As we revealed earlier this year:

Having never recovered from stated concerns that a proposed four-story hotel to rise on the former Tower Records Annex turned bike rental parcel at 1196 Columbus Avenue, a development which was originally branded and designed to specifically target millennial travelers, would attract “late-night activity” that would be “incompatible” with its residential neighbors, the proposed project was rejected by San Francisco’s Planning Commission and subsequently abandoned.

While opponents of the development had also argued that the privately-owned site should be used for affordable housing, an argument which had caught the ear of a number of commissioners, the site quietly returned to the market with a $6.5 million price tag and sold to the “Linden Station Columbus LLC,” which is tied to Centrix Builders and developer Joe Cassidy, for $4.5 million in November of 2018. And even bigger plans for the site have since been drawn.

As newly rendered by Elevation Architects, a six-story building could now rise up to 60 feet in height on the site and yield 56 rooms of “group housing,” with a community room for the building’s residents and a storage room for 56 bikes, but no restaurant or retail space, on its ground floor.

Each of the roughly 300-square-foot units would be outfitted with a private bathroom and a kitchenette (with a two-burner electric stove and under-counter refrigerator, but no oven). And while the site isn’t zoned for the height nor density as proposed, a State Density Bonus and re-zoning could pave its way and would result in 10 of the 56 units being offered at below market rate rents.

Having just completed its preliminary review of the project as proposed, Planning hasn’t raised any red flags.

And in fact, while the project team had anticipated the need to secure a spot rezoning and legislative amendment for the project as envisioned, “the proposed zone change from C-2 to RM-3 would downzone the site with no apparent benefit because the density for Group Housing in C-2 is that of the nearest R District” (which is RM-3 and would permit the density as proposed).

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I hope neighborhood opponents will not reject this project and recommend a hotel project instead…

    • Posted by Anonymous Coward

      I hope neighborhood opponents will reject this project and recommend a hotel project instead…

      I doubt such a result will allow the original developers to take legal action, but it might help future developers threaten the City if they reject other projects solely due to “neighborhood concerns.”

  2. Posted by two beers

    “group housing” and two-burner electric stoves and under-counter fridges, oh my!

    This is designed for the koder kubicle kidz who don’t mind minimicro rooms with two-burner kitchenettes, because they spend (spent) hardly any time at home, and had all their meals delivered when they were home. The same kidz who are now clogging the streets with moving vans and U-Hauls as they head back home (which is also why they’ve left their mattresses all over town: they all have beds back home in their bedroom in their parents’ house, so no need to load the Casper onto the truck).

    All you have to do is look on craigslist to see how all these micro studio, two-burner electric stove and under-counter fridge, “group housing” coder dormitories are doing right now: they’re emptying out, fast, and there’s no evidence they’re coming back.

    A better idea would be to build something useful for the community: family housing, 3BRs and up, for families with workers who do actual, honest work for a living, work that isn’t dependent on unicorn IPOs, vulture capitalists, and monetary policy.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      The project sponsors will probably get the necessary entitlements and then sit on the project until the evidence that what you term “koder kubicle kidz” are back in town and bidding up substandard apartments appears and is visible to the folks providing financing.

      Of course, that all depends on a vaccine for the new corona virus that has been proved both efficacious and safe, absence of which would also impede new housing for families with workers whose jobs aren’t dependent on unicorn IPOs and/or venture capitalists.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      What’s weird is that you think this type of housing only appeals to young coders (so ludicrously specific), an opinion which is of course based exclusively on cherry-picking evidence.

      • Posted by two beers

        These types of “amenities” historically were only found in SROs for the impoverished.

        Who else that makes a lot of money would live in this glorified college dorm, willing to pay half their considerable income on an expensive shoebox?

        Buildings like this in SOMA and the ‘loin are clearly targeted towards newly-hired bit jockeys.

        • Posted by Chris

          If you make a lot of money, you don’t live in this type of housing, there are plenty of well-paid people in tech and other fields who buy regular condominiums/townhome. (And, now that everyone can work from home, and that is going to stay in some form or another, it doesn’t matter if their place is located in SOMA, the Mission. In fact, it is nicer to live in another neighborhood).

          But, if you are paid at what would be a working class professional level in a city such as Indianapolis, then you cannot afford the condo or townhouse, so you either pay outrageous rent and have roommates, or if you want to buy, then this is the sort of thing you buy.

      • Posted by AJ

        300 square feet is tiny. No one wants to live in a place like any longer than they have to.

  3. Posted by Local

    Cut off the top two floors, and then we can start talking about it.

    • Posted by Chris

      That’s why they are using the state density bonus.

      • Posted by Local

        Which, contrary to this article’s headline, is a big, red flag.

  4. Posted by Sal

    I think they have low cost housing right across the street. There are a lot of hotels across the street as well. Be careful folks this plan might be already a done deal just like the library north beach was. $14 million for a library that was no bigger than what it was across the street. Be careful of these Politicians they are slicker than…

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles