people by surprise.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

December 9, 2013

Panning (And Planning) For Liquid Gold On Hyde Street

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If approved, the 1,346 square foot former ReJoyce Books store across from the Nob Hill Trader Joe’s and CVS on Hyde Street will be turned into Liquid Gold, "a public beer and wine tasting room and retail store specializing in local craft beer and small-batch wines."

Despite opposition from one vocal member of the public who is concerned with an over-concentration of bars, alcohol related criminal activity, and an "influx of chronic inebriates occupying sidewalks" in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood, the Planning Department is recommending that the Planning Commission approve Liquid Gold’s application to operate at 1040 Hyde Street.

Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Will See’s Succeed While Starbucks And Chipotle Were Rejected?

See%27s%20Market%20Street.jpg

San Francisco's Planning Commission recently adopted "a standardized method for determining the existing and appropriate concentration of formula retail uses in the Upper Market Neighborhood that extends from Octavia Boulevard to Castro Street," a policy which requires the Planning Department to recommend the rejection of any project which would bring the concentration of formula retail within 300 feet of a site to 20 percent or greater.

This week, the Commission will decided whether to selectively reject their adopted standard and approve the application for See's Candies to take over the Mike's Cameras spot in the Safeway Shopping Center on Market Street, an existing formula retail site with a 33 percent concentration.

While recommending See's application be denied as is required per the standard, the Planning Department does have this to say about the proposal:

The proposed formula retail use will replace a pre-existing formula retail store and continue to add to the neighborhood character and diversity. Formula retail businesses offering similar products have a competitive advantage over non-formula retail businesses because they are often better capitalized and therefore can commit to longer and more expensive leases. This can make for fewer storefront vacancies and more neighborhood stability.

The Planning Commission's standard was the basis for rejecting proposals from Starbucks and Chipotle to take over two vacant spaces on Market Street, in part due to an argument that formula retailers have an unfair competitive advantage and drive up rents versus providing a stabilizing effect.

There are currently nine vacant commercial storefronts within the Upper Market Neighborhood.

The Chips Don’t Fall In Chipotle’s Favor: Request Denied [SocketSite]
Starbucks' Market Street Plan Shot Down By Planning [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

December 5, 2013

The Yellow Cab Cooperative Of San Francisco's Next Move

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As we reported earlier this week, the Yellow Cab Cooperative of San Francisco is offering to sell its six-acre headquarters at 1200 Mississippi Street for $16,000,000 and deliver it vacant. While we didn't have the official word on what the next move for the Cooperative might be, now we do.

From the Cooperative's President and General Manager:

"Yellow Cab Cooperative of San Francisco is alive and well. Because we have grown from 300 cabs to almost 600 cabs and growing, we are looking for a larger facility or we will build a parking garage at 1200 Mississippi Street. For that reason, we put out a feeler to see if there is interest in purchasing our existing property.
We are embracing all the new technology with new Apps and a growing fleet to better respond to our high demand. We are aligning ourselves to be not only bigger but better in 2014!"

A proposal to build a 7-story parking structure with 603 spaces for the Cooperative on a portion of the site had been considered back in 1999. The site is currently zoned for development up to 65 feet in height.

San Francisco's Yellow Cab Cooperative Could Be Cashing Out [SocketSite]

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

December 4, 2013

San Francisco's Yellow Cab Cooperative Could Be Cashing Out

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With revenues for taxi companies in San Francisco having dropped an estimated 30 percent over the past year thanks to "ridesharing" startups such at Lyft, Sidecar and UberX, and land values rebounding (thanks to startups such at Lyft, Sidecar and UberX), the largest cab company in the city, the Yellow Cab Cooperative, has quietly put its six-acre headquarters and parking lot at 1200 Mississippi Street on the market and is offering to deliver it vacant.

The parcel at the southern base of Potrero Hill between 25th Street and Cesar Chavez is currently zoned for Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) which generally prohibits the building of housing, large office developments or large-scale retail but could support light industrial, small scale retail, office or entertainment uses. A tennis club with 31 courts had been proposed to be built upon the site back in 1974, well before the Yellow Cab Cooperative took control.

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San Francisco's Yellow Cab Cooperative is seeking $16,000,000 for the six-acre site with Kidder Mathews handling the offering. No word on the Cooperative's next move.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (69) | (email story)

Food Emporium Proposed For Market And 15th Street Development

2175 Market Street Rendering

A request to change the proposed use of the ground floor of the six-story mixed-use building rising at 2175 Market and 15th Streets from retail to restaurant/bar use has been filed, a move designed to permit Forest City to operate a "Market Square" food emporium in the 6,300 square foot space.

According to the Duboce Triangle Newsletter, "local merchants, such as a coffee store, a butcher, and a greengrocer, would each lease part of the larger retail space from Forest City, and provide to customers independent service from each with convenient access to all of them."

A Conditional Use Authorization from Planning will be needed for Forest City to proceed with their Market Square concept which is not to be confused with Shorenstein's Market Square nor the Mid-Market Market at 10th.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

December 3, 2013

Plans And Timing For Pier 70's Historic Rehab Revealed

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With Forest City having secured initial Port and City endorsements for their plan to develop a mixed-use neighborhood on the Waterfront Site of San Francisco's Pier 70 with up to 2.2 million square feet of office space; 400,000 square feet of retail, cultural, and maker uses; 1,000 housing units and 7 acres of parks, Orton Development is preparing to seek San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approval for their plans to rehabilitate Pier 70's Historic Core, eight large buildings and two smaller structures located on or near 20th Street which are owned by the Port of San Francisco.

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The historic buildings include 270,000 square feet of existing space to which around 69,000 square feet of new space, primarily in mezzanines, will be added. Once rehabilitated, the historic office and industrial buildings will be used for a range of businesses, including light industrial, technology, life science, office, artisan/artist studios and showrooms, and restaurants.

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The top four floors of the Bethlehem Steel Office Building at the corner of Illinois and 20th Streets (Building 101) will return to office use while the building’s commissary on the lower level will likely be used for food production or light industrial use. Multiple offers from "well-established San Francisco restaurateurs" have already been received for building 102 next door:

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The former UIW headquarters and Navy Hospital Office (Building 104) will return to office use while the warehouse buildings (113/114, 115/116, and 14) will become "food, technology, life science, biotech, education and arts production centers, mirroring the high-quality "maker" type businesses currently thriving in the Dogpatch neighborhood" with office, showroom and retail uses as well.

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The 45,000 square foot machine shop courtyard behind Pier 70's historic warehouse buildings will be used as an outdoor venue for public and private events, including farmer's markets, concerts, exhibitions and festivals throughout the year.

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Assuming the Orton's plans are approved by the Board this month, construction is slated to commence in early 2014 with the first tenancy of building 101 planned for April 2015 and the overall rehabilitation of Pier 70's historic core to be completed by the end of 2016.

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

December 2, 2013

Kaiser’s Modern Mission Bay Building Slated For 2016 Opening

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Speaking of Kaiser Permanente's moves in San Francisco, the development of Kaiser’s nine-story Mission Bay Medical Office Building at 1600 Owens Street is now scheduled to be finished in late 2015 with Kaiser operating out of the building starting in early 2016.

With no parking being developed as part of the project, Kaiser Permanente physicians, staff and patients will be expected to park in the existing 820 space parking garage across the street at 1670 Owens Street or find "other parking generally available in Mission Bay and [the] surrounding areas."

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Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

Kaiser Permanente's Geary Campus Expansion Plan And Design

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As we first reported earlier this year, while the southwest corner of Geary and Divisadero is in the process of being landscaped with planters for trees, a 75,000 square foot medical office building is approved to rise up to six stories on the site as part of Kaiser Permanente’s Geary Campus plan.

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The timing for the development of the 2108 O’Farrell Street outpatient building, designed to create "a visual cohesiveness for Kaiser’s Geary Campus," has yet to be disclosed, other than being dependent upon Kaiser's membership growth and projected needs.

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

November 25, 2013

Bay Area Commercial Boom: San Francisco Second To Santa Clara

Spending on commercial real estate construction activity around the Bay Area this year is expected to top the record $6 billion mark set in 2000 and could reach as high as $6.7 billion by the end of 2013.

The Bay Area County with the most commercial construction activity is currently Santa Clara County which should cross the $2.1 billion mark by the end of the year, a total which doesn’t include the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium project for the San Francisco 49ers.

Behind Santa Clara, San Francisco County should just miss the $2 billion mark which would be higher than in 2011 and 2012 but below the spending in 2010.

And at a projected $765 million in 2013, spending on commercial real estate construction in San Mateo County should be six times the amount in 2012 while the projected $681 million to be spent across Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in 2013 would be the lowest in five years.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

November 19, 2013

Goodwill Selling Mission Street Site Zoned For 320-Foot Tower

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Zoned for development up to 320 feet in height, Goodwill Industries is preparing to sell its two and three story buildings along Mission Street between South Van Ness Avenue and 11th Street.

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The 2.3 acre parcel upon which Goodwill’s San Francisco headquarters and prominent corner store sit could accommodate the development up to 600 housing units according to the Business Times.

The site which had been in contract to be sold to developer David Choo in 2007 prior to the market crash in San Francisco is expected to hit the market in early 2014.

Having outgrown the current buildings on the block and expected to reap up to $60 million on the Mission Street sale, Goodwill plans to "seek alternate site(s) for all of its current Mission Street functions, ideally within the city of San Francisco."

UPDATE: While the Van Ness and Market Downtown Residential Special Use District in which Goodwill's property sits allows for heights of up to 400 feet at the corners of Market and Van Ness, the parcels above are currently zoned for development up to 320 feet mid-block along South Van Ness and 11th Street, with the corner of South Van Ness and Mission currently zoned for up to 250 feet in height and the majority of the Mission Street frontage zoned for no more than 85 feet.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

November 13, 2013

Google Rumored To Be Making A Big Move In San Francisco

Salesforce Mission Bay Rendering

Rumors amongst San Francisco’s commercial brokerage community have Google in discussion to either buy the 14-acre Mission Bay parcel that Salesforce decided not to develop with 1.9 million square feet of potential office space or circling the 1.3 million square foot Transbay Tower, the foundation for which is underway.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (48) | (email story)

November 12, 2013

A Peek At 535 Mission's Public Art Proposal And Pedestrian Linkage

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With the construction of the 27-story office tower at 535 Mission Street slated for completion in 2014, this week San Francisco’s Planning Commission will get their first peek at the two proposed works of art to fulfill San Francisco’s One Percent for the Arts requirement.

The first piece is a sculptural composition of bronze, copper and steel by Anton Josef Standteiner to be installed at the corner of Minna Street and Shaw Alley. Entitled "The Band," Standteiner's piece consists of four separate sculptures representing members of a music group with each sculpture measuring approximately 10 feet in height (click renderings to enlarge):

The second work of art is a linear piece of dichroic and mirrored glass mounted to a stone backing. Gordon Huether's "Applique Da Parete" would be mounted within the lobby of 535 Mission Street with portions extending outdoors beyond the glass curtain wall of the building:

Both artworks are intended "to enliven and engage Shaw Alley," the public right-of-way next to the Salt House which will be closed to vehicular traffic and upgraded with paving, lighting, and landscape treatments to serve as a pedestrian linkage between Mission Street and San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center which is slated to open in 2017.

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

November 7, 2013

Castro Whole Foods Open And The Apartments Above Aren't Cheap

2001 Market Street Whole Foods

With the Castro Whole Foods having opened its doors at the corner of Market and Dolores yesterday, complete with "a shoe shine stand, a wide array of men’s grooming products, and a wall with pictures of customers’ dogs," 30 of the 81 apartments above the market have been leased with rents ranging from $4.75 a square foot for the larger penthouse units to $6.00 a foot for the studios.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (124) | (email story)

November 4, 2013

Visa Is Moving Its Tech Team Out Of The "Void" And Back To SF

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Having moved out of San Francisco and from 44,000 square feet at 595 Market Street in 2012, Visa has just signed a lease for 111,000 square feet at One Market Plaza and will be moving its engineering team back into the city.

In the words of J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times:

"…it seems that the company, which describes itself as a "global payments technology company," is heading back to the city to help with the recruitment of the young urban engineers who are increasingly unwilling to commute to a generic suburban office park devoid of culture or street life."

Visa's top executives will remain in Foster City and we'll let you know if The Foster City Chamber of Commerce responds.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (54) | (email story)

Neighbors' Opposition To ISE On Potrero Avenue Iced By Supes

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Opposed by neighbors, San Francisco’s Planning Department has cleared the way for the two-story building at 435-437 Potrero Avenue to return to use as an Internet Services Exchange (ISE) with no planned changes to the exterior of the building for the foreseeable future except for some additional screening for the existing rooftop mechanical equipment.

Having been used as an ISE from 2000 to 2010 without any formal complaints from
the community, an appeal of the proposed use based on noise and pollution from facility generators was rejected by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors last month.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

November 1, 2013

Conversion Of Illegal Mid-Market Apartment Building Suspended

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Noted by a plugged-in reader last week, San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection and the San Francisco Planning Department have just suspended the building permit for the conversion of 1049 Market Street from its current illegal residential use in order "to enable the City to obtain additional details about the building's historic and current occupancies."

On the radar of the Department of Building Inspection since at least 2007, around half the 75 units within the Mid-Market building between Sixth and Seventh Streets lack windows and are not code compliant for residential use but have been illegally rented to artists and others as "live-work" spaces for over a decade, as have the majority of other units within the building which have windows but were never legally converted from office to residential use.

"We clearly need to investigate further the recent residential occupancy of this building," said John Rahaim, Director of Planning. "Given the apparent long-term residential uses of the building, the owners may be required to undergo additional Planning Department review and public hearings, and to pay impact fees if they want to pursue the eviction of the tenants and establish an office building."

San Francisco’s Building Inspection Department issued a notice to the owners of 1049 Market Street to either legalize the building or clear the building of residential tenants a few months ago at which point eviction notices were prepared and served.

The building's former owners had filed a permit to legalize the building for residential use two years ago but never commenced the conversion and the building's new owners have decided it makes more economic sense to convert the Mid-Market building back to office use.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

Historic Market Street Hotel And Club Project Ready To Proceed

1095 Market

As we first reported in 2010, the plans to rehabilitate the Joseph D. Grant Building at 1095 Market Street and convert the eight-story building from office use to a hotel/hostel with 94 rooms, a 2,500 square foot ground floor restaurant, a 3,500 square foot nightclub and two rooftop terraces totaling 8,500 square feet were making their way through Planning.

1095 Market as Proposed

Approved for development in October of 2010 with a three year window get going or lose their entitlements to develop, the project has yet to get started. From the project sponsor's counsel:

"Implementation of the project has been delayed for two primary reasons. First, the economic downturn in 2009 made construction financing difficult to obtain. This was particularly true for the project sponsor 1095 Market Street Associates, which is a family-owned and operated company based in San Francisco. Second, the costs of implementing the project were more significant than previously anticipated. The task of thoughtfully rehabilitating a historic building presents certain unique uncertainties and challenges that reveal themselves as the project moves closer to construction. Our client believes that they are now in a position to move forward with the project and respectfully request the Planning Commission’s support."

Next week, we expect San Francisco's Planning Commission to extend the project's window to get started, clearing the way for the development of 1095 Market at the corner of 7th to proceed.

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

October 31, 2013

Celebrity Top Chef Suvir Saran Coming To 10th And Market

10th and Market

Celebrity "Top Chef" Suvir Saran has leased 8,500 square feet at the base of NEMA on the corner of 10th and Market Streets with plans to open a yet-to-be-named restaurant "created specifically for San Franciscans." The restaurant is slated to open in the Spring of 2014.

Under Saran's direction in New York, Dévi became the first Indian restaurant in the United States to earn a Michelin Star.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

October 30, 2013

Eight Acre North Oakland Development Set To Break New Ground

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Having been waylaid by the BART strike, the ground breaking for Phase Two of MacArthur Station, the master-planned Transit-Oriented Development on BART's former MacArthur Station parking lot in North Oakland, has been rescheduled for Friday, November 15 at 11am.

Once again, Phase Two of the development will consist of 90 apartments at 40th and Telegraph for households with incomes ranging from 30 to 50 percent of the area's median income.

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In total, MacArthur Station will eventually provide a total of 624 new housing units on the 7.76 acre site, of which 516 units will be market rate. In addition, 42,500 square feet of local commercial and retail space will be constructed along with 5,000 square feet of space for community use.

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Phase One of the MacArthur Station development was the new 478-space parking garage for BART.

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The remaining A, B and C parcels are slated for development over the next eight years.

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Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Site Cleared For Kaiser Permanente's Geary Campus Expansion

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The southwest corner of Geary and Divisadero has sat vacant since 1989 when the former gas station on the site was demolished and the adjacent 21 unit building at 1098 Divisadero Street has just been razed, clearing the way for Kaiser Permanente to construct a new 75,000 square foot outpatient clinic and medical office which has been on the boards since 1984.

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The new building will yield 23,000 square feet of clinic space, 10,500 square feet of medical office space, and 3,000 square feet of retail on the sloped lot, rising five-stories along O’Farrell and six-stories along Geary, creating "a visual cohesiveness for Kaiser’s Geary Campus."

While the expansion has been approved, the building permits have not been issued and in the interim the site will serve as a temporary nursery, for trees.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (56) | (email story)

October 22, 2013

The MJB Coffee Building Is Currently Home To A Bunch Of Illegals

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Built in 1916 and designed G. Albert Langsburgh, the five-story MJB Coffee building at 665 3rd Street is technically still a print shop which is not legally zoned for office use.

Having been used for offices since at least 2007, however, the building's owners have applied to legitimize its use, creating a Historic Building Maintenance Plan in order to clear the way for the conversion of the building which was rejected in 2012.

The conversion would require at least four showers and a locker room to be added to the building per San Francisco's Planning Code, but the building's owners plan to seek an exemption and provide access to a health club or other facility within three blocks of the building at no cost to the tenants. Founders Den members take note.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (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)

Approved Valencia Street Development Waylaid Anew Again

1050/8 Valencia

Perhaps the record setting price per square foot numbers being pushed by 3500 19th Street will take some of the sting out of the delays caused by the challengers of the plans to demolish the one-story building at the corner of Valencia and Hill between 21st and 22nd Streets and build a five story building with sixteen condos over 2,000 square feet of new restaurant space at 1050 Valencia.

1050 Valencia Street 2012 Rendering

Then again, it has been over three years since the early approvals for the 1050 Valencia Street project were first appealed and the issues raised in the latest appeal of the project "are nearly identical to those raised in the [Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association’s] previous appeal," issues which were addressed and rejected by San Francisco’s Planning Commission back in 2010.

The latest appeal of the previously approved 1050 Valencia Street Project will be heard by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this week. An appeal of the project's building permits has also been filed, but that appeal has been tabled until after the Board of Supervisors vote.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (70) | (email story)

October 16, 2013

BIG Architects Selected To Design Major Mid-Market Complex

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Bjarke Ingels Group (aka BIG) has been selected to design the development of 950-974 Market Street, a proposed arts, housing, hotel and retail complex that could include a 250-room hotel, 316 residential units, 15,000 square feet of retail, and a 75,000-square-foot arts building at the corner of Market and Turk.

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Working with the Thacher Family and the 950 Center for Arts & Education, Group I envisions 950-974 Market Street becoming "the gateway to Mid-Market" and "the culmination of a long-held vision for a thriving creative community in the heart of San Francisco that brings together the arts, technology, tourism, local culture and mixed income housing."

International 'starchitect' BIG picked to design Mid-Market complex [bizjournals.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

October 15, 2013

Mid-Market Tech Migration Continues, Non-Profits Are Priced Out

While the vacancy rate for office space in San Francisco remains at 8.4 percent as the net demand for space was offset by 264,000 new square feet in the third quarter of 2013, average rents ticked up 1 percent to $50.30 per square foot across all classes of space according to Cassidy Turley, up 16 percent year-over-year, up 60 percent from the post-recession lows of early 2010, and 15 percent higher than on the eve of the recession in 2008.

As technology firms and start-ups continue their migration to Mid-Market, a migration which has accelerated over the past few months, professional, business service users, and non-profits have been giving up space in the city, "many of whom have relocated either in San Mateo County, or the East or North Bay."

Cassidy Turley expects vacancy rates to continue to fall and rents to climb over the next year.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

October 11, 2013

Jack Spade Retreats From Formula Retail Fight In The Mission

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With San Francisco's Board of Appeals having voted 4-1 to revisit the determination of whether Jack Spade should be defined as formula retail, a definition which would likely block their ability to move forward, Jack Spade is abandoning plans for a store at 3166 16th Street in the Mission.

"We at JACK SPADE are disappointed with Wednesday’s Board of Appeals ruling. In our minds and in accordance with the district’s code, JACK SPADE is not ‘formula retail’ and we have been completely transparent regarding our relationship to our parent company."

That being said, Jack Spade "respect[s] the Board and the community's passion and will not pursue plans to open in the Mission District."

Jack Spade Pulls Out of the Mission [missionlocal.org]
The Formula For Success Or Protectionism In San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (62) | (email story)

October 10, 2013

Visitacion Valley Is Getting A Large Grocery Store

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San Francisco's Planning Commission has approved Grocery Outlet's plan to renovate and operate out of the Visitacion Valley building at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Sunnydale Avenue, the first neighborhood supermarket in over a decade.

The Grocery Outlet will offer refrigerated, deli and frozen groceries, fresh meat and produce, and household goods, and will operate seven days a week from 8:00am to 9:00pm. The closet supermarket to the site is currently two miles away in Silver Terrace.

The building at 2630 Bayshore Boulevard was built for Safeway in 1960 but has been occupied by the A. Silvestri garden statue and furniture store since 2001.

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

October 9, 2013

San Francisco's Second CityTarget Has Opened Its Doors

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While the official opening date for San Francisco’s second CityTarget with 120,000 square feet of household goods, clothing, electronics and groceries in the City Center complex at the corner of Geary and Masonic isn’t until Sunday, October 13, the aisles are stocked, the doors are open, and the cash registers have started to ring.

The City Center CityTarget's layout and full offerings (click map to enlarge):

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

Five Story Building On Brannan Refined And Ready For Approval

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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.

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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:

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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)

October 2, 2013

New Renderings And A Potential Formula Retail Fight For 555 Fulton

As we first reported last week, the previously approved plans to construct a five-story, mixed-use building with 139 dwelling units, 148 off-street parking spaces, and a 30,000 square foot grocery store at 555 Fulton Street have been dusted off and the design refined.

Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will be asked to extend the approvals for the development of 555 Fulton Street which expired earlier this year. In addition, the project sponsor is requesting the approval of a new amendment which would allow for a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or other formula retailer to operate at the corner of Fulton and Laguna.

While no specific tenant has been proposed, and the proposed amendment would not allow a formula retailer to lease the building's retail space as of right, the amendment would allow a formula retailer to seek Conditional Use Authorization to operate the grocery at 555 Fulton Street, an option which is currently blocked by Hayes Valley's formula retail controls.

Modern Hayes Valley Development And Grocery Getting Ready To Go [SocketSite]
A New Formula For Keeping Out Foreign Threats [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

October 1, 2013

270 Brannan's Refined Design And Neighborhood Parking Concerns

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The refined design for the proposed office building to rise up to seven stories high on the parking lot between the historic Hawley and Gallo buildings at 270 Brannan Street is slated to be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week.

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The project will yield nearly 190,000 square feet of office space with a 5,000 square foot atrium and a private roof deck on the sixth floor:

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The proposed garage beneath the building includes space for 54 bikes but only 12 cars, 72 fewer parking spaces than the parcel currently provides which has the residents of 200 Brannan a bit concerned and requesting that the Planning Commission require a greater number of parking spaces "so that the availability of street parking is not further reduced by this project."

The Planning Department recommends the project be approved with the tweleve parking spaces as proposed.

Designs For Building Up On Brannan And Parking Going Down [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (42) | (email story)

September 26, 2013

Modern Hayes Valley Development And Grocery Getting Ready To Go

555 Fulton Site (Image Source: MapJack.com)

Approved for development in 2010, the permits to demolish nearly the entire Hayes Valley block bounded by Fulton, Octavia, Birch and Laguna and build a five-story mixed-use building at 555 Fulton Street are making their way through Planning with a revised design.

The development will yield 139 new dwelling units with a garage for 70 cars and over 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space designed for a neighborhood grocery:

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on the corner of Fulton and Octavia will be the one building on the block to remain (click renderings to enlarge).

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

September 24, 2013

Tosca’s Return To Its Restaurant Roots

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Gesualdo Francesconi, Ugo Pied and Fred Landi founded the Tosca Café at 242 Columbus Avenue back in 1919. A few weeks after they opened the bar, prohibition went into effect. Gesualdo’s mother was quickly drafted into service as the cook and the Tosca Cafe was transformed into a restaurant.

While Tosca’s kitchen served its last meal in the 1950’s, it remains in place and operational (as does San Francisco’s first espresso machine atop the bar). And if the bar’s new owner receives the blessing of San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, the bar will once again become a bona-fide restaurant with late night food service until 2 AM.

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

September 18, 2013

The Sports Basement's New Presidio Home

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While it’s not a done deal, when the Sports Basement vacates the Presidio’s former Commissary building in order to make way for the winner of the Presidio Trust's Cultural Center competition, the retailer will most likely be moving down Mason Street to the warehouses at the Marina Gate.

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As proposed, the seven warehouses at the eastern entrance to the Presidio will be renovated, connected, and their loading docks extended to yield 93,000 square feet of space for the retailer and nearly 30,000 square feet of exterior deck and courtyards for strolling, gathering, and events.

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Parking for the new Sports Basement would be accommodated within the 213-space parking lot which will be built behind and beside the warehouses as part of the ongoing Doyle Drive project.

The Three Competing Designs For The Presidio's Commissary Site [SocketSite]
Presidio Parkway's Final Phase And Commissary’s Sporting Days [SocketSite]
Sports Basement Mason Street Warehouses Project [presidio.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

September 13, 2013

Polk Gulch Proposal: Ten New Stories And A Non-Formula Store

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As proposed, the one-story building at 1433 Bush between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue which currently houses City Rent-A-Car will be razed, and in its place a 10-story building dubbed "Casa D'Ambrosio" with 32 condos, 26 residential parking spaces and ground floor commercial will rise.

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If approved by San Francisco's Planning Commission next week, City Rent-A-Car proposes to re-establish operations on the ground floor of the new building with offices and 3 parking spaces dedicated to their business. City Rent-A-Car's fleet of 140 cars would be stored off-site.

The design for the 115-foot tall building includes a central courtyard which would be watered in part by way of a rain water harvesting system while solar panels atop the building would help to power common area needs (click the rendering to enlarge):

As part of the Planning Department’s basis for recommending approval of the project: the proposed retail use is "not Formula Retail" (unlike the proposed CVS on Sutter Street a block away).

UPDATE: The proposed Fern Street elevation in response to a reader's comment:

1433%20Bush%20Street%20Rendering%20Fern.gif

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

CVS Seeks Permission To Open In Building Trader Joe's Abandoned

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While Trader Joe's had signed a tentative lease for the ground floor of 1285 Sutter Street which has since been dubbed "Etta," they opened at California and Hyde instead. And in two weeks, CVS’s application to open a 24-hour store in the 9,500 square foot retail space at the base of the new building at Sutter and Van Ness will be heard by San Francisco’s Planning Commission which will have to approve the formula retailer's plans.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

September 12, 2013

San Francisco's Future Skyline And Transit Center Fully Animated

The latest animation for San Francisco's future Transbay Transit Center in which the Center is fully rendered, both inside and out, not only includes the 1,070-foot tall Transbay Tower to rise at the corner of First and Mission, but twenty-three other area developments and two parks which are either under construction, approved or slated to be built.

The full list, links and breakdown for all the new developments which make an appearance above:

1. 50 First Street (Office/Residential)
2. 201 Folsom Street (LUMINA) (Residential/Retail)
3. 530 Folsom Street (Rene Cazenave Apartments)
4. Foundry Square III (Office)
5. 181 Fremont Street (Office/Residential)
6. 325 Fremont Street (Residential)
7. 340 Fremont Street (Residential)
8. 399 Fremont Street (Residential)
9. 75 Howard Street (Residential)
10. 524 Howard Street (Residential)
11. 45 Lansing Street (Residential)
12. 350 Mission Street (Office)
13. 535 Mission Street (Office)
14. One Rincon Tower 2 (Residential)
15. Oscar Park (Park)
16. 222 Second Street (Office)
17. 41 Tehama Street (Residential)
18. Transbay Block 1 (Residential)
19. Transbay Blocks 2/3/4 (current Temporary Terminal) (Residential and Park)
20. Transbay Block 5 (TBD)
21. Transbay Block 6/7 (Residential/Retail)
23. Tranbay Block 8 (Residential)
24. Transbay Block 9 (Residential)

And yes, there are more to come.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (47) | (email story)

September 10, 2013

Fresh & Easy Saved, But Bayview Store To Be Shuttered

A U.S. based private investment firm has agreed to purchase the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain from the U.K. based Tesco with plans to continue operating the stores "with some changes...[to] make it even more relevant to today’s consumer" and plans "to build Fresh & Easy into a 'next-generation convenience retail experience,' providing busy consumers with more local and healthy access for their daily needs."

As part of the purchase agreement, however, a number of the stores will be shuttered, including San Francisco's Bayview location which will close on September 20.

Fresh & Easy's Parent Company Is Calling It Quits In The U.S. [SocketSite]
Fresh & Easy Acquired by The Yucaipa Companies LLC [freshandeasy.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

September 9, 2013

Lack Of Diversity Cited As Reason To Deny Marina Store

2460%20Lombard%20Street.jpg

Back in 2009, Pet Food Express was blocked from renovating and occupying the former Blockbuster Video store on Lombard at Divisadero due to "public opposition based on the competitive advantage of Formula Retail" and the Lombard Street site has sat vacant ever since.

As we wrote last month with respect to a renewed bid by Pet Food Express to occupy the space:

With a new study in hand concluding that Pet Food Express' proposed store "will not cause other pet specialty retail stores in San Francisco, as a group, to lose sales revenue," San Francisco’s Planning Department now supports Pet Food Express' proposed move. We'll note the aforementioned study was funded by Pet Food Express.
From the Planning Department’s recommendation of approval for Pet Food Express' new application to occupy the Lombard Street site: "Through analysis of the current mix of Formula Retail and independently owned retail outlets on Chestnut and Union Streets, it appears that the two types of ownership formats can co-exist as both those streets enjoy robust commercial activity, are considered destination neighborhoods, and neighborhood investment and pride is apparent. In comparison, Lombard Street has a much lower concentration of Formula Retail outlets and does not enjoy the level of commercial activity or investment similar to Chestnut and Union Streets do."
And atop the Department's basis for their approval: "The project promotes a viable retail outlet on Lombard Street which could act as a catalyst for additional commercial investment along Lombard Street."

Despite the Planning Department's support, the Planning Commission has once again voted to deny Pet Food Express' request to occupy the Lombard Street site.

The stated basis for the Commission’s disapproval which is slated to be formalized this week: the project is "not necessary or desirable" as it represents "an over-concentration of pet food/supply outlets" in the area; does not promote economic diversity; and represents "a duplication of services" as Pet Food Express operates a store at 3150 California Street, a little over one mile from the Lombard Street site.

A Flip-Flop For Pet Food Express And Formula Retail In SF? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

September 6, 2013

The Plan To Revive One Ferry Plaza

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With plans to expand and improve San Francisco’s Ferry Terminal in the works and Sinbad's days numbered, a number of readers have wondered what's to happen to One Ferry Plaza, the 18,300 square foot waterfront building behind the Ferry Building. We now have the answer.

According to the Business Times, the Tom family which is a little more than halfway through their 66-year master lease for the former World Trade Club building has engaged Kidder Mathews to market the property, seeking to attract "a major international restaurateur that could do north of $20 million in annual sales."

One Ferry Plaza is currently subleased to a Thai restaurant on a month-to-month basis.

The Plans To Expand San Francisco's Ferry Terminal And Service [SocketSite]
Wanted: $20 million waterfront restaurant behind Ferry Building [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

August 21, 2013

Let's Get Ready To Rubble For This 52-Story Tower To Rise

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As we first reported earlier this year:

Having acquired the Transbay parcel and approved plans to build a 52-story tower with 14 floors of condos over 400,000 square feet of office space and a spire reaching 800 feet, Silicon Valley builder Jay Paul plans to break ground on 181 Fremont as soon as possible.
While many have seen the renderings, for the first time we're publicly serving up the animation for the new tower which was filmed by steelblue for the Jay Paul Company. And yes, RocketSpace will soon need to find a new home.

Permits to demolish the buildings on the parcel at 181 Fremont have been issued and the Town Hall adjacent site upon which the 52-story tower will rise has been cordoned off.

181%20Fremont%202012.jpg

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (40) | (email story)

August 20, 2013

Two Proposals To Redevelop Pier 38, Including A Beer Garden

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The Port of San Francisco has received two responses to their request for proposals to redevelop San Francisco's Pier 38 bulkhead structure and a portion of the Pier 38 shed. The Pier 38 buildings were red tagged as unsafe for occupancy in 2011 when serving as office space for a number of startups and a couple of venture firms.

From the San Francisco Business Times with respect to the two competing proposals from San Francisco Waterfront Partners (SFWP) and TMG:

SFWP has proposed to use the first floor of the bulkhead building for a cafe and other restaurant uses, and the second floor for a technology co-working facility, perhaps operated by SoMa Central, which ran the tech incubator space prior to 2011. SFPW is also in talks with the Slanted Door Restaurant Group for creation of an Asian casual cafe and is proposing a San Francisco Beer Garden on the northside of the bulkhead building, facing the new Brannan Street Wharf.
TMG’s vision is based on "immediate revitalization of the Pier 38 Bulkhead with a mix of public, office, and maritime uses." The TMG proposal, which would cost $6.9 million, is focused on speed. TMG would limit its initial investment to meet accessibility and code requirements to activate the bulkhead building as quickly as possible.
The southern portion of the bulkhead building's first floor and the west portion of the mezzanine area would be used for office. The northern portion of the bulkhead building’s first floor could be used as an informal dining area, including an area for a food truck program. TMG has been in talks with several of the former tenants of the building as well as food truck organizer Off The Grid.

Port staff are slated to recommend a winning proposal to the Port Commission next month.

Putting Lipstick On The Red-Tagged Pig Of Pier 38? [SocketSite]
Two years after evictions, who's in the running to revive Pier 38 [Business Times]

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

August 15, 2013

Square On Track For Move To Market Street In September

1455 Market Street

Square will begin their move to Market Street next month, with a lease for 150,000 square feet across four of the twenty-two floors at 1455 Market Street between 10th and 11th. It's enough space to grow from 600 to 1,000 workers, with options to double the size.

The new space will have the obligatory glass conference rooms and open floor plan, with a block-long common area on the sixth floor.

Yahoo is taking over Square's current space in the Chronicle complex which is slated to be demolished in five years.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

August 14, 2013

Waylaid By Two Downturns Downtown, Will There Be A Third?

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First approved for development over a decade ago with plans for an 11-story hotel and restaurant to rise on the little downtown parking lot at 72 Ellis Street, the owners of the parcel were given until 2004 to start construction on the site:

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In the wake of the dot-com collapse and decline in tourism following September 11th, the approved performance period was extended from 2004 to 2007, at which point "the collapse of the housing market and overall poor economic conditions" led the Planning Commission to extend the performance period until 2010.

Having yet to start construction much less secure permits for the project, but wishing "to preserve the opportunity to construct the project given the current state of the economy," the owners of the lot are now seeking a third three-year extension which would preserve their option to develop the lot until August 15, 2016.

"Given the age of the original entitlements and the number of previous extensions," however, San Francisco's Planning Department is recommending the Planning Commission limit the term of the requested extension to one year (to August 15, 2014).

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

August 13, 2013

Razing Ginsberg's To Build A Non-Beat Hotel

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Constructed in 1906 and empty since Ginsberg's Dublin Pub vacated a few years ago, the owners of the one-story building on the northwest corner of Bay and Mason are working on plans to raze the building and build a boutique hotel on the site.

The proposed four-story hotel has been designed with 15 rooms with two roof decks for guests. No parking would be provided on-site. And with a bit of retail space on the ground floor, the new building would rise a total of 40 feet in height.

Having been constructed over 50 years ago, a Historic Resource Evaluation will need to be prepared for the existing building at 400 Bay before it may be razed. And of course, there's always a chance a neighbor or two might Howl.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

August 12, 2013

Designs For 333 Brannan And Millions For The Neighborhood

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Kilroy Reality is moving forward with plans to demolish the two small industrial buildings and sixty-six space surface parking lot at the corner of Brannan and Stanford and build a six-story office building with a bit of ground-floor retail on the South Beach site two blocks from the ballpark.

The proposed 180,000 square foot building includes 5 car sharing spaces and parking for 40 other autos, two spaces of which would be allocated for the retail use.

A courtyard along Stanford and another along Brannan break-up the building’s mass:

With nearly $8 million of impact fees to be paid to the City for the $90 million project, San Francisco’s Planning Department recommends the Planning Commission approve the project and variances necessary to proceed as proposed.

Construction would last approximately 15 months. And if approved this week, 333 Brannan could be ready for occupancy by the winter of 2015.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

August 9, 2013

Randy Rooster's Castro Street Plans Have Been Plucked

400 Castro Street

The investment group which had grand plans to open a "Randy Rooster" burlesque club in the Castro has withdrawn their $7.7 million offer for the old Bank of America building at 400 Castro Street and the group appears to have abandoned their plans to open a club.

According to the Bay Area Reporter, the investment group's chief operating officer's cell phone has been disconnected, an email to the group's spokeswoman resulted in a message that she was out of the office until next week, and the spokeswoman's associate did not respond to their inquiry.

A sales associate for Colliers International did respond, however, noting that the 400 Castro Street building is back on the market or available for lease, the rent for which is negotiable.

While The Rumor Mill Was Grinding Away, No Strip Club On Castro [SocketSite]
SF gay burlesque club drops plans to buy Castro building [ebar.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

Recycling Center On Webster Isn't Being Evicted, It's Gone

Webster%20Street%20Recycling%20Center.jpg

While the Community Recycling center at Church and Market has been served an eviction notice, it turns out the recycling center in the northeast corner of Safeway’s Webster Street parking lot isn't going to be evicted, it's gone.

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

August 8, 2013

The State Of San Francisco's Downtown: Housing, Jobs, Parking

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Of the roughly 1,300 new housing units which were built in San Francisco last year, up from only 269 the year before, 900 were within the greater Downtown area. There are now 1,750 units under construction in San Francisco's Downtown with another 567 permitted or approved to be built.

While overall employment in San Francisco increased 4% last year, it was actually flat Downtown with a slight loss in the number of office jobs offset by an increase in retail. Expect the count of Downtown office jobs to jump by the end of 2013, driven by a push to Mid-Market.

And in terms of parking, at the end of 2012 there were 33,400 off-street parking spaces Downtown, no change from 2011 and roughly 20% of the 166,520 spaces citywide. The city has a stated goal of limiting the number of off-street parking spaces to the number that existed in 1984 by restricting the supply of spaces within any new development.

The Planning Department's full Monitoring Report for San Francisco's Downtown will be presented to San Francisco's Planning Commission this afternoon.

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

Recycling Centers Evicted From Safeway Lots

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The recycling center at Church and Market which has been operating on the eastern corner of Safeway's Market Street parcel for nearly three decades has been issued an eviction notice.

According to the Haighteration report and Safeway spokesperson Wendy Gutsall, the reason for the eviction is twofold: "First, the widespread availability of curbside recycling makes such a facility obsolete, and second, the facility has a negative impact on customers and neighbors."

Community Recyclers has been ordered to vacate the Upper Market site which is right across the street from the LINEA and 2001 Market Street developments by September 6.

UPDATE: The recycling center in Safeway's Webster Street lot isn't being evicted as well, it's gone.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (109) | (email story)

August 7, 2013

A Flip-Flop For Pet Food Express And Formula Retail In SF?

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Due to "public opposition based on the competitive advantage of Formula Retail," San Francisco’s Planning Commission voted 5 to 2 to deny Pet Food Express' application to renovate and occupy the former Blockbuster Video store on Lombard at Divisadero in 2009. The site has sat vacant since.

With a new study in hand concluding that Pet Food Express' proposed store "will not cause other pet specialty retail stores in San Francisco, as a group, to lose sales revenue," San Francisco’s Planning Department now supports Pet Food Express' proposed move. We'll note the aforementioned study was funded by Pet Food Express.

From the Planning Department’s recommendation of approval for Pet Food Express' new application to occupy the Lombard Street site:

Through analysis of the current mix of Formula Retail and independently owned retail outlets on Chestnut and Union Streets, it appears that the two types of ownership formats can co-exist as both those streets enjoy robust commercial activity, are considered destination neighborhoods, and neighborhood investment and pride is apparent. In comparison, Lombard Street has a much lower concentration of Formula Retail outlets and does not enjoy the level of commercial activity or investment similar to Chestnut and Union Streets do.

And atop the Department's basis for their approval: "The project promotes a viable retail outlet on Lombard Street which could act as a catalyst for additional commercial investment along Lombard Street."

On August 8, the members of San Francisco’s Planning Commission will once again cast their votes with four merchant associations supporting the proposal, four against, and signatures from local residents running five to one against.

Pet Food Express and Pets Unlimited Lombard Street Hearing Packet [sfplanning.org]
The Formula For Success Or Protectionism In San Francisco? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

August 6, 2013

Plan To Convert San Francisco Design Center Building Pitched

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A plan to convert over two-thirds of the San Francisco Design Center building at 2 Henry Adams Street from showroom space to general office use has been pitched to Planning.

Zoned for Production, Distribution & Repair (PDR), the conversion of the building to office use is not allowed by San Francisco’s Planning Code as of right. In fact, the conversion flies in the face of a key objective of San Francisco’s Showplace Square/Potrero Hill Area Plan which seeks to preserve the supply of PDR space within the district.

Another key objective of the Showplace Square/Potrero Hill Area Plan, however, is to ensure the economic viability of historically significant buildings, providing an exception for the conversion of such buildings to office use. And as such, the owners of 2 Henry Adams are planning to seek a Landmark Designation for the building which would clear the way for its conversion.

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

August 5, 2013

Strand Renovation Set For September Start, Reopening In 2015

The Strand Theater

With permits in place, ACT's renovation of the old Strand Theater at 1127 Market Street is slated to get started this September, re-opening in January 2015.

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And as we first reported last week, MacFarlane Partners is moving forward with plans for a 12-story building with 150 apartments on the vacant lot next door.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

August 1, 2013

Yahoo! Inks Lease For Chronicle Space And San Francisco Team

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Yahoo! has officially inked a lease for the Chronicle building space at Fifth and Mission which Square will be vacating in September and to which Yahoo! plans to move their San Francisco team later this year.

In the process of "designing a cool, fun and beautiful space to inspire collaboration and innovation," Yahoo’s office will include the requisite onsite food service and game room.

Technically within the old Examiner Building at 110 Fifth Street which is connected to the Chronicle Building by a pedestrian bridge over Minna, the space into which Yahoo! is moving is slated to demolished in 2018 as part of Forrest City’s massive 5M Project.

With over a million new square feet of office space, 750 new dwelling units, and 150,000 square feet of ground floor retail planned as part of the 5M Project, there will be plenty of options for Yahoo! to move and expand, a discussion that's already in the works.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

July 30, 2013

Kaiser Permanente's Mission Bay Parcel Purchase: Timing And Terms

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Kaiser Permanente is paying $55.2 million for the parcel of land upon which they will be building their new Medical Services building at 1600 Owens Street in Mission Bay, having canceled their contentious plan to build a few blocks away at the base of Potrero Hill.

The sale of the parcel which is zoned for 10-stories and 246,000 square feet is slated to close in December. Alexandria Real Estate, the seller, will manage the construction of Kaiser’s new building, the original designs for which are likely to be tweaked.

1600%20Owens%20Street%20Rendering.jpg

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

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 29, 2013

Yahoo Circling Square's Chronicle Building Space

With Square moving six blocks away to 1455 Market between Tenth and Eleventh in September, Yahoo is reportedly close to signing a lease for Square’s current digs in the Chronicle Building at Fifth and Mission.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

Patio Cafe Ready For Reopening Following Decade Long Delay

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Having operated on Castro Street since the 1960’s, the Patio Café was purchased by Les Natali in 1989. In 1992, the patio at the rear of the property was enclosed and a retractable roof was installed over the dining area (click floor plans to enlarge).

In 1999, the Patio Café was closed for remodeling and to correct a number of code violations and the Café has remained closed ever since.

While the remodeling and expansion of the Patio Café into two of the former retail spaces which front its location at 531 Castro Street have been completed since 2012, the permit for the Café’s expansion was approved in error and Natali's application to reopen the remodeled restaurant was denied.

This week, San Francisco’s Planning Commission is slated to authorize the use of the expanded space for the Patio Café. And if authorized, the Café intends to reopen "very soon" and without another decade-long delay.

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

Transbay Transit Center Changes: More Than Skin Deep

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With San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center project running a projected $300 million over budget, proposed changes to the Transit Center's design are more than skin deep.

In addition to the Center’s new perforated aluminum skin which will employ a Penrose pattern and be coated in white epoxy flecked with mica for bits of sheen, a new café on the west end of the transit center's rooftop park seems to be growing in size as consultants "see a potential revenue source and dining hot spot."

Transbay Center Project Running $300 Million Over Budget [SocketSite]
Rising Construction Costs Getting Under The Transbay Center's Skin [SocketSite]
New skin, rooftop cafe alter Transbay Center plan [Chronicle]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

July 24, 2013

Local Mission Market: Behind (And Above) The Development

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Having successfully raised the funds to develop the market’s webstore, iPad app, and other technology last week, the physical development of Local Mission Market continues to make progress with a target opening of the market at 2660 Harrison Street this summer.

Above the market which will focus on local and handmade foods with online ordering and a pick-up window (or delivery), a new story has been added to the old two-story building, with three new residential units in the Mission on the way.

And as a plugged-in reader reports, while one of the new units will be a four-bedroom unit for the building’s owners, the other two units will be two-bedrooms and offered for rent.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (42) | (email story)

July 22, 2013

The Formula For Success Or Protectionism In San Francisco?

In 2004, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors adopted San Francisco’s first “formula retail” use controls, adding Section 703.3 (“Formula Retail Uses”) to San Francisco’s Planning Code to establish a definition of formula retail and a regulatory framework “to protect a diverse retail base with distinct neighborhood retailing personalities comprised of a mix of businesses.”

The Ordinance established the existing definition for formula retail as “a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment which, along with eleven or more other retail sales establishments, maintains two or more of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized façade, a standardized décor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or a servicemark.” This first identification of formula retail in the Planning Code provided the following controls:
1. Mandated Neighborhood Notification for most permitted uses in Neighborhood Commercial Districts (NCDs); 2. Required Conditional Use (CU) authorization for operation in specific blocks and lots in the area of Cole and Carl Streets and Parnassus and Stanyan Streets; and, 3. Established a prohibition on all formula retail uses within the Hayes-Gough Neighborhood Commercial District.
The 2004 Ordinance established a precedent for formula retail controls; a number of amendments in quick succession added districts in which formula retail uses require CU authorization, including: 2005 amendments that added the Haight Street NCD and the small-scale NCD along Divisadero Street between Haight and Turk Streets, and a 2006 amendment that added the Japantown Special Use District (SUD). In addition, a 2005 amendment added a prohibition on formula retail uses in the North Beach NCD. In 2006, Section 803.6 was added to the Planning Code, requiring CU authorization for formula retail uses in the Western SoMa Planning Area SUD.
In 2007, formula retail controls were further expanded when San Francisco voters approved Proposition G, the so-called “Small Business Protection Act,” which amended the Planning Code by adding Section 703.4, requiring CU authorization for formula retail uses (as defined in the Code) proposed for any NCD.

The passage of Proposition G set the stage for a series of further amendments to the Planning Code that have further limited formula retail uses in a range of zoning districts, through CU authorization requirements and prohibitions, as mapped above (click map to enlarge).

In 2007, a study by Ridley & Associates compared the economic impacts of "local stores" vs. "chain stores" and established three major findings:

First, formula retailers provide goods and services at a more affordable cost and can serve as retail anchors for developing neighborhoods. Second, these formula retailers can also attract new customers, and offer a greater selection of goods and services. Third, conversely, independent businesses generate a higher investment return, and overall economic growth, for the local economy in comparison to formula retailers…because they tend to pay higher wages; purchase goods and services from local businesses at twice the rate as chain stores; and employees and owners tend to live in the local area, therefore returning their earnings back to the local community.

In addition to seven other proposed or pending modifications to San Francisco’s formula retail controls which are already in the works, this week San Francisco’s Planning Commission is slated to consider a draft Ordinance from Supervisor Cohen to create the Third Street Formula Retail Restricted Use District along Third Street from Williams Avenue to Egbert Avenue and require Conditional Use authorization for any new formula retail use within said District.

With Formula Retail defined as more than eleven (11) locations, keep in mind that Blue Bottle Coffee, which now has six locations in the Bay Area and five in New York, would be prohibited from opening up a store on Third Street between Williams and Egbert without a hearing and special authorization from the Planning Commission.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (84) | (email story)

July 17, 2013

Presenting The Strategy For Saving San Francisco's Japantown

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The strategy for saving San Francisco’s Japantown, seeking to secure Japantown’s future as the historical and cultural heart of the Japanese community and as a physically attractive, vibrant and thriving commercial district has been finalized.

The Japantown Cultural Heritage and Economic Sustainability Strategy (JCHESS) includes the creation of a Community Development Corporation, a Community Benefits District, a Neighborhood Commercial District, and making improvements to Peace Plaza and the Buchanan Mall.

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The plan will be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission tomorrow with the public hearings needed for the JCHESS to become City policy anticipated to be held in September.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

July 15, 2013

From Rendering To Reality On Folsom, New Plaza Up Next

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Slated to re-open later this year with Riverbed Technology and Macys.com as anchor tenants, the re-skinning and rebuilding of 680 Folsom Street which kicked off early last year and topped out this past October is nearly complete.

680 Folsom Rendering

The project will yield 505,000 square feet of office space with a new public plaza and 15,000-square-foot retail or cultural building to be built at the corner of Folsom and Third.

As the corner and 680 Folsom Street previously appeared:

680/690 Folsom

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

July 12, 2013

Kaiser Cancels Potrero Hill Plans, Will Build In Mission Bay Instead

Kaiser Permanente’s Potrero Hill MOB Rendering

Kaiser Permanente has canceled their contentious plan to build an 84-foot high Medical Services Building at 16th and Mississippi and will build a few blocks away in Mission Bay instead.

"We...selected the site on the corner of 16th and Mississippi Streets in lower Potrero Hill, because of its close proximity to a large segment of our members. As we continued through the process, however, it became clear that building medical offices at this location was going to take more time and cost more than we had originally anticipated.
Ultimately, we have found an alternate site at 1600 Owens Street in Mission Bay, which is only a few blocks away and offers the same convenience for our members as the Potrero Hill location. The new site will allow us to open our medical offices about two years earlier than we would have been able to do otherwise — which means our members will have more convenient access to their health care much sooner. Located on the east side of I-280, the site is well-served by public transportation and in an area that’s devoted to innovative health care."

The 1600 Owens Street site is zoned for Medical Office use and a building up to 10 stories.

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Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

July 10, 2013

Blooming Big Plans For San Francisco Flower Mart Site

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While the site of the two-story San Francisco Flower Mart complex is currently zoned for development up to 55 feet in height, as part of Planning’s Central Corridor Plan the parcel could be up-zoned for heights of up to 65 feet (the "Mid-Rise Alternative") or even 85 feet (the "High Rise Alternative").

That being said, with plans for a mid-rise residential development on the site having fallen through in 2005, an ambitious new plan to raze 46,000 square feet of the Flower Mart and build a pair of office buildings rising up to 160 feet at the corner of Sixth and Brannan has been drafted and quietly submitted to Planning for their reaction.

The proposed project would yield over 500,000 square feet of office space, 80,000 square feet for parking, and 16,000 square feet of ground floor retail on the 575 Sixth Street site with a nine-story building connected to an 11-story building by pedestrian bridges at the fifth and sixth levels.

The project would also include an extension of Morris Street from Bryant to Brannan via new a pedestrian walkway.

The Planning Department’s initial reaction to the project and proposed heights:

The proposed heights significantly exceed what is allowed under the current zoning. The proposed heights also significantly exceed what is envisioned in the proposed Central Corridor Plan area for this site. The basic urban form and land use principles of the draft Central Corridor Plan are for a predominant mid-rise (55-feet to 130-feet tall) district with large floor plate character combined with strategically located and widely-spaced slender towers near key transit stops, with heights tapering down to Western SoMa (i.e. toward Sixth Street). Building heights as proposed will need extensive shadow, view, skyline, and immediate context analysis to assess the appropriateness of their heights, bulk, and spacing.
The Planning Department recommends the height of the eastern most building not exceed 85 feet tall per the proposed height limits; the building wing to the west should be sculpted to step down to Sixth Street and should not exceed 65 feet in height.

The Department does, however, support the development of a publicly accessible mid-block alley connecting Brannan with Morris ("as wide as the Morris Street right-of-way") and "recommends preserving the possibility of accommodating a new alley connecting Sixth Street to Morris Street and any future alley network typical of SoMa blocks."

In order for the project to proceed as proposed, the Board of Supervisors would need to approve a Height District Reclassification for the subject parcel. As the Board approved an up-zoning for the development of 8 Washington, why not here as well?

Are The Big Plans For San Francisco's Central Corridor Big Enough? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (52) | (email story)

July 8, 2013

More Housing For Prominent Mission Bay Block Number One

Mission Bay Block 1 Concept

The redevelopment plan for Mission Bay South was outlined and approved fifteen years ago. As part of the plan, the prominent Mission Bay Block 1, the northeastern gateway to the neighborhood, was zoned for the development of a 500 room hotel and up to 50,000 square feet of retail as rendered above. Last year Mission Bay Block 1 was sold to Strada Investment Group.

While hotel room and occupancy rates in San Francisco are booming, according to an analysis by Strada, the economic feasibility of a 500-room hotel "is not financially viable in today’s market" and the group has designed a plan for the site which includes the development of a 250-room hotel, 25,000 square feet of retail, and 350 residential units:

Mission%20Bay%20Block%201%202013.jpg

Having been passed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on its first reading last month, tomorrow an amendment to the Mission Bay South redevelopment plan which was sponsored by the Mayor is slated to be approved, changing the zoning of Mission Bay Block 1 to allow for the development of Strada's desired 350 residential units as well.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

July 1, 2013

Illy Aims To Open Up The Street From Where Starbucks Was Denied

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While Starbucks’ application to renovate and occupy the former retail space at 2201 Market Street was shot down by San Francisco’s Planning Commission in May, Italian powerhouse illy has filed for permits to renovate the former Mirrors & Frames shop at 2349 Market Street and open an Espressamete illy in its place.

Roaring Donkey’s application to convert the space into a bar was put on hold last year.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (127) | (email story)

June 26, 2013

LUMINA (The Development Heretofore Known As 201 Folsom)

LUMINA.jpg

The name for the development heretofore known as 201 Folsom Street has been revealed. Presenting LUMINA, a joint venture between Tishman Speyer and China Vanke.

LUMINA’s 655 condos, studios to three-bedrooms, will average 1,275 square feet and should be ready for occupancy by summer of 2015. The building's sales office is slated to open mid-2014.

The development's two commercial spaces include a 1,000 square foot space at the corner of Folsom and Beale envisioned as a cafe and a 9,500 square foot space along Folsom Street envisioned as "a restaurant or upscale market."

The Arquitectonica Redesigned 201 Folsom Street Rendering Scoop [SocketSite]
201 Folsom Towers Floor Plan Sneak Peek [SocketSite]
Tishman Teams With China On 201 Folsom, Plans To Start Soon [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (68) | (email story)

Planning’s Assessment Of Apple’s Union Square Plans: Concerns And Considerations

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With Mayor Ed Lee having prematurely deemed the design and plans for Apple's proposed retail store on Union Square as being "quite simply incredible," San Francisco’s Planning Department is now on the record with their preliminary assessment of Apple’s plans, including concerns about "the proposed building’s energy performance, particularly given San Francisco’s commitments to climate change mitigation and adaptation."

The challenge of this site is arriving at a design that must serve several objectives equally: first, it must respond to the desired identity of the heart of San Francisco as defined in the Downtown Plan and the Urban Design Element of the City’s General Plan, and the KMMS Conservation District, while also answering to the desired identity of Apple Inc. In other words, it must be an integral part of San Francisco’s historic Union Square district and Apple both at the same time. Second, the design must also respond to San Francisco’s particular environment – its sun, wind, fog and the color of its light. Finally, the building should not be so purpose-built that it will look out of place in the future and not work for potential future tenants.

The Planning Department’s specific concerns with Apple’s proposed plan for the 300 Post Street site and a few suggestions for the project’s facades and integration:

1. Open Space Design. The Planning Department has concerns about the relationship between the proposed plaza design and the adjacent sidewalk. The proposal would reduce public visibility from the street toward the plaza by providing only a narrow stairwell, rather than the current wide cascading stairs. It would also result in a broad blank wall along much of the Stockton Street the sidewalk. Specifically, the Planning Department would like to see the edge of the open space along Stockton Street more integrated with the sidewalk. The Planning Department recommends the following modifications to the plaza so that it feels open and inviting to the public:
a. Maintain as wide of a staircase as possible into the plaza, in order to create a more visible, inviting and usable edge along the sidewalk. Consider eliminating the walls at the sidewalk and extending the stairs the entire width of the plaza to enhance the invitation and quality of the plaza area fronting the street.
b. Reduce the riser height and extend the tread depth of the staircase leading into the plaza.
c. Consider the retention or relocation of the Ruth Asawa fountain as a part of the new reconfigured plaza, perhaps connecting it to, and integrating it with, another water theme within the plaza. If not feasible, the Department would like to work with the Sponsors to find an alternative location for its display within the City.
d. Include identifying signage for the open space, consistent with Planning Code Section 138(i).
2. Historic Preservation. The design as proposed requires modifications to demonstrate compatibility with the KMMS Conservation District. The Department encourages a contemporary design for this project; however, the overall design and detailing should relate to the established patterns, rhythm and architectural character found within the District. Please see the description of the District’s character-defining features and design guidelines summarized in the Planning Code Compliance section of this letter, as well as Appendix E of Planning Code Article 11.
3. Architecture. While it is understood that the large transparent façade along Post Street and a large nontransparent wall along Stockton Street is integral to the design concept, the Planning Department believes that there are ways of achieving the desired design concept while still responding to the fine-grain scale found within the District.
Post Street Façade: The Post Street façade should feature increased modulation and definition, such as strengthening and defining the top and bottom of the building, incorporating vertical elements to break the contiguous plane of the glass wall, and/or adding color, pattern or texture to the glass wall. The Planning Department recommends creating a distinct and identifiable entry and articulating a base to create a usable edge of the building. The lack of articulation and the single-surface glazing wall of approximately 115’ absent a defined pedestrian entry is a departure from the characteristic pattern of the District.
Stockton Street Façade: The Stockton Street façade should include a more active, transparent treatment, as required through Planning Code Section 145.1, and discussed in more detail under the Planning Code Compliance section of this letter. The lack of transparent fenestration and articulation proposed along the Stockton Street façade would create an approximately 80’-0” blank wall along an important commercial street with high pedestrian volumes in the heart of the City’s premier retail district. While the slope and location of structural and programmatic building elements may preclude an ideal solution, possible means of achieving the intent may include a combination of the following: (a) fenestration that increases visibility into the store; (b) display windows; and (c) recessing the building wall from the street to allow for landscape, water and/or seating to generate an active zone, thereby tempering the otherwise minimally embellished Stockton Street façade.
Service Tower: The service tower should create a transition between the massing and detailing of the primary retail frontage and the adjacent historic fabric. Specifically, the service tower should use cladding material and fenestration patterns that are compatible with the surrounding context.
4. Streetscape. The Department recommends incorporating features recommended in the Downtown Streetscape Plan such as street trees and benches into the design, particularly along the Post and Stockton Street frontages.
5. Green Building. Proposed design features for the Post Street façade, particularly the contiguous expansive glazing wall, may result in a significant increase in energy consumption. The Planning Department recommends modifying the design by incorporating passive shading structures or by employing advanced glazing systems to reduce thermal loading and demonstrate a net reduction in energy consumption within the new structure. The San Francisco Department of the Environmental also expressed initial concerns to the Planning Department about the proposed building’s energy performance, particularly given San Francisco’s commitments to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

"The Planning Department will provide further detailed design review on the subsequent submission of materials and details to insure that an acceptable and compatible design is achieved."

Apple's Union Square Store Design: Simply Incredible, Indeed [SocketSite]
Apple's Plan For A Flagship Store On Union Square [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (email story)

June 21, 2013

The Chips Don’t Fall In Chipotle’s Favor: Request Denied

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Following the Planning Department’s reasoning and recommendation, San Francisco’s Planning Commission has denied Chipotle’s application to renovate and occupy the empty one-story building at 2100 Market Street, formerly home to "Home" which vacated the building in 2011.

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Keep in mind that the Commission’s rejection of Chipotle’s request was based on Chipotle being a formula retailer, not based on there being a better use for the Upper Market site which is zoned for development up to 65-feet in height.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (52) | (email story)

June 20, 2013

Plans For First Mid-Market Grocery Coming To Fruition

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As we first reported last year, the plans for the Market Square building 1355 Market Street included a grocery at the corner of Market and 10th Street (click plan to enlarge).

With Small Foods having signed-on as the operator, detailed plans for the full-service grocery which has been described as "a cross between a locally owned Whole Foods and a smaller version of the Ferry Building marketplace" will be formally announced at any moment.

1355 Market Square Scoop: Three New Restaurants And A Grocery [SocketSite]
The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]
Twitter building lands grocery anchor, Mid-Market's first [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

June 18, 2013

Chipotle's Designs For Upper Market And Planning's Opposition

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This week, San Francisco’s Planning Commission is set to review and vote on Chipotle’s request to renovate and occupy the vacant one-story building at 2100 Market Street which was last occupied by the restaurant "Home" two years ago.

2100%20Market%20Street%20Building.jpg

The project would not increase the exterior dimensions of the existing building but would involve interior improvements and alterations to the building's facade.

2100%20Market%20Street%20Rendering.jpg

The project would create a 600 square‐foot outdoor patio to the west of the building where there is currently a partially enclosed storage area, screened from Market Street behind an eight foot high wall which Chipotle would adorn with a mural.

2100%20Market%20Street%20Plan.gif

Supporting Chipotle's project: The Merchants of Upper Market & Castro; the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District; 34 letters/emails from local merchants; 48 letters/emails from the public; a petition of support with 1,661 signatures; and an online petition with 433 signatures

Opposing Chipotle’s project: the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association; 10 letters/emails local merchants; 3 letters/emails from the public; a petition in opposition with 255 signatures; and an online petition with 773 signatures.

And the recommendation from San Francisco's Planning Department to the Commission: disapprove Chipotle’s request to renovate and occupy the former Home on Market Street as proposed.

The stated basis for the Planning Department’s recommendation:

There are currently 10 Formula Retail Uses that occupy commercial frontage within 300 feet of the project site that include Sterling Bank & Trust, Ace Hardware, Walgreens, Crossroads Trading, Good Feet, Safeway, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, GNC, and Mike’s Camera that occupy approximately 733.5 linear feet of commercial frontage within 300 feet of the project site, resulting in a formula retail concentration of approximately 27%. The proposed Chipotle would further increase the concentration formula retail to approximately 36% within 300 feet of the project site.
The Upper Market NCT is already well served by several nearby independently owned restaurants, Casa Mexicana at 180 Church, Taqueria El Castillito at 136 Church, and Chilango at 235 Church that already offer products that similar or identical to those offered by Chipotle.
The Project would be detrimental to the neighborhood by occupying a prominent corner lot with a formula retail use that uses standardized color schemes, decor and signage that will detract from the distinctive character of the Upper Market Neighborhood which includes primarily local, independent retail businesses.

Last month, San Francisco’s Planning Commission shot down Starbucks’ proposal to renovate and occupy the retail space at 2201 Market Street (in part based on the Planning Department’s concerns with respect to the concentration of formula retail in the area) but approved the application for CVS to renovate and occupy a long vacant retail space at 2280 Market Street, roughly 400 feet away from the proposed Starbucks.

Unmentioned by Planning, the potential for building up to 65-feet high on the 2100 Market site.

Starbucks' Market Street Plan Shot Down By Planning [SocketSite]
The Designs For 2201 Market Street And Great Starbucks Divide [SocketSite]
Planning For A CVS: The Designs For 2280 Market Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (77) | (email story)

June 17, 2013

Designs For Building Up On Brannan And Parking Going Down

270%20Brannan%20Site.jpg

As a plugged-in reader noted when we first published the plans to build upon the 94 space parking lot at 345 Brannan Street, plans to raze the regularly filled parking lot and single-story building behind the lot at 270 Brannan on the other side of Second Street are also in the works.

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As proposed, an office building rising five and seven stories high with 172,000 square feet of space and parking for 12 cars will be constructed upon the Brannan Street site between the historic Hawley and Gallo buildings.

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Between the building's five-story facade along Brannan Street and its seven story height behind, a private 5,000 square foot atrium would sit (as could the building’s tenants):

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In addition to 12 parking spaces, a net loss of roughly 100 spaces for the site, the basement of the building would include parking for 33 bikes with adjacent showers and lockers.

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From the Planning Department with respect to the building’s proposed design and fit within San Francisco’s South End Landmark District:

270 Brannan Street is located in a mixed character area of the landmark district with examples of older brick warehouses with deeply recessed openings and newer reinforced concrete warehouses with steel‐sash windows. The proposed project addresses this mixed character area by directly referencing the adjacent historic resources, and by incorporating similar design elements, including a high proportion of mass to void, recessed fenestration, and a vertical façade orientation.
Along Brannan Street, the façade is organized to emphasis the vertical orientation as evidenced by the alternating bays of terracotta tile and fenestration and the reinforced concrete columns on the ground floor. In addition, this street façade provides for a seven‐inch setback between aluminum‐sash windows and the terracotta cladding, thus providing for a deep shadow line along the street façade.

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The proposed project is consistent and compatible with the district’s details, as evidenced by the proposed project’s façade organization and cornice articulation, which reference characteristics found within the South End Landmark District. The proposed project draws from the district’s typical warehouse façade design, as evidenced by the façade composition of base, shaft and cornice (Beaux‐Arts organization/form) and larger‐scale vehicular opening.
To reinforce the regularized tri‐partite composition, the Brannan Street façade includes a tall ground floor level with a heavy reinforced concrete belt course and three stories of alternating vertical bays of fenestration and terracotta tile capped by the simple painted metal angle cornice. The painted metal angle provides a contemporary and compatible interpretation of the district’s simple cornice lines. This façade organization references the organizational scheme of the later warehouses within the district, while still evoking the pilaster elements found within some of the district’s earlier brick warehouses.
As is common within larger district, the entryways feature additional detailing, including brick surrounds, smaller canopies and signage. The proposed project references the entryway details by providing for a simple projecting canopy, which denotes the project’s main entryway along Brannan Street.

San Francisco’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is slated to provide its thoughts on the building and its fit this week.

Parking Lot And Development Alert: The Designs For 345 Brannan [SocketSite]
San Francisco's Historic <1 Percent And Eleven Landmark Districts [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

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 13, 2013

Moving Quietly (And Quickly) With Plans To Raze Manor West

750%20Harrison%20Street%20Site.jpg

The owner of the one-story building at 750 Harrison Street, between Third and Fourth streets with a frontage on Rizal as well, is quietly working on plans to raze the one-story commercial building on the site and build an 8-story building of up to 85-feet in its place.

Currently home to SoMa's Manor West nightclub, the early designs for the proposed 8-story building on the site include 77 Single Room Occupancy units averaging 375 square feet; 2,826 square feet of commercial space; a common 2,671 square foot landscaped roof deck for residents; and one parking spot.

Currently zoned for 85-feet, San Francisco's proposed Central Corridor Plan maintains the 85-foot height limit on the Harrison Street side of the 750 Harrison Street parcel but downzones the Rizal Street side to 45 feet "in order to reduce any net new potential for shadow on the Alice Street Community Garden" which is due north of the site.

The Central Corridor Plan is currently anticipated to be up for adoption in late 2014. Approvals for the proposed 750 Harrison Street project would be assessed based on the height districts in place at the time that the entitlement's to build are sought, hence the "quickly" above.

Are The Big Plans For San Francisco's Central Corridor Big Enough? [SocketSite]
Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040 [SocketSite]

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

June 11, 2013

The Dead Serious Designs For Miniature Golf In The Mission

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Formerly a mortuary, San Francisco’s Planning Commission approved the redevelopment of 1096 South Van Ness Avenue for use as a restaurant in 2005. And while some improvements for that project were completed, the restaurant never opened and the building sits vacant.

Tomorrow, the Planning Commission will vote on whether or not to allow Urban Putt’s proposal to open a 2,100 square foot miniature golf course, bar and restaurant in the building on the northwest corner of South Van Ness and 22nd Street to proceed.

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Early designs for the proposed eighteen-hole course include the Trans American Windmill and More Cowbell on hole number 13:

Urban%20Putt%20Hole%2013.gif

The restaurant and bar would be primarily located on the second floor, click the plans for the building to enlarge.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

June 6, 2013

The Brewing 8 Washington Street Ballot Measure Battle Simplified

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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)

Grocery Outlet’s Plans For A Shuttered Cala Are Slated For Approval

6333 Geary Site

Vacant since the end of 2010 when Cala Foods moved out, this afternoon San Francisco’s Planning Commission is expected to approve Grocery Outlet’s proposal to take over and renovate the 13,500 square foot retail space at 6333 Geary Boulevard.

The proposal involves interior remodeling work as well as exterior improvements including new metal canopies murals on the building's west facade. The parking lot will be reconfigured to accommodate 28 cars with handicap parking versus 30 spaces before.

The project will provide landscaping and perimeter fencing to screen the parking area where none existed currently, installing 30-inch high green screen fencing and planting strips, shrubs, and trees. In addition, a total of eight (8) new street trees would be planted along the sidewalks on 271h Avenue, Geary Boulevard, and 28th Avenue (click images to enlarge):

San Francisco's Planning Department recommends approval for the project, the permits for which were filed in February with hopes for a quick start.

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

June 4, 2013

CVS's Intense Plans For An Empty Building On 19th Avenue

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Built as an auto showroom, the 32,000 square foot building at the corner of 1900 19th Avenue and Ortega Street has sat empty since 2009 when the US Postal Service vacated, having used the building for a sorting facility for twenty-five years.

For the past two years, CVS has been working on plans to remodel, repurpose and convert the building into a formula retail store (click designs to enlarge).

The building’s loading dock would be converted to retail space, replaced by an on-street loading area along Ortega. Atop the building, a primary parking area would provide 31 parking spaces. A parking lot across the street would be used for accessory parking.

This week, San Francisco's Planning Commission will decided the store’s fate with the Planning Department recommending against the project. A plugged-in reader reports:

The planning staff have recommended disapproval of the project, presumably due to complaints from parents at the school across 19th Ave.
Ironically, a primary reason the staff oppose the location is that Noriega St. "includes four other pharmacies that are located a few blocks away", contradicting their rationale for allowing the [Market] Street location.
It's worth noting that CVS has been doing outreach for the last 2 years and many neighbors are supportive of the project.

While the Planning Department also argues that the "intensity" of the proposed store is out of scale with the small neighborhood commercial district and would "foreclose any opportunity for locally owned neighborhood oriented uses to be developed in the district," the project sponsor notes a national retailer is likely the only type of business capable of financing the development of the "white elephant" building and the existing commercial district "provides virtually no service whatsoever to the neighborhood at large."

If the proposal happens to be approved, CVS plans to file for a building permit as soon as possible with hopes of opening the store by the Spring of 2014.

1900 19th Avenue: CVS Proposal And Conditional Use Hearing [sfplanning.org]
Planning For A CVS: The Designs For 2280 Market Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

A New Formula For Keeping Out Foreign Threats

Hayes Valley was the first neighborhood in San Francisco to ban formula retail (i.e., "chain stores"), having adopted the ban nearly a decade ago in order to block Starbucks from opening on Hayes Street. As written, the formula retail ban blocks businesses with eleven (11) or more retail stores in the U.S. from opening on Hayes Valley’s commercial corridor.

With only eight (8) stores in the U.S., giant formula retailer GANT opened a retail store two months ago at 552 Hayes, smack-dab in the middle of the Hayes Valley corridor.

Spearheaded by concerned local merchants fearing "incursions from formula retail," Supervisor London Breed has since introduced proposed legislation to extend Hayes Valley's formula retail ban to establishments with eleven or more locations anywhere in the world, noting "Hayes Valley must protect its vibrant and expanding small business sector, and maintain its supportive environment for new small business innovators."

As some might recall, two weeks ago San Francisco’s Planning Commission approved the opening of a CVS at 2280 Market Street, based in part upon the Planning Department's recommendation that the competition with other retailers would result "in prices that are more competitive and a greater availability of goods and services."

The proposed Hayes Valley amendment would also extend the formula retail ban to establishments with fewer than eleven locations if fifty percent or more of "the stock, shares, or any similar ownership interest of such establishment is owned by a formula retail use, or a subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of a formula retail use."

Formula Retail Use for Hayes-Gough Neighborhood: Proposed Amendment [sfbos.org]
Planning For A CVS: The Designs For 2280 Market Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (72) | (email story)

May 31, 2013

535 Mission Street Tower Rendered, Rising, And Ready In 2014

535 Mission Street Rendered

Having acquired the 535 Mission Street site for $71 million just a few months ago, Boston Properties quickly restarted construction on the HOK-designed office tower, the construction of which was suspended in October of 2008 when rents were headed the wrong way.

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The 27-story tower will rise 378 feet with retail and a new plaza on the ground floor. The building should be ready for tenant improvements to the shell floors in October 2014. An animated flyover of the fully rendered tower and a peek inside:

535 Mission Street [535mission.com]
Is 535 Mission Street Selling Itself And San Francisco Short? [SocketSite]
Modern 27-Story Mission Street Tower Set For A Quick Restart [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

May 30, 2013

Mayor On Proposed Union Square Apple Store Plan: iSpoke Too Soon?

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Having admitted "we weren't necessarily focused on that side" with respect to how the proposed Union Square Apple store would affect the existing Grand Hyatt Plaza and Ruth Asawa fountain on the site, Mayor Ed Lee has said he'll now go visit the site in person to see whether the design he already deemed "quite simply incredible" might actually fit in.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

May 28, 2013

Apple's Union Square Store Design: Simply Incredible, Indeed

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As a number of readers quickly noted a couple of weeks ago, the preliminary designs for Apple's proposed store on Union Square would kill the Grand Hyatt Plaza behind the existing Levi's store and build an 80-foot long wall along Stockton Street. Ruth Asawa’s "San Francisco Fountain," a fixture of the plaza, would appear to get the axe as well.

Grand%20Hyatt%20Plaza.jpg

In the words of John King today, while there’s plenty of time to take the strong points of the design and "make it into something that feels like it belongs," that could be tough:

Apple's desire to move to Union Square from its current shop at 1 Stockton St. was announced by Mayor Ed Lee, who didn't stop there.
"Apple's new store is quite simply incredible," Lee gushed. "I can think of no better location for the world's most stunning Apple store. ... I want to thank Apple for their investment in this city and continued commitment to growing jobs in San Francisco."
With that kickoff, the City Planning Department can't send Apple and [Foster + Partners] back to the drawing board. It's another example of a task-oriented mayor's office putting an emphasis on upbeat press releases over a long-term commitment to the city's physical environment.

At the very least, both proponents and opponents of the proposed design are likely to agree, the proposal is simply incredible, indeed.

Apple's Plan For A Flagship Store On Union Square [SocketSite]
Boxy Apple store could shrink popular plaza [Chronicle]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (51) | (email story)

Planning For A Permanent Mercado Plaza In The Mission

Mercado%20Plaza%20Site.gif

Building on the success of the weekly Mission Community Market, plans for a permanent Mercado Plaza on Bartlett between 21st and 22nd streets are starting to take shape.

Mercado%20Plaza%20Rendering%20Street.jpg

The conceptual plan for the plaza is to create permanent pedestrian zones and a flexible urban space to accommodate the weekly Market and other neighborhood gatherings:

Mercado%20Plaza%20Rendering.jpg

With $1,600,000 in funds already dedicated to pedestrian and public space improvements along Bartlett Street, San Francisco’s Planning Department will co-host a community workshop on the plans for the Mercado Plaza tomorrow, May 29, from 6-7:30pm at 3543 18th Street (The Women’s Building, Room A).

Mercado Plaza Design Overview [missioncommunitymarket.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

May 24, 2013

Plans For Landmark Tower(s) At First And Mission Are Powering Up

50%20first%20Street%20Site.jpg

Having been on hold for a few years, the plans for a few big towers to rise at First and Mission, a.k.a. the 50 First Street site, have been reworked and resubmitted to Planning.

As currently envisioned, the existing office/retail buildings at 50 First, 62 First, and 76-78 First would be razed to make room for a 850-foot tall, 59-story tower fronting First Street as well as a 605-foot tall, 56-story tower fronting Mission Street.

The 850-foot First Street Tower One would contain 1,220,000 square feet of office space over ground-floor retail, as was previously proposed, with a garage for up to 187 cars.

50%20first%20tower%20one%202103.gif

Plans for the 605-foot tower fronting Mission now call for 500 residential units over ground floor retail and a five level subterranean parking garage with 136 parking spaces. Earlier plans to include hotel and entertainment components in the tower have been dropped.

50%20first%20tower%20two%202013.gif

Plans for a third tower on the corner of First and Mission have also been dropped and the existing building at 88 First Street would be rehabilitated as part of the 50 First project.

50%20first%20Site%202013.gif

Noting that because of its height, "the proposed [850-foot] Tower One would stand out as a major landmark on the skyline," and as such, "the design should exceed conventional standards and should be a stellar piece of contemporary architecture comparable to the best tall buildings worldwide," the Planning Department has offered a few suggestions for the tower's design, the images of which above are simply placeholders at this point:

Consider design options that sculpt the building to create a unique feature on the skyline. The top of Tower One should feature a dynamic and interesting top that presents an interesting profile. To the extent that shadow considerations, based on further analysis, might prevent major additional decorative rooftop elements from rising above a height of 850 feet, the Department expects a reduction of sufficient occupied space at the top of the building below 850 feet to allow for a satisfying sculpted building top within the 850-foot height envelope.

As part of the project, Jessie Street would be rerouted and the portion of Tower One that spans the existing Jessie Street route would be converted into a three-story public galleria (Jessie Street Galleria); Elim Alley would be converted to a two-story galleria with lobby and retail uses (Elim Alley Galleria); and a public plaza would sit at the base of Tower Two.

A Trio Of Renzo Piano SOM Towers At 50 First Street As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

May 20, 2013

Planning For The Upzoning Of SF's Central Corridor, And Then Some

725%20Harrison%20Street%20Site.jpg

First proposed in 2005, the plan to demolish all the buildings along the south side of Harrison Street between the surface parking lot at 725 Harrison and west to the corner of Fourth Street have been quietly dusted off and revised.

While the original plan called for 572 residential units over retail in six buildings up to 85 feet in height, the new plan proposes to build a sixteen-story, 240-foot office building at the corner of Harrison and Fourth Streets with the remainder of the site covered by a six-story, 95-foot tall office building connected to the high-rise building at the ground floor.

Harrison%20and%20Fourth.jpg

Currently zoned for up to 85-feet in height, while the Planning Department's proposed Central Corridor Plan would upzone the 725 Harrison Street site to a maximum of 160-feet, and only for a portion of the parcel, apparently "the Department is evaluating a 240-foot height limit" for the corner.

The revised project also includes the construction of a two-level subterranean parking garage with up to 575 parking spaces and 113 bicycle spaces for tenants.

The final Central Corridor Plan is anticipated to be up for approval in late 2014.

Are The Big Plans For San Francisco's Central Corridor Big Enough? [SocketSite]

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

May 16, 2013

Apple's Plan For A Flagship Store On Union Square

300 Post Street

With Levi’s moving its flagship store to Market Street this summer, Apple has submitted plans to San Francisco’s Planning Department with designs to takeover Levi’s Union Square location at 300 Post Street and remodel the space into an iconic Apple store which would be 45 percent larger than Apple’s current space a few blocks away at Stockton and Ellis.

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

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

Castro Street Makeover Plan Revealed And Rendered

Castro Street Makeover: Today And Tomorrow

As plugged-in people knew to expect, the Planning Department’s Castro Street Makeover plan does indeed include a reconfiguring of the crosswalk at Castro and Market Streets to align it with Jane Warner Plaza, bulb-outs on the corners of Castro and 18th Streets, and a mini-plaza in front of the historic Harvey Milk Residence and Castro Camera Shop site.

The detailed final plan and design for Castro Street (click image above to enlarge) also includes additional intersection safety measures between Market and 19th Streets, new street trees, landscaping, and lighting; and the widening of sidewalks up to 24.5 feet:

Castro%20Street%20Makeover%20-%20Mid-block.jpg

Special features to be installed include a Rainbow Honor Walk and leaning posts.

Castro%20Street%20Makeover%20-%20Special%20Features.gif

And yes, sidewalk sparkles and colored crosswalk markings will be included as well if competitive bids come in low enough to accommodate.

Once again, the Castro Street Makeover project is slated to start construction in January 2014 and last ten months, finishing before the holiday season.

Castro Street Design Plan | Streetscape Design [sf-planning.org]
Castro Street Makeover: Expected Features And Formal Unveiling [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

May 14, 2013

Planning For A CVS: The Designs For 2280 Market Street

Market and Noe Center (Image Source: MapJack.com)

While San Francisco’s Planning Commission shot down Starbucks proposal to renovate and occupy the retail space at 2201 Market Street, in part based on the Planning Department’s concerns with respect to the concentration of formula retail in the area, this week the Commission is expected to approve the application for CVS to renovate and occupy a long vacant retail space at 2280 Market Street, roughly 400 feet away from 2201 Market.

As proposed, four of the Market and Noe Center's protruding concrete bays will be removed and CVS's section of 2280 Market Street's concrete façade will be over-clad with cement-board siding, a metal lattice, and metal trim (click the design to enlarge).

The metal lattice will mark the entrance and screen the existing parking deck and new elevator penthouse on the roof which would reopen with the CVS. The second floor of the building would be renovated as well but remain availble for another retail or office use.

2280%20Market%20Rendering.jpg

While noting that there are two pharmacies in the Upper Market Street districts "providing a similar mix of retail goods" within a half-mile of the proposed CVS, the Planning Department recommends approval of the project as it "would provide an additional choice of pharmacy and basic everyday needs goods for neighborhood residents, resulting in prices that are more competitive and a greater availability of goods and services."

Keep in mind that as part of their argument against Starbucks’ proposal, the Planning Department noted, "The Upper Market NCT is [already] well served by existing similar eating and drinking establishments that are considered coffee houses, including Church Street Café, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Sweet Inspiration and Café Flore."

Assuming approvals and quickly issued permits, CVS hopes to renovate and open the store at 2280 Market Street by February 2014 with Radio Shack, and Radio Shack's section of building facade, remaining in place.

Having sat mostly vacant since Tower Records vacated the space over six years ago, Trader Joe's withdrew their application to open at the Market and Noe Center back in 2011 due to concerns over parking.

Starbucks' Market Street Plan Shot Down By Planning [SocketSite]
The Designs For 2201 Market Street And Great Starbucks Divide [SocketSite]
Trader Joe's Withdraws Application For Castro Store [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (38) | (email story)

May 13, 2013

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)

San Francisco Landlords Caught Between The Feds And A Pot Club

As we wrote back in 2011, "poked by last year’s failed initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use in California, Federal prosecutors are cracking down on medical-marijuana dispensaries, leaning on landlords by way of forfeiture laws to do their dirty work."

Last week, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, Melinda Haag, filed a forfeiture proceeding against 2441 Mission Street which is leased to the "Shambhala Healing Center," a city-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. It is the first such forfeiture filing for a leased dispensary's real estate in San Francisco.

From the San Francisco Examiner:

Shambhala Healing Center shut down in summer 2012 after receiving a letter from Haag in February 2012. Property owners Ebrahim and Valentin Poura, of Beverly Hills, then attempted to evict the dispensary from the building they have owned outright since the 1970s.
However, since the dispensary had a long-term lease and did not violate state or local law, Shambhala could not be evicted through the state courts system, where eviction cases are heard, according to Eric Safire, an attorney for the Pouras.
“We did everything within our legal bounds to comply [with Haag’s demands],” Safire said. “The tenant has a lawful business ... and a lawful, long-term lease.”

The dispensary resumed operating this past November.

A Real (Estate) Attack On Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries [SocketSite]
Feds move to seize SF pot club building [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

May 9, 2013

Starbucks' Market Street Plan Shot Down By Planning

2201%20Market%20Street%20Design%20x.gif

Following the Planning Department's recommendation and reasoning, San Francisco’s Planning Commission has voted 5 to 1 against Starbucks' proposal to take over the retail space at 2201 Market Street at the corner of Sanchez in the Castro.

The Designs For 2201 Market Street And Great Starbucks Divide [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (64) | (email story)

May 8, 2013

The Designs For 2201 Market Street And Great Starbucks Divide

2201%20Market%20Street.jpg

Starbucks' proposal to take over the existing 2,500 square foot Industrialists retail space at 2201 Market Street has received 59 letters of support (including one from the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro) and a petition with 453 signatures in favor of their plan.

2201%20Market%20Street%20Design.gif

At the same time, the Planning Department has received 4 letters in opposition to the project (including one from the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District) and a petition with 4,200 signatures opposed to Starbucks' proposal.

Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will decide whether or not to allow Starbucks to take over the 2201 Market Street space, a proposal that San Francisco’s Planning Department recommends the Commission disapprove.

The basis for the Department's recommendation:

There are currently five formula retail uses within 300 feet of the Subject Property that include Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Community - A Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Chase Bank and Verizon Wireless. The proposed Starbucks would bring the concentration of formula retail to 21% within 300 feet of the Property.
The Upper Market NCT is well served by existing similar eating and drinking establishments that are considered coffee houses, including Church Street Café, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Sweet Inspiration and Café Flore.
The Project would be detrimental to the neighborhood by occupying a prominent corner lot with a formula retail use that uses standardized color schemes, decor and signage that will detract from the distinctive character of the Upper Market Neighborhood which includes primarily local, independent retail businesses.
The Project would displace an existing business that is independent and locally owned.

And a counter argument from the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association (BVNA):

BVNA believes that the current, temporary retail use at 2201 Market Street is an under-use and not beneficial to the neighborhood.
The building’s current structure and appearance have a negative effect on its neighborhood. By contract, Starbucks plans to substantially renovate the site for its new operation. This will bring substantial aesthetic improvement to a corner which needs that badly. Further, it is a proven retail maxim that "magnet" businesses (such as the proposed Starbucks at this location) bring additional positive customer traffic to their area, another deficiency of the current operation. In fact, even so-called "competitive, independent" businesses nearby can benefit from the proposed new Starbucks, provided that they are smart merchandisers and afford themselves of the opportunity to distinguish themselves.
In summary, the proposed new Starbucks at 2201 Market can be a win for all involved, not the negative painted by some shortsighted current local opinions.

The 2201 Market Street store would be Starbucks' 72nd in San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (70) | (email story)

Red’s Would Survive The Warriors Move, But Their Patio Would Not

As we reported earlier this week, the revised plans for the Warriors Arena upon Pier 30-32 calls for moving Red’s Java House from its existing location to the south side of the Pier.

And while the building and business would survive, as the renderings and a reader report, Red's private patio and beer garden would not, replaced by public seating as proposed.

Warriors%20Stadium%20Rendering%202013%20Red%27s%20Rear.jpg

Redesigned Warriors Arena Unveiled: A Peek Inside And Out [SocketSite]
Have No Fear, Red’s To Remain In Place For The America’s Cup [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

May 7, 2013

The Towers To Rise Across From The Warriors Arena

With all eyes on the new designs for the proposed arena to be built upon San Francisco's Pier 30-32, we turn our attention to the proposed towers and mid-rise to be built across the street on Seawall Lot (SWL) 330 as part of the Warriors overall development plan.

While the Warriors' preliminary designs for the development of SWL 330 called for two towers rising up to 150 feet from a solid base of retail, their new design calls for two 100-foot hotel buildings on the northern part of the lot and a 175-foot residential tower to the south with a low-rise commercial building, garage and pedestrian walkway between:

The Conceptual Details And Design Discussion For Seawall 330 [SocketSite]
Redesigned Warriors Arena Unveiled: A Peek Inside And Out [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

May 2, 2013

While The Rumor Mill Was Grinding Away, No Strip Club On Castro

400 Castro Street

While the rumor mill had been grinding away, so to speak, as we first reported last week, the group doing business as RR-SF, Inc. (a.k.a. Randy Rooster) would be presenting their plans for the old Bank of America building at 400 Castro Street (a.k.a. the former Diesel store) to the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro this week.

While we took some heat for lagging behind other reports that a strip club was in the works for the space, in the words of one of the proposed Randy Rooster club's co-owners: "The rumor mill has already started, so we are here to clear up the air."

And in the words of the Bay Area Reporter with respect to RR-SF's plans for 400 Castro:

"It will be an upscale restaurant and nightclub," said co-owner Stephen Jones. "We want to bring a gay gentlemen’s club to the Castro."
Jones later added that the entertainment would be in an "upscale burlesque style" that caters to the tastes of gay men. He likened it to the Crazy Horse in Paris, which opened in 1951 and bills itself as an "avant-garde cabaret," and the gay nightclub The Abbey in West Hollywood.
While the famous Parisian nightspot features half-naked female performers, the San Francisco venue will not involve nudity, said Jones, adding that the business will be run with "dignity, honor and respect."

RR-SF is reportedly in contract to buy the 400 Castro Street building for $7.7 million with another $6 million budgeted for the build-out of the Randy Rooster with hopes that it will become the flagship location for a chain of clubs.

Presenting The Real Plan For Raging On Castro Street [SocketSite]
Gay burlesque venue proposed for the Castro [ebar.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (43) | (email story)

Rincon Hill Scoop: Plans For 184 Condos Versus The Factory Club

525 Harrison Street Site

With the construction of 45 Lansing underway across the street, the owner of 525 Harrison Street which currently houses the Factory club is quietly navigating Planning’s waters with plans to raze the building and build a 16-story residential tower in its place.

The early plans call for 184 units over a four-story basement garage "for up to 280 vehicles," at least 96 more parking spaces than San Francisco's Planning Code allows. A 2,520 square foot ground-floor commercial space along Harrison Street would either be used for retail or a leasing office if the building were to go the rental route.

As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.

45 Lansing Ready To Start Rising 39 Stories On Rincon Hill [SocketSite]

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

April 30, 2013

Will Bikes Lanes Be A Casualty Of A Head-On Collision Over Polk?

Polk Street Improvement Option 1

Having run head-on into a wall of seemingly unexpected opposition, the SFMTA has been forced to revisit their options for San Francisco’s Polk Street Improvement Project.

Opposing the Agency’s plan to remove up to 170 street parking spaces along Polk Street to make way for dedicated bike lanes, the Save Polk Street Coalition is pushing for a plan which would create corner bulb-outs to shorten crossing times, slow traffic by changing signals, and add "sharrows" to the roadway but wouldn't result in any dedicated bikeway.

Polk%20Street%20Improvement%20Option%20A.gif

Roughly five percent of existing metered parking spaces would be removed in order to install red zones near intersections to improve driver visibility and pedestrian safety.

The second of two SFMTA sponsored "open houses" to discuss and debate the proposed plans for Polk Street will held this evening from 5pm to 8:30pm at 1300 Polk Street.

Polk Street Improvement Project [sfmta.com]
Polk Street Showdown: Bike Lanes Versus Parking & Local Opposition [SocketSite]
Polk Street Showdown: Directing The SFMTA To Revisit Their Plans [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (362) | (email story)

April 26, 2013

Are The Big Plans For San Francisco's Central Corridor Big Enough?

Central%20Corridor%20Graphic.gif

With a pressing need to support the City's projected job growth and continued economic development, San Francisco's Planning Department has spent the past two years developing the growth plan and strategy for San Francisco's Central Corridor, "a high-demand area with excellent regional transit accessibility, adjacency to existing job centers, diverse urban amenities and connectivity to San Francisco’s well-educated workforce."

Central%20Corridor%20Area%202013.gif

As it stands, the 260 South of Market (SoMa) acres bounded by Market, Sixth, Second, and Townsend Streets, and bisected by the Central Subway project, are already zoned to support the building of 8,225 new residential units and office space for 19,140 workers.

By removing land use restrictions to emphasize office uses in the central portion of the Plan Area, selectively increasing height limits on certain sites (primarily south of Harrison Street), and modifying the system of area streets and circulation to meet the needs of a dense transit-oriented district, the proposed Central Corridor plan will add the potential for another 3,490 housing units and office space for 27,820 jobs to be built within the area.

It’s a great start, but with San Francisco projected to add 190,000 new jobs by 2040, filled in part by a projected 150,000 new residents by 2035, and for which 92,000 housing units will need to be built, are the plans for San Francisco's Central Corridor with excellent regional transit accessibility adjacent to existing job centers and urban amenities big enough?

Aiming to maintain "the predominant character of SoMa as a mid-rise district," reducing the presence of high-rises by actively "limiting their distribution to transit stations," and limiting heights "in areas with a high concentration of historic buildings and unique character," the Draft Plan identifies two height options for the Plan Area:

In general, Option A would increase heights along Fourth, Harrison, and Bryant streets from 65 feet to 85 feet. Option A would also allow for towers between 130 and 320 feet on certain sites, mostly located south of Harrison Street, increasing height limits on those sites by 45 to 235 feet.
Option B would be similar to Option A, except that Option B would increase tower height limits for certain sites south of Harrison Street to between 115 and 400 feet, increasing height limits on those sites by about 60 to 315 feet.

The rendered view of downtown San Francisco from Dolores Park under existing conditions and as it would be under the Central Corridor plan as proposed, click to enlarge:

Conceding Planning’s principal that area heights "should be sculpted mindful of views through and across the Area from surrounding areas with views of the Bay, East Bay Hills, and other key features," might there be a bit more room to grow?

Central Corridor Draft Plan [sf-planning.org]
Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040 [SocketSite]
If San Francisco Grows By 150,000 People, Where Will Everyone Live? [SocketSite]
The Big Plans For This East SoMa Block, Bigger Than Planned In Fact [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (52) | (email story)

April 25, 2013

Presenting The Real Plan For Raging On Castro Street

400 Castro Street

While the Apple rumor was debunked, a plugged-in tipster passes along confirmation that the group doing business as RR-SF, Inc. (a.k.a. "Raging Rooster") will be presenting their plan for the old Bank of America building at 400 Castro Street (a.k.a. the former Diesel store) to the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro next week.

With the rumor mill grinding away, so to speak, it ought to be an interesting presentation.

Apple Has Reportedly Set Their Sights On This Castro Street Site [SocketSite]
Apple Rumor Busted But In Part Confirmed As Well [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

Banding Together In An Attempt To Rebrand Broadway

Having failed to take hold in 2008, North Beach business owners and residents are once again banding together in an attempt to create a Community Benefit District (CBD) along Broadway between Columbus Avenue and Montgomery Street and south to Pacific Avenue.

Funds collected from property owners within the CBD could be used to increase safety and security while the organization itself could lobby for other changes to rebrand the area, such as encouraging the shift of liquor licenses from clubs and bars to local restaurants or trying to reduce the number of neighborhood liquor licenses overall.

North Beach residents, businesses mobilize to change Broadway [sfexaminer.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

April 22, 2013

Dilapidated Alexandria Theater Redevelopment Take Two

Alexandria Theater at 5400 Geary (Image Source: MapJack.com)

The proposed renovation of the Alexandria Theatre and construction of a mixed-use building on the theater’s adjacent parking lot is up for approval this week with a design that has been changed from "modern/contemporary" to "Spanish/Mediterranean."

Renovations to the Alexandria Theatre include its conversion from a three-screen theatre to a 221-seat single-screen theatre, the creation of new retail spaces on the ground floor, and a 7,000 square foot restaurant space on the second floor (click renderings to enlarge).

Upon the adjacent parking lot, a four-story building with retail on the ground floor, 37 condos on the upper three floors and underground parking for 122 cars will rise:

The new building's unit mix includes 13 one-bedrooms, 18 two-bedrooms, and 6 three-bedrooms, with four of the 37 condos to be sold below market rate (BMR).

Shuttered in 2004, by 2010 the theater at 5400 Geary Boulevard had become "a haven for homeless" with a crumbling façade, a boarded-up box office and a once-vibrant entrance riddled with flies and the stench of urine.

As part of the project, the theater’s marquee, blade, and art deco bode sign will be restored along with the terrazzo flooring at the entry and marble clad ticket booth.

The Planning Department recommends the Planning Commission approve the project.

Now Showing At The Shuttered Alexandria Theater: Blight [SocketSite]
Alexandria Theater Plans A Few Weeks From First Public Screening [SocketSite]
A Marque Makeover To Mitigate Alexandria Theater Adverse Effects [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (59) | (email story)

April 17, 2013

Fresh & Easy's Parent Company Is Calling It Quits In The U.S.

Fresh & Easy Outer Richmond

As a plugged-in reader first warned six months ago:

I LOVE [Fresh & Easy] but they just announced last week that they're stalling almost all of their US store openings due to the chain's inability to gain traction and likely won't open more than a couple more in the next year. I think the proposed ones...are unlikely to ever open.

Two months later Tesco announced their plans to either sell off all their Fresh & Easy stores in the U.S. or shut them down. As we wrote at the time, until a decision is made, it's business as usual for the existing stores but their unopened Fresh & Easy locations on South Van Ness and Ocean Avenue appear to be DOA.

And as a reader adds today: "It's official, [Tesco] is out of the US market."

The timing for Tesco's exit and plans for their existing San Francisco and other Bay Area Fresh & Easy stores have yet to be disclosed.

UPDATE: A message from Fresh & Easy this afternoon:

As many of you have heard or read today, our parent company Tesco updated on the future of Fresh & Easy. While we don’t yet know who our new owner will ultimately be, Tesco has already received interest from a number of parties including groups looking to purchase Fresh & Easy as an operating business. We appreciate all the support and love we’ve received from our loyal customers and even though our parent company plans to leave the US, we’re pleased to confirm there are no plans to close any portion of Fresh & Easy.

As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.

A Fresh & Easy Start On Ocean Avenue? [SocketSite]
Fresh & Easy Is Having A Hard Time, Likely To Exit The SF Market(s) [SocketSite]
Fresh & Easy At 1245 South Van Ness Set For Approval This Week [SocketSite]
Tesco quits U.S. and takes $3.5 billion global writedown [reuters.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

April 11, 2013

Contemplating Condos, 340 Bryant Goes The Creative Office Route

340%20Bryant.jpg

Built in 1952, the former Machine Works building at 340 Bryant Street offers "unparalleled Bay Bridge access" in broker speak and marketing materials.

Having contemplated and analyzed the potential for demolishing the four-story industrial building to build a 150 unit condo project, the owners of 340 Bryant appear to have settled on an alternate plan to renovate the existing building and rebrand as "a creative office structure" with a bit of non-structural interior demolition and remodeling underway.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

Defining And Redefining The Classic Hartford Building At 650 California

650 California (www.SocketSite.com)

When the construction of 650 California Street was completed in 1964, the 34 story tower was the tallest building in California, a title long since passed.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for Hartford Insurance with an exoskeleton of precast white concrete into which the floor-to-ceiling windows of the 466-foot tower are recessed, the Hartford Building was bought by Tishman Speyer for $230 million last year.

While Tishman is now "redefining" the building's lobby and converting a bit of office space into a fitness center, locker rooms, and a conference room, the classic building isn't about to be reskinned or repurposed a la the renovation of 100 Van Ness that's now underway.

The Renovation Of 100 Van Ness And 400 New Rentals Are Underway [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

April 8, 2013

Polk Street Showdown: Directing The SFMTA To Revisit Their Plans

With the Polk Street "bikes versus business" Showdown in full swing, last week SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin called for the Agency to revisit their proposed plan to remove an estimated 170 street parking spaces along Polk Street to make way for dedicated bike lanes and parklets stretching from McAllister to Union Street.

In his report to the SFMTA's Board of Directors on Tuesday, Reiskin noted the "loud and consistent message from the community expressing concerns" for their proposed Polk Street Improvement Project plan, directing the Agency to bring back additional proposals for different configurations that have less parking loss along Polk Street for consideration.

The next public meeting for the Polk Street Improvement Project, the last of which was a rather raucous and one-sided affair, is currently scheduled for April 27.

Polk Street Showdown: Bike Lanes Versus Parking & Local Opposition [SocketSite]
Polk Street Improvement Project: Overview Slides [sfmta.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (77) | (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)

April 1, 2013

Is NOPA Ready For The Harding's Re-Development And Density?

HardingTheater

Following years of battling with the Planning Board and preservationists, plans to gut the long shuttered Harding Theater at 616 Divisadero Street and build a mixed-use development with retail behind a restored façade and an eight-unit condo complex behind the theater were abandoned four years ago.

Harding Theater: Developer's Plan

Put on the market for $4,000,000 at the end of 2008, reduced to $3,600,000, and then withdrawn from the market mid-last year, the Harding has been listed anew for $4,200,000 with Bi-Rite and Four Barrel’s The Mill having since opened their doors down the street.

In the words of a local reader, is the neighborhood ready for the Harding's development and density along Divisadero?

Harding Theater Development Positive Review Panned On Appeal [SocketSite]
Harding Theater (616 Divisadero): Developer Throwing In The Towel? [SocketSite]
Bi-Rite Grocery (And Creamery!) In NoPa: Hours, Loading And Vote [SocketSite]
Harding Theater Available For $4.2 Million [haighteration.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

March 29, 2013

181 Fremont Tower Fully Rendered, Animated, And Ready To Rise

Having acquired the Transbay parcel and approved plans to build a 52-story tower with 14 floors of condos over 400,000 square feet of office space and a spire reaching 800 feet, Silicon Valley builder Jay Paul plans to break ground on 181 Fremont as soon as possible.

While many have seen the renderings, for the first time we're publicly serving up the animation for the tower which was filmed by steelblue for the Jay Paul Company. And yes, RocketSpace will soon need to find a new home.

Latest SF Skyscraper Scoop: 181 Fremont Redesigned And Rendered [SocketSite]
Jay Paul ‘hits the ground running' [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

March 27, 2013

Transbay Tower Site Transferred And Ceremonially Breaks Ground

With a past due check for $191,816,196.57 delivered yesterday, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority has officially sold and transferred the 101 First Street site upon which the 1,070-foot Transbay Tower will rise at the corner of First and Mission to the development team.

The competition to develop the site was won back in 2007 with a bid of $350 million, roughly $160 million more than the team ended up paying for the site yesterday.

A ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate (or mourn) the transfer is taking place today.

Financial Partner Secured To Build San Francisco’s Transbay Tower [SocketSite]
Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
Transbay Land Cost Cut Another $50 Million For Shrunken Tower [SocketSite]
Rising Construction Costs Getting Under The Transbay Center's Skin [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

Trying To Raise The Roof And Make Room For A Restaurant To Rise

3249%2017th%20Street.jpg

Purchased for $600,000 in 2003 with three bedrooms spread across two units and one story at the corner of Capp and 17th Streets, the plan is to add three floors with three units above the building at 3249 17th Street and convert the first floor into a restaurant, a new home for the Latin American Balompie Café (click the designs to enlarge).

As proposed, an eight foot extension of the building's footprint will result in a rear yard that's 25 feet deep. The problem, as per Section 134 of the Planning Code, the property is required to maintain a rear yard of 33 feet:

This morning, San Francisco's Zoning Administrator will decide whether or not to grant the developer a variance to allow the building to extend and rise as proposed, or to delay a decision to a later date as has been requested.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

March 25, 2013

Expectations For Superior Architecture Adjacent To A Simple Store

520%209th%20Street%20Site.jpg

With the minimalist Muji having moved in next door and a Trader Joe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Nordstrom Rack across the street (at least for now), the vacant lot at 520 9th Street which is currently used for parking was sold in January for $795,000.

According to a plugged-in tipster, the buyer’s preliminary plans for the off-ramp adjacent lot include a four-story residential building with twelve (12) two-bedroom condos over nine parking spaces and ground floor bike storage but no ground floor retail.

And while the building’s proposed design has yet to be finalized, the Planning Department "expect[s] that the architecture and quality of execution will be superior." No word on what color the Department is expecting the building to be as well.

Market Street Place Ready To Demo And Courting Nordstrom Rack [SocketSite]
Letting Go Of A Nostalgic Notion And Mixing It Up In San Francisco [SocketSite]

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

March 20, 2013

Parking Lot And Development Alert: The Designs For 345 Brannan

345%20Brannan%20Site.jpg

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.

A 4,000 square foot roof deck for tenants would be constructed atop the 65-foot-tall building, an underground garage for 26 cars would be built below.

345%20Brannan%20Rendering.jpg

The project would remove the two existing curb cuts on Brannan (the building's garage entrance would be located on Stanford Street) and include the planting of four new trees along its Brannan Street frontage:

345 Brannan Facade

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. Click the image below to enlarge.

Supervisor Showdown: Wiener Versus Kim, CEQA, And Waste [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

March 18, 2013

Rising Construction Costs Getting Under The Transbay Center's Skin

With construction costs for San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center climbing, including a near doubling of the estimated $144 million cost for the centers steel superstructure to $259 million alone, the architects are now proposing a perforated aluminum skin for the transit center versus glass as originally designed (click image above to enlarge):

Transbay%20Transit%20Center%20Skin.jpg

Cloaking the Center in aluminum versus glass would trim $17 million from the estimated $1.59 billion budget for the Center's first phase which is scheduled to open in 2017.

In the words of John King, "the unanswered question is what other design changes might lay ahead" as the architects aim to trim costs for the project which was budgeted to cost closer to $1.2 billion back in 2007.

Transbay Center Plans: Revised, Refined, And Unveiled Today [SocketSite]
Transbay center design change proposed [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (72) | (email story)

March 5, 2013

Planning To Displace Porn To Erect An Office Building On Bluxome

81-85%20Bluxome.jpg

Speaking of Western SoMa, a plan to demolish the two-story industrial building at 81-85 Bluxome between 4th and 5th Streets has been quietly floated with Planning. As proposed, a 65-foot-tall office building without parking would rise on the site.

While current zoning allows for up to 65 feet in height on the parcel, as does the proposed Western SoMa Community Plan, the proposed plan's increase in density would need to be adopted in order for the building to be built as designed.

And as a reader notes, currently housed at 81 Bluxome is Hothouse entertainment, "one of the last original San Francisco adult studios left in SOMA."

Western SoMa Community And Neighborhood Plan Nearing Adoption [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

March 1, 2013

Market Street Place Ready To Demo And Courting Nordstrom Rack

CityPlace Rendering

With J.C. Penney having been dropped as the potential anchor tenant for the 250,000-square-foot Market Street Place development at 935-965 Market Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, the developers of the future Mid-Market retail complex formerly known as CityPlace are now "in advanced talks with Nordstrom Rack as a potential anchor tenant."

That being said, with Marshalls having moved to the Phalen Building at 760 Market Street, the owners of 901 Market Street are courting Nordstrom Rack as well.

Regardless, demolition of the existing Mid-Market buildings on the Market Street Place site could start as early as this month according to the San Francisco Business Times.

CityPlace Revived With Plans For J.C. Penney As The Anchor Tenant [SocketSite]
Details To Augment Designs For "CityPlace" (935-965 Market Street) [SocketSite]

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

February 26, 2013

Successfully Upzoned, Plans For The Castro's Fitness SF Take Shape

2301 Market now and as proposed

With the southwestern corner of Market and Noe having been successfully upzoned from 50 to 65 feet (and Café Flore's off-site kitchen protected), plans to add three stories to the building that currently houses Fitness SF at 2301 Market Street are taking shape.

First proposed in 2011, the plans call for another full-floor (9,500 square feet) for the gym, twelve new dwelling units on the top two floors, and a renovated retail space below.

According to the Castro Biscuit, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has already signed a lease for the renovated retail space but will need the Planning Commission’s approval to occupy as formula retail, the conditional use for which was actually applied for late last year.

Upzoning The Corner Of Market And Noe And Fighting Over Café Flore [SocketSite]
Should The Planning Commission Dictate Which Businesses Survive? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (43) | (email story)

Should Our Planning Commission Dictate Which Businesses Survive?

As we first reported, while San Francisco’s Planning Department backs the proposal to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a Orchard Supply Hardware store, noting that the project "is desirable for, and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood," would "[improve] the pedestrian experience along Bryant Street" and "meets all applicable requirements of the Planning Code," following public testimony, San Francisco’s Planning Commission adopted a motion of Intent to Disapprove the project.

Who are the NIMBYs with which the Planning Commission is siding and for whom they intend to block the compatible project? A plugged-in reader reports:

The majority of comments were from various business owners (Cole Hardware, Builder Supply, Center Hardware, etc.) who expressed their usual concerns about how formula retail will put them out of business and change the face of San Francisco forever.
The owner of Cole Hardware claimed his business went down 25% after Lowes opened on Bayshore -- (in the middle of the recession). The owner of Center claims his Saturday business is still down 20%. Of course there's no way to check their numbers and Center has so little weekend business they don't even open on Sunday.
The best comment from a commissioner: "We're trying to save ourselves from ourselves" referring to people who say they want to support locally owned businesses but drive to Home Depot anyway.

Should it be the role of San Francisco’s Planning Commission to decide and dictate which businesses in San Francisco deserve protection from their competition and their customers as well?

Orchard Supply Hardware Coming To SoMa If Approved [SocketSite]
No Valentine’s Day Love For Orchard Supply Hardware In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

February 25, 2013

Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040

San Francisco's Central Corridor

With the population of the Bay Area expected to increase from roughly 7 million to 9 million people over the next 30 years, an integrated long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan for the San Francisco Bay Area by Plan Bay Area projects San Francisco will add 190,000 new jobs by 2040.

With an eye on high density, transit served locations to meet the projected growth, enter the Planning Department's plan for the Central Corridor centered on the Central Subway line and Fourth Street in SoMa, between Townsend and Market Streets:

While the City has performed significant planning for housing in recent years, it has been somewhat less proactive in planning space for jobs, whose location have a much stronger correlation with transit usage than does housing location. With significant development occurring since the adoption of [San Francisco’s] Downtown Plan over twenty-five years ago, few significant Downtown building sites remain, and as job types and industries diversify, companies are seeking a wider range of spaces than the typical Downtown model can provide.
The [Planning] Department, in coordination with the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, is looking at a number of areas and opportunity sites around the City to support continued job growth and economic development consistent with regional environmental objectives. The Central Corridor, as a high-demand area with excellent regional transit accessibility, adjacency to existing job centers, diverse urban amenities and connectivity to San Francisco’s well‐educated workforce, is a key part of that comprehensive strategy.
The Central Corridor Plan Area, centered along the Central Subway and the Fourth Street corridor in SoMa between Townsend and Market Streets, offers a unique opportunity for integration of transportation and land use. The Central Corridor Draft Plan will propose changes to land uses and building height controls, public realm and open space improvements, strategies for preservation of neighborhood character and historic resources, and increased environmental sustainability.

Slated for publication early next month, San Francisco’s Planning Department will present an update on the development of their Draft Central Corridor Plan to San Francisco’s Planning Commission on Thursday.

Keep in mind that in order to support 190,000 new jobs, Plan Bay Area projects 92,000 new housing units will be built in San Francisco as well, double San Francisco’s current housing pipeline.

Envisioning San Francisco’s Central Corridor As An EcoDistrict [SocketSite]
The Big Plans For This East SoMa Block, Bigger Than Planned In Fact [SocketSite]
The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

No Valentine's Day Love For Orchard Supply Hardware In SF

As we first reported two weeks ago with respect to the proposal to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot Orchard Supply Hardware store:

While it took over a decade to get a new home improvement store out on Bayshore Boulevard, with the backing of the Planning Department, Orchard Supply Hardware is hoping to get a quick approval to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot OSH with a plant nursery on the roof.
Other proposed changes to the building at 975 Bryant include landscaping, a new Bryant Street entrance, and a change of windows along Bryant Street to increase transparency.

Despite's San Francisco's Planning Department noting that the proposed project "is desirable for, and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood," would "[improve] the pedestrian experience along Bryant Street" and "meets all applicable requirements of the Planning Code," following public testimony on February 14, San Francisco’s Planning Commission adopted a motion of Intent to Disapprove the project by a vote of 5 to 2 with Commissioners Fong and Antonini dissenting.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to revisit the proposed project and the NIMBYs' objections, and act on their intent, with a vote this week.

Orchard Supply Hardware Coming To SoMa If Approved [SocketSite]
T-Minus Two Days (And A Decade In The Making) For Lowe’s In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

February 21, 2013

Upzoning The Corner Of Market And Noe And Fighting Over Café Flore

Market-Octavia%20Plan%20Boundary.jpg

San Francisco’s Market-Octavia Neighborhood Plan originally called for Market Street to be zoned for 85 feet in height from Church Street to the east, while west of Church to Noe Street was to be zoned for 65 feet. Due to concerns about potential historic resources, San Francisco’s Planning Commission adopted a plan that called for the heights to remain at 50 feet west of Church Street until a historic survey was complete. Following the survey, heights for non-historic corner parcels from Church to Noe Streets were raised to 65 feet.

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this afternoon, amendments sponsored by Supervisor Wiener which would change the Upper Market Neighborhood Commercial District to a Commercial Transit District (changing density controls from being based on lot size to the physical characteristics of any proposed buildings); raise the height limit of the southwestern corner parcel at the corner of Market, Noe and 16th Streets (which is just outside the Market-Octavia Plan boundaries) from 50 to 65 feet; and grant a planning code exemption for the off-site auxiliary kitchen for Café Flore which is across the street from the cafe.

In addition to raising the height limit for the aforementioned southwestern corner parcel, currently the site of FitnessSF, the Planning Department recommends that the Commission also rezone two other corner parcels at the Market, Noe, and 16th Streets intersection, the only two remaining corner parcels east of Castro Street that are not historic resources.

Upper%20Market%20Corner%20Rezone.gif

From the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA), the oldest continuously running neighborhood association in San Francisco (founded in 1878) with respect to Supervisor Weiner’s proposed amendments and legislation:

EVNA is supportive of legislation to change the Upper Market [Neighborhood Commercial District] to a [Neighborhood Commercial Transit District], but opposes this legislation as written because of its inclusion of two unacceptable exceptions:
1) the section that increases the height limit for one lot at Noe and Market Streets, currently a gym, FitnessSF, from 50 ft to 65 feet, and
2) the section that would grant an exception to a non-permitted accessory use for only one business in order for Cafe Flore to continue to operate an offsite illegal kitchen at 258 Noe Street.
In regard to the up zoning of the SE corner of Noe and Market Streets (FitnessSF), it is the position of EVNA that it is irregular to initiate a change in permitted height for one site without community input, without a permit application, and without plans submitted to the SF Planning Department for review. Once the full plans are available, the benefits to the community, any negative impacts have been thoroughly reviewed, and the community has weighed in, if the height increase is deemed warranted, that would be the time to initiate an exception to the zoning.
In regard to the exceptional legalization of the off-site kitchen for Cafe Flore, EVNA opposes the legalization of an illegal activity that has been engaged in knowingly by a business owner over a period of several years. Other businesses are required to conduct their activities within the parameters of the law. Cafe Flore was a successful business for many years without the use of an illegal kitchen. The new owner's decision to expand the menu entailed additional kitchen facilities. But to rest the financial well-being of an expanded business on an illegal activity cannot be condoned. It is unacceptable for the City to make an exception to the law for one business in order to accommodate its illegal activity. There is also the question of what further changes in use at 258 Noe might be triggered by granting such an exception and whether there might be unintended consequences.
EVNA strongly opposes the inclusion of these two exceptions in the legislation and therefore opposes the legislation as written.

Supervisor Wiener, once President of the EVNA, disagrees with the EVNA’s arguments and opposition as does San Francisco’s Planning Department which recommends the Planning Commission approve the amendments along with the Department's additions.

Market-Octavia Plan And Requisite Rezoning Approved By The Board [SocketSite]
Proposed Upper Market Planning Code and Zoning Map Amendments [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (28) | (email story)

Newly Proposed Height And Horizontality On Federal Street

77-85 Federal Street

A plan to demolish the two existing office buildings at 77-85 Federal Street and construct a five-story commercial building with a gym on the ground floor and an underground garage with 29 parking spaces has been floated with San Francisco’s Planning Department.

While we haven’t seen the proposed design for the building, the Planning Department has and has offered the following architectural suggestions:

To strengthen the project’s compatibility with the surrounding [South End Historic] district, the project should accentuate a tripartite organization, including strengthening the base, and vertically modulating the façades with a rhythm of solid columns, in order to emphasize the solid-to-void ratio. This rhythm should be introduced on all levels. Overall the building façade exhibits a strong horizontality. There appears to be several different approaches to the treatment of the glass. The Planning Department suggests that the glazing system be developed to be more unified and balanced with solid columnar elements.
Additionally, the module of the building where the entrance is located could be differentiated to a highlight the entry, using glazing to indicate a greater height at the entry, and/or reducing or eliminating the balcony at the third floor.

What's/Who’s To Blame For "Bad" Building Design In SF? [SocketSite]
Damn All Those Untalented Architects To Hell! Oh, Wait A Minute… [SocketSite]
Damn That Planning Department To Hell! Oh, Wait A Minute… [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

February 20, 2013

Getting In On The Ground Floor At Second And Howard

As we first reported yesterday, Tishman’s previously approved 350-foot office tower at 222 Second Street is set to start rising this summer assuming San Francisco’s Planning Commission signs off on a slight modification to the tower’s footprint following the failed acquisition and incorporation of 631 Howard Street’s loading dock.

While the modified footprint will result in 2,900 fewer square feet of ground floor retail on the corner of Tehama and Second Streets, over 8,000 square feet of enclosed publicly-accessible open space will still be built along Howard. Click the ground floor plan above, or the pre-modified plan below, to enlarge:

Second Street Tower Ready To Start Construction This Summer [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

February 19, 2013

Second Street Tower Ready To Start Construction This Summer

222%202nd%20Street%20Rendering%202013.jpg

Speaking of Tishman Speyer projects, first approved for development in 2010 and "diligently pursuing financing and preparing to start construction" ever since, Tishman is finally ready to start construction on the 350-foot office tower to rise at 222 Second Street at the corner of Howard this summer:

Corner of 2nd and Howard

Originally planning to acquire the loading dock of 631 Howard Street and incorporate the area into the tower’s design, the acquisition of the dock fell through and the tower’s footprint has since been modified, a modification which is expected to be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week.

222%202nd%20Street%20Site%202013.gif

The 26-story tower will now yield 430,650 square feet of office space, 2,100 square feet of ground floor retail (down from 5,000 square feet), 8,600 square feet of publicly-accessible open space, and underground parking for 54 cars.

Tishman Teams With China On 201 Folsom And Plans To Start Soon [SocketSite]
222 Second Street Seeks Certification (And Exceptions) This Week [SocketSite]
The 222 Second Street Scoop (For The Second Time) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

San Francisco Giants Sign Anchor Brewing To Mission Rock Team

Anchor Brewing on Pier 48

The San Francisco Giants have signed Anchor Brewing to renovate San Francisco's Pier 48 and build new brewing, shipping, drinking, eating and educational facilites on the site, a true anchor tenant for the Giants' massive Mission Rock Development.

The new Anchor facility will feature production facilities for brewing, distilling, packaging, storing, and shipping; a restaurant, museum and educational facility in the headhouse of Pier 48; and a restored walkway around the entire pier apron that will connect pedestrians to the Portwalk and allow views into the Anchor brewhouse. Anchor will offer tours of the facilities and educational seminars with a focus on the history of craft beer, the art of craft distilling and Anchor’s history in San Francisco.

While the 27-acre Mission Rock development will likely take a decade to finish, Anchor could be up and brewing on Pier 48 by the end of 2016, quadrupling current production from 180,000 to 680,000 barrels a year.

Anchor Brewing Pier 48 Interior

Giants Moving Forward With Massive "Mission Rock" Development [SocketSite]
Anchor Brewing to Quadruple Production with New Facilities on Pier 48 [anchorbrewing]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

February 13, 2013

Orchard Supply Hardware Coming To SoMa If Approved

While it took over a decade to get a new home improvement store out on Bayshore Boulevard, with the backing of the Planning Department, Orchard Supply Hardware is hoping to get a quick approval to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot OSH with a plant nursery on the roof (click on any image to enlarge).

Other proposed changes to the building at 975 Bryant include landscaping, a new Bryant Street entrance, and a change of windows along Bryant Street to increase transparency:

And while not in the "urban core," the location is in the heart of San Francisco.

T-Minus Two Days (And A Decade In The Making) For Lowe’s In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

The Strategies For Saving San Francisco’s Japantown

Concerned that San Francisco’s Japantown is at risk with respect to its cultural heritage and economic sustainability, the Japantown Cultural Heritage and Economic Sustainability Strategy (JCHESS) seeks to outline a set of strategies to secure Japantown’s future as "the historical and cultural heart of Japanese and Japanese American Community" and as a thriving, physically attractive and vibrant commercial and retail district.

Building upon the draft Japantown Better Neighborhoods Plan which includes streetscape, pedestrian and transportation improvements, the JCHESS proposes additional strategies for the survival of San Francisco’s Japantown including the creation of a Community Development Corporation, Benefits District and Land Trust which could pave the way for dramatic design improvements as well.

Comments and suggestions on the JCHESS will be solicited by Planning Department over the next few months with a goal of presenting a plan for endorsement by San Francisco’s Planning and Historic Preservation Commissions by June.

Draft Japantown Cultural Heritage and Economic Sustainability Strategy [sf-planning.org]
Japantown’s Better Neighborhood Plan Update: Draft Acknowledged [SocketSite]
The New Plans And Latest Recommendations For Japantown [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

February 12, 2013

The Designs For Mission Bay Block 40 On The Border Of Potrero Hill

Mission%20Bay%20Block%2040.jpg

The undeveloped Mission Bay Block 40 sits in the southwest corner of the Mission Bay Redevelopment Area, south of 16th Street and east of Interstate 280 on the border of Potrero Hill. And upon Block 40, a 995,000 square foot office complex composed of two "campuses" is proposed to rise (click any of the renderings to enlarge).

Each campus would feature a 5-story building connected to a 12-story, rising up to 180 feet. 680 parking spaces would be provided in two 5-story parking garages. The western facades of the buildings and open spaces facing Interstate 280 have been designed so that if Interstate 280 is razed, the area could be repurposed as public open space:

With the exception of one member, The Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee supports the proposed project while The Potrero Boosters have not been as enthusiastic and would like to see "less large block sites and more diversity in building types and design."

San Francisco’s Planning Department recommends that San Francisco's Planning Commission approve the designs and development this week.

A Bold Plan To Tear Down I-280 North Of 16th Street In San Francisco [SocketSite]
Mission Bay Neighborhood Block And Construction Watch [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

February 11, 2013

Four Stories Are Falling At Mission And Fremont, Thirty Ready To Rise

350 Mission Street Demolition (www.SocketSite.com)

As we first reported this past October, the permits to demolish the existing four story Heald College building at 350 Mission Street and construct a 27-story office tower reaching 350 feet on the site were issued with work slated to start early this year:

350 Mission Rendering

In December, Salesforce announced it signed a 14 year lease for the entire tower to rise including an additional 3 floors for a total of 30 stories and 400 feet on the site that was up-zoned to 700 feet. And with the first chunks taken last week, the demolition of the Heald College building is now well underway.

350 Mission Street: Permits Issued For 350-Foot Tower To Rise [SocketSite]
Salesforce Signs Deal To Occupy Entire 350 Mission Street Tower [SocketSite]
Planning’s Towering Transit Center District Plan Decision: Approved [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

Café Cocomo's Dancing Days Are Numbered, Condos Coming Soon?

Cafe%20Cocomo%20-%20650%20Indiana.jpg

A plugged-in tipster first put the pieces together. And now, our sources confirm the proposal which suggests that Café Cocomo’s dancing days at 650 Indiana are numbered.

The Potrero Hill parcel upon which Café Cocomo sits and includes 630, 666, and 698 Indiana Street was purchased by 650 Indiana Investment, LLC last year. While members of the LLC are hidden, a business address associated with 650 Indiana Investment just so happens to be 315 Linden, the office of developer Build Inc.

While not yet permitted nor approved, according to our sources a proposal has quietly been pitched to San Francisco’s Planning Department with plans to build residential units on the site with ground floor retail and no mention of a replacement club. The site is currently zoned for development up to 58 feet in height.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

February 7, 2013

Modern 27-Story Mission Street Tower Set For A Quick Restart

535 Mission: Site (Image Source: MapJack.com)

Boston Properties has completed its acquisition of the 535 Mission Street development site for $71.0 million and expects to recommence construction on the approved HOK-designed 27-story office tower within weeks, hoping to finish the project by the fall of 2014.

535 Mission Street: Rendering (Image Source: Simon & Associates)

Having prepped the site for construction in early 2008, Beacon Capital Partners suspended construction that October with the markets in turmoil and rents headed the wrong way. The 378 foot tower will yield approximately 307,000 square feet of office and retail space.

Approved For Residential, But Building Commercial (535 Mission) [SocketSite]
535 Mission Update: Parking Lot Closed And About To Break Ground? [SocketSite]
535 Mission Street: From Office To Residential To Office To Suspended [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

The 5M Project's Buildings, Timing, And Public Open Space Plans

As we first reported yesterday, Forest City’s proposed 5M Project, as in Fifth and Mission, would yield over a million square feet of renovated or new office space, 750 new dwelling units, 150,000 square feet of ground floor retail, educational, and cultural uses, and 34,000 square feet of privately-owned publicly accessible open space down in SoMa with five new buildings ranging in height from 50 to 400 feet (click image above to enlarge).

A full rundown of the buildings and proposed renovations, including a two story addition to the Chronicle Building, the project timing, and an overview of the proposed open space:

Building M-1 (Chronicle Building): The interior layout of the Chronicle Building would be renovated and two partial floors would be constructed on top of the existing three-story building. Renovations to the Chronicle Building would include: 1) vertical addition of two partial floors; 2) a potential additional staircase for public access to a proposed rooftop open space area, and modifications to existing staircases to service the proposed rooftop area and meet tenant needs; 3) a potential increase in the number and location of pedestrian entrances and exits into the building on Minna and/or Mary Streets (where none currently exist); and 4) a new façade where the connection to the Examiner Building would be removed.

The renovated Chronicle Building would be a five-story, 80-foot-tall, 157,200 square foot office building. The two proposed additional floors would be set back from Mission and Fifth Streets, approximately 65 feet away from the existing clock tower at the front of the building. The rooftop area (on the top of the third floor) remaining after the addition of the two partial floors would provide up to 22,000 square feet of privately‐owned publicly accessible open space (provided to meet, in part, open space requirements for proposed residential and commercial buildings).

Building N-1: Located south of building M-1, Building N-1 would be a 28-story, 400-foot-tall building of 798,900 square feet. The ground floor would contain approximately 47,500 square feet of active ground floor retail/office/educational/cultural space. The remaining floors would contain 751,400 square feet of office uses.

The building base would be constructed to the lot lines on Natoma, Minna, and Fifth Streets and would define the street wall. Building N-1 would have varied floorplate sizes at its lower levels (1 through 4), midrise levels (5 through 10), and high-rise levels (11 through 28). The setback of the upper levels from the base street wall would be established in the Design for Development. The Camelline Building (430 Natoma Street) would be demolished to allow for the construction of Building N-1.

In addition, the existing two-story, 14,000-square-foot connector across Minna Street would be demolished and replaced with a single-story connector between Buildings M-1 and N-1. The proposed 1,600 square foot connector would be located approximately 65 feet above the existing street grade and would have dimensions of 40 feet by 40 feet (the existing connector is located approximately 16 feet above the existing street grade and has dimensions of 35 by 195 feet). The new pedestrian connector is intended to promote circulation between Buildings M-1 and N-1, including to and from the proposed rooftop open space on the renovated Building M-1.

Building H-2: Located at the southeast quadrant of Natoma and Mary Streets, Building H-2 would be an 11-story, 175-foot-tall building with 240,800 square feet. The ground floor of the building would contain 32,000 square feet of active ground floor retail/office/educational/cultural space. The remaining floors would contain 208,800 square feet of office space. The upper seven levels would be set back 30 feet from Howard Street.

N-1/H-2 Connector: The proposed N-1/H-2 Connector would be an eight‐story, 43,600 square foot connector over Natoma Street between Buildings N‐1 and H‐2, and would be located approximately 50 feet above the ground floor. The connector would have typical dimensions of 50 feet by 105 feet, spanning the 35‐foot width of Natoma Street and extending into the N‐1 parcel. The N‐1/H‐2 connector would contain office space.

Building N-3 (Dempster Printing Building): The existing four-story Dempster Printing Building located at 447 Minna Street would be rehabilitated to accommodate 12,000 square feet of office uses. Renovation would include alterations to the interior of the structure and potentially the exterior envelope (in the form of additional or modified entries). No vertical addition to the structure is proposed.

Building M-2: Located along Mission Street west of Building M-1, Building M-2 would be a 16-story, 165-foot-tall, 204,800 square foot building with 192,000 square feet of residential space above 12,800 square feet of active ground floor retail/office/educational/cultural space. The building would include approximately 260 residential units.

Building H-1: Located on the northwest quadrant of Fifth and Howard Streets, Building H-1 would be an approximately 38-story, 400-foot-tall, 373,000 square foot building with 360,800 square feet of residential space above 12,200 square feet of active ground floor retail/office/educational/cultural space. The building would include approximately 488 residential units.

Building N-2: Located to the west of Building N-1 and east of the central segment of Mary Street, Building N-2 would be an approximately three-story, 55-foot-tall, 18,200 square foot building. This building would contain multi-use arts/cultural/education uses.

Currently proposed to be constructed in two phases which could occur concurrently depending upon demand and financing, Phase 1 of the 5M project would include the following five components and is expected to take 48 months to complete, starting in 2015:

1. Demolition of three existing buildings located at 910, 912, and 924–926 Howard Street
2. Construction of Building M-2
3. Construction of Building H-2
4. Renovation of Building M-1 (Chronicle Building) and construction of two-story addition
5. Renovation and rehabilitation of Building N-3 (Dempster Printing Building).

Phase 2 of the 5M project would include the following four components and is currently slated to begin in 2018:

1. Demolition of the existing Examiner Building at 110 Fifth Street, the existing two‐story pedestrian connector between the Chronicle and Examiner Buildings, the existing Camelline Building at 430 Natoma Street, and the existing building at 190 Fifth Street
2. Construction of Building N‐1
3. Construction of Building H‐1
4. Construction of Building N‐2

In addition to the proposed 22,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space atop the renovated Chronicle Building, 9,750 square feet of open space to be known as "Mary Court" would serve as the proposed project’s central public space, created by vacating the existing Mary Street segment between Minna and Natoma Streets.

5M%20Project%20Open%20Space.gif

A portion of Building N-1 would cantilever over Mary Court which is envisioned to accommodate "events, workshops, and speaker series, hosted in part by adjacent tenants, as well as less formal interactions among residents, employees, and the public."

Chronicle Site Rendering: Minna Elevation

Forest City's 5M Project: Big Plans For 4 Acres At Fifth And Mission [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

February 6, 2013

Forest City's 5M Project: Big Plans For 4 Acres At Fifth And Mission

Forest City's proposed 5M Project spans a 4-acre site roughly bounded by Mission, Fifth, Howard and Mary Streets at the nexus of San Francisco’s South of Market Area (SOMA). The 5M project includes over a million square feet of office space, 750 new dwelling units, and 150,000 square feet of ground floor retail, educational, and cultural uses with five new buildings ranging in height from 50 to 400 feet (click images to enlarge):

As part of the project, the Chronicle Building at 901 Mission Street and the Dempster Printing Building at 447-449 Minna Street would both be rehabilitated while six other buildings on the site would be razed to make room for the new construction.

The square footage of renovated space and new construction would total 1.85 million square feet. In addition, the project would include up to 888 parking spaces for cars in three subterranean levels, around 270 spaces for bikes, and 34,000 square feet of privately-owned publicly accessible open space including 22,000 square feet atop the Chronicle building which would be accessible to the public during business hours and to tenants and residents between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Seven existing surface parking lots on the site with a total of approximately 256 parking spaces would meet their demise. And Mary Street between Mission and Minna Streets would be closed to vehicular traffic and converted to a pedestrian alleyway.

Public planning meetings for the project are slated to start in two weeks. Assuming all approvals by the end of next year, construction could commence as early as 2015 and be finished by 2026 with the project constructed in two phases (see massing above).

Testing The Waters To Develop Four Infill Acres At Fifth And Mission [SocketSite]
A Huge (Potential) Development For The Mid-Market/SoMa 'Hood [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (34) | (email story)

January 30, 2013

Is NoPa Being Wrongly Targeted With Reduced Parking/Traffic Lanes?

Citizen%20NoPa%20Flyer.jpg

Last night "Citizen NoPa" papered parked cars on the streets of NoPa in an attempt to rally new opposition to the proposed redesign of Masonic Avenue and loss of 167 on-street parking spaces, a redesign which was approved by the SFMTA last year and shouldn’t be catching any plugged-in people by surprise.

The flyer leads a NoPa resident who’s now starting to feel that her neighborhood is unfairly being targeted to wonder, "Is it right to reduce traffic lanes and parking and then also approve a new Target store in the same area?"

The construction work on said City Center CityTarget at the corner of Masonic and Geary has commenced and is currently slated for an October 2013 opening.

New Design For Masonic Avenue To Be Approved This Afternoon [SocketSite]
City Center CityTarget Officially Slated For October 2013 Opening [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (128) | (email story)

Apple Rumor Busted But In Part Confirmed As Well

Apple Logo in Pride Colors

Perhaps it’s a case of plans having since changed, Colliers playing coy, or simply wishful thinking that’s not to be, but the rumor of Apple filling the vacated Diesel space seems to have been busted by the Biscuit. That being said, Colliers’ comment that "Apple was not interested in the space, as it was too small," would seem to confirm that Apple has indeed set its sights on the Castro, just not the 400 Castro Street Site.

Apple Has Reportedly Set Their Sights On This Castro Street Site [SocketSite]
UPATED: Diesel Closes. Apple Store Coming? [castrobiscuit.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

January 28, 2013

Apple Has Reportedly Set Their Sights On This Castro Street Site

400 Castro Street

The word on the street is a 50% jump in rent was to blame for effectively chasing Diesel from their 400 Castro Street location at the corner of Market. And if a plugged-in tipster is correct, Apple has their sights set on the space with plans to develop the old Bank of America building into an iconic Apple Store which would be the fourth in San Francisco.

As Apple hasn’t commented, we'll have to consider it a rumor for now.

UPDATE (1/30): Apple Rumor Busted But In Part Confirmed As Well.

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (40) | (email story)

ACT(ing) Out: 970 Market Street Site Hits The Market Sans An Arts Use

970 Market Street Site

Over the past two years, the Tenderloin Economic Development Project (TEDP) has been advocating to secure the three Mid-Market parcels between 966 and 974 Market Street for the development of an "arts & education facility with retail, restaurant and residential uses" with the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) as a partner.

Having been in negotiations with the Loan Star Fund, the Dallas based hedge fund which acquired the parcels out of distress a few years ago, and having seemingly secured a soft agreement to incorporate TEDP’s arts and education vision into any development, Lone Star suddenly went silent at the end of last year and quietly listed the parcels for sale as "970 Market Street" with bids due by February 15, 2013.

While not yet entitled for development, the offering memorandum for the 25,557 square foot site with over 100 feet of Market Street retail frontage notes "the potential for over 250 residential units or over 250,000 gross square feet of office and retail space."

970 Market Street Rendering

From the Tenderloin Economic Development Project’s Executive Director, Elvin Padilla:

In response to TEDP’s confronting the hedge fund over bad faith negotiation practices the mayor [has] decided to host a breakfast with developers that may be interested in the site to impress upon them the importance of and the city’s support for arts & culture.

The breakfast meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

January 23, 2013

Conflicting Plans For The Corner Of Brannan And Fifth

610 Brannan

The draft Western SoMa Community Plan which was approved by the Planning Commission this past December and will be before the Board of Supervisors in early 2013 would rezone the corner of Brannan and Fifth Streets to a newly-created Service, Arts and Light Industrial zoning district and change the maximum height for the corner from 50 to 55 feet.

At the same time, the corner also falls within the ongoing Central Corridor Plan study area, the draft plan for which is in the works and an early version of which suggested height limits of 85 to 130 feet would actually be more appropriate for the site:

In recognition of the desire to accommodate more growth in the area, the draft Central Corridor Plan concepts recommend changing the height limit of the subject property to 85 feet. Additionally, the draft concepts include a Higher Height Alternative, which would allow additional height, up to a maximum of 130 feet, on a portion of the subject property. In this alternative scenario, any portion of the building exceeding 85 feet in height would be subject to additional setback requirements and bulk restrictions. At minimum, 15-foot stepbacks will be required above a height of 85 feet along all property lines.

All that being said, the owners of the land are actually proposing to demolish the existing single-story buildings and surface parking lot on the corner and construct a 160-foot-tall and 11-story office building with 20,000 square feet of street-fronting retail space and 547,000 square feet of office space in their place, a proposal which would require the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to approve yet another set of zoning controls for the site in order for the project to proceed.

A Short-Sighted Plan For Western SoMa? [SocketSite]
Planning's Vision And Development Plan For Western SoMa [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

January 19, 2013

The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: Q2 2012 (www.SocketSite,.com)

In 2011, less than a hundred market rate housing units came to the market in San Francisco. Including subsidized housing and accounting for units lost through demolition, merger or the like, a total of only 269 housing units were produced.

Today, there are over 3,930 new housing units under construction in San Francisco, most of which are market rate and a couple thousand of which will hit the market over the next year, numbers which shouldn't catch any plugged-in people by surprise.

Building permits for another 2,700 units having been approved with permits for 2,870 units requested, a total of over 5,500 mroe housing units which should start hitting the market in two to four years.

Another 28,010 housing units have been approved to be built by Planning which includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which still have timelines measured in decades, not years.

With plans for an additional 6,080 housing units on the boards, San Francisco’s total Housing Pipeline currently totals 43,580 units. For context, a total of 10,438 housing units have been constructed in San Francisco since 2007, a total of 24,519 new units since 2000.

With respect to the pipeline of commercial development in San Francisco: 830,000 square feet are under construction; building permits for 963,000 square feet have been issued; building permits for another 2,546,000 square feet have been requested; and another 5,828,000 square feet of commercial development has been approved.

The latest San Francisco Pipeline Report which includes a breakdown of all the development by neighborhood:

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: 4,200 New Units On The Way [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Total Housing Inventory And Pipeline Report [SocketSite]
Is A Lack Of Density Cooking San Francisco's Golden Tech Goose? [SocketSite]
Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan For 10,500 New Units Approved! [SocketSite]
Treasure Island Redevelopment Plans Approved! (Appeal Rejected) [SocketSite]
The Parkmerced Thirty Year Plan: Public Scoping Meeting Tonight [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

January 15, 2013

Designs For Eleven Stories Of Infill And More Feet On Fourth Street

250 4th Street Rendering

As we first reported last year, the existing two and one-half story building occupied by Olivet Theological University at 250 Fourth Street between Howard and Folsom is proposed to be razed with an 11-story hotel with 220 guest rooms over a ground floor restaurant (and/or retail) to rise on the site without any off-street parking except for (ten) bikes.

250%204th%20Street%20Streetscape.jpg

Assuming approvals which could happen this week, the demolition of 250 Fourth Street would commence in July of 2013 and the finished building would be ready for occupancy by the end of 2014. And as the site currently appears:

250%204th%20Street%20site.jpg

A Kynar, Gentler Eleven-Story Hotel Proposed To Rise On Fourth [SocketSite]

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

January 14, 2013

Autodesk Slated To Takeover And Makeover Most Of Pier 9

Pier 9

The past September San Francisco’s Port Commission approved a five year lease and $3 million improvement program for Autodesk to renovate and occupy 8,391 square feet on San Francisco’s Pier 9. This week, the lease is slated to be expanded to 27,190 square feet for ten years with a minimum of $7 million in planned improvements.

Pier 9 will house Autodesk’s consumer products division, including the newly acquired Instructables, occupying space which was mostly functionally obsolete or vacant.

Autodesk will be paying $55,444.00 per month ($2.25 per square foot for existing office space, $1.25 per square foot for currently unimproved shed space) with a 3 percent annual increase in rent on the Pier, a rate which was not competitively bid by the Port and will require San Francisco's Board of Supervisors' blessing this week.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

Less Loitering, Littering, Drunkenness And Damage Along Mission

The findings that led to the passage of Planning Code Section 785 and the establishment of the Excelsior Alcohol Restricted Use District back in 2008, prohibiting the opening of any new liquor stores in the area:

There are an unusually large number of establishments dispensing alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, for off-site consumption in the area located generally on Mission Street from Silver Avenue to the Daly City border. The existence of this many off-sale alcoholic beverage establishments appears to contribute directly to numerous peace, health, safety, and general welfare problems in the area, including loitering, littering, public drunkenness, defacement and damaging of structures, pedestrian obstructions, as well as traffic circulation, parking and noise problems on public streets and neighborhood lots.
The existence of these problems creates serious impacts on the health, safety, and welfare of residents of nearby single- and multiple-family areas, including fear for the safety of children, elderly residents, and visitors to the area. The problems also contribute to the deterioration of the neighborhood and concomitant devaluation of property and destruction of community values and quality of life. The number of establishments selling alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption and the associated problems discourage more desirable and needed commercial uses in the area.

Written with a five year Sunset Provision which automatically repeals the Excelsior Alcohol Restricted Use District in three months ("unless the Board of Supervisors, on or before that date, extends or re-enacts it"), this afternoon San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee will review an amendment sponsored by Supervisor Avalos which would strike the Sunset Provision and make the restriction permanent.

The Excelsior Alcohol Restricted Use District and Proposed Amendment [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

January 7, 2013

On The Agenda: New Mission Theater And New Condos Approvals

2558 Mission Street Rendering

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, the approval of The Next Big Housing Thing To Define The New Mission, the redevelopment of the New Mission Theater and construction of 114 market-rate condos and 89 parking spaces at 2558 Mission Street where the Giant Value department store currently stands.

New Mission Theater and Giant Value Site

The Planning Department recommends approval. And as we first reported last year, once approved, the construction of the 2558 Mission Street building would take approximately 18 to 20 months, 10 to 12 months for the renovation of the New Mission Theater.

The Next Big Housing Thing To Define The New Mission [SocketSite]
New Mission Theater Plans Moving Forward, Targeting 2013 Opening [SocketSite]
Giant Value Housing Or Headache To Come In The Mission? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (39) | (email story)

December 18, 2012

Salesforce Signs Deal To Occupy Entire 350 Mission Street Tower

350 Mission Rendering

As we first reported in October, the permits to demolish the existing four story Heald College building at 350 Mission Street and construct a 27-story office tower reaching 350 feet on the site have been issued with construction to start early next year.

Today, Salesforce announced it has signed a 14 year lease for the entire tower. In fact, the lease is not only for all 27 stories, but for 30 stories and 444,000 square feet should the developer get approval to construct an additional 3 stories on the site.

350 Mission Street: Permits Issued For 350-Foot Tower To Rise [SocketSite]
Salesforce inks deal to occupy new San Francisco highrise [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (46) | (email story)

December 17, 2012

Putting Lipstick On The Red-Tagged Pig Of Pier 38?

Pier 38

Bids to rehabilitate the Pier 38 bulkhead structure and a portion of the Pier 38 shed, the pier from which a whole host of startups and two venture capital firms were evicted last year, are now being sought with a deadline of February 22, 2013 to respond.

From a plugged-in tipster who attended the pre-bid conference last week and questions the Ports direction and approach:

The Port Commission directed the Port staff to get the front part of the pier (the "bulkhead building") re-tenanted as soon as possible. If the Port had recovered from the previous tenant debacle and resolved two issues - litigation over an outstanding loan against the previous lessee and the removal of three boats parked illegally at Pier 38 - they could conceivably move forward with developing the whole pier.
As it stands, it’s kind of half-baked (at the direction of the Port) because respondents are being asked to develop the front of something while kind of ignoring the back half. Oh, and the respondents can "optionally" submit qualifications for developing the whole pier.

In the opinion of our tipster, the Port "should seek resolution on the outstanding issues so Port staff can create a complete development package, rather than put lipstick on a pig through a large tenant improvement." Feel free to proffer an opinion of your own.

Pier 38 Bulkhead Rehabilitation Project RFP [sfgov.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

A Kynar, Gentler Eleven-Story Hotel Proposed To Rise On Fourth

250%20Fourth%20Street%20Site.jpg

As proposed, the existing two and one-half story building occupied by Olivet Theological University at 250 Fourth Street between Howard and Folsom will be razed and an 11-story hotel with 220 guest rooms over a ground floor restaurant (and/or retail) will rise. The hotel would be "locally owned, but affiliated with an international hotel chain."

While the plan calls for a passenger loading zone, no on-site parking would be provided other than for ten bikes within the basement for employees and visitors. The visitor bicycle parking would be "valet assisted."

The design, finishes and timing for the proposed hotel at 250 Fourth Street:

250%20Fourth%20Street%20Facade.gif

The building's ground-floor cement plaster façade would include glass, stone clad columns, and stainless steel-clad door frames with translucent glass canopies and signage above the entries to the hotel and restaurant/retail.

250%20Fourth%20Street%20Design.gif

Each floor above the ground level would include windows with Kynar-finished metal sunscreens and Kynar-finished metal trim and panels. The roof deck would be enclosed by vision glass units and Kynar-finished metal trim fronting on Fourth Street.

Assuming approvals, the demolition of 250 Fourth Street would commence in July of 2013 and the finished building would be ready for occupancy by the end of 2014.

And for those who might be wondering, as were we, Kynar is a resin coating for aluminum, galvanized steel, and aluminized steel which is "available in a rainbow of textures, sheens and colors, including metallics and pearlescents."

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

December 7, 2012

Coming To The Corner Of 14th And South Van Ness In Early 2014

300%20South%20Van%20Ness%20Rendering.jpg

San Francisco’s Planning Commission has approved the plans for a new 20,000 square-foot Audi dealership to rise at 300 South Van Ness at the corner of 14th Street in the Mission with an expected opening in early 2014. As the corner currently appears:

300%20South%20Van%20Ness%20Site.jpg

And no, the un-rendered electrical lines are not being removed.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

December 5, 2012

Fresh & Easy Is Having A Hard Time, Likely To Exit The SF Market(s)

As a plugged-in reader wrote two months ago:

I LOVE [Fresh & Easy] but they just announced last week that they're stalling almost all of their US store openings due to the chain's inability to gain traction and likely won't open more than a couple more in the next year. I think the proposed ones (such as this and the South Van Ness location, which they still haven't begun work on) are unlikely to ever open.

Today, the British company formally announced plans to either sell off their U.S. stories or shut them all down. Until a decision is made, it’s business as usual for the existing stores, but it’s likely DOA for their unopened San Francisco locations.

A Fresh & Easy Start On Ocean Avenue? [SocketSite]
Fresh & Easy At 1245 South Van Ness Set For Approval This Week [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

December 4, 2012

From Defunct To Potentially Delicious (Or Demolished?) In 2013

Marina%20Degaussing%20Station.jpg

While all eyes might be on, or perhaps trying to avoid, the naked protest planed for today’s Board of Supervisors meeting should the Board finalize the adoption of San Francisco’s new public nudity prohibition, the ten-year lease of the City’s Marina Degaussing Station down at the Marina Green is on the Board's agenda as well.

Marina Degaussing Station Renovation Rendering

The proposed lease for the 1,170 square foot Station, which the Woodhouse Fish Co. crew plans to turn into a seafood shack with both covered and uncovered seating, would run through 2022 with two potential five-year extensions.

Marina Degaussing Station Renovation Rendering

Built by the United States Navy in 1943, ownership of the Marina Degaussing Station was transferred to the City in the 1980’s and the station has sat vacant ever since. The renovation of the building will likely cost Woodhouse around $650,000 with an estimated effective rent to the City, including a percentage of revenue, of over $100,000 per year.

The renovation is expected to commence within four months of a lease being signed. And per the terms of the agreement, the restaurant would be required to serve "affordably priced and fresh food featuring seasonal and sustainable ingredients using organic products when possible" with minimum hours of operation between 11am and 7pm.

Assuming approvals and permits, the restaurant's opening is slated for summer 2013.

Opposing the project, however, the Marina Civic Improvement & Property Owners Association has delivered 201 signatures to the Board and is not only requesting that the lease be denied, but that the Station be demolished as well. And they're not the only neighborhood group nor neighbor that's opposed to the 75 seat operation:

Has anyone thought of the nuisance value this type of operation will bring? And what about the number of people it benefits? A very small number compared to the people who it will affect. The residents on Marina Blvd will have to live with this nightmare of noise, bright lights and litter 7 days a week!

No word on whether the above Marina resident is equally concerned about "the nuisance value" of the proposed 17,500 seat Warriors arena, but we wouldn't be surprised if not.

Proposed Lease Terms for the Marina Degaussing Station [sfbos.org]
San Francisco's Public Nudity Prohibition [sfbos.org]

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

November 30, 2012

Latest SF Skyscraper Scoop: 181 Fremont Redesigned And Rendered

181%20Fremont%20Site.jpg

Back in 2007, the proposed skyscraper to rise at 181 Fremont street which was designed by HellerManus reached 900 feet and would have yielded around 500,000 square feet of office space below 140 residential condominiums.

181%20Fremont%20Site%20Rendered.jpg

Having been waylaid by the market, the project is now making its way back through planning, but the proposed steel framed tower has been downsized to 52 stories reaching 700 feet with a decorative screen reaching to 745 feet and a spire to the 802-foot mark.

181%20Fremont%202012%20Rendered.jpg

As now proposed, the tower would contain 404,000 square feet of office space on floors 3 to 35, 74 condos on floors 38 to 52, and 7,000 square feet of residential amenities and a two-story open air terrace wrapping around the building on level 36 for residents:

181%20Fremont%202012.jpg

A bridge to the elevated City Park atop the future Transit Center extends from floor 5.

181%20Fremont%20Bridge.jpg

And underneath it all, a five-level subterranean garage would provide parking for 200 cars

Add Another (Proposed) Tower To The Transbay Mix (181 Fremont) [SocketSite]

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

November 29, 2012

Trader Joe's At California And Hyde Has Opened Its Doors

1401 California Trader Joe's (www.SocketSite.com)

While the ribbon cutting ceremony isn’t until next week, the new Trader Joe's at 1401 California and Hyde has opened its doors. A CVS Pharmacy will join the redevelopment of the former Cala Foods in early 2013. And there’s currently no queue for parking. Yet.

1401 California: Trader Joe's And CVS Authorization This Week
From Cala To Condos To Trader Joe's At 1401 California [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

November 13, 2012

A Short-Sighted Plan For Western SoMa?

San Francisco's 11th Street Corridor

Home to Slim's, Beatbox and the DNA lounge, current zoning along Western SoMa's 11th Street Corridor between Folsom and Harrison doesn’t actually allow for nighttime entertainment as a permitted use, the clubs operate as legal nonconforming establishments.

As proposed, the Western SoMa Plan would rezone the 11th Street Corridor and the surrounding area as WMUG (Western SoMA Mixed Use – General), maintaining the prohibition on new entertainment venues while permitting housing and a broad range of small-to-moderate scale commercial activities.

While the Planning Department continues to back the proposed plan, this week the Planning Commission will be presented with a few alternate approaches for zoning the corridor, including an option which would allow new clubs to open while creating buffer zones for new housing.

And speaking of new housing, as a number of plugged-in readers quickly noted, a core tenet of the proposed Western SoMa Plan is to "discourage housing production that is not in scale with the existing neighborhood pattern," a plan which will restrict the vast majority of new buildings in the centrally located neighborhood to heights of under 55 feet.

Considering San Francisco's struggle to meet its housing needs, and a discernible lack of density, it's a plan which seems rather short-sighted to some, perhaps even to many.

Planning's Vision And Development Plan For Western SoMa [SocketSite]
Market Rate Development On Track In SF, Affordable Housing Isn’t [SocketSite]
It’s All About (A Lack Of) Density [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

November 7, 2012

Planning's Vision And Development Plan For Western SoMa

The sister project to San Francisco’s adopted Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, the Western SoMa Community Plan has been in the works since 2004 when East and West were split and the Western SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force was established.

As we noted when the Draft Plan was up for review in 2009 (click images to enlarge):

In general, the goal of the Draft Plan is to maintain the mixed-use character of the proposed Plan area and preserve existing housing, while encouraging new residential and resident-serving uses (including affordable housing) within the proposed Residential Enclave Districts north of Harrison Street and targeting larger parcels south of Harrison Street for local- and region-serving, primarily commercial uses (such as office and technology-based uses) and large-scale (over 25,000 square feet) commercial developments.

Western SoMa Plan Heights (click to enlarge)

The second component of the proposed project is the rezoning of approximately 47 parcels proximate to the proposed Plan boundary (generally bounded by Seventh Street, Ninth Street, Mission Street and Minna Street) in order to reconcile their use districts and height and bulk districts with those of the neighboring properties.
The third component of the proposed project is a privately funded mixed-use residential, commercial, and light industrial/artist development proposed at 350 8th Street, within the proposed Plan area.

350 8th Street Plan

The site is occupied by a large paved lot and three small, single-story administration and maintenance structures, which would be demolished to accommodate the proposed 634,000-square-foot mixed-use development.

Since refined, the final Plan which seeks to establish "a comprehensive vision for shaping growth in the western portion of the South of Market neighborhood" will be reviewed by San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission this afternoon.

Tomorrow, San Francisco's Planning Department will request the Planning Commission schedule a public hearing on December 6, 2012 to consider the adoption of the proposed Community Plan and related Code and Zoning Map amendments.

Western SoMA Community Plan Outlined And Up For Impact Review [SocketSite]
Western SoMa Community Plan [sfplanning.org] 

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

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 29, 2012

Transbay Tower Slated For 2014 Groundbreaking, Occupancy In 2017

Transbay Tower Site

With the 1,070 foot tall Tansbay Tower having been approved to rise at 101 First Street, and Hines having partnered with Boston Properties to purchase the site and finance the tower’s construction, the likely groundbreaking for the project has been pushed back from late 2013 to sometime in 2014 with occupancy in 2017.

No word on whether Sue Hestor's Save Our Parks Sunlight Coalition or San Franciscans for Reasonable Growth plan to appeal Planning's approval of the project, or will otherwise attempt to delay the development, but we would be surprised if not.

Financial Partner Secured To Build San Francisco’s Transbay Tower [SocketSite]
Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
Sue Hestor Seeks To Stop Transit Center Tower Development Short [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

October 26, 2012

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: 4,200 New Units On The Way

San Francisco's Housing Pipeline: Q2 2012 (www.SocketSite,.com)

As we first reported earlier this year, with 372,831 total housing units in San Francisco, a third of which are single-family homes and only a quarter of which are in buildings with over 20 units, total new housing production in 2011 totaled 418 units, the lowest production since 1993 and versus an average of 1,890 units per year from 2000-2010. In addition, 149 units were lost through demolition, merger or the removal of illegal units in 2011 for a net gain of only 269, less than a hundred of which were market rate.

Today, there are over 4,200 net new housing units under construction in San Francisco with building permits for another 1,450 units having been approved and permits for another 2,610 having been requested, units which should hit the market over the next three years.

Another 28,060 housing units have been approved to be built by Planning, but that includes 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units in Park-Merced, projects which have timelines measured in decades, not years.

For context, a total of 10,438 housing units have been constructed in San Francisco since 2007, a total of 24,519 net new units since 2000.

With respect to the pipeline of commercial development in San Francisco: 830,000 square feet are under construction; building permits for 964,000 square feet have been issued; building permits for another 2,423,000 square feet have been requested; and another 5,822,000 square feet of commercial development has been approved.

The detailed San Francisco Pipeline Report which includes a breakdown by neighborhood:

San Francisco’s Total Housing Inventory And Pipeline Report [SocketSite]
Is A Lack Of Density Cooking San Francisco's Golden Tech Goose? [SocketSite]
Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan For 10,500 New Units Approved! [SocketSite]
Treasure Island Redevelopment Plans Approved! (Appeal Rejected) [SocketSite]
The Parkmerced Thirty Year Plan: Public Scoping Meeting Tonight [SocketSite]

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

Square's Mid-Market To Mid-Market Move

1455 Market Street

Plans to add a "chef's kitchen and other amenities" for employees of Square are underway at 1455 Market Street, with the company's six block move from its current Mid-Market headquarters at Fifth and Mission to its future "Mid-Market" headquarters on Market between Tenth and Eleventh Streets expected to be executed by mid-2013.

1455 Market Street

1455 Market Street is directly adjacent to Crescent Heights' 749-unit development at 1401 Market Street which is rising right across Tenth Street from "Market Square," no relation.

1401 Market Rendering

More Mid-Market Development And Definition [SocketSite]
A Huge (Potential) Development For The Mid-Market/SoMa 'Hood [SocketSite]
1401 Market Street: Redesigned And Cleared For Construction [SocketSite]
1355 Market Square Scoop: Three New Restaurants And A Grocery [SocketSite]
Square signs lease for new mid-Market headquarters [squareup.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

October 25, 2012

350 Mission Street: Permits Issued For 350-Foot Tower To Rise

350 Mission Rendering

Approved for a 27-story office tower reaching 350 feet last year, the fully entitled site at 350 Mission Street has been sold to Kilroy Realty with the transfer in the works.

350 Mission Street

The permits to demolish the existing four story Heald College building on the site have been approved, and the construction permits for the Skidmore Owings & Merrill designed tower to rise on the coner of Mission and Fremont were issued last month.

350 Mission Rendering

350 Feet At 350 Mission (And San Francisco’s Planning Commission) [SocketSite]
Permits Pulled To Raze And Rebuild At 350 Mission [SocketSite]
350 Feet At 350 Mission (And San Francisco’s Planning Commission) [SocketSite]
EIR Today, Heald Gone Tomorrow At 350 Mission As Proposed [SocketSite]
More Than Meets The Eye Behind The Opposition To 350 Mission? [SocketSite]
Kilroy Realty buys development site at 350 Mission [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (43) | (email story)

October 24, 2012

Financial Partner Secured To Build San Francisco’s Transbay Tower

As we wrote last week with respect to the recently approved 61-story Transbay Tower to rise at 101 First Street:

In terms of the land on which the tower would rise, while the deadline for Hines to complete the $185 million purchase of the site from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority has passed, and Hines has yet to announce a new financial partner, negotiations continue.
The chance that Hines will fail to complete its purchase of the site (click image to enlarge) and that the Pelli Clarke Pelli design would be shelved? We'd put that at well under one percent.

Boston Properties has just been announced as Hines’ new financial partner on the project. The acquisition of the site from the TJPA is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
Transbay Land Cost Cut Another $50 Million For Shrunken Tower [SocketSite]
Transbay Tower's Financial Backer Has Left The Building [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

October 22, 2012

Speaking Of Adding Floors And Altered Views: 680 Folsom Topped Out

680 Folsom: 10/2012

Speaking of adding floors and unprotected views, a reader wonders how much higher the soon to be re-skinned building at 680 Folsom Street will rise. Our answer: with two floors having been added atop the original twelve-story building, it goes no higher as the renovation has topped out at fourteen floors, although there will be mechanical above.

690 Folsom: Redesign Rendering

The renovated building which should be ready for occupancy by November 2013 will yield 505,000 square feet of office space and a public plaza on the corner of Folsom and Third Streets on which a new 15,000-square-foot retail or cultural building will also rise.

And of course, as the buildings at 680 and 690 Folsom Street previously appeared:

680/690 Folsom

Renovation Of 680/690 Folsom Slated To Get Going This November [SocketSite]
A Re-Skinning Crane Has Risen At 680 Folsom Street [SocketSite]
You've Been Warned: Let There Be Less Light And Fewer Views [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

October 19, 2012

Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise

Transbay Tower: Approved Design

The proposed 1,070-foot Transbay Tower to rise at 101 First Street was approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission last night. We’ll let you know when the appeal is filed.

In terms of the land on which the tower would rise, while the deadline for Hines to complete the $185 million purchase of the site from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority has passed, and Hines has yet to announce a new financial partner, negotiations continue.

The chance that Hines will fail to complete its purchase of the site (click image to enlarge) and that the Pelli Clarke Pelli design would be shelved? We'd put that at well under one percent. The complete design narrative and details for the 61-story tower:

The Transbay Tower will be a sweeping, iconic addition to the San Francisco skyline, as well as a 21st Century example of smart, sustainable, transit-oriented development. The 61 story, 1,070 foot tall office building will be located on the northern third of the block bounded by First, Mission, Fremont, and Howard Streets. The structure is planned to occupy approximately the northern half of Lot 1 on Block 3720, directly adjacent to the new Transbay Transit Center, on the south side of Mission between Fremont and First.
The tower site comprises approximately 50,000 square feet. It previously served as the passenger waiting, loading and Muni drop-off area for the old Transbay Terminal, demolished in the fall of 2010. When completed, the site will hold the Transbay Tower and Mission Square open space, the primary approach to the Transit Center.
Designed by internationally recognized architects Pelli Clarke Pelli, the proposed tower will have a contemporary style, consisting of a slender, tapering silhouette and employing a metal and glass curtain wall (a non-structural wall of mostly glass) along all four facades. The tower will consist of a single, sculptural vertical element. Although the form is not a traditional three-part (base, shaft and capital) arrangement typical in many of the City’s buildings, the streetwall level transforms in scale appropriate to the pedestrian experience, and the top’s crown will evolve gradually out of the tower’s form and wall texture. Horizontal metal fi ns on each floor will act as sunshades and give the surface texture. To maintain an elegant, respectful character, the tower’s form is a simple, timeless obelisk. The walls rise past the top floor of the building to form, gradually transforming materials making the top lighter, smaller and more transparent, appearing to dissolve into the sky.
The Transbay Tower will have concave curved massing in plan and in section with glass and metal wall on all four sides. The tower tapers as the building rises, beginning at a height of about 380 feet. From there, the exterior walls will slope gently inward on all four sides, giving the building a curving, obelisk-like form. The 172-foot horizontal dimension along each side of the ground floor will reduce to about 138 feet at the building roof, a height of about 920 feet.
A tower of this size must address multiple readings of scale. It must have enough presence of form and detail to be an inspirational point of orientation across a wide urban environment. At the same time, it must be a well-tailored citizen of its immediate neighborhood. In regard to the former, Transbay Tower’s sculpted profile is simple and graceful. Its gentle tapering curves sweep swiftly around curving corners without the harshness of hard edges, like a beautiful vase. The glass will have a high level of energy performance without becoming an oppressively reflective and opaque mass. The metallic accents and sunshades will create a pearlescent white glow so that it harmoniously joins with Transamerica and Coit Towers in defining the skyline. As one approaches the tower, the simplicity of form reveals a richness of texture that is both complementary to the form’s gentle curves, but also boldly three dimensional in its layering. When viewed from the neighborhood, the transparency of the glass allows one to see through the curving corners, creating a sense of lightness, and further enhancing the visual depth created by the metal accent work.
A lattice-like metal and clear glass sculptural crown, approximately 150 feet tall, will complete the top of the building, continuing the building’s tapering shape up to a total height of 1,070 feet. The lattice and clear glass will allow for the passage of sunlight, minimizing shadow impacts the element might otherwise cause. The horizontal dimension at the top of this element will be approximately 89 feet. The sculptural element will enclose and help screen a mechanical penthouse, which is set back from the building’s exterior walls on all four sides. In addition, a distinctive facet has been carved into the center of each face at the top. This facet will allow light to pass through its surface, but is distinctive enough to allow it to catch highlights, and thus be visible across the city. It also offers a simple, effective surface for creating a signature lighting feature during the evening.
The building will include 59 floors of office related space, with two mechanical floors (on the second and sixty first floors). The structure will have a square footprint of roughly 26,000 square feet which decreases gracefully as the tower rises, with curving frontages of just over 170 feet along each side. When completed, the Transbay Tower will contain approximately 1.37 million square feet of office space supported by ample retail space off the ground floor lobby. Additional retail space exists on a portion of the floor connected by footbridge to the planned city park atop the Transit Center.
The building’s exterior wall transforms at Level 5 to create a streetwall datum appropriate to the human scale. The horizontal shades and the vertical fins become bolder and more prominent than the tower wall above. The result is a streetwall, approximately 84’ in height, that blends well with the tower wall above, while creating a strong sense of a base for pedestrians at street and Transit Center park level.
Pedestrians will gain access to the tower lobby from the northwest corner of the site at First and Mission Streets. In addition, a pedestrian bridge on the fifth level will provide a walking connection from the Transbay Tower to the city park on top of the Transit Center. The building will also provide a public elevator via a generous public lobby from the ground floor up to the fifth floor pedestrian terrace, public retail and park bridge - as well as an inclined elevator which rises through the grove of Sequoia redwoods that fill Mission Square. The redwoods are aligned in rows helping to create a variety of public zones in the open space of the Square; from cafe seating spilling out from adjacent retail, benches for reading or relaxing, as well as generous space for pedestrian traffic in and out of the Transit Center.
The building will include some of the latest innovations in building safety and well-being, some of which include a third emergency exit stair, a pressurized fireman’s vestibule, 100% outside air, and a finished ceiling height of 10 feet.
The Transbay Tower will be supported by a concrete slab foundation on piers to bedrock more than 200 feet below grade. The building is a composite structure with floors of composite structural framing surrounding the central reinforced concrete core. The large concrete core provides the lateral strength to resist forces from wind and earthquakes.
For consistency with the depth of the excavation of the adjacent new Transit Center, the Transbay Tower will have three basement levels. To allow for the below grade loading dock, the first basement level will span the entire footprint of the building, as well as the Mission Square open space along Fremont. The second and third basement levels will be decreased in size, shifting inward to the west. Six off -street freight loading spaces will be provided on the first basement level. A single, two-way ramp on First Street, located near the southwest corner of the building will provide access to the parking garage and loading dock. The garage will also contain ample bicycle parking. Shower and locker facilities will be available to support these commuters. Carpool priority parking and electric charge stations will be incorporated as well. Parking, loading, and other subsurface areas will occupy approximately 120,000 square feet.

Planning To Raise Shadow Limits For SF's Transbay Towers To Rise [SocketSite]
Sue Hestor Seeks To Stop Transit Center Tower Development Short [SocketSite]
Transbay Tower Tweaks, Cuts And Timing [SocketSite]
Transbay Land Cost Cut Another $50 Million For Shrunken Tower [SocketSite]
Transbay Tower's Financial Backer Has Left The Building [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

October 18, 2012

A Fresh & Easy Start On Ocean Avenue?

1830 Ocean Avenue

Empty since 2010 when Rite Aid vacated the 17,000 square foot site, this afternoon San Francisco’s Planning Commission is set to vote on whether or not Fresh & Easy will be allowed to convert the retail space at 1830 Ocean Avenue into a grocery store.

1830 Ocean Avenue Rendering

The Planning Department recommends the Commission approve Fresh & Easy's request.

1830 Ocean Avenue: Fresh & Easy Request [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

October 17, 2012

City Center CityTarget Officially Slated For October 2013 Opening

With the first CityTarget in San Francisco having opened its doors last week, Target has announced that San Francisco's second CityTarget in the City Center development at Geary and Masonic will open in October 2013, a little later than originally targeted.

Now about the underdeveloped 5.4-acre Muni yard directly across the street

San Francisco's First Target Has Opened Its Doors [SocketSite]
Targeting Spring 2013 For Unanimously Approved City Center Target [SocketSite]
Is It Prime Time To Develop Muni's 5.4-Acre Presidio Yard? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

October 11, 2012

Details For The Starchitect Designed SF Tower Dubbed One Van Ness

One Van Ness Rendering

The Richard Meier & Partners designed 37-story tower that’s proposed to rise at the corner of Market, Van Ness and Oak Streets would reach 445 feet, 435 feet to the roof line with mechanical hidden by a parapet above (click elevations to enlarge).

Tentatively dubbed One Van Ness, the tower would contain 258 condos (one, two and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 500 to 2,500 square feet), 5,377 square feet of ground level retail, and 69 underground parking spaces accessed by way of a car elevator.

The proposed project also includes pedestrian improvements on Oak Street to the north of the project site that could include the installation of decorative paving/bricks, benches and landscaping. Additionally, the project entails construction of a wind screen structural feature that would extend across the width of Oak Street. Preliminary conceptual descriptions indicate that it would consist of a free standing, horizontal canopy that would allow wind to pass through.
The proposed wind screen would extend from the third floor roof (top of the base) across Oak Street at a height of 42 feet over the length of the project site. The wind screen would be anchored to the ground near the existing buildings at 11-35 Van Ness Avenue and 70 Oak Street. The canopy would consist of a porous material to diffuse the effects of ground-level winds.

Click the proposed ground level and plaza plan to enlarge:

In the words of a plugged-in reader earlier this year:

The tower would be a joke if the [All Star] Donut Shop remains in front as proposed. The developer currently will not buy the property and included it in the tower as the Market-Octavia Plan intended. The shop owner is willing to sell. People should tell the Planning Department that this project would be an abomination if the Donut Shop is not included.

The All Star Café site is still not include in the plan and the building will remain at the base of the modern One Van Ness tower as proposed.

All Star Cafe

An All-Star Architect's Design For An All Star Site At One Van Ness [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (88) | (email story)

October 10, 2012

San Francisco's First Target Has Opened Its Doors

San Franciscio City Target (www.SocketSite.com)

While the official Grand Opening isn't until this Sunday, San Francisco’s first Target at Fourth and Mission, an 85,000 square foot "CityTarget" with merchandise tailored for city-dwellers, including fresh groceries, opened its doors at 7am this morning.

The San Francsico CityTarget's store layout and offerings (click map to enlarge):

Go bananas, they're $.24 a piece. And don't forget the milk.

San Francisco CityTarget Grocery Section (www.SocketSite.com)

Metreon 1.5 Opens Tomorrow (2.0 And Target In October) [SocketSite]
Target + Metreon = (Twenty-Two Foot) Bull's-Eye In 2012 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

October 5, 2012

Zynga's Business Is Now Worth Less Than Its Building

650 Townsend

Having cut projections once again, Zynga is currently trading at $2.32 a share for a market cap of $1.76 billion. With around a billion and a half dollars of cash on its books, however, Zynga’s enterprise value is currently $223 million, five million less than the $228 million it paid for its headquarters building at 650 Townsend in San Francisco earlier this year.

As we wrote in July when we broke the news of Pincus' Pacific Heights purchase:

While Zynga is currently trading at $5.57 per share, 44 percent under its IPO price of $10 per share, a few insiders including CEO Mark Pincus managed to dump over $500 million worth of Zynga stock at $12 per share in a secondary offering, the proceeds of which went into the insiders' pockets rather than the coffers of the company.

If the thought of Pincus having bought a home with its fortresslike qualities and security in mind seemed like a stretch, perhaps it seems like foresight now.

While Zynga Trades Down, Pincus Trades Up [SocketSite]
Will Zynga Be A One House Wonder? [SocketSite]
It’s Game On With A Hand Out As Zynga Demands Tax Breaks As Well [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

October 1, 2012

Leticia’s Has Finally Fallen, Five Stories Set To Rise At 2200 Market

2200%20Market%20Street%20Site.jpg

The application to demolish the single story restaurant and surface area parking lot at the corner of Market, 15th and Sanchez Streets (most recently dba as Laticia’s) was first filed back in 2008. As a plugged-in commuter notes, the building has finally fallen.

On the site at 2200 Market Street, a five-story building with 22 residential units over two ground floor commercial spaces and underground parking has been permitted to rise.

2200-2210 Market: Rendering

As the building and site appeared when doing business as the Thai House back in 2008:

2200-2210 Market Street: Thai House (www.SocketSite.com)

Tearing Down The Thai House At 2200 Market To Add 22 Homes [SocketSite]
It's Rendering Thaim Time For 2200-2210 Market (Corner Of 15th) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

September 28, 2012

Market Street Development Appealed But Up For Approval This Week

2175 Market Street Rendering

As we first reported with respect to Forest City’s proposed 88 unit development at 2175 Market Street, the Planning department issued a Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration with respect to the potential environmental effects of the proposed project last month, which is a good thing if you’re the developer and a step forward assuming the declaration was not (successfully) appealed within 20 days.

The Declaration was, of course, appealed.

In order for the project to proceed, San Francisco’s Planning Commission must now uphold the Negative Declaration and grant conditional use authorization to demolish the existing gas station at 2175 Market Street and construct the proposed 65-foot-tall building with 88 apartments and 7,300 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, a portion of which would be occupied by a yet to be determined restaurant (click the renderings to enlarge):

As we also first reported earlier this month, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved the issuance of up to $31,000,000 in tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds to help finance the project, which if employed, would require 20 percent of the apartments to be below market rate (BMR) and occupied by households whose incomes do not exceed fifty percent of the area median income versus 15 percent of the units BMR as is currently proposed.

Next week, San Francisco’s Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the six-story 2175 Market Street project, a project the Planning Department recommends be approved. And yes, it's probably safe to assume that an approval from Planning will be appealed as well.

From 76 Station To 88 Apartments At 2175 Market Street As Proposed [SocketSite]
City Bonds Slated To Finance 2175 Market Street Development [SocketSite]
A Negative Yet Positive Step Forward For 2175 Market Street Project [SocketSite]

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

September 20, 2012

Hipster Hotelier Wannabes Take Second Note

385 9th Street

As we first reported and warned this past May:

…the Vagabond Inn at 385 9th Street is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in San Francisco this afternoon with an opening bid of $269,612. But budding hipster hoteliers take note, it’s the $250,000 second mortgage that’s foreclosing.
While a courthouse sale today would wipe out the $120,000 third, the $1,462,500 first mortgage on the property would remain. And yes, the first is currently in default as well, by $1,183,244 as of last month.

The move by the second mortgage holder to foreclose was subsequently cancelled.

As a plugged-in tipster notes, and no plugged-in reader should be caught by surprise, the first mortgage holder is now foreclosing with an auction scheduled for this afternoon, $1,344,714.78 now owed, and the second and third mortgages likely to be wiped out.

Hipster Hotelier Wannabes Take (Second) Note [SocketSite]
Failing Grades In Auction Buying 101 (And Commenting) [SocketSite]

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

September 19, 2012

Oh Thank Heaven For The Renovation Of 220 Battery

220 Battery

The little building at 220 Battery Street is owned by the Japanese company Kokubu Kensetsu Kogyo. And in the words of a plugged-in tipster, the building has been more or less "used as a public toilet since FedEx moved out."

Currently under renovation, it’s not a new tech company that’s moving in. In fact, they’re converting the space from office to retail. And if our tipster is correct, it’s a 7-Eleven that will fill the space and pump out copious amounts of snacks, sugar and caffeine.

There are over 1,700 7-Elevens in Tokyo and more stores in Japan (roughly 13,000) than in any other country. We counted fourteen in San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

September 18, 2012

The Prolific Henry Doelger And His Likely To Be Landmarked Building

The%20Doelger%20Building%201940.jpg

The Art Deco Doelger Building at 320-326 Judah Street was built in 1932, serving for two decades as the headquarters, warehouse and sales office for San Francisco builder extraordinaire Henry Doelger. A Streamline Moderne addition was added in 1940.

The%20Doelger%20Building%202012.jpg

Earlier this month, the Doelger building was purchased out of probate for $1,450,000.

A bit of background on the eccentric Henery Doelger and his building business that transformed San Francisco from Planning's Landmark Designation Report, a designation San Francisco's Historic Preservation Commission will consider initiating this week:

For two decades, beginning in the mid 1920s into the 1940s, merchant builder Henry Doelger constructed thousands of single‐family houses atop the sand dunes in San Francisco’s emerging Sunset District neighborhood. Pioneering mass construction house building techniques such as assembly‐line production, Doelger’s Sunset District houses rapidly transformed large swaths of southwest San Francisco...
Designed for middle‐income home buyers and built to Federal Housing Administration specifications, Doelger’s houses share near‐identical massing, floor plans, materials, and form, with differentiation provided by a profusion of facade styles. Doelger is widely considered San Francisco’s most prolific and significant merchant builder active during the pre‐War era. In 1946, the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Doelger “the poor man’s Frank Lloyd Wright,” and his residential tracts are often affectionately referred to as Doelgerville and Doelger City.
Doelger’s financial success allowed him many personal luxuries and stories about him abound in the society pages of local newspapers. He collected cars, yachts, toupees, shoes, ties, and custom‐made sport coats. On Sundays the Doelgers often invited 10 to 40 of their friends to join them on their yacht. Nearly everyone knew Doelger, and some — especially columnist Herb Caen — derived some pleasure from hearing gossip about the millionaire.
Caen opined about a Doelger purchase in November 1954 writing, “Henry Doelger’s ’54 Cad El Dorado has 4,500 miles on it, so naturally he’s turning in the old wreck on a ’55. Gets it Wednesday.” He reported again three days later, “Henry Doelger not only bought the first ‘’55 El Dorado in town, he got a new Fleetwood, too. ‘For the nighttime,’ he explains patiently to the peasants.”
The Doelgers were known for their extravagant lifestyle and eccentric hobbies. Henry’s wife, Thelma, had a heart for stray animals and was drawn toward the exotic. The San Francisco Examiner reported in 1940 that the Doelgers’ pet deer, Timothy, had escaped and was wandering around 15th and Taraval Streets in the Sunset District. Construction workers employed by Doelger recognized the animal and he was returned home, where he was “welcomed by three Great Danes which [were] his constant playmates.”
In addition to the deer, the Doelgers also had pet monkeys. Herb Caen reported in 1949 that one of them, Chichi, broke several dishes and glasses in their home before biting Thelma, requiring her to get stitches. Following the incident, the family donated the monkey to the San Francisco Zoo.

The Planning Department recommends the Historic Preservation Commission approve the proposed designation of 320-326 Judah Street as a San Francisco landmark as the building "retains sufficient integrity to convey its association with a significant person, Henry Doelger; a significant event, the transformation of the Sunset District; and significant architecture, its Art Deco and Streamline Moderne design."

Henry Doelger [wikipedia.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

September 17, 2012

Academy Of Art University Back In The City's Crosshairs

In addition to their regularly scheduled meeting this week, San Francisco's Planning Commission will be quietly conferencing behind closed doors with legal counsel to once again discuss "whether to initiate litigation with respect to the Academy of Art University."

Having long ignored city laws, codes and ordinances with respect to the Academy's conversion of numerous San Francisco buildings to dormitory and classroom use without proper approvals or permits, last year the City considered legal action but failed to act.

According to the Office of the City Attorney, litigation is anticipated with the City as Plaintiff. Will this be the year that the City actually takes a (or the) stand?

Academy of Art About To Learn A Hard Lesson (Or Not)? [SocketSite]
And The Artists Shall Inherit Acquire San Francisco [SocketSite]
Planning Closes Its Doors To Discuss Academy of Art Litigation [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

September 12, 2012

San Francisco Water Taxi/Shuttle Services Set For October Launch

Piers 1½ to 5

Five years ago, San Francisco Waterfront Partners built San Francisco’s first water taxi launch at Pier 1½ on the Embarcadero in conjunction with their $55 million rehabilitation of Piers 1½, 3 and 5; a launch for which no water taxi service existed.

From Port Executive Director Monique Moyer when the first launch was unveiled in 2007:

"We look forward to the day when our waterfront is connected by a series of convenient and enjoyable water transit stops, and the Port is working with its private-sector partners to bring this vision to fruition."

Yesterday, San Francisco's Port Commission voted to approve both water taxi and shuttle services in San Francisco, starting as early as October 1. Pier 1½ will serve as the landing for the Ferry Building Waterfront Area.

Piers 1½ to 5

Landing rights have also been granted at the Hyde Street Harbor and South Beach Marina with others in the works.

San Francisco Water Taxi Service Take Two [SocketSite]

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The New Mission: Don’t Fear The Multiplex (Or Change)

Under the framework of the plans for the New Mission Theater, we promote a plugged-in reader’s comment to an editorial on "The New Mission," not only in terms of the theater, but also the neighborhood's change:

This is terrific news. Nobody should worry and fear the word multiplex. I've lived in the Mission for 29 years, BUT I have had to live/work in Austin on and off for the past two years. I hate Austin, frankly, and miss the Mish, but the one bright point has been that Austin is a killer film town. Mostly due to the Alamo Drafthouse...
The Austin theaters really do cinema very well. The Alamo Drafthouse is a great place to watch films. Great bar, great food, you can relax and watch the film, eat, get waited on, and they take cinema seriously. They show great old classics, plus all the best independents.
This is a dream come true for that theater on Mission, and for Mission Street, which keeps getting better and better. Folks in our area have been dreaming to rescue that place for years. The Sundance Cinema tried to do something like this business model over at the Kabuki, but the results haven't been as great. They don't have good taste. The Alamo people have good taste.
There's another place in Austin btw that's even better, the Violet Crown. I hope the new Alamo Mission is at that level. It's a restaurant that's worth going to alone, regardless of the movie. Handcrafted cocktails, really great vibe. The New Mission will have to place at that level to do well.
I hardly recognize my Mission District from almost 30 years ago, but frankly, that is a good thing. I roll my eyes when people complain. The bad stuff used to be really really bad. Now, I just adore what it's turning into. But I should, because way back then, I bought my big ole house on a great block in 1991, so I can hardly be a hater. I can also hardly imagine how hard it is for a 22 year old to move here and try to get a foot hold. You can't. You gotta go elsewhere.
But for us early adopters, and for all the old families in the neighborhood, this is really going to be great. All they need is a good film programmer, and we're all going to be going to the New Mission.

We're already there.

New Mission Theater Plans Moving Forward, Targeting 2013 Opening [SocketSite]
New Life, Food, And Beer For The New Mission Theater As Proposed [SocketSite]

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

September 4, 2012

Two More Years (And Three New Trees) For Off Street Parking Off 8th

38 8th Street Lot

With surface area parking lots across San Francisco rapdily giving way to urban infill, a reader wonders what’s in store for the parking lot at 38 8th and Stevenson Streets that has been gated shut since early this year.

While The Holiday Inn, Inc. which owns the lot and adjacent hotel does plan to develop the site at some point in the future ("pending the return of favorable economic conditions"), at present they’re planning to renovate and reopen the lot with entitlements for a legal two-year stint having operated without for the past 26 years, a fact the Planning Department recently brought to the Inn’s attention.

As part of the Project, the lot will be improved to include landscaping and ornamental fencing along the street facing property lines, renovation of the storm drain, a new partial sidewalk on Stevenson Street as part of an accessible path of travel, installation of new street trees...and elimination of the existing curb cut along 8th Street.

With respect to the street trees, San Francisco's Planning Code requires one new tree for every 20 feet of frontage when new parking is entitled. With 190 feet of frontage, ten new trees are required for this project but only three along 8th Street will be installed as the Department of Public Works has recommended the Inn pay an in-lieu fee for the remaining seven "due to several site constraints, such as the narrow sidewalk along Stevenson Street."

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

August 29, 2012

1050 Valencia Street Scoop: The Design (And Liberty Hill's Opposition)

1050 Valencia Street 2012 Rendering

A plugged-in tipster delivers the latest renderings and an update on the five-story building that’s slated to rise on the site of Sugoi Sushi (the old Spork) at 1050/8 Valencia Street.

1050/8 Valencia

Current development plans call for the existing twelve-foot building at 1050 Valencia Street to be razed and a five-story building with 12 dwelling units over a ground floor restaurant; one off-street loading space on Hill for the restaurant; 24 bicycle parking spaces for residents; and 8 bicycle parking spaces with showers and lockers for employees to rise.

1050%20Valencia%20from%20Hill%202012.jpg

While originally slated to be rentals, according to our source they're now likely to be marketed and sold as condos, ten of which will be market rate with a mix of eight two-bedrooms and the rest ones. The only thing currently standing in the development's way: the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association which has filed for a Discretionary Review (DR).

Apparently the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association doesn’t want the project to rise over three stories, would like to limit the development to six units, and wants the development to include off-street automobile parking for residents.

The Association has even rendered their vision of what should be allowed to rise:

1050%20Valencia%20Opposition%20Rendering.jpg

The project’s Discretionary Review is currently slated to be heard by San Francisco's Planning Commission on September 6. As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Don’t Put A Fork In Spork Quite Yet (The Appeal Of 1050 Valencia) [SocketSite]
Time To Stick A Spork In 1050/8 Valencia? (Figuratively This Time) [SocketSite]

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August 24, 2012

Moscone Center's Expansion Plans Going Underground

Having abandoned a onetime proposal to raze 680 Folsom to make way for Moscone Center's growth, and the re-skinning and renovation of 680 Folsom well underway, a plan to dig out a 500,000-square-foot addition under Howard Street has been selected as the way Moscone will expand.

From Renovation To Potentially Razed For 680/690 Folsom [SocketSite]
A Re-Skinning Crane Has Risen At 680 Folsom Street [SocketSite]
$550M Moscone project takes shape [San Francisco Business Times]

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

August 17, 2012

A Negative Yet Positive Step Forward For 2175 Market Street Project

2175 Market Street Site

As we first reported earlier this year, having quietly acquired the land on which the 76 Station at the intersection of 15th and Market Streets sits last year, Forest City is moving forward with their proposed 2175 Market Street mixed-use development.

2175 Market Street Rendering

As proposed, 88 apartments over 44 underground parking spaces and 6,500 square feet of ground floor retail would rise on the site, topped by a 3,791 square foot rooftop deck.

2175 Market Street Design: Aerial

While not an approval for the development, the Planning department has since issued a Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration with respect to the potential environmental effects of the proposed project, which is a good thing if you’re the developer and a step forward assuming the declaration is not (successfully) appealed within the next 20 days.

From 76 Station To 88 Apartments At 2175 Market Street As Proposed [SocketSite]

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

August 14, 2012

1355 Market Square Scoop: Three New Restaurants And A Grocery

1355 Market Street Rendering: Coffee Shop

As we first reported in June with respect to Shorenstein’s makeover of the Western Furniture Exchange & Merchandise Mart at 1355 Market Street, the 11-story Mid-Market building they're rebranding along with 875 Stevenson Street as "Market Square," the buildings will include nearly 100,000 square feet of retail.

A plugged-in tipster now delivers the latest floor plan for the first floor of 1355 Market Street and notes three new restaurant spaces, a coffee shop and a potential 18,265 square foot grocery planned for the corner of Market and 10th (click floor plan to enlarge).

The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]
Market Square's Mid-Market Retail Revolution [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

August 13, 2012

Parklet Or Piglet?

Dancing Pig Parklet

While many complain of Planning being too heavy-handed with respect to architecture and design in San Francisco, the parklet outside The Dancing Pig at 544 Castro has at least one reader wishing for some design standards that were stricter, "This is San Francisco after all, not Guerneville!" (Not that there's anything wrong with being in Guerneville.)

And playing devil's advocate with respect to restricting parking and cars in San Francisco, "...it take[s] two parking spots away in the Castro where they need more parking not less - to attract people from other hoods to come shop…eat and drink."

Damn All Those Untalented Architects To Hell! Oh, Wait A Minute… [SocketSite]
Soon To Be Sitting Pretty In A Series Of New Plazas And Parklets [SocketSite]
San Francisco Parklets Present And Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (64) | (email story)

August 10, 2012

Plans For Pier 19 To Become A Chinese Business Outpost

Pier 19

With China Development Bank (CDB) nearing a deal to provide the capital to kick-start the development of Hunters Point and Treasure Island, China's Vantone Holdings Co. is now in early talks with the City about plans to develop San Francisco's 206,000-square-foot Pier 19 "into space for Chinese companies seeking to do business in the United States."

Turning To China For Capital To Kick-Start Developments In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

August 9, 2012

With Crushpad Crushed, A Climbing Gym Is Planned Along Third

Dogpatch%20Bouldering%20Site.jpg

With Crushpad having been crushed and its assets auctioned off earlier this week, the industrial space in which the company was founded in 2004 is in front of San Francisco’s Planning Commission this afternoon as Touchstone Climbing seeks approval to convert the 17,500 square foot space at 2501 3rd Street into a climbing gym without ropes.

‘Bouldering’ doesn’t require ropes, is more accessible to new climbers and is becoming the choice of the young crowd when it comes to rock climbing.
Dogpatch Boulders will be a unique facility, its walls very different than those at Mission Cliffs, but with the same business commitment to community and customer support. Our experience in the Mission tells us that the rock climbing clientele is largely local, over 50% of regular users living within a mile, and not more than 2% from any zip code more than two miles away.

As proposed, a glass storefront entry would be added along 3rd Street.

Dogpatch%20Bouldering%20Facade.jpg

Inside, bouldering walls, locker rooms and "lots of interior bike parking" would be built, click the floor plan to enlarge. We're letting that "choice of the young crowd" comment go.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

August 7, 2012

San Francisco Office Outlook: Vacancy Rates, Rents And New Supply

According to Colliers International’s mid-year report, office leasing in San Francisco totaled 4.5 million square feet in the first half of 2012, over 4 million for the first time since 2004 and versus a historical average of 6.5 million square feet per year.

The current office vacancy rate measures 11.6 percent in San Francisco, ranging from 30.2 percent around Yerba Buena to 4.2 percent in East SoMa. Of the 9.8 million square feet of vacant square footage in San Francisco, roughly half is in the Financial District which has a current vacancy rate of 9.6 percent.

Average office rents in San Francisco have popped 10.1 percent over the first half of the year, from $38.60 to $42.63 per square foot with Colliers predicting a total increase of 15 percent in 2012, roughly back to year 2007 levels but well below year 2000, the year after which rents in San Francisco fell 50 percent.

Colliers predicts office rents will rise another 10 percent in 2013, five percent in 2014 and be flat in 2015 as a backlog of building comes online and vacancy rates plateau around 10 percent versus around 3 percent at the end of 1999. Click either chart to enlarge.

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

July 30, 2012

The State Of San Francisco's Downtown: Property, People And Parking

San Francisco's Downtown Plan Monitoring Report: 2011

A few highlights from the Planning Department's latest Monitoring Report for San Francisco's Downtown which will be presented to the Planning Commission this week:

Downtown vacancy rates in San Francisco declined in 2011 and are now at 11% for office and 6.7% for retail as average downtown office rents have increased 16% to $39.25 per square foot. Roughly 13% (1.8 million square feet) of proposed commercial space in San Francisco's entitlement pipeline is located Downtown.
Downtown San Francisco had a net loss of 31 residential units from demolition in 2011 versus a net gain of 269 units citywide. However, 9% of the proposed residential projects in the entitlement pipeline, or roughly 3,900 units, are located Downtown.
While overall employment in San Francisco increased 1% citywide in 2011, it increased 14% to 233,500 jobs Downtown. And the method by which employed residents in the northeast quadrant of San Francisco commute to work has changed relatively little from 2000 to 2010 with the 2010 split being 32% transit, 31% walk, 24% car, 2% bike, 8% work at home, and 2% other.

In terms of parking, there are roughly 33,400 off-street parking spaces Downtown (about 20% of the 166,520 spaces citywide) and the City's plan to limit the number of long-term parking spaces to the number that existed in 1984 has generally been achieved by restricting the supply of off-street parking spaces in new developments.

San Francisco Downtown Plan Annual Monitoring Report 2011 [sf-planning.org]
San Francisco Employment And Unemployment Both Tick Up In June [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Total Housing Inventory And Pipeline Report [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

July 24, 2012

Bi-Rite Grocery (And Creamery!) In NoPa: Hours, Loading And Vote

Bi-Rite Divisadero Rendering

With the store still under construction and an opening now expected in "the early part of 2013," on Thursday San Francisco’s Planning Commission is expected to authorize and clear the way for Bi-Rite to open their second San Francisco location at 550 Divisadero.

The proposal is a request for Conditional Use authorization…to allow a use size over 4,000 square feet through the combination of a vacant retail commercial tenant space (previously occupied by a grocery store d.b.a. Divisadero Farmer’s Market Liquor & Deli) at 550 Divisadero Street with a vacant commercial tenant space (previously occupied by a grooming and pet supply store d.b.a. Tae Hee’s) to establish an approximately 7,350 square foot grocery store (d.b.a. Bi-Rite).

The proposed hours of operation for the grocery store are 9 am. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. But more importantly, the "Bi-Rite Creamery within the grocery store may consider extending its hours of operation until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends."

UPDATE: With respect to a reader's question about loading zones and the potential for getting stuck behind a truck:

The combined commercial tenant spaces, with approximately 7,350 square feet of floor area, will not require any loading spaces. However, the project sponsor has indicated that they have contacted the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to extend the existing yellow loading zone metered parking spaces in front of 550 Divisadero Street to 542 Diviscidero Street to a width of approximately 66 feet in length which will allow for commercial vehicle loading from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Bi-Rite estimates there will be 10 to 15 deliveries per day with most occurring between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and with loading times ranging between 10 and 30 minutes each.

542-550 Divisadero Conditional Use Authorization [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (35) | (email story)

July 17, 2012

Upward Ho Atop 100 California

100 California Rendering

The construction of a six-story vertical addition atop the 13-story office building at 100 California Street is another approved project that was waylaid by "weakness in the real estate market in recent years and the associated difficulties in securing financing."

100 California Addition Design

In addition to the vertical addition which would add 78,000 square feet of office space, the approved project for which the project sponsors are seeking another three year window in which to start construction would also add a ground-floor retail space with a planted roof and reconfigured pedestrian plaza at the base of the building.

100 California Design

San Francisco’s Planning Commission is expected to approve the extension this week with the project sponsors hoping to start pulling permits to build within a year.

Fresh Groceries In The Tenderloin Stymied By Poor Fiscal Conditions [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

Fresh Groceries In The Tenderloin Stymied By Poor Fiscal Conditions

168-186 Eddy Rendering

Approved for development in 2009 but stymied by "the continuing poor fiscal conditions of local, State, and Federal government, and the associated difficulties in securing financing for an affordable housing project," the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation is seeking a five year extension of their three year performance period to demolish the surface parking lot at the corner of Taylor and Eddy and construct a 14-story building with 153 affordable dwelling units over 13,750 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

168-186 Eddy Rendering

The Mayor's Office of Housing provided $5.9 million to acquire the 168-186 Eddy Street site in 2007, David Baker + Partners was drafted for the design, and the commercial space is still slated to become the first full-service grocery store in the Tenderloin.

168-186 Eddy Street Rendering

130 New Apartments And Fresh Groceries, Both For The Greater Good [SocketSite]
∙ Design: Eddy + Taylor Family Housing [dbarchitect.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

June 27, 2012

Double-D's On Market Street 2.0: Dolby Making The Move

1275 Market Street

Currently headquartered at 100 Potrero Avenue, Dolby Laboratories is in contract to purchase the 385,000 square foot building at 1275 Market Street (across Ninth Street from Market Square) with plans to move their people once the building's renovation and seismic retrofitting are complete.

Also underway, shoring to prevent any sliding due to the construction of 17 stories on the adjacent lot at 55 9th Street which will impact the building's "13 decks and amazing views of downtown and the ballpark" a bit.

Dolby to follow Twitter, buys big Mid-Market building for HQ [Business Times]
The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]
17 Stories And 273 Rental Units Ready To Rise At 55 9th Street [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

June 21, 2012

Hoop(er) It Up

100 Hooper

With 12,826 square feet of production, distribution, and repair (PDR) in the works at the corner of 8th and 16th Streets, another developer is quietly testing the waters to build 333,000 square feet of "flexible commercial space" over 60,000 gross square feet of PDR and 59 parking spaces at the corner of 7th and Hooper Streets.

On the San Francisco Mini Storage site at 100 Hooper, two four-story buildings would rise to a height of 58 feet and be linked by two elevated walkways above an interior courtyard.

And as proposed, the southern corner of the property pictured above would become a 10,000 square foot privately-owned public open space while the southern half of Hooper between 7th and 8th Streets would become an auto-free "Living Street."

The Renderings For The Corner Of 8th And 16th Streets As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

June 15, 2012

Transbay Tower Timeline Moved Up, Payment To City Stays Down

Transbay Tower Rendering 2012

Having successfully renegotiated the amount they’ll pay The City for the land upon which to build San Francisco's Transbay Transit Tower and Terminal from $350 million to $185 million due to declining market conditions and a shorter tower, Hines might now start construction as early as next summer based on the strength of the market.

According to the Business Times, "[u]nder the best-case schedule, which is six months more aggressive than projections Hines made in March, Transbay Tower and the adjacent 5.4-acre City Park would be completed in late 2015."

Approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission last month, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors will still need to approve the Transit Center District Plan for the building of the Transit Tower and Terminal at the center of the district to begin.

UPDATE: While Hines is pushing forward, Sue Hestor is pushing back.

Transbay Land Cost Cut Another $50 Million For Shrunken Tower [SocketSite]
Yes, The Proposed Transbay Transit Tower Shrank A Hundred Feet [SocketSite]
Hines leaps ahead on Transbay tower [bizjournals.com]
Planning’s Towering Transit Center District Plan Decision: Approved [SocketSite]
Sue Hestor Seeks To Stop Transit Center Tower Development Short [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

June 8, 2012

CityPlace Revived With Plans For J.C. Penney As The Anchor Tenant

CityPlace Rendering

The approved for development but since foreclosed upon CityPlace parcels stretching from 935 to 965 Market Street between Fifth and Sixth are now in contract to be bought with J.C. Penney signed-on to be the development's anchor tenant.

CityPlace EIR Approved Appealed Approved! [SocketSite]
CityPlace Parcels Rescheduled For Foreclosure [SocketSite]
Details To Augment Designs For "CityPlace" (935-965 Market Street) [SocketSite]
Cypress, Carlyle pounce on CityPlace [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (83) | (email story)

June 7, 2012

Market Square's Mid-Market Retail Revolution

Market Square Stacks

As we noted yesterday, the reincarnation of 1355 Market Street and the adjoining 875 Stevenson Street, together "Market Square," will include almost 100,000 square feet of potential new retail space in the buildings and a pedestrian plaza between the two.

Market Square Plaza

Comments: The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]

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

June 6, 2012

The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street

With Twitter having signed on as the anchor tenant, Shorenstein is moving forward with their makeover of the Western Furniture Exchange & Merchandise Mart at 1355 Market Street, the 11-story Mid-Market building they're rebranding as "Market Square."

1355 Market Street Rendering

Proposed exterior renovations to be presented to San Francisco’s Architectural Review Committee this afternoon include: New metal-and-glass, ground floor storefronts with integrated externally illuminated signage and removal of the existing granite base; new transom windows above ground floor storefronts; and a new two-story lobby entrance on Market Street where the existing entry to the defunct garage along Market is located.

1355 Market Street Lobby Rendering

Behind the building, the portion of Stevenson Street between 1355 Market and 875 Stevenson will become a pedestrian area with new openings from the building to increase its connection with the outdoor space, promote the retail to be located within the buildings, and in an attempt to vitalize Stevenson.

1355 Market Street Alley Rendering

Click the rendering atop the page to enlarge, as the building now appears to compare:

1355 Market Street 2012

Twitter Intent On Moving To Market Square Assuming Tax Break [SocketSite]
More Mid-Market Development And Definition [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

May 31, 2012

Hipster Hotelier Wannabes Take (Second) Note

385 9th Street

As a plugged-in tipster notes, the Vagabond Inn at 385 9th Street is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in San Francisco this afternoon with an opening bid of $269,612. But budding hipster hoteliers take note, it’s the $250,000 second mortgage that’s foreclosing.

While a courthouse sale today would wipe out the $120,000 third, the $1,462,500 first mortgage on the property would remain. And yes, the first is currently in default as well, by $1,183,244 as of last month.

UPDATE: The foreclosure auction for the second was just cancelled. The Notice of Default remains for the first.

Failing Grades In Auction Buying 101 (And Commenting) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

May 30, 2012

Hotel SoMa (690 Fifth Street) Plans Back In The Pipeline And Pool

Hotel SoMa Design

Speaking of developments in the hotel space, plans for the proposed Hotel SoMa to rise at 690 Fifth Street have been dusted off and the developers are shopping for financing.

As plugged-in people know, the David Baker designed six-story and now 64-room Hotel SoMa would replace the two-story, 23-foot-tall office building and 14 off-street parking spaces on the northwest corner of Townsend and Fifth.

690 5th Street: Hotel SoMa Site

With Caltrain and Muni across the street, the proposed project won’t have a garage or any off-street parking spaces but will offer on-site bicycle rentals as part of its programming.

And yes, the suspended rooftop glass-bottom swimming pool and bar for hotel patrons are still on the boards.

Hotel SoMa Rendering

And Then There Was (Mission Bay Block) One [Socketsite]
Hotel SoMa (690 Fifth Street) As Proposed And Planning's EIR [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

From Renderings To Reality (So To Speak) At 2299 Market Street

Originally rendered with an Apple store below, then re-rendered with simply STORE, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes Bank of the West has filed an application to occupy fill the ground floor commercial space of 2299 Market Street, the five story building that's finally filling the Castro's decades-old Hole in the Ground.

2299 Market Street Site (www.SocketSite.com)

Designs For The Castro’s "Hole In The Ground" (2299 Market Street) [SocketSite]
2299 Market As Proposed, Opposed, And Recommended By Planning [SocketSite]
Formulating Controls To Chase Financial Services Away [SocketSite]
Construction Commences On The Decades-Old "Hole In The Ground" [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

May 24, 2012

Planning’s Towering Transit Center District Plan Decision: Approved

As plugged-in people know, San Francisco’s Transit Center District Plan would permit up to six new buildings with heights ranging from 700 to 1,000 feet to rise within the area generally bounded by Market, Steuart, Folsom and a line east of Third.

At the center of the District, the roof of the proposed 61-story Transbay Transit Tower would rise to a height of 920 feet, topped by a 150 foot "lattice-like steel sculptural element" for a total height of 1,070 feet under which 1.35 million square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of retail, and parking for 300 vehicles would be constructed.

As part of the plan, bicycle lanes would be striped on Fremont, Beale, and Main Streets and the sidewalk along Mission Street will be widened from 15 to 19 feet for the most part.

Any moment now, San Francisco’s Planning Commission is set to review and vote on the proposed Plan, Planning's approval of which would send the Transit Center District Plan to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors for adoption, net new shadows and all.

UPDATE: The Transit Center District Plan was approved by the Planning Commission. From the Planning Department:

Between now and 2035, approximately 17 percent of the projected job growth in San Francisco will occur in the area surrounding the new Transbay Transit Center. The project anticipates over 27,000 new permanent jobs will be accommodated in the District -- the most significant concentration of projected job growth in the entire city.
The new district will feature more than six million square feet of new office space, over 4,000 new housing units of which at least 1,200 units will be affordable, up to 1,000 new hotel rooms, and improved streets to enhance transit service and support walking and bicycling. The new Plan also proposes to create and fund over 11 acres of new public spaces such as parks, plazas and living streets.

The Department projects the Plan will raise $590 million in revenue from development.

The Plan To Transform San Francisco's Transit Center District [SocketSite]
The Plan For San Francisco's Tallest Tower And Transit Center District [SocketSite]
Yes, The Proposed Transbay Transit Tower Shrank A Hundred Feet [SocketSite]
Shining Light On The Shadows Of The Proposed Transit District Towers [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

May 16, 2012

North Beach Pagoda Theater Set To Be Sold To New Yorkers Today?

North Beach Pagoda Theater (Image Source: MapJack.com)

According to a tipster, Joel Campos who purchased the long shuttered North Beach Pagoda Theater in 2004 and waged a long battle to secure approvals to develop the blighted building is in contract to sell the shell to a New York based developer today.

While we haven’t been able to confirm the details, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

And once again, as the approved conversion of the Pagoda Theater into 18 condos over ground floor commercial and 27 parking spaces was last rendered:

Pagoda Theater Rendering 2010

North Beach Pagoda Theater Plans Approved By Planning, But... [SocketSite]
Inside The “Landmark” Pagoda Theater (And Tussle) In North Beach [SocketSite]
Pagoda Theater Preview (And Signs Of Progress All Around) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (28) | (email story)

555 Mission In Contract At $800 Per Foot, Highest Price Since 2007

555 Mission at Night

Having leased the 14,718 square foot penthouse atop 555 Mission Street for seven years at a rate of $84 per square foot in 2008, in 2009 Sequoia Capital subleased the penthouse to Novak Druce Quigg for the remainder of their lease at a 40 percent discount ($50 per square foot) without escalation.

As plugged-in people know, Sequoia had "intended to use this space for creating a new public securities investment fund, not for making SF-based VC investments."

With 555 Mission now 88 percent occupied, Union Investment is in contract to buy the building for $445 million, or $800 a square foot, "the highest price paid for a downtown San Francisco building since Morgan Stanley Real Estate bought One Market Plaza for $925 a square foot...in 2007."

555 Mission: Sequoia’s Penthouse Sublease At 40 Percent Off [SocketSite]
Tishman to sell 555 Mission for $445M [Business Times]

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

May 15, 2012

The Vision (And Financing) For SF’s Wholesale Produce Market

San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market

With a vision for reinventing the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market that's been on the boards, the city of San Francisco is preparing to back the $96 million initiative.

Under legislation that Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen will introduce Tuesday, the nonprofit San Francisco Market Corp. will sign a new 60-year lease that calls for rent revenue from merchants to be used in a three-phase effort to redevelop and expand the market to an adjacent city-owned parcel at 901 Rankin St., currently a parking lot and storage site.

San%20Francisco%20Wholesale%20Produce%20Market%20Rendering.jpg

The nonprofit San Francisco Market Corp. is expected to borrow to cover up-front construction costs and pay it off with rent revenue. Once the upgrades and expansion are paid for, remaining rent revenue would go to the city's general fund, its main spending account.

As proposed, the two blocks of Jerrold Avenue that currently bisect the market will be closed and the market will expand from 300,000 to 500,000 square feet.

SFWPM Past and Future [sfproduce.org]
S.F. produce market to get $100 million upgrade [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

May 14, 2012

Behind Salesforce's San Francisco Campus Debacle

Salesforce Mission Bay Rendering

A few days before Salesforce.com was poised to receive the City's approval, Salesfoce pulled the plug on their plans for a 14-acre campus in San Francisco’s Mission Bay.

From Reuters on Friday:

The company's stated reason for changing course was that the new campus would not be big enough for its growing workforce. But people closely involved with the ill-fated development paint a picture of an out-of-control project that lurched forward even in the face of stratospheric costs and tepid support among employees. Only a construction expert hired late in the planning process convinced Benioff that moving forward would be folly.
The canceled development has already cost Salesforce tens of millions of dollars, and the price tag could rise further if the Web-based software maker fails to find a ready buyer for the land it bought, according to recent regulatory filings.
The cancellation has also singed the company's relationships with city officials, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who had touted the development as an economic boon and was stunned when it was suddenly abandoned.

From 2010 to 2011, the projected cost of constructing the campus ballooned from $750 per square foot to roughly $1,000 per square and a project cost of roughly $2 billion.

First Four Salesforce.com Campus Buildings Poised For Approval [SocketSite]
Salesforce.com Campus Key Elements And Design Preview [SocketSite]
Salesforce.com Kills Mission Bay Campus, Open To Offers For Land [SocketSite]
Insight: Salesforce's plan for opulent campus a costly debacle [reuters.com]
Salesforce.com Acquires 14 Mission Bay Acres To Build 2 Million Feet [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

May 10, 2012

Yelp Inks An Eight Year Lease For One-Third Of 140 New Montgomery

140 New Montgomery: Aerial

Yelp has inked an eight year lease for 100,000 square feet of the 295,000 square foot Pacific Telephone Building at 140 New Montgomery which is currently undergoing a major renovation and repositioning (click image to enlarge, link for details).

Yelp is expected to make its move from 650 Mission in the fall of 2013.

140 New Montgomery: The More Things Change... [SocketSite]
140 New Montgomery: Renovation And Rendering Scoop [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

May 4, 2012

In The Land of Rising Sea Green Rents

1550 Bryant

Built in 1915 for the Rainier Brewing Company, the "Hamm’s Building" at 1550 Bryant operated as a brewery from 1915 to 1975. Vacant from 1975 to 1985, the 182,669 square foot building has since been converted to office space, just sold, and is about to undergo an "interior renovation program to further reposition the building’s creative space."

1550 Bryant Interior

UPDATE: When the brewery was shuttered in 1975, the iconic Hamm’s sign atop the building was removed. And while the buyers of the building have expressed interest in returning the sign to its place of prominence, its whereabouts are unknown. Readers?

San Francisco Hamm's Sign

What happened to the Hamm’s Brewery sign? [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

May 2, 2012

The Plan To Transform San Francisco's Transit Center District

Transit Center District Plan: Natoma and Second

First drafted in 2009, the Planning Department's Transit Center District Plan for the area bounded by Market, Steuart, Folsom, and mid-block between 3rd and New Montgomery is making the Planning Commission rounds this week to prepare for a public hearing on the adoption and implementaion of the amended plan currently scheduled for May 24.

Once again, the plan's five Core Goals:

1. Build on the General Plan’s Urban Design Element and Downtown Plan, establishing controls, guidelines, and standards to advance existing policies of livability, as well as those that protect the unique qualities of place.

2. Capitalize on major transit investment with appropriate land use in the downtown core, with an eye toward long-term growth considerations.

3. Create a framework for a network of public streets and open spaces that support the transit system, and provides a wide variety of public amenities and a world-class pedestrian experience.

4. Generate financial support for the Transbay Transit Center project, district infrastructure, and other public improvements.

5. Ensure that the Transit Center District is an example of comprehensive environmental sustainability in all regards.

Transit Center District Plan Parks

Core recommendations of the plan include: identifying and funding opportunities for new public open spaces (including an expanded Oscar Park); widening sidewalks, providing dedicated transit lanes, augmenting the bicycle network, adding signalized mid-block crosswalks, and converting certain alleys into pedestrian plazas; and, of course, increasing allowable density and height limits within the Plan area.

Transit Center District Plan Proposed Heights

The Grand Plan For A San Francisco "Transit Center District" [SocketSite]
Draft Transit Center District Plan [sf-planning.org]
Presenting Oscar Park (And A Chance To Provide Feedback) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

April 25, 2012

The San Francisco Bay Guardian Sells (Out?)

135 Mississippi (www.SocketSite.com)

Union Property Capital (UPC) is in contract is to purchase the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Potrero Hill headquarters building at 135 Mississippi for $6.5 million. Guardian owner Bruce Brugmann purchased the building for $4.7 million in 2002.

From the Business Times with respect to a bit of sale hypocrisy irony:

The Bay Guardian has been a vocal opponent of development in the city, railing against highrise construction, luxury housing, and zoning rules that favor tech and knowledge-based companies over more traditional blue-collar jobs.
Ironically, it was UPC that assembled and did the early planning on one of the most prominent highrises built in downtown San Francisco in the last decade: Tishman Speyer's two-tower Infinity project at 300 Spear St.
UPC also developed a data center at 365 Main St., built a luxury residential loft project at 150 Powell St., and repositioned SoMa buildings like 330 Townsend St. and 840 Brannan St. for dot-coms. The company also completed a condo conversion of a former rental building in Alamo Square — the sort of project that the Guardian routinely opposes in the interest of protecting the city's rental housing stock.

And yes, we do believe UPC has set its sights set on developing the property.

SF Bay Guardian seeks to cash out in hot real estate market [Business Times]

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

April 20, 2012

La Boulange On 9th Avenue Unanimously Approved

1266 9th Avenue Rendering

As a plugged-in reader reports, San Francisco’s Planning Commission has approved the Conditional Use Authorization necessary for La Boulange to open its 13th San Francisco café and bakery within the mixed-use development being built at 1266 9th Avenue.

Under Construction On 9th Avenue With (Or Without) A La Boulange [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

April 11, 2012

Free The Toasters! (AKA Rationalizing Restaurant And Bar Controls)

Speaking of Neighborhood Commercial District controls, yesterday San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a simplification of San Francisco’s Planning Code and permitting process which currently defines 13 different eating and drinking uses.

As parodied in the animation above:

Having definitions that attempt to differentiate between how restaurants operate and what types of food they sell is problematic for restaurant owners, and it’s also confusing for members of the public. Further, overly specific definitions are difficult for the Planning Department to enforce.
For instance, the current controls prohibit retail coffee stores from toasting bagels due to a prohibition on food preparation, and small self-service restaurants are required to serve their food in disposable wrappers. Not being in compliance with these rules could result in an enforcement action by the Planning Department.

In the works for over a year having been prompted by a bit of legislation proposed by then Supervisor Mirkarimi, the newly approved legislation for which Supervisor Wiener gets credit will go into effect in May and reduces the 13 categories of restaurants to three (3).

Eating/drinking establishments without on-site alcohol sales will be Limited Restaurants; restaurants with wine and beer will be Restaurants; and establishments with a full liquor license will be classified as Bars.

Formulating Controls To Chase Financial Services Away [SocketSite]
Rationalizing Restaurant & Bar Controls [sf-planning.org]

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April 10, 2012

Formulating Controls To Chase Financial Services Away

Chase on Divisadero (www.SocketSite.com)

There are 39 Districts within San Francisco in which Formula Retail controls which limit or prohibit formula retail apply, controls "adopted to maintain the unique visual character of the City’s neighborhood commercial districts [NCDs]."

Currently defined as "a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment which, along with eleven or more other retail sales establishments located in the United States, maintains two or more of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized facade, a standardized decor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or a servicemark," the definition of Formula Retail will be amended to include Financial Services as proposed.

From the Planning Department with respect to reasoning for the amendment:

In addition to having a standardized look and signage, Financial Services typically lack active or visually interesting store fronts. Therefore, having an over concentration of Financial Services in an NCD not only erode the visual uniqueness of that neighborhood, they can also negatively impact street life and vitality.

That being said, "there is a concern that there are very few Financial Service establishments in San Francisco, which would not be categorized as Formula Retail."

While some local Financial Service operations with fewer than 11 locations exist in San Francisco…most of the banks and even some Credit Unions are nationwide chains with more than 11 locations. While there will be additional limits on the provision of “financial services” under this proposed Ordinance, it should be noted that banking services provided through Limited Financial Services, ATMs, and online banking would still be permitted.

The proposed legislation will effectively prohibit new Financial Services in the Hayes Valley and North Beach commercial districts as both prohibit Formula Retail outright.

Formula Retail Financial Services Amendment [sfplanning.org]

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April 9, 2012

The 280 Seventh Street Scoop (And Evolving Neighborhood Editorial)

280 Seventh Street Site

A little while back the owners and operators of the Café in the Castro purchased the Rawhide II club building at 280 Seventh Street, once "the largest and…only Country Western Dancing club in San Francisco."

As proposed, the existing building will be razed and a four-story building with a club featuring an "entertainment area with stage for live performances, seating and a dance floor," a restaurant "in the style of a locally owned and sourced 'Cheesecake Factory' style eatery," a roof top garden, and two residential apartments facing Langton Alley will rise.

280 Seventh Street Rendering

From the owners with respect to their plans:

We will be a neighborhood-serving restaurant while still recognizing the importance of visitors to the city coming to such places as Moscone Center. Our nighttime focus will be on the diversity you find at an LGBT entertainment venue with the inclusiveness found at Café duNord or Slim’s. Yes, that means we will have a stage and will be featuring performance as well as dance events. We envision the mix of entertainment as diverse as possible and are planning for a small but well equipped stage for live performances.

From Lodging in Public with respect to mixed feelings on a disappearing barrier dividing SoMa, a "[defense] against the good and bad effects of encroaching prosperity":

The Sixth Street skid-row corridor down the middle of SoMa served for the past three decades as a dangerous-looking (sometimes actually dangerous) buffer that prevented boring or timid people in the convention and financial zones to the east of us from walking very far at all west of the Yerba Buena complex around Third that includes Moscone Center. (Yerba Buena, of course, replaced San Francisco's former Skid Row in the hard-fought 1970s urban renewal rip-out. A lot of the people and functions it displaced moved over to Sixth.)
So even through the Web 1.0 boom, those of us living South of Market and west of Sixth were spared the glass-front high-rises, the loud after-work joints full of junior stock traders in mating plumage, and the restaurants and night spots catering to Midwestern conventioneers venturing out from Moscone Center -- that's all in the alien territory, confusingly also called SoMa, that stretches from Fifth east to the Embarcadero by the Bay Bridge. Over here, things have managed to stay a little more alternative.
Sixth Street, however, is losing its fear factor. It's going hipster. Its function as a containment zone for vice and dysfunction is fading as its property values rise. I think its future really is what a younger-generation SRO landlord predicted to me more than ten years ago: to provide hostel-type accommodations and entertainment for young people who want to go somewhere a bit different, but not perhaps too different.

Assuming Planning’s approval, the developers hope to host a grand opening in 2014.

280 Seventh Street [280seventh.com]
Western SoMa: here come the conventionaleers [lodginginpublic]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

April 5, 2012

Average San Francisco Office Rent Up 6.8 Percent Over The Past Year

According to real estate research firm Reis Inc. by way of Bloomberg: "San Francisco's average office rent rose 6.8 percent during the past year. A slow recovery in financial services held New York to the second-biggest gain, 4.8 percent...Rents climbed 4.1 percent in San Jose, 2.5 percent in Boston and Houston, and 2.3 percent in Denver and Seattle."

Also according to Reis, San Francisco had the eighth-lowest commercial vacany rate in the U.S. at 14.2 percent versus 9.4 percent in Washinton (the lowest) and 10.4 percent in New York (the second lowest).

As we noted last month, the office vacancy rate South of Market in San Francisco has dipped below nine percent, down from 25.5 percent in 2009.

San Francisco Leads Rent Growth as U.S. Office Vacancies Decline [Bloomberg]
The Latest Fad Sweeping Through SoMa [SocketSite]

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Mission Rock Plans Dusted Off With Giants Swinging For A 2015 Start

Mission Rock - SWL 337/Pier 48 - Proposal (click to enlarge)

The four year old plans to develop San Francisco’s Seawall Lot 337/Pier 48 dubbed "Mission Rock" have officially been dusted off with the Giants and their surviving development partner, the Cordish Cos., touting a plan to break ground for the massive project, currently the site of the San Francisco Giants Parking Lot A, by 2015.

As proposed, the 27-acre development would yield up to 1,000 housing units, 125,000 square feet of retail (down from 240,000), 1.7 million square feet of office space (up from a million), a garage with 2,690 parking spaces, and over eight acres of public open space.

Mission Rock - SWL 337/Pier 48 - Proposal (click to enlarge)

As we first reported last month, the ten year lease for Seawall Lot 337 between the City and County of San Francisco and the China Basin Ballpark Company, a subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants, expired at the end of 2009 and was month-to-month before being extended five years by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors to 2017.

SocketSite Weekend Special: One Proposal For San Francisco SWL 337 [SocketSite]
Proposed Seawall Lot 337 Development Scrambling For Investors [SocketSite]
Could This Be Curtains For Cirque Du Soleil In The City? [SocketSite]
Five More Years For Giant's Parking Lot A And Big Development Delay [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

March 27, 2012

Historic Humboldt Building (785 Market Street) Slips Into Default

785 Market Street

Down the Street from the CityPlace parcels which were foreclosed upon last week, the owners of the historic Humbolt Building at 785 Market Street have slipped into default on $13.3 million interest only loan which is currently in forbearance until May first.

Designed by Meyer & O’Brien in 1905, delayed by the great quake in 1906, and completed in 1908, the Humboldt building rises 19 stories and is topped by a wedding cake dome.

According to a tipster, while expenses for the building have been rising, revenues have been declining despite the surge in demand for commercial space south of Market.

CityPlace Parcels Lost To Foreclosure [SocketSite]
The Humboldt Building (785 Market Street) [785marketstreet.com]

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

March 21, 2012

Home Depot Applies Again: Can They Do It In San Francisco?

1901 Cesar Chavez

Four years ago, following a decade long battle to develop, Home Depot walked away from the former Goodman Lumber site on Bayshore Boulevard.

With Lowe’s having since successfully developed the site on Bayshore Boulevard, Home Depot has just filed an application to build a 120,000 square foot store at 1901 Cesar Chavez, formerly the site of a printing facility for the Fang family Chronicle and currently employed as a staging facility for construction at the San Francisco General Hosptial.

Coming Soon! Bayshore Boulevard Home Depot Development Is Dead [SocketSite]
Home Depot Bayshore (San Francisco): Let’s Get Ready To Rubble! [SocketSite]
T-Minus Two Days (And A Decade In The Making) For Lowe’s In SF [SocketSite]
Home Depot takes third shot at San Francisco store [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

March 19, 2012

A Non-Historic Win For The Owners Of 247 Powell Street

Gold Dust Lounge

Over the objections of the owners of the building in which the Gold Dust Lounge resides, in February the operators of the 46-year old bar at 247 Powell Street requested landmark status for the establishment in the hopes of thwarting an eviction, and conversion of the space into retail, scheduled for December .

From the Planning Department with respect to the application:

The Department does not believe that the analysis demonstrates significance of the GoldDust Lounge under any of the National Register Criteria that would justify its recognition as a City Landmark.
The Department recognizes that the Gold Dust Lounge is an important local business and gathering spot of many locals and visitors. Unfortunately, Article 10 Landmark designation, in this case, is not the appropriate tool to protect what is valued most –the continued operation of the bar. The Department does not believe that Article 10 designation of the Gold Dust Lounge would result in a positive outcome for the parties involved.
If the designation were to move forward, only the physical features associated with the Gold Dust Lounge could be protected. The lounge could be repurposed for another use, such as retail, as long as these physical features were retained and respected. As indicated by Mr. VerPlanck’s documentation, the Gold Dust lounge could not be relocated without impacting its historic integrity; therefore, should the owners find another location, the designated physical features could not be removed from the current location.

On Wednesday, San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission is expected to affirm the Department’s findings.

Consideration to initiate Landmark designation for the Gold Dust Lounge [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

March 15, 2012

Transbay Land Cost Cut Another $50 Million For Shrunken Tower

Transbay Tower Rendering 2012

Having bid a winning $350 million for the land upon which to build San Francisco's Transbay Transit Tower and Terminal back in 2007, over twice as much as the next highest bid of $145 million by the Richard Rogers and Forest City team, and an amount which was already reduced to $235 million in 2008, Hines will now pay $185 million for the land upon which the shorter Transbay Tower will rise according to J.K. Dineen.

Hines And Pelli Clarke Pelli Bid The Most (And Get The Transbay Nod) [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Scoop: San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal Designs [SocketSite]
Transbay Terminal Moves Forward, But Payments And Terms Change [SocketSite]
Yes, The Proposed Transbay Transit Tower Shrank A Hundred Feet [SocketSite]
New Transbay deal: Land price cut to $185 million [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

March 13, 2012

The Latest Fad Sweeping Through SoMa

808 Brannan

Citing an office vacancy rate of 8.65 percent in SoMa at the end of 2011 versus rates of 23.6 percent in 2008 and 25.5 percent in 2009, and an overall office vacancy rate of 9.3 percent for San Francisco, the owners of 808 Brannan are seeking Planning’s approval to legally convert the 45,723 square foot building from showroom (PDR) to office use.

Formerly the headquarters for Georgiou Studio, a local clothes designer, Mr. Georgiou lost the building to foreclosure in 2010 and it’s been vacant since. The Planning Department recommends approval of the conversion.

808 Brannan Street: Request for Office Authorization [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

March 12, 2012

CityPlace Parcels Along Market Scheduled For Foreclosure This Week

CityPlace Rendering

As we first reported last year:

Five parcels along Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets have been hit with Notices of Default (NOD's) including 935-939 Market, 943 Market, and 949-961 Market.
If that stretch of Market sounds familiar, it should. For as plugged-in people know, and PropertyShark catches, those parcels comprise the site of the proposed and approved CityPlace development.
Apparently Connecticut-based Commonfund Realty, which partnered with San Francisco based Urban Realty on the CityPlace development, "has stopped investment in real estate projects as it seeks to restructure a $1 billion fund that lost most of its value."
As best we can tell there’s approximately $36 million of cross collateralized debt on the three parcels and it’s a $9,680,000 note from 2007 which filed the notice of default.

While the Notice of Defaults noted above were cancelled, new Notices were filed soon thereafter. And as a plugged-in tipster notes, the CityPlace parcels along Market Street are now scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in San Francisco this Wednesday, March 14.

Notice Of Default Filed For CityPlace Parcels [SocketSite]
Details To Augment Designs For "CityPlace" (935-965 Market Street) [SocketSite]
CityPlace EIR Approved Appealed Approved! [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

Five More Years For Giants Parking Lot A And Big Development Delay

Mission Rock - SWL 337/Pier 48 - Proposal (click to enlarge)

The ten year lease between the City and County of San Francisco and the China Basin Ballpark Company, a subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants, for Seawall Lot 337, also known as Parking Lot A, expired at the end of 2009 and has been month-to-month since.

Slated for development, but struggling to secure equity investors since 2010, the proposed development of Seawall Lot 337 and Pier 48 (a.k.a. Mission Rock) was expected to start in 2013 and yield 875 housing units, 1 million square feet of office space, 240,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 180,200 square feet of exhibit/event space, 8.7 acres of public open space and 2,650 parking spaces over the next 17 years.

This week, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a resolution to approve a new five year lease for the China Basin Ballpark Company, effectively delaying the development of Seawall 337 until at least 2017.

SocketSite Weekend Special: One Proposal For San Francisco SWL 337 [SocketSite]
San Francisco SWL 337 Proposal: Downsized And Drawn Out [SocketSite]
Proposed Seawall Lot 337 Development Scrambling For Investors [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

March 9, 2012

140 New Montgomery: Renovation And Rendering Scoop

As we noted yesterday, Wilson Meany Sullivan’s renovation plans for the 26-story Pacific Telephone Building at 140 New Montgomery no longer include condos and the building will remain an office building targeting "tech start-ups, venture-capital firms and others."

So here’s the inside and rendering (click to enlarge) scoop. Ceiling heights will range from 13 to 20 feet on the upper floors, windows will be replaced and be operable (think fresh air and cooling breezes), and the targeted others include law and design firms.

The ground floor of the building will house two restaurant spaces while the building’s south facing service yard will become a private outdoor sculpture garden.

140 New Montgomery Sculpture Garden Rendering

Tenants will have access to secure bike parking, locker room, shower suite and a "bike spa" that "repurposes 140’s historic wood-paneled executive board room as a place to tune up your bike before heading out for a lunchtime ride or the commute home."

And yes, there are a few parking spaces below the building for the big hitters and a secured entrance near the adjacent parking garage for everyone else.

140 New Montgomery: The More Things Change... [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

March 8, 2012

140 New Montgomery: The More Things Change...

140 New Montgomery: Aerial

Five years ago Wilson Meany Sullivan purchased the 26-story Pacific Telephone Building at 140 New Montgomery for $345 a square foot with plans to spend an additional $500 a square foot converting it from an office building to a five-star hotel and condominium tower, with a spa, restaurant and bar.

In 2008, the hotel component was dropped and new plans were floated for 135 condos on floors two to twenty-six over an 8,500 square foot restaurant on the ground floor.

Plans for any condo conversion have since been dropped, and as the Wall Street Journal notes, the office building will simply, but expensively, be upgraded and return targeting "tech start-ups, venture-capital firms and others."

Conversion Of 140 New Montgomery Moves To Environmental Review [SocketSite]
Another Office To Hotel/Condo Conversion: 140 New Montgomery [SocketSite]
New Call by Developer on Historic Tower [Wall Street Journal]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

March 2, 2012

Macys.com Headed To 680 Folsom Street As First Reported

Two months ago a plugged-in reader first reported a deal with Macys.com was in the works to lease 250k square feet at 680 Folsom Street. Yesterday, a 15-year lease for 242,573 square feet on floors 8 through 14 at 680 Folsom was officially announced.

With a projected re-opening in late 2013, 680 Folsom Street is now 80 percent pre-leased.

A Re-Skinning Crane Has Risen At 680 Folsom Street [SocketSite]
The Reskinned 680 Folsom Will Be Home To Riverbed In 2013 [SocketSite]
Renovation Of 680/690 Folsom Slated To Get Going This November [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

March 1, 2012

Conversion Of 1945 Hyde Street Set To Get Started

1945 Hyde

Following a two year approval process and failed appeal led by the Russian Hill Community Association to block development, permits have been pulled for the Ogrydziak/Prillinger led residential conversion of the two-story garage at 1945 Hyde Street.

1945 Hyde Rendering

The project will yield 7 new housing units over ground floor commercial and 17 parking spaces, all unbundled from the dwelling units and with one space for car share.

And according to a plugged-in tipster, they’re about to start (re)construction.

1945 Hyde Street Revised, Rendered, And Ready To Be Approved [SocketSite]
Appealing The Impact Of The Approved Rebuilding Of 1945 Hyde [SocketSite]
1945 Hyde: Planning's Decision Upheld As Appellant A No-Show [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

February 24, 2012

First Four Salesforce.com Campus Buildings Poised For Approval

Salesforce Mission Bay Campus Olive Building

The office allocation for the first four buildings of Salesforce.com’s Mission Bay Campus is poised to be approved by San Francisco's Planning Commission on Thursday, March 1.

The four buildings will yield 1,488,996 square feet, 1,254,551 of which will be office space, 41,363 ground floor retail, and 6,000 square feet for childcare. 1,394 parking spaces will be built underground while parking for 260 bikes will be spread between the four buildings.

A four-acre open plaza will be at the center of it all.

Salesforce Mission Bay Campus Pink Building

Supportive of Salesforce’s overall plan, two design requests by way of the Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee: to be "thoughtful about where the brightest accent colors are placed, as they will be visible to the occupants of surrounding buildings" and "sensitive about rooftop uses, visible from Potrero Hill."

Salesforce.com Campus Key Elements And Design Preview [SocketSite]
Designs For Salesforce's Global Headquarters Complex in Mission Bay [SocketSite]
A Bit Of Color On (And For) Salesforce's Campus In Mission Bay [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

February 21, 2012

Fresh & Easy At 1245 South Van Ness Set For Approval This Week

1245 South Van Ness: Existing

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, the division and conversion of the former Delano's Market at 1245 South Van Ness into a Fresh & Easy.

1245%20South%20Van%20Ness%20F%26E%20Rendering.jpg

The Project will divide the existing grocery store of approximately 21,452 square‐feet into a new 16,241 square-foot grocery store (Fresh and Easy, the formula retail use) and a 5,211 square-foot commercial retail space (tenant t.b.d.).
The Project will also result in the removal of approximately 16 off-street parking spaces and will reconfigure the accessory parking lot to provide 49 off‐street parking spaces, additional landscaping and bicycle parking.

1245%20South%20Van%20Ness%20F%26E%20Rendering%20Full.jpg

As proposed, bicycle parking for thirty (30) will be provided versus the six required; the existing mural created by Precita Eyes and the children of Cesar Chavez School will be moved south; and sidewalk seating (or a parklet) would be added along South Van Ness.

Fresh & Easy Headed For The Mission, Could The Castro Be Next? [SocketSite]
San Francisco Planning Commission Agenda: 2/23/12 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

February 6, 2012

The Reskinned 680 Folsom Will Be Home To Riverbed In 2013

680 Folsom Rendering

Along with the latest rendering for the $87 million remodel of 680/690 Folsom that's now underway which highlights the corner of Folsom and Third on which a new 15,000-square-foot retail or cultural building will rise, we’ve also got news that Riverbed Technology has leased a third of 680 Folsom on floors two through six of the twelve-story building.

The renovation of 680 Folsom is on track to be completed in late 2013, the Riverbed lease is for ten years.

A Re-Skinning Crane Has Risen At 680 Folsom Street [SocketSite]
Renovation Of 680/690 Folsom Slated To Get Going This November [SocketSite]
The Latest Design For 680/690 Folsom: Back To The Bank [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

As Proposed To Start Rising At 2800 Sloat And Wawona By 2015

Approved for development in late 2008, but having failed to have broken ground within the required three-years, this week Planning will review a request to extend the right to build 56 new housing units and 23,000 square feet of commercial space with an open-air market at 2800 Sloat until 2015 (click either image to enlarge).

The approved proposal allowed the demolition of the three existing commercial buildings and the construction of a new mixed-use building totaling approximately 117,000 gross square feet, and a one-story building dedicated to commercial use that together will provide approximately 23,000 gsf of commercial space, four levels of residential occupancy with 56 dwelling units (consisting of 19 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units, and 13 three-bedroom units).

The proposed project includes a below-grade parking garage divided into two separated parking areas: one dedicated to 56 residential parking spaces and the other with 56 commercial spaces, for a total of 112 proposed off-street parking spaces and a residential bicycle storage area for approximately 25 bicycles...

The existing commercial buildings proposed for demolition currently house the Aqua Surf Shop, John's Ocean Beach Café and Robert's Motel.

2800%20Sloat%202011.jpg

The Planning Department recommends the Commission grant the extension to develop.

2800 Sloat Boulevard Plans and Request To Extend Development [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

February 3, 2012

Are You Feeling Lucky Bowlers? Well, Are You?

Lucky Strike Construction (www.SocketSite.com)

While currently a construction zone, according to a plugged-in tipster, Lucky Strike is aiming to open their doors at 200 King Street by the end of the month, filling a rather large retail hole in South Beach which was Mission Bay when Borders vacated back in 2010.

The Incredible Shrinking Mission Bay (And Expanding South Beach) [SocketSite]
Mission Bay South Beach Borders Closing Its Doors October 16 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

Metreon 1.5 Opens Tomorrow (2.0 And Target In October)

Metreon Dining Terrace Rendering

The makeover of the Metreon kicked-off last May. Tomorrow, the new dining terrace and first wave of restaurants and retail will open for business with others following over the next six months. And in October, San Francisco’s first Target, an 85,000 square foot CityTarget with merchandise tailored for city-dwellers, including fresh groceries, will open as well.

Metreon 2.0 Rendering

Metreon Makeover Breaks Ground Today [SocketSite]
A Few More Metreon Makeover Facts [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

January 24, 2012

Converting 888 Brannan To Attract Tech Tenants (And Rents)

888 Brannan

In 2010, the Planning Commission approved the conversion of 138,580 of the 423,133 square feet between the interconnected buildings at 850 Brannan and 870 Brannan, collectively known as the 888 Brannan GiftCenter and JewelryMart, from production, distribution and repair (PDR) to office use.

Foreclosed upon by Wells Fargo prior to conversion, SKS Investments acquired 888 Brannan for $36 million in 2011 and is now seeking approval to convert a total of 257,243 square feet from PDR to office use "suited to technology tenants."

The more prominent of the two buildings, 870 Brannan is the five-story reinforced concrete building on the corner of 8th and Brannan which was constructed in 1917 and is on the National Register of Historic Places and California Register of Historical Resources.

888 Brannan Historic

As part of the conversion, the exterior of 870 Brannan would be rehabilitated with repaired or replacement windows, behind which parking for 31 cars and 80 bikes will be added.

888 Brannan Rehab Rendering

With the support of the Planning Department, and scheduled to be reviewed by the Commission this week, the sponsors hope to start reconstruction next month.

Request and Plans for the redevelopment of 888 Brannan [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

January 10, 2012

Mission Bay Block 7 West Rendered With A Bi-Rite In Mind

Mission Bay Block 7 Rendering

Perhaps it's simply wishful thinking, but as a plugged-in reader notes, the designs for the affordable mixed-use rental building to rise on Mission Bay Block 7 along Fourth Street between China Basin and Mission Bay Boulevard were rendered with a Bi-Rite in mind.

Mission Bay Block 7 Bi-Rite

The development brings 200 residences and 10,000 sf of neighborhood-serving retail to the developing area. The retail arcade wraps around the corner at Mission Bay Boulevard North, creating a lively interaction with the adjacent UCSF campus.
The large building steps down from four stories at the west side of the block to three stories toward the east. The massing is broken into discrete volumes to create a varied, interesting, and accessible street edge.

Mission Bay Block 7 West: North Elevation

The building wraps around a large communal open space for gathering and relaxing. At the west side, a second-level podium courtyard tops the embedded garage; at the east a ground-level courtyard features a community pavilion with space and amenities for residents to gather, cook, or do laundry. The courtyard, while secure and protected, is visually open, providing glimpses of green to to passersby through the entryway.
Along China Basin, a landscaped pedestrian corridor provides access to the exterior units, which connect to the mews via raised porches.

Mission Bay Block 7 Building Mews

A joint development between the Related Companies of California and the Chinatown Community Development Center, the project is currently slated to yield 72 one-bedrooms and 128 two-bedrooms with parking for 100 cars and twice as many bikes.

The Future Fourth Street And Envisoned Hub Of Mission Bay [SocketSite]
Mission Bay Neighborhood Block And Construction Watch [SocketSite]
Mission Bay Block 7 West On The Boards [dbarchitect.com]
Salesforce.com Campus Key Elements And Design Preview [SocketSite]

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

January 9, 2012

A Re-Skinning Crane Has Risen At 680 Folsom Street

680 Folsom Street Crane

As a number of tipsters have noted, over the weekend a construction crane sprouted at 680/690 Folsom Street as the $87 million building overhaul we first showcased back in 2008 finally moves forward. As the re-skinned building will eventually appear:

690 Folsom: Redesign Rendering

Once renovated, the building will yield 505,000 square feet of office space and a public plaza on the corner of Folsom and Third Streets on which a new 15,000-square-foot retail or cultural building will also rise.

Renovation Of 680/690 Folsom Slated To Get Going This November [SocketSite]
Wet Weekend Special (And Scoop): The Designs For 680/690 Folsom [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

December 12, 2011

1401 California: Trader Joe's And CVS Authorization This Week

1401 California Rendering

With Cala Foods lease at 1401 California expiring in nineteen days, the Prado Group goes before San Francisco’s Planning Commission on Thursday seeking authorization for their proposal to divide and modify the existing 30,087 square foot space to house a 14,578 square foot Trader Joe’s and a 10,956 square foot 24-hour CVS Pharmacy.

The Planning Department recommends approval with the condition that a "no queue" policy is enforced for vehicles attempting to enter the parking lot at 1401 California.

If a recurring queue occurs, the owner/operator of the parking facility shall employ abatement methods as needed to abate the queue. Suggested abatement methods include but are not limited to the following: redesign of facility layout to improve vehicle circulation and/or on‐site queue capacity; employment of parking attendants; installation of LOT FULL signs with active management by parking attendants; use of valet parking or other space‐efficient parking techniques; use of off‐site parking facilities or shared parking with nearby uses; use of parking occupancy sensors and signage directing drivers to available spaces; travel demand management strategies such as additional bicycle parking, customer shuttles or delivery services; and/or parking demand management strategies such as parking time limits, paid parking or validated parking.

The Prado Group plans to start six to nine months of construction in January.

From Cala To Condos To Trader Joe's At 1401 California [SocketSite]
1401 California Conditional Use Application [sfplanning.org]
From Cala Foods To "1401 California" By 2012 Or Bust As Proposed [SocketSite]

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

November 23, 2011

155 Fifth Street Refacing, Renovation And Repurposing In The Works

155 5th Street Rendering

The University of the Pacific has purchased the seven-story and 395,000 square foot building at 155 Fifth Street for $47 million with plans to reface, renovate and repurpose the building (five floors for university use, two floors to be leased) over the next two years.

As is currently envisioned for the building above and as currently exists below.

155 5th Street: Existing

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

Is That The Fat Lady We Hear Singing Over At CitiApartments?

2099 Market Street

Pledged as collateral on a number of loans which are now in default, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes "the Debtors’ respective membership interests in the limited liability companies" which own the following properties are scheduled to be sold on December 12:

78 Buchanan Street
233-241 Church Street
252-258 Church Street
950 Franklin Street
1844 Irving Street
1401 Jones Street
2677 Larkin Street
2075-2083 Market Street
2099 Market Street
1870 Pacific Avenue
500 Stanyan Street
645 Stockton Street
1340-1360 Taylor Street
1320 Washington Street
1461-1465 Burlingame Avenue (Burlingame)

Some might recognize the 2099 Market Street adress as the headquarters of the group formerly known as CitiApartments and from which "Frank Lembi used to listen to opera on Wednesday evenings from his office on the mezzanine" according to our tipster.

UPDATE: As a reader quickly catches, it’s the Membership Interests in the LLCs that own the properties above which are being auctioned against $29,700,000 in mezzanine debt that’s in default and the properties listed above remain "encumbered by a deed of trust that secures the Property LLCs’ total aggregate indebtedness to a senior mortgage lender in the original principal amount of $103,300,000."

CitiApartments Is No More! Well, Sort Of… [SocketSite]
The Story (And Faces) Behind The Rise And Fall Of The Lembis [SocketSite]

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

November 18, 2011

From Seals Stadium, To Strip Mall, To 1,800 Rental Units On 16th?

Potrero Center

The site of the old San Francisco Seals Stadium until 1959 and currently home to a 227,000-square-foot strip mall anchored by a 60,000-square-foot Safeway, the Potrero Center at 2300 16th Street has been put up for sale.

Under the Eastern Neighborhoods rezoning, the nine-acre site at 2300 16th St. is part of a mixed-use district that allows for 85-foot heights. The site sits on the top of a hill on the border of the Mission District and Potrero Hill. The property has 704 parking spaces.
Whatever development occurs at the site would have to involve Safeway, which has a long-term lease on its 60,000-square-foot market. No redevelopment plan has been filed with the city’s planning department, although the firm Christiani Johnson Architects has done some preliminary drawings of what might be built on the site.

Based on the size of the site, a redevelopment could yield up to 1,800 apartments.

Potrero Center for sale; 1,800 apartments eyed [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (49) | (email story)

November 11, 2011

The Benefits Of Marijuana Sales (Versus Pet Food)

5234-5258 Mission Street

Next week San Francisco’s Planning Commission will review the application to open a Medical Cannabis Dispensary (MCD) at 5258 Mission Street.

Opposed by 234 individuals, the Planning Department recommends approving the application for 5258 Mission, in part because the project "will eliminate a vacant storefront in a neighborhood commercial corridor" and "provide local employment opportunities."

An application to open a Medical Cannabis Dispensary at 5234 Mission Street, three buildings away, has also garnered the Planning Department’s recommendation for approval, again, in part because the project "will eliminate a vacant storefront in a Neighborhood Commercial corridor" and "provide local employment opportunities."

Apparently, eradicating vacant storefronts in commercial corridors and providing local employment opportunities aren’t considered to be as beneficial when pet food is involved.

And hey, it will save the feds some gas should they decide to marijuana crack-down.

5258 Mission: Medical Cannabis Dispensary Discretionary Review [sfplanning.org]
5234 Mission: Medical Cannabis Dispensary Discretionary Review [sfplanning.org]
PETCO Withdraws Application To Revitalize 5411 Geary [SocketSite]
A Real (Estate) Attack On Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

Approval For Landmark Metro Theater Conversion On Tap Next Week

Metro Theater Facade Rendering

With a reworked façade that’s been toned down a bit since that which was proposed in 2010, the request to convert the Landmark Metro Theater at 2055 Union Street into a gym, restaurant and retail appears to be headed for Planning’s approval next week.

The changes to the exterior envelope of the building as now proposed:

1. Installation of a total of eight new window openings at the third and fourth floor levels of the front façade. The windows would align with the historic window openings below and would be within the recessed plaster panel, which is a remnant of the 1924 façade design.

2. Installation of six new window openings at each of the east and west secondary facades with one window at the third floor level and five windows at the fourth floor level.

3. Replacement of the aluminum‐frame storefront systems with new aluminum‐framed storefronts with a painted finish. The storefronts would have a minimum 8‐inch‐tall bulkhead at the base and would have framed display windows and doors. The bulkhead would be clad with tile.

4. Installation of metal, pin‐mounted, halo‐lit retail tenant signage at both storefronts between the plaster stringcourse and the transom windows; installation of the fitness center tenant signs (“Equinox”) in metal lettering on both sides of the historic marquee; installation of message signage in metal lettering on the face of the historic marquee; installation of two “Equinox” metal, pinmounted, halo‐lit vertical signs at the inner wall of the foyer space; and, installation of metal, pinmounted, halo‐lit “Equinox” logos in two locations flanking the second‐story windows. The historic blade sign with the “Metro” copy would remain.

5. Replacement of the non‐historic entrance doors with new entrance doors and restoration of the exterior foyer. The footprint of the restored foyer would align with the historic coffered ceiling above. The coffered ceiling would be removed and reconstructed approximately 1.5‐foot lower to accommodate the new second floor plate and the re‐graded ground floor.

6. Installation of an elevator penthouse, mechanical equipment, and a skylight at the roof. The height of the elevator penthouse would be limited to 55 feet above grade (or approximately 7 feet about the existing roof parapet height) and the height of the mechanical equipment and skylight would be limited to 50 feet above grade (or approximately 2 feet about the existing roof parapet height).

A drafted condition for Planning’s approval: That the two "Equinox" logo signs at the second floor level will be removed from the proposal (see point number four above).

As the Metro Theater which has been shuttered since 2006 currently appears:

Union Street Metro Theater (www.SocketSite.com)

The Proposed Façade For The Landmark Metro Theater At 2055 Union [SocketSite]
Union Street’s Metro Theater: Saving Its Skin In Order To Un-Shutter [SocketSite]

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

November 4, 2011

It's Time To Whet Our Weekend Whistles

Biergarten (www.SocketSite.com)

It was fifteen months ago we first reported the Biergarten in the works for Parcel L, part of the Proxy project along Octavia Boulevard. Now open Wednesday through Sunday from three to nine, and with the sun having broken through the morning clouds, it seems an appropriate way to whet our weekend whistles this week.

Mmm…Beer (Garden) In The Works For Parcel L (424 Octavia) [SocketSite]
The Evolution Of EnvelopeA+D’s Proxy Project For Parcels K+L [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

November 3, 2011

Have No Fear, Red’s To Remain In Place For The America’s Cup

AC34 Venue Rendering: Piers 30-32

While it might have been obscured in the race venue renderings, have no fear, Red’s Java House will in fact remain in place when the America’s Cup sails into town.

AC34 Venue Rendering: Pier 30/32 and Red's Java House

Comments: Rendering Scoop: San Francisco's Major America’s Cup Venues [SocketSite]

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

October 28, 2011

Wiener’s Proposed Public Weiner (And Ass) Ordinance

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors next week, a vote on the Supervisor Wiener’s proposed ordinance regulating public nudity in restaurants and public seating areas.

As proposed, the ordinance would amend San Francisco Police Code Section 1071.1 to:

1) prohibit public nudity in restaurants; and
2) prohibit sitting on public benches or public seating areas without clothing or some other separate material between the person's genitals, buttocks, or anal region and the seating surface.

If nothing else, it’s something to consider before you grab a parklet seat at lunch.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Agenda: November 1, 2011 [sfbos.org]
Soon To Be Sitting Pretty In A Series Of New Plazas And Parklets [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

October 26, 2011

The New Plans And Latest Recommendations For Japantown

With the grand plans for a complete redevelopment of San Francisco’s Japan Center Mall and Peace Plaza waylaid by the economy back in 2008, a Japantown Organizing Committee has been exploring the possibility of forming a Community Land Trust (CLT) to acquire the property from 3D Investments and team with a development partner to renovate the mall, making it "more user-friendly, landscaped with plantings characteristic of Japanese gardens and [incorporating] Japanese style lighting and signage."

Assuming 3D would be willing to sell for $22,500,000 having paid $19,700,000 for the parcels in 2006, and assuming the ability to secure financing, the CLT would likely need to attract philanthropic funding/grants of between $5.1 million to $7.1 million, and raise average exisiting rents by up to 50 percent, in order to make the project "pencil."

On Thursday, Planning is scheduled to present the latest recommendations for moving forward with the redevelopment of Japantown to the Planning Commission, the plan for which plugged-in people can get a sneak peek (click any of the images to enlarge).

The 4 Design Concepts For The Future Of San Francisco’s Japantown [SocketSite]
Japantown’s Better Neighborhood Plan Update: Draft Acknowledged [SocketSite]
Japantown Community Planning Process and Initial Recommendations [sfplanning.org]

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

October 24, 2011

PETCO Withdraws Application To Revitalize 5411 Geary

5411 Geary

As we wrote when we first reported the Planning Department's recommendation against allowing an Unleashed by PETCO to open at 5411 Geary Boulevard:

No word on who the Department or opposing neighbors have lined up to take over the lease in place of Unleashed, a storefront that has been vacant and contributing to the character of the neighborhood as pictured above for the past five years.

PETCO has since withdrawn their application to renovate and reopen the long shuttered storefront at 5411 Geary. And as far as we know, no other tenant is waiting in the wings.

Target On Geary, Yea! Unleashed By PETCO On Geary, Nea! [SocketSite]

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

October 7, 2011

A Real (Estate) Attack On Medical-Marijuana Dispensaries

Perhaps poked by last year’s failed initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use in California, Federal prosecutors are cracking down on medical-marijuana dispensaries, leaning on landlords by way of forfeiture laws to do their dirty work.

Landlords for several dispensaries are being sent letters saying they face jail time if they don’t evict the pot shops, the U.S. Attorneys from Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco said today at a press conference in Sacramento. Prosecutors are also targeting large-scale growers and distributors.
In California, the first state to permit marijuana for medical use, about 400,000 people use pot on a daily basis, according to the Board of Equalization, the state’s tax administrator. The clinics have annual revenue of as much as $1.3 billion and produce sales taxes of as much as $105 million, said Anita Gore, a spokeswoman.
“While California law permits collective cultivation of marijuana in limited circumstances, it does not allow commercial distribution through the store-front model we see across California,” said Andre Birotte, the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors said the crackdown involves civil forfeiture lawsuits against properties allegedly used in drug trafficking, letters of warning to clinic operators and landlords, and criminal indictments that charge six people with marijuana trafficking in Southern California.

The Day After: November 2 Real Estate Related Election Results [SocketSite]
Pot-Clinic Crackdown Under Way: Prosecutors [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

October 5, 2011

The Plan For San Francisco's Tallest Tower And Transit Center District

Transit Center Tower Rendering

At the center of the 145 acre Transit Center District, the proposed Transit Tower to be on Mission between First and Freemont will rise 920 feet to its roof and 1,070 feet including its sculptural element, becoming the City’s tallest structure (1,000 feet to the highest enclosed space) and yielding 1.3 million square feet of office and 16,500 square feet of retail.

Currently zoned for heights ranging from 30 to 550 feet, as plugged-in people know, in addition to the the Transit Tower the Transit Center District Plan would allow for an additional six buildings to rise over 550 feet and up to 850 feet on First bewteen Stevenson and Elm Alley.

Transit Center Height Table

The Grand Plan For A San Francisco "Transit Center District" [SocketSite]
Transit Center District Plan and Transit Tower [sfplanning.org]
San Francisco’s Transit Center District Plan: EIR Notice Of Preparation [SocketSite]
A Trio Of Renzo Piano SOM Towers At 50 First Street As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | (email story)

October 3, 2011

A Three Year Extension For Three Hundred Grant As Proposed

300 Grant Rendering

Approved for redevelopment in 2008, on Thursday the project sponsor behind the building of a 10-story building with 45 dwelling units over 16,000 square feet of first and second floor retail at 300 Grant Street will seek a three year extension to raze the two buildings which currently sit on the site ("due to the continuing weakness in the real estate market and the associated difficulties in securing financing") and start building anew.

The Planning Department recommends the extension. And as the site currently appears:

300 Grant Existing

The New And Improved (And Approved) Design For 300 Grant Avenue [SocketSite]
The Proposed Sixty-Six Forty-Five Condos (And Parking) Of 300 Grant [SocketSite]

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

September 30, 2011

Renovation Of 680/690 Folsom Slated To Get Going This November

680/690 Folsom

We first showcased the proposed redesign of 680/690 Folsom back in 2008. In 2010, an equity partner in the project deeded their interest in the building back to Wells Fargo but has since been replaced by Rockwood Capital. And now, TMG Partners is expected to start the $87 million renovation of 680/690 Folsom in two months.

690 Folsom: Redesign Rendering

The renovated building will yield 505,000 square feet of commercial space and a new public plaza on the corner of Folsom and Third streets, "where there eventually will be a new 15,000-square-foot retail or cultural building constructed" (see rendering above).

Wet Weekend Special (And Scoop): The Designs For 680/690 Folsom [SocketSite]
Additional Details To Go With The Glassy Design: 680/690 Folsom [SocketSite]
The Latest Design For 680/690 Folsom: Back To The Bank [SocketSite]
TMG ready to roll on $87M project [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

September 15, 2011

CVS Slated To Start Construction At Market And 7th in 2012

Southwest corner of Market and 7th Streets

Speaking of mid-market developments around 7th Street, a plugged-in reader reports: "CVS will begin construction on a new store at the corner of Market and 7th Streets in August 2012. The check cashing outlet, barbershop, and restaurant will close." Cheers.

67 Units For Young Professionals Between 6th And 7th As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (27) | (email story)

September 8, 2011

Speaking Of Mega-Yachts And Ellison's America's Cup Thing...

Pier 38

Speaking of Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | (email story)

September 7, 2011

Permits Pulled To Raze And Rebuild At 350 Mission

350 Mission Street

Having survived an interesting appeal, permits to demolish the existing four-story building at 350 Mission and construct a 350 foot tower in its place have been pulled which is the opposite of withdrawn in construction speak.

350 Mission Atrium Rendering

350 Feet At 350 Mission (And San Francisco’s Planning Commission) [SocketSite]
EIR Today, Heald Gone Tomorrow At 350 Mission As Proposed [SocketSite]
More Than Meets The Eye Behind The Opposition To 350 Mission? [SocketSite]
GLL getting closer to construction at 350 Mission in San Francisco [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

August 11, 2011

It’s Back To The Bank (And Hopefully Drawing Boards) For 524 Howard

524 Howard Site

As plugged-in people know, the parking lot at 524 Howard has been facing foreclosure with an estimated $23,038,931 owed. The site was approved for developement twenty-two years ago, the rights for which could soon be lost.

And as a plugged-in tipster notes, on Wednesday the parcel went back to the bank with no bidders at $5,000,000 cash on the courthouse steps.

524 Howard: Approved Twenty-Two Years Ago And Still A Lot Today [SocketSite]
Two More Years To Park At 524 Howard (And Perhaps Much Longer) [SocketSite]
Five Million In Cash Versus Twenty-Three Million Owed [SocketSite]

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

July 29, 2011

Targeting Spring 2013 For Unanimously Approved City Center Target

Target’s application to open a 120,000 square foot store "offering clothing, personal accessories, household goods, including home furnishings, electronics and groceries" in the City Center development at the corner of Geary and Masonic was unanimously approved by Planning last night. The location could be open by Spring 2013.

Proposed City Center Target Design (And Full Meeting) Scoop [SocketSite]
Second San Francisco Target gets unanimous approval [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

July 27, 2011

Target On Geary, Yea! Unleashed By PETCO On Geary, Nea!

5411 Geary

While the Planning Department recommends the Planning Commission approve the request to open the formula retail known as Target at 2675 Geary, the Department recommends the Commission disapprove the request to open the formula retail known as Unleashed by PETCO at 5411 Geary, the site of a former formula Walgreens.

The Department’s reasoning:

The proposed new use will not provide a development that is necessary or desirable with the surrounding neighborhood. There are a number of pet stores and services within the area, including two smaller locally-owned pet supply stores in the immediate vicinity and several others within two miles of the subject site, making the proposed use unnecessary.
The subject area has a large concentration of formula retail establishments, and adding another formula retail store will only increasing this concentration.
The neighborhood is well served by smaller locally owned pet stores and a larger destination formula retail pet supply store (Pet Food Express, on California Street near Presidio Avenue).
The proposed formula retail establishment could have a negative impact on existing neighborhood character by displacing smaller local stores that provide similar products and services.

No word on who the Department or opposing neighbors have lined up to take over the lease in place of Unleashed, a storefront that has been vacant and contributing to the character of the neighborhood as pictured above for the past five years.

Proposed City Center Target Design (And Full Meeting) Scoop [SocketSite]
Request for Conditional Use Authorization For Unleashed at 5411 Geary [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

July 22, 2011

Proposed City Center Target Design (And Full Meeting) Scoop

As we first reported earlier this week, this coming Thursday the Planning Commission will hear Target’s request to open a 106,000 t0 120,000 square foot store "offering clothing, personal accessories, household goods, including home furnishings, electronics and groceries" in the City Center development at the corner of Geary and Masonic.

Target’s stated design goals for the project (click either image to enlarge):

Activate the street edges to make the building pedestrian friendly and contribute to an active street life
1. Increase the amount of street-front display windows along Masonic Ave.
2. Maintain and add display cases along the Geary elevation to create activity, visual interest and pedestrian scale.
3. Refurbish the base building materials to provide a higher quality, durable pedestrian environment.
4. Rehabilitate grade level planters and plantings along Geary Blvd.
5. Explore building-mounted, pedestrian scale lighting.
Apply elements to the facades to moderate the building’s bulky scale and give it an updated appearance
1. Add blade sign elements appropriate to the Mid-Century Modern character of the building that introduce rhythm, color and movement to the facades along Geary Blvd.
2. Add screen elements to key facade areas that provide contemporary hints of warmth, color and texture to the building.
3. Repaint the building in a new color scheme that emphasizes 1.g texture and articulation over monotonous bulk.
Create a more sustainable building
1. Update and reuse the existing building, employing recycled materials whenever possible.
2. Enhance bicycle parking and storage.
Add landscaping to soften the environment
1. Vines at existing retaining walls.
2. Add drought-tolerant plants.
3. Replace landscape in existing planters

The Planning Department recommends the Commission approve the request.

Target Prepares For Planning Vote On Geary Store Next Week [SocketSite]
YIMBY's Set Their Sights On A Target At Geary And Masonic [SocketSite]
One Word: Target. Okay, Five: Target At Geary And Masonic? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

Hmm, We Wonder Who That Could Be...

As a plugged-in tipster catches, according to Andy Graiser, co-president of DJM Realty, a "big not for profit real estate art company in San Francisco" has expressed early interest in taking over at least one of Borders' leases in San Francisco.

Graiser Says Border's Retail Spaces Attracting Interest [youtube.com]

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

July 20, 2011

Target Prepares For Planning Vote On Geary Store Next Week

Geary and Masonic (Image Source: MapJack.com)

The request for authorization which would allow Target to develop and open a 120,000 square foot "formula retail" store in the City Center development at the corner of Geary and Masonic has been scheduled to be heard by Planning next week.

The proposed project, to occupy a portion of the former Mervyn’s and Good Guys stores, will consist of approximately 106,000 square feet of retail space, with a potential to add an additional 14,000 square feet if vacant space becomes available within the shopping center, for a project total of approximately 120,000 square feet.

Geary and Masonic Target Conceptual Drawing

The proposal involves interior remodeling work as well as exterior improvements including signage, which would require the creation of a Special Sign District. The existing City Center shopping mall has approximately 601 off-street parking spaces and five loading spaces; no additional parking or loading spaces are required or proposed.

As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

YIMBY's Set Their Sights On A Target At Geary And Masonic [SocketSite]
One Word: Target. Okay, Five: Target At Geary And Masonic? [SocketSite]

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July 15, 2011

San Francisco’s Commercial Market Drives Transfer Tax Boom

Driven by a 66 percent increase in commercial transactions (from 90 to 149 sales valued at $5 million or more), and Proposition N which created a new tax bracket for properties transacting for $5 million or more (which resulted in an additional $14 million in revenue alone), San Francisco collected $135 million in transfer tax revenue in fiscal year 2010/2011, exceeding budget forecasts by $64 million and up 39 percent year-over-year.

The Day After: November 2 Real Estate Related Election Results [SocketSite]

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July 11, 2011

No Need To BYOB To Bowl In The Mission As Proposed

3176 17th Street

As the San Francisco Planning Code reads with respect to the Mission Alcoholic Beverage Special Use Subdistrict:

There is an unusually large number of establishments dispensing alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, for both on-site and off-site consumption in this area. The existence of this many alcoholic beverage establishments appears to contribute directly to numerous peace, health, safety and general welfare problems in the area, including loitering, littering, drug trafficking, prostitution, public drunkenness, defacement and damaging of structures, pedestrian obstructions, as well as traffic circulation, parking and noise problems on public streets and neighborhood lots.
The existence of such problems creates serious impacts on the health, safety and welfare of residents of nearby single- and multiple-family areas, including fear for the safety of children, elderly residents and of visitors to the area. The problems also contribute to the deterioration of the neighborhood and concomitant devaluation of property and destruction of community values and quality of life. The number of establishments selling alcoholic beverages and the associated problems discourage more desirable and needed commercial uses in the area.
In order to preserve the residential character and the neighborhood-serving commercial uses of the area, there shall be a Mission Alcoholic Beverage Special Use Subdistrict to prohibit new establishments, or expansion of existing establishments, selling alcoholic beverages for the property in the area generally bounded by Guerrero Street, San Jose Avenue, Randall Street, Mission Street, Cesar Chavez Street, Potrero Avenue and Fourteenth Street.

Exemptions for "Bona Fide Restaurants" and "Non-Profit Theaters" are already on the books. And as proposed and sponsored by Supervisors Kim and Wiener, an amendment to allow "Bowling Alleys" in the Mission to serve alcoholic beverages will be added as well, paving the way for the proposed Mission Bowling Club at 3176 17th Street.

Ordinance Permitting Bowling Alleys To Serve alcohol In The Mission

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June 29, 2011

From Cala To Condos To Trader Joe's At 1401 California

Cala Foods at 1401 California (Image Source: MapJack.com)

As we wrote in 2009:

Clearing up some confusion with respect to the current home of Cala Foods at 1401 California, the grocery store’s lease ends on December 31, 2010 (not 2009).
And if all goes as the Prado Group (think 2001 Market) plans, demolition will start soon thereafter and in its place will rise around 107 residential units over 30,000 square feet of retail including a replacement "neighborhood-serving grocery store."

And it didn’t (go as planned). Instead, renovations versus razing is expected to commence this coming January with a 14,000 square foot Trader Joe's in place by the end of 2012.

As the now defunct project had last been proposed to look (click on images to enlarge):

1401 California as Proposed (Image Source: 1401california.com)

From Cala Foods To "1401 California" By 2012 Or Bust As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

June 23, 2011

A Bit Of (Unnecessary) Salesforce Saber Rattling

Salesforce Mission Bay Rendering: Plaza

From the Wall Street Journal today with respect to the proposed designs for Salesforce’s new global headquarters campus in Mission Bay:

Renderings of the Salesforce.com campus, released earlier this month, feature a flashy design. A public square is anchored by a hot-pink Jumbotron video screen.
"That was my idea," Mr. Benioff, the Salesforce.com CEO, said of the screen. "Putting something like that there can add a lot of energy." The Jumbotron could be used for things such as employee presentations and public entertainment, he said.
Salesforce.com is hoping for design-review approval from the city by September. "If we can't get the approvals we could also end up somewhere else," Mr. Benioff said.
The redevelopment agency's Ms. Kahn said that while she didn't anticipate problems with the design review, the pink Jumbotron might face additional environmental scrutiny. Overall, Ms. Kahn said, "we're generally, based on what we've seen, pleased."

And in the words of JK Dineen:

Let's be real. It’s highly unlikely that the redevelopment agency board, which has rubber stamped pretty much everything that has been proposed for the 303-acre Mission Bay campus, will give Salesforce a hard time. We are talking about 10,000 Salesforce jobs. We are talking about at least $700 million of 100 percent union construction over the next five years. In Marc Benioff we are also talking about a philanthropic superstar who, along with his wife, donated $100 million for the UCSF Hospital that is driving much of the investment into Mission Bay.

Designs For Salesforce's Global Headquarters Complex in Mission Bay [SocketSite]
A Bit Of Color On (And For) Salesforce's Campus In Mission Bay [SocketSite]
Mission Bay Prepares for Makeover [WSJ]
Salesforce CEO: approve our HQ plan, or else... [Business Times]
The Building Of UCSF’s New Mission Bay Medical Center Is Underway [SocketSite]

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June 22, 2011

Fresh & Easy & Opening Today At Ten In San Francisco

Fresh%20%26%20Easy%20Outer%20Richmond%206-22-11.jpg

As the Fresh & Easy Buzz correctly reported to expect (and corrected our overly optimistic construction worker’s account), San Francisco’s first Fresh & Easy opens its doors the corner of Clement and 32nd Avenue this morning at 10am.

The Fresh & Easy at 5800 Third Street is on track for a late August opening. And as was expected, the company has officially inked a lease for the shuttered DeLano's Market location at 1245 South Van Ness in the Mission.

UPDATE: A plugged-in tipster reports that as part of the grand opening weekend, Fresh & Easy will be hosting a free BBQ from 4-6pm this Saturday (6/25).

Fresh & Easy Plans to Open First San Francisco Store June 22 [Fresh & Easy Buzz]
San Francisco's First Fresh & Easy Should Open Second Week In May [SocketSite]
5800 Third Street Scoop: Sales, Restaurants, And Fresh & Easy Soon [SocketSite]
Fresh & Easy Headed For The Mission, Could The Castro Be Next? [SocketSite]

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

June 14, 2011

If You Have To Ask (Or If You Did): The Fairmont Edition

Fairmont Hotel Exisiting

Following the failed bid to convert up to 286 of the hotel’s rooms to condominiums, the storied 591-room Fairmont San Francisco hotel is being put up for sale without an official asking price but we'd be willing to bet a bit of "guidance."

Fairmont Hotel Redevelopment Plan Checks Out Early [SocketSite]
Fairmont San Francisco Luxury Hotel to Be Put on the Market [Bloomberg]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

June 10, 2011

And Cha-Ching Says Mr. Ting...

"Jones Lang LaSalle Research Director Colin Yasukochi said he expects [downtown office building] sales volume this year to surpass 2006, when $3.6 billion in office property changed hands. More than $8 billion changed hands in 2007, over half of that a huge portfolio of properties which sold twice in six weeks."

San Francisco building sales rocket toward $4B [Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

June 7, 2011

Two More Years To Park At 524 Howard (And Perhaps Much Longer)

524 Howard Renderings

As we wrote in March with respect to 524 Howard Street, a 311-foot tall, 23-story building with 199,965 gross square feet of office space which was first approved back in 1989:

Since 2007, "the sponsor has not diligently pursued the necessary building permit approvals or otherwise sought to complete the project" and the existing parking lot has been operating without authorization. Tomorrow, the Commission will consider a request to re-authorize use of the site as a parking lot for another two years.
At the same time, the Commission will also hear an overview of the entitlement history for 524 Howard, after which "the Commission may wish to provide feedback to Department staff as to whether a future public hearing should be scheduled to consider revocation or extension of the previous approvals for office development at 524 Howard Street."
Keep in mind that San Francisco’s Planning Code states, "Construction of an office development shall commence within eighteen (18) months of the date the project is first approved. Failure to begin work within that period, or thereafter to carry the development diligently to completion, shall be grounds to revoke approval of the office development."

While the Commission approved the request to authorize the operation of this existing parking lot for an additional two years, tomorrow they will review the recommendation to revoke the office space allocation for the long-approved building on the property.

524 Howard Site

524 Howard: Approved Twenty-Two Years Ago And Still A Lot Today [SocketSite]
Recommendation to Revoke Office Allocation: 524 Howard [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

June 6, 2011

48 Tehama’s Right To Build Ready To Be Revoked

48 Tehama

Ten years ago San Francisco’s Planning Commission approved the construction of a new, 194-foot tall mixed-use building to rise at 48 Tehama, currently a 4,000 square foot surface area parking lot. As approved, the building would have contributed almost 50,000 square feet of office space, with seven off-street parking spaces below and three full-floor residential units of over 3,000 square feet above.

In 2005, an application was filed to ditch the commercial component of the development and build 63 residences instead. But in 2008 the application to secure a building permit for the modified project was withdrawn.

Having failed to secure building permits for either the original or modified project, on Thursday the Planning Commission will review a recommendation to revoke the approved allocation and right to build 49,300 square feet of office space at 48 Tehama as governed by the Office Development Annual Limit Program.

48 Tehama: Office Allocation Revocation [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

June 2, 2011

Comcast Ventures Lands At The Corner Of Kearny And Market

One Kearny Street

Comcast Ventures, a $750 million fund focusing on "early to late-stage businesses that represent the next generation of entertainment, communications and digital technology," has just inked a lease for 9,338 square feet on the tenth floor of One Kearny Street, relocating the division from Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

May 23, 2011

Petco Barks, Will It Come Back To Bite?

The proposed ordinance prohibiting "formula retail pet supply stores" along Geary Boulevard didn’t just catch our attention in March, but the attention of Petco as well, the formula retail at which the ordinance was aimed:

Petco sent a letter to Mar and the City Attorney’s Office calling the proposal illegal. "We believe the proposed ordinance exceeds the city’s police power, infringes on the project sponsor’s equal protection rights and, if enacted, would be invalid under federal and state law," said the letter from Andrew Junius, of the Rueben and Junius law firm, which is representing Petco.
Despite Petco’s legal questions, the bill moved forward in the legislative process with a unanimous vote of support from the Small Business Commission on May 9. "I don’t know if it’s going to get all the way to the Supreme Court ... to find out if it’s legal or not," commission President Luke O’Brien said. "I don’t think that we are going to turn this down because we are afraid that it’s not legal. I think we’ll take our chances on that."
City Attorney spokesman Jack Song said of the proposed legislation that "we are confident that we will reach an outcome that is legally sound and in the best interests of The City."

Formula Food For You But Not For Fido Along Geary As Proposed [SocketSite]
Petco vows legal fight over effort to ban pet-store chains on Geary [Examiner]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

May 12, 2011

Plans To Build Six Stories At 376 Castro Back In Play

376 Castro

It’s been seven years since plans to raze the gas station on the northwest corner of the intersection of Castro, Market and 17th streets was filed with planning, plans which proposed to build a mixed-use building with twenty-four residential units over three thousand square feet of ground floor commercial space and parking underground.

Back in play according to the Eureka! neighborhood newsletter, designs for the proposed six-story building to rise at 376 Castro are a few weeks away from being revealed (or perhaps sooner if any plugged-in tipsters care to leak liberate share some rendering love).

And Castro plaza (and perhaps Lime...) goers take note, while it’s likely to be a few years until anything new starts to rise at 376 Castro, an application to park a Taqueria Quadulupe truck on site for at least a year was approved last week.

Soon To Be Sitting Pretty In A Series Of New Plazas And Parklets [SocketSite]
There Goes The Neighborhood... [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

May 9, 2011

228-240 Post Scheduled For A Less High-Profile Sale

240 Post

From the press release when the Festival Retail Fund acquired the four-story building at 228-240 Post between Grant and Stockton for $70 million in July 2007:

"A combination of strong sales, a vibrant tourism market and high hotel occupancies have created very strong interest in the Union Square Retail District, which records overall gross sales second only to Manhattan," said Rosalind J. Schurgin, Fund Principal and Festival Companies Executive Vice President "This purchase places us prominently on…one of the most prestigious street within the Union Square Retail District, affluent retail corridors in the nation exemplifying the Fund’s objective of identifying opportunities that present tremendous value in street front retail."

In default for the past four months on a $59,850,000 note, 228-240 Post is scheduled to be auctioned on the steps of San Francisco’s courthouse Wednesday afternoon.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

May 6, 2011

A Few More Metreon Makeover Facts

Metreon Dining Terrace Rendering

Westfield is investing $30 million in the Metreon’s makeover.

A new Dining Terrace will feature 470 interior seats behind three stories of glass facing Yerba Buena Gardens. Additional seats will be added along the exterior of Metreon. An active retail and dining promenade will be created along Mission and Fourth.

Street level and Dining Terrace food offerings will include: La Boulange Bakery; Best of Burger; So Green Yogurt; Chipotle; San Francisco Soup; Mixt Green’s; Brandy Ho’s; Sorabol Korean BBQ; Firewood Grill; Jillian’s; Buckhorn Grill; and Sanraku.

The second floor will be home to the 85,000 square foot CityTarget store which will offer a selection of merchandise tailored for city-dwellers, including fresh grocery offerings. A two-story glass entrance on Mission Street will take visitors directly into the new CityTarget.

AMC Theatres, Jillian’s and Sanraku will remain open during construction. City View, the new fourth floor event space, will open in September 2011. The first floor and Dining Terrace are scheduled to open early in 2012, Target will open in late 2012.

Comments: Metreon Makeover Breaks Ground Today [SocketSite]

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May 5, 2011

Metreon Makeover Breaks Ground Today

Metreon 2.0 Rendering

The makeover of the Metreon breaks ground today. The expansion and relocation of the Metreon’s food court which will overlook Yerba Buena Gardens should be done by the end of the year while San Francisco’s first Target remains on target for a spring 2012 opening.

Target + Metreon = (Twenty-Two Foot) Bull's-Eye In 2012 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (51) | (email story)

May 4, 2011

Tech Job Quote Triptych

"By the end of last year, San Francisco had an estimated 30,700 tech jobs, just shy of the 32,800 around the peak in early 2001...In Silicon Valley, tech positions reached 106,300 in the fourth quarter, nearing the 112,700 crest."

"Jobs in the [tech] industry now account for 16.6 percent of private-sector employment in San Francisco, up from a low of 12.5 percent in September 2003...Tech represents 25.2 percent of employment in Silicon Valley, up from 24 percent in December 2006."

"For the most common type of office buildings in SoMa, average rents climbed 16.4 percent to nearly $33.50 per square foot [last year], as vacancy plummeted from 17.4 percent to 8 percent."

Tech jobs near all-time highs, fuel office-space boom [SFGate]

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Amber India Aiming For 680 Valencia (And Sidewalk Seating)

680 Valencia (www.SocketSite.com)

With a street front commercial space that’s sat vacant for nearly a decade, tomorrow San Francisco’s Planning Commission will weigh in on the request to convert the entire ground floor of 680 Valencia into a full-service 5,225 square foot Amber India Restaurant with 204 seats indoors and 12 seats outdoors along a modified front facade (click to enlarge).

No word from the residents on the top floor although a neighbor writes and wonders:

The 18th St. and Valencia area has seen a rapid growth in destination bars and restaurants without adequate traffic and parking abatement. A largely residential neighborhood has become noisy in the evenings. People out drinking urinate on my home on a near nightly basis. Thankfully, the rear of my apartment remains relatively quiet.
The proposed restaurant will share a backyard with several large residential buildings, including a facility for seniors. I and several of my neighbors are quiet concerned about increases in noise levels and cooking fumes. During refurbishing of the building the rear area of the building became a shop with power tools running constantly. Given that this business will likely have its busiest times during evenings and weekends it is likely to create a large noise disturbance for residents of this block. How will this business ensure that it will not negatively affect the quality of life of those residents on this block with noise (and odor)?

The Planning Department supports the project with conditions to control noise and odor.

680 Valencia Street: Amber India Hearing [sfplanning.org]

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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]

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April 11, 2011

350 Mission Appeal Take Two And Telling Board Vote(s)

350 Mission Atrium Rendering

Continued from the Board of Supervisor’s meeting on March 29 along with the appeal of the proposed Park Merced project which as a plugged-in reader reports was "punted to a closed session hearing on May 24," tomorrow the appeal of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed 350-foot commercial tower at 350 Mission is back in front of San Francisco’s new Board of Supervisors for a telling (how they) vote.

Also on tomorrow’s Board agenda, a vote on the Mission District Streetscape Plan which the Land Use Committee recommends passing.

Two Big Tests For San Francisco's New Board Of Supervisors [SocketSite]
Parkmerced's Proposed Urban Design, Open Space, And Sustainability [SocketSite]
EIR Today, Heald Gone Tomorrow At 350 Mission As Proposed [SocketSite]
San Francisco Board of Supervisors Agenda: 4/12/11 [sfbos.org]
Mission District Streetscape Plan Close To Committee Adoption [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | (email story)

April 7, 2011

Executive Park: From Office Park To Neighborhood As Long Proposed

Executive Park Aerial

One of the big items on the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this afternoon, General Plan, planning code, and zoning map amendments for the 70-acre site adjacent to Candlestick Point known as Executive Park.

The Executive Park area is divided into three subareas generally defined by property ownership and phase of entitlement. The central area includes three office buildings (approximately 307,000 gross square feet) and expansive surface parking. Two areas to the north and northeast of the office park are being developed for residential use. Signature Properties is developing the portion of Executive Park directly north of the office park, and when complete, will consist of approximately 450 dwelling units, and 14,000 square feet of retail. The Signature Project includes three podium buildings (between the heights of 60 and 90 feet tall) and a series of joined townhouse structures. At this point, only one podium building has been built along with roughly half of the planned townhouses. An expansive natural open space along the hillside has been improved in conjunction with the Signature development; it includes a public trail to a hilltop lookout.
To the northeast of the office development is another residential development being constructed by Top Vision. Five buildings consisting of roughly 300 units have been constructed, three of which sit atop a hilltop embankment overlooking Harney Way and the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (CPSRA). A final phase for Top Vision has been approved for an addition 465 dwelling units upslope from the existing buildings which has not yet been constructed. These units would be within podium buildings and a 160‐foot residential tower.

In the works since 2006, the proposed amendments would allow the two sponsoring development groups, Universal Paragon and Yerby, to raze and redevelop the central office components of Executive Park as 1,600 housing units, 70,000 square feet of retail, and roughly 2,400 parking spaces with buildings rising between 65 and 240 feet tall.

Executive Park Proposed Height Districts

Also on the Commission’s agenda this afternoon as plugged-in people know, the hearing to review the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed 25-35 Dolores street project.

Executive Park: Proposed Plan, Code and Zoning Amendments [sfplanning.org]
25-35 Dolores Development Hits Precedence Setting Resistance [SocketSite]
The Plans For 25-35 Dolores Street (S&C Ford Garage) As Proposed [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: Highrise Housing (And More) For Candlestick Point [SocketSite]

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

April 5, 2011

San Francisco's First Fresh & Easy Should Open Second Week In May

Fresh & Easy Outer Richmond: 4/5/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to a plugged-in reader and a construction worker on site, the first Fresh & Easy in San Francisco should open its doors in the Outer Richmond the second week in May at the corner of Clement and 32nd Avenue.

Fresh & Easy San Francisco In The Outer Richmond By Early Next Year [SocketSite]

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

Twitter Central Market/Tenderloin Tax Break Vote This Afternoon

The proposed ordinance "amending Article 12-A of the Business and Tax Regulations Code by adding Section 906.3 to establish a payroll expense tax exclusion for businesses located in the Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area," unfortunately better known as the Twitter Tax Break, is on the agenda for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this afternoon.

The proposed payroll tax exclusion would be in effect for eight years although any one company could only claim the benefits for six. And the exclusion only applies to the payroll taxes on net new hires, a company’s current payroll tax expense would be frozen for the duration of their benefit period. In the case of Twitter, their payroll tax would be frozen at roughly $535,500 per year (350 employees and an average annual salary of $102,000).

To address Twitter’s "concerns regarding public safety, transportation, and neighborhood conditions" in the area, the City has also agreed to expand the Mid-Market police foot patrol boundary a block from 9th to 10th street and provide a express service 47A bus line between the Caltrain Station and the Civic Center BART Station at 9th and Market during prime commuting hours at a cost of approximately $234,000 per year.

Twitter Intent On Moving To Market Square Assuming Tax Break [SocketSite]
Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion in Central Market Street and Tenderloin Area [sfbos.org]
San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s Agenda: 4/5/11 [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

April 1, 2011

A Quick Foreclosure Flip For 500 Terry Francois

500 Terry Francois Boulevard

As we first wrote last year:

While the market is abuzz over Salesforce.com’s acquisition of 14 Mission Bay acres with plans to build 2 million square feet, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes the never occupied and LEED Certified 280,964 square foot building at 500 Terry Francois Boulevard ("On the Waterfront in Mission Bay") is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this Friday.
Financed with a $90 million construction loan which was sold to a private equity group for $52.5 million earlier this year, foreclosure proceedings have begun against the building’s owners (CB Richard Ellis Investors) with $93,514,916.79 now due.

Lionstone, the private equity group, successfully foreclosed and took possession. And today, Lionstone is in contract to sell the property to the Silicon Valley based Sobrato Organization for $91 million.

We’ll let you run the numbers on that return. And don't say you didn't have the heads up.

Salesforce.com Acquires 14 Mission Bay Acres To Build 2 Million Feet [SocketSite]
500 Terry Francois Boulevard Headed For Foreclosure [SocketSite]
Sobrato hits Mission Bay [San Francisco Business Times]

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March 31, 2011

Giant Value Housing Or Headache To Come In The Mission?

2558 Mission 3/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

Having purchased the fully entitled housing site at 1800 Van Ness last year for $4.25 million, Oyster Development is now in contract to purchase the Giant Value store at 2558 Mission Street which hasn’t been entitled for development but was targeted for almost a hunderd housing units over 14,000 square feet of retail by seller Gus Murad.

From J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times:

The site has long been one of the most contentious in the Mission, if not the entire city. It has faced strong opposition from groups like the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition, which fights market-rate housing development and anything that it regards as gentrification. The group has particularly targeted Murad, an ally of former Mayor Gavin Newsom whose restaurant has been a popular gathering place for elected officials.
Murad bought [the adjacent New Mission Theater] and the Giant Value store from City College of San Francisco in 2005 for $4.35 million. Last year he went into default on a $2 million loan to CCSF, the junior lender on the property. A trustee sale was scheduled for March 22, but that has now been cancelled, according to [Oyster President Dean Givas].

Murdad, who owns Medjool and had a Noe Valley home on the market last year, didn’t sell his stake in the theater which he hopes to redevelop "into an entertainment complex with movies, music and dining."

Copy That, 1800 Van Ness/1754 Clay Street Site Sells For $4.25M [SocketSite]
Oyster tries to crack Mission [San Francisco Business Times]
A Medjool Of A Modern Noe Valley Home (767 27th Street) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

March 29, 2011

Two Big Tests For San Francisco's New Board Of Supervisors

350 Mission Rendering

San Francisco’s new Board of Supervisors will hear and vote on the appeals against certifying the Environmental Impact Reports (EIR's) for two big developments in San Francisco this afternoon, first the proposed 350-foot tower at 350 Mission and then the proposed redevelopment of Parkmerced.

Parkmerced Proposed Garden

The EIR’s for both projects were passed by San Francisco’s Planning Commission prior to the election of the four newest members of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Agenda: 3/29/11 [sfbos.org]
350 Feet At 350 Mission (And San Francisco’s Planning Commission) [SocketSite]
Parkmerced's Proposed Urban Design, Open Space, And Sustainability [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

March 28, 2011

The Smitten Ice Cream Scoop: T-Minus Two-ish Weeks

Smitten Ice Cream: 3/28/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

It was a plugged-in reader that first caught the first few Proxy containers in transit with Smitten Ice Cream’s two leading the charge.

Smitten 3/28/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

Since anchored with systems and three of four "Kelvin's" in place, it should be two-ish weeks before Smitten’s walk-up instant ice cream bar opens its roll-up door for the public.

The Containers Are Coming! The Containers Are Coming! [SocketSite]
The Evolution Of EnvelopeA+D’s Proxy Project For Parcels K+L [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

March 24, 2011

It’s Game On With A Hand Out As Zynga Demands Tax Breaks As Well

It’s game on with one hand out and another in a fist as Zynga follows Twitter’s lead and threatens to move its highly paid employees to Silicon Valley unless San Francisco grants the company a payroll tax waiver on employee stock option gains.

In a meeting last week that included San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and CFO David Wehner, company executives indicated that without their own exemption Zynga may convert its 270,00 square-foot office into a call center and relocate its headquarters – including its programmers and highly paid staff – to Silicon Valley, according to people present at the meeting. In the week since, the company has contacted a number of supervisors to argue a similar case, said at least two supervisors who have met with the company.
Zynga, creator of popular online games like Farmville, is expected to go public within the next few years. The company is particularly concerned about a payroll tax provision unique to San Francisco that allows the city to tax gains on employee stock options.

According to the Bay Citizen, City Hall was "stunned by Zynga’s threat," which, to be honest, is the only part of this story that actually stunned us.

Twitter Intent On Moving To Market Square Assuming Tax Break [SocketSite]
Following Twitter, Zynga Now Threatening to Leave San Francisco [baycitizen.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (65) | (email story)

March 23, 2011

524 Howard: Approved Twenty-Two Years Ago And Still A Lot Today

524 Howard Site

In 1989 San Francisco’s Planning Commission first approved the entitlements for a 311-foot tall, 23-story building to be built at 524 Howard Street with 199,965 gross square feet of office space, 4,500 square feet of retail space, 14,000 square feet of off-street parking, and 4,218 square feet of publicly-accessible open space.

524 Howard Renderings

Ten years later the Planning Commission re-authorized a slightly reconfigured building for which the project sponsors never pursued the necessary permits. And in in 2005, the Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Authorization to operate a temporary surface parking lot on the site, authorization for which expired in 2007.

Since 2007, "the sponsor has not diligently pursued the necessary building permit approvals or otherwise sought to complete the project" and the existing parking lot has been operating without authorization. Tomorrow, the Commission will consider a request to re-authorize use of the site as a parking lot for another two years.

At the same time, the Commission will also hear an overview of the entitlement history for 524 Howard, after which "the Commission may wish to provide feedback to Department staff as to whether a future public hearing should be scheduled to consider revocation or extension of the previous approvals for office development at 524 Howard Street."

Keep in mind that San Francisco’s Planning Code states, "Construction of an office development shall commence within eighteen (18) months of the date the project is first approved. Failure to begin work within that period, or thereafter to carry the development diligently to completion, shall be grounds to revoke approval of the office development."

That being said, citing a "downturn in the economy which led to a high office vacancy rate and difficulty in obtaining commercial financing for new construction" in 2002, San Francisco’s Planning Commission has since been operating under a policy of monitoring, but not seeking to revoke, approvals for projects which have exceeded their construction commencement date.

In 2009 the Commission reaffirmed the policy they adopted in 2002, but we might argue that commercial conditions south of Market in San Francisco have changed a bit since.

524 Howard: Request for Parking Lot Conditional Use Authorization [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

March 18, 2011

301 Howard And 195 Beale Have A Date With NYC's Courthouse Steps

With a courthouse auction for the membership interests in "W2007 HWD Realty" scheduled for next week in New York, it’s a sale that’s likely flying under the radar for most locals. But as a plugged-in tipster notes, the entity scheduled for auction is a holding company for the 23-story building at 301 Howard and the parcel at 195 Beale here in San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 17, 2011

Twitter Intent On Moving To Market Square Assuming Tax Break

1355 Market Street

While the CityPlace parcels are in default, Twitter has signed a Letter of Intent to move to Market Square, the million square foot former wholesale furniture mart at 1355 Market Street which Shorenstein Properties acquired for roughly $110 million earlier this month.

Twitter’s lease is contingent on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approving a payroll tax exemption intended to jumpstart redevelopment in the mid-market area.

Notice Of Default Filed For CityPlace Parcels [SocketSite]
Market Square: 1355 Market Street [shorenstein.com]
Shorenstein bags future Twitter home [bizjournals.com]
Payroll Expense Tax Exclusion For Central Market Street/Tenderloin Area [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (75) | (email story)

March 14, 2011

Formula Food For You But Not For Fido Along Geary As Proposed

It’s a relatively quiet day for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee with only two items on its regular agenda, a resolution related to proposed water pipelines and another informational hearing on the proposed Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Redevelopment Project.

In terms of legislation in the works, the item headline that couldn’t help but catch our eye: Prohibiting Formula Retail Pet Supply Stores in the Geary Boulevard Fast Food Subdistrict.

Land Use and Economic Development Committee Agenda: 3/14/11 [sfbos.org]
The (SOM) Master Plan For San Francisco’s Treasure Island [SocketSite]
Prohibiting Formula Retail Pet Supply Stores Along Geary [sfbos.org]

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

February 18, 2011

Disputing Parking Demand, Trader Joe’s Continues Castro Outreach

While Trader Joe's has ruled out charging for parking, it hasn’t given up on opening a store at Market and Noe in the Castro and is continuing its public outreach campaign.

A draft traffic study for the City which Trader Joe’s disputes estimates the store would draw up to 2,500 cars a day or 190 an hour while the capacity of the building’s garage is closer to 209 per day, leaving many neighbors (and the city) a bit concerned.

Trader Joe’s Reportedly "Outed" From The Castro Over Traffic [SocketSite]
Tensions flare over Trader Joe's parking [ebar.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

February 17, 2011

Five Million In Cash Versus Twenty-Three Million Owed

It’s a plugged-in tipster that notes the parcel at 524 Howard street is headed to the courthouse steps this afternoon with an opening bid of $5 million on $23 million owed. A 23-story building designed by HellerManus was approved for the parcel in 2000.

The Credit Crunch Climbs Up (And Down) The Real Estate Food Chain [SocketSite]

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February 7, 2011

Filling Up On Upper Fillmore

On the meeting agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this afternoon, an ordinance amending San Francisco’s Planning Code to ease current restrictions on new non-formula restaurants and specialty food establishments within the Upper Fillmore Neighborhood Commercial District which runs from Jackson to Bush and extends west one block along California and Pine.

Land Use and Economic Development Committee Agenda: 2/7/11 [sfbos.org]
Upper Fillmore Neighborhood Commercial District Proposed Amendment [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

January 25, 2011

Fresh & Easy Headed For The Mission, Could The Castro Be Next?

1245 South Van Ness (Image Source: MapJack.com)

With San Francisco's first two Fresh & Easy locations scheduled to open their doors in Bayview and the Outer Richmond early this year, according to the San Francisco Business Times Fresh & Easy is also close to inking a lease for the (not so long) shuttered DeLano's Market at 1245 South Van Ness in the Mission.

And while there's no official word on the newly defunct DeLano's Market in the Castro, according to a plugged-in reader early last month:

I heard Tesco's Fresh & Easy is interested in the closing Delano's on 18th in the Castro. Ralphs Supermarkets sub-leases the building to DeLano's. They evicted them because they owe back rent on the store plus 5 others.

Could this be one DeLano's down for Fresh & Easy with five to go?

NOTE: As a plugged-in reader adds, if you want to lobby Trader Joe's to open in the Castro (or elsewhere in San Francisco) you might start by filling out a location request form.

UPDATE: Apparently the new new rumor has it that Mollie Stones will be taking over the defunct DeLano’s in the Castro but a lease has yet to be signed. If so, perhaps that’s how Fresh & Easy is ending up in the Mission (and why we don't typically cover the changing of exisiting grocery store flags). Cheers.

Fresh & Easy San Francisco In The Outer Richmond By Early Next Year [SocketSite]
5800 Third Street Scoop: Sales, Restaurants, And Fresh & Easy Soon
Could DeLano’s Loss Be A Trader Joe’s Gain For The Castro? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (17) | (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

Tehama Grasshopper (431 Tehama) Comes Hopping Back

431 Tehama #2 Living

According to a plugged-in tipster, the 5,000 square foot Fougeron Architecture designed "Tehama Grasshopper" loft also known as 431 Tehama #2 is hopping back on the market. Listed in August 2009 asking $4,128,000, the 2007 AIA Tour home was withdrawn from the market in February 2010 and will be listed for $3,995,000 in 2011.

This time, however, the 3,000 square foot commercial condo below the Grasshopper also known as 431 Tehama #1 (or Fougeron Architecture’s HQ) is hitting the market at the same time asking $1,500,000 (mini not included but we bet it could be negotiated).

431 Tehama (Image Source: pointclickhome.com)

Call it $5,495,000 for 8,000 designer square feet.

Fougeron's "Tehama Grasshopper" (431 Tehama #2) Hits The Market [SocketSite]
San Francisco Living: Home Tours (A Chance To Comment In General) [SocketSite]
Fougeron Architecture [fougeron.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

January 18, 2011

From Failed To Foreclosure Flip (And Five Others) At One Rincon Hill

One Rincon Hill (www.SocketSite.com)

Closing escrow with a recorded contract price of $628,000 in February 2008, within two months 425 1st Street #1805 was listed for sale with an asking price of $719,000.

Following a series of price cuts, and at one point seeking a short sale for "$499,000," this past August the One Rincon Hill one-bedroom was purchased on the courthouse steps for $441,886 cash.

Back on the market at $599,000 this past October, in November the list price was reduced to $579,000 and yesterday it was reduced to $559,000.

By our count, there are at least five other condos at One Rincon Hill currently scheduled to hit the courthouse steps (versus simply being in default) within the next 30 days.

∙ Listing: 425 1st Street #1805 (1/1) 710 sqft - $559,000 [MLS]
A One-Bedroom Resale Officially Joins The Twos At One Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
One Rincon Hill '08's Appear To Have Slipped More (Not Less) In 2010 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

January 5, 2011

A Reader’s Believe It Or Not For The Gap On Fisherman’s Wharf

1 Jefferson

We have to tag it as a "random rumor" for now as we can’t confirm, but a tipster writes:

Believe it or not, the Gap store at 1 Jefferson is slated to close this spring and will be replaced by the relocated [Ripley's Believe It or Not!] down the street.

Like we could resist a Believe It Or Not! believe it or not. That being said, we will note that Ripley’s invested in a major makeover of their current Wharf location just last year.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

January 3, 2011

178 Townsend Moves Forward While 72 Townsend Leases Instead

178 Townsend 1/3/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

While Martin Building moves forward with the redevelopment of 178 Townsend into 94 rental units over commercial, West Bay Builders President Paul Thompson’s plan to move forward with the 74-unit redevelopment of 72 Townsend is on hold for at least five years as Federated Media has leased the building instead. As 178 Townsend should look after:

178 Townsend Design

178 Townsend Funded While 72 Townsend Vows To Move Forward [SocketSite]
178 Townsend Approved To Become Mixed-Use With 94 Rentals [SocketSite]
72 Townsend: So Close, But Yet So Far For 74 Approved Units [SocketSite]

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December 29, 2010

Target On Target For A 2012 Opening At The Metreon

"San Francisco's mayor says the last bureaucratic hurdles have been cleared for the construction of the city's first Target retail store....[as] final permits [have] been issued to begin building the downtown store [at the Metreon]."

Target + Metreon = (Twenty-Two Foot) Bull's-Eye In 2012 [SocketSite]
Path cleared for San Francisco's first Target [SFGate]

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

December 27, 2010

Walgreens CVS’s Plans For 701 Portola Atop Miraloma

701 Portola (Image Source: MapJack.com)

While Walgreens had planned to raze the Miraloma Gas Station at 701 Portola and build a 7,000+ square foot store covering the site, rumor has it they backed out "due to 'unreasonable' green building requests by the City's DBI and Planning departments."

And now, CVS Drugs is planning to piggyback off Walgreens groundwork and proposed design, shuttering the station and breaking ground on the site as early as February assuming final approval of all permits.

While we can’t confirm whether or not the rumored reason for Walgreens pulling the plug is true (readers?), we will echo our tipster’s surprise that Walgreens would easily cede the site to a competitor.

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

December 22, 2010

As Eagle-Eyed Readers Know (And Stanley Saitowitz Rendered)

1600 Harrison Rendering

As plugged-in and eagle-eyed people know, renderings for "1600 Harrison" have sat perched in the Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects portfolio for a couple of years, a site otherwise known as 398 12th Street. And yes, that’s the address of The Eagle.

1600 Harrison Site

And while The Eagle is rumored to have been on the market since the beginning of the year, as far as we know a buyer has yet to swoop in and no permits have been filed for development. So who has the inside scoop?

From The Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Portfolio: Pine Street [SocketSite]
Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects: Portfolio [saitowitz.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

December 8, 2010

It’s Not Academic For The Academy of Art University At 2295 Taylor

2295 Taylor

In 1993, San Francisco’s Planning Commission granted the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) a Conditional Use Authorization to add a third story to the 20,675 square foot building at 2295 Taylor (aka 701 Chestnut) and convert the commercial building to educational use.

While SFAI started occupying the ground floor of 2295 Taylor subsequent to the Planning Commission’s Authorization, Permits were never submitted for either the addition or the conversion. As a result, the Conditional Use Authorization for the building expired. And in 2003, SFAI sold the building to the Academy of Art University (AAU).

Despite the expiration of the Conditional Use Authorization, and without the benefit of building permits, the AAU is currently utilizing the entire building for educational use including the conversion of the building’s second floor parking garage to classroom space (a major no-no seeing as how the Planning Code requires 16 off‐street parking spaces for the property as it’s being utilized).

Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Planning Commission revisits the project as the Academy of Art University petitions to modify what it believes to be a valid Conditional Use Authorization allowing it to continue its use. The Planning Department’s recommendation: Disapprove.

Also on the agenda for tomorrow’s Planning Commission meeting, a progress report on the Academy of Art University housing practices and enforcement program

Request for Conditional Use Authorization: 2295 Taylor Street [sf-planning.org]
Progress Report: AAU Housing Practices and Enforcement Program [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

December 1, 2010

On Tap At Tomorrow’s Planning Meeting: A Magnolia Brewery On Third

2505 3rd Street

On tap for a vote at tomorrow’s Planning Commission meeting, a request to convert an 8,300 square foot vacant ground floor space inside the American Industrial Center at 2505 3rd Street (corner of 22nd) into a 5,900 square foot Magnolia Brewery and 2,400 square foot full-service restaurant.

The proposed brewery is designed to add capacity to Magnolia’s total beer production in order to meet increased demand at its restaurant, to supply beer to the proposed new restaurant, and to meet existing wholesale demand. The brewery will initially contain three to four fermentation vessels and produce 60 to 80 barrels per week.
Brewing operations will take place during regular weekday hours, with occasional brewing on weekends as needed. Deliveries would be limited to several per week from vendors, and one to three pick‐ups per week.
The restaurant concept is not completely finalized, but the final concept and food program is expected to be similar to the Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery and Alembic Bar, its sister restaurant also in the Haight.

And with respect to other items on the Planning Commission agenda, it appears as though the ongoing debate over the proposed development at 35 Lloyd will be continued for at least another week.

San Francisco’s Planning Commission Agenda: 12/2/10 [sf-planning.org]
35 Lloyd Redux: It's Getting Hot Out There In Here... [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

Could DeLano’s Loss Be A Trader Joe’s Gain For The Castro?

As a hand-lettered "lost our lease" sign hangs in the window of the DeLano’s IGA at 18th and Collingwood, and it's expected to be closed within the next two weeks, the natural question atop our readers’ minds: could this pave the way for a Trader Joe’s in the Castro?

Trader Joe’s Reportedly "Outed" From The Castro Over Traffic [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (22) | (email story)

November 18, 2010

Target + Metreon = (Twenty-Two Foot) Bull's-Eye In 2012

The Metreon (Image Source: San Francisco Business Times)

Unanimously approved by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday, an 85,000 square foot Target could be open for business in the Metreon by mid-2012.

The project calls for the dramatic massive vertical glass fin Metreon sign at Fourth and Market to be replaced with a 22-foot diameter illuminated bull's-eye sign. At the Nov. 16 hearing, project manager Amy Neches said the red and white sign would be "artistic and textured."
"This is not your typical plastic Target you would see in the suburbs," she said.
The development is expected to generate $120,000 annually in payroll tax, $5.4 million in sales tax, and an additional $1 million at the city-owned 5th and Mission garage.
In addition to the Target, the Metreon will move and triple the size of its food court. Instead of a dark, 110-seat food court shoved into a ground floor corner, the new collection of eateries will feature 470 seats and overlook Yerba Buena Gardens.

Efforts to put a Target at Geary and Masonic continue on.

Metreon Target wins approvals [San Francisco Business Times]
One Word: Target. Okay, Four: Target At The Metreon? [SocketSite]
YIMBY's Set Their Sights On A Target At Geary And Masonic [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (43) | (email story)

November 11, 2010

2001 Market Street Prepares To Meet The Planning Commission

2001 Market Street Rendering

As we noted yesterday with respect to the proposed Whole Foods on Market, the 2001 Market Street Project in which the Whole Foods would reside is currently scheduled to be reviewed and voted on by the Planning Commission in December.

The latest details for the now 82-unit project with 41 residential parking spaces, and up to 60 for retail, which were just released:

The proposed building would be eight stories (85 feet) tall, plus an additional ten‐foot tall mechanical penthouse along Market Street and an elevator penthouse along Dolores Street, and would step down to four stories at 14th Street. The top two floors along Dolores Street and along 14th Street would be set back eight feet from the property line. The building would include about 102,400 gross square feet (gsf) of residential space with 82 residential units on Floors 2 through 8 and a dedicated residential lobby; about 31,000 gsf of commercial space on the first floor; and about 54,000 gsf of combined retail and residential parking on two levels with up to 101 spaces.
The building would have three sections: the 85‐foot tall 118‐foot wide Market Street section on its north side (the tallest element); the 302‐foot wide Dolores Street section, which would be the same height as the Market Street section but with an 8‐foot setback at 65 feet; and the 136‐foot wide 14th Street section (four stories tall with an 8‐foot set back at the third floor). Each section is designed to be visually distinct from the others.
A variety of materials would be used for the building exterior, including brick, tile, metal, glass, and cement plaster. An approximately 8,220 sq. ft. courtyard on the third floor podium would provide common usable open space for all the residential units.
Of the 82 planned units, 7 would be studios, 27 would be one‐bedroom units, 46 would be two-bedroom units, and 2 would be three‐bedroom units. Pursuant to the Residential Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, Planning Code Section 315, and Interim Controls initiated by the Board of Supervisors in February 2010 amending Planning Code Section 315,2 the project sponsor would be required to pay an affordable housing fee.
As currently envisioned, the proposed 31,000 sq. ft. retail/commercial space would be occupied by a full‐service grocery store (Whole Foods). A pedestrian entrance and exit for the retail space would be In addition to the 101 parking spaces, there would be five car share spaces and one delivery van space located at the corner of Market and Dolores streets. An approximately 350‐square‐foot commercial space would be located at the corner of 14th and Dolores streets at ground level.
The proposed parking program would include up to 101 spaces, of which 41 spaces on Garage Level B2 would be for the residential units and 60 parking spaces on Garage Level B1 would be for retail use.
The residential vehicle access leading down to Garage Level B2 would be located on 14th Street, approximately at the mid-point of the building façade. Adjacent, just to the west of that opening, would be the retail loading dock, which would have recycling and trash facilities for the grocery store. The retail parking entry and exit would be on Dolores Street, about 40 feet north of the corner of 14th Street.
Garage Level B1 also would have space for a grocery delivery van and three non‐exclusive use car share spaces. Garage Level B2 would have two exclusive‐use car share spaces. Six of the parking spaces would be handicapped‐accessible: three residential parking spaces on Garage Level B2, and three retail parking spaces on Garage Level B1. All parking spaces on both levels would be independently accessible. At least 16 Class II bicycle racks (accommodating 32 bicycles) would be provided at grade on Market Street and 18 Class II bicycle spaces in Garage Level B1 for the retail use. Showers and lockers would be located within the store for employees who bike to work. There would also be at least 41 Class I bicycle parking spaces for residents’ use on Garage Level B2 in a secure storage room near the elevators to Market Street.
The off‐street loading dock located at Garage Level B1 with access from 14th Street would serve the proposed full‐service grocery store. The proposed loading dock would be about 66 feet deep, and fully accommodate one truck with a 36‐foot trailer. The loading dock door would be closed at all times except when trucks are arriving or departing the loading dock area. The two existing on‐street loading spaces on the 14th Street frontage of the project site would remain.
According to Planning Code Section 135, the open space requirement for the proposed project would be 80 sq. ft. of private open space per dwelling unit or 106 sq. ft. per unit if provided in common. Ten units would have sufficient private open space. The common usable open space for the other 72 units would be required to be a minimum of 7,887 sq. ft. in size to meet the Planning Code requirements. The proposed project would provide 8,220 sq. ft. of common open space on the third floor podium. These proposed project totals for private and common open space would exceed Planning Code open space requirements.
As part of the proposed project, nine new street trees would be planted along Dolores Street in front of the project building in order to comply with Section 143 of the Planning Code. The four street trees along Market Street in front of the project site would remain, and two new trees would be planted, for a total of six trees on Market Street in front of the proposed project building. On 14th Street, the two existing trees would be replaced and two new trees would be added, for a total of four trees on 14th Street.
The Planning Department is considering improvements to the sidewalks and travel lanes on Market, Dolores, and 14th streets adjacent to the project site. These off‐site improvements are analyzed as a variant of the proposed project. They would involve widening the sidewalks adjacent to the project site in order to create bulb‐outs on both the east and west sides of the Market and Dolores Street corner; extending the Dolores Street median at Market Street and at 14th Street; straightening the crosswalk across Market Street on the west side of Dolores Street; extending the eastbound bike lane at the intersection of Market and Dolores Street; eliminating the existing eastbound right‐turn only lane from Market to Dolores Street; and eliminating one travel lane in each direction on Dolores Street, between Market and 14th streets. If the bulb‐outs are approved, two of the street trees proposed on Dolores Street as part of the project would be replaced with other landscaping.

The latest timeline calls for a month of demolition followed by eighteen (18) months of construction. And now "assuming that construction would begin in the 3rd quarter of 2011, the building would be ready for occupancy in the 1st quarter of 2013."

Whole Foods Concerned About Market (Street), Delaying On Haight [SocketSite]
Drawings And Details For The Proposed Development Of 2001 Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

November 10, 2010

Whole Foods Concerned About Market (Street), Delaying On Haight

2001 Market Street Whole Foods

The parking and traffic concerns that are being blamed for torpedoing a Trader Joe's in the Castro are now front and center with respect to the planned Whole Foods at 2001 Market.

"They have a potential queuing problem," said Bill Wycko, the department's environmental review officer, referring to concerns that cars will be backed up and blocking traffic while waiting to get into the store's planned 60-space parking lot off Dolores Street.
"If they can't manage the queuing issue, paid parking would become a tool," he said.
"The issue is definitely something we're concerned about, especially as it can impose an unfair competitive burden on us compared to other stores in the area," said Adam Smith, Whole Foods' design and construction coordinator.

The 2001 Market Street project is scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission next month. Assuming approval, the Prado Group plans to start construction on the development next fall which would enable the grocery store to open in 2012 and residential units fall 2012.

And while originally expected to open in time for the December holidays, it appears as though its opening of the Whole Foods at the corner of Stanyan and Haight has been pushed back to February 2011 as construction on the Cala conversion continues on.

Trader Joe’s Reportedly "Outed" From The Castro Over Traffic [SocketSite]
Drawings And Details For The Proposed Development Of 2001 Market [SocketSite]
Parking threatens to curb Whole Foods in Castro [SFGate]
Whole Foods Here By End Of The Year As Cala Gutting Commences [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (61) | (email story)

November 8, 2010

500 Terry Francois Boulevard Headed For Foreclosure

500 Terry Francois Boulevard

While the market is abuzz over Salesforce.com’s acquisition of 14 Mission Bay acres with plans to build 2 million square feet, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes the never occupied and LEED Certified 280,964 square foot building at 500 Terry Francois Boulevard ("On the Waterfront in Mission Bay") is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this Friday.

Financed with a $90 million construction loan which was sold to a private equity group for $52.5 million earlier this year, foreclosure proceedings have begun against the building’s owners (CB Richard Ellis Investors) with $93,514,916.79 now due.

Zynga had nearly inked a lease for the majority of the building last year. And according to the San Francisco Business Times, Dolby has (had?) been circling the property.

Salesforce.com Acquires 14 Mission Bay Acres To Build 2 Million Feet [SocketSite]
S.F. market tightens for tech tenants [San Francisco Business Times]

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

November 3, 2010

Celebrations Out Front, Foreclosures In The Rear

500 Sansome Street (Image Source: MapJack.com)

While the crowd has already started to gather in front of City Hall for today's celebration in honor of our World Champion San Francisco Giants, a plugged-in tipster notes that 500 Sansome Street is scheduled to hit City Hall's back steps this afternoon for a foreclosure auction with $29,931,926.59 owed.

The 150,000 square foot Class B property in an A location was purchased for $37 million in 2006 with $27 million in loans. Don’t forget that cashier’s check on your way to the parade.

500 Sansome owners owe $27.8M, face default [San Francisco Business Times]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

November 2, 2010

Salesforce.com Acquires 14 Mission Bay Acres To Build 2 Million Feet

Salesforce.com Mission Bay Parcels

Salesforce.com has acquired the undeveloped portions of Mission Bay lots 26 and 27 and all of Mission Bay lots 29-34, a total of 14 South Mission Bay acres, from Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $278 Million with the intention of building a nearly 2 million square-foot campus, four times its current square-footprint in San Francisco.

Two of the acquired lots are directly across the street from UCSF’s new Mission Bay Medical Center which is now under construction, thanks in large part to a $100 million donation from Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff.

An Overview Of Mission Bay [SocketSite]
The (Incomplete) Conceptual Massing For SF’s Mission Bay [SocketSite]
The Building Of UCSF’s New Mission Bay Medical Center Is Underway [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (58) | (email story)

October 27, 2010

T-Minus Two Days (And A Decade In The Making) For Lowe’s In SF

After an eight year battle to build a Home Depot on the former Goodman Lumber site, Lowe’s swooped in and signed a lease. And now a year and a half later, it’s just T-minus two days until the Lowe’s on San Francisco’s Bayshore Boulevard opens its doors on Friday.

Home Depot Bayshore (San Francisco): Let’s Get Ready To Rubble! [SocketSite]
Home Depot "You Can Do It We Can Help" Irony: Lowe’s Now In Line [SocketSite]
Let’s Build Something (On Bayshore) Together: Lowe’s Signs A Lease [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

October 21, 2010

Trader Joe’s Reportedly "Outed" From The Castro Over Traffic

Market and Noe Center (Image Source: MapJack.com)

Last stymied by Radio Shack, it now appears that Trader Joe’s has given up on opening a Market and Noe Center (2280 Market) store due to "irresolvable traffic issues" and subsequent parking requirements which were being imposed by the Planning Department.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents the Castro, said he was not made aware of Trader Joe's decision when he met with company officials three weeks ago. However, he was told that a condition imposed by the city's Planning Department on Trader Joe's - that it would have to charge for parking at a nearby lot, in order to dissuade shoppers from making short driving trips to the store - was a "deal breaker," according to Dufty.

No official word on what this means for the Market and Noe Center whose owner was quoted last year as noting "nearly three years with no anchor tenant, a huge mortgage, the building on the verge of being lost, resources exhausted, and hope fading" prior to announcing Trader Joe's would save the day.

Trader Joe's In The Castro Currently Stymied By A Shack [SocketSite]
Trader Joe's move to Castro on hold [SFGate]
Out With Tower Records (Three Years Ago), In With Trader Joe’s? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (99) | (email story)

October 19, 2010

216 And 224 Eleventh Street Have Left The Haus

214-226 11th Street

A pair of commercial condominium projects started by George Hauser’s "HausBau SF," the unfinished 216 and 224 11th Street were taken back by the bank on Friday according to a plugged-in source.

While the buildings had debts of almost two million apiece ($1,942,501 and $1,949,945), neither garnered a bid over a million.

As an aside, Hauser was the architect of 2739 Larkin.

UPDATE: No moratorium or wasting time here, from a plugged-in tipster: "…it might be interesting to note that they are listed for sale already by the bank for a combined price of "make offer" with a recent appraisal noted at $1,740,000." From the flyer:

216-224 11th Street REO

216-224 11th Street: Overview and Floor Plans [hauserarchitects.com]
A Look Inside 2739 Larkin And The Russian Hill Contemporary Market [SocketSite]

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

October 14, 2010

SF's Landmark Cannery At Del Monte Square Taken Back By The Bank

2801 Leavenworth

While positioned as a calculated move to strategically default and force a restructing of Vornado Realty Trust’s debt on San Francisco's landmark Cannery at Del Monte Square, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes the property is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this afternoon with an opening bid of $13,800,000.

Vornado purchased the property at 2801 Leavenworth for $33.5 million in 2007.

UPDATE: As a plugged-in reader reports: "Went back to the lender for $13,800,000."

A "Calculated" Default For The Cannery At Del Monte Square [SocketSite]

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

October 4, 2010

A Trio Of Renzo Piano SOM Towers At 50 First Street As Proposed

50 First Street Tower One

While the designs for a cluster of Renzo Piano-designed ultra-thin towers at the corner of First and Mission may have fallen by the wayside, plans for building upon the seven parcels a.k.a. 50 First have not as Marcus Heights, LLC, proposes to demolish four existing structures and develop three SOM designed towers ranging in height from 184 to 915 feet with solar/wind energy collection features atop.

The project site, comprising seven parcels, and portions of Elim Alley and Jessie Street, is approximately 56,860 square feet in size. All lots are within Block 3708 and include 50 First Street, 62 First Street, 76‐78 First Street, 88 First Street, 512 Mission Street, 516 Mission Street, and 526 Mission Street; the three parcels with addresses on Mission Street are currently vacant.
The three proposed towers would accommodate a mix of office (approximately 1.25 million square feet), residential (about 182 dwelling units), retail (approximately 43,000 square feet), and hotel (about 266 rooms) use, along with a 15,000‐square‐foot entertainment venue (performance theater), five levels of below grade parking (about 310 spaces), off‐street loading spaces, and publicly accessible open space.

50 First Site Plan

Tower One would front on First Street and would span the portion of Jessie Street that runs through the project site. The 64‐story building would be 850 feet tall to the roof (915 feet tall to the top of the parapet and solar/wind energy collection features), and would include an 83‐foot tall base that would also have frontage on Stevenson Street, where the proposed performance theater would be located. The building would contain approximately 43,000 square feet of retail and the 15,000 sf performance theater on levels one through three. Mechanical space would occupy the topmost story. The remaining 60 stories would provide approximately 1.25 million square feet of office space. The tower would span the easternmost portion of Jessie Street, which would be closed to vehicular traffic and converted into a 20‐foot‐tall public pedestrian passageway (Jessie Street Galleria) flanked by retail space and lobbies serving the office use. The First Street frontage, moving from north to south, would include the theater entrance, office lobby, entrance to the Jessie Street Galleria, second office lobby and a retail store. The Stevenson Street frontage would include retail space and a garage/loading dock driveway separated by an open pedestrian entry to the interior passageway linking Stevenson Street, Mission Street and First Street via the proposed Jessie Street Galleria. An approximately 5,100‐square‐foot publicly accessible roof terrace would be developed atop the 83‐foot tall theater, fronting on Stevenson Street.
Tower Two would front Mission Street and Ecker Place. The 56-story building (605 feet to the roof, 640 feet to the top of the parapet) would include residential and hotel uses above the ground-floor entrances and two levels of hotel service space. Approximately 266 hotel rooms would be located on floors four through 22 and approximately 160 residential units would occupy levels 23 through 55. A mechanical level would occupy floor 56. The ground floor would include a hotel entrance, a residential lobby on Ecker Place, and a retail space at the corner of Mission and Ecker. The hotel lobby would be on the second floor, and hotel function space would occupy level 3. Publicly accessible open space would occupy the set back area between Tower Two and the Mission Street and Ecker Place property lines.

50 First Tower Two

Tower Three would be located at the northwest corner of Mission and First Streets. This 15-story, 174-foot tall building (184 feet tall to the top of the parapet), would include retail space and a residential lobby on the ground floor and 22 residential units on the upper levels. Tower Three would be separated from the rest of the proposed project by a “T” shaped parcel (84 First Street) that is not under the control of the project sponsor and not included in the project site.

The project as proposed would either require approval of the proposed Transit Center District Plan and accompanying rezoning with respect to increased height limits or a site-specific amendment of the Planning Code and General Plan height maps by way of the Board of Supervisors upon recommendation from the Planning Commission.

Next step, the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR).

Proposed Piano Parcels (Including 50 First Street) On The Market [SocketSite]
The Grand Plan For A San Francisco "Transit Center District" [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

September 24, 2010

From Auto Parts To Whole Foods (And Apartments) On Ocean Avenue

1150 Ocean Avenue Site (Image Source: MapJack.com)

It’s official, Whole Foods has inked a deal to occupy 26,000 square feet of ground-floor retail beneath the 173-unit Avalon Bay development in the works at 1150 Ocean Avenue.

If all goes as planned, the new Whole Foods should be open within the next two years.

Whole Foods signs for sixth S.F. market at new project [Business Times]
1150 Ocean Avenue Prepares To Break Ground [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

September 23, 2010

Fresh & Easy San Francisco In The Outer Richmond By Early Next Year

3132 Clement

"Fresh & Easy, an offshoot of the British supermarket chain Tesco PLC, is planning to open its first San Francisco site, in the Outer Richmond District [at Clement and 32nd Avenue], 'early next year,' said Brendan Wonnacott, a Fresh & Easy spokesman.

That is in addition to its previously announced intention to set up shop in the Bayview district and is part of a slew of Bay Area openings slated for next year, in Hayward, Concord, Danville, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Napa."

Wal-Mart has Fresh & Easy competition in S.F. [SFGate]
Not Quite So Easy (And A Little Less Fresh For Now) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | (email story)

September 21, 2010

Will Wal-Mart Try To Follow Target's Lead And Land In San Francisco?

"Despite tight confidentiality agreements Wal-Mart demands from anyone with whom it's considering doing real estate business, [Garrick Brown of Colliers] said he has heard 'whispers' that the company is looking at approximately 10 locations in Alameda County, up to six in San Jose, a 'handful' in Contra Costa County, 'at least a dozen' sites in the Sacramento area and the Central Valley, and a 'couple' in San Francisco."

Walmart sets sights on San Francisco [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (31) | (email story)

September 15, 2010

CityPlace EIR Approved Appealed Approved!

CityPlace: Rendering

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny an appeal and certify CityPlace’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The one concession, a parking tax of 20 cents per car to pay for traffic safety improvements around the project.

The Appellants And Text Behind The Appeal Of CityPlace's Approval [SocketSite]
CityPlace Approval Appealed, Supervisors To Review September 7 [SocketSite]
CityPlace (935-965 Market) APPROVED By The Planning Commission [SocketSite]
Details To Augment Designs For "CityPlace" (935-965 Market Street) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

September 1, 2010

Planning Commission Poised To Let Them Eat Patxi’s Pizza On 24th

4042 24th

With Mi Lindo Yucatan having moved out a year ago and the space since remodeled and expanded to 2,495 square feet, San Francisco’s Planning Commission is poised to approve the conditional use authorization for Patxi’s Chicago Pizza to fill the vacant storefront at 4042 24th Street in Noe Valley.

Also in front of San Francisco’s Planning Commission tomorrow, a public hearing on the proposed 25-35 Dolores Street project and the conditional use authorization for a new doggy day care at 130 Turk in the Tenderloin.

130 Turk (Image Source: MapJack.com)

UPDATE: A separate proposal to add a fourth floor, parking in the basement, and nine residential units on the three upper floors of 130 Turk is also making its way through Planning. Cat people will need not apply.

4042 24th Street Conditional Use Authorization [sf-planning.org]
Growing Pains For Noe Along 24th [SocketSite]
San Francisco Planning Commission Agenda: September 2, 2010 [sf-planning.org]
The Plans For 25-35 Dolores Street (S&C Ford Garage) As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

Now Calling All Developers For San Francisco’s Pier 70

Pier%2070%20Master%20Plan%20Rendering.jpg

We first plugged our readers into the potential for a redeveloped "Pier 70" five years ago, and yesterday the official request for developer solicitations for the 69 acres of land bounded by Mariposa, Illinois, 22nd, and the San Francisco Bay hit the Port's website.

Pier 70 Project Area

Previously known as the San Francisco Yard and the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Pier 70 is a 19th century ship building and repair facility, an important part of the maritime history of the San Francisco and the Bay Area. It is the most intact historic maritime industrial complex west of the Mississippi River and is significant for its role in the industrialization of the United States.
Ships built at Pier 70 served the United States military from the Spanish American War in the late 1800’s through the two World Wars and into the 1970’s. A portion of the site remains an active ship repair yard, able to repair the largest ships in the industry.

Pier 70: Building

The stated objectives for the redevelopment of Pier 70 include: 1. Continued operation of the ship repair yard on approximately 17 acres; 2. Establishment of a Pier 70 National Register Historic District and the planned rehabilitation of approximately 700,000 square feet of historic buildings; 3. 3,000,000 square feet of new infill development compatible with the historic district predominately for job-creating uses such as office and technology space; 4. 6,000 – 8,000 new jobs in new and rehabilitated buildings; 5. Approximately 11 acres of waterfront open space and 9 acres of upland open space; and 6. Environmental remediation and infrastructure to support the Master Plan’s land uses.

And goals include creating a major new shoreline open space that extends the San Francisco Bay Trail and Blue Greenway to and through Pier 70, promoting development that is pedestrian-oriented and fosters use of alternative, sustainable transportation modes and practices, and extending the city street grid to enhance access and integrate Pier 70 with the Central Waterfront.

Proposals will be judged based on Approach (35 points), Experience (30 points), and financial Capacity (35 points) and are due by 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 2010. Hopefully no developers will get punked Port style this time around.

Pier 70 Rehabilitation [SocketSite]
Pier 70 Area - Waterfront Site Developer RFQ [sfgov.org]
Pier 70 Master Plan Summary [sfgov.org]
JustQuotes: Bad Market, Then Back To Big Projects Like Pier 70 [SocketSite]
Seawall Lot 351: This Time The Port Does The Punking (RFP Wise) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

August 30, 2010

Land Grab On Linden?

Linden Street: 8/30/10 (www.SocketSite.com)

Four years ago Loring Sagan (Sagan Piechota Architecture and Build Inc.) and David Winslow (Winslow Architecture & Urban Design) who both have offices on Linden were awarded a challenge grant of $100,000 by the City of San Francisco for a master plan to make Linden Street more pedestrian friendly.

As the execution of the master plan for Linden nears completion, however, not everyone is thrilled. From a reader who resides off Linden:

Now that the concrete curbs are pored, it's become clear that this pedestrian plaza was designed without any thought put into the existing driveways/garages that exit onto Linden, or the industrial users further up the street. I've spent the last two days watching my neighbors struggle through 12-point turns to access their homes -- it's only going to be worse when we have to navigate around pedestrians who don't realize they're loitering in the street because we've managed to "blur the distinction between the pedestrian and automobile realms and to create a unified space." That is poor urban planning -- period.
It's not an "outdoor living room". It's an alley -- a public street. An alley that people drive through, put their garbage bins in, and park trucks to deliver things to the light-industrial users. It's also one of the last blocks with free all-day parking in Hayes Valley, and you've managed to take away three more parking spaces (plus the one that blue bottle took, when you cut the curb to pretend they were just a driveway).
The primary (and possibly singular) goal of the project was obviously this: “When completed, Linden living alley will serve as a comfortable “great good place” for the habitual customers of Blue Bottle café.”
And it's going to do a very good job of that, at the expense of virtually every other user of this alley.
It should come as no surprise (considering the financial relationship between Blue Bottle and the architects involved in this project) that the neighbors' concerns were ignored in favor of providing greater benefit to Blue Bottle and their habitual customers. Blue Bottle is a tiny cart in a block-long mixed use street. It's also a relative newcomer here (2005), and has never made much of an effort to make nice with the residential neighbors nearby.
[It's worth noting that they went through the motions of soliciting input from the community when they were trying to get the permits in 2008, until the neighbors voiced the very concerns and objections that are now becoming realities. They made no effort to change the plans to alleviate our concerns -- just paid us lip service and thanked us for our feedback (which they ignored). All communication stopped when we refused to sign a document that would make us perpetually responsible for additional maintenance costs and liability.]
This entire project is really just an expansion of Blue Bottle, who will soon get the benefit of a rent-free plaza, owned by the city and used almost exclusively by their customers (if this weren't about Blue Bottle, it would be at the other end of the street, where it would logically connect with Patricia's Green and the impending pop-up spaces in the city-owned lots).
I predict tables and no more through traffic, within two years -- the complete elimination of this as a public roadway. That's great if you're running a cafe (permitted as a kiosk/cart), and want a place for your customers to sit...but it's not so good if you happen to have a 20 car garage that opens into someone's living room.
I can only hope that the residents of Ames and Sumner alleys have better luck than we did (or have alleys that are more suited to pedestrian-only use). Initially, we were excited by this project. It would clean up the alley, and probably make our home a more desirable place to live. Instead, it's only confirmed our fears about having to share an alley with professional property developers that own a cafe next door.

We’re not taking sides and keep in mind that the Proxy project at the other end of Linden is intended to be temporary. Regardless, if you’re lining up to buy a cup of coffee, get on the sidewalk. Standing in the street is more annoying (and dangerous) than hipster cool.

A Building, Coffee and Movement That We Love In Hayes Valley [SocketSite]
Sagan Piechota Architecture [sp-architecture.com]
Winslow Architecture & Urban Design [winslowarchitecture.com]
The Evolution Of EnvelopeA+D’s Proxy Project For Parcels K+L [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (178) | (email story)

August 25, 2010

Mission Bay South Beach Borders Closing Its Doors October 16

Mission Bay Borders Closing (www.SocketSite.com)

An anchor tenant at the base of The Beacon, the "Mission Bay Borders" at 200 King Street will be closing its doors on October 16. And no, it’s not so a "South Beach" Borders can open on the 17th.

No word on what role the Beacon’s Residential versus Commercial Association spat might have played. And in terms of what’s in the works to fill the space, rumors of a bowling alley and laundromat have been heard but we can’t confirm.

Might a plugged-in resident reader or tipster care to report?

Mission Bay Borders [borders.com]
The Incredible Shrinking Mission Bay (And Expanding South Beach) [SocketSite]
Association Battle Over Unpaid Bills Brewing At The Beacon? [SocketSite]
Borders Books is Closing… What Next? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (38) | (email story)

August 16, 2010

CityPlace Approval Appealed, Supervisors To Review September 7

CityPlace: Rendering

A plugged-in tipster reports: "Despite strong community support and the approval of the San Francisco Planning Commission last month, the CityPlace Environmental Impact Report has been appealed to the Board of Supervisors."

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is currently scheduled to hear the appeal on Tuesday, September 7 although the official agenda for that Board meeting has yet to be released.

CityPlace (935-965 Market) APPROVED By The Planning Commission [SocketSite]
Details To Augment Designs For "CityPlace" (935-965 Market Street) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (49) | (email story)

August 10, 2010

222 Second Street Seeks Certification (And Exceptions) This Week

222 2nd Street Corner Rendering

While the proposed redevelopment of Treasure (and Yerba Buena) Island gets its own special session on Thursday, certification of the proposed 222 Second Street project is on the agenda for the regular Planning Commission meeting later that afternoon.

The preliminary recommendation from the Planning Department is to approve the Final Environmental Impact Report for the 26-story office building with 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail as proposed, and to grant a height exception to allow the building reach 350 feet on a 3,700 square foot portion of the site which is currently zoned for 150.

222 2nd Street Rendering

The 222 Second Street Scoop (For The Second Time) [SocketSite]
The Things You Can See From Those Virtual Views (222 2nd Street) [SocketSite