As we outlined back in 2014:

Residents in north-facing condos at the Palms – or fans of the Marina Auto Body shop – take note: plans to raze the auto shops at 565-585 Bryant Street, between 3rd and 4th, have been submitted to planning for review. And in their place, an eleven-story building is proposed to rise.

Due to the cap on office space development in San Francisco imposed by Proposition M, two variants for the Central SoMa development have been drafted.

One plan calls for 190,000 square feet of office space over 10,000 square feet of retail and 44 parking spaces to be accessed by way of Welsh. An alternative proposal consists of 112 dwelling units over 47,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail with 39 parking spaces underground.

While currently only zoned for development up to 65 feet in height, the pending Central Corridor Plan proposes to up-zone the south side of Bryant Street to allow development up to 130 feet in height, and the proposed 585 Bryant Street development would rise to that height in either configuration, as massed above.

That being said, the Central Corridor plan also restricts the consolidation of adjacent parcels. And in order for the above Bryant Street development to proceed as proposed, a total of five lots will need to be merged, a merger which would need to be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission.

In 2017, the aforementioned plans were scrapped and bigger plans for a 300-room hotel to rise up to 12 stories upon the Central SoMa parcels, with a 120-car garage, restaurant and 1,600 square feet of retail space fronting Bryant, were drafted.

And with the aforementioned “Central Corridor” turned Central SoMa Plan having since been adopted, even bigger plans for the Bryant Street site have been drawn.

In fact, a seven-lot merger is now proposed.  And as envisioned, a 503-unit, 16-story apartment building would rise up to 160 feet in height on the 555-585 Bryant Street site, along with roughly 9,000 square feet of replacement PDR space and a ground floor garage for 100 cars and 225 bikes, leveraging California’s Density Bonus Law for the additional height and to bypass the required residential open space, maximum lot coverage and mid-block pedestrian pathway requirements of San Francisco’s Planning Code, as roughly massed below:

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by jimbo

    this now looks like a really good project. hope it moves forward

  2. Posted by Brian

    The whole area in SOMA should be slated for high rise residential not mid rise. That’s how you help solve the housing crisis. This area is not a quaint neighborhood that needs to be preserved. Build it up!

    • Posted by density

      Very much agree. Central SOMA plan should be amended to increase heights on residential sites. This transit and job dense area can accommodate lots more people. Even Jane Kim said they should’ve added more tall, residential sites to the plan. SF should look at adding more 200-600ft buildings in this area.

      It’s the environmentally responsible thing to do as well. Having a critical mass of people living on the Central Subway and BART lines where they can live, work, and play without needing a car is how SF can actually drive down carbon emissions.

      • Posted by RobBob

        That’s nice of Jane Kim to say, but where was she when they had all of the neighborhood outreach meetings for the Central SOMA plan?

        Complainers are going to complain, but it’s not making so much difference when you are at the end of a close to ten year process.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          It’s much easier, you know, for Jane Kim to say what she should have done after it’s too late.

          Remember how Peskin suddenly decided the Central Subway was a boondoggle?

          God forbid they take a strong stand while they are still in a position to do something.

    • Posted by davidude

      Exactly. This should be Hong Kong level dense.

  3. Posted by Notcom

    Well why not? sub for three things SF doesn’t appear to need right now – offices, condos, hotel rooms – something it needs even less (apartments).

    OTOH by the time this gets built in 2058, the timing may be right again…and I know if I was coming to ‘Baghdad-by-the-Bay’ I’d want to live in the equivalent of Hayy Al-Shurtta.

    • Posted by Cromulous maximus

      Even if rents have plunged 30%, they’re still among the highest in the US. And of course, the dotcomers will be coming back since big tech is realizing that remote work isn’t very good for productivity. So, yes we do need more apartments. Many many many more apartments.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Ah but construction costs are THE highest.

        And since it takes two not just to tango , but to make up an income stream, the prudent may want to hold off a little longer to make sure that “R>E”….and that the dotcomers actually come back, rather than moving on to Sacto, Vancouver or southeastern North Dakota.

        • Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

          Indeed. How many of those who fled to places like Vancouver (SW Washington State) will come back? Some, but not all. Then there are those companies which have gone to permanent telework like DropBox. 1600 jobs gone. Then there are companies such as Stripe which have totally relocated. Another 1600 or so jobs gone. Speaking of Vancouver, we have a “getaway” just east in Washougal. People are buying places site unseen (ZOOM) in the Gorge. One of our Washougal neighbors just complained that Californians are like invasive species – ourselves excluded of course. The problem with building lots of housing in the Central SOMA is that it likely will not see major office/job development – as once planned. Housing development will occur but probably be scaled back for economic reasons.

          Some SF developers are pivoting from office to life science space. FivePoint’s Candlestick project for instance. But it’s hard to see the Central SOMA’s grandiose office plans turned into life science space. Too far from Mission Bay and SSF. Speaking of which it is not a guarantee there is a lot of demand for life science space in SF. It all went to SSF which just approved Genentech’s plan to increase its planned biotech space from 6 million feet to 9 million feet. That doesn’t take into account Brisbane’s Badlands which alone will have 8 million or more feet of biotech/life science space. Bottom line, significantly more housing no longer makes as much sense in the Central SOMA as it once did..

          • Posted by Notcom

            That wasn’t the Vancouver I meant – I’ll not hazard a guess as to the continent that harbors the “Brisbane’ you’re referring to – but the point is the same… actually it’s re-enforced: SF has many competitors.

          • Posted by jimbo

            theres another 12M sq ft office park being built in SSF as well. Life science space is expensive due to lab outfits and building mostly need to be preplanned for that, or conversaion si very expensive. no one is going to central SOMA. space will likely be opening in Mission Bay, but the prices and taxes have to be competitive to SSF. if the taxes in SF on the ballot get passed, no way anyone moving here instead of SSF

          • Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

            @jimbo – yes, SSF will be adding a massive amount of life science space in the coming decade. FivePoint is trying to pivot it’s project in that direction but the question remains is it economically feasible for life science/biotech to expand in S? As it is the hoped for bio-tech hub in Mission Bay never really emerged,

      • Posted by two beers

        The objective of those in the real estate racket isn’t to make housing more affordable; it’s to maximize profits. Gentrification maximizes profits because it increases the value of real estate.

        The prudent thing would be to wait for the economic situation to play out, to see what kind of buildings the city actually needs, instead of letting land pirates ram through get-rich-quick schemes that destroy working class jobs, and force low income people out of their homes and onto the streets.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Who defines “What the City needs”? “Community Activists”? leftist professors of social sciences at universities? Government bureaucrats? Who is going to pay for these “needs”?

  4. Posted by UnlivableCity

    At what point will SF developers (a few exceptions like the superb SKS) decide that gaslighting the public with hideous buildings that turn whole sections of the city (has anyone sat in traffic at S Van Ness and Mission lately? In the shadowy and bleakly overbearing presence of yet another slapped together box) into soulless and dully drab corridors?

    • Posted by Ca_kid

      The traffic at S Van Ness and Mission is because they decided to permanently remove two lanes from Van Ness for the BRT project. And the road quality is a disaster rn.

  5. Posted by Martin

    Bryant street is ripe for improvements. I’m not sure that sidewalk is up to code based on how narrow it is around trees and fire hydrants.

    Bidirectional protected bike lane would also do massively improve mobility and safety. 5-6 lanes for cars simply take longer to funnel into the one lane on ramps.

    • Posted by Matt M

      There are bidirectional bike lanes on Brannan.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Hard agree – Harrison too. I think Caltrans has pushed back against possible ped/bike improvements on those streets bc they have some authority on freeway feeder streets. 🙁

  6. Posted by techie

    Reddit [recently] announced permanent work from home with no cost of living adjustment.

  7. Posted by Brian M

    COVID is spiking almost everywhere. I seriously doubt we will all be returning to the office on a lager scale soon.

  8. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    BRT on van mess should extend south to ceasar Chavez and extend around to SFGH and loop connect st Luke’s to CPMC van ness. The DTX should already be done and the F-line extended to the presidio. Couple this with the T line out cargo and up past Schlage lock Brisbane developments and back to balboa park station.

    All this density ignores some common sense solutions in transit. U want towers and big buildings fix the transit and don’t wait for 40+ years it’s already becoming gridlock again and we don’t even have the construction sites at full swing….

  9. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    As to the building send it back to the drawing boards….looks like a half baked LEGO construct.

  10. Posted by BTinSF

    Hey, you misspelled Eisenhower.

    [Editor’s Note: Actually, it was the architects whom rendered that graphic.]

    • Posted by Notcom

      I guess they don’t like Ike.
      But I thought this was the “James Lick Freeway”:
      did it get renamed – did he fail some ‘ex-post facto’ purity test –
      or is that a few exits up ??

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