CATEGORY ARCHIVE: Neighborhoods
March 7, 2014
Three Teams And A Starchitect Bidding To Develop Transbay Block 8
Three teams have responded to the city's request for proposals to develop San Francisco's Transbay Block 8, the one-acre parcel fronting Folsom Street between First and Fremont.
The three developers bidding are Millennium Partners (think Millennium Tower), Related California (think the Paramount at 680 Mission), and Golub (think 299 Fremont). And according to the Business Times, a starchitect has been drafted for one of the designs.
The teams feature two well-known local architects as well as one of the "starchitect" variety. Related California has picked Rem Koolhaas' Office For Metropolitan Architecture. Koolhas has never completed a San Francisco building, though he is familiar with the city because a controversial Prada store he designed near Union Square was rejected more than a decade ago.
Golub is working with Chris Pemberton of Soloman Cordwell Buenz, which also is designing 299 Fremont. Millennium has selected Glenn Rescalvo of Handel Architects, who also designed the Four Seasons and Millennium Tower.
With a site that's zoned for a tower up to 550 feet in height, the city is seeking "a high-density, residential project with approximately 740 units, 27 percent of which must be affordable to qualifying households, and ground-floor retail in multiple building types," including the tower, townhouses, and podium buildings as rendered in red above.
A request for proposals to develop Transbay Block 8 was first issued back in 2008 but then cancelled in 2009 when when bids for the property came in "well below the potential value of the site in a healthier real estate market." The cancelled request had targeted the development of 597 housing units on the site, nearly 20 percent fewer than today.
March 6, 2014
Resolution To Develop Last Berry Street Block As Rental Units
A resolution to allow the development of Mission Bay "Block N4P3," the wedge shaped Berry Street parcel adjacent to Mission Walk, across the street from Edgewater, and the last undeveloped Berry Street parcel, has been introduced into legislation.
While originally slated for condos, the resolution would amend the Mission Bay north development agreement to allow a 129-unit rental project with a mix of market rate and below-market rate units for households with incomes up to 90 percent of the area median to be built on the site.
Brooklyn Basin Breaking Ground, Oakland Planning For Growth
With Signature's big Brooklyn Basin project slated to break ground next week, a 66-acre East Bay development which will yield over 3,000 new housing units and 30 acres of open space, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan will outline her plans for attracting 10,000 new residents to the city as part of her State of the City address this evening.
While former Mayor Jerry Brown's original "10K" plan is credited for jump-starting the redevelopment of Oakland's Uptown and downtown, Mayor Quan's "10K Two" plan aims to cast a wider net, with plans for development "all over the city" and along transit corridors.
KRON-TV’s 1001 Van Ness Building On The Market
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.
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:
The parcel is zoned for development up to 130 feet in height.
March 5, 2014
The Massings For A Not So Massive SoMa Development, By Design
Rather than representing some ubermodern Sleeper-inspired design, the massings for the proposed SoMa development to rise on the corner of 9th and Howard are simply rendered to provide a sense of scale and context for the project.
With a prominent parcel that's only zoned for building up to 55 feet in height along 9th Street, the development would rise five stories on the corner, connected to a four-story building fronting Howard, separated by a mid-block pedestrian alley and onto which a retail space and residences would directly spill (click images to enlarge).
A core tenet of the City's Western SoMa Plan is to "discourage housing production that is not in scale with the existing neighborhood pattern" and restricts the vast majority of new buildings in the centrally located neighborhood to heights of under 55 feet.
As we first wrote about the proposed Western SoMa Plan back in 2012: "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."
That being said, the Western SoMa Plan was subsequently approved by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors and San Francisco's "housing crisis" has since picked up steam.
March 4, 2014
Rebuilding Of Bay Bridge Ramps To The Islands Ready To Roll
The rebuilding of the access ramps from the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge to Yerba Buena and Treasure Island is set to commence on Friday.
Phase one of the Yerba Buena Island I-80 Interchange Improvement Project will construct new westbound on and off ramps to the new eastern span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (click renderings to enlarge).
Once the ramps are in place on the east side of Yerba Buena Island, which is slated for mid-2016, the existing ramps on the west side of the island will be retrofitted or replaced.
No update on the redevelopment of Treasure Island and plans for 240,000 square feet of new commercial space, 8,000 new residences, and over 300 acres of open space, the ground for which was to be broken this year but the financing for which fell through.
Six Story Folsom Street Development Rendered, Dubbed 99 Rausch
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.
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:
Two Designer Dogpatch Condos For Under $300K Apiece
Two of the new condos in the Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects designed Dogpatch building at 616 20th Street were designated as Below Market Rate (BMR) units and will be sold for $223,988 and $264,207.
Priced to be affordable to San Francisco households earning up to 90% of the area's median income, and available to households earning up to 100%, a single person making up to $67,950 or a couple making no more than $77,700 may qualify.
Both units are 770 square feet in size and one of the buyers will have the option of securing a deeded parking space in the building for an additional $30,000.
Condo Conversion Of Prominent SoMa Corner Proposed
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.
March 3, 2014
A Closer Look At The Plans For A 6,000 Square Foot House
As proposed, and for which a number of variances will be needed, the design includes a guest suite and media room in the basement, bedrooms on the first level, open livings areas on the second level, and a master bedroom with his and her bathrooms and closets - of which hers are almost twice as large - on the top floor (click images to enlarge).
Not including the 682 square foot garage with space for two cars, a motorcycle and bikes, the proposed home would provide nearly 5,600 square feet of space in which to live.
And once again, per the requested building permit for the project, the estimated cost of construction for the Sutro Architects designed home is "$750,000," which would be the basis for the permit fees to be collected by the city if approved.
The Plans To Raze A Hill And Build A Modern Mansion
Much to the chagrin of a number of neighbors and fans of the modernist movement, permits to raze the 1,700-square-foot, Henry Hill designed house at 65 Villa Terrace and construct a contemporary 6,000-square-foot home on the Clarendon Heights lot have been triaged and are making their way through Planning.
Having traded for $1,620,000 in 2005, the property was purchased for $1,400,000 in 2010 by Alex Fisher of Fisher Development, the nephew of Donald Fisher. Donald was a real estate developer before co-founding the Gap.
Per the application for the building permit, the estimated cost of construction for the new home is $750,000, the basis off which the permit fees will be calculated and collected by the city. And in the words of a tipster a month ago: "Neighbors have tried to stop [the project] but somehow this one seems to be moving along with planning."
February 28, 2014
Designs For 94 New Dogpatch Dwelling Units Along Third And Illinois
Plans for a six-story residential building to rise at 2051 3rd Street will be presented to San Francisco's Planning Commission next week. The proposed Dogpatch development would raze two mid-block industrial buildings between Mariposa and 18th Streets, merge the parcels, and construct 94 new dwelling units with an underground garage on the site
The development would front both Third (above) and Illinois (below) with a courtyard between.
As proposed, the 94 units would be rentals for at least 30 years with a mix of 35 studios, 21 one-bedrooms, 37 two-bedrooms and 1 three-bedroom. Two of the one-bedrooms would be ground floor "flex spaces" along Illinois:
Access to the garage with space for 74 cars would be by way of Illinois.
Parking for up to 102 bikes in the building is included as well.
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.
Award Winning Gang Hired To Design San Francisco Tower
Award winning Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, the architect of Chicago's undulating 82-story Aqua, has been engaged by Tishman Speyer to design a tower in San Francisco.
While the Chronicle reports that Gang's engagement is "for an as-yet-undisclosed site in the Transbay district," we'd be willing to bet that it's Tishman's site at the corner of Folsom and Spear, which includes the parking lot at 100 Folsom Street and a couple of adjoining parcels across from the Infinity which is zoned for a tower to rise up to 300 feet.
Tishman still needs to acquire an adjacent city-owned parcel in order to proceed with the development, which is likely why they're being tight lipped about the engagement.
UPDATE: For those celebrating Tishman's engagement of Gang but lamenting the idea that she'll be constrained by a site that's zoned for only 300 feet, we're going to hedge our bet above and offer some hope for additional height.
While the developer has yet to be selected, as we first reported in December, the Tishman team did attended the pre-submittal meeting for Transbay Block 8 proposals and was expected to bid for the site's development rights. And if it is Block 8 for which Gang has been engaged, she'll have 550-feet with which to work, assuming that Tishman wins the competitive bid.
UPDATE: Our original bet is in the money as the 100 Folsom Street site has since been confirmed as the location for Gang's design.
Decision To Downsize Mission District Development Reversed
San Francisco’s Board of Appeals has reversed their December decision which had required the previously approved five-story project at 1050 Valencia Street to remove a full floor and three units in order to move forward with development
As we first reported last month which led to the reversal this week:
With San Francisco's Board of Supervisors having narrowly upheld the Planning Department's approval for the five-story development at 1050 Valencia Street to rise, a subsequent appeal of the project's building permits resulted in 5-0 vote by San Francisco's Board of Appeals to issue the permits, but under a couple of conditions, including that the developer only build four stories rather than five as approved.
The problem for the Board of Appeals, they might have overstepped their legal bounds.
Following their public meeting, the Board of Appeals will move behind closed doors this evening to meet with legal counsel in anticipation of having to defend against litigation. The likely action would be based on the California Housing Accountability Act which prevents local agencies from reducing the density of code-complying residential projects.
Apparently counsel was convincing and the developer's argument sound as the Board voted 4-0 to reverse their previous decision and allow 1050 Valencia to rise a full five floors, the height for which the parcel is zoned. That being said, attached to the Board's ruling was a mandate that the project be redesigned with the fifth floor setback from the street.
February 27, 2014
Agents Take Next Step Toward Razing The Elbo Room
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.
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.
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'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.
Designs For New Condos On Clement Street Slated To Be Approved
As we first reported back in 2012 with respect to a Clement Street development which was quietly in the works at the time:
While the neighbors and neighborhood groups haven't yet been notified, the owner of the single-story building at 3038 Clement Street is quietly working on plans to raze the "European Food" market and build a four-story, 40-foot tall building with six three-bedroom condos over ground floor retail and parking for six cars on the site between 31st and 32nd Avenues, from which San Francisco's first Fresh & Easy is a fifty-foot walk.
With the design for the project having since been modified to include three two-bedrooms and three three-bedrooms along with parking for ten bikes (in addition to the six cars), this afternoon, San Francisco's Planning Commission is slated to decide whether or not to approve the development as proposed:
The Planning Department, which recommends approval of the 3032-3038 Clement Street project, has received eight letters in support of the development and none opposed.
February 26, 2014
The Modern Maniscalco On 27th Street Fetches $3,775,000
Speaking of Maniscalco designed Noe homes, having been listed for $3,095,000, the sale of 630 27th Street has just closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,775,000.
Condos Rather Than Cold Ones On Divisadero Street
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.
February 25, 2014
$2.4 Million For A Mission Dolores Diamond That's Still In The Rough
Purchased as a "diamond in the rough" for $1,350,000 in November of 2012, plans to add 1,400 square feet of living space to the Mission Dolores home at 29 Dorland have since been approved, the permits have been issued and "the project is ready to go!"
Now on the market and listed for $2,400,000, the project includes a garage for four cars with six bedrooms and three levels over the garage and an elevator connecting every floor.
Not included in that $2.4 million list price, however, is the actual cost of construction. And yes, the first floor is one big great room as envisioned (click to enlarge):
∙ Listing: 29 Dorland "(6/3.5) 3,455 sqft" - $2,400,000 [Zephyr]
Designs For Mission District Development At 15th And Shotwell
As we first reported early last year with respect to plans for development at the intersection of 15th Street and Shotwell in the Mission:
Permits to demolish the one-story warehouse on the northwest corner of 15th and Shotwell and construct a four story building with ten apartments on the site were disapproved in 2010, at which point the development plans for the parcel were cancelled.
Purchased for $1,450,000 [in October of 2012], a new plan has been quietly pitched to Planning with a proposal to demolish the building at 1450 15th Street and construct a 5-story, 50-foot tall building with 23 dwelling units and parking for 17 cars and 12 bikes.
Designs for the proposed development have since been drawn (click to enlarge), the project's environmental review is underway, and building permits have been requested.
Assuming the plans and permits are approved, the development at 1450 15th Street could break ground as soon as this spring.
Rebuilt Noe Home Fetches $2.5 Million, $939 Per Square Foot
Purchased as a 1,630 square foot Noe Valley home for $1,350,000 in February of 2013 and then stripped to studs, expanded to 2,662 square feet and rebuilt with a bit of contemporary flair, the sale of 545 Valley Street has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $2,500,000 having been listed for $2,595,000 at the end of last year.
February 24, 2014
Another Proposed Conversion On O'Farrell Street
Plans to convert the five-story building at 436 O’Farrell Street from office space into nine residential units have been drawn and the required variances for the project will be decided this week, with a new roof deck proposed in lieu of a required rear yard.
No word on whether or not the psychic who replaced A-One’s operation saw this coming or has predicted what will happen with the plans to raze the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist building two doors away and construct a twelve-story building in its place.
Forward Progress For Proposed Moorish Fortress Hits A Wall
The plans for "El Jardin," the six-story Moorish fortress proposed to rise on the long vacant Berkeley lot at the corner of Haste and Telegraph Avenue are once again slated for a public hearing this Thursday.
Berkeley’s Design Review Committee (DRC) provided comments on the proposed development eight months ago and requested that the applicant "look more carefully" at how the project would work with Telegraph Avenue in general and interface with its adjacent parcels.
"On January 22, 2014, staff again requested that the applicant submit revised drawings to respond to the comments offered by the DRC in June 2013, and requested that these materials be submitted by January 31 to allow time for staff to prepare a staff report to the DRC. To date, the applicant has not presented a revised design to respond to the comments offered by the DRC."
In addition, multiple requests from Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board staff for additional information needed to evaluate a necessary density bonus for the project as proposed appear to have fallen on deaf ears and the information has yet to be provided.
Four months ago, the parcel's owner, Ken Sarachan, had agreed to move forward with plans to develop the lot within 45 days or risk forfeiture of the land.
February 21, 2014
Plans For A Sixty-Foot Nob Hill Building On An Eighty-Foot Lot
Currently a parking lot with space for twenty-two cars, half of which are designated for car sharing services, a six-story building is proposed to rise at 832 Sutter Street.
The proposed Nob Hill building includes 20 dwelling units over a 400 square foot retail space. And as designed, the development would not include any parking, for which it will need a waiver from the city as five spaces are required by code.
Originally designed to rise 80 feet, the height for which the parcel is zoned and which would have yielded 27 units of housing, neighborhood opposition to the 80-foot project when first proposed in 2008 is being fingered for the development's downsizing today.
And to be clear, the majority of the now five-year-old opposition was related to the building's impact on neighborhood parking rather than the building's height per se.
As the six-story building would look in context with the rest of the Sutter Street block (click the rendering to enlarge):
Impact Of Waterfront Ballot Initiative Slated For Widespread Review
Sponsored by Supervisor Wiener, the Port of San Francisco, Planning Department, City Administrator, Controller, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Municipal Transportation Agency, and Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development will all have a chance to report on the impact of adopting the Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Act with respect to the City's future housing, transportation, and open space needs.
The reports may include analysis of:
(1) Any fiscal impacts of the Initiative, should it pass, on the City at large as well as the Port specifically, including the Port’s ability to fund required capital improvements;
(2) The consistency of the measure with the City’s General Plan, including Housing Element goals for meeting the City's housing needs;
(3) Any impacts on the City’s ability to meet its housing production goals, including affordable housing and generation of impact fees for affordable housing;
(4) Whether individual affordable housing projects seeking a height increase would have to be placed on the ballot, and if so, the impact of that requirement on the cost of producing affordable housing;
(5) The effect of the Initiative on the use of land; its impact on the availability, location, and affordability of housing, and the ability of the City to meet its fair share of regional housing needs;
(6) The impact of the Initiative on the cost of and funding for infrastructure of all types, including, but not limited to, transportation, schools, parks, sewers, and open space;
(7) The impact of the Initiative on the City’s ability to attract and retain business and employment;
(8) A description of waterfront development projects currently in the planning process that could be affected by the Initiative, including a history of community planning processes and state legislation relating to those projects;
(9) A list of past projects that would have had to be placed on the ballot had the Initiative been in place at the time;
(10) The impact of the Initiative on planned waterfront development projects, including the impact of a voter approval requirement on the nature, design, and costs of such projects (including impacts on the cost of producing housing and affordable housing) and on the community planning process, and;
(11) The consistency of the measure with the City’s obligations under the Burton Act and related law;
(12) Other subjects that the Departments deem relevant to a full analysis and understanding of the Initiative.
Assuming Wiener's resolution authorizing the review is adopted by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors next week, the departments will be asked to produce their reports by March 7.
And per the terms of the resolution, the reports "shall include only objective, impartial information and analysis, shall not recommend changes to the Initiative, and shall not make a recommendation as to whether the voters should adopt the Initiative."
611 Tax-Defaulted Properties In San Francisco Facing Public Auction
While mostly timeshares but including houses, condos and undeveloped parcels of land, including the Telegraph Hill parcel facing the Filbert Street steps outlined above, there are currently over 600 properties in San Francisco which have been in a tax-defaulted state for over five years and which the City's Tax Collector would like to sell at public auction.
With the backing of its Budget and Finance Committee, next week San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is poised to authorize the sale which would occur in May.
The list of all 611 properties which could be sold:
February 20, 2014
Appeals Denied, Approved 400-Foot Rincon Hill Tower Cleared To Rise
Having rejected the three appeals filed by a neighboring high-rise's HOA, San Francisco’s Board of Appeals has cleared the way for Equity Residential to begin demolishing the existing buildings at 340 and 360 Fremont Street and their suspended permit to build a 400-foot residential tower on the site should soon be reinstated.
February 19, 2014
The Lange House (And Lot) Hits The Market In Cole Valley
If you’ve ever coveted the large Cole Valley Victorian at the corner of Carl and Stanyan, now's your chance to act, or at the very least to take a peek inside.
Designed by Swedish architect August Nordin and constructed in 1912, the house at 199 Carl was built for the Lange family who were dairy farmers in the Haight-Ashbury.
With four floors of living space, parking for three cars, and a potentially sub-dividable lot along Stanyan Street, the property is now on the market and listed for $3,400,000.
Having Risen, Bayview Beacon Ready To Shine
Bayview Rise, a mural by Haddad | Drugan which rises 187 feet on the façade of Pier 92's grain elevator will be officially illuminated and animated on February 26 at 5:30 PM.
Situated near Third Street as it crosses Islais Creek and conceived as a gateway into the Bayview neighborhood, the mural's large-scale graphics make its primary images visible from a distance. And at night, both the mural and adjacent silos will be illuminated.
Funded and commissioned by the Port of San Francisco with coordination from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Bayview Rise is one of the Blue Greenway projects in the works, a series of interconnected waterfront parks and art installations along the bay.
High-Rise Wars: New Tower Appealed By Neighboring High-Rise HOA
As we first reported this past December, while the demolition permits to raze the buildings at 340 and 360 Fremont Street in order to clear the way for the approved 40-story residential tower to rise on the site were issued, the permit to build the tower was appealed and suspended. And now, the approved demolition permits have been appealed as well.
The appellant behind all of the appeals is the HOA for The Metropolitan, the adjacent two-towered development along First Street which rises up to 27-stories with Bay views, views which will be blocked by the 340 Fremont Street tower as noted back in 2006.
San Francisco's Board of Appeals is slated to hear the HOA's arguments this evening.
UPDATE: The appeals were denied and the demolition of the existing buildings at 340 and 360 Fremont should soon commence with construction for the 400-foot tower to follow.
∙ Demo Approved But Permit To Build 40-Story Tower Suspended [SocketSite]
∙ Neighborhood Scoop: 340 Fremont's Refined Design And Parking [SocketSite]
February 18, 2014
They've Literally Struck Gold While Digging Downtown
A plugged-in tipster reports that they have struck gold, quite literally, while excavating Transbay Blocks 6 & 7 for the 32-story tower and mid-rise to rise along Folsom Street.
Okay, so it's only the single Chilean gold doubloon pictured above and dated 1838 that has been uncovered so far, or at least that's all that has been reported by the crew.
Ironically, the tower to rise on the site is designed to be LEED Gold certified.
Plans For A Pair Of Passive Houses In SF, And The Active Opposition
As proposed, the existing two-story house at 2123 Castro Street which was built in 1912 will be demolished in order to make way for a contemporary, three-story home to rise with designs for it to be a certified Net-Zero Energy (NZE) building.
Despite a building size of over 3,670 square feet including the garage, the proposed Noe Valley home will not have a furnace nor air-conditioning and will be "passive" in design, a super-insulated structure with an air-tight building shell which will primarily derive its heat from the sun and people inside, the first new passive house in San Francisco.
A second three-story home of equally efficient and ambitious design is proposed to rise on the adjacent 2127 Castro Street parcel, upon which the 500-square-foot garage for the existing home at 2123 Castro Street currently sits.
Opposing the project, a nearby neighbor and 44 signers of a petition who are concerned that the development will replace affordable housing with high-cost housing and that the scale and design of the buildings are out of context with the neighborhood:
Keep in mind that the existing "affordable home" at 2123 Castro Street has recently been appraised for $1,525,000 and neither of the neighbors in the adjacent single-story homes to the north and south of the proposed project are opposed to the plans.
San Francisco's Planning Commission is slated to issue a decision with respect to the proposed plans for 2123 Castro Street this week with the Planning Department's recommendation that they be approved.
The proposed sister building at 2127 Castro Street is following under cover of a separate permit.
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.
Google Is Moving Into The Mission
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]
HOPE For Hunters View And 400 New Market Rate Units
With the rebuilding of San Francisco’s Hunters View public housing development having kicked-off in 2010, a resolution authorizing the issuance of up to $45 million of residential mortgage revenue bonds to finance Phase Two of the redevelopment has now been approved.
As we first reported last month, Phase Two includes the construction of 107 affordable housing units and a small park on Blocks 7 and 11 along West Point Road:
Specifically, Block 7 will include 50 units, with both apartments and row houses due to the steep topography. There will be 4 fully accessible flats, 23 adaptable flats, 1 "supervisitable" and 2 "visitable" row houses [for disabled tenants]. Also, there will be three 3-story buildings, one 5-story building and a central courtyard area.
Block 11 will include 57 units—7 row houses and 50 apartment homes. Five of the flats will be fully accessible, and 43 flats will be adaptable. One row house will be "supervisitable." Interior courtyard space will be activated by podium-level planters and plots for individual gardens and gathering spaces between buildings. There will be 53 podium level parking spaces provided in both Blocks 7 and 11.
Phase Three of the redevelopment includes the building of up to 400 market rate units and a new Bayview Park (click the plan to enlarge):
In the end, the project will replace the existing 267 Housing Authority units on a one-to-one basis, construct an additional 133 affordable units, and yield a total of over 800 units of new housing units, three new parks, and 6,500 square feet of retail space on the site.
∙ $45 Million For Redevelopment Of Hunters View Phase II [SocketSite]
February 14, 2014
Planning To Improve The Ocean Avenue Corridor
The development of a long-term vision, design and implementation plan for Ocean Avenue between Manor Drive and San Jose Avenue is underway.
Building on a number of studies, designs and plans which have already been completed for the area around Balboa Park, the Ocean Avenue Corridor Design project will identify near-term streetscape improvements that can be implemented between Manor Drive and Phelan Avenue while developing a longer-term plan for Ocean Avenue stretching from Phelan over I-280 to San Jose Avenue.
The first round of conceptual designs and a detailed implementation scheduled are slated to be ready in July, after which the Department of Public Works will begin preparing Ocean Avenue between Manor and Phelan for construction, funded with dollars allocated from the Road Repaving and Streets Safety Bond.
February 12, 2014
Economists: Formula Retail Controls Could Hurt Consumers/Economy
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]
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]
Oakland In Negotiations For Mixed-Use City Center Development
Having purchased two office buildings in Oakland’s City Center late last year, Strada Investment Group has entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the City of Oakland to develop the city-owned parcels behind the 1111 Broadway office building, fronting Clay Street between 11th and 12th.
According to the Business Times, Strada has until January 2015 with a possible six month extension to reach an agreement with the city. And in the eyes of Strada, "the site could accommodate up to 400,000 square feet of mixed-use development such as a combination of hotel, office, residential and retail."
Shorenstein Properties had proposed building up to 580,000 square feet of office space on the site prior to the last downturn, a building which would have been roughly the size of the 1111 Broadway tower.
February 11, 2014
Silicon Valley's Biggest Tech Campuses As Self-Contained Cities
The premise: With tech workers flocking to San Francisco seeking the urban environment that Silicon Valley lacks, what might it look like if a few of the largest tech campuses south of San Francisco replaced their parking lots and select open spaces with enough high-density housing to support all their employees?
The Tech Campus Housing Study by First Cultural Industries seeks to answer that question with sketchups for four conceptual campuses, including "iTown" with 13,000 apartments for Apple's workforce in Cupertino and "Facebook City" with 9,400 apartments in Menlo Park.
Other sketchups include designs for 10,000 apartments on Google’s campus in Mountain View and 3,000 apartments for Electronic Arts in Redwood City.
February 10, 2014
The Price Of Platinum On 26th Street
As we first wrote with respect to the rebuilt Noe home at 4365 26th Street:
Purchased as an 810-square-foot Noe Valley fixer for $850,000 in 2011, an expansion of 4365 26th Street's main floor by 540 square feet and the addition an all-new 1,300 square foot second floor were approved for the home in 2012, a project which survived a Discretionary Review.
Designed to be LEED Platinum certified, green features of the rebuilt home include 16 solar panels on the roof, a 1,000 gallon rainwater catchment system for irrigating the greens out back, and a reclaimed-wood floating staircase from a Warner Brother's warehouse inside.
On the market and eventually listed for $3,995,000, the sale of the four-bedroom home closed escrow this past Friday with a reported contract price of $4,000,000.
Apples-To-Apples Appreciation For A Remodeled Noe Home
Purchased as a total fixer in need of everything for $759,000 in 2009, the 2,461 square foot Noe Valley home at 913 Alvarado was rebuilt, remodeled, and resold for $1,613,000 in March of 2011 having been listed for $1,685,000 in October of 2010.
With no apparent major work having been done to the home since, the property has just been listed for $2,200,000 or $894 per square foot.
A sale at asking would represent total appreciation of 36 percent for the home over the past three years or average annual appreciation of 10.9 percent, all on an apples-to-apples versus median basis.
∙ Listing: 913 Alvarado (4/3) 2,461 sqft - $2,200,000 [913alvarado.com]
Measure To Limit Waterfront Building Heights Qualifies For June Ballot
The proposed Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Act has qualified for the June ballot.
If passed, the ballot measure would prohibit increasing the existing maximum building heights for parcels along San Francisco's waterfront unless explicitly approved by voters on a project-by-project basis.
The measure defines "waterfront" as public trust property that the State transferred to the City to be placed under the control of the San Francisco Port Commission, as well as any other property that the Port owns or controls as of January 1, 2014 or later acquires.
Examples of such waterfront property include the pier and Embarcadero parcel upon which the Warriors would like to build their proposed 125-foot-tall arena and condo/hotel complex rising up to 175 feet, and the Mission Bay parking lot upon which the Giants would like to build their proposed Mission Rock neighborhood rising up to 320 feet in height.
Affordable Apartments And Retail To Rise On Grand Avenue
Bridge Housing and the Oakland Housing Authority will officially break ground for 68 affordable apartments to rise at 460 Grand Avenue in Oakland next week.
Located at the corner of Bellevue Avenue across from Lakeside Park in the Adams Point Neighborhood, the AveVista Apartments building will include 3,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and should be construction complete in the Spring of 2015.
Income restrictions will apply for the apartments.
February 7, 2014
Plans To Raze The Elbo Room Are More Than Preliminary
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:
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.
Charming 6,000 Square Foot Noe Home Hits The Market For $6.75M
It was five months ago that we first reported that the modern 6,000 square foot Noe home at 625 Duncan might soon hit the market.
As we reported at the time, the sale "would appear to have been planned prior to last week's ruling against the owners who had requested the Discretionary Review to block the building of 645 Duncan as proposed, characterizing their request as a fight to preserve "the character and charm" of the neighborhood."
Yesterday, the rather spec-tacular house at 625 Duncan was listed for $6,750,000. The property was purchased by the former COO of MobiTV for $5,818,000 in 2008.
∙ Listing: 625 Duncan Street (4/5.5) 5,933 sqft - $6,750,000 [Paragon]
∙ Buyers Of 6,000 Foot Home Now Fight To Preserve "Noe's Charm" [SocketSite]
∙ Request "To Preserve Noe Valley's Character And Charm" Rejected [SocketSite]
America’s Cup Organizers Threaten To Sail Away From SF's Bay
Perhaps they’re just playing hardball, but with the City requesting rent payments for pier space rather than incentives for holding the race in San Francisco, organizers for the America's Cup have pushed back their deadline for announcing the host city for the regatta in 2017 in order to evaluate four competing proposals according to the Chronicle.
Planning Commission Approves Plans For Apple's Flagship SF Store
Apple's plans for a flagship store on Union Square have been approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission by a vote of 5 to 1. It's now on to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors for the final yea or nay, the hearing date for which has yet to be announced.
February 6, 2014
Apple's Flagship Store With 45-Foot Doors Up For Approval
As we first reported and revealed last week, the façade for Apple’s proposed flagship store on Union Square has been redesigned by Foster + Partners to incorporate a pair of full-height sliding glass doors, each measuring 23 feet wide and 44.5 feet tall and allowing the store to be opened to the street (click renderings to enlarge).
This afternoon, the revised designs for the store and an all new plaza behind will go before San Francisco’s Planning Commission to be approved.
Presidio Trust Tosses Lucas A Hail Mary, Alternative Museum Site
With the Presidio Trust having rejected George Lucas' proposal for a Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to replace the current Sports Basement building down on Crissy Field, Lucas is officially shopping his museum plans, art, and endowment to other cities, the frontrunner of which is thought to be Chicago.
In an attempt to save face, and hopefully the museum, the Presidio Trust is now offering Lucas an alternative site just west of Lucas’ Letterman Digital Arts Center on which to build, near the Presidio’s eastern entrance on Lombard. It's a move Lucas' spokesman characterized as "a hail Mary."
While the exact location of the alternative site has not been disclosed, the undeveloped parcel adjacent to the YMCA at the intersection of Presidio and Lincoln Boulevards is a likely candidate, assuming it's not the YMCA parcel and parking lot itself.
The Modern Noe Valley Market Since 2009, Apples-To-Apples Style
As we wrote about the sale of the modern Noe home at 465 Hoffman in February 2011:
"Speaking of Noe Valley year-over-year, the sale of 465 Hoffman closed escrow Wednesday with a reported contract price of $2,850,000.
Call it $633 per listed square foot and a four percent ($120,000) drop in value over the past eleven months for the "exceptional showcase home architecturally designed & methodically built with gorgeous views!"
As plugged-in people might recall, the modern Noe home first hit the market in early 2009 listed for $3,900,000 and sold for $2,970,000 [in March of 2010]."
The modern 4,500 square foot home is now back on the market and listed for $3,795,000.
A sale at asking would represent average annual appreciation of 10 percent over the past three years on an apples-to-apples basis. If you think you know Noe, it's time to tell.
∙ Listing: 465 Hoffman (4/4.5) 4,500 sqft - $3,795,000 [465hoffman.com]
February 5, 2014
BIG Designs For Modern Mid-Market Architecture: 950-974 Market
A plugged-in tipster delivers the new renderings for the proposed 950-974 Market Street Project which is being designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for Group I.
The project includes a 250-room hotel, 316 residential units, 15,000 square feet of retail and a 75,000-square-foot Center for Arts & Education at the corner of Market and Turk.
A peek inside the project's proposed atrium which BIG has designed "to be versatile, morphing into a concert venue, informal gallery or exhibition hall," and a link to additional renderings for the Mid-Market development:
Additional renderings for the project have been uploaded to the 950-974 Market Street site.
∙ BIG Architects Selected To Design Major Mid-Market Complex [SocketSite]
February 4, 2014
Folsom Street Park Cleared To Move Forward (With Possible Flooding)
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has determined that building a wet weather storage basin to reduce neighborhood flooding as part of the park project at 17th and Folsom "would not make enough of a beneficial impact locally to justify the high costs to San Francisco ratepayers" and the SFPUC will not proceed with their storage basin plan.
Final park design and construction are now clear to move forward with the new tentative opening date for the park scheduled for Summer 2015. And while the SFPUC will continue to assess their options for reducing area flooding, in the near-term they're recommending property owners install protective measures for when the storms do come.
From Long-Vacant Building To Affordable Housing In The Haight
Having sat empty for the past ten years, an ordinance to allow Mercy Housing to convert the vacant four-story Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building on the northwest corner of Page and Masonic to 16 units of affordable housing is slated to be passed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this afternoon.
The building at 1500 Page was approved for use as an SRO for formerly homeless adults back in 2009, but that project was abandoned. The current plan is to convert the building's 38 rooms into 16 self-contained studios for developmentally disabled adults who qualify as Lower or Very Low Income Households and a one-bedroom for an on-site manager.
February 3, 2014
Presidio Trust Rejects All Three Proposals For Mid-Crissy Field Site
Having reviewed the final three proposals for redeveloping the Presidio’s Mid-Crissy Field site last week, proposals which were revised at the request of the Presidio Trust late last year, the Trust has decided not to pursue any of the proposed projects.
As we first reported in December, the National Park Service was "strongly recommending" that the Trust defer any decision for several years to allow the Crissy Field site and current home to Sports Basement to develop "in a more comprehensive, thoughtful, integrated, and planned manner."
While now noting that they "do not believe any of the projects [are] right for this location," the Trust plans to continue discussions with each of the teams to bring elements of their programs to the Presidio and is "extending an invitation to George Lucas to work with [the Trust] to identify an alternative location for his proposed museum within the Presidio."
Lucas had intimated that his art collection and dollars for the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum would head to Chicago if his proposal wasn't selected for the Crissy Field site.
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.
Concordia-Argonaut Club Building On The Market, Going Condo?
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.
Warriors Concede Plans For 2017 Season In SF, 2018 A Stretch
With opponents ready to submit the necessary number of signatures for a ballot measure which would require the Golden State Warriors to win voter approval for their proposed development on Pier 30-32 and across the street, the Warriors have officially conceded their plans for having an arena on San Francisco's waterfront in time for the 2017 season.
In fact, based on the critical path for the arena project and the current state of affairs, an arena opening in time for the 2018-2019 NBA season is a stretch at this point, and that’s assuming the plans and permits are even approved.
∙ Timeline And Key Milestones For Building The Warriors Arena In SF [SocketSite]
∙ SF Arena Threat: The Waterfront Height Limit Right To Vote Act [SocketSite]
∙ The Odds Are Against The Warriors Moving To SF In 2017 [SocketSite]
January 31, 2014
Elbo Room At Risk Of Being Razed For Mission Housing Development
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:
The Odds Are Against The Warriors Moving To SF In 2017
The projected cost to rebuild San Francisco's Pier 30-32 in order to support the development of the Warriors' proposed waterfront arena is up to $180 million, $10 million more than the $170 million estimated last summer.
While the extra $10 million is a relative drop in the bucket with respect to the overall budget for the project, it’s indicative of a more complex and time consuming project than originally projected, increasing the odds that the Warriors won’t have an arena ready for the 2017 NBA season in San Francisco.
The original timeline and critical path for the proposed arena to be ready in time for the 2017 season required the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to have been prepared by the summer of 2013 and certified last fall. The report has yet to be finished.
The arena project cannot be approved by the city nor any permits issued until the EIR is certified, a legal challenge of which is sure to come. And even assuming no setbacks at the ballot-box or in the courts, construction of the arena will take around two and one-half years to complete and was scheduled to start this summer in order for the arena to ready for a 2017 opening.
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.
Nob Hill Neighbors' Appeal Denied, Development Clear To Commence
A plugged-in tipster reports that the Nob Hill Neighbors’ appeal to block the development of 1601 Larkin Street was denied by a vote of 4-0 last night, clearing the way for the demolition the dilapidated First St. John's United Methodist Church at the corner of Larkin and Clay and the construction of a five-floor building with 27 dwelling units on the site.
A Doubling Indeed
As we wrote about the Potrero Hill home at 1422 Rhode Island earlier this month:
Purchased as a "classic" two-bedroom, one-bath home of 1,095 square feet with "separate living and dining rooms...and [a] bonus room downstairs" for $820,000 four months ago, 1422 Rhode Island is already back on the market for $1,495,000 as a "fully renovated 4 bed/3.5 bath beauty."
A great room encompasses the living room, dining room, den and kitchen, "the highlight" of the now 2,250 square foot Potrero Hill home according to its listing.
On tuesday, the sale of 1422 Rhode Island closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,610,000. And that's how you move the median.
January 29, 2014
San Francisco Launching Railyard Redevelopment And I-280 Study
The City of San Francisco has just released an official Request for Proposals (RFP) to study the feasibility and alternatives for redeveloping the 20+ acre Caltrain Depot at 4th and King Streets, connecting rail to the Transbay Center (and possibly the East Bay), and reconfiguring the terminus of I-280 in the city.
The Railyard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard Feasibility Study will build upon the Planning Department’s 4th & King Street Railyards Study, the Caltrain North Terminal Feasibility Assessment, and past work by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and California High Speed Rail Authority to develop a coordinated vision for the area and transportation plan for connecting the adjacent neighborhoods.
The five key components of the study:
1. Potential refinements to the alignment and construction methods of the Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) to the Transbay Transit Center;
2. Potential construction of a loop track from the east end of the Transbay Transit Center (TTC) allowing for future connection to East Bay and return train trips southbound;
3. Potential construction of a surface boulevard in place of the elevated portion of I-280 in the area in order to facilitate the construction of the rail projects and connect the neighborhoods of South of Market (SoMa), Potrero, Moscone Center, and Central Waterfront for vehicles, transit, pedestrians and bicyclists;
4. Potential consolidation and/or relocation of the 4th/King Railyard; and
5. Land use responses to the above infrastructure changes, including economic effects and opportunities.
Proposals to tackle the first two phases of the project (Visioning and Concept Development and then the Refinement of Alternatives and Determination of Final Alternatives) are due at the end of February with a budget of $1.45 million and roughly two years to complete.
Downsizing Of Valencia Street Development Could Be Against The Law
With San Francisco's Board of Supervisors having narrowly upheld the Planning Department's approval for the five-story development at 1050 Valencia Street to rise, a subsequent appeal of the project's building permits resulted in 5-0 vote by San Francisco's Board of Appeals to issue the permits, but under a couple of conditions, including that the developer only build four stories rather than five as approved.
The problem for the Board of Appeals, they might have overstepped their legal bounds.
Following their public meeting, the Board of Appeals will move behind closed doors this evening to meet with legal counsel in anticipation of having to defend against litigation. The likely action would be based on the California Housing Accountability Act which prevents local agencies from reducing the density of code-complying residential projects.
Fearing The Feds, Marijuana Shop On Mission Planning To Move
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]
January 27, 2014
Proposed Presidio Projects Photo Simulated, Ready For Review
With the Presidio Trust Board of Directors set to publicly review the three revised proposals for developing the Presidio's Mid-Crissy Field site tonight, photo simulations to compare the mass and height for each of the projects have been prepared with the existing Sports Basement/Commissary building in place for the sake of comparison.
The simulation for "Scheme 1" of the proposed Lucas Culural Arts Museum which would rise 61 feet to the top of its parapet, 66 feet to the top of its dome (click images to enlarge):
The simulation for "Scheme 2" of the Lucas Culural Arts Museum which would rise 45 feet to the top of its parapet, 50 feet to the top of its atrium skylight:
The simulation for the Presidio Exchange project which would rise 43 feet to the top of its building:
The simulation for the Bridge/Sustainability Institute project which would rise 43 feet to the top of its building:
Additional angles for the photo simulations are available in the Mid-Crissy Field Project photo simulation supplement.
January 24, 2014
At What Price Should The Francisco Reservoir Become A Park?
As we first reported about the state of San Francisco’s old reservoir between Francisco and Hyde back in 2012:
In early 2008, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission floated the idea of selling off the Francisco Reservoir to developers with hopes of getting as much as $50 million for the site which has sat unused for 71 years, an idea which was quickly sunk by neighborhood and local Supervisor opposition, not to mention a market turnabout at the end of 2008.
While San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution reaffirming the reservoir’s status as open space, the resolution was non-binding, the site remains undeveloped and in disrepair, and the market for developable property is picking up.
Perhaps sensing another turning point, a consortium of four neighborhood groups is holding a community-wide meeting to review "proposed ideas and conceptual plans for public open space uses" for the reservoir…
The rotting roof over the reservoir has since been razed, the aforementioned consortium has raised commitments of $8 million towards the Chronicle's reported $11 million cost of transforming the reservoir into a park, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is reportedly in talks with the Recreation and Park Department to purchase the 4-acre parcel.
The purchase of the parcel, however, is not atop the list of the parks department’s priorities and any sale would have to be at fair market value (note that $50 million figure that was bantered about back in 2008).
As neighborhood Supervisor Farrell notes, “where else in San Francisco do you have a multi-acre plot of concrete that's been decaying for decades, in the middle of a neighborhood and close to the tourism industry, where you can build a brand-new park?” That being said, you might recall the Mayor’s recent state of the city address, the cornerstone of which was his seven point plan for solving San Francisco’s housing crisis and a commitment to building more housing, and there aren’t many "multi-acre plot of concrete that's been decaying for decades, in the middle of a neighborhood" upon which to build.
And perhaps not coincidentally in terms of the timing of the story, the framework for a new inter-agency strategy to coordinate the development of underutilized publicly-owned sites across San Francisco is slated to be presented next week.
Approved Nob Hill Development Appealed By The Neighbors
Having been rejected twice, once in 2010 and again at the end of 2012, the proposed demolition the dilapidated First St. John's United Methodist Church at the corner of Larkin and Clay and the construction of a five-floor building with 27 dwelling units on the parcel was unanimously approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission late last year.
Next week, San Francisco’s Board of Appeals will hear the Nob Hill Neighbors' protest, a challenge of the zoning variances which were granted for the project, and without which the 1601 Larking Street project as approved cannot be built.
∙ 1601 Larkin Street 3.1: The Redesign Details And Renderings [SocketSite]
∙ Larkin Street Redevelopment Take Three And Planning's Flop [SocketSite]
Plans For Nine-Story Polk Gulch Building To Replace G&R Paint Store
The owner of the one-story G&R Paint Company building and business at 1238 Sutter Street appears to be preparing to jump into the development game with plans to raze the existing Polk Gulch building and construct a 9-story, mixed-use building on the site which fronts Sutter and Fern Streets between Polk and Van Ness Avenue:
As proposed, the nine-story building would include up to 40 dwelling units, 6 parking spaces for cars and 35 for bikes, and 2,550 square feet of commercial space fronting Sutter Street.
And while zoned for development up to 130 feet, as are the parcels on either side of the lot, the proposed building at 1238 Sutter Street would only rise 88 feet in height.
January 23, 2014
Recommendations For Implementing An Eco-District In San Francisco
About to be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission, an update on the plans for developing a Central SoMa "eco-district" and a series of recommendations and detailed strategies for how the eco-district should be implemented.
The eco-district task force's key recommendations around the areas of (1) equitable development, (2) economic development, (3) community building, (4) energy, (5) water, (6) waste, (7) habitat and eco-system function, (8) access and mobility, (9) health and well-being, and (10) the actual implementation of the eco-district:
1.1 Promote Equity and Local Opportunity
2.1 Enhance Local Economic Development
2.2 Create a Resilient Central SoMa
3.1 Foster the creation of new community driven initiatives
3.2 Create an Innovation District
4.1 Establish a Net Zero Carbon Energy District
5.1 Create a district where only non-potable water is used for non-potable uses.
6.1 Strive for a Zero Waste District
7.1 Expand and Enhance Habitat and Eco-System Function
8.1 Reduce Emissions from Transportation
9.1 Leverage Eco-District Projects to Promote Public Health and Well-Being
9.2 Activate Rooftops
10.1 Establish a Steering Committee to Formalize the Eco-District Organization
10.2 Identify Short, Medium and Long Term Goals to Facilitate Eco-District Implementation
The Task Force’s detailed strategies for implementing its aforementioned recommendations: Central SoMa Eco-District: Task Force Recommendations.
∙ The Framework For San Francisco's First Urban Eco-District [SocketSite]
Market Street Site Zoned For 400-Foot Tower In Play
Sitting on a prime corner parcel that was partially up-zoned for development up to 400 feet in height as part of San Francisco's Market & Octavia Plan, the Boas family is preparing to sell the two-story Honda dealership at the intersection of Market and South Van Ness Ave.
The potential 400-foot tower would be built on the southern portion of the triangular parcel with the Market Street frontage rising up to 120 feet in height. As the parcel's development was envisioned by Brand + Allen back in 2007:
An estimated 500 to 700 housing units could be built on the site.
∙ San Francisco’s Market & Octavia Neighborhood Plan Moves Forward [SocketSite]
∙ Market Street Honda dealership site revs up for housing [Business Times]
The $350 Million Plans For Expanding San Francisco’s Moscone Center
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 21, 2014
Developing The Balboa Park Reservoir Amidst A (Housing) Drought
With a 100-year drought underway, it would be nice if it were filled the brim, but the 25-acre Balboa Park Reservoir which was built in the 1950's has never held a drop of water and has primarily served as an oversized parking lot.
While roughly half the Balboa Park Reservoir site is controlled by City College, and upon which the College recently started to expand, the majority of the site remains in the hands of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) which has expressed interest in exploring the development of the site, one of the largest underdeveloped sites in the city.
With a the framework for a program to help coordinate the development of San Francisco’s publicly-owned sites having been drafted amidst a 3-year housing drought, the Balboa Park Reservoir is likely to be on the short-list of sites for priority development.
∙ The Framework For Developing San Francisco's Publicly-Owned Sites [SocketSite]
The Framework For Developing San Francisco's Publicly-Owned Sites
The framework for a new inter-agency strategy to coordinate the potential development of underutilized publicly-owned sites across San Francisco will be presented to them Planning Commission this week. The Commission will be responsible for providing direction on the program and approving any proposed rezoning, development entitlements and public benefits package for individual sites.
In the high-cost and dense urban environment of San Francisco, certain underutilized publicly-owned sites throughout the city could help contribute towards the City’s needs for housing, jobs, transportation and other services. These sites provide a valuable resource that could often be better utilized, repurposed or redeveloped to maximize opportunities.
In order to support land-owning agencies in their efforts for more productive use of their real estate assets, the City is launching an effort to holistically evaluate use of such underutilized sites. This effort parallels the work by the City’s Real Estate Division to address the findings of a recent report by the Civil Grand Jury on surplus and underutilized properties, which called for revisions to the Surplus City Property Ordinance.
The scope of the program will be refined over the next month with the priority sites set to be identified, and site-specific community meetings slated to be initiated, in March.
∙ A Grand Jury's Call To Optimize San Francisco's City-Owned Real Estate [SocketSite]
∙ Public Sites Framework Presentation [sfplanning.org]
January 17, 2014
The Lucas Team's Two New Schemes To Sway The Presidio Trust
As rendered above, the original design for George Lucas’ proposed Cultural Arts Museum to be built in the Presidio was panned by the Presidio Trust which expressed "significant issues with the proposed building – its massing and height, and its architectural style," and believed "it should be redesigned to be more compatible with the Presidio."
This afternoon the Lucas team submitted two new design schemes for consideration.
Scheme one is a "gentler, more welcoming" variation on the original, rising to a height of 61 feet with a simplified facade that's reduced in scale and ornament (click to enlarge):
An alternative second scheme reduces the museum to one-story and a maximum height of 45 feet but covers 30 percent more of the site for the same 93,000 square foot mass:
With the National Park Service continuing to challenge the appropriateness of the Lucas proposal, regardless of the museum's design, and seeking a several year deferral of any decision for the site, the Presidio Trust Board is set to meet on January 27 to review the revised proposals for the Mid-Crissy Field site, a meeting which ought to be a rather lively affair.
∙ Lucas Cultural Arts Museum Revised Designs [presidio.gov]
The Crest Of Russian Hill Circa 1906 And Plans For Urban Infill
While the homes on the northern side of Broadway at the crest of Russian Hill survived the great quake and fire in 1906, the former Homer House on the corner of Broadway and Taylor was demolished in 1910 and its rather prime parcel has sat undeveloped since.
A request to subdivided the parcel into three lots in order to build two big single-family homes and a two-unit building with a total of over 15,000 square feet of space and an underground garage for up to 16 cars (including six spaces for adjacent homes) is on the agenda for San Francisco’s Zoning Administrator next week.
Having lent $15,000,000 against the property in 2008, the group which was never repaid foreclosed upon the parcel in 2012 and was seeking sealed bids for the parcel and plans with offers due by August 1, 2013, explicitly noting an unwillingness to accept an offer that was "patently frivolous or substantially below market value."
No word on whether a non-frivolous offer ever materialized, but as best we can tell the property is still owned by the hedge fund that foreclosed.
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.
January 16, 2014
A Short-Sale Dream Turned Nightmare, Take Two And An Artist's Plea
Purchased for $525,000 in 2003 and refinanced in 2007 with a $700,000 loan, the one-bedroom cottage at 3066 Market Street was sold short for $485,000 in 2011, listed as a "terrific opportunity for a contractor or very savy [sic] buyer who wants the perfect opportunity to create their new dream home" at the time.
With permits to expand up and out and plans to turn the cottage into a four-bedroom home with a new garage, foundation, and third floor, construction on the project commenced in late 2011. A loan for $675,000 to finance the project was secured in early 2012, to which a second for $231,000 was added in January of 2013.
Within three months of securing the second the first mortgage was in foreclosure. Construction on the project then stalled and an unknown artist painted a plea:
Yesterday, 3066 Market Street sold for $951,000 in cash on the courthouse steps having been bid up from an opening at $736,950.42 as four parties competed according to a plugged-in tipster.
We'll keep you posted and let you know if the winning bidder is more "savy" than the last. Regardless, construction should soon re-commence and "us" should be pleased, so pass it along.
Designs For Mid-Market Building To Replace Den Of Adult Activities
The design for the proposed 8-story building to replace the adults-only Market Street Cinema incorporates boxed windows spanning multiple floors to create strong vertical lines across its Market Street façade and materials to match the context of the street.
The Planning Department's reaction to the preliminary design and a peek at the building’s proposed Stevenson Street façade which is a bit more dynamic:
The Planning Department agrees in principle with the project architect’s analysis and objectives of contextual response, and urges adding some of the energy and dynamism of the Stevenson façade into the Market Street expression while retaining the references to the context.
At the same time the Planning Department urges a stronger and more clearly defined base, middle, and top. The offset columnation of the façade to create a base, middle, and top may need to be augmented to give a deeper mottled and textured façade. The Planning Department recommends incorporating stronger horizontal architectural differentiation between the ground floor and second story levels, and at the roof termination. Consider using architectural detailing, such as a belt course or cornice, at the ground floor ceiling height to help frame the pedestrian space of the sidewalk.
The function of the thin ’brise-soleils’ are unclear, and may need further clarification. Any element on Market Street should be given some heft.
The Planning Department recommends more be done to modulate and articulate the façade at the intermediate scale. A building on Market that neighbors other buildings of stature should incorporate materials that relate to the scale or relate to other historic qualities that impart texture or craft of detail or material. Consider creating an intermediate scale by using window groupings, with deep reveals, intermediate spandrels, and further subdivision of windows by mullions.
The aforementioned Stevenson Street façade which includes the entrance to the development's proposed condos, parking garage, and bar:
15-Story Mission Bay Hotel Slated For 2016 Opening And Four Stars
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]
January 15, 2014
Mid-Market Rent Reductions: NEMA Drops A Few Dollars
When NEMA first started pre-leasing its North Tower units at Market and Tenth in early December, studios were priced starting at $2,575 per month for a 463-square-foot unit while one-bedrooms were priced starting from $3,450 per month for 691 square feet.
As of this morning, 486-square-foot one bedrooms in the North Tower are now available starting at $2,510 while a 752-square-foot one-bedroom can be had for $3,403 per month on the ninth floor.
January 14, 2014
Plans For Condos To Replace Prominent Mid-Market Porn Complex
Having drafted plans to raze the Market Street Cinema at 1075 Market Street and construct an 8-story building the site of the former "adult entertainment complex," the San Francisco-based Encore Housing Opportunity Fund is in contract to buy the site from Harry Mohney and the Forbes family according to the Business Times.
The preliminary plans for the Mid-Market development include between 90 and 99 condos over 7,500 square feet of street-level retail and 24 parking spaces on the parcel which is zoned for buildings up to 90 feet in height. The units would be a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two's catering to the "creative, bike-centric workers filling office buildings in the neighborhood."
While the demolition of movie theaters in San Francisco is regulated and restricted, the controls do not apply to "Adult Theaters." As such, the Planning Department has requested "evidence to clarify the history of this property as it relates to theater and/or adult entertainment uses," perhaps a few select pictures or the like.
8 Octavia Topped Out, Condos On Track For Summer Completion
The modern 47-unit building under construction at the intersection of Octavia and Market has topped out and 8 Octavia is on track to be ready for occupancy this summer.
Plans For Four Stories In The Avenues And A Neighbor Is Appalled
As proposed, the little two-story building with two small dwelling units and a bit of commercial space on the northwest corner of Clement Street and 26th Avenue will be razed, the parcel will be divided, and two four-story buildings will rise on the site.
The proposed buildings include a 45-foot-tall building fronting Clement Street with three dwelling units and four parking spaces over a ground floor commercial space and a 40-foot building fronting 26th Avenue with another three dwelling units and parking spaces.
While San Francisco’s Planning Department recommends the development be approved as proposed, a neighbor vehemently disagrees and demands the application for "such a monstrous design constructed for nothing more than profit" be aborted.
From the "beyond appalled" neighbor to the planner overseeing the project:
I am writing in regards to the above cited address and application. I am beyond appalled that this Building Department would even consider entertaining such a monstrous design constructed for nothing more than profit without consideration for the pre-existing dwellings and families surrounding it. The individual who has submitted this permit has one goal in mind - to reap the greatest amount of personal benefit from this lot without regard for those who have resided next to it for decades.
As the immediate neighbor at 2510 Clement Street, a Four Story Building on my Eastern side would literally knock my lights out. With three stories towering above my one story home – I would NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. It would not only take away my natural light and place an end to my gardening but cut off my air flow. The size and structure of the building would also tower and overshadow 2512, 2514 as well as 2518 Clement Street which are all TWO story buildings, as is the neighboring building on 26th Avenue. These buildings are homes of long time residents of San Francisco, some with children and others are senior citizens. We deserve respect and consideration.
From the start, Ms. Mary Tom, has vehemently refused to work with the adjacent property owners in designing a building that would be financially beneficial to her as well as respectful to those of us around her. She has gone so far as to up the initial plans for two three story buildings and added an additional fourth story to her permit. There are no words to describe my disgust at this vulgar lack of consideration.. I demand this permit be aborted.
I will be looking forward to hearing from you.
San Francisco's Planning Commission is slated to review the application tomorrow afternoon.
UPDATE: Another perspective on the project site which might shine some light on the situation and help explain the neighbor's ire:
January 13, 2014
Measure To Limit Waterfront Building Heights Summarized
The petition for the proposed Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Act which would prohibit increasing the existing building height limits for any parcel along 7-1/2 miles of San Francisco's waterfront unless explicitly approved by the City's voters is in the process of being circulated.
The sponsors of the measure to limit building heights have until February 3, 2014 to gather and submit 9,702 valid signatures in order to qualify the measure for the June ballot.
The official summary and background for the measure and what it would prevent/require:
The City and Country of San Francisco, through its Port Commission, owns and controls about 7-1/2 miles of the San Francisco waterfront along the San Francisco Bay. That property includes piers, land near the piers, and land on the west side of The Embarcadero roadway. The City holds most of its waterfront in public trust for the benefit of the State’s people, and this public trust restricts the allowable uses of that property. In 1990 the City’s voters adopted Proposition H, which required the City to prepare a comprehensive waterfront land use plan with maximum feasible public input. Consistent with Proposition H and the public trust requirements, the Port Commission adopted a comprehensive land use plan that governs acceptable waterfront uses. The City’s zoning laws regulate development of buildings and other structures on that property, including the maximum allowed height. Generally, changes in the height limit require approval of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
This measure would prevent any City agency or office from permitting development on the waterfront to exceed the height limit in effect as of January 1, 2014, unless the City’s voters approve the height limit increase. The measure defines "waterfront" as public trust property that the State transferred to the City to be placed under the control of the San Francisco Port Commission, as well as any other property that the Port owns or controls as of January 1, 2014 or later acquires. This measure also would require that the ballot question on a measure to increase height limits on any part of the waterfront specify both the existing and proposed height limits.
If the measure is passed, not only would the proposed 125-foot-tall arena for the Warriors upon San Francisco's Pier 30-32 need to be approved by voters, but also the development of the Giants' proposed Mission Rock neighborhood along with a number of other waterfront developments in the works.
Site Prep For Redesigned 400-Foot Tower On Fremont Is Underway
With the clock ticking and nine days to spare before their construction permit would have expired, UDR has started preparing the Rincon Hill parcel at 399 Fremont Street for the redesigned 400-foot residential tower to rise on the site with 452 units over parking for 238 cars and 150 bikes.
A permit to erect the construction crane for the tower has been triaged and is pending.
∙ The Clock Is Ticking For This 400-Foot Tower On Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
∙ 399 Fremont: Interim Plans Set To Bloom For The Californian Site [SocketSite]
∙ 399 Fremont Scoop: Redesigned And Pursuing Construction Permits [SocketSite]
Historic Potrero Hill Convalescent Home Probably Going Condo
With the owner retiring, the 42-bed Mission Bay Convalescent Hospital at 331 Pennsylvania Avenue will be shuttered on February 24 and the historic Potrero Hill property will be sold.
While a buyer has yet to be identified, according to The Potrero View and the broker handling the sale, it's "probably condos" in the works.
Designed by Frederick H. Meyer, the three-story concrete building was constructed by the Bethlehem Steel Company in 1916 and first served as the Union Iron Works Hospital.
January 10, 2014
$45 Million For Redevelopment Of Hunters View Phase II
With the rebuilding of San Francisco’s Hunters View public housing development having kicked-off in 2010, a resolution authorizing the financing for phase two is slated to be approved next week.
Up to $45,000,000 of residential mortgage revenue bonds will be issued to finance the construction of 107 affordable housing units and a small park on Blocks 7 and 11 along West Point Road:
Specifically, Block 7 will include 50 units, with both apartments and row houses due to the steep topography. There will be 4 fully accessible flats, 23 adaptable flats, 1 “supervisitable” and 2 “visitable” row houses [for disabled tenants]. Also, there will be three 3-story buildings, one 5-story building and a central courtyard area.
Block 11 will include 57 units—7 row houses and 50 apartment homes. Five of the flats will be fully accessible, and 43 flats will be adaptable. One row house will be “supervisitable.” Interior courtyard space will be activated by podium-level planters and plots for individual gardens and gathering spaces between buildings. There will be 53 podium level parking spaces provided in both Blocks 7 and 11.
Eighty (80) of the new units will be offered to households with incomes below 80% of the Area Median Income, twenty-six (26) will be set aside for households with incomes at or below 50% of the area median, and one will be occupied by an on-site manager.
∙ Hunters View Housing Design: Blocks 7 & 11 [ptarc.com]
January 9, 2014
The Landmark Loophole And Plan To Convert The SF Design Center
A plan to convert over two-thirds of the San Francisco Design Center at 2 Henry Adams Street from designer showroom space to general office use is in the works, a use which is currently disallowed as the 330,000 square foot building is zoned for Production, Distribution & Repair (PDR).
While the planned conversion flies in the face of a key objective of San Francisco's recently adopted Showplace Square/Potrero Hill Area Plan, a plan which actively seeks to preserve the supply of PDR space within the district and city, there is a landmark loophole.
As we first reported last year, another key objective of the Showplace Square/Potrero Hill Area Plan 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 were planning to seek a Landmark Designation for the building which would clear the way for its conversion.
The owners of 2 Henry Adams have since formally filed their request to initiate a landmark designation for the building which was built for the Dunham, Carrigan & Hayden Company in 1915 and served as the corporate offices, warehouse and distribution facility for the company, a wholesale steel and hardware importer/distributor.
Next week, San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission is slated to consider the request to landmark the building with a preliminary recommendation to initiate the designation.
Tenants In Illegally Converted Mid-Market Building Suing To Stay
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.
January 7, 2014
A Giant Elk Paid $5,550,000 For The Noe Valley Firehouse No. 44
Briefly on the market for $5,250,000 this past September, the converted Noe Valley Firehouse at 3816 22nd Street quickly sold for $5,550,000 or $955 per square foot and the buyer was an extinct giant elk.
Okay, so the buyer wasn't actually an extinct giant elk but rather the "Megaloceros, LLC," behind which the identity of the person financing the purchase was hidden. And while we're not going to name the veiled buyer, we will note that he is a tech entrepreneur but didn't make his money in any IPO, but rather by selling his startups to larger companies, none of which included Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Google nor Apple.
Having first hit the market in 2008 with a price tag of $6,375,000, the seller of Firehouse 44 paid $4,050,000 for the property in 2011 and appears to have remodeled a bit, but not much, between.
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):
Development Of 270 Brannan Slated For Second Quarter Start
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.
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.
Rezoning A Landmark To Enable Development Elsewhere
Sitting on a Mid-Market parcel which is zoned for building up to 120 feet in height, a reader worries that a zoning change in the works for 133-135 Golden Gate Avenue upon which the St. Boniface Church and Rectory sits could be a precursor to plans for razing the landmark church in order to make way for more "cookie cutter condos."
Fear not Landmark lovers nor proponents of density either, the proposed zoning change for the St. Boniface Church and Rectory site is simply intended to allow the church to sell off the development rights associated with the parcel's potential, allowing another site in the San Francisco to be developed with greater density but not any additional height, per se.
January 6, 2014
Will San Francisco's Planning Commission Just Do It For Nike?
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.
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."
SF Arena Threat: The Waterfront Height Limit Right To Vote Act
A few of the forces behind the successful No Wall on The Waterfront ballot measure which stopped the development of 8 Washington Street in its tracks are working on another measure which would prohibit increasing the existing maximum building height limit for any parcel along San Francisco's waterfront unless explicitly approved by the voters.
Aiming to be included on the June ballot and currently being processed, petitioners for the proposed Waterfront Height Limit Right to Vote Act should soon start appearing on a corner near you.
The existing height limit for San Francisco's Pier 30-32 upon which the Golden State Warriors would like to build their 125-foot tall arena is 40 feet.
Hines Preparing Application To Build 16-Story Rincon Hill Tower
Hines is preparing to formally file their application to demolish the two-story Factory club at 525 Harrison Street and construct a 16-story residential building on the Rincon Hill parcel:
As we first reported in May, the preliminary design called for 184 units over 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail (which could possibly be configured as a leasing office for the wedge shaped building at the corner of Harrison and Essex) and up to 164 stacked parking spaces on the site.
Hines will present their plans to interested neighbors on-site tomorrow evening at six.
January 3, 2014
Shorenstein’s Proposed Mid-Market Development Rendered
While Shorenstein’s proposed "Mid-Market" development between Jones and Taylor would rise a slender twelve stories along Market Street, the majority of the 301-unit building would rise an effective 14 stories on the parking lot behind which slopes up Jones to Golden Gate Avenue.
Along Golden Gate Avenue, the Arquitectonica designed facade would rise 13 stories from the street with the majority of the ground floor proposed for "active use" but currently undefined:
In addition to a proposed 112 underground parking spaces for cars, the designs for the 1066 Market Street development includes a secured room with space to park 310 bikes.
January 2, 2014
Short-Sited Plans For Mission Street Between Seventh And Tenth?
The south side of Mission Street between 7th and 10th Streets was "orphaned" by recent planning efforts in the area, slipping between the cracks of the Mid-Market, Market and Octavia, and Western SoMa plans.
As proposed and sponsored by Supervisor Kim, the parcels on the south side of Mission Street between 7th and 9th Streets will be absorbed into the East SoMa Plan while those to west of 9th Street will be adopted by the Market and Octavia Plan.
Despite the fact that San Francisco is currently facing a housing and office space crunch, for the most part the parcels will remained zoned for buildings of no more than 65 feet in height along one of San Francisco's busiest corridors with easy access to public transportation, flat streets for bicycling, and which is adjacent to the City's booming Mid-Market hub.
December 31, 2013
Plans For Another Twelve-Story Mid-Market/Tenderloin Tower
Shorenstein Properties has filed preliminary plans to build a 12-story residential building designed by Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica on a parcel which fronts Market Street between Jones and Taylor but is primarily the parking lot on the southeast corner of Jones and Golden Gate Ave.
The proposed 1066 Market Street development includes 301 apartments with 111 two-bedrooms, 55 one-bedrooms, and the rest a mix of studios and "junior ones" according to the Business Times.
In addition to the apartments, preliminary plans include 2,000 square feet of new retail space along Market Street and 3,500 square feet of (legal) "active use" along Golden Gate Avenue and Jones. Parking for 112 cars would be built underground.
December 30, 2013
Demo Approved But Permit To Build 40-Story Tower Suspended
As we reported in September, "with the one-year extension to start work on the 40-story residential building approved to rise at 340 Fremont Street set to expire in two months, the building permit for the 348-unit development has yet to be approved but it is making its way through Planning with the demolition permit to clear the site for construction awaiting a few signatures as well."
Today, the demolition permit to clear the site for the 40-story tower to rise at 340 Fremont Street was approved and it would appear that they're getting ready to rubble. That being said, having been issued last month, the permit to actually build the tower has been appealed and suspended.
A Big End Of Year Sale In Premiere Pacific Heights
Listed for $11,250,000 this past March and reduced to $10,250,000 in September, the sale of the Pacific Heights home at 2666 Broadway "with Distinctive Artisan Finishes" closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $8,650,000 or roughly $1,750 a square foot.
Originally designed by William Wurster and purchased in great condition by a New York based Internet entrepreneur for $4,700,000 in November 2011, the Pacific Heights home was rebuilt over the course of a year at an undisclosed cost of "about four times what [the buyer] was quoted."
December 27, 2013
Plans For 12-Story Building Could Transform A Tenderloin Block
Having been banned from the church for being disruptive, a protester has been stationed outside the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist’s building at 450 O'Farrell Street on a near daily basis for over a year, accusing the Church of having turned a blind eye to the boarded-up property it owns next door, "leaving hard drugs, blight, and homelessness to dominate its state" and surroundings.
Perhaps due in part to the protesting, but more likely driven by the Mid-Market boom which is spilling over into the Tenderloin, the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist has quietly drawn up plans to raze its columned church and adjacent boarded-up storefronts and construct a twelve-story building in their place, rising 130 feet with 97 individual dwelling units and 74 group housing units over a new 10,000-square-foot church, 6,000 square feet of retail, and 100 parking spaces.
December 26, 2013
SoMa Rising: Plans For Up To Fifty New Units On Folsom Street
Plans to largely demolish the auto repair shop at 1465 Folsom Street and construct a five-story vertical addition with between forty (40) and fifty (50) new dwelling units have been submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for their preliminary review and reaction.
As proposed, the five-story addition would be setback from the existing building's facades on Folsom and Juniper and the ground floor of the development would become 3,384 square feet of commercial space along Folsom Street, a bit of interior open space, and a 28-space garage.
December 24, 2013
The Economics Of Urban Trees
As part of the due diligence for San Francisco's Urban Forest Plan, an inventory and accounting for 24,858 publicly managed "street trees" was conducted. And while the math is a little fuzzy, especially when it comes to the socioeconomic benefits, each tree was estimated to contribute just under $160 a year in benefits to the community at large.
A breakdown of the estimated economic benefits and accounting per tree:
1. [The 24,858 inventoried] trees reduce electricity and natural gas use in their neighborhoods through shading and climate effects; a benefit totaling $257,418, an average of $10.36 per tree.
2. [The inventoried trees] sequester 1,173 tons of atmospheric CO2 per year. An additional 626 tons is circumvented through decreased energy use, resulting in a net value of $24,691.45 and an average of $0.99 per tree.
3. Trees improve air quality through the absorption and deposition of chemical pollutants. The trees in this inventory remove 5,089 lbs of Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide and particulate matter (PM10) annually for an estimated benefit to the City of $53,360 each year. [Editor's Note: Biogenic volatile organic compound emissions, especially from Redflower gums, offsets the total air quality benefit by $79,866, for an annual net cost of $0.53 per tree.]
4. San Francisco’s inventoried trees intercept an estimated 19.2 million gallons of storm water annually for a total value of $1,999,994 per year, an average of $80.46 per tree.
5. The total annual benefits contributed by San Francisco's inventoried trees to property value increases, aesthetics, and socioeconomic value are approximately $1.7 million, an average of $67.52 per tree.
On the expense side, it was estimated that the City of San Francisco currently spends roughly $900,000 per year to maintain the inventoried trees, an average of just over $36 per tree. An accounting for the private investment to maintain the city's inventory of trees, in terms of time and money, was not included as part of the study.
San Francisco Officially Bids For Another America's Cup
In a letter to sent to Oracle Team USA's CEO yesterday, Mayor Ed Lee has officially expressed San Francisco's interest in hosting the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, but with a few changes.
As proposed, the America’s Cup Park and Pavilion would return to Pier 27-29 and the teams would be based upon Pier 27-29 as well rather than on Pier 30-32. Marina Green would once again serve as the secondary venue for Cup viewing and concessions.
The City would like the months-long schedule for the Cup to be condensed and is not offering any development rights nor long-term transfers of real estate as part of their proposal.
Race organizers are expected to pick the host city for the 35th America's Cup by March 1, 2014.
December 23, 2013
Presentation Of Proposals For Presidio Redevelopment Set
With the National Park Service having expressed their serious concerns about George Lucas' proposed Cultural Arts Museum and strongly recommending that the Presidio Trust defer any decisions with respect to redeveloping the Presidio's former Commissary and current Sports Basement site for several years, the Presidio Trust Board of Directors meeting to review the revised proposals for the Mid-Crissy Field site ought to be a lively affair.
The public meeting and presentation has been scheduled for January 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm.
December 19, 2013
Four-Story Marina Building Approved To Rise
The proposed four-story building to be built on the south side of Lombard between Pierce and Scott has been approved to rise with 21 market rate dwelling units over ground floor retail and parking.
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):
December 18, 2013
Sustainable Tower, Affordable Mid-Rise, And Retail Break Ground
The ground has been broken for a 32-story tower, mid-rise building, and townhomes to rise on Transbay Block 6 along Folsom between Fremont and Beale. Retail will line the street.
In addition to 409 market-rate apartments in the tower at Folsom and Fremont and the townhomes along Clementina Alley, the Transbay Block 6 development includes an 8-story building at the corner for Folsom and Beale which is being developed by Mercy Housing and will provide 70 units of affordable housing. Another 77 affordable units will be built on the north side of Clementina Alley between Femont and Beale on Transbay Block 7.
Designed to be LEED Gold certified, sustainable features of the Block 6 development include solar thermal panels, a resident-controlled cross ventilation system, and community gardens on the ground level, rooftops and balconies with "sky parks" on every third floor:
The Transbay Block 6 development is expected to be ready for occupancy in December 2015.
December 17, 2013
San Francisco's Housing Pipeline Breaks The 50,000 Unit Mark
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]
December 16, 2013
Lucas' Proposed Presidio Museum Panned By National Park Service
The Presidio Trust’s primary partner, the National Park Service, has just reiterated its concerns with the Trust's plans to redevelop the Presidio’s Commissary site across from Crissy Field and is strongly recommending that the Trust defer any decision for several years "to allow the site to develop in a more comprehensive, thoughtful, integrated, and planned manner."
The National Park Service has also expressed "serious concerns about the programmatic fit of the Lucas proposal," regardless of its architecture and design.
"From the information that has been presented to the public to date, we believe the program of the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum has no genuine or substantive connection to the themes or programs of Crissy Field or the Main Post, or to other Presidio-connected themes that extend far beyond the boundaries of the post. While the programs of the proposed museum seem interesting, the museum’s offerings could be located anywhere; therefore, the museum does not merit one of the most important sites in the entire Presidio. The Trust’s own “Request for Proposal” spoke to the “Power of Place” as a primary theme: the Lucas proposal has no concrete reference to or interpretation of the Presidio."
The full letter to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors which was sent this past Thursday from Frank Dean, General Superintendent of the National Park Service:
Dear Trust Board Members:
We are proud to partner with the Presidio Trust in management of the lands, stories, and themes that comprise the Presidio. We have been pleased that the Presidio Trust has looked to the National Park Service for advice on the future use of the Commissary site. Because this site is located in a uniquely central position - precisely at the connection point between the NPS-managed lands of Crissy Field, and the Trust-managed Main Post - our interest in the right choice for the Commissary is very strong.
We appreciate that the Trust Board has at least temporarily delayed reaching a decision on the future use of the Commissary site. However, we must again express our strong recommendation, echoed by many others, that the Trust defer any decision for several years to allow the site to develop in a more comprehensive, thoughtful, integrated, and planned manner.
As we conveyed in our September 23, 2013 letter, the national landmark designation of the Presidio - and especially this site - deserves a use that relates to the Presidio’s mission and values and that fits seamlessly within the surrounding parklands. The proper stewardship of the Presidio merits taking a long view. The Presidio Trust should not rush a decision of this importance, especially if there is a lack of public consensus and if obvious controversy exists. With the many improvements already approved and planned, such as the new tunnel top parklands and the Presidio visitor center, there is wisdom in allowing these new uses to settle in before selecting a major new use and tenant for the Commissary site.
In our earlier letter we outlined what we believe are critical questions that should be addressed by the project proponents. The key questions related to programmatic and architectural fit. They were framed to insure that any future use of the site would enhance its national park values, become part of a carefully crafted continuity of programs that illuminate the Presidio’s cultural and natural themes, and respect important design guidelines and standards.
We are aware that the Trust has raised serious issues regarding the architectural design and scale of the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum. But architecture aside, we have serious concerns about the programmatic fit of the Lucas proposal - something that is of paramount importance to us.
From the information that has been presented to the public to date, we believe the program of the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum has no genuine or substantive connection to the themes or programs of Crissy Field or the Main Post, or to other Presidio-connected themes that extend far beyond the boundaries of the post. While the programs of the proposed museum seem interesting, the museum’s offerings could be located anywhere; therefore, the museum does not merit one of the most important sites in the entire Presidio. The Trust’s own “Request for Proposal” spoke to the “Power of Place” as a primary theme: the Lucas proposal has no concrete reference to or interpretation of the Presidio.
As you know, we have been working hard – together – to provide a cohesive visitor experience from the future Heritage Center on the south end of the Main Post to Crissy Field and its array of recreational activities and the acclaimed youth and family programs of the Crissy Field Center. We feel that only a use that enhances the opportunity to build the thematic and programmatic connections that NPS and the Trust have been working closely together for years to achieve should be selected for the site.
We offer these additional comments out of a desire to make certain the decision of the Trust Board is clearly informed by the perspective of the Trust’s primary partner at the Presidio, the National Park Service. To reiterate a point from our September letter, we commend the Trust for the openness of the very public process you have employed in reaching this very challenging decision. We request that you continue this openness throughout the rest of the process.
As it stands, revised proposals for redeveloping the Presidio’s former Commissary and current Sports Basement site across from Crissy Field are due on January 17, 2014 with the Trust Board having originally planned to indicate a direction for the Mid-Crissy Field site soon thereafter.
Designs For A Second Bayfront Ballpark To Save The Oakland A's
With a legal settlement having opened the doors for the redevelopment of Oakland's 50-acre Howard Terminal site just north of Jack London Square and the Golden State Warriors pushing forward with plans to relocate to San Francisco, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan appears to be backing away from plans for a 750-acre "Coliseum City" for the Oakland A's, Raiders, and Golden State Warriors and backing Clorox chairman and CEO Don Knauss and former Dreyer's head honcho T. Gary Rogers who are spearheading the push to develop the Howard Terminal site with designs for a 38,000-seat waterfront ballpark in an effort to keep the A’s in Oakland.
The Save the A's effort also includes at least two other prominent figures, development consultant Doug Boxer (son of Sen. Barbara Boxer) and Mike Ghielmetti, whose Signature Development Group wants to turn Oakland's Brooklyn Basin into housing, retail shops and parks.
The idea is to entice A's owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff to join the plan - or, failing that, to get Major League Baseball to see Oakland as a viable spot for a new ballpark and kill the A's hopes of moving to San Jose once and for all.
About a mile from BART's existing West Oakland and 12th Street stations, backers of the proposed $500 million Howard Terminal ballpark believe another BART station could be added a couple of blocks from the terminal, along the tracks above Fourth Street. And in addition to the ballpark, the site could support over 30 acres of other development and uses.
All that being said, A's co-owner Lew Wolff has characterized the redevelopment of Howard Terminal for the A's as "as close to impossible as anything."
December 13, 2013
Tweaks To Activate Mission Rock's Streets And Neighborhood
As we noted yesterday when we first reported the accelerated timing for the Giants' proposed Mission Rock development upon their Parking Lot A and adjacent Pier 48, while the development's 2,300 space parking garage had originally been designed to abut Third Street at the southern edge of the site, a narrow building is now proposed to be built between the garage and Third with 50,000 square feet of commercial space over 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail.
The 790,000 square foot garage which would rise up to 100-feet high on the remainder of Parcel D would include 15,000 square feet of retail on its ground floor as well.
Another subtle tweak to the Mission Rock plan, an interior shared public way one block east of Third, extending between Bosque and Exposition Streets:
This shared public way, which would prioritize pedestrians over bicycles and automobiles, would consist of a single shared paved surface with no curbs or gutters. Automobiles would be able to access it from the adjoining streets via curb-cuts similar to a typical driveway. The prioritized pedestrian right-of-way would be delineated through the placement of street furniture and landscaping. The shared public right-of-way would make it possible for adjoining retail or restaurants to utilize the street sidewalks for outdoor seating and retail space, with vehicular access limited primarily to deliveries, drop-offs/pick-ups or emergency vehicles.
The shared public way would be closed to all vehicles, except emergency, when games or other major events were scheduled at the ballpark.
From Failed Bites To Building Up On Lombard Street A Bit
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.
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:
On the agenda for San Francisco's Planning Commission next week, the Planning Department recommends the project be approved as proposed.
December 12, 2013
Transbay Block 8 Attracts Who’s Who Of Developers And Architects
The City of San Francisco cancelled their initial request for proposals to develop Transbay Block 8 back in 2009 when bids for the one-acre parcel fronting Folsom between First and Fremont came in well below expectations and without much buzz or interest.
Having issued a new request for proposals last month, the pre-submittal meeting for teams interested in bidding on the opportunity to build a 550-foot tower and over 700 residential units on Block 8 attracted a who’s who of developers, including, but not limited to: AGI Capital (think Transbay Block 9), Avalon Bay, Crescent Heights (NEMA), Golub (Transbay Block 6/7), Hines (Transbay Tower), Related (1601 Mariposa), Tishman Speyer (LUMINA) and Toll Brothers.
In terms of architects, representatives from Architectronica, Fougeron Architecture, Handel Architects, Heller Manus, HKS, Kennerly Architecture, SCB and SOM were in attendance amongst others.
Proposals and designs for developing Transbay Block 8 are due by February 26, 2014.
Modern Hayes Valley Development Breaks Ground, Opening 2014
DDG and DM Development have just broken ground on 400 Grove Street, the modern 34-unit Hayes Valley development designed by Fougeron Architecture to rise at the corner of Grove and Gough Streets.
Reaching a maximum height of five stories, the 400 Grove Street building includes a little over 2,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space on the corner and 17 off-street residential parking spaces with access on Grove. The building should open in late 2014.
Proposal To Immediately Revitalize San Francisco's Pier 38 Picked
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.
Timing For Giants' Massive Mission Rock Development Moved Up
The target timing for the Giants' massive Mission Rock development has been moved up by a year with work on the first phase, which includes a tower up to 320 feet in height, now slated to commence in 2015. Click the map of the development with building heights and uses to enlarge.
Phase 1 of the Mission Rock development includes parcels A, B, and C along Third Street and a 2,300 space parking garage at the corner of Third and Mission Rock (parcel D). While the redevelopment of Pier 48 upon which Anchor Brewing is planning to build another brewery had tentatively been scheduled for Phase 4, it has been accelerated and split between phases 1 and 2. Phase 1 could be ready for occupancy in 2018.
The construction of Phase 2 which includes parcels G and K and the five-acre China Basin Park is now slated to commence in 2016 with occupancy by 2019. Construction of Phase 3 which includes parcels E and F and Mission Rock Square would commence in 2017 and be ready in 2020 with a residential tower rising up to 380 feet in height.
The final phase of the Giants' Mission Rock development includes parcels H, I and J with construction now slated to commence in 2018 and occupancy in 2021, a year earlier than originally projected.
Fully developed, the Mission Rock project will yield up to 1.6 million square feet of commercial space, up to 1,500 residential units, and between 150,000 and 250,000 square feet of retail/entertainment use with retail planned to be included on the lower floors of each building, including the Third Street frontage of the parking garage.
December 11, 2013
Offer Date For High-End Noe Home Comes And Goes, Reduced
Listed for $3,400,000 on November 10 with "Offers Due" at 1pm on November 21, the high-end Noe Valley home at 1612 Church Street remains on the market and its list price has been reduced by 9 percent to $3,095,000. A new due date hasn't been listed for the home.
Alta Vista School Drafts Plans To Double In Size
The Alta Vista School moved from 3,500 square feet of start-up space in 2012 to a one-acre Portola campus at 450 Somerset Street with a three-story school building of 23,000 square feet, a two-car garage, and a paved play yard which doubles as parking for the adjacent church.
With a current enrolment of around 160 students, the school has drafted plans to raze the garage along Wayland and construct a second three-story building of 21,000 square feet on the site with classrooms, administrative space, and a landscaped green roof with open space for the students. The paved play yard would be reconfigured with play/sports areas, a garden and new landscaping. A parking pad for six cars would be provided at the rear of the site.
With the proposed addition, the Alta Vista School would be able to accommodate an enrolment of up to 420 students.
December 10, 2013
Due Date And Decision For Mid-Crissy Field Plans Pushed Back
While revised proposals for redeveloping the Presidio’s former Commissary and current Sports Basement site across from Crissy Field were originally due on January 3, the deadline has been pushed back by two weeks to January 17, 2014.
The date for the Presidio Trust’s public Board Meeting to discuss the revised proposals remains unscheduled and the reference to the Trust Board indicating a direction for the Mid-Crissy Field site in January has just been removed from the Presidio Trust’s timeline.
Redesigning The Heart Of Chinatown (Portsmouth Square)
Originally a dirt plaza that served as the civic and commercial hub of the settlement of Yerba Buena and the site of San Francisco's first City Hall, Portsmouth Square along Kearny Street between Washington and Clay has evolved into the unofficial "heart of Chinatown."
Nestled amidst office towers and neighborhood shops, Portsmouth Square provides a much-needed relief from the crush of people on nearby streets – Chinatown is the most densely-populated urban area west of Manhattan, and accessible parks and open spaces are in limited supply. The Square provides a gathering space where residents can build a sense of community through an array of cultural, recreational and social activities – everything from tai chi and Chinese line dance lessons, to informal socializing with neighbors, to active play at the playgrounds, to afternoon card games. In addition to the critical role the square serves for local residents, Portsmouth Square continues to attract visitors from around the region and the world, hosting frequent walking tours, festivals, and other special events.
Last redesigned in the 1980’s, Portsmouth Square and the buffer blocks from Sacramento to Jackson are about to be "reimagined" by San Francisco's Planning and Recreation and Parks Departments with a goal of creating "an enhanced public space and streetscape that is dynamic, multicultural, adaptable to diverse users and events, and reflective of local culture and history."
A feasibility study for the Portsmouth Square Area Project will be drafted over the first half of 2014 with concept designs to be developed in the second half of the year. A detailed design, review and approvals for the project are slated for delivery in 2015.
December 9, 2013
Panning (And Planning) For Liquid Gold On Hyde Street
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.
Plans For Rapid Transit Down Geary Boulevard Are Rolling Again
With the development of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) having been approved for Van Ness Avenue, the Transportation Authority's recommended plan for a Geary BRT line from Downtown San Francisco to the Outer Richmond will be presented to the public this evening at 6pm in the Richmond Recreation Center (251 18th Ave) and at 5:30pm on December 17 in the Main Library (100 Larkin).
The projected cost for Geary BRT is around $200 million with design and engineering currently slated to take until 2017 and construction a couple of years. The feasibility study for a Geary Corridor Bus Rapid Transit line was first adopted by the Transportation Authority Board in 2007.
The Second Church of Christ Scientist's Second Coming As Condos
A plan to raze the Second Church of Christ Scientist church on the southeast corner of Dolores and Cumberland and build a smaller church and eight dwelling units on the site was drafted back in 2006 but ran into a wall of neighborhood opposition and was never approved.
Having since been yellow-tagged by the City as an unreinforced masonry building which doesn’t meet current seismic standards, plans to reinforce the building and convert the vacant 22,000 square foot church into four residential units are moving forward with the Planning Department's recommendation that the proposed conversion be approved this week.
As we first reported about the proposed "Light House" project in September, new partition walls within the existing auditorium and mezzanine would divide the space for three of the new dwelling units while an all new penthouse level would be created by raising the suspended ceiling seven feet and adding a new 3,020 square foot floor beneath the dome:
As proposed, the existing surface parking lot behind the church would be converted into a landscaped garden and a four car garage would be constructed in the basement (click to enlarge).
The estimated construction cost for the conversion is "between $1,165,000 and $2,200,000" and will take nine months with projected occupancy in the spring of 2015 if approved.
Will See’s Succeed While Starbucks And Chipotle Were Rejected?
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]
December 6, 2013
Designs For Group Housing On Market Street 2.0
As we first reported last month, plans to raze the two-story FastFrame building on the northwest corner of Market and Gough and build a 7-story building with 42 "single room occupancy" units over 1,500 square feet of ground floor retail have been submitted to Planning for review.
While the Market Octavia plan requires 40 percent of all new developments in the area to be two-bedrooms, group housing is exempted from the rule. And with "limited individual kitchen facilities" in each of the 42 proposed
units rooms and a shared kitchen and gathering area, the 1700 Market Street project is positioned as group housing with market-rate rents.
The concept floor plans for the rooms which range in size from 280 to 530 square feet:
The proposed mezzanine level with the communal "group" kitchen, lounge and meeting room:
And the ground floor plan with parking for 25 bikes and no autos:
A shared 1,500 square foot roof deck would serve as the required open space for the building.
December 5, 2013
The Plan To Transform Central SoMa's Streets
Acknowledging that the existing Central SoMa transportation network isn't sufficient today, much less sufficient to support a potential doubling of residents and workers in the area as proposed, a plan to improve the network, streets, and environment for pedestrians in SoMa has been drafted.
The six key principles that guided the development of the draft plan:
1. Create a safe, convenient, attractive environment for pedestrians
2. Design transit routes to serve the area and improve performance
3. Improve bicycling conditions
4. Employ Transportation Demand Management Measures
5. Restrict curb cuts
6. Where and when necessary, accommodate regional and through traffic
Proposed improvements include a plethora of new mid-block crosswalks, wider sidewalks, cycle tracks and the redevelopment of Folsom Street as a civic boulevard as has long been proposed.
The Impact Study for the proposed transportation plan should be finalized by May of 2014 with a Draft Environmental Report for the project slated to be ready in September.
The Yellow Cab Cooperative Of San Francisco's Next Move
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]
Appeal Of Potrero Development Denied, Approval Finalized
Having sat underdeveloped since 2005, the development of 480 Potrero Avenue was approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this past August but then appealed two weeks later, an appeal which was denied by San Francisco's Board of Appeals last month.
Since a rehearing request was not filed within 10 calendar days of the Board's decision, the project approval for 480 Potrero Avenue became final on December 3.
As soon as a building permit is issued, construction on the six-story building rendered above with 75 new residential units over 970 square feet of ground-floor retail and 47 parking spaces at the corner of Potrero and Mariposa can now commence on the site.
December 4, 2013
San Francisco's Yellow Cab Cooperative Could Be Cashing Out
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.
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.
Food Emporium Proposed For Market And 15th Street Development
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.
A Luxury Two-Bedroom Dogpatch Loft For A Grand
A 712 square foot Potrero Launch two-bedroom loft with polished concrete floors, stainless steel appliances, barn style bedroom doors and a whole host of building amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi is now available for $1,078 per month. And yes, there's a catch or two.
As part of San Francisco's Below Market Rate (BMR) Affordable Housing Program, the income for the tenants of the Dogpatch two-bedroom cannot exceed 50% of the Area Median Income, a maximum household income of $40,500 for two people or $45,550 for three. At the same time, the minimum household income to qualify for apartment E305 is at least $32,340 a year.
Applications for the two-bedroom BMR are due on December 9 with a lottery to follow depending upon the number of applicants. A market-rate two-bedroom of 852 square feet is also available in the building at 2235 Third Street for $3,950 a month, no lottery needed, and a 360 square foot studio for $2,425 which is nine dollars less than average in San Francisco these days.
December 3, 2013
Plans And Timing For Pier 70's Historic Rehab Revealed
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Building Up Berkeley: "Higby" Is Breaking Ground
Gerding Edlen and the city of Berkeley will hold a ceremonial ground breaking for "Higby" this afternoon, a mixed-use development with 98 residential units and 6,500 square feet of ground floor restaurant and retail space to be built at 3015 San Pablo Avenue on the southeast corner of San Pablo and Ashby Avenue (a.k.a. 1200 Ashby).
While the final design is being refined, the development will rise five stories with a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two’s and 114 parking spaces (98 spaces for residents).
December 2, 2013
Planning To Chop The Clock Tower From Atop 200 California Street
The six-story building at the corner of California and Front was built as the headquarters for Home Savings of America in 1988, replacing a three-story building which had sat on the site since 1908 which replaced a two-story building on the site before.
Constructed in "a post-modern style common to that era" that "draws attention to itself, rather than blend in with the context" of the surrounding buildings, the owners of 200 California are now proposing to cut the clock tower from atop the building, add operable windows, and re-coat its exterior in order to reposition the building as one "that’s less identifiable by its decorative elements than by its occupants, retail presence, and location."
A Boxwood hedge around the perimeter of the roof and potted trees would aim to soften the edge of the roof parapet, but no public nor private rooftop space is proposed.
Kaiser’s Modern Mission Bay Building Slated For 2016 Opening
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."
Kaiser Permanente's Geary Campus Expansion Plan And Design
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.
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.
Zoned For 400 Feet In Height, 200 Feet Proposed For 300 California
The eight-story building at 300 California Street was constructed in 1946, rising 112 feet in height with 77 parking spaces for autos in an underground garage below. A plan to raze the building and build 20 stories on the site was proposed back in 1996 but abandoned.
On the boards since 2007, a plan to simply add four stories atop the existing building at the corner of California and Battery has been dusted-off, a plan which will bring the downtown building's height to 192 feet in an area zoned for the development up to 400.
A 1,200 square foot publicly-accessible rooftop garden would be built as part of the project.
As the expanded 300 California Street building and corner would look fully rendered:
San Francisco's Planning Department is recommending that the City's Planning Commission approve the four story addition as proposed this week.
November 27, 2013
Dorms For Developers In San Francisco?
While it was originally reported that Build Inc. was planning to build around 120 rental units on the half-acre SoMa parking lot which fronts 12th, Norfolk and Harrison Streets, plans for the construction of three six-story buildings with 235 group housing suites and up to 470 individual beds, common living areas and shared kitchens have been drafted for the 1532 Harrison Street site.
The full scoop on what’s being planned and the rendering for what has been proposed:
In total, the project would construct approximately 235 group housing "suites" designed for single or double occupancy which would be grouped into nine "houses" per building. Each house would each feature common kitchens, dining areas, living areas and balconies.
The individual suites would range in size from 227 to 409 square feet and include individual bathrooms, sinks, two-burner "kitchenettes" and balconies for suites above the first floor.
The three proposed buildings would rise up to 65 feet in height and be joined by a series of sky bridges over two mid-block alleys between 12th and Norfolk Streets.
In addition to the housing, just under 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space would be constructed at the northern edge of the project off Norfolk Street and at the corner of Harrison and 12th Streets (click the rendering above to enlarge).
The plans which will require Conditional Use Authorization from the Planning Commission to proceed include 480 underground parking spaces for bicycles and only one off-street parking space for car share as well as one space for a handicap van.
More Height And Housing In The Mission And Planning's Thoughts
Purchased for $1,300,000 three months ago, plans to demolish the auto repair shop at 1900 Mission Street on the corner of 15th and construct a six-story building with nine dwelling units, eight parking spaces, 650 square feet of ground floor retail and 1,670 feet of office space on the second floor have been quietly submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for review.
Finding that the use and massing are appropriate for the site in general, the Planning Department did provide the following comments with respect to the preliminary design:
The Planning Department appreciates the height given to the ground floor, and suggests that more could be done to allow that to be apparent. A means of achieving this may include reducing the depth of the horizontal band and adding height to the storefront. The horizontal banding at the top of the ground floor provides a strong base defining feature, however to augment the articulation of the facades, the ledge should not project further than approximately 6 inches.
In general, the repetitive elements along the Mission street façade should be executed with exceptional materials and detailing. While the bay spacing is extremely rigorous, some thought should be given to alternative spacing and groupings of the bays. The detailing should serve to further the architectural themes and impart scale and texture to all visible facades. Windows should be recessed from the exterior by a minimum of 2 inches.
Please consider adding functional aspects that contribute to the façade composition and details, such as Juliette balconies, and brise-soleils [and] consider using the bay projections to help terminate the building at the roof, perhaps incorporating the rhythm into the parapet system.
More should be made of the corner. The corner should receive an improved treatment other than the proposed opaque wall. The Planning Department recommends the corner be expressed with a distinct design treatment, differentiated from the body of the building, while still relating to the massing, proportions, and scale of the rest of the building. It may be desirable to combine the bays at the corner to achieve this effect. Alternatively, consideration could be given to emphasizing the Mission Street height and façade as a distinct architectural element, perhaps with more transparency and less austerity, which could achieve a similar effect.
The existing lease for the operators of the garage expires on March 31, 2014.
November 26, 2013
High Speed Rail Ruling Threatens Transbay Terminal Plan As Well
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny has ruled that California's High Speed Rail Authority cannot access the $9 billion in bonds that voters had approved for the HSR project back in 2008. While the ruling doesn’t kill HSR in California outright, it does drive a significant stake, or sharp tie, through the project's pocketbook. From the LA Times:
Kenny ruled that the state does not have a valid financing plan, which was required under the 2008 bond measure, Proposition 1A. The measure included provisions intended to ensure the state did not start the project if it did not have all of the necessary funds to complete a self-supporting, initial operating segment.
The state rail agency created a funding plan, but it was an estimated $25 billion short of the amount needed to complete a first working section of the line.
Kenny ruled that the state must rescind the plan and create a new one, a difficult task because the state High-Speed Rail Authority hasn't identified sources of additional revenue to allocate to the project.
In addition, Kenny ruled officials "made critical errors in approving the sale of the bonds" and declined to legally validate their sale but did refuse to grant a request to stop California's HSR project in its tracks or cancel construction contracts which have already been issued.
The state has argued it can use federal grant funds, which are not subject to the conditions of Proposition 1A, to start construction. But eventually the state will have to match federal grant funds. Without access to bond funds, the legislature would have to appropriate money from a different source.
The ruling doesn't only threaten California's High Speed Rail project but also the 1.4 mile extension of Caltrain from Forth and King to San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center, a billion-dollar-plus project which would have to be funded by the City and Caltrain if the dollars for HSR fall short.
November 25, 2013
The Final Map For 115 Miles Of Green Connections To Crisscross SF
The final map for 115 miles of walking and biking paths to crisscross San Francisco will be officially unveiled next week on December 4, along with the conceptual plans for the first six "Green Connections" in the Bayview, Chinatown, Potrero Hill, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley, and Western Addition neighborhoods.
As we first reported last year when the draft map and 25 proposed routes were announced, the goal of San Francisco's "Green Connections" project is to improve non-motorized access to San Francisco's parks, open space and waterfront by re-envisioning target City streets and paths as a network of 'green connectors' to be landscaped, traffic calmed, and improved for pedestrian and bicycle access over the next twenty years.
November 22, 2013
Clearing The Way For San Francisco's First Micro-Unit Building
Unless an appeal is filed within the next few hours, the permit to demolish the one-story building on the southwest corner of Mission and Ninth will be issued, clearing the way for San Francisco’s first micro-unit building to rise and be ready for occupancy in 2015.
Originally proposed as student housing, the 11-story building to be constructed at 1321 Mission Street and dubbed "SoMa Central" will have a total of 160 market-rate units, 120 of which will be so called micro-units with as little as 220 square feet of space.
And yes, that's 220 square feet in total, including the closets and bathroom.
Presidio Trust Punts On Mid-Crissy Plans But Remains Enthusiastic
Reaffirming its "strong commitment to accomplishing an outcome in the Mid-Crissy area that will protect the park and bring long-term benefit to the Presidio and its visitors," the Presidio Trust Board of Directors has exercised its option of "not necessarily selecting any team" to redevelop the former Commissary and current Sports Basement site across from Crissy Field and has asked the three finalists to revise and resubmit their proposals.
"The Board believes that there is tremendous thought, creativity, and potential in the proposals offered by the three finalists. The Board also understands that it holds the option of not necessarily selecting any team at this point. Such is the importance of the site that we take seriously our duty to do right by it, even if that means waiting. That said, we are very enthusiastic about the proposals, and appreciate the wonderful work that has gone into them, the generosity behind them, and the promise they hold for enhancing the Presidio.
We have sought to engage in a fair and open public process – from the development of the Mid-Crissy design guidelines, to the release, in November 2012, of the Request for Concept Proposals and the subsequent Request for Proposals. In the interest of transparency, the Board would like to share its observations at this point in the process."
Focusing on "achieving program clarity, ensuring the building's compatibility with the Presidio, and understanding how economic viability will be assured," the Board's observations and feedback for the three finalists to consider should they elect to revise and resubmit a proposal:
Feedback for The Bridge/Sustainability Institute Team:
An amazing architectural group has teamed up with a compelling programmatic visionary around the issues of sustainability. We agree with the proponents that sustainability is “perhaps the defining issue of our time,” and appreciate the blending of the physical building and the program in an effort to advance a holistic understanding of sustainability. We also see a clear connection between the sustainability issue and our work at the Presidio – in environmental restoration, historic preservation, environmental education, and financial sustainability. We are concerned, however, about the institutional capacity of the team to, without significant funds or fundraising help from the Trust, deliver and sustain the project financially. We encourage the WRNS/Chora team to bring more clarity to the question of who might fund the building and early programming, and what institution will be created to operate and sustain the Bridge. While the building is “light on the land,” it is also too large and we urge some consolidation of the building program.
Feedback Lucas Cultural Arts Museum (LCAM) Team:
The Board recognizes and appreciates both the generosity and opportunity represented in George Lucas’s offer to build a cultural arts museum in the Presidio. We are enthusiastic about the state-of-the-art exhibits, strong community programming, and notable art collection that is offered in the proposal. The Trust is particularly excited about the potential of exceptional educational programming to draw diverse audiences to the museum and the greater Presidio. Despite this, we have significant issues with the proposed building – its massing and height, and its architectural style – and believe should be redesigned to be more compatible with the Presidio. We would also like to understand more fully the potential role of the Trust in partnership with LCAM, particularly in creating programmatic connections that would add value to other park programs throughout the Presidio.
Feedback for the Presidio Exchange (PX) Team
There is no question about the level of expertise, design excellence and community engagement that the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy brings to each project it undertakes. The Presidio, and the broader Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is replete with examples of the Conservancy’s good work and of its ethos of partnership in the public interest. The Conservancy’s approach to programming at the PX – intended to be varied, flexible and relevant over time to park audiences – is fascinating. Yet, these attributes also make it harder to understand what the PX is truly striving for programmatically. What is the master narrative? Is there an overall theme, or focus, that can be better articulated so that the Trust will understand how PX programming will differ from/complement existing or planned programs, such as the Presidio Visitor Center, Heritage Center, and Crissy Field Center?
Revised proposals are due by January 3, 2014 with a public meeting to discuss the revisions to be scheduled for later that month. The Presidio Trust Board will indicate a direction for the Mid-Crissy site following the public meeting in January.
November 21, 2013
Plans For Two Jack London Square Towers And Nearly 700 Units
Having completed the first phase of its redevelopment of Oakland's Jack London Square in 2008, Ellis Partners' plan was to add a 120,000 square foot office/retail building at the corner of Broadway and Embarcadero and a 135,000 square foot office building on Embarcadero between Harrison and Alice. Instead, two residential towers with up to 665 units are now being proposed for phase two.
The new plan calls for "two housing towers of more than 20 stories" on the parcels and the city of Oakland appears to be supportive of the change from commercial to residential use, "as long as it activates the area and [they] become landmarks for the neighborhood."
San Francisco's Folsom Street Off-Ramp And Fremont Street Redesign
As you might have noticed, an Interstate 80 off-ramp currently runs through San Francisco’s Transbay Block 8, the site for a 550-foot residential tower to rise (click designs to enlarge).
In order to increase the size of the Block 8 parcel for the development of up to 740 housing units, the Folsom Street off-ramp will be reconfigured, converting the diagonal off-ramp into a straight off-ramp that ends at Fremont Street with construction slated to start in August 2014:
The existing Interstate 80 off-ramp splits into two different legs, directing traffic in two directions. The northbound Fremont Street leg enables vehicles to travel towards downtown San Francisco and has approximately four times the peak hour traffic as the Folsom Street leg.
[T]he realigned Folsom Street off-ramp will mirror the Fremont Street leg with a touchdown at 90 degrees with the intersection and a tight inside turning radius of 30’. When completed, the intersection will be signalized to allow pedestrians to perpendicularly cross the off-ramps on the west side of Fremont Street. The design of the new traffic signal will be prioritized for off-ramp traffic by remaining in the “green” phase, except when a pedestrian needs to cross.
The Folsom Street off-ramp realignment is scheduled to be finished by February 2015.
November 20, 2013
San Francisco's Transbay Block 8 And 550-Foot Tower Back In Play
Suspended back in 2009 when bids for the property came in "well below the potential value of the site in a healthier real estate market," San Francisco's Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure has just issued a new request for proposals to purchase and develop Transbay Block 8, the one-acre parcel fronting Folsom Street between First and Fremont.
Zoned for a 550-foot tower to rise on the site, the City is seeking proposals for "a high-density, residential project with approximately 740 units, 27 percent of which must be affordable to qualifying households, and ground-floor retail in multiple building types, including a 550-foot tower, townhouses, and podium buildings" as rendered in red above.
The Request For Proposals to develop Transbay Block 8 back in 2008 had targeted the development of 597 housing units on the site, nearly 20 percent fewer than is now being sought.
Lower Pacific Heights Triptych: The Past, Present, And Future
The two-story convalescent facility on the southwest corner of Bush and Divisadero Streets has been razed and they're clearing the way for the 81 residential units over 4,000 square feet of retail and 126 parking spots to rise up to 65 feet on the site.
November 19, 2013
That Bernal Heights Dwell-ing Fetches $1,197 Per Square Foot
The sale of the Bernal Heights Dwell-ing at 330 Banks Street closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $1,500,000 or roughly $1,197 per listed square foot.
As we first wrote about the property when it hit the market last month having been purchased out of foreclosure for $450,000 in 2011, completely remodeled, and then listed for $1,195,000: "The rafters have been exposed, the heat is now radiant through concrete and cork floors, and there's an excellent use of space (and light) throughout."
Is The Identity Of The Castro Under Threat?
With thousands of units under development or already opening their doors along Market Street, and "the impossibly hip Hayes Valley, Mission, and Noe Valley encroaching on all sides," a reader wonders if the identity of the Castro as the center of the Bay Area's LGBTQ scene is "under threat."
A reader eloquently responds:
Cities are living organisms and grow and change and morph. When I came to SF in 1977 the gay hood was Polk Street. This is where the majority of gay bars were, where Halloween took place, etc. And prior to the gay neighborhood being on Polk Street, it was on Broadway near Columbus (which at one time was the Latino immigrant neighborhood, as well as the Basque neighborhood).
Castro became the gay neighborhood when it was filled with cheap run down houses and the Irish homeowners were selling and moving to the burbs, and there was a large influx of gay men with enough money to buy, and a proclivity to improve property. With the advent of AIDs, a lot of vacancies opened up in the Castro, and straight families began moving in.
And yes, young people are settling in Oakland today because that is where the real estate opportunity is. If Oakland were a borough of SF like Brooklyn is a borough of NYC, no one would think anything of it. It is just a reflection of when SF stopped annexing that Oakland is a different city. I am not threatened at all.
Goodwill Selling Mission Street Site Zoned For 320-Foot Tower
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.
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.
November 18, 2013
Banning Tour Buses From Around Alamo Square While Allowing The Big Tech Shuttles To Roll. For Now.
On the agenda for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors tomorrow, a hearing to consider the two proposed options for restricting the operation of tour buses within San Francisco’s historic Alamo Square neighborhood which currently averages about a bus every 7.5 minutes during the day.
Option 1 would prohibit commercial vehicles with nine or more seats on all streets north of Fell Street, east of Divisadero Street, south of Golden Gate Avenue and west of Webster Street and move the existing tour bus loading zone on the north side of Fell Street just west of Divisadero to the north side of Fell Street just east of Pierce:
Option 2 is the same as Option 1 except it would allow enclosed tour buses to drive, but not stop or slow for pictures, on Hayes Street between Divisadero and Webster.
The Alamo Square Neighborhood Association plans to be out in force to ask for Option 1 to be adopted while also voicing their concern that tour buses will not pull all the way up to the curb at the relocated loading zone, effectively blocking a lane of traffic on Fell Street.
Fear not tech commuters, employer shuttle buses which currently make up about a third of the commercial bus traffic in the area above would be exempted from the proposed restrictions. That being said...
UPDATE: A plugged-in reader adds: "I sat in on this meeting, twice, with people who live in Alamo Square. I assure you that association doesn't want the tech buses either, but as this is two separate issues, the tech bus problem will make it to the board eventually."
Price Cuts For The Contemporary Condos On Cornwall Street
While at least one of the six new condominiums at 300-350 Cornwall Street sold for $1,000 more than its $1,499,000 list price this past August and $1,066 per square foot, the prices for the remaining units have been cut by around 15 percent with prices now starting at $1,249,000 ($919 per square) for 340 Cornwall Street which had originally been listed for $1,499,000 as well.
From an agent’s email with respect to the price cuts forwarded by a plugged-in tipster: "November brings great news for new home buyers." That is, of course, unless you bought in August.
A Misdemeanor For Being Found In A Public Park After Midnight In San Francisco, Unless You’re Sleeping
With San Francisco Supervisors Avalos, Breed, Campos, Kim and Mar voting against, but Supervisors Chiu, Cohen, Farrell, Tang, Wiener and Yee supporting, the ordinance generally closing City Parks in San Francisco from midnight to 5:00 a.m. is a second procedural vote away from being passed into law.
Once again, while the law will apply to areas such as Golden Gate Park, Union Square and the Panhandle, roadways and paved paths would remain open for the purposes of traversing any park or plaza, but no stopping or stepping on the grass.
While violators of the new ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined, "a person found sleeping in [a] park outside of the park's open hours could be cited for violating the Park Code prohibition on sleeping in the park but could not be cited under this ordinance for being present in the park while sleeping."
And with respect to the budget and priorities for enforcement:
The Board recognizes that effective enforcement of hours of operation in City parks may require additional City resources. Towards that end, the Board urges the Recreation and Park Department to increase the number of Park Patrol scheduled to patrol parks between midnight and 5 a.m. and to request funding for additional Park Patrol to enforce this ordinance.
The Board also urges the Recreation and Park Department to prioritize enforcement of park hours in smaller neighborhood parks and playgrounds where the effects of vandalism and loitering are particularly disruptive to the neighboring community.
The new ordinance will most likely become effective in about a month.
November 15, 2013
Designs For Developing Half A City Block Along Hayes
As we first reported last week, the Emerald Fund is quietly working on plans to raze the 108-foot building at 150 Van Ness Avenue and build a half-block building rising 12 stories on the site, and we now have the renderings for the development that's being proposed.
Once again, the building would rise up to 120 feet high and house 429 apartments averaging 734 square feet apiece, running the length of Hayes Street from Van Ness to Polk Street:
And as proposed, 9,000 square feet of retail would be constructed on the ground floor of the building with parking for 215 cars and 207 bikes in a level below.
Plans To Renovate And Restore SF's Alamo Square Park
A three-phased plan to renovate and restore San Francisco's 13-acre Alamo Square Park over the course of six months is undergoing an environmental and architectural review.
The proposed Alamo Square Park project includes the renovation of the existing restroom near the center of the park; the construction of a new single stall restroom near the park’s playground; and a makeover of the park's landscaping, including the incorporation of water conserving lawn alternatives with a goal of reducing water use in the park by over 2,500,000 gallons a year.
The historic portion of the park's existing restroom facility which was constructed in 1914/15 will be restored, its metal doors replaced with metal gates designed to reference metal grills of the period. Inside, both the Men's and Women's facilities will be expanded with an additional toilet for a total of three on each side.
The new unisex restroom to be constructed just north of the existing children’s play area will be a contemporary cylindrical design of poured concrete, "intended to play upon the curvilinear shape and concrete perimeter walls of the adjacent children’s play area, integrating it into the park landscape while at the same time articulating its modern era origin."
Plant beds at entrances and underutilized sloping areas along Fulton and Scott Streets of the park will receive new drought tolerant landscaping to reduce water demand and areas below dense tree canopies will receive new understory shrub plantings. And after the installation of a new irrigation system, the majority of the park's lawn will receive all new sod.
November 14, 2013
Plans For An Upscale Seven-Story SRO Building On Market Street
Plans to raze the two-story commercial building occupied by Fastframe and a few offices on the northwest corner of Market and Gough and build a 7-story mixed-use building on the parcel has quietly been submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for review.
The proposed 75-foot-high building to rise at 1700 Market Street includes 42 "single room occupancy" units which would be market rate but with limited individual kitchen facilities and a communal kitchen, gathering areas, and 1,498 square feet of ground floor retail below.
While the proposed building does not include any off-street parking spaces for autos, it does include a room for 25 bikes. And of course, residents would still be able to apply for permits to park their cars on the street.
Six Designs For A Zero Net Energy Building In San Francisco
This year's Architecture at Zero competition, co-sponsored by PG&E and the American Institute of Architects San Francisco in collaboration with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, was to create a zero net energy design for a 150-unit affordable apartment building and grocery store in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.
The six award winning concept designs for the site on the northwest corner of Taylor and Eddy Streets which is currently used as a surface parking lot but fully approved for development, albeit with a non-zero net energy design:
1. Living in Flux by Victor Bao (Student Entry Merit Award)
With respect to Living in Flux, the competition jury commented that there was "a huge amount of analysis, perhaps more sophisticated and thought-through than any other student and professional entries. [The designer] was careful to treat the facades differently according to their in-depth analysis of the different facades… there is a nice presence on the ground floor that addresses the street and outdoor space for residents. We feel [the designer] thought about the architecture in a refined and simple way, with an honest presentation of the design ideas. The cross ventilation is well done, with good lighting, and PV is used very effectively and nicely expressed on the façade of the building."
2. Catalyst SF by Booth Hansen (Merit Award)
The jury noted that Catalyst SF was "architecturally one of the most successful projects– it relates to the streetscape and breaks up the façade. There is a detailed scale of the project on the lower stories and it simplifies higher up on the building. It deals well with the unit count—one tower and 4 or 5 story massing on the side and on the back of the building to provide open space on the upper level. It is a well-articulated, interesting and believable design."
3. Prime Cut by Rutz Architects (Merit Award)
The jury noted that Prime Cut was "the most successful and deeply thought-out plan for achieving cross ventilation and light. There is interesting access to open space for individual units with seasonal covered porches. Southern exposure for the sunlight provides daylighting for retail space. This is a very imaginative plan and studiously designed so the building doesn’t need a heating or cooling system. The inventive plan results in a civilized building."
4. NZ+ Beyond Net Zero Energy by Drew Adams, Joseph Yau and Mark Alocilja (Citation Award)
The jury commented that the NZ+ Beyond Net Zero Energy design had a "good diagram with the main horizontal tower on the south side with open space. Each unit has access to two facades for cross ventilation. [The design] eliminated the corridor space so costs could be cut for the affordable housing project. The designers used an integrated design process to integrate energy with their design solutions. The open space angles to the southwest which provides open space on the second floor as well as daylighting for the retail space."
5. Folium by Herman Coliver Locus Architecture, EBS Consultants, and Architecural Lighting Design (Special Recognition Award)
The jury commented that "the key aspect of [the Folium] project is how they optimized the [photovoltaic] and integrated it into the architecture of the building. The spacing allows for nice views and ventilation for the building. The PV is optimized in terms of productivity, thoughtfully completed and nicely pieced together."
6. Tetris Block by Duane B. Carter, Mike Stopka, Simon Mance, Scott Farbman and Courtney Brower (Special Recognition Award)
With respect to Tetris Block, the jury commented that "there is nice solar gain management and use of stairwells into ventilation tower system. The use of towers broke up the mass of the building. The glass towers were not just for solar chimneys but also important elements for circulation and open stair towers that will bring the community together. The stair element is key to a successful project; stair space must be alluring for people to want to use them."
The Architecture at Zero competition supports an action plan of the California Public Utilities Commission that all new residential construction in California be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020. The goal for new commercial construction is to achieve ZNE by 2030.
November 13, 2013
Google Rumored To Be Making A Big Move In San Francisco
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.
If Off-Street Parking Is Limited, Should On-Street Parking Be Limited As Well?
The construction of a four-story building with 13 new residential units and no off-street parking spaces on the undeveloped parcel of land at 468 Clementina has just been approved for development down in SoMa between 5th and 6th streets.
While one school of thought believes that building without off-street parking in San Francisco results in fewer cars on the road and more affordable housing, others believe it simply forces more cars out onto the streets and increases congestion as cars are shuffled between on-street parking spaces. And it leads to a neighbor's wondering: "Is there a way we can make sure those buying these units on Clementina Street will be exempt from applying for Residential Parking Permits?"
If a building is approved for development with a limited number of parking spaces in San Francisco, should the number of on-street parking permits for its residents be limited as well?
Previously Unreleased Renderings For The Warriors' Arena 3.0
A previously unreleased round of renderings for the Golden State Warriors' slimmed-down arena Design 3.0 provides greater detail with respect to the proposed height and mass of the retail and event center buildings to be built along the Embarcadero (click renderings to enlarge).
November 12, 2013
The Destruction Of The Cathedral Hill Hotel
With the demolition of the old Jack Tar/Cathedral Hill Hotel underway in order to make room for CPMC’s Cathedral Hill Medical Center to rise, a plugged-in tipster delivers a few fantastic photos of the hotel's demise. The recreation deck is quickly disappearing, the clubhouse/ballroom is only a shell, and the hotel's swimming pool is history. Click either of the images to enlarge.
Warriors' SF Arena Design Slimmed-Down And Opened Up
With parks, plazas and paths along the bay, the open space for the proposed Warriors Arena in San Francisco has grown from half of the project area to 60 percent in "Design 3.0."
The slimmed-down design lowers the 18,064 seat arena's height from 135 to 125 feet, reduces the proposed retail and event center area along the Embarcadero by 30,000 square feet, and expands the open space to 7.6 acres (up by nearly an acre).
The entrance to the arena's 500 space garage has been moved "mid-pier" to between Bryant and Beale and the height of the roof over the practice facility, parking garage and fire station on the northern end of the Piers 30/32 site has been lowered from 55 to 37 feet.
Supersizing The 41 Tehama Street Tower
Approved for the development of a 31-story building reaching 342 feet in height with 325 dwelling units, 700 square feet of retail space, and 241 off-street parking spaces below, Fritzi Realty is now seeking approvals to add four more floors and 73 additional dwelling units to their plans for the tower to be built at 41 Tehama Street
While the basic form and design of the 41 Tehama Street tower would not change, if approved, the 35-story tower at 41 Tehama Street would yield 398 dwelling units and a roof height of 360 feet with. The retail space and number of parking spaces would remain the same.
And as the site appears today:
∙ The Revised Design(s) And Timing For A Tower At 41 Tehama [SocketSite]
∙ Oscar The Park: Designs For An Acre Of Outdoor Space Downtown [SocketSite]
A Peek At 535 Mission's Public Art Proposal And Pedestrian Linkage
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.
November 8, 2013
San Francisco’s Caltrain Railyard Redevelopment Update And Post 2019 Plans
An update on the potential redevelopment of San Francisco's Fourth and King Street Railyard and station, the current terminus for Caltrain in the city, was presented to Caltrain’s Board of Directors yesterday.
In summary, the two most likely options are limited redevelopments of a portion of the existing yard fronting Townsend and 4th Streets and possibly along King, while the complete redevelopment of San Francisco’s 4th and King Street Yard is a stretch.
In terms of timing, don’t expect anything to happen before 2019, the year by which the electrification of Caltrain should be finished. And that "not before 2019" date includes any extension of Caltrain’s service to San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center which is slated to open in 2017.
Big Plans For 12 Stories And Over 400 New Apartments On Hayes
With the re-skinning and conversion of 100 Van Ness Avenue from an office building to 400 apartments underway, the Emerald Fund has quietly submitted plans to raze the adjacent 108-foot building at 150 Van Ness and build a new 12-story, 120-foot tall building stretching all the way from Van Ness to Polk along Hayes Street.
In addition to the 150 Van Ness parcel on the corner, the proposed half city block project would cover the four adjacent surface parking lots and yield 429 new apartments over 9,000 square feet of retail and an underground garage with parking for 218 cars and 211 bikes.
The propose unit mix for the 429-unit development is currently 112 two-bedrooms with the rest one-bedrooms and studios. As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.
November 7, 2013
Another Big Pine Street Development In The Works, And It's Not The Saitowitz Design
Across Van Ness Avenue from the two proposed 13-story towers to rise on Pine Street, Trumark Companies is working on plans to raze the five one and two-story buildings between 1527 and 1545 Pine Street and construct a 12-story building designed by Arquitectonica on the site rather the Stanley Saitowitz design which was once on the boards.
As proposed, the new Lower Nob Hill/Polk Gulch building would yield up to 107 residential units with 2,844 square feet of ground-floor retail and art gallery space along Pine and Austin streets and parking for 82 cars and 106 bikes in a two-level basement below.
The main entrance to the residential portion of the proposed building would be through a lobby located in the middle of the project site along Pine Street while pedestrian access to the residential units would also be available from Austin Street. The retail spaces would be located to the east and west of the residential entrance on Pine and a public/private art gallery space would be located on Austin at the southeast corner of the site.
Vehicular access would be provided from two separate vehicular exit/entries on Austin; a 22-foot-wide driveway would provide access to the automobile and bicycle parking spaces while a 15-foot-wide driveway would provide access to an off-street loading space.
One potential sticking point, the building at 1545 Pine Street is considered an historical resource for the purposes of environmental review. And don't panic, Grubsteak would survive.
Castro Whole Foods Open And The Apartments Above Aren't Cheap
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.
Public Hearing For Twin Towers On Pine Street This Afternoon
The public hearing to review and comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed development of 262 new condos, two floors of commercial space and parking for 245 cars in two 13-story towers on Pine Street between Van Ness and Franklin will be held this afternoon.
The 1634-1690 Pine Street parcel was originally proposed for development with plans for 282 condos to be built in a seven-story podium from which a 25-story and 12-story tower would rise but those plans were cancelled in 2007 having raised concerns among area residents.
"People don't want more residential. That’s what it comes down to," a San Francisco Planner was quoted as saying about the neighbors' concerns at the time.
∙ Plans For Two Big Towers On Pine Have Been Revived And Rendered [SocketSite]
∙ 1634-1690 Pine Street Draft Environmental Impact Report Hearing [sfplanning.org]
Valencia Street Development Survives Close Vote
The Planning Commission's determination that the approved development of 1050 Valencia Street at the corner of Hill should be allowed to move forward has survived another appeal with San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voting 6 to 5 to uphold the environmental findings for the project. Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Cohen, Kim and Mar dissented.
That being said, an appeal of the project's building permits has also been filed but was tabled until after the Board of Supervisors vote. We'll keep you posted and plugged-in.
∙ Approved Valencia Street Development Waylaid
Anew Again [SocketSite]
The Early Designs For Six New SoMa Stories At 1140 Folsom
As we first reported earlier this week, plans to demolish the two-story building on the northeast corner of Folsom and Rausch along with the adjacent parking lot on Rausch have been submitted to San Francisco's Planning Department along with designs to build 128 new residential units, 5,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and 85 parking spaces on the site.
As proposed, the development at 1140 Folsom Street would rise up to four stories and forty feet high along Rausch which "will appear as a series of individual buildings no more than 50’ in width…enhanced by varying finishes, window arrangements and mullions, colors, and façade proportions" and up to 65 feet and six stories high along Folsom (click images to enlarge):
As proposed, 40 percent of the 128 units at 1140 Folsom Street would be two-bedrooms, 42 percent one-bedrooms, and 18 percent studios. And while the building of three-bedroom units is encouraged by Planning, the developer has determined that "the neighborhood is less family oriented; therefore three bedroom units would not be a good fit for this location."
November 6, 2013
The Fate Of The 8 Washington Street Site: What Happens Now?
With voters in San Francisco having overturned the approved plans and increased height for the development of the 8 Washington Street site above and some bad information making the rounds, a rather plugged-in reader summarizes, and editorializes, how we got here and what happens with the proposed development now:
It’s no done deal that the developer can just build an 84' project [on the site]. The project was entitled as designed. It would have to go thru years of redesign, a new [Environmental Impact Report], [and] hearings at every commission that previously approved the prior plan.
The project was initially designed as an 84' project. After 17 months of "community planning" workshops, the community and the Planning Department convinced the developer to step the height up in the back and down in the front. The same people who put [Measure] C on the ballot opposed the 84' project and would probably put that on the ballot, this time saying it should be 40'.
Whether the developer or their financial partners (Calsters) are up for [another battle] remains to be seen. And what other developer would walk into this now? We may have another 10 or 15 years of parking lot and fenced club.
The proposed design for the project back when it was 84 feet in height, note the 28,000-square-foot public park at the northern tip of the site:
Rent Growth Slows In San Francisco Amid New Developments And Resistance
While the development of 8 Washington Street might have hit a (no) wall in San Francisco, over 1,000 new housing units will be finished the fourth quarter of 2013 for a total of nearly 3,500 new units in San Francisco this year, five times the number completed in 2012.
With construction in San Francisco continuing to ramp up and “renter resistance” to rents in the city starting to surface, Marcus & Millichap is expecting the average effective rent in San Francisco to end the year at $2,490 a month, up 4.7 percent over the past year versus 9.9 percent in 2012.
"Effective rents dipped in two of the past three quarters, and broader use of leasing inducements could occur at properties directly affected by nearby construction in 2014. Average effective rents at 2000s-vintage assets have climbed to 45 percent of median household income, up from 37 percent just two years ago. As renters commit to an extra $6,000 per year in rent payments, the incentive to "double up" or move to more affordable communities with mass transit options is rising."
Also noted: "With rents so high, the cost of vacancy is exacerbated in the current climate, giving apartment managers further incentive to proactively reset monthly rates to avoid loss to lease," which might be a bit counterintuitive and a little leverage for leaseholders to keep in mind.
Voters Reject Measures B/C And Designs For 8 Washington Street
With 100 percent of San Francisco's precincts reporting and the mail-in ballots counted, the "No Wall on the Waterfront" forces have defeated the "Open Up The Waterfront" initiative and San Francisco Ballot Measures B and C.
The NO votes totaled 62.22 percent for Measure B (which would have upheld the approvals for the development of 8 Washington Street as rendered above) and 66.56 percent for Measure C (which would have upheld increased building heights for the project of up to 136 feet).
With the up-zoning for the approved project overturned, it's now back to the drawing board for the development of 8 Washington Street which we believe will still get built at some point, but not to a height of over 84 feet.
November 5, 2013
Early SF Election Results: Measures B And C Facing Defeat
Based only on the results of 56,131 mail-in ballots returned, a quarter of the 238,235 which were issued, San Francisco Ballot Measure B which would clear the way for the development of 8 Washington Street as approved is losing the dueling ballot measure fight with 55% of the mail-in ballots marked NO versus 45% YES.
The "No Wall on The Waterfront" folks are also ahead with respect to San Francisco Ballot Measure C which would allow the approved Ordinance increasing the building height limits for the 8 Washington Street Development to take effect with 61% of the mail-in ballots marked NO versus 39% YES.
The mail-in ballot counts for Measure A (Retiree Health Care Trust Fund changes): 69% YES / 31% NO; and Measure D (Prescription Drug Purchasing Policy for the City): 80% YES / 20% NO.
We'll have the early counts for the votes cast at polling places in San Francisco later tonight.
UPDATE: Including 23,032 election day ballots from half the polling places in San Francisco, the percentage of NO votes on Measures B and C have increased to 60% and 65% respectively. If the early results hold, it's back to the drawing board for the development of 8 Washington Street.
UPDATE: With 98 percent of San Francisco precincts reporting and 39,240 election day ballots counted, the percentage of NO votes on Measures B and C have increased to 62% and 67% respectively. The "No Wall on the Waterfront" forces have won and the up-zoning for the development of 8 Washington Street has been overturned at the polls.
The Polls Are Open In San Francisco And It's Time To Vote
Perhaps you've already mailed your ballot or cast an early vote at City Hall, but if not, the polls are now open in San Francisco and it's time to vote.
Local Ballot Measures B and C are the two that we'll be tracking, with Yes votes on the two measures supporting the development of 8 Washington Street as rendered above and the "Open Up the Waterfront" initiative, while No votes on the two measures will overturn the increased building height limits for the development, the initiative of the "No Wall On The Waterfront" folks.
As always, we're more concerned with whether you vote versus which way you do. You have until 8pm today to make your vote count.
November 4, 2013
Visa Is Moving Its Tech Team Out Of The "Void" And Back To SF
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.
More Affordable Housing On Geary Proposed, But Only A Bit
The Western Addition block bounded by Divisadero, Geary, Scott and O’Farrell was developed in the 1960s with six low-rise residential buildings around a central courtyard, the Midtown Park Apartment complex provides 140 affordable dwelling units managed by Mercy housing.
In need of a full renovation, the current plan is to renovate the four buildings with a total of 96 units which front Scott, O’Farrell and Divisadero and demolish the two buildings with a total of 44 units that currently front Geary Boulevard. Two new buildings containing up to 114 units would replace the two buildings proposed to be demolished, adding 70 units to the block.
The proposed new building for the corner of Geary and Divisadero above would occupy a similar footprint to the existing building but would reach a height of approximately 56 feet with a new active ground-floor use and 67 affordable units for seniors above.
The second proposed building with just under 40 affordable units for families along Geary Boulevard would also occupy a similar footprint as the building to be demolished but would be located ten to fifteen feet closer to the street, increasing the amount of interior open space on the lot.
Currently only zoned for medium density with a 50-foot height limit, should the project and necessary "up-zoning" by a few feet be approved as proposed, the full city block at the intersection of Divisadero and Geary upon which two major bus lines run will provide just over 200 units of housing with construction slated to start at the end of 2014.
Plans For Six Story SoMa Building And 128 New Homes On Folsom
Plans to demolish the building on the corner of Folsom and Rausch along with the adjacent parking lot behind have quietly been submitted to San Francisco's Planning Department along with designs to build 128 new residential units, 5,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and 85 parking spaces on the site.
As proposed, the development at 1140 Folsom Street would rise up to four stories and forty feet high along Rausch Street, up to 65 feet and six stories high along Folsom:
The commercial space would line Folsom Street while parking for the development would be built in a basement garage with its entrance, and the building's, on Rausch.
Neighbors' Opposition To ISE On Potrero Avenue Iced By Supes
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.
November 1, 2013
Conversion Of Illegal Mid-Market Apartment Building Suspended
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.
Historic Market Street Hotel And Club Project Ready To Proceed
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.
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.
300-Foot Tower At Fremont And Folsom Ready To Rise
Having consummated their purchase of Transbay Block 6 at Folsom and Fremont, Golub & Co. has secured the financing for the 300-foot residential tower to rise on the corner at 299 Fremont Street with plans to start construction by the year and be ready for occupancy in late 2015.
The development of Transbay Block 6 includes the construction of 40-foot townhomes along Clementina Alley and three 50 to 85-foot mid-rise buildings on Fremont, Beal, and Folsom.
In total, 545 apartments (348 market-rate, 61 below market rate, and 136 subsidized affordable units to be developed by Mercy Housing) will be built on the Transbay block along with 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 136 underground parking spaces.
October 31, 2013
The Proposal To Pack More People And In-Laws Into The Castro
With San Francisco’s population rising and rents rising even more, Supervisor Wiener is sponsoring an amendment to San Francisco's Planning Code which would waive existing density restrictions and Code requirements to "allow the construction of an additional dwelling unit or units within the existing envelope of a residential building or auxiliary structure on the same lot (In-Law Units) on any parcel in the Castro Street Neighborhood Commercial District and within 1,750 feet of the District boundaries."
While constructed after 1979, any newly created units under the ordinance would still be subject to Rent Control if the existing building or any of the existing units within the existing building in which the new units built are currently subject to Rent Control.
As we wrote back in 2007: "Going green might be trendy (and we’re all for it), but as far as we’re concerned it’s a focus on density (and infill) that will define the next era in San Francisco's development, neighborhoods, and lifestyle."
San Francisco's Land Use and Economic Development Committee will review the proposed ordinance next week.
Celebrity Top Chef Suvir Saran Coming To 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.
October 30, 2013
Eight Acre North Oakland Development Set To Break New Ground
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.
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.
Phase One of the MacArthur Station development was the new 478-space parking garage for BART.
The remaining A, B and C parcels are slated for development over the next eight years.
Site Cleared For Kaiser Permanente's Geary Campus Expansion
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.
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.
October 29, 2013
Before And After On Dolores Street: A Modern Makeover
Purchased for $1,263,000 in November of 2012, the Noe Valley home at 1632 Dolores Street has just returned to the market listed for $2,875,000 having been rebuilt and expanded "with the latest in designer colors and quality finishes throughout."
The kitchen within 1632 Dolores Street before and after:
The open living area into which the kitchen now opens (which had been a separate living room, dinning room, and media room before):
And the new bath above, there's a new one below as well:
∙ Listing: 1632 Dolores Street (4/3.5) - $2,875,000 [1632dolores.com]
October 28, 2013
1400 Mission Street: 197 Affordable Condos On The Other Corner
Across the street from the SoMa parcel on which the 14-story building at 1415 Mission Street is getting ready to start construction, the building permits for the condo building to rise up to fifteen stories at 1400 Mission have been issued and site work has commenced.
As we first reported about the 1400 Mission Street project last year:
Currently leased to the builders of 1401 Market for construction staging, the plans for the site at 1400 Mission Street at Tenth have since been revised. And yes, the rooftop gardens once proposed for the portions of the building fronting Mission and Tenth Street are old news and long gone. The currently proposed project is ten stories along Mission Street and fifteen along Tenth Street with a podium courtyard on the second floor.
Having partnered with Maracor, the TNDC led project is slated to yield 197 units of for-sale affordable family housing, including 87 two-bedroom condos and 24 three-bedrooms, over 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial/retail space and parking for 48 cars by 2015.
Households earning between 70% and 150% of the Area Median Income (AMI) will qualify for the condos. And with respect to parking for bikes, the latest plans call for 66 spaces up from the 13 spaces approved in 2004.
The current Area Median Income for San Francisco is around $71,000 for a one-person household, $81,000 for two people and $91,000 for three.
Corner Of Mission And 10th Cleared For New Residential Units To Rise
The southwest corner of Mission and 10th Street has been cleared of its former parking lot and one-story garage, and with the permit for a construction crane in hand, construction of the 14-story building with 117 residential units over a garage to rise on the SoMa site at 1415 Mission Street should soon be underway.
October 25, 2013
The Preliminary Designs For Ten Stories At 16th And Mission
Once again, a 10-story building with 351 housing units, 32,000 square feet of retail and a 56,000-square-foot basement parking garage has been proposed to rise above the 16th Street Bart Station on the northeast corner of Mission Street, the preliminary design and massing for which is illustrated above and below.
The basement garage would contain 161 parking spaces, 39 spaces for the ground floor retailers and 122 spaces for the residential units, 88 of which would be stacked, with its entrance on Capp Street. The garage would also include space for 193 bikes.
A Move To Close All San Francisco Parks At Midnight
The hours at which San Francisco's public parks are considered to be closed and off-limits are currently set on an ad-hoc basis, making it difficult to effectively police and enforce.
On the agenda for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors next week, an ordinance which would establish a midnight closing time for all City parks in San Francisco including Golden Gate Park, Union Square and the Panhandle. That being said, roadways and paved paths would remain open for the purposes of traversing any park or plaza, but no stopping or stepping on the grass.
San Francisco's parks would open again at 5am daily.
October 24, 2013
Ten Story Building Proposed Atop 16th Street BART Station Site
Maximus Real Estate Partners is in contract to buy the 57,000 square foot parcel above the 16th Street BART station on the northeast corner of Mission Street and has submitted plans to build a 10-story building designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill with 351 housing units, 32,000 square feet of retail and a 56,000-square-foot basement parking garage on the site.
The proposal calls for airy plate glass storefronts, with 14-foot floor-to-ceiling heights, which would wrap around the BART plaza and continue along Mission and 16th streets. The group says the blank facades currently ringing the BART Plaza on Mission and Capp streets represent "a significant contributing factor to the high crime rate at the intersection of 16th and Mission."
The sale of the parcel which includes an existing Walgreens, the Hwa Lei Market, the City Club bar, two restaurants and a defunct dollar store, all of which would be razed, is contingent upon approvals of the proposed development by the city.
Prime Cole Valley With A Palm Tree Out Front For $900 A Foot
Purchased for $962,000 in 2003 and then taken down to the studs, the nicely remodeled Cole Valley home at 1024 Shrader Street has just returned to the market listed for $2,950,000.
There’s a total of four bedrooms across the home's four levels with an open loft level above and an in-law with separate entrance below. The main level is open yet separated and the modern kitchen maintains a bit of Craftsman flair:
And while not listed with any square footage, it’s "3,270 square feet per [a] graphic artist."
∙ Listing: 1024 Shrader Street (4/3.5) - $2,950,000 [1024shrader.com]
Appeal Of Potrero Hill Development Rejected By Supervisors
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has rejected the CEQA based appeal opposing the proposed Potrero Hill development at 480 Potrero Avenue and affirmed the Planning Commission's Environmental Declaration to allow the six-story building with 75 condos, 47 parking spaces and a thousand square feet of retail on the northwest corner of Potrero and Mariposa to be built.
October 23, 2013
Is San Francisco Getting The Short End Of The Saitowitz Stick?
With the Stanley Saitowitz designed "Garden Village", a 77-unit development of 18 interconnected buildings of three to five stories in height with 16 rooftop farm plots above and a fleet of four to ten shared cars for residents in a small garage below having been approved for development by Berkeley’s Zoning and Adjustment Board two weeks ago, a number of readers can’t but wonder if San Francisco has been getting the short end of the Saitowitz design stick.
Of course it's not always the architects who are to blame for bad building designs in San Francisco as the City's Planning process can be a challenge to navigate and many developers have been known to choose greater profits over great design.
Targeting students, the Garden Village development is slated to break ground at 2201 Dwight Way in Berkeley next year and be ready for occupancy and farming in 2015.
Targeting Seven Percent More After Seven Months For A Saitowitz
Seven months after having closed escrow on the purchase of condo #202 within the new Stanley Saitowitz designed development at 2020 Ellis Street for $599,000, the buyer has returned the 648 square foot one-bedroom to the market listed for $639,000.
While the property on the border of NoPa is "apples-to-apples" in terms of its condition as compared to seven months ago, keep in mind that the CityTarget at Masonic and Geary which is three blocks away has since opened its doors even wider than those between the bedroom and bath.
∙ Listing: 2020 Ellis #202 (1/1) 648 sqft - $639,000 [2020ellisunit202.com]
∙ San Francisco's Second CityTarget Has Opened Its Doors [SocketSite]
October 22, 2013
A Contemporary Potrero Hill And Mortgage Comparison: 2007 To Today
As we wrote in July of 2012:
Having hit the market in late 2006 asking $1,295,000, the 1,792 square foot 2130 24th Street #A sold for $1,274,000 in the middle of 2007.
With its Scavolini cabinets, Carrara marble counters, and Black Walnut floors still looking rather fresh, the contemporary Potrero Hill condo is back on the market and listed for $1,389,000.
With twenty percent down and a thirty-year mortgage at current rates, the monthly mortgage payment would be around $5,300 a month at asking. In 2006, the payments on the purchase would have been closer to $6,500 at rate of 6.56 percent.
Having failed to sell in 2012, the Potrero Hill condo is back on the market today and listed for $1,499,000. With the current rate for a 30-year Jumbo loan running around 4.0 percent, the monthly mortgage payment with 20 percent down at asking is now around $5,700 a month, 12 percent less than in 2006 but 8 percent higher than at asking in 2012.
UPDATE: Our original calculation of a $6,700 monthly payment at asking today included property taxes and HOAs which should not have been included for the sake of comparison and has since been updated above.
∙ Listing: 2130 24th Street #A (3/2) 1,792 sqft - $1,499,000 [Redfin]
∙ Apples-To-Apples: Prices, Rates And Payments...Oh My! [SocketSite]
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.
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.
Approved Valencia Street Development Waylaid
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.
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.
October 18, 2013
Rented For $8,500, A Modern Bernal Pad Is Listed For $1,980,000
Asking $2,700,000 when conceived in late 2008 and then $2,370,000 when under construction in 2009, the modern north Bernal three-bedroom condo at 3119 Harrison, half the building above, was listed post-construction for $1,950,000 in early 2011 and sold for $1,650,000 that July.
Currently rented for $8,500 a month having been listed for $10,500, and with a lease that expires at the end of February, 2014, the modern Bernal pad has just hit the market listed for $1,980,000, tenants included for now.
∙ Listing: 3119 Harrison (3/3.5) 2,300 sqft - $1,980,000 [via Redfin]
∙ The Second Of Two AIA Tour Homes Closes On Harrison [SocketSite]
The Park Service's Plans To Limit Off-Leash Areas For Dogs
A hearing on the National Park Service’s draft dog management plan for the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas which would greatly limit the off-leash activity areas for dogs at Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and Ocean Beach amongst other areas is the first item on the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this coming Monday, October 21.
Fearing that "restricting dog access on these federal lands could lead to dog over-crowding in our already crowded parks," Supervisors Wiener, Tang and Breed are sponsoring a resolution to oppose the proposed dog management plan and urging the Park Service to adopt a different approach.
The official 90-day public comment period for the Dog Management Plan expires on December 4, 2013. Following the public comment period, the plan will be revised, a final version of the plan will be released, and a 30-day no-action period will follow after which the revised plan will be signed by the Pacific West Regional Director and the new rules will be adopted.
The Park Service's preferred plan for Crissy Field is above (click plan to enlarge), their preferred plans for Ocean Beach and Fort Funston are below:
Draft Dog Management Plan [nps.gov]
October 17, 2013
$3,000 A Month For The Venn On Market, $1,000 A Month For Some
With tenant move-ins now being scheduled for December, the "Venn" at 1844 Market Street is currently leasing 671 square foot one-bedrooms priced from $3,075 a month and 849 square foot two-bedrooms from $3,625 a month. Parking is being offered at $250 a space, and up to two pets are welcome but at an additional charge of $50 a month.
As a condition of being approved for development, fourteen (14) of the Venn’s 113 rental units are being offered as part of San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Program, with 8 one-bedrooms being offered for $1,066 a month and 6 two-bedrooms for $1,192 a month. Parking for the Below Market Rate (BMR) units is available for one hundred bucks a spot.
In order to qualify for one of the 14 BMR units, households can make no more than 55 percent of Area Median Income, which means an individual can make no more than $38,950 a year, a two person household no more than $44,500. At the same time, the minimum required income for a one-bedroom is $31,980 a year and $35,760 a year for a two-bedroom.
Applications for the 14 BMR units at 1844 Market Street are due by November 11, 2013 at 5pm.
The Priciest Property On Russian Hill: 807 Francisco Street
While the sale of 2430 Hyde Street just closed escrow at a price of $1,970 per square foot, six months ago the 6,050 square foot newly remodeled home at 807 Francisco Street sold for $12,375,000 or $2,045 per square foot, making it the priciest property on Russian Hill.
A Quick Sale At Nearly Two Thousand A Square Foot
Listed for $4,950,000 four weeks ago, the sale of the stately 2,880 square foot Russian Hill home at 2430 Hyde Street closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $5,675,000, a little under $2,000 a square foot for the remodeled neo-Gothic property with a proper English garden.
October 16, 2013
Protecting San Francisco’s Historic Fabric Amid Its Boom
With the population of San Francisco projected to grow by 20 percent over the next two decades, hitting the one million mark around 2035, many new buildings will need to be built and existing buildings repurposed.
Believing that it’s critical to protect the historic fabric of the city while supporting growth and change, San Francisco Architectural Heritage and SPUR have examined "the city’s processes for preservation planning, project review and decision-making." The conclusion of their joint policy report which is being presented to San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission this afternoon:
San Francisco has many wonderful historical resources worthy of protection. However, the process of reviewing proposed changes to historical resources in existing, identified and potential historic districts is in need of improvement. In particular, the way the CEQA process relates to historic preservation issues can be murky and complex, especially in areas that have not undergone a formal historic survey process.
The report’s 19 recommendations to improve the historic preservation process and create rules and guidelines that are "clear, consistent and transparent" in San Francisco:
1. Complete a citywide [Historic Resource] survey.
2. Conduct [Historic Resource] surveys early in the area plan process so that the survey results can be used to help inform planning activities.
3. Solicit public input in the development of context statements and themes.
4. Notify the public, district property owners, residents and business owners at the outset of the survey process. Explain why the survey is occurring, the potential benefits and impacts of being part of a survey area and how survey data will be used.
5. Publish community outreach standards and policies for historic resource surveys.
6. Develop a user-friendly grievance process.
7. Publish planning department community engagement policies and procedures for historic districts in a new administrative bulletin.
8. Develop clear design guidelines that interpret how best to apply the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties to individual historic districts.
9. Provide a clear mechanism to enable project applicants to request advisory opinions from the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) in order to obtain the group’s input on compliance with design guidelines early in the process.
10. Expand local access to historic preservation incentives, including state Mills Act property tax relief for historic property owners.
11. Publish guidelines that identify significant historical themes, associated property types and thresholds of significance for the purpose of making CEQA determinations on individual buildings.
12. Revise Preservation Bulletin 16 to provide clear guidelines on how to evaluate the impacts of major alterations or demolition of contributors within historic districts.
13. Encourage collaboration between planning department staff and property owners (and their architects) so that compliance with the Secretary’s Standards can be achieved more quickly and efficiently.
14. Provide a clear mechanism to enable project applicants to seek an advisory opinion from the ARC when they cannot reach agreement with planning department staff on interpretation of the Secretary’s Standards.
15. Complete a citywide survey so that historical resources are identified systematically and prospectively, rather than on an ad hoc basis during CEQA review (as per Recommendation No. 1).
16. Develop a new administrative bulletin defining the process for conducting historic resource evaluations (HREs). This bulletin should include guidance on when HREs should or should not be required for projects in designated historic districts, in potential historic districts or adjacent to or within view of historic districts.
17. Clarify the conditions under which the planning department can require project sponsors to complete their own survey work in an unsurveyed area; define the appropriate geographic boundaries and level of detail.
18. Clarify how alteration and development projects that are adjacent to landmarks and to designated, identified and potential districts (but not actually within one of these districts) should be treated for the purposes of CEQA review.
19. Complete the development of local interpretations and design guidelines based on the Secretary’s Standards per the recent update to Articles 10 and 11 of the San Francisco Planning Code.
The full report and details behind the recommendations: Historic Preservation In San Francisco.
BIG Architects Selected To Design Major Mid-Market Complex
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.
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]
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.
Pushback In Pacific Heights
Purchased for $2,325,000 in November of 2007, the single-family Pacific Heights home at 1915 Sacramento Street has since been remodeled, including the addition of a new bath on the lower level which was added without a permit and isn’t included in the official bathroom count of two.
Returned to the market two weeks ago listed for $2,600,000, the "offers due date" has come and gone and the list price has been reduced to $2,395,000. It's the fourth Pacific Heights property to have unsuccessfully set an "offers due" date over the past couple of weeks of which we're aware.
∙ Listing: 1915 Sacramento Street (3/2) 2,340 sqft - $2,395,000 [via Redfin]
The New Plan For 1601 Mariposa And 320 New Apartments
The plans for the proposed 320-unit Potrero Hill development known as 1601 Mariposa which stretches from Mariposa and Carolina to 18th and Arkansas have been tweaked a bit as have the numbers (click site plan to enlarge).
In addition to increasing the number of proposed apartments from 291 to 320, the ground floor retail space has increased to 9,000 square feet and the number of underground parking spaces is up to 275, including 6 spaces for car share.
And in terms of open space, in addition to 13,000 square feet for residents, a 21,000 square foot public greenway would provide passage between Mariposa and 18th Streets, "designed to encourage child’s play and community engagement such as farmers markets."
October 14, 2013
New Mission District Condos Priced At Over A Thousand A Foot
The first of the 17 new Mission District condos at the corner of Valencia and 19th Street (3500 Nineteenth Street) has been listed, with 3500 19th Street #203, a two-bedroom with two and one-half baths, one parking space and 1,488 square feet priced at $1,749,000 or $1,175 per foot.
∙ Listing: 3500 19th Street #203 (2/2.5) 1,488 sqft - $1,749,000 [via Redfin]
∙ New Condos Coming Soon: Corner Of 19th And Valencia Unwrapped [SocketSite]
Another Peek At The Two Pine Street Towers Proposed To Rise
As plugged-in people know, the plans for two buildings with 262 condos over two stories of commercial and 245 parking spaces to rise on Pine Street between Franklin and Van Ness have been revived and are making their way through Planning.
As the block appears today from the corner of California and Franklin (click to enlarge):
And as it would look with the two 13-story buildings that are proposed to rise:
October 11, 2013
23 New San Francisco Condos For Under $224K, With A Catch
Twenty-three (23) of the twenty-four (24) new Hayes Valley condos at 1600 Market Street are being offered for under $224,000, with one-bedrooms priced from $201,345 to $203,547 and two-bedrooms priced from $218,726 to $223,906. But there is a catch.
Built to fulfill the mandated affordable housing component (BMR) for the market rate development at 1998 Market Street (aka LINEA), buyers of the twenty-three 1600 Market Street condos must make less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which means a one-person household can make no more than $56,700 a year, a two-person household no more than $64,750.
The condos range in size from 504 to 917 square feet (the floor plans) with a communal 2,000 square foot roof deck. And while none of the units have parking for cars, there is a room for bikes.
Applications to buy the condos are due by October 25 at 5pm with a lottery to be held on October 30 and occupancy possible in November.
Jack Spade Retreats From Formula Retail Fight In The Mission
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]
October 10, 2013
From Classic To Contemporary And Close To $3,000 A Square Foot
Having undergone a high-end but traditional styled renovation, the 4,064 square foot home at 2755 Fillmore Street was listed for $4,995,000 in July of 2010 and sold for $4,970,000 that August.
Having been renovated anew over the past three years, this time in a more contemporary style, the Pacific Heights home is back on the market and asking $12,500,000 as first noted by a plugged-in reader last week.
While not listed with the square footage this time around, in the words of our reader: "The footprint of this property didn't really allow for much expansion. The spa room seems new, but that's about it." If that's the case, call it close to $3,000 a square foot.
As plugged-in people know, the record setting price for 2950 Broadway on San Francisco’s Billionaires Row was roughly $3,182 per square foot.
∙ Listing: 2755 Fillmore (4/4.5) - $12,500,000 [2755fillmorest.com]
∙ Now Playing At The On Fillmore: Big Views And The Blues [SocketSite]
∙ A Record Setting Sale On Billionaires Row [SocketSite]
Breaking New Ground Over In Oakland Unless BART Is On Strike
Bridge Housing will officially break ground on Mural at 40th Street and Telegraph Avenue over in Oakland on October 25, the second phase of MacArthur Station, the master-planned development on BART's MacArthur Station parking lot.
Mural will consist of 90 apartments for households with incomes ranging from 30 to 50 percent of the area's median income. And if BART, which still owns the land, happens to be on strike on the 25th, Mural's groundbreaking will be rescheduled.
Visitacion Valley Is Getting A Large Grocery Store
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.
October 9, 2013
Got Cash? Noe Valley Home Scheduled For Foreclosure (Again)
Purchased for $1,450,000 in 2006 with a first mortgage for $1,000,000, a second mortgage for $304,500 and $145,500 (10 percent) down, the owner of the Noe Valley home at 4287 23rd Street has been in default since 2010.
While the past due amount on the one million dollar mortgage was $23,376 back in 2010, there's now $1,279,499 owed including past due payments, interest and fees.
With five scheduled auctions having been cancelled over the past three years, 4287 23rd Street is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps Thursday afternoon with an expected opening bid of $1,284,686.
San Francisco's Second CityTarget Has Opened Its Doors
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):
Five Story Building On Brannan Refined And Ready For Approval
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.
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:
∙ Parking Lot And Development Alert: The Designs For 345 Brannan [SocketSite]
∙ Designs For 333 Brannan And Millions For The Neighborhood [SocketSite]
October 8, 2013
Dropping In On The Moss Flats Building
Built in 1906 when "everything else in the vicinity was formed of obsolete and abandoned streetcars, imaginatively and otherwise adapted for use as clubhouses, restaurants and beach cabins," the Moss Flats Building at 1622-1626 Great Highway is "one of the few remainders from the early development of the ocean frontage as a beach and health resort."
With its three two-bedroom units currently rented for between $1,447 and $1,920 a month (to "elite members of [the] SF surf scene" according to our tipster), the Moss Flats building has been on the market for about a month and listed for $1,349,000.
October 7, 2013
Waylaid Potrero Development Scheduled For Board Vote This Week
The proposed construction of a six-story, 58-foot-tall building with 75 condos, 47 parking spaces and a thousand square feet of retail space on the northwest corner of Potrero and Mariposa has been held up by an appeal for over a year. As we first reported this past March:
Speaking of CEQA and the appeals process in action, the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration which would have allowed the development of 480 Potrero Avenue to move forward was appealed late last year by the San Francisco Verdi Club, MUNA neighborhood association, and Potrero Hill neighbors.
The objections of the appellants include concerns that the project will "have an adverse effect on a scenic vista," will "substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings," and will "induce substantial population growth…and be out of character with the neighborhood."
Once again, as the existing visual character and scenic vista currently appears:
With the Planning Department having reaffirmed its position of support for the 480 Potrero project and the Planning Commission having since agreed, this week San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will hear the appeal, twelve months since it was filed.
∙ Supervisor Showdown: Wiener Versus Kim, CEQA, And The NIMBYs [SocketSite]
∙ CEQA In Action, Or Inaction, On Potrero Avenue [SocketSite]
∙ Potrero Development Redesigned And Ready For Commission Vote [SocketSite]
October 4, 2013
A Grand Jury's Call To Optimize San Francisco's City-Owned Real Estate
The City and County of San Francisco owns 6,000 acres, or 20 percent of the land, within its County limits and another 92,000 acres beyond.
Concerned that surplus and underutilized real estate owned by San Francisco's City and County agencies could be put to better use ("providing for housing or commercial, cultural, and/or civic activities") and increase the City’s tax base, a Civil Grand Jury has come to the following six findings and recommendations for the City, including putting 170 Fell Street (pictured above) and its adjacent complex of historic buildings to a more productive use post-haste:
Inadequate readily-accessible public information on publicly-owned real estate is part of the reason some properties have been allowed to languish and deteriorate, at a loss to the City. A more rational approach to handling under-utilized or surplus property requires that a comprehensive, detailed list of public properties is available on an ongoing basis.
The Fleishhacker Pool House is a perfect example of a situation where being “out of sight, out of mind” allowed a property to become so neglected that it eventually was destroyed by fire, resulting in a real loss for the City. A more transparent property database will make such occurrences less likely in future.
The web-based San Francisco Property Information Map currently used to display
Planning and Building Inspection Department information should be integrated with and further developed by other departments to convey complete information about City properties. The Department of Technology and the Planning Department should work with and provide database access to all City departments enabling them to maintain the information on their properties.
The online database of all properties owned by SFUSD and all City departments, including revenue-generating enterprise departments, needs to include information required by Chapter 23A of the Administrative Code [San Francisco’s Surplus City Property Ordinance].
City departments, commissions and agencies should be directed to maintain and update their departmental real estate database, which appears in the Real Estate Division Map of Real Property and Property Book.
The Director of Real Estate should be required to review the list annually to confirm that all departments have made a complete report on their properties, including surplus and underutilized properties, in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 23A of the Administrative Code; and the City Administrator should be required to report annually to the Board of Supervisors regarding the City’s real property assets.
Lack of transparent public debate contributes to suboptimal use of City real estate assets.
The Kirkland Property is a perfect case in point. SFMTA may have a good case for retaining the property as a bus maintenance yard as recommended by its consultant. However, allowing SFMTA to abandon stated plans for converting the property to commercial and/or residential use without public debate prevents possibly better, more economically efficient alternatives from being considered.
The City and SFUSD should activate their respective Surplus Property Advisory Committees because the meetings of these committees provide a public forum in which to discuss best uses of publicly-owned real estate and each committee should be charged with monitoring uses of public property and making sure that there is ongoing accountability with respect to surplus and underutilized properties.
The purposes for which the Surplus Property Ordinance was adopted are too narrow to effectively motivate City departments to identify surplus and underutilized properties for other uses or disposition. Further, the ordinance does not provide a department with any incentive to dispose of surplus or underutilized property.
The Board of Supervisors should amend Chapter 23A of the Administrative Code to include an incentive for City Departments to identify and dispose of surplus and underutilized properties and to broaden the purposes for which surplus and underutilized properties may be used.
Current practice allows City Departments and SFUSD to keep property on their surplus list indefinitely without any consequence. The concern for a more rational approach to handling under-utilized or surplus property requires that a time limit be imposed on how long property may remain on these lists. If, after a pre-determined period, property which is identified as surplus or underutilized has not been put into use or fully-utilized or no plans have been adopted for its use or full-utilization, there should be specified consequences for the failure to act.
The Board of Supervisors and the SF Board of Education should each adopt rules which limit the length of time property may remain on their respective surplus list without action and which address consequences for such inaction.
Passive management of publicly-owned real estate leads to valuable properties lying fallow for years. The City and SFUSD leadership must be charged and empowered to develop plans for utilization of surplus / under-utilized parcels, including public-private partnerships where feasible and desirable.
Very valuable properties owned by City departments and SFUSD have been underutilized for decades and present prime opportunities to be repurposed or sold to create value for the City and SFUSD. The properties at 155/165 Grove Street, the Fire Chief’s House at 870 Bush Street, the lot at 7th Avenue and Lawton Street, and 1950 Mission Street are a few examples of properties that have been passively managed.
The SFUSD needs to designate someone who is given appropriate authority and whose time and energy is devoted to optimizing the use of surplus and under-utilized real estate through its development or disposition. That person should work with the Capital Planning Policy Committee and Surplus Property Advisory Committee to incorporate surplus and underutilized property into SFUSD’s 10-year rolling Capital Plan.
The Capital Planning Policy Committee of the San Francisco Capital Planning Program should be made responsible for overseeing the publicly-owned surplus and underutilized property list for the City and for assuring that clear plans for the disposition or repurposing of such properties are generated and incorporated into the 10-year rolling capital plan of the Capital Planning Program.
Given the location of 135 Van Ness Avenue and 170 Fell Street in the heart of the City’s cultural center, and the historic nature of the structures, their current status is far from the highest and best use of these unique properties. Plans by SFUSD to convert the properties into the School of the Arts have not moved forward because of, among other reasons, a lack of needed funding. Yet, at the time, and now, SFUSD owned and continues to own, sufficient surplus and underutilized property that if sold could fund the entire project.
Other alternative and better uses of this complex may be possible.
The entire complex of historic buildings at 135 Van Ness / 170 Fell Street, including Nourse Auditorium, should be put to productive use by, for example, converting the complex into the School for the Arts.
The Civil Grand Jury's full report: Optimizing the Use of Publicly-Owned Real Estate.
October 3, 2013
Larkin Street Redevelopment Take Three And Planning's Flop
Having been rejected twice, once in 2010 and again at the end of last year, the project sponsors of the proposed demolition the dilapidated First St. John's United Methodist Church at the corner of Larkin and Clay will once again seek the Planning Commission’s approval to build a new residential building upon the lot this afternoon.
The revised design for the development at 1601 Larkin Street which is down to five floors from six with additional setbacks and new finishes on the façade will yield 27 new dwelling units and 32 parking spaces as proposed.
The Planning Department which had originally supported the project but then flipped has flopped back to once again characterizing the project as “necessary and desirable” and recommends the project be approved.
∙ 1601 Larkin Street 3.1: The Redesign Details And Renderings [SocketSite]
∙ 1601 Larkin: Planning's Flip-Flop And Expected Disapproval Today [SocketSite]
New NoPa Condos, Restaurants, And Another Threat As Proposed?
While some fear that the proposed residential redevelopment of the Harding Theater on Divisadero could spell trouble for the Independent next door, it might be double trouble as the owner of the corner warehouse on the other side of the Independent is quietly working on plans to partially demolish the auto repair shop at 650 Divisadero Street and build a five-story residential building with nine units along Gove Street and three new commercial spaces, including two for new restaurants, along Divisadero.
While the existing building’s façade along Divisadero would be retained, additional height would be added, including a proposed roof deck for the restaurants which is not currently permitted in the area but would be allowed per a proposed zoning change. Nine parking spaces for the residential portion of the development are proposed to be constructed underground.
With a parcel that could actually support the development of up to sixteen residential units, the Planning Department is "strongly encouraging" the project sponsors to increase the density of the project as proposed. As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Infill Along The Lombard Street Corridor
Having purchased the two-unit building with two adjacent vacant lots at 1463-1465 Lombard Street between Franklin and Van Ness for $2,100,000 this past June, the buyers are working on plans to demolish the building, merge the lots and build a four-story building with nine condos, nine parking spaces and 600 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
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]
October 1, 2013
270 Brannan's Refined Design And Neighborhood Parking Concerns
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.
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:
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]
Plans To Honor Rincon Hill's Past For Its Future To Rise
And as a condition of approval for the two historical halls to be demolished, the developer will include interpretative displays on the history of Maritime Unions on Rincon Hill as part of the project.
The details and designs for the proposed exterior and interior displays:
As designed by Page & Turnbull and Handel Architects (Project Architects), the interpretative display includes a series of interpretative panels located on the exterior within the mid‐block public passage and an interpretative video kiosk located within the interior off of the main public lobby.
On the exterior, the interpretative display would be located along the mid‐block public passage and would be demarcated with a 18” by 18” bronze case plaque. The exhibit includes six panels (each measuring approximately 3‐ft by 2‐ft) located on a corten steel pedestal, and imprinted with images and texts.
The exterior interpretative exhibit includes a salvaged flagpole, which would be located at the end of the mid-block public passage and mounted with banners of the union crests.
A stainless steel video kiosk designed to mimic the existing job board within the union hall at 350 Fremont Street will be located within a small viewing room off of the residential lobby of the new tower with a looping video presentation of the area’s history.
The designs for the exterior and interior displays will be presented to San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission for approval tomorrow.
∙ The Clock Is Ticking For The 400-Foot Tower At 340 Fremont [SocketSite]
∙ Neighborhood Scoop: 340 Fremont's Refined Design And Parking [SocketSite]
September 30, 2013
Planning To Fill The Geary Underpass And A Cranky Citizen's Concerns
On the agenda for San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee this afternoon, a hearing to begin planning the filling of the Geary underpass between Webster and Steiner Streets, the reunification of the Japantown and Western Addition communities, "and all other aesthetic, transportation, infrastructure, and community opportunities and challenges therein, including the possibility of coordinating efforts with the Central Subway Project and/or Geary Bus Rapid Transit."
As part of the official packet for today's hearing, a cranky citizen's demand for more oversight of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Association (SFMTA) and Muni:
Dear Ostrich Family,
It has become exceedingly obvious that the Mayor and Board of Supervisors are sucking hind teat behind the SFMTA/Muni. This omnipotent agency runs amok without the slightest oversight from those elected officials who should be monitoring this runaway train. Need more money to waste? Raise parking fees and fines. Can’t maintain existing rolling stock? Borrow O&M funds to play for the two-car underground light rail that will serve no purpose and be an additional drain on the broke and broken Muni.
Muni apparently has the power to whatever they want – especially in North Beach. The Pagoda demolition and other Muni construction does not have to follow the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) process: no right to appeal, no noticing requirements, no review of hazardous material disposal plans, no binding public input whatever. This was related by Cynthia Goldstein, the head of The Board of Appeals. It seems that Section VIII A of the City Charter can be interpreted to give SFMTA/Muni self-granting of construction permits, and to operate outside the usual DBI rules. Ed Reiskin, John Fungi, and the rest of the SFMTA/Muni hooligans were NOT elected – yet they have carte blanche to do whatever the hell will satisfy other unelected power players – Willie Brown and Rose Pack for example.
This usurpation of power from duly elected officials is unacceptable. It smells of corruption and borders on the criminal. It must be stopped. When the Central Subway bombs – as it surely will – and costs the city diminished service and tax dollars for cost overruns – do-nothing city officials must be held accountable for their negligence.
You have been informed,
Constant Cranky Curmudgeon
(aka Lee Goodin)
∙ The New Plans And Latest Recommendations For Japantown [SocketSite]
∙ As Central Subway Contingency Fund Shrinks, Contract Up For Vote [SocketSite]
September 27, 2013
The Revised Designs For 555 Fulton Street
While the plans for the Hayes Valley development with 139 residential units and a ground floor grocery store at 555 Fulton Street have been dusted off, as a number of plugged-in readers quickly noted, Ian Birchall and Associates is the new architect of record, having drafted a "distinct evolution" of the approved Saitowitz design.
The revised exterior design now employs "horizontally striped glass in two offset panels to assist the privacy of the units" (click images to enlarge).
September 26, 2013
Modern Hayes Valley Development And Grocery Getting Ready To Go
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).
September 25, 2013
Plans For Four Stories Of Condos At Pennsylvania And 17th
As proposed, the single-story Potrero Hill warehouse at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street will be razed and two residential buildings will be built upon the site.
The building to be known as 1001 17th Street would be 4-stories and 48-feet tall with 26 condos and a ground floor garage for nine (9) cars and 28 bikes. The sister building at 140 Pennsylvania Street would be 4-stories and between 40 and 48 feet tall with 11 condos and a garage for 8 cars and 11 bikes. The proposed condos average 800 square feet.
An earlier plan for the site called for a four-story commercial building with retail on the ground floor and 57 parking spaces underground. San Francisco’s Planning Commission is set to approve the revised plans this week.
As plugged-in people know, plans to build 45 new units on the parking lot across the street at 98 Pennsylvania Avenue are in the works while the approved 468-unit Daggett Place development is a block away at the corner of 7th and 16th Streets.
Nearly Two Million For This Mission District "Fixer"
As we first wrote about the 1870’s era Victorian on a 6,000 square foot lot at 837 South Van Ness Avenue last month, "while we do see the potential for a spectacular Mission District compound, calling it a "fixer" seems a bit gracious and it's not a project for the faint of heart (nor pocketbook)."
Having been listed for $1,395,000, the sale of 837 Van Ness Avenue closed escrow last week with a reported contract price of $1,901,000. We'll let you know when the plans are drawn, the permits are filed, and whose pocketbook ends up financing the fixing.
74 Condos Ready To Rise At 72 Townsend Street
With the building permits to add seven stories and seventy-four condos atop the existing 31-foot warehouse at 72 Townsend Street quietly reinstated at the end of 2012, the project has been sold to KB Homes which plans to start work next month.
The 74 new South Beach condos which will range in size from 810 to 2,859 square feet and come with one parking space apiece should be ready for occupancy by the middle of 2015 with a sales office opening next summer.
September 24, 2013
Tosca’s Return To Its Restaurant Roots
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.
September 23, 2013
Plans For Seven Stories Of Infill Along Folsom Near Sixth
Goldman Architects is quietly working on plans to demolish the single-story Arroyo Carlos & Sons auto repair shop at 980 Folsom Street and build a seven-story, mixed-use building in its place.
As drafted, the new building would consist of 34 residential units over ground floor commercial space and a garage entrance fronting Folsom Street. At the rear of the lot, the Clementina Street frontage would only rise four stories with residential units over the ground floor garage.
The draft design for the garage includes 21 stacked parking spaces, but as new buildings in the Mixed-Use District are limited to one off-street parking space for every four dwelling units, an exception would need to be granted for more than nine (9) parking spaces to be built based on the number of dwelling units proposed.
Request "To Preserve Noe Valley's Character And Charm" Rejected
San Francisco's Planning Commission has voted 7-0 to reject the requested Discretionary Review (DR) for the home to be built at 645 Duncan Street, approving the designs for the new 4,820 square foot Noe Valley home as proposed (click renderings to enlarge).
And while we'll have to consider it a rumor for now, if a plugged-in tipster is correct, the modern 6,000 square foot home next door at 625 Duncan might soon hit the market, a move which would appear to have been planned prior to last week's ruling against the owners who had requested the Discretionary Review to block the building of 645 Duncan as proposed, characterizing their request as a fight to preserve "the character and charm" of the neighborhood.
∙ A Rather Ironic Noe Valley Fight Continues, Decision This Week [SocketSite]
∙ Buyers Of 6,000 Foot Home Now Fight To Preserve "Noe's Charm" [SocketSite]
September 20, 2013
SFMTA Reverses Course On Kirkland Yard Redevelopment
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has operated the Kirkland Yard bus depot on Beach Street between Powell and Stockton for over sixty years.
The 2.6 acre Fisherman’s Wharf adjacent parcel was once part of San Francisco Bay before it was filled in 1886 and was privately owned until 1942 when it was acquired by the Department of War. In 1947 the parcel was transferred to the City of San Francisco. And in 1950, the site began to serve as a bus storage and maintenance yard.
A relocation of the Kirkland Yard's buses and operations to a new, larger facility at Cesar Chavez and I-280 was originally scheduled for 2008, but the new Islais Creek depot won't be finished until 2014. And while the SFMTA had been in negotiations to sell the current Kirkland Yard site to the Mayor’s Office of Housing for the development of 220 rental units once the depot was moved, the SFMTA has reversed course and declared the existing Kirkland Yard "an essential element" of their real estate portfolio.
According to San Francisco's Director of Transportation, Edward Reiskin, "given the growth in the City and the new transportation projects and vehicles required to support the growth plus the fact that most of the transit facilities are now in the southern part of the City, the SMFTA [feels it is] imperative that we continue to use Kirkland as a transit facility."
That being said, the SFMTA is considering covering the existing Yard with a canopy to reduce its impact on the surrounding neighborhood. The North Waterfront site is zoned for development up to 40-feet in height.
September 18, 2013
The Sports Basement's New Presidio Home
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.
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.
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]
Presidio Cultural Center Proposals (And Parking) By The Numbers
With the detailed proposals for the three finalists competing to redevelop the Presidio's former Commissary site in hand, here’s the quick summary of how the proposals compare in terms of projected attendance, space, parking, timeline and dollars:
Lucas Cultural Arts Museum
Attendance (projected, annual): 500,000 - 750,000 visitors
Building: 93,000 square feet
Parking: 350 underground spaces
Cost: $300 million
Development Timeline: 3 Years
Funding: George Lucas
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy's Presidio Exchange
Attendance (projected, annual): 460,000 Visitors
Building: 97,000 square feet, including re-use of existing Commissary building
Parking: 350 surface spaces
Cost: $119 million
Development Timeline: Two phases over 5.5 Years
Funding: Capital Campaign TBD
The Bridge Institute
Attendance (projected, annual): 550,000 Visitors
Building: 92,000 square feet
Cost: $185 million
Development Timeline: 4 Years
Funding: Capital Campaign TBD
As a point of reference, San Francisco's old Exploratorium registered roughly 580,000 visitors last year.
September 17, 2013
The Clock Is Ticking For The 400-Foot Tower At 340 Fremont
With the one-year extension to start work on the 40-story residential building approved to rise at 340 Fremont Street set to expire in two months, the building permit for the 348-unit development has yet to be approved but it is making its way through Planning with the demolition permit to clear the site for construction awaiting a few signatures as well.
∙ Neighborhood Scoop: 340 Fremont's Refined Design And Parking [SocketSite]
∙ 340 Fremont Scoop: Building Permit Filed For 400-Foot Tower [SocketSite]
The Three Competing Designs For The Presidio's Commissary Site
The three final proposals for redeveloping the Presidio's former Commissary site which is currently occupied by Sports Basement have been received by the Presidio Trust and will be presented to the public on September 23. If you'd like to take a peek at the proposed designs and uses for the 16-acre site prior to the public presentation, however, here they are:
While no specific date has been given, the winning concept is expected to be selected and announced either later this year or early in 2014.
September 16, 2013
A Rather Ironic Noe Valley Fight Continues, Decision This Week
As we first reported two weeks ago, the driving force behind the requested Discretionary Review (DR) to downsize the proposed 4,820 square foot single-family home to be built at 645 Duncan Street are the owners of the 6,000 square foot home next door who have characterized their campaign as a fight to preserve "the character and charm" of the neighborhood.
With the design for 645 Duncan having been revised to address a number of stated concerns, including the elimination of a proposed fifth floor which would have been within the permitted height limit for the site (click renderings to enlarge), San Francisco’s Planning Commission will now decide whether or not the development will be allowed to move forward as proposed:
Noting that the design for 645 Duncan complies with both San Francisco's Planning Code and Residential Design Guidelines, San Francisco’s Planning Department recommends that the Planning Commission approve the development as designed.
Adding to the irony, the owner of the rather charming 1,400 square foot home to the west of the proposed project is actually on the record in support of the development as well.
∙ Buyers Of 6,000 Foot Home Now Fight To Preserve "Noe's Charm" [SocketSite]
∙ A Threat To "The Character And Charm" Of Noe Valley? [SocketSite]
∙ 645 Duncan Street Discretionary Review Packet [sfplanning.org]
Final Proposals For Presidio Development Due By Five PM Today
With three teams having made the Presidio Trust's cut, final proposals for redeveloping the former Commissary and current Sports Basement site across from Crissy Field are due by 5pm today.
From the New York Times with respect to George Lucas' proposed Cultural Arts Museum, one of the three finalists which comes with a pledge of $700 million of Lucas' own money to fund and endow the museum and has been endorsed by Mayor Ed Lee:
In an interview, Mr. Lucas said that the Presidio staff and board had "stalled" for four years on the project and snubbed his taste in architecture as an exercise in mere "mimicking." Should San Francisco reject his latest proposal, Mr. Lucas is threatening to build his pop-culture palace in Chicago.
Mr. Lucas said that Nancy H. Bechtle, chairwoman of the Presidio board, criticized his idea for a building that recycled a historical style rather than pioneered a new one. His proposal calls for a conservative Beaux-Arts building topped by a dome and takes its inspiration from the fairgrounds of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco in 1915.
"There’s nothing wrong with replicating old architecture," Mr. Lucas said. "Basically all of Washington is a mimic of the past." We'll keep posted as to what the future holds.
∙ Lucas Cultural Arts Museum And Two Others Make The Presidio's Cut [SocketSite]
∙ 3 Vie to Build Culture Center at Presidio in San Francisco [NYTimes]
∙ George Lucas' Cultural Arts Museum Proposal And Personal Thoughts [SocketSite]
September 13, 2013
Polk Gulch Proposal: Ten New Stories And A Non-Formula Store
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.
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:
CVS Seeks Permission To Open In Building Trader Joe's Abandoned
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.
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.
A Peek Inside The All-New Glen Park Pad At 30 Conrad
The undeveloped Glen Park lot at 30 Conrad was purchased for $310,000 in February of 2012 without any approvals to build, approvals which were judiciously secured.
And upon the lot, a contemporary three-story over garage home has since been built.
Designed by Felipe Rodriguez, a steel, glass and wood staircase connects the floors:
And while the Glen Park pad hasn't yet been listed, it has been priced at $2,749,000 with room for two cars in the garage below, a roof top deck above, and four bedrooms in-between.
SoMa Lot Across From The Eagle Acquired For Development
The half-acre parking lot at 1532 Harrison Street which fronts Norfolk, Harrison and 12th Streets has been acquired by developer Build Inc. with plans to build around 120 rental units on the site.
The parcel which sits across the street from the Eagle Tavern is zoned for a building up to 65 feet in height with the potential for five stories of housing over ground floor retail.
∙ Build Inc. acquires SoMa site for rental housing [Business Times]
September 11, 2013
Bus Rapid Transit Along Van Ness Approved, Slated For 2018 Start
The SF County Transportation Authority Board unanimously approved the plan for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) down Van Ness Avenue yesterday, adding one extra stop for the service between Broadway and Vallejo following protests from residents of a nearby senior center.
Van Ness Avenue BRT will run approximately two miles from Mission to Lombard, converting two mixed-flow traffic lanes into dedicated bus lanes with new stations, adding transit signal priority along the route, and eliminating all left turns along Van Ness Avenue except at Lombard (northbound) and Broadway (southbound).
The BRT service should be up and running by early 2018 assuming construction commences by late 2015 as is currently planned, reducing travel time down the two-mile corridor by an estimated 32 percent, a savings of seven minutes per trip.
∙ The Design And Details For Rapid Transit (BRT) Down Van Ness Avenue [SocketSite]
∙ SFCTA Board Approves Van Ness BRT Plan With an Extra Stop [streetsblog.org]
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]
Outer Parkside Block Back On Track For Big Development
Approved for the development of 56 new housing units, 23,000 square feet of commercial space, and an open-air market, the Outer Parkside block fronting Sloat Boulevard between 46th and 47th Avenues had fallen into foreclosure on $4,220,000 loan.
As we first reported at the beginning of the year:
While the parcels upon which the Aqua Surf Shop, John's Ocean Beach Café and Robert's Motel currently sit between 46th and 47th Avenues were scheduled to hit the courthouse steps last week, a bankruptcy filing has postponed the auction until at least tomorrow and most likely for many more weeks, or months, to come.
And as a plugged-in reader notes, the entire debt has just been paid. We'll keep you plugged-in with respect to the development(s) for the block as rendered below:
September 9, 2013
Crime Doesn't Climb In San Francisco
Mapping the 15,000 incidents reported to the San Francisco Police Department in January and February of this year, Gordon Wintrob and Peter Reinhardt attempted to analytically answer the question: does "crime climb" in San Francisco? Or in other words, do higher elevations provide a natural barrier to crime?
Segmenting the 15,000 reported incidents based on the elevation at which they occurred, the two found that crime levels drop off sharply at higher elevations:
From the team:
One flaw in this analysis is that it could be a byproduct of the fact that there is less land mass in the city at these higher altitudes. In other words, if 90% of the city is at an elevation less than 25m, then 90% of the crime would occur at lower altitudes, assuming an even distribution of incidents. To correct for this problem, we took a distributed sample of 10,000 locations in San Francisco and divided the number of incidents in each elevation range by the number of locations in that bucket.
When normalizing for land mass at different elevations, the trend of lower crime at higher elevations was equally as dramatic:
Unfortunately the duo's analysis didn't also normalize for the difference in densities at the various elevations, a correlation which tends to be rather strong.
∙ Crime Doesn't Climb [github.com]
Impact Of Proposed 31-Story Waterfront Tower Up In The Air
The environmental impact of razing the eight-story parking garage for 540 cars at 75 Howard Street and building a 31-story tower with 186 condos over a ground floor restaurant and parking for 175 cars on the site will be reviewed by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week.
Currently zoned for building up to 200 feet in height, assuming the Environmental Impact Report for the project is certified, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will still need to approve a reclassification of the zoning for the tower to rise the full 348-feet as proposed.
Chopping the tower down to 200 feet would reduce the number of units by ten percent to 169 condos with 143 parking spaces, while designs for a 281-foot tower would yield 172 units with parking for 156, leading to some to wonder if the designs for a 348-foot tall tower were proposed to make the approval of a shorter tower seem like a compromise.
As the proposed tower would cast a shadow on Rincon Park, should the homeowners at the Four Seasons be successful in passing their "let the sun shine" ballot measure, in addition to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, the voters of San Francisco would need to approve the plans for 75 Howard Street before any development could begin.
New Homes, Not A Park, Likely To Rise On Decaying Portola Block
Owned by the Garibaldi family since the 1920's, while some neighbors had been hoping the Portola neighborhood land upon which the decaying greenhouses of the old University Mound Nursery sit would be turned into a public park, the entire 2.2 acre block is now on the market for $12 million.
As zoned, the San Francisco block which is bounded by Woolsey, Hamilton, Wayland, and Bowdoin streets and is adjacent to the University Mound reservoir could support the development of up to 34 new single family homes with heights of up to 40 feet.
Lack Of Diversity Cited As Reason To Deny Marina Store
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]
September 6, 2013
City Slated To Sell Transbay Block Six For 300-Foot Tower To Rise
If all goes as proposed over the next couple of weeks, the agreement for the sale and development of Transbay Block 6 will be finalized, setting the stage for a 300-foot tower to rise on the corner of Folsom and Fremont (click rendering to enlarge).
The project also includes the development of 40-foot townhomes along Clementina Alley and three 50 to 85-foot mid-rise buildings on Fremont, Beal, and Folsom.
In total, 545 residential units (a mix of market-rate and subsidized), 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 136 undergrounding parking spaces will be built on the site with multiple green roof gardens and decks above, parks and a mid-block paseo below.
September 5, 2013
Buyers Of 6,000 Foot Home Now Fight To Preserve "Noe's Charm"
As we first reported earlier this week, the approved plans for a staggered three-story over garage Noe Valley home to be built at 645 Duncan Street have been challenged by the "Noe Valley Neighbors" who have gathered support for their requested Discretionary Review to overturn the project's approval by characterizing it as "a precedent setting five story single family home in Noe Valley, potentially altering the character and charm of this neighborhood forever."
As we pointed out, the proposed "precedent setting" home would rise adjacent to 625 Duncan Street, the modern 6,000 square foot home above which was built in 2008 and is currently the second most expensive home in the neighborhood having been bought by the former COO of MobiTV for $5,818,000 in 2008.
And as a number of plugged-in readers correctly surmised, the "Noe Valley Neighbors" who filed the Discretionary Review and are campaigning for its support based on their concerns for the "the character and charm" of neighborhood are none other than the owners of 625 Duncan whose charming views to west would just so happen to be blocked by the new home.
∙ A Threat To "The Character And Charm" Of Noe Valley? [SocketSite]
∙ The Spec-tacular 625 Duncan Sells For $5,818,000 In Noe Valley [SocketSite]
A Redevelopment Home Run (With An Asterisk)
Purchased for $1,635,000 in January of 2012 with two vacant units, an occupied in-law (which was leased for $500 per month), and one parking spot, the Cow Hollow building at 2827 Greenwich Street returned to the market in May having been redeveloped as a "single-family home" with five bedrooms, four and one-half baths, and two parking spaces on the ground floor.
Listed for $5,945,000, the sale of 2827 Greenwich closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $5,700,000.
While a dwelling unit merger wasn't approved for the redevelopment of the property, the "au pair/ guest suite and separate kitchenette" on the ground floor appears to have passed inspection as a separate unit but has since been merged for all intents and purposes.
September 4, 2013
The Five Winning Designs For Reimagining Highway 280 In SF
The winners of the design competition to rethink the use of the space currently occupied by Highway 280 north of 16th Street in San Francisco have been selected. The five winning teams, concepts and designs, click any of the renderings to enlarge:
1. Seismic Harvest: "Historically in San Francisco, demolishing freeways comes in the political and emotional aftermath of an earthquake. Through the community garden, commercial organic farm, and waterfront development, D.IS.H created Seismic Harvest to integrate earthquake simulators re-imagined as harvesting systems. The master plan redefines the city’s history with removing freeways to harvest a new community."
The jury awarded the Seismic Harvest scheme its Special Recognition, calling it "fun, clever and quirky" and noting that it puts a positive spin on the earthquake.
2. ARC DE DEFE[E]T: "ARC DE DEFE[E]T, by Academy of Art University graduate students Jonathan Bradley and Ye Bao, creates demand for bikes by giving them away to the people that choose to park their automobiles at one of the existing parking structures of Mission Bay. With the growing demand for a healthier environment and the growing production of automobiles to facilitate the world’s population transportation needs, 280 highway is a perfect building typology to subvert our dependence on the automobile."
The jury was very impressed with the graphics of the ARC DE DEFE[E]T entry as well as its sensitivity in the creation of a landscape from post infrastructural resources.
3. FIELDSHIFT: "In Fieldshift, by students Erik Jensen and Justin Richardson, the field challenges spreading, high-end exclusionary development and prioritizes affordability in its surrounding neighborhoods. A localized honest adaptation of the scar alongside an at-grade approach to the city center, via rail, minimizes absorbed real estate costs. This maximizes the city’s ability to retain public land for housing in the parcels outside the domain of the chosen site."
The jurors thought Fieldshift looked like "an epic art installation but with thoughtful analysis," considering the experience of drivers exiting the freeway.
4. HIGHLINK: "With Highlink, Brian Vargo envisions the existing structure of a highway overpass as a vibrant pedestrian promenade. From ‘highway’ to ‘highlink,’ the project reconnects Mission Bay to the city, adds value to its greater surroundings, and practices the progressive sustainability that gives San Francisco its unique identity."
The jury thought this was an elegant reinterpretation of Manhattan’s Highline project but with a San Francisco twist, managing to preserve and remember a small piece of the freeway while allowing the other space to become what is best for the area.
5. SALT SAND SIEVE: "Katherine Jenkins and Parker Sutton’s Salt Sand Sieve proposes a field of urban dunes to generate a porous and ecologically diverse shoreline and to establish a sensory landscape informed by the meter of the highway and the forces of the Bay."
The jury was deeply impressed with the Salt Sand Sieve team's research and investigation into historic infrastructure and repurposing of it in an ecological manner.
∙ A Bold Plan To Tear Down I-280 North Of 16th Street In San Francisco [SocketSite]
∙ A Competition To Rethink The Space Beneath Highway 280 [SocketSite]
∙ 280 Freeway Competition Winners [cadsf.org]
A Threat To "The Character And Charm" Of Noe Valley?
While San Francisco’s Planning Department has approved plans for a staggered three-story over basement and garage home to be built at 645 Duncan Street, a group of Noe Valley neighbors have requested a Discretionary Review to appeal the project's approval.
Characterizing the project as "a precedent setting five story single family home in Noe Valley, potentially altering the character and charm of this neighborhood forever," the Noe Valley Neighbors have gathered 297 online signatures in support of their appeal.
Keep in mind that the proposed "precedent setting" home would rise adjacent to 625 Duncan Street, the modern 6,000 square foot home which was built in 2008 and is currently the second most expensive home in the neighborhood, down the street from the most expensive home at 526 Duncan.
September 3, 2013
Four Seasons Homeowners File Suit To Block Approved Tower
While residents of the Four Seasons Residences continue to move forward with a ballot measure designed to block the approved development of Millennium Partners' 510-foot tall condo tower and Mexican Museum to rise at 706 Mission Street, a development which would block their million dollar views, they've now filed a lawsuit challenging the development as well.
Filed in Sacramento Superior Court, the suit alleges San Francisco’s Planning Department failed to include all the information "necessary for informed decision-making and informed public participation," failed to fully evaluate the "effectiveness of mitigation measures to reduce the Project’s significant environmental impacts," and that San Francisco’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors failed to fully comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when approving the project.
∙ An Unfriendly Ultimatum "So The Sun Can Shine" In San Francisco [SocketSite]
∙ Four Seasons homeowners sue to block nearby Mexican Museum tower [Business Times]
August 30, 2013
The Top Ten Areas For New Development In San Francisco
Removing the approved redevelopments of Candlestick/Hunters Point, Treasure Island, and Park Merced from the ranking, three long-term projects which represent nearly 24,000 of the 48,000 housing units in San Francisco's current development pipeline, the top ten areas being targeted for the near-term development of new housing in San Francisco are:
10. The Mission (930 new units)
9. South Central (1,210 units)
8. Western Addition (1,240 units)
7. Transbay (1,340 units)
6. East SoMa (1,480 units)
5. Mission Bay* (2,088 units)
4. Rincon Hill (2,370 units)
3. Market/Octavia (2,410 units)
2. Showplace Square/Potrero Hill (2,950 units)
And with nearly 4,000 units either under construction, approved, or proposed to be built, the number one area for new housing development in San Francisco is "Downtown" which includes Mid-Market and the Tenderloin.
*UPDATE: While the Planning Department includes the Giants' proposed Mission Rock Development as part of "South of Market, Other," we've moved it to Mission Bay and updated the table and map above.
∙ The 48,000 San Francisco Units In The Works By Neighborhood [SocketSite]
August 29, 2013
Bay Area Bike Share Program In Action
With 700 bikes spread across 70 stations in San Francisco and down the Caltrain corridor to San Jose, the Bay Area Bike Share program formally started rolling at noon on thursday.
At the moment, the three most popular stations in San Francisco as measured by the least number of bikes available are the stations at Market and 4th Street; the Caltrain adjacent station at 330 Townsend; and the North Beach station at Grant and Columbus.
An annual pass for the program runs $88; a three-day pass $22; and a daily pass $9; all of which offer an unlimited number of 30-minute rides.
Keeping a bike for over 30 minutes will cost an extra $4 for the next half hour and another $7 for every 30 minutes thereafter up to $150 a day. Permanently keeping or losing a bike will result in a charge of $1,200 to your credit card.
The 48,000 San Francisco Units In The Works By Neighborhood
Roughly 1,500 new housing units were built and hit the market in San Francisco over the past four quarters. At the same time, commercial space in the city declined by 187,000 square feet as 172,000 square feet of existing space was converted to residential use.
Today, there are nearly 4,900 more new housing units under construction in San Francisco, most of which are market rate and will hit the market over the next year, numbers which shouldn't catch any plugged-in people by surprise.
Building permits for another 4,000 units having been approved and permits for another 3,800 units have been requested, a total of nearly 8,000 more housing units on top of those already under construction and which should start hitting the market in two to four years.
Another 28,000 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.
And with plans for an additional 7,000 housing units on the boards, San Francisco’s total Housing Pipeline currently totals over 48,000 units. For context, around 12,000 housing units have been constructed in San Francisco since 2007; 26,000 new units constructed since 2000.
With respect to the pipeline of commercial development in San Francisco: 620,000 square feet are under construction; building permits for 2,000,000 square feet have been issued; building permits for another 3,800,000 square feet have been requested; and plans for another 5,600,000 square feet of commercial development have been approved.
A breakdown of all the development in the works across San Francisco, both residential and commercial, by neighborhood (click the table to enlarge):
∙ San Francisco Pipeline Report: Second Quarter 2013 [sf-planning.org]
August 28, 2013
A Decade Of Data Points And New Peak For A Twin Peaks Home
Having sold for $925,000 in 2005 and then again for $899,000 in early 2008, the touched up Twin Peaks home at 243 Romain was listed for $1,195,000 this past April.
Withdrawn from the market without a sale and relisted for $995,000 in June, and then again for $975,000 in July, the sale of 243 Romain closed escrow this past Monday with a reported contract price of $1,100,000, up a little over 20 percent on an apples-to-apples basis since 2008 (or 2005).
Having also sold for $700,000 in 2003, call it total appreciation of 57 percent or average annual appreciation of 4.5 percent over the past decade for the San Francisco home, with some ups and downs between.
∙ Touched Up In Twin Peaks [SocketSite]
It's Not About Vanity, It's About Valuation
The proposed Warriors Arena to built upon San Francisco's Pier 30-32 isn't a vanity project, it's a shrewd financial move on the part of the team's ownership.
As a plugged-in reader notes, while the Warriors franchise was purchased for $450 million in 2010, the value of the franchise has skyrocketed since announcing their planned move and new San Francisco arena with a recent deal to sell a minority share of the team to Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Stevens implying an $800 million valuation.
Putting aside the issue of whether or not the proposed location is appropriate, the new arena would be a boon to the City of San Francisco, but not nearly as much as to the team. And yet the City seems to have been negotiating with the Warriors from a position of weakness and promoting the project as a near act of charity to clean up the pier.
Okay, so perhaps it is a vanity project, just not on the part of the Warriors.
August 27, 2013
Coming Soon: Sixteen Modern Condos On 20th Street
office gallery for the sixteen Stanley Saitowitz designed Dogpatch condos at 616 20th Street is slated to open its doors mid-October. Behind the sawtooth façade, the minimalist units will feature "ultra-modern" finishes and "open-concept" layouts:
A rooftop deck atop the five-story building will provide a communal entertaining area while eleven parking spaces and a commercial space will compose the ground floor.
August 26, 2013
Nearly Sixty Percent Over Asking And Highly Engineered
Having been listed for $1,399,000, it shouldn't come as any surprise that sale of 367 Liberty Street sold for well "over asking" with eleven offers as the list price was at least $400,000 less than what the seller was actually seeking according to a plugged-in source.
With a reported contract price of $2,200,000, however, the "57 percent over list price" stat for the Liberty Hill home with "expansion potential" and big views might still raise an eyebrow or two.
Then again, maybe it won't as remodeled homes on The Hill have been rather hot with the home in front having sold for $3 million in 2012 as did the hidden home behind to which a million-dollar-plus remodel is in the works.
Proposed Waterfront Open Space Meeting Postponed
The meeting scheduled for August 28 to discuss the designs for the concrete triangle at the end of Howard between Steuart and Embarcadero has been postponed. From the team behind the proposed 31-story building to rise at 75 Howard Street, at the base of which the triangle sits:
Unfortunately, we have just learned that we need to have additional information in hand and further discussions with the City, the owner of the triangle lot. As we want to have a meaningful and comprehensive community discussion about the site, we need to postpone this Wednesday’s meeting.
We'll let you know when the meeting is rescheduled. In the meantime, we'll leave you with a reader's thought that the triangle could make for a rather interesting location for Ruth Asawa's San Francisco Fountain should it be moved to make way for an Apple store on Union Square.
Warriors Arena Plan Already Behind Schedule, Costs Piling Up
As we first wrote last year with respect to the plan to build an arena upon Pier 30-32:
With San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee deeming it his legacy project, and the project sponsors lining the pockets of nearly every political, development, and public relations consultant in the city, some might consider the Warriors Arena that’s proposed to be built upon Pier 30-32 to be too big or connected to fail. But this is San Francisco, after all.
Birds helped overturn the approved development of 555 Washington. NIMBY neighbors have stalled the approved development of 8 Washington for at least another year. And an early plan to develop the very Pier upon which the Warriors Arena would be built fell apart during negotiations of the financial terms.
The draft development deal with the Warriors would cap the City’s exposure on the billion dollar project to a $120,000,000 reimbursement for Pier rehabilitation and potential public improvements with funding of the reimbursement limited to rent credits (the piers would be leased to the Warriors for $1,970,000 a year), the sale of Seawall 330 for an estimated $30,400,000, and new property tax revenue generated by the Warriors development.
Assuming a term sheet for the deal can be agreed upon, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission approves the use, the Piers are successfully rezoned for development over 40 feet, and any legal challenges are overcome in a timely manner, San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors will have a new Arena by 2017.
While a term sheet for the project has been agreed upon, the estimated cost for improving the pier for development has since risen from $120 million to $170 million, the project is already months behind the tight schedule for meeting a 2017 opening, and not only has the BCDC not approved of the project, they're pushing for additional time and delay.
The lawsuit and referendum circus challenging the development has yet to even begin.
The Evolution Of Design And Odds Of Another For 399 Fremont
With the clock ticking to start construction and the project having been sold to a new developer, a number of readers wonder whether the approved design for the 400-foot tower to rise at 399 Fremont Street might be redesigned again as it was last year.
While some tweaks are likely in the works, we'd put the chance of a wholesale redesign for 399 Fremont at less than one percent unless the new developer (UDR) should decide they’ve missed the current cycle.
A few more side-by-side comparisons of the previously approved and redesigned building to rise on the corner of Fremont and Harrison (click images to enlarge):
∙ The Clock Is Ticking For This 400-Foot Tower On Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
∙ 399 Fremont Scoop: Redesigned And Pursuing Construction Permits [SocketSite]
August 23, 2013
Transbay Tower Watch: Approved But Not (Yet) Permitted
While Hines and Boston Properties ceremonially broke ground for the 1,070-foot tall Transbay Tower to rise at the corner of First and Mission five months ago, nothing seems to have happened on the 101 First Street site since. And for good reason.
While approved for development, the permit to construct the 61-story tower which was applied for in March has yet to be issued. But with the fire department having signed-off on the plans this week, it shouldn't be too much longer before the construction crew can start setting up camp and moving the dirt with more than gold shovels.
And no, they're still not planning to pay for
their the park.
∙ Transbay Tower Site Transferred And Ceremonially Breaks Ground [SocketSite]
∙ Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
∙ Hines And Boston Balk At Having To Pay For Transbay Park Upkeep [SocketSite]
August 22, 2013
New Rents Over Religion On 14th Street
With ten apartments on the top two floors and the ground floor and basement currently occupied by a church, the owner of the three-story building on the northwest corner of 14th and Belcher streets is working on plans to move the church to the basement, convert the first floor of the building into five new apartments, and build two new floors with four new apartments above the existing single story at the rear of the building.
The building's existing single-space garage and loading zone along 14th Street would be removed as part of the project and parking for bikes would be built in the basement.
The Clock Is Ticking For This 400-Foot Tower On Rincon Hill
Last year Fifield Realty was granted another one-year extension to get started on the development of the approved 400-foot residential tower to rise at 399 Fremont Street, a parcel which was first approved for development back in 2006 and has been granted five one-year extensions to commence development by San Francisco's Planning Commission.
The day before the latest extension expired on June 15, 2013, the building permit to construct the 452-unit tower was approved and issued, but the ground has yet to be broken.
Fifield UDR has until the end of the year to start construction on the site or risk their permits being cancelled by the Planning Department.
UPDATE: A plugged-in reader notes that Fifield has sold the project to UDR.
∙ 399 Fremont Scoop: Redesigned And Pursuing Construction Permits [SocketSite]
∙ Another 400-Foot Rincon Hill Tower Is Ready To Break Ground [SocketSite]
August 21, 2013
Going To The Dogs Over At The New Brannan Street Wharf?
With the ribbon for San Francisco's Brannan Street Wharf project having been cut last month, has the new park gone to the dogs?
While the Wharf's 400-foot lawn was intended for "informal play," it’s perfect for running a pooch. And while it isn't a designated dog park, the use of it as such by some is keeping others off the grass and raises the question of whether the lawn can effectively serve as an informal play area for both kids and canines.
The count this afternoon: 1 person, 1 pooch and 2 new stations with free pet waste bags.
3020 Laguna Street In Exitum
The condemned 975 square foot Cow Hollow home which once stood at 3020 Laguna Street was briefly transformed into an installation art piece and exhibition entitled 3020 Laguna St. In Exitum prior to being razed in 2012. And upon the site, a new 3020 Laguna has since risen.
∙ 3020 Laguna St. In Exitum [3020lagunafilm.com]
∙ From Condemned Canvas To Contemporary Cow Hollow Home [SocketSite]
Let's Get Ready To Rubble For This 52-Story Tower To Rise
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.
August 20, 2013
Two Proposals To Redevelop Pier 38, Including A Beer Garden
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]
Seeking Support For Waterfront Open Space (And Development)
As part of the 31-story condo tower project proposed to rise at 75 Howard Street, the existing concrete triangle at the end of Howard between Steuart and Embarcadero is proposed to be remade as a 5,000 square foot public open space.
While rendered as a sculpture garden at the base of the proposed tower, the developers are now seeking community input with respect to designs for the triangle, hoping to reach "community consensus" and support for their plan(s).
A public meeting to discuss the designs and proposed programming for the triangle will be held next Wednesday, August 28 from 6-8pm at the Embarcadero YMCA. And if a consensus is reached, "the Paramount Group will propose that design to the City and County of San Francisco as part of their overall site proposal."
∙ The Impact Of A Proposed 31-Story Tower On SF's Waterfront [SocketSite]
Demolition Of Derelict Pagoda Theater Is Underway
The demolition of the derelict North Beach Pagoda Theater is underway.
Once the theater is demolished, a shaft to extract the boring machines for San Francisco's Central Subway project will be constructed upon the site which MUNI has leased for two years at $131,250 per month.
And once the machines are extracted and the shaft is closed, construction of The Palace at Washington Square, a five-story building with 18 dwelling units over a 4,700 square foot restaurant and parking for 27 cars, but no new North Beach Subway station, is slated to commence.
August 19, 2013
Now Trending In Noe Valley
Speaking of Noe Valley and Duncan Street, the sale of 313 Duncan which Twitter's co-founder Evan Williams and his wife purchased for $2,400,000 in April of 2009 has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,200,000.
Having been remodeled a bit since its purchase in 2009 the pair of sales for 313 Duncan isn't perfectly "apples-to-apples," but it is 33 percent more expensive than it was four years ago.
August 16, 2013
The Three Most Expensive Homes In Noe Valley
Sitting on a double lot and remodeled in 2004 with four levels of living space, high end finishes throughout, and a lighted sports court behind, the Noe Valley home at 651 29th Street sold for $5,250,000 this week having been listed for $4,995,000 in July, making it the third most expensive home to have ever traded hands in Noe.
The second most expensive home to have ever sold in Noe is 625 Duncan which was built as a spec home and traded for $5,818,000 in 2008, $432,000 under asking at the time.
And as plugged-in people know, the most expensive home in Noe Valley remains 526 Duncan, the modern "T House" which a former Google engineer sold for $6,100,000 in 2011 to a former Facebook engineer turned angel investor who paid $300,000 under list.
Two Months Later And Three Grand More For A Parking Space In SF
As we noted yesterday, parking spots at 300 Ivy were priced at $75,000 a piece over in Hayes Valley.
Bank-Owned A Block From Dolores Park
Purchased for $1,150,000 in 2005 with 25 percent down, in January of 2012 the three unit property at 152 Hancock Street was taken back by the bank with no bidders at $850,000 in cash on the courthouse steps.
With two of the three one-bedroom units currently occupied and the building in need of a bit of work, the bank-owned building a block from Dolores Park is now back on the market and listed for $1,100,000.
Our countdown to the "contemporization" of 152 Hancock has begun. And we're not simply referring to its facade.
August 15, 2013
Nine New Hayes Valley Condos For As Little As $237K A Piece
Nine of the 63 new Hayes Valley condos under construction at 300 Ivy (aka 401 Grove Street) will be sold for as little as $236,862 for a 624 square foot one-bedroom and $355,404 for one three-bedroom with 1,605 square feet.
So what’s the catch? As part of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development Below Market Rate (BMR) Inclusionary Housing Program, applicants for the 9 BMR units cannot make more than 90 percent of the area median income, which means a single person can make no more than $63,750 a year, a couple can make no more than $72,850, and a couple with a child can have a current annual income of no more than $82,000 to qualify.
While the prices above do not include a parking space, five spaces will be made available by lottery to the buyers of the nine units for $75,000 each.
Applications are due by 5pm on September 24, 2013. Pass it along.
∙ 401 Grove Street Gets Its Groove On Despite Intimations Otherwise [SocketSite]
∙ 300 Ivy Street Below Market Rate Housing Program [sf-moh.org]
Square On Track For Move To Market Street In September
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.
August 14, 2013
Micro-Neighborhood Popping-Up At Pier 70 This Sunday
This Sunday, August 18, Forest City will be testing ideas for the development of Pier 70 with a one day "micro-neighborhood" popping-up on the site featuring 150 local vendors, food trucks, music and a beer/wine garden in Building 12 at the end of 22nd Street from 11am to 6pm.
Over the next 15 years, plans call for Pier 70 to become "a blend of creative, local uses, parks, living spaces and offices solutions designed for the emerging economy."
∙ Urban Air Market at Pier 70 [Pier 70]
∙ Pier 70 Plans Unveiled Including 1,000 New Housing Units [SocketSite]
Waylaid By Two Downturns Downtown, Will There Be A Third?
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:
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).
August 13, 2013
Razing Ginsberg's To Build A Non-Beat Hotel
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.
524 Howard Street: Tower Deets And Timing
As we first reported and summarized last month, while Crescent Heights is seeking approval to continue operating the little parking lot at 524 Howard Street which they acquired out of foreclosure in 2011, they're concurrently working on a plan to construct a 44-story residential tower on the site.
As proposed, the slender tower to rise at 524 Howard would reach a roof height of 450 feet, under which 285 residential units, 1,300 square feet of retail space fronting Howard, and 71 parking spaces accessed by way of Natoma Street would be built.
Currently undergoing a Preliminary Project Assessment by San Francisco’s Planning Department, while the on-site board for the 524 Howard Street project announces "coming soon," it's likely a minimum of three years away and has yet to be approved.
∙ New Plans For Prime Transbay Parcel: 44-Story Condo Tower [SocketSite]
August 12, 2013
Designs For 333 Brannan And Millions For The Neighborhood
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.
The Living Wall And Public Art Within This Building's Lobby
Under construction and nearing completion at the corner of First and Howard, the ten-story Foundry Square III will yield 275,000 square feet of "open collaborative" office space. A 100-foot long living wall will adorn the building's lobby (click renderings to enlarge).
While the development also includes a new public plaza on the corner, it's within the lobby of the building that Tishman Speyer proposes to place two sculptures by artist Thomas Houseago ("Boy III" and "Sleeping Boy") in order to fulfill the City’s 1% for Art requirement.
And while the lobby of the building would only be accessible to the public during normal business hours (8:00am to 7:00pm), the sculptures would be placed so as to be visible from the public plaza when the lobby is closed.
The Neighbor's Plan To Ban Tour Buses From Postcard Row
Nearly two years in the making, proposed legislation which would ban tour buses with seating for nine or more from operating within San Francsico's Alamo Square Historic District, including along Postcard Row, will be reviewed by SFMTA's Policy and Governance Committee this Friday.
Championed by the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association, if the proposed legislation is supported by the Committee it's on to SFMTA's Board of Directors for a vote.
August 9, 2013
Randy Rooster's Castro Street Plans Have Been Plucked
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.
Recycling Center On Webster Isn't Being Evicted, It's Gone
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.
Designs For Two Dogpatch Buildings And A Decompression Plaza
A mid-block alley would sit between the two proposed five-story buildings designed by two different architects, providing access to underground parking for 85 cars and 120 bikes.
And at the southern end of the development, the dead end spur of 19th Street would become a 8,900 square foot public art space, the proposed "Decompression Plaza."
If all goes as planned, the site should be approved for development by early 2014.
∙ Café Cocomo's Dancing Days Are Numbered, Condos Coming Soon? [SocketSite]
∙ Plans For 120 New Condos Where Café Cocomo Stands (Or Shakes) [SocketSite]
∙ 650 Indiana [Build Inc.]
August 8, 2013
The State Of San Francisco's Downtown: Housing, Jobs, Parking
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.
Recycling Centers Evicted From Safeway Lots
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."
UPDATE: The recycling center in Safeway's Webster Street lot isn't being evicted as well, it's gone.
A Noe Valley Transformation: From Traditional To Tech
That’s the new kitchen at 824 Douglass Street above. As the room looked when the Noe home was purchased for $1,165,000 with a more traditional floor plan in 2010:
The one old bathroom looked a little different then as well.
And then there’s the all new master bath:
Taken down to the studs and expanded from 1,602 to 2,777 square feet, 824 Douglass is now back on the market as a "Modern/High Tech" home and listed for $2,695,000.
∙ Listing: 824 Douglass (4/3.5) - $2,695,000 [824douglass.com]
August 7, 2013
A Flip-Flop For Pet Food Express And Formula Retail In SF?
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]
Unreal Expectations For Castro Street Corner Of Condos
With approved designs for 24 condos to be built at 376 Castro Street now in hand, the owner of the gas station site is trying to sell the parcel for $12,000,000, not including the cost of construction, a whopping $500,000 per door (industry speak for potential unit).
Keep in mind that the average cost per door for entitled land deals of this size in San Francisco is currently running around $150,000. And while that's up from closer to $50,000 per door in 2010, it's still a long way from $500,000 which would be quite a record and could spell trouble for those hoping for a quick development of the corner.
That being said, according to the listing on craigslist, "financing for 12,000,000 may be available depending on down payment & credit," so there's that.
Ballot Measures Double Feature: The Battle Over 8 Washington
With the opposing ballot measures over the development of 8 Washington Street having been designated propositions B and C, it's time for the dueling ballot measures double feature:
The Actual Appreciation For A Single-Family San Francisco Home
Two months ago, the already remodeled and nicely kept single-family Forrest Hill home at 14 Ventura Avenue hit the market listed for $1,495,000 having been purchased for $1,680,000 in May of 2012, a year-over-year and "apples-to-apples" sale in the making.
As we noted at the time, since May of 2012 the oft-quoted "median price" for single-family homes in San Francisco has increased 36 percent while the median price in Forrest Hill’s District 4 is up nearly 32 percent, changes which are frequently misreported as representing changes in values.
Last week, the sale of 14 Ventura Avenue closed escrow with a reported contract price of $1,950,000, up 16 percent on an apples-to-apples basis since May of 2012, a little less than half the movement of the median.
And yes, having been listed for less than its 2012 purchase price, the sale was amazingly "over asking" and attracted a fair amount of attention, as the listing was designed to do.
August 6, 2013
Plan To Convert San Francisco Design Center Building Pitched
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.
San Francisco Tops Silicon Valley In VC Investment
Two great maps (click to enlarge) and top ten lists from the Atlantic Cities (Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley) with respect to where the venture dollars are flowing and the deals are getting done across the Bay Area.
The city of San Francisco is the leader with $4.39 billion in venture capital investment, roughly a third of the Bay Area total. This is by far the largest amount of venture investment of any jurisdiction in the region, and a whopping 16 percent of total venture investment nationally. Palo Alto is a distant second with $1.29 billion (4.8 percent of the national total), followed by Redwood City ($1.06 billion), Mountain View ($918 million), Sunnyvale ($800 million), Santa Clara ($733 million), and San Jose ($688 million).
Investment has also begun to spread up and down the Peninsula, filling in the cities that stretch between San Jose and San Francisco proper. And, within the Bay Area broadly, according to these zip code level data, the San Francisco metro attracted nearly 70 percent more venture capital ($8.5 billion) than the Silicon Valley region ($5 billion).
The top ten zip codes into which the venture dollars flowed in 2011, with San Francisco's 94107 (Potrero Hill, South Beach, South Park) atop the list:
1. 94107 (Potrero Hill, South Beach, South Park) San Francisco - $1,885.8M
2. 94105 (Rincon Hill, Embarcadero South) San Francisco - $693M
3. 94043 (Suburban Mountain View, including Google headquarters) Mountain View - $660.5M
4. 94063 (Centennial, Stambaugh Heller, Redwood Village, Friendly Acres) Redwood City -$575.2M
5. 94103 (South of Market) San Francisco - $554.6M
6. 95054 (Suburban Santa Clara, north) Santa Clara - $548.3M
7. 94065 (Redwood Shores) Redwood City - $433.5M
8. 94301 (Crescent Park, University South, Old Palo Alto) Palo Alto - $412.7M
9. 94085 (North-central Sunnyvale) Sunnyvale - $389.7M
10. 94089 (North Sunnyvale, including Lakewood, Lockheed Martin HQ) Sunnyvale - $378.2M
The Bay Area attracted $13.5 billion in venture investment in 2011, "more than four times that of greater Boston or greater New York, the nation's second and third largest centers for venture capital investment." Have we mentioned that the number of employed in San Francisco has grown by 47,800 since the beginning of 2010 and is closing in on a December 2000 dot-com peak?
∙ Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley [theatlanticcities.com]
∙ SF Employment Slips In June To 10,000 Workers Below Peak [SocketSite]
Another Big Threat To The Folks On The Hill?
Just down the street from where Kaiser Permanente had proposed to build an 84-foot high building at the base of Potrero Hill but met with enough resistance from the "Save The Hill" folks that they moved their building to Mission Bay, the owner of the one-story warehouse at 1301 16th Street has been quietly drafting plans to build a big seven-story building.
As drafted, the 68-foot tall building would front Carolina, 16th, and Wisconsin Streets and include 278 new dwelling units with a garage for up to 84 autos on the ground floor.
August 5, 2013
Dueling 8 Washington Street Ballot Measures Designated B And C
With big money fueling the fire and the ballot measure battle over the development of 8 Washington Street heating up, San Francisco's Department of Elections has just designated the "Open Up the Waterfront" initiative as Proposition B on this November's ballot.
Strand Renovation Set For September Start, Reopening In 2015
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.
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.
Modern Dogpatch Development: Designs For 2290 Third Street
As proposed, the little building and parking lot at the corner of Third and 20th streets will be razed to make way for a modern Dogpatch building designed by Kennerly Architecture.
While the original proposal for the site envisioned a 7-story building with 52 dwelling units over 17,000 square feet of commercial space that would function as a large commissary with smaller sublet areas for local food providers, that proposal has been abandoned.
The development as now designed and proposed will rise six stories with 71 residential units over 1,700 square feet of ground floor retail and 49 parking spots.
The design for the modern building includes an elevated rear yard over the garage off 20th Street and a vertical garden along the building’s Third Street façade:
On Thursday, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will vote on whether or not to approve the project as proposed and allow the development by Build Inc. to move forward.
August 2, 2013
The Impact Of A Proposed 31-Story Tower On SF's Waterfront
Proposing to raze the existing eight-story parking garage at 75 Howard Street and build a 31-story tower, rising 348 feet with 186 market rate condos over a ground floor restaurant and parking for 175 cars (click renderings to enlarge), the Environmental Impact Report for the project is slated to be reviewed by San Francisco’s Planning in September.
Currently zoned for development up to 200 feet in height, assuming the Environmental Impact Report is certified, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will need to approve a reclassification of the site's zoning for the project to proceed as proposed.
Any up-zoning of the site, however, would appear to conflict with San Francisco's Downtown Area Plan which calls for building heights to "taper down to the shoreline of the Bay" in order "to avoid visual disruption along the water while preserving topography and views."
And of course, should "The Friends of Yerba Buena" be successful in passing their "let the sun shine" ballot measure, the proposed 75 Howard Street project might need approval from the voters in San Francisco as well as the proposed tower would cast shadows on a couple of parks, perhaps even if only 200 feet tall.
∙ The 75 Howard Scoop: Tower Design And Proposed Public Park [SocketSite]
∙ Designs For A 350-Foot Tower To Rise At 75 Howard Street [SocketSite]
∙ An Unfriendly Ultimatum "So The Sun Can Shine" In San Francisco [SocketSite]
Your First Real Peek Inside NEMA At Market And Tenth
With move-ins now scheduled to start October 1, NEMA is moving from virtual to reality at the corner of Tenth and Market, having just put the finishing touches on their first model unit, a 470-square-foot studio on the sixteenth floor of NEMA's 317-unit south building.
Note the in-unit laundry, a feature of all 754 units, with washer/dryer combo units in the studios, stacked in the one and two-bedrooms. And while the studios have electric two-burner cooktops over a full-sized oven, the one's and two's have four burners and are gas.
The target rent for the studio above is around $2,500 a month, plus $250 a month for parking if desired. Parking at NEMA will be valet. And for those willing to don a hard hat and sporty orange vest, the model unit should be open to the public next week.
Construction on NEMA’s 437-unit north tower is expected to be completed in February, at which time the sales office will move and its current space below will become retail (as will an 8,000 square foot space along Market Street).
July 31, 2013
The Creative Design(s) For Developing A Big Dogpatch Block
With an agreement in place to develop the Dogpatch parcel upon which the San Francisco Opera stores its sets, Archstone and Build Inc. are proposing a creative design for the block, breaking the 350-unit development into five buildings designed by four architects.
The five distinct buildings designed by Kava Massih, Jon Worden, Peter Pfau, and Owen Kennerly are separated by landscaped courtyards, designed to create light and open spaces for the apartments while blocking the freeway behind the 800 Indiana Street site.
Parking for 263 autos would be built below the buildings with the development team shooting to secure the entitlements to start building in early 2014.
The Evolution Of Design For 325 Fremont Street And Rincon Hill
As we first reported last year, with 8 stories and 88-units at 333 Fremont Street rising next door, Crescent Heights quietly submitted plans for a twenty-five story tower with 119 dwelling units, 61 parking spaces and a 2,600 square foot roof deck to rise on the Rincon Hill parcel at 325 Fremont Street which they purchased for $4.85 million in early 2012.
As plugged-in people know, plans for a 200-foot, twenty-two story building with 59 dwelling units at 325 Fremont were first approved over a decade ago, a plan which was revised in 2004 to yield 70 units but which never broke ground. In 2005, the Rincon Hill Plan was certified and the 325 Freemont Street site was up-zoned to a 250-foot height limit.
Crescent Heights' plans for their 250-foot tower at 325 Fremont Street as designed by Handel Architects and rendered above have yet to be approved. As the previously approved designs for a 200-foot tower by Baum Thornley Architects had appeared:
∙ The 325 Fremont Tower Scoop: Twenty-Five Stories In The Works [SocketSite]
∙ The 333 Fremont Scoop: Let The Shoring Begin [SocketSite]
July 30, 2013
Moving Forward With Plans For 150 More Mid-Market Apartments
Having purchased the vacant Mid-Market parcel at 1125 Market Street for $7.8 million in December, MacFarlane Partners has submitted draft plans for a 12-story building with 150 apartments over 3,000 square feet of commercial space along Market Street. A garage for 16 cars would be accessed from Stevenson Street, along which the parcel backs.
Recognizing a need to make Stevenson Street "a more livable and pedestrian-oriented street," San Francisco’s Planning Department is strongly suggesting "enhanced streetscape improvements" to Stevenson as part of the proposed project, including enhanced street furnishings and landscaping.
The proposed project currently exceeds the allowable density for the Mid-Market lot and will need special authorization from San Francisco’s Planning Commission to proceed.
Kaiser Permanente's Mission Bay Parcel Purchase: Timing And Terms
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.
Hines And Boston Balk At Having To Pay For Transbay Park Upkeep
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]
July 29, 2013
Potential High-Rise Hat Trick On Folsom For Tishman Speyer
Having just broken ground on the twin condo towers to rise at 201 Folsom Street (aka LUMINA) last month, yesterday Tishman Speyer closed escrow on the purchase of the parking lot at 100 Folsom Street and a couple of adjoining parcels across from the Infinity, a development site which is zoned for a 300-foot tower and could accommodate of up to 400 residential units according to the Business Times.
Tishman will need to acquire an adjacent city-owned parcel in order to proceed with the overall development, but according to Mike Grisso, senior project manager at San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, "It has always been [the City's] intention to negotiate a sale of our parcel to whomever owns the other three."
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.
Patio Cafe Ready For Reopening Following Decade Long Delay
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.
Transbay Transit Center Changes: More Than Skin Deep
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]
July 26, 2013
A Waterfront Transportation Assessment And Plan For SF
Recognizing that "that comprehensive transportation planning should precede and inform the shaping of individual [development] projects," such as the Transbay Transit District developments which are underway, and the proposed developments upon Pier 30-32 for the Warriors, upon Seawall Lot 337 for the Giants’ Mission Rock project, and the major redevelopment of Pier 70, the early designs for which have all been drawn, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is now developing a Waterfront Transportation Assessment "to identify transportation challenges and guide solutions that will accommodate anticipated growth along the San Francisco waterfront area roughly between the Presidio and Pier 80."
The first phase of the Assessment, the establishment of Transportation Strategies and Goals, includes "an inventory of development projects proposed in the area, along with local and regional transportation investments and programs." It's a great start. But it's also a little frightening to realize that it doesn’t already exist and hasn’t been informing development plans, Planning Commission decisions, and endorsements to date.
Phase one is slated to be tackled this Summer with a report by the end of September. Phase two, the Solutions phase, will follow, intended to "help shape each project’s transportation features and programs, identify meaningful, feasible mitigation measures, and establish certainty and clarity in the development and cost-sharing agreements between the City, the transportation agencies and the project sponsors."
Phelan Loop Housing Ready To Start Development
The building permits have been issued, and next week San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is slated to approve the 99-year ground lease for the five-story "Phelan Loop Housing" development to be built at 1100 Ocean Avenue.
A partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Housing and the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, the project will yield 71 below market rate units, 21 of which are intended for occupancy by young adults transitioning out of foster care with the other 50 units intended for households earning less than 50% of the area median income.
Assuming the lease is approved and the ground is broken within the next month or two, the project should be completed by the end of 2014 along with a new Phelan Loop Public Plaza adjacent to the building.
July 25, 2013
Rincon Hill’s New Public Green And Play Area: Announcing Emerald Park
This afternoon, Rincon Hill will officially gain a new half-acre public park as the Emerald Fund will permanently relinquish its development rights to the open space in front of Rincon Green at 333 Harrison, the green will be renamed Emerald Park.
While the Emerald Fund will continue to fund the maintenance and upkeep, the San Francisco Parks Alliance will act as steward of the park. In addition, a children’s play area which was part of the original park design will be completed by the end of the year.
July 24, 2013
A Bit Of Local Love That's About To Be Lost
Recently commissioned to paint for a European pop star whom shall not be named, up and coming local artist Casey O'Connell’s mural The Space Between currently adorns the side of a Glen Park house on Lippard Avenue, a glimpse of which can be caught from the street.
According to a plugged-in tipster, while "Casey paints love," the owners of the home are preparing to paint over the piece. So if you'd love to pay your respects, now is the time.
Local Mission Market: Behind (And Above) The Development
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.
July 23, 2013
Mission Development Unwrapped, More Housing Coming Soon
The façade of the new 40-foot tall building at 2652 Harrison Street has been unwrapped, with 20 new dwelling units (11 one bedrooms and 9 two's) and 16 more parking spaces in the Mission coming soon. As the development was rendered:
And as the graffiti covered site previously appeared:
Appeal Of Vista Francisco Development Upheld, Building Blocked
As we first reported about the proposed four-unit development at 70 Crestline Drive last year:
Fourteen years ago, the owner of the parcel at 70 Crestline Drive, upon which a 14-unit building and 6,300 square feet of undeveloped Vista Francisco land currently sits, proposed to subdivide the lot and build upon the undeveloped parcel.
Hitting a wall of neighborhood opposition and facing a Zoning Administrator that intended to deny the variance application necessary for the proposed building to rise, the request for the variance and project approval were withdrawn.
With 16 neighbors opposing, including nine in the building on the parcel, a proposal to build upon the undeveloped land is back. This time, however, the plan which was designed "to fit with the existing neighborhood, does not require any variance, and is in full compliance with all applicable zoning regulations, design guidelines and building codes."
Approved for development by San Francisco’s Planning Commission with a permit to build issued this past May, the construction of a four-unit infill building at 70 Crestline Drive was appealed by the Twin Peaks Eastside Neighborhood Alliance.
Last week, the appeal was upheld by San Francisco's Board of Appeals, blocking the development of the undeveloped lot as previously approved.
Take Two For 1450 Franklin: 13 Stories And 69 Condos On The Way
Designed by Frederick Meyer and most recently home to Cars Dawydiak, in 2008 the proposed demolition of the two-story building at 1450 Franklin Street survived an appeal for preservation and the construction of a 13-story mixed-use building with 69 condominiums over parking and ground floor commercial space on the site was approved. And then the market tanked.
With the demolition and building permits for the project having been reinstated, it’s a plugged-in reader that notes the site has been cordoned off, the site is being prepared for demolition, and the delayed development at 1450 Franklin Street is underway.
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.
July 19, 2013
Commission Slated To Certify Mercy's Impact On Sixth Street
Two weeks from now, San Francisco’s Planning Commission is slated to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Mercy Housing to move forward with their plans to build a nine-story residential building with 67 affordable housing units on the corner of 6th and Howard streets, razing the Hugo Hotel and canvas from which Defenestration’s flying furniture has hung for years.
The burned-out Hugo Hotel was acquired by San Francisco's Redevelopment Agency by way of eminent domain for $4.6 million back in 2009 while the owners of the building, which has been sitting vacant for nearly two decades, had been holding out for $7,000,000.
Assuming certification of the EIR, approval hearings for the project will soon follow. And assuming the project is approved and any appeals fail, the destruction of the Hugo Hotel will commence post haste and Mercy's $19 million project will take an estimated 20 months to complete.
July 18, 2013
Polk Street Showdown: The Redrawn Lines, Lanes, And New Plan
Having run head-on into a wall of seemingly unexpected opposition, the SFMTA was forced to revisit and redraw their plans for removing metered parking along Polk Street to make way for dedicated bike lanes from Union to McAllister.
The revised project has been divided into two segments, with two different designs for Polk Street, one from Union to California and another from California to McAllister.
Roughly 90% of the metered parking spaces on Polk Street between Union and California will be retained by adding a green bike lane in one direction, adding green shared lane markings in the other direction, and implementing morning tow-away regulations on the shared side of the street to provide more space for cars and bikes to share the road (click plan to enlarge):
From California to McAllister, roughly 50% of the metered parking spaces on Polk will be removed in order to install buffered bike lanes on either side of the street with a raised "cycle track" in the southbound direction (click plan to enlarge):
High visibility crosswalks, red zones near intersections to improve visibility, and corner "bulb-out" sidewalk extensions at key locations remain part of the overall plan for both segements.
The revised plan and designs will be presented to the public on July 25 (5pm at 1751 Sacramento Street) after which they will undergo a full environmental review. If approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors, the project will implemented as part of the planned repaving of Polk Street in 2015.
July 17, 2013
An Unfriendly Ultimatum "So The Sun Can Shine" In San Francisco
With San Francisco’s Planning Commission having cleared the way for Millennium Partners' proposed 706 Mission Street condo tower and Mexican Museum to rise up to 510 feet, 40 feet fewer than originally proposed, a group of homeowners from the adjacent Four Seasons Residences are preparing a ballot measure in an attempt to either block or significantly shorten the proposed building.
According to the San Francisco Business Times, the ballot measure being drafted by "The Friends of Yerba Buena" would attempt to strengthen the existing Proposition K which limits the casting of net new shadows on city parks but currently allows city commissions leeway in deciding whether or not a new building’s shadows should be allowed.
The proposed 706 Mission Street tower would cast a bit of new morning shadow upon San Francisco’s Union Square, but the City’s Recreation and Park Commission agreed to exempt the tower from the restrictions of Proposition K, ruling that the impact of the new shadows would not be adverse to the use of the park.
Taking exception to accusations that they're simply trying to protect their views, the group of homeowners claim not to be opposed to the new tower, simply to its impact on Union Square, and would apparently support the tower if it only rose to 351 feet in height.
Unless Millennium Partners meets The Friends' demands by early next week, The Friends say they will move forward with their "let the sun shine on our parks" ballot measure "which would prohibit buildings over 40 feet tall that cast shadows on parks, unless approved by voters on a citywide ballot," a measure which would impact dozens of other developments in San Francisco.
According to the Business Times, former Supervisor Aaron Peskin will lead the ballot referendum for The Friends. And in related news, the list price for the The Penultimate Four Seasons Pad (765 Market Street #27A) has just been reduced $500,000, now asking $7,900,000.
∙ Four Seasons' Homeowners Drop The Dreaded "B" Word [SocketSite]
∙ Four Seasons owners give ultimatum in Mexican Museum height fight [Business Times]
Presenting The Strategy For Saving San Francisco's Japantown
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.
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.
Two Year Rain Delay For Folsom Street Park Project
Having identified the area under the funded park to be built at 17th and Folsom as the ideal location for a storage basin to help manage stormwater and reduce neighborhood flooding, the opening of the park will likely be delayed from 2014 to the summer of 2016 in order to accommodate a joint construction project with the San Francisco Public Utilities.
With the southern half of the parking lot upon which the park is to be built slated to close this summer, a plan to construct temporary community gardens on the site until construction of the of the storage basin is ready to commence is being considered.
The northern half of the existing parking lot will remain open until housing is constructed on that side of the site, a project which is at least three years away.
July 16, 2013
Home Tweet Home
The Owen Kennerly designed Noe Valley home at 313 Duncan Street which Twitter's co-founder Evan Williams and his wife purchased for $2,400,000 in April of 2009 has quietly hit the market without a tweet, remodeled and listed for $2,995,000 this time around.
Feel free to take a peek inside and out back.
Having purchased 226 Edgewood in 2011 with plans to raze the Louis Christian Mullgardt designed home and build a modern Olle Lundberg designed house on the Parnassus Heights lot, plugged-in people knew the move from Duncan was inevitable. But in the face of fierce neighborhood opposition, it would appear that the Williams' proposed Parnassus Heights project has been cancelled or indefinitely delayed.
July 15, 2013
The Aliotos' Towering Mansion Sells For Millions Under Asking, But Fifty-Two Times Their Purchase Price
Having hit the market asking $16,500,000 this past March, the list price for the Aliotos' Pacific Heights home at 2898 Vallejo Street was reduced to $13,900,000 in April.
This afternoon, the sale of 2898 Vallejo closed escrow with a reported contract price of $11,750,000, roughly two million "under asking," closer to five million under original list.
As we first reported earlier this year, Frank and Frances Alioto purchased the 9,500 square foot home in 1973 for $225,000 following its use in the filming of The Towering Inferno, serving as the mansion for Richard Chamberlain’s character, the cheapskate electrical engineer who cut corners and was to blame for the tower's fire.
With a tax basis of $439,219 thanks to Proposition 13, the total property tax bill for 2898 Vallejo was $5,205 in 2011. The property tax bill for the new buyers should now be closer to $137,369 per year.
And in terms of the average annual appreciation for the property, call it an effective 10 percent per year over the past 40 years.
Construction Watch: Digging Deep And Covering Up On Rincon Hill
In the words of a camera toting tipster, "Just like in Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, they've dug deep enough over at 45 Lansing that they'll now need a crane to remove the backhoes" from the basement of the 39-story Rincon Hill condo tower to rise.
July 12, 2013
Potrero Development Redesigned And Ready For Commission Vote
As we first reported earlier this year with respect to the proposed development of 480 Potrero Avenue, a site which has sat empty since 2005 and the designs for which have since been revised (click image above to enlarge):
Speaking of CEQA and the appeals process in action, the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration which would have allowed the development of 480 Potrero Avenue to move forward was appealed late last year by the San Francisco Verdi Club, MUNA neighborhood association, and Potrero Hill neighbors.
The objections of the appellants include concerns that the project will "have an adverse effect on a scenic vista," will "substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings," and will "induce substantial population growth…and be out of character with the neighborhood."
While the Planning Department recommends that the Planning Commission uphold the Negative Declaration and allow the six-story development with 84 condos and 38 parking spaces to move forward, a Commission vote has been continued until at least the middle of May which will be over seven months since the Declaration was issued.
San Francisco's Planning Commission is finally set to decide the fate of 480 Potrero's proposed development next week. As the existing visual character and scenic vista currently appears:
CPMC's Cathedral Hill Campus Cleared For Construction
Approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors earlier this week, Mayor Lee has signed the bill that allows CPMC to move forward with the demolition of the Cathedral Hill Hotel and the building of CPMC's 12-story Cathedral Hill Hospital and Medical Office Building.
The bill clears the way for the rebuilding and expansion of CPMC's St. Luke's campus as well.
Kaiser Cancels Potrero Hill Plans, Will Build 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.
July 10, 2013
The Big Dollars Behind The 8 Washington Street Battle To Date
In addition, Boston Properties, owner of 4 Embarcadero Center to the west of 8 Washington Street, has spent $125,750 to block the development, second only to the individual spending of Barbara Stewart whose Bay views would be blocked by the development as well.
At the same time, Open Up the Waterfront has raised $464,990 and spent $322,000 to promote a competing ballot measure which would allow for the development of 8 Washington Street, with Pacific Waterfront Partners (the developer) having contributed $214,990, Cahill Contractors (the builder) having contributed $150,000, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill (the designer) having contributed $100,000 to the campaign.
∙ Boston Properties has spent $125,000 to kill 8 Washington [Business Times]
∙ The Money And Motivation Behind The Anti-8 Washington Measure [SocketSite]
Blooming Big Plans For San Francisco Flower Mart Site
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?
Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Could Be Rolling By 2018
The proposed design and Environmental Impact Report for San Francisco’s Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project have been finalized, are poised for certification and approval in September, and the project could be up and running by early 2018 assuming final approvals and construction commences by late 2015 as currenlty slated.
The Van Ness Avenue BRT project would run approximately two miles from Mission Street to Lombard Street, converting two mixed-flow traffic lanes into dedicated bus lanes with new stations, transit signal priority along the route, and the elimination of all left turns along Van Ness Avenue except at Lombard (northbound) and Broadway (southbound).
The touted benefits of the BRT route include a 32 percent reduction in travel time, a 40 percent reduction in delays, and a 50 percent increase in reliability.
July 9, 2013
Brannan Street Wharf Ribbon Cutting Is One Week Away
The ribbon cutting for the Brannan Street Wharf project, San Francisco’s newest 57,000 square foot park with lawn, shade, tables and chairs along the Embarcadero between Piers 30-32 and Pier 38 will take place next Wednesday, July 17. Click the plan below to enlarge.
Noting that parking is very limited down in the heart of South Beach/Rincon Park neighborhood, the use of public transit to reach the cutting is encouraged. No word on how the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and members of the Port Commission are planning to arrive, but we will note the Muni platform right across the street and our policy is transit-first, correct?
July 8, 2013
More Housing For Prominent Mission Bay Block Number One
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:
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.
Archeologists Descend On San Francisco Construction Site
Two weeks ago the ground was first broken for the 655-unit LUMINA to be built at 201 Folsom Street, a joint development between Tishman Speyer and China Vanke.
This weekend, a plugged-in tipster captures the archeologists who have since descended upon the fenced-in parcel, once the site of a ship-dismantling yard run by Charles Hare in the 1850’s before the San Francisco shoreline was in-filled and expanded.
As some might recall, excavation for Tishman’s 650-unit Infinity development across the street was temporarily halted when the bones of the three-masted whaling bark Candace were unearthed back in 2005. There’s no official word on whether the team at 201 Folsom Street has unearthed anything of significance, but we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Ironically, while China Vanke is the majority equity partner in LUMINA having committed $175 million to its development, Hares' old shipyard only employed Chinese workers, "men on the margins of society at that time, workers who were excluded from most employment."
New Plans For Prime Transbay Parcel: 44-Story Condo Tower
San Francisco’s Planning Commission first approved entitlements for a 311-foot tall, 23-story office building to be built at 524 Howard Street back in 1989, but the ground was never broken and the prime Transbay adjacent parcel was foreclosed upon in 2011.
Authorization to operate a temporary parking lot on the site expired earlier this year. And while the new owners of the site are seeking an extension to continue operating the lot, they’re also working on a new plan to construct a 44-story condo tower on the site (click image to enlarge):
While an on-site board for the 524 Howard Street project announces "coming soon," keep in mind that plans for the newly envisioned 450-foot tower with facades on both Howard and Natoma have yet to be approved by Planning much less permitted for construction.
July 4, 2013
Fireworks For The Fourth (And Jack Balestreri)
Jack Balestreri passed away at the ripe old age of 95 last year, a month before the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge (as captured above by Marco Sanchez). Jack was believed to have been the last living survivor of those who built the bridge, having been hired in 1933 when he was only 17 years old.
Following his concrete work on the bridge's south tower and San Francisco anchorage, and paid for with his wages, Jack built the Carolina Street stairway aside his old home on Goat (a.k.a. Potrero) Hill, connecting the Carolina Street cul-de-sac with 20th Street.
Next week, a city ordinance naming and recognizing the Carolina Street stairway as "Jack Balestreri Way" takes a step closer to being approved and implemented.
Have a great and safe 4th of July and hopefully long weekend, we'll see you on the 8th.
July 3, 2013
Modern Hayes Valley Building Revealed, Ready To Be Approved
DM Development’s proposal to demolish the parking lot at 450 Hayes Street and construct a modern four-story building on the old Central Freeway parcel in central Hayes Valley will be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission for approval next week, click images to enlarge.
With facades on Hayes and Ivy streets and a courtyard between, the proposed project will yield 41 condos, 20 parking spaces and 3,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
As the 450 Hayes Street site currently appears:
Bigger Plans For Building On Sixth And Folsom Street Site
Plans to demolish the former gas station and 16,000 square foot parking lot on the southeast corner of Folsom and 6th Street were first approved over a decade ago, with designs for a three-story building with 32 condos and 32 parking spaces to rise on the central East SoMa site.
While the ground was never broken and the permits cancelled in 2004, a new plan is now quietly making its way through Planning with designs for a seven-story building with 92 condos, 69 parking spaces, and nearly 4,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space on the corner lot.
As part of their preliminary assessment of the proposed project, the Planning Department is recommending that the development of the 301 6th Street parcel include public realm enhancements, "such as a bulb-out at the corner of Folsom and 6th and living alley treatments along Shipley."
July 1, 2013
Illy Aims To Open Up The Street From Where Starbucks Was Denied
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.
275 Square Foot Tenderloin Lofts Will Start At $1,550 A Month
List prices for The Lofts At Seven at 277 Golden Gate Avenue have been set with tours of the 88 new rental units in the Tenderloin slated to commence in a couple of weeks.
The 31 studios which start at 275 square feet have been priced from $1,550. The 12 junior one-bedrooms which range from 400 to 510 square feet will start at $1,850. The one-bedrooms lofts which range from 400 to 860 square feet have been priced from $2,100.
∙ Rebroadcasting As "The Lofts At Seven" In The Tenderloin [SocketSite]
June 28, 2013
Those Amazing Medians Versus An Actual San Francisco Home
Having been listed for $1,495,000, the remodeled single-family Forest Hill home at 14 Ventura Avenue was purchased for $1,680,000 a year ago. Since then, the oft-quoted "median price" for single-family homes in San Francisco has increased 36 percent! The median price in Forrest Hill’s District 4 is up nearly 32 percent.
Today, the four-bedroom home at 14 Ventura returned to the market listed for $1,650,000, two percent under its sale price in May of 2012. Did we mention that the average single-family home in San Francisco sold for "over asking" last month at 108 percent of list price? Go figure.
Rising Shoreline Tides (And Barbeques) Down In South Beach?
At 1,617 square feet, #23 is the largest of nine condos in the boutique South Beach building at 41 Federal named Shoreline. Purchased for $1,495,000 in 2007, with three bedrooms, two terraces, and one parking spot, 41 Federal #23 is back on the market and listed for $1,495,000 again.
And yes, you can barbeque on the back patio (although we’re guessing gas only).
Early last year, the 1,365 square foot two-bedroom Shoreline condo #21 resold for $1,135,000, one percent below its purchase price of $1,150,000 in October of 2006.
∙ Listing: 41 Federal #23 (3/2) 1,617 sqft - $1,495,000 [mcguire.com]
June 27, 2013
LINEA's Floor Plans Online, Sales "Gallery" Opening Next Month
Ranging in size from 450 to 1,198 square feet (click the image below to enlarge), the floor plans for all 115 condos coming to the market at 8 Buchanan (aka "LINEA" or 1998 Market Street) are now online with the sales
office "gallery" slated to open at the end of July.
As plugged-in people know, all 115 units will be market rate with the affordable housing (BMR) component for the project being built offsite in the 24-unit building at 1600 Market Street.
Another 400-Foot Rincon Hill Tower Is Ready To Break Ground
Building permits for the redesigned 400-foot residential tower to rise at 399 Fremont Street have been approved and issued, redesigned to hit the market as smaller rental units rather than condos.
As we first reported last year, the 42-story Rincon Hill tower and podium to rise on the corner of Fremont and Harrison will yield 452 residential units with 238 parking spaces for autos (including 36 tandem spaces served by valet) and 150 spaces for bikes under the podium.
Atop the podium there's a pool and clubroom. And atop the tower, trees and a roof-top lounge:
June 26, 2013
LUMINA (The Development Heretofore Known As 201 Folsom)
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]
Planning’s Assessment Of Apple’s Union Square Plans: Concerns And Considerations
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]
The Development Known As 201 Folsom To Be Named This Afternoon
Having physically broken ground last week, the ceremonial groundbreaking for Tishman Speyer’s 655-unit development at 201 Folsom Street takes place this afternoon.
As part of the groundbreaking ceremony, the name for the Bernardo Fort-Brescia designed development will be announced. With Tishman's Infinity across the street, we're wondering if they considered "Beyond."
∙ Twin-Towered Folsom Street Development Is Underway [SocketSite]
∙ The Arquitectonica Redesigned 201 Folsom Street Rendering Scoop [SocketSite]
June 25, 2013
Bay Commission Votes To Oppose Warriors Arena Bill Without Delay
Having passed in the State Assembly by a vote of 59-10, Phil Ting’s Assembly Bill 1273 which would revise the existing authorization to develop San Francisco’s Pier 30-32 for use as a cruise ship terminal and authorize the Port to approve the building of the proposed Warriors Arena without additional review or oversight from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is now in the hands of the Senate.
Following a full-court press from the Mayor and local labor leaders last month, the BCDC agreed to avoid a formal vote opposing the bill and simply send a letter to legislators expressing their concerns about the attempted end run, giving the Warriors a month to work out their differences over the proposed arena project with the commission's staff.
Having failed to resolve their differences, the Commission has now formally voted 12-6 to "request that AB 1273 (The Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act) be placed on a two-year timetable so that it is not acted on by any Senate committee during this legislative year," or to formally oppose the bill should Assembly Member Ting decline the Commission's request to delay the legislation.
∙ Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act Aims To Clear The Way For The Warriors [SocketSite]
∙ Redesigned Warriors Arena Unveiled: A Peek Inside And Out [SocketSite]
∙ Full-Court Press Postpones Bay Commission's Opposition To Arena Bill [SocketSite]
∙ BCDC Letter to The Honorable Philip Y. Ting (Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act) [ca.gov]
June 24, 2013
Facing Foreclosure Having Cash Out For A Gain
Purchased for $1,080,000 in November of 2006 with 20 percent down, eight months later the Lower Pacific Heights property at 1611 Broderick was refinanced with a $1,330,000 loan. And four months later, the property was put on the market for $1,995,000 but failed to sell. No building permits were issued for the property in-between.
Permits to renovate the basement were issued in 2008. And in 2011, the property returned to the market first listed for $1,711,000, reduced to $1,599,000 that March.
Withdrawn from the market in September of 2011 and in default since 2012 with $1,519,406 now owed on that aforementioned $1,330,000 loan, 1611 Broderick is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this afternoon.
June 21, 2013
Mid-Market's NEMA Priced, Leasing Office Opening Monday
The leasing office for the 750-unit "NEMA" development on the corner of Market and Tenth is opening its doors for the first time this coming Monday, June 24, at 9am.
The first release of studios have been priced from $1,950 per month for 469 square feet on the third floor to $2,854 per month for 604 square feet on the tenth. The first release of one-bedrooms have been priced from $2,683 per month for 789 square feet on the second floor to $4,399 per month for 969 square feet on the twelfth.
Building amenities include a 7,000 square foot fitness center and three outdoor terraces with grills, outdoor TVs, and a heated 60-foot lap pool (click renderings to enlarge):
And there's a "Club Solarium" on the third floor with obligatory pool table.
Occupancy is slated for October, as is the opening of The Market accross the street.
The Chips Don’t Fall In Chipotle’s Favor: Request Denied
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.
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.
Plans To Develop A Potrero Hill Parcel, I-280 Be Damned (Or Not)
Purchased for $1,400,000 this past December having been listed for $1,800,000, the buyers of the 12,000 square foot Potrero Hill parcel at 98 Pennsylvania Avenue have drafted plans to construct a five-story residential building on the irregularly shaped site which currently serves as a parking lot.
The draft plan for the parcel includes 45 units over an underground parking garage with space for 36 cars and 22 bikes.
Bounded by the elevated I-280 Freeway along the northeastern and eastern borders of the site and 17th Street to the south, you can bet there’s at least one group who wouldn’t mind if the conceptual plan for razing I-280 north of 16th Street was extended a few blocks to the south.
June 20, 2013
Plans For First Mid-Market Grocery Coming To Fruition
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]
June 19, 2013
Beware The Renderings Of Giants
San Francisco’s Planning Commission will decide whether or not to approve Chipotle Mexican Grill’s application to renovate and open in the vacant Upper Market building at 2100 Market Street on Thursday, Chipotle’s rendering for which is presented above. In the words of an observant reader: "I like how the people in the rendering are all about 50% taller than those in the actual photo."
Relative to the actual heights for the poles, signs, and signal lights included in Chipotle’s rendering above, the average rendered person on the street would measure over ten feet tall, the gentleman in the crosswalk over eleven. In the words of our reader again: "The fact that this makes the rendered building look smaller is, I'm sure, just a coincidence."
An Ideal Location For Twenty New Condos To Rise
Plans to add six new stories over the Ideal Auto Rebuilders building at 1335 Larkin Street are on the boards and the Planning Department has quietly been consulted.
As proposed, the existing ground floor of the building would be used for a lobby and off-street parking for 20 cars while above the building 20 new dwelling units would be constructed. The finished building would rise up to 65 feet in height.
With a proposed setback of between 20 to 50 feet from the front of the building, the proposed addition "appears to retain the primary façade where most of the character-defining features of the building are found" in the opinion of the Planning Department, an important point as 1335 Larkin was identified as "possessing individual historic significance" in the Department's Automotive Support Structures Historic Resource Survey.
June 18, 2013
From Classrooms To Condos In Pacific Heights
The University of the Pacific has sold its Dugoni School of Dentistry building at 2155 Webster Street to housing developer Trumark Urban. Trumark plans to redevelop the Pacific Heights building into 75 residential condominium units averaging 2,000 square feet a piece.
According to the Business Times, the Webster Street building will be reskinned with "a mix of glass and earthy materials" and eleven townhomes will be built upon the building's parking lot.
The Dugoni School of Dentistry will be moving to its rebuilt building at 155 Fifth Street.
Twin-Towered Folsom Street Development Is Underway
The ground has been broken, another parking lot is being demised, and Tishman Speyer's twin-towered 201 Folsom Street development of nearly 700 new condos is officially underway.
Chipotle's Designs For Upper Market And Planning's Opposition
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.
The project would not increase the exterior dimensions of the existing building but would involve interior improvements and alterations to the building's facade.
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.
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]
Designs For A Network Of Living Alleys
San Francisco’s Market and Octavia Area Plan includes the development of a network of "Living Alleys" (click map to enlarge) with corner plazas, community gardens, and little public spaces, aiming to create "traffic calmed environments that contrast the heavy traffic on the surrounding arterial streets" and "a common front yard for public use and enjoyment."
Next month, a two-year community-based program to design and implement the network of Living Alleys will commence, enabling residents "to create a public realm that strengthens the community, creates a sense of identity, and makes a more useful, safe, and attractive neighborhood."
The first community workshop for the Living Alleys project will be held on July 9, from 6 to 8 pm at 699 Hayes Street. The project will also identify opportunities for mid-block crosswalks to link the living alleys together.
The Big Plans And Offering For A Prime Russian Hill Corner
As plugged-in people know, the undeveloped parcel of Russian Hill land on the northwest corner of Broadway and Taylor was foreclosed upon last year. As plugged-in people also know, there are some rather spectacular plans for developing the lot known as 1000 Broadway, the designs for which have now been rendered.
As designed by Page & Turnbull, two single-family homes and two condominiums with a total of over 15,000 square feet of space and a garage for up to 16 cars (including six spaces for adjacent homes) would rise on the corner, dubbed the "Wysteria" development.
And the parcel and plans can now be yours, if your price is right rather than frivolous.
Having lent $15,000,000 against the parcel in 2008, the group which wasn't repaid is now accepting sealed bids for the property with offers due by August 1, 2013, explicitly noting an unwillingness to accept an offer "that is patently frivolous or substantially below market value."
The approvals and permits needed to subdivide and develop the parcel as rendered are all "Pending" according to the offering, but confidentiality agreements are required to learn more.
∙ Offering: The Wysteria Project (1000 Broadway) [wysteriaresidences.com]
∙ Calling All Billionaires Looking To Build Something Big On Broadway [SocketSite]
∙ Building Plans For The Point One Percent On Broadway And Taylor [SocketSite]
June 17, 2013
Designs For Building Up On Brannan And Parking Going Down
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.
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.
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):
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.
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.
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.
First Parklet To Lose Its Permit: Martin Macks' On Haight Street
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.
Bike Lanes On Mission: An Even Better Market Street Plan?
Speaking of designs for Market Street, this afternoon San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee will hear a proposal to construct separated bicycle lanes on Mission Street rather than on Market as originally proposed and discuss how diverting bicycles to Mission is "in the best interest of the City and San Francisco's Better Market Street Project."
Market Street Proposal Returned To Sender
Having selected San Francisco as their West Coast urban pilot city, the United States Postal Service appears to have been caught off guard when the San Francisco Arts Commission Civic Design Review Committee rejected the Postal Service’s proposal to install three 22-foot-long, 8-foot-tall automated "gopost" lockers along Market Street last month.
The proposal called for one structure to stand in Hallidie Plaza, one on a plaza at Market and Drumm streets near the California Street cable car turnaround, and the third at 10th and Market streets. The one in Hallidie Plaza would have been against a railing above the sunken plaza; the other two would have perched between street trees on the sidewalk, their blank backs facing the street.
While the Postal Service is a federal agency, the city attorney’s office "issued an opinion that San Francisco has final say over the installation of such structures on public rights of way." The Postal Service is expected to present a revised proposal for the streets of San Francisco this month.
∙ Wall of postboxes gets seal of disapproval [Chronicle]
June 14, 2013
$18 Million For A Billionaire's View And Eleven More For The House
It was almost four years ago that we first told you the tale of eight twentysomethings moving to an $8 million rental up on San Francisco’s Billionaires Row, a home that subsequently morphed into an unofficial tech incubator.
As we revealed about the property at 2712 Broadway which was purchased for $7,800,000 in 2009 and quickly landed on Craigslist asking $14,000 a month:
Purchased by a trio of investors who have either built or re-built a fair number of high-end spec homes in San Francisco, the rental route is intended as a "short-term" strategy to help with cash flow as permits and plans to redo the home are negotiated and secured.
The list price for the rental was reduced and then reduced a little bit more.
Last listed on Craigslist for $10,000, it rented for $9,250 after a bit of negotiation to a group of eight twentysomething friends who are now in the process of moving on up to Billionaires Row. But not to worry, two are a couple so everyone will effectively have their own room.
The plans to raze the existing 7,000 square foot house on the site and build a modern 12,000 square foot home in its place, as rendered below, were approved in 2011.
While the project has been quietly on the market for a bit, it’s about to be officially listed at $18,000,000 "for the lot plus entitlements" or $28,950,000 including construction of the new six-bedroom home across five floors, the permits for which were recently issued.
And yes, they’re selling the view from the back of the house:
∙ Listing: 2712 Broadway - $18,000,000/$28,950,000 | Floor Plans [2712broadway.com]
∙ Party Of
Five Eight Move To San Francisco’s Billionaires Row [SocketSite]
∙ Designs For The $8 Million "Teardown" On Billionaires Row [SocketSite]
Fear, Loathing, And Exaggerations Atop Cathedral Hill
From the "SOS Cathedral Hill" site which implores its readers to "get the facts about the massive luxury condo [proposed] on Cathedral Hill" and join them "in the fight to protect our neighborhood":
New York Developer Adco Group wants to build a massive 30+ story, 400 foot tall luxury condo on Cathedral Hill that would be visible from much of the city. This proposal is nearly double the height of any existing building on Cathedral Hill and will stick out like a sore thumb.
This structure does not fit in our neighborhood. In fact, it will put the many seniors who live in our neighborhood at risk. The increased traffic on Post St. will make worse an already unsafe environment for pedestrians.
The project will endanger pedestrians and seniors, increase traffic and strain already limited MUNI resources. We just can’t afford the risk.
With respect to getting the facts straight, while ADCO’s proposed tower would be the tallest building on the block, at 416 feet it’s nowhere near "nearly double the height" of the existing Sequoias building which tops out at 396 feet next door.
And no, that's not One Rincon Hill in the rendering above (nor, unfortunately, is it the SOM design which had originally been drawn for the site).
New Condos Coming Soon: Corner Of 19th And Valencia Unwrapped
The newest condo building to rise in the Mission has been unwrapped at the corner of Valencia and 19th streets. As we first reported last year, all 17 units within the 3500 19th Street development will be market rate as the developers elected to fulfill the project’s affordable housing requirement by paying an in lieu fee rather than including BMR units onsite.
As plugged-in people know, the corner parcel upon which the 3500 19th Street development was built was purchased for $1,700,000 at the end of 2011 with firm plans to develop the site having been in the works since 2006.
The development includes 3,000 square feet for retail along the street and 15 parking spaces including two (2) for car share.
Proposed Cathedral Hill Tower Redesigned, Planning Powering Up
While SOM’s designs for a 38-story, elliptical-shaped glass tower to rise atop Cathedral Hill have been kicked to the curb, ADCO has dusted off their plans to build a tower at 1481 Post Street with new designs for a 36-story tower rising up to 416 feet across from Saint Mary's Cathedral.
An existing parking structure with tennis courts and a pool building would be razed to make way for the proposed tower off of Geary, the designs for which includes 262 condos, a subsurface garage, and café along Post Street at the northwest corner of the project site (click to enlarge):
The proposed 1481 Post Street building would consist of a ground-floor podium element, surmounted by a vertical tower element (398 feet tall, plus mechanical equipment, screening and architectural features to reach a total height of 416 feet). The 20-foot-tall ground floor would be set back about 47 feet from the Post Street sidewalk and about 10 feet from the Geary Boulevard sidewalk.
The proposed café at the northwest corner of the project site would project northward toward Post Street, set back about 15 feet from the Post Street sidewalk. Along its west façade, the ground-floor podium would bow outward in plan. The podium would be set back a minimum of 10 feet from the west property line shared with The Sequoias at the midpoint of the podium (separated by about 16 feet, 8 inches from the low-rise portion of the Sequoias building at that building’s nearest point). Within the west setback, a ground-level, publicly accessible pedestrian walkway would be constructed to provide a midblock passage between Post Street and Geary Boulevard. The pedestrian walkway would be gated at both ends and would be open to the public during daylight hours.
Along Geary Boulevard, the ground floor of the proposed 1481 Post Street building would include extensive glazing along its frontage, and would be separated from the sidewalk by a 10- foot-wide landscaped strip. The one-story street frontage of the proposed building’s base along Geary Boulevard would extend eastward with the proposed covered and enclosed loading area and a proposed one-story pool addition further east along Geary Boulevard, forming a continuous one-story structure spanning the project site. A new fitness center entrance would be located along Geary Boulevard. The proposed pool addition frontage along Geary Boulevard would likewise include large glazed areas.
Above the podium, the proposed 1481 Post Street building tower shaft would be set back from Post Street by about 40 feet, from Geary Boulevard by about 46 feet, and from 1333 Gough Street on the project site by about 41 feet. The tower shaft would be set back by about 12 feet from the west property line shared with The Sequoias (separated by about 82 feet from the high-rise tower of The Sequoias). The proposed project’s tower shaft would rise straight upward for most of its height. The proposed 1481 Post Street building would be contemporary in architectural vocabulary and would include contrasting cladding systems, glazed curtain walls with metal mullions, and masonry-clad piers and spandrels.
Currently only zoned for 240-feet in height, San Francisco’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will need to approve an upzoning of the parcel to 410-feet in order for the project to proceed as proposed.
The shadows which would be cast by the proposed tower upon Cottage Row Mini-Park, Hamilton Recreation Center, Peace Plaza, and Raymond Kimbell Playground would also need to be deemed as not adverse to the use of the parks.
June 13, 2013
Occupation Of Hayes Valley Farm Ended, Development To Begin
Following an early morning raid, the activists who were occupying the former Hayes Valley Farm site have been removed in order to clear the way for Avalon Bay’s development of 182 apartments, retail, and 91 parking spaces upon the Hayes Valley Parcel P.
The development, for which building permits have been issued, will vary in height across the site, reaching a maximum height of five stories (click the image above to enlarge).
Moving Quietly (And Quickly) With Plans To Raze Manor West
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.
June 12, 2013
Big Plans For A Little Parkside Parcel On Taraval
While neighbors have yet to be notified, the owners of the Parkside parcel on the northwest corner of Taraval and 33nd Avenue are quietly testing the waters of Planning with designs to raze the existing 12-foot-tall, 960-square-foot auto shop at 2249 Taraval and build a 52-foot-tall, 18,000-square-foot building in its place.
Early designs for the building include seven dwelling units, 2,350 square feet of ground-floor retail, and eight off-street parking spaces which would be accessed from a curb cut along 33rd Avenue.
A Conscientious Approach To Appreciation And Over Asking Stats
Reduced to $2,899,000 two weeks later, the sale of 3961 25th Street closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $3,400,000, officially "17 percent over asking" according to industry stats, 3 percent over its original list price.
On an apples-to-apples basis, the sale represents total appreciation of 19 percent for the remodeled Noe Valley single-family home since 2009, an annualized rate of 4.6 percent.
T-Minus Two Days Until Towering Folsom Street Development Begins
The no parking signs for have been hung on the parking meters around the parking lot bounded by Folsom, Main, and Beale Streets, and on Friday, June 14, Tishman is slated to start preparing the site for the two big towers, 8-story midrises, and podium building to rise at 201 Folsom.
Monthly parkers in the 390 Main Street lot which will be closed at the end of the day tomorrow (Thursday, June 13, 2013) will be getting pro-rated refunds which shouldn’t come as any surprise.
June 11, 2013
The Dead Serious Designs For Miniature Golf In The Mission
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.
Early designs for the proposed eighteen-hole course include the Trans American Windmill and More Cowbell on hole number 13:
The restaurant and bar would be primarily located on the second floor, click the plans for the building to enlarge.
Do Developers Need Stimulation Or Neighborhoods The Cash?
In 2009, near the nadir of requests for new building permits in San Francisco, Mayor Newsom initiated a fee deferral program for developer in an effort to provide an economic stimulus for new construction projects, a program which was adopted on July 1, 2010.
Development impact fees are typically collected at one of two points: either at the issuance of a permit to build or at the building’s Certificate of Occupancy. The deferral program allowed developers to defer the paying of impact fees due at the time of permitting until the certificate of occupancy was issued, typically a two year delay.
Since the program was adopted, there have been 107 building applications subject to development impact fees and/or in-lieu fees. Of these 107 applications, 68 project sponsors elected to defer fees. These 68 projects were assessed over $86 million worth of fees—the vast majority of the $93 million worth of impact fees assessed during this period. So while only 63.6% of the project sponsors who were eligible to defer fees chose to do so, the project sponsors who did defer had the projects with the largest fees, resulting in deferral of 92.5% of all impact fees eligible for deferral.
In total, roughly $68 million worth of fees were deferred, which included $40 million earmarked to support the development of affordable housing in San Francisco, $7 million for improving local transit and flow, and another $7 million to mitigate the impact of new developments in SoMa and Rincon Hill.
Set to expire on July 1, 2013, this week San Francisco’s Planning Commission is slated to decide whether they believe "the stimulative effects of the Fee Deferral Program are still needed" or if the program should be allowed to expire and impact fees for future developments should be collected and put to use sooner rather than later.
June 10, 2013
The New Price For A Parking Spot In South Beach: $82,000
The sale of parking spot #142 at 88 Townsend Street which sold for $65,000 in early 2008 and again for $38,000 in October of 2011 has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $82,000 having been listed for $85,000 in April.
Once again, the spot can be used or leased by a resident or non-resident of the building. And with monthly dues of $32.76, call it a CAP Rate of roughly 4.6 percent for the spot assuming a monthly rent of $350 a month.
Density On Divisadero: Development Of 2655 Bush Street Underway
Permits to demolish the two-story convalescent facility at 2655 Bush and Divisadero Street have been approved and issued and preparation for the razing is underway. As plugged-in people have known to expect, a building rising between 40 and 65 feet with 84 residential units over 4,500 square feet of retail and 126 parking spots will be built upon the site:
June 7, 2013
Trinity Place Watch: Timing, Destruction, And Design
With the 418-unit Phase Two of Trinity Place at 1190 Mission Street now scheduling move-ins for August, Trinity Plaza (the old Del Webb Townhouse motel) has been reduced to rubble and the site for Trinity Place's 545-unit Phase Three along 8th Street is being prepared for construction.
As we first reported last year, the construction of Phase Two doesn't appear to support Arquitectonica's "holey" design as was originally proposed, a report that the new rendering above would appear to confirm.
∙ Trinity Place Phase Two: Timing And Reality Check [SocketSite]
June 6, 2013
Deal Reached For Massive First And Mission Street Towers Site
As we first reported two weeks ago, the plans for a couple of big towers to rise at First and Mission streets were recently reworked and resubmitted to Planning with designs for an 850-foot-tall office tower fronting First Street, a 605-foot-tall condo tower fronting Mission Street, and a renovation of the 88 First Street building on the corner rather than a third tower as was originally proposed.
Today, TMG Partners and Northwood Investors tentatively agreed to pay $122 million for the site in United States bankruptcy court having "hammered out [a deal] between investor David Choo, the previous owner of the site, and MS Mission Holdings, which had bought the loan on the property and foreclosed on it after Choo had defaulted."
With the disputed ownership of the site now settled (Choo was contesting the foreclosure), expect the project to quickly power up.
∙ Plans For Landmark Tower(s) At First And Mission Are Powering Up [SocketSite]
∙ TMG Partners, Northwood to take over massive Transbay project [Business Times]
From Fill 'Er Up To Build 'Em Up On Ocean Avenue: 1490 Rendered
As plugged-in people have known was in the works since 2011, the plan to raze the gas station at 1490 Ocean Avenue and build a four-story building with 15 condos over ground-floor retail and 15 parking spaces has been making its way through Planning.
This afternoon, the project is up for approval by the Planning Commission to proceed.
The project includes nine three-bedroom units and six two-bedrooms.
From the Planning Department which recomends the project be approved:
The project is desirable for, and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The additional building height is appropriate for a corner location and the building’s neo-traditional style is consistent with the neighborhood which is defined by buildings from the 1920s and ‘30s. The project site is much larger than the average lot within the District but it is located on a prominent corner site where a larger development is more appropriate to add emphasis and frame the intersection. The façade of the project will contribute to the positive visual quality of the district, which does not possess a prevailing architectural style.
As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Grocery Outlet’s Plans For A Shuttered Cala Are Slated For Approval
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.
June 5, 2013
A Competition To Rethink The Space Beneath Highway 280
With a conceptual plan to take down Highway 280 north of 16th Street in San Francisco, eliminating the ramps at Sixth and Brannan and at Fourth and King and building a street-level boulevard in its place, a design competition to rethink the use of the space beneath the highway in San Francisco is underway.
Competition participants are invited to submit concepts for public art, buildings, landscape treatments, public amenities and infrastructure, or other urban design interventions that are made possible through the replacement of the elevated Highway 280 north of 16th Street. Suggested areas of focus are the parcels of land freed up by this transformation, especially along the western edge of Mission Bay, as well as the open space/landscape opportunities at the west end of Mission Creek to unify both sides of the creek.
In the words of the design competition’s organizers: "The tradition of removing freeways is not a new one for our city– two neighborhoods, the Embarcadero and Hayes Valley, have enjoyed a renaissance through freeway demolition that healed scarred communities."
And in the words of a plugged-in reader, might some of San Francisco's elevated highway have the potential to become the equivalent of New York's High Line?
∙ A Bold Plan To Tear Down I-280 North Of 16th Street In San Francisco [SocketSite]
∙ 280 Freeway Competition [cadsf.org]
One Signature Away From Landmarking The Duboce Park District
Unanimously approved by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors yesterday, the Duboce Park neighborhood is now only the Mayor's signature away from becoming an official landmark.
Duboce Park will be the twelfth of San Francisco