2465 Van Ness (www.SocketSite.com)

A reader wonders what’s in the works for the recently shuttered Chevron station at the corner of Van Ness and Union (2465 Van Ness). Unfortunately we don’t know, so spill it if you do. And as always, bonus points for any renderings, related rumors or links.

34 thoughts on “A Reader Asks: What’s In The Works For 2465 Van Ness?”
  1. There is also a recently closed Chevron on Bay St and Buchanan in the Marina, so not too far from the subject Chevron. Maybe it’s the same owner who sold the properties?

  2. I wonder if it is going to end up like the recently closed gas station at Divisadero & Ellis, a fenced off vacant lot that just sits there.

  3. I heard luxury lofts. They are going to put glass around the edges of the island roofs and call it modern industrial chic, as long as they leave the pumps in place.
    The waiting area will be retrofitted with whatever Limn is selling (I heard white hospital type decor, as if it’s attractive) and sold off as a “luxury studio”. Parking will be made using the lifts as car stackers (except that you can’t drive under them – the pole is in the way – ‘D’oh!, so valet parking will be provided, at great HOA expense, of course). The driveways and such will be left to the homeless.
    In other words, a microcosm of your typical SF new development. Pricing will start at $1380 psft for this exciting new development, to be known as “One Leaking Tanks Park”.
    Anyone else have any other details that I may have missed?

  4. I mentioned in my 1301 Divis tip, Shell and Chevron has been systematically selling off their sites in SF (with Shell selling sites as far north as Oregon). There are 3 gas stations within a block in that part of Van Ness that are vacant. I know the one on Filbert (North-west corner) is owned by LF George (did the Judah and 31st development). I spoke with them last year and they are holding onto it for a while (my client wanted their site).
    So as far as 2465 Van Ness goes, there are permits for things like putting up a sign and some electrical work (issued mid 2008). It’s still owned by Chevron, too. So it never changed hands.

  5. Can we add the lot at Sanchez and Market where a Shell used to be? It was a Delancey Xmas tree spot and long rumored to be the future site of a mixed-use development that would include the already passe Pinkberry.

  6. “Unfortunately we don’t know, so spill it if you do.”
    I’ve heard that it is so expensive to clean up a spill that developers don’t want former gas stations. If not, Turnberry should buy the 69 station on the First and Harrison.

  7. I noticed a few days ago that the 76 at Park Presidio and Geary also closed, but the 76 at Stanyan and Geary that announced a new development a month or so ago is still open.

  8. While it can be expensive to remediate a gas station, sometimes it is not that bad as most of them these dayss have a bed of semi-impervious clay around multi-hull tanks as well as pretty strict monitoring equipment. Regardless, these sites wouldn’t be hard to sell as any buyer would require the seller (Chevron, Shell, etc.) to take responsibility for any gasoline contamination they find currently or in the future on or around the site (there are chemical markers in the gasoline that can identify where the gasoline contamination came from). It’s the small gas station operators without deep pockets that are not appealing to developers as they would not be able to cover the cost of a serious spill.

  9. Mktwatcher: The Shell station at Market and Sanchez closed because they lost their lease, as I understand it. The owners of the lot reportedly have no current development plans and plan to leave it vacant for the time being. It’s hard to imagine why they’d prefer a vacant lot to a rent-producing tenant, but perhaps Shell wasn’t willing to renew without a lengthy lease extension, and the property owners didn’t want to tie up the land for that long. It’s hard to know unless anyone has an inside track to the family who owns the lot.
    The station closed when the real estate market was still hot, so perhaps the landowner had plans to sell which got dashed by the bursting market bubble.
    They closed the station illegally (as I understand it, a hearing is required to tear down a gas station in SF, and they didn’t go through the process) and it took a year or more to secure retroactive permission for the teardown, so they may have blown it on the timing.

  10. Miles: Interesting thing about that actually. While the seller is normally responsible for any soil cleanup prior to close of escrow, the property on Lombard and Pierce has been sitting there for a while. From what I heard, it was in contract and then fell out at the end. Maybe Chevron didn’t want to pay to clean it up?

  11. We really don’t need as many gas stations as we have, and conditions are finally catching up to that reality. It is a shame, however, that more didn’t get redeveloped during the boom, because it will be slow going from here for a while.
    For instance, there are four other stations within a couple of blocks of that closed down Shell at Market/Sanchez. Unfortunately, it would be much better in urban design terms to replace the Chevron at Market/Castro than the Shell at Sanchez/Market. But these are market decisions…
    I know the economic of the gas retailing business are what have been driving the majors out of the business. It has been curious/interesting to see how gas station operators have been augmenting their business. Has anyone else noticed how it seems like every station has zip cars and/or city car share these days? That’s a great use of the resource, IMHO.

  12. “If not, Turnberry should buy the 69 station on the First and Harrison”
    Sorry, that’s 76 station. I was thinking of something else, apparently.

  13. No but I will add 23rd and Valencia and 19th and South Van Ness to the list.
    From SF to San Mateo down to SLO I am aware of people getting out of the gas business, some leaving the lots empty for years. Land is to valuable for gas stations in these in prime locations

  14. Just to give a little info….not on the Van Ness sites but on the others mentioned.
    Market and Sanchez–Family member was passing on and the rest of the family was trying to sell to a developer. Just before deal closed the passing family member instructed not to sell the site. Still stuck in a family fued.
    The empty lot and Lombard and Pierce–It is a completely contaminated site–Developer had it and walked away. No developer will touch that unless it is purchased contingent upon a total clean up.
    My two cents.

  15. There may finally be some movement on the proposal for the 76 station at Market and Buchanan.
    The Planning Commission will hear an application for conditional use authorization on March 26. After hearing about this possibility for more than 2 years it will be interesting to see details what is actually being proposed now that market conditions have changed. The CU application claims up to 115 residential units, ground floor commercial, and up to 91 parking spaces in an 85-X Height/Bulk district.

  16. @ Rillion:
    The former 76 station and current lot at Divisadero and Ellis is going to be a 4 story condo building. The building was on hold for a bit because they lost their funding, but work has started again. The developer is John McInerney III (of Anasazi Properties). The architect is Stanley Saitowitz.

  17. anyone know what “completely contaminated” means for the Lombard/Pierce site in terms of enviromental impact? any experts here?

  18. ^^^ typically gas station contamination is in the form of petrochemical plumes deep in the soil, slowly heading downwards towards the water table. These plumes often originate from gasoline tank leaks but also from carelessly disposed used motor oil. It was to common for mechanics to have a pit out back where used oil, tranny fluid, antifreeze, etc were dumped. That practice mostly ended in the 1970s.
    The environmental impact is almost always risk of groundwater contamination. Once the plume reaches the water table it is nearly impossible to keep the toxins contained. Nearby drinking water wells have to be shut down.
    Remediation is often a slow process. A purpose built scrubbing facility is installed that periodically pumps out water and contaminant from the base of the plume. That contaminated stuff is either stored in a tank topside and disposed of off-site or directly incinerated on-site. If you see what looks like an abandoned gas station site with a mass of pipes and other mechanical stuff fenced off in the corner, that is the on-site cleanup equipment. The equipment often runs for many years to reduce the contaminant level.
    I’m no expert but I hope this helps.

  19. ElectraVoltz, thank you for the update. I hope they have started up again, so far I haven’t seen any indication of that yet. It will be nice to get something new there, that stretch of Divis is in need of some new buildings.

  20. Thank you for posting SocketSite. I had asked the original question. The only thing I know is that Chevron also owns the parking lot between 2415 and 2465 that is home to City Share and Zip Cars. The closed up gas station is an eyesore and I am sad to know that I may be looking at that for years.

  21. If and when anyone does have any definite info on 2465 Van Ness Ave. and what the plans are for it, I would appreciate knowing. It is of great interest to myself and my neighbors in that area.

  22. Does anyone know what is going on at 1301 Divisadero? The SF Planning Dept and the Bldg Dept have no record of any approvals or even an application for the development of this site. Yet, it appears to be under construction.

  23. Nov. 21st, 2010: Removal of gas tanks was started last week, at 2465 Van Ness Ave. Does anyone have any info as to what is in store for this piece of property? It appears that all the tanks are gone, but the buildings remain standing and fenced in.

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