376 Castro

It’s been seven years since plans to raze the gas station on the northwest corner of the intersection of Castro, Market and 17th streets was filed with planning, plans which proposed to build a mixed-use building with twenty-four residential units over three thousand square feet of ground floor commercial space and parking underground.

Back in play according to the Eureka! neighborhood newsletter, designs for the proposed six-story building to rise at 376 Castro are a few weeks away from being revealed (or perhaps sooner if any plugged-in tipsters care to leak liberate share some rendering love).

And Castro plaza (and perhaps Lime…) goers take note, while it’s likely to be a few years until anything new starts to rise at 376 Castro, an application to park a Taqueria Quadulupe truck on site for at least a year was approved last week.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Stucco-sux

    The apartment complex behind it, with its ample balcony’s overlooking gay mecca… if those railings could talk. So I guess those views will largely disappear. I can’t imagine this process will be a very smooth one, but since its replacing an Arco station instead of a hole in the ground maybe it will go faster, pussycat.

  2. Posted by Invented

    Glad to hear that this one eyesore will be redone — having two gas stations flanking such an important lively intersection of the Castro is unfortunate. Given that the adjacent apartment building’s balconies seemingly hug this gas station, it will be a design challenge. Let’s see bold design with street level retail.

  3. Posted by Big Unit

    Goodbye, Arco/Zipcar/Wanna-be Crazy Gideon’s hot mess. Hello, Castro St Traffic Cluster F#*k.

  4. Posted by noearch

    Glad to see this prime corner about to be improved and some new housing added.

  5. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Goodbye, Arco/Zipcar/Wanna-be Crazy Gideon’s hot mess. Hello, Castro St Traffic Cluster F#*k.”
    Because of 24 units and some ground floor retail in one 6-story building? Only in a NIMBY’s fabricated dreams.

  6. Posted by curmudgeon

    Big Unit…how could you possibly call this a traffic cluster f#*$….a gas station generates a lot more traffic than a condo building, and any retail there would be ped oriented.
    The world will not end, and in fact will be better with this gas station gone. (although, when I fill my car up once every month or two, I will miss it…it consistently has the cheapest gas in the hood…small price to pay though.)

  7. Posted by lol

    Yeah this gas station does generate some level of mess. Access from Market is a bit puzzling and you often end up getting stuck halfway on 17th waiting for a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Access inside is sometimes blocked by people maneuvering to get on the right side. Going back into traffic is the biggest issue I think. Few will take 17th, all will try to get onto Castro and then sometimes Market. It’s a very elaborate dance.
    But people who move there will have an excellent “view” on the nude guys at Twin Peaks. Realtors will probably show the units on rainy days for once…
    Now, can we get a Trader Joe’s?

  8. Posted by anona

    Six stories!?!?!?!?! OMG!!!!!!111!!!!1

  9. Posted by kathleen

    6 stories is too high.

  10. Posted by sfrenegade

    Yes, it will turn this area into Hong Kong or Manhattan!
    To suggest that removing a popular and cheap gas station and replacing it with what’s planned will somehow jam up this area is beyond ridiculous. Thank you, BANANAs.

  11. Posted by Big Unit

    Lighten up, Renegade. I’m all for the replacement of the gas station. Temporary added congestion at the corner of Castro & Market is inevitable due to demo/construction…that’s the price of progress.

  12. Posted by noearch

    I’d rather see it go 10-12 stories. Never happen, in all probability, but this is what creating responsible density and transit villages is all about.
    We’re not just a little fishing port, you know.

  13. Posted by Mike Sullivan

    As much as I love the convenience of getting (relatively) cheap gas at this ARCO station, I can’t wait to see the eyesore replaced with housing. Some density across the street from the K, L and M lines makes a lot of sense, and the Chevron kitty-corner from here can certainly serve everyone’s needs.

  14. Posted by sf

    Folks, let’s evaluate our density situation at intersections of the major muni and bart subway high traffic transit lines:
    Castro and Market- gas station, gas station, single story retail, single story retail.
    16th and Mission: single story fast food, single story bank, single story retail, four story mixed use, 3 story office building.
    24th and Mission: single story fast food, single story retail, two story commercial
    Church and Market (the busiest transit transfer in the city): single story supermarket with sprawling paved parking lot, single story bar, single story restaurant, 3 story mixed use, 3 story office.
    Perhaps our slogan should be: San Francisco: We don’t know what the &$*% we’re doing!

  15. Posted by Tweety

    Isn’t that gas station a historical landmark?

  16. Posted by In The Know

    The proposal calls for a 65′ building (measured from the midpoint along Castro, so the height at Market St. will be a few feet more because of the sloping lot) with 24 residential units and 12 parking spaces plus another 2 or 3 (can’t remember) for the retail space on the ground floor. Parking entrance will be on Castro, pretty much at the north (top) end of the lot.
    The corner of Market & Castro features a dramatic glass corner going all the way up, it should be an appropriate “exclamation point” at the end of the Market St. commercial corridor.
    I’ve seen renderings and while there are probably a few design improvements that can still be made, it’s looking like it will be a great addition to the neighborhood. Hopefully the process will move quickly (I understand they may already have financing to start construction) since the project as proposed is code-compliant and will not require any variances or conditional use permits.
    Yes, most of the folks behind will lose their views. They should be happy to have had them for so many years as a result of the inappropriate low-density development (the Arco station) below them.

  17. Posted by anon

    @sf – I find it hard to believe that Church and Market is “the biggest transit transfer in the city”. What are people transferring to and from here? Church Street station is the lightest used Market St subway station by a significant margin.
    It’s certainly a much less busy transfer point than Geary and Van Ness, Van Ness and Market, Balboa Park BART (the busiest non-downtown BART station in the city, primarily because of bus transfers to BART), or several other downtown Market locations, as well as probably some other places like Park Presidio and Geary.

  18. Posted by Invented

    I’d rather see it go 10-12 stories.
    No better a location to be bold. Solidly agree.
    Why not give developer bonus floors if built more subterranean parking and offered to non-building residents at reduced rents. Many dev sites are perfect opportunities to offer this amenity (low-cost monthly parking) — and begin the process, site by site — of reducing the presence of cars. I can’t pay $350/mo for parking, but I’ll be in line when I can park for less. Get the cars off the street (including mine! which I use sparingly.)
    Think public/private & think NY’s air transfer rights for public benefits. (parks, mass transit, public bathrooms).

  19. Posted by Eric in SF

    anon – I think when you expand Church/Market to include the N at Church/Duboce it gets much busier.

  20. Posted by PN

    Can anyone explain any special issues that may (or may not) come up building a 6 story building over parking next to a transit tunnel? Also – does anyone know if the Castro/Market intersection is up for redesign like what’s in the works for Duboce and Church?

  21. Posted by castroclone

    Please, please, please turn this corner into Hong Kong or Manhattan. The people would be better looking, the bridge and tunnel crowd would know how to hold their liquor, and the restaurants would be much, much, better.

  22. Posted by formerly%whatever

    I think I’ve seen 2 or 3 revisions of the elevations at the project architect’s office (Sternberg Benjamin). From the progression it seemed like the Planning Dept was moving for a more “contemporary” design than originally proposed, or was it the other way around 🙂

  23. Posted by noearch

    You think?
    hmmmmm.

  24. Posted by curmudgeon

    It’s not over the tunnel….no issues at all.

  25. Posted by In The Know

    @Invented: The zoning allows 65′. Anything taller would require “spot zoning” (something generally discouraged, as the whole point of zoning is to plan things like heights) which would require legislation to be passed by the Board of Supervisors. A big, long, cumbersome process with an uncertain outcome and lots of controversy.
    In this case, the developer is proposing a code-compliant project that won’t need any special entitlements, so they’re not going to go above six stories. At one point the Planning Department was encouraging them to go for eight stories, but the ultimately decided not to pursue it for whatever reason.
    The upside is that this project may actually get built in the near future, unlike some of the other nearby projects that have been proposed or even approved but have not progressed for a myriad of reasons

  26. Posted by sf

    I predict this is going to be a retail dead zone- nobody is going to cross two main arteries to shop here. There is already some light retail behind the current gas station and I hardly ever see people on that side, except waiting at a muni stop.

  27. Posted by castrogurl

    I bet they’ll get some business from the people who live on 17th St, States St, and that part of Corona Heights (north of Market and west of Castro). For those living in that neighborhood, it’s kind of a pain to walk all the way to Castro and 18th for shopping.

  28. Posted by @castrogurl

    I guess it depends on what type of retail. An organic meat market and produce store would do quite well.

  29. Posted by Kurt Brown

    Agree, it depends on the type of retail.
    I think a personal care “mall” with botox, lipo, tanning, chemical peels, bikini waxing, laser hair removal, eyebrow sculpting, hair “architects”, and custom fitted swimwear shop would line em up for blocks.

    * stares at his bowl of Gay Snark Bits cereal *

  30. Posted by youkookybuyers

    Don’t the apartment dwellers have any rights? This is San Francisco! They must have some rights, right? All in all, some won’t be happy until we are shoulder to shoulder with everyone else in this City. Another project that does nothing except increase the bank account of a developer.

  31. Posted by Link please

    Does anyone have a link to the plans? I see comments noting renderings that have been viewed. Were these online or in an office? If the latter… Maybe a name?
    Thanks.

  32. Posted by Chris McMahon

    “Six stories!?!?!?!?! OMG!!!!!!111!!!!1”
    I know. Why are they not using the 80 foot high hight limit? 6 stories (60′) is just too low.
    Goodbye Walnut Creek suburban buildings. Hello cosmopolitan urban, world class city fabric!!

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