Plans to raze the landmark Sloat Garden Center at 2700 Sloat Boulevard, which has occupied the Outer Parkside block bounded by Sloat, 46th Avenue, Wawona Street and 45th Avenue since 1958, have, in fact, been drawn.

As proposed, an 8-story development would rise up to 85 feet in height upon the site, with 213 condos (a mix of 98 studios, 28 one-bedrooms, 65 twos and 22 threes, ranging in size “from just over 300 square feet to approximately 1,000 square feet”) over 24,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space (including retail, restaurant and co-working spaces)

As envisioned by Lowney Architecture, a series of outdoor terraces would occupy the entire roof level of the development, which was technically designed as three individual “towers” on three different parcels for the purposes of San Francisco’s building code.  And while a large motor court along Wawona would allow for resident loading, unloading and deliveries, as well as providing “massing relief,” the project proposes no other parking for the building’s residents (other than 10 spaces for a dedicated Car Share program and a storage room for 250 bikes).

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Jimbo

    Great project and density for location. But would be hard to live there without a car

    • Posted by Peter

      The L-Taraval is right there, but not a whole lot of other amenities.

      • Posted by Scott F

        Several delis, markets, restaurants, cafes, bars in a 5-10 minute walk. Easy bus/bike ride to Lucky’s supermarket a mile east, or Other Avenues a mile north. Additional retail space within the project. Car share if you need it. I think living here without a car is going to be fine.

        • Posted by Michael

          The majority of people who buy a condo in this type of building aren’t going to be without a car, they’re just going to park on the street. Maybe if they were rentals.

          • Posted by Alai

            The city needs some sort of street parking policy that’s not a free-for-all, that’s for sure.

          • Posted by Scott F

            Keep in mind many projects are condo mapped, but retained and individually rented out by the developer for the first 10 years.

            Either way, the lack of parking will tend to select for buyers/renters who are OK with going car-free (and saving money compared to a place with an off-street space). To that end, if I were an immediate neighbor, I’d be glad this building has no off-street parking because that will limit how much traffic this adds to the neighborhood.

          • Posted by Michael

            There wouldn’t be any cars parked on the street or a need for residential parking permits if that were true.

            Increased competition for on-street parking will be a point of contention for neighbors, not a benefit.

          • Posted by sfwatcher

            as Michael said, increased competition for street parking is a sure to happen. The myth of self-selecting non-car-driving condo-buyers is just that, especially out there.

          • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

            I keep wondering what evidence or how long it will take to puncture this long-held myth that allowing developers to build dense housing developments without parking will “tend to select for buyers/renters who are OK with going car-free”. It’s really tedious listening to this cant repeated over and over when almost every development that goes up without off-street parking shortly has the streets filled with cars on both sides of the street shortly after move-ins start.

          • Posted by Scott F

            I’m amazed this myth persists that off-street parking supply in a new development has no impact on the car ownership of the residents. Countless people have told me some version of the story, “It was hard to park in San Francisco, so I sold my car after moving here,” or, with a shrug, “My apartment came with a parking space, so I bought a car.”

            I personally rented for a year in a new parking-free development that had just opened. Anxious neighbors had come to hearings about the building and said what you all are telling me now: the residents would have cars no matter what, and it would be parking-geddon. Not so. I knew about half the building, and not one of us owned a car.

            Honestly, it seems pretty obvious to me. No car-free household sees parking as an amenity. They’re going to jump on a deal where they can pay $200 or $300 less rent every month by not paying for something they don’t use. There will definitely be some people in a building this size who own cars, but far, far fewer than if off-street parking had been built. Many will try it for a while, decide it’s more trouble than it’s worth, and sell the car: again, that’s a story that repeats hundreds of times each year in San Francisco.

      • Posted by slow speed rail

        I used to live right near here. It would take over an hour to get downtown on the L.

      • Posted by Goodmaab50

        The L taraval should be extended up sloat with the great highway project and link back to st Francis circle and/ or run down to the westside of stonestown parkmerced and SFSU projects out to Daly City or brotherhood way

    • Posted by John

      Density, and Weiner and Covid-19

  2. Posted by Amewsed

    It is a peaceful area. Couple of blocks to the ocean and the SF Zoo, great for a leisurely visit with the family or a power walk/quick meet & greet with the animals. Once the zoo opens back up, it will be one of the first things I do in SF, short of actually sitting down at a restaurant with table service.

  3. Posted by Steve Levitt

    Very hard to have any faith in this! I work at the Zoo, and the adjoining “Luxury Housing” waiting to open has sat stagnant with issues for over five years; no businesses, no visible tenants; Black Mold, Plumbers’ Strike, Owners selling entire project several times over, I travel the Great Highway to Sloat daily, and check status daily… Absolutely Zero Progress !!!!!

  4. Posted by GeuBe

    The orientation is wrong. The courtyard should face south. Better light, and better views.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Was my first thought as well.

      • Posted by tall/awkward

        I third this. Would also break up the whole oppressive wall look.

        • Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

          The view over the zoo sells.

          • Posted by Anonymous

            You can’t see anything in the zoo from that spot, even if you were several floors up. You’d be right on a wide street with relatively high speed traffic looking out at some nondescript trees in an area that you can’t even access for free.

          • Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

            Over the zoo, not of the zoo. South towards Pacifica. Over Sloat. Even one floor up the street is less bothersome. The zoo itself? Meh. Maybe you could see giraffes every once in a while. That Floyd they’ve got is a champion giraffe stud.

  5. Posted by Scott F

    According to a neighbor, there is also a 12-story, 283-unit option rendered that would be 30% affordable (versus 23% affordable under Home-SF for this 8-story option).

  6. Posted by Tiki Kim

    Sounds Awful! Already there is an eyesore that has been in construction for years. Turning the western part of the City into downtown is a big FAIL!

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Apparently you’ve never set foot downtown.

  7. Posted by Alai

    Is there some particular quirk of history that resulted in these few blocks being zoned for taller buildings than the area around them? While I don’t object to it by any means, it seems like there are many more logical locations for such buildings where they are forbidden.

  8. Posted by eugo

    seems reasonable if you’re an sf state student, or maybe a ucsf-er, in need of a bunk.

    • Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

      Or if you want to live in the most beautiful city in the country overlooking the Pacific Ocean with direct access to the beach and running along the promenade, decent access to 280, sunsets, west side hip restaurants etc.

      • Posted by longtime listener

        agree that this is a great, underrated location. Deserves something far better looking than this. and heads should roll for the awful monstrosity nearby. would love to know what happened there.

        • Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

          “Deserves something far better” Unfortunately this sentiment usually translates to a design that is not economic to build and therefore is never built. Better to house people and grow the city.

      • Posted by Scott F

        Exactly. No need to qualify it, this is a fantastic place to live. Also I love your handle.

      • Posted by [J]

        its for goblins and more destruction of the once paris of america by the tech class

        • Posted by parkside

          Obviously the owner of the property, in his 70s I believe, is selling the property to have a comfortable retirement life. It appears you are angry they are building anything at all on this property. I assume you are not happy with the BMR ratio and probably would have no market rate housing here but all BMR.

          BTW, that “Paris of the America” comment is way way in the past. You have to go back 30 plus years when Herb Cane was around.

          • Posted by Miraloma Man

            ‘Herb Caen.’ Still a few old locals around to represent San Francisco.

        • Posted by Anonymous

          There’s nothing Parisian about the low density, two-story sprawl that is the Sunset. You have a misplaced nostalgia for a thing that never existed and that you never experienced.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Although there is everything Parisian about a 8 story apartment building.

  9. Posted by Frankie

    Brutally bad architecture – almost looks like an SCB building.

    • Posted by derek

      Totally agree…a mediocre eyesore….needs to be more iconic…instead it’s merely dreary!

  10. Posted by vinko sliskovic

    scott F clearly has a dog in the race. how many years have you been in the city? or better yet in that neighborhood?

    lack of car ownership in the building does not relieve traffic in the area. there would just be a steam of uber drivers flooding the area. and id bet a hefty sum they would congregate in the public zoo parking hurting that business.

    there’s no way to to cram that many people into one place and not have it disrupt the neighborhoods ecosystem, not to mention yet another sf landmark bulldozed so a few people can make a buck.

    the bubble will pop jobs will cease, people will leave and all of san francisco’s historic culture is replaced by over priced micro apartments and a glut of unused retail. look around, business were shuttered left and right before the “pandemic”. these projects popping up all over the city are not sustainable – families are out and wave after wave of the transient contract worker is in. its sad what the city has become…

    • Posted by Jake T

      Overpriced micro units and families are out…have you seen what an SFH costs around here? Talk about overpriced!

  11. Posted by J

    DISGUSTING! This project is trash and anyone who supports it is a goblin! NO thanks!

    • Posted by mary_jane_jacobs

      Tough to argue with such nuanced, balanced arguments.

  12. Posted by density

    Great project adding desperately needed homes near transit and lots of amenities! Hope it gets approved quickly.

  13. Posted by urgh

    Beach parking is already a nightmare. City is in process of eliminating traffic lanes right now for sea rise planning. Building more housing and turning lower Sloat into a wind blown simulation of Miami Beach without consideration of traffic, sea rise or parking is definition of “unplanned community”

  14. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Solid first pass but definitely needs some direction and refinement. Either way, stoked for steps in any direction.

  15. Posted by Randall J Mazzei

    Way out of scale for the Sunset. In fact won’t it block the Sunset.
    Let’s face it it’s a tech worker hive.

    • Posted by Parkside

      You obviously don’t have a clue when saying that it will block the Sunset. The “Avenues” where I was born,raised and currently live, is fogged in almost all summer and weather wise, is not that nice most of the time.

  16. Posted by XYZ

    Paint is already peeling from trim near windows.Many plants dead or in poor condition because of improper selection.There is likely to be drainage problems on plazas facing Sloat.Open pipe on wall in plaza on Sloat Blvd closest to 46 Avenue. Absolutely hideout color choices.Metal Pillars?Not enough parking to run a business.Ugly!!!

  17. Posted by Sfnative

    This is a clearly a poorly worked out issue regarding transportation and parking. Parking by and at the zoo is horrendous to begin with during peak times (when open), let alone other residential areas and shops. Yes, there are some areas that are “walkable”. But carrying groceries from lucky’s in variable weather, going to the L Taraval when it takes over an hour at times to go downtown on infrequent trains, and concern for pedestrian safety is something that shouldn’t be written off.

    Obviously, planners have not been a student, low income, or blue collar worker trying to establish traction nor do they care about residents who will be calling sfmta’s towing services on their favorite contact lists. There should at least consider underground parking or other options for parking.

  18. Posted by Miraloma Man

    Where am I supposed to get my Bay Area Blend planting soil?

  19. Posted by XYZ

    We don’t need anymore [people] who think a bike is the way to go. Try having elderly folks or heaven forbid children.

  20. Posted by jenofla

    I have three opinions on this development:

    Personally: I love Sloat Garden Center and don’t want it to go. I like how there is parking near the beach and zoo in this area. I am fond of the sleepiness of this undiscovered gem part of the city, and this development looks monstrous to me.

    Logically: It’s a very reasonable place to live for a certain lifestyle. The location is nice (beach, sunsets, zoo, which is an amazing garden / park with animals that if you got an annual membership you could visit every day). While very residential, groceries and restaurant food could be (would have to be) delivered, though there is a cafe if you really don’t want to make your own coffee and a bar at the Irish Cultural Center. While the Muni is not reliable enough for day to day work, it would be sufficient for someone who worked mainly from home and offers access to downtown (and, via SFO, the world) without a car. I’d love to live there.

    (Any development without parking should design some sort of foyer that can receive and store deliveries securely 24-7, IMHO)

    Realistically: The development next door is selling like molasses and its commercial spaces do not have a single tenant. Despite the logical arguments, there doesn’t seem to be any demand for this area (at least at the prices necessary to make the development possible). It SOUNDS like a good idea, but doesn’t mean it IS a good idea.

    • Posted by jenofla

      Oh, sorry the ICC bar is closed. You’d have to walk up to Taraval then for a drink.

  21. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: No Red Flags for Garden Center Redevelopment as Proposed (but there are a few design “issues”).

  22. Posted by Mike

    As with other apartments in the Parkside area, many of the residents work outside San Francisco and communte
    to the South San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City and Silicon Valley. Thus parking congestion would be a problem, just as it is in the Inner Sunset/Parkside and the Richmond District.

    I was a letter carrier in the outer Parkside for 20 years. In 1990, parking was quite easy. By 2000, it had become crowded. By 2010, parking was at a premium.

    This proposal without parking will stifle the area, as parking on Sloat also serves the Zoo and many people commute to S.F. and park in the outer Parkside and take the L-Taraval downtown.

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