The proposed Hotel SoMa would replace a two-story, 23-foot-tall office building (and 14 off-street surface parking spaces) on the northwest corner of Townsend and Fifth (690 Fifth Street to be exact) with a David Baker designed six-story, 75-room hotel.

The project would include approximately 41,000 square feet of hotel uses, a 5,000-square-foot café/bar and lobby area, and a 7,400-square-foot subterranean garage with on-site parking for 27 automobiles.

The [hotel] would be six stories tall, reaching a height of 65 feet above grade to the roofline, and an approximately 16 foot mechanical penthouse (exempt from the height limits for this zoning district).

The project would also provide an approximately 5,000-square-foot deck area, swimming pool, and bar on top of the roof accessible to hotel patrons.

Additional details are available via Planning’s Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration.
690 Fifth Street (Hotel SoMa): EIR and Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration [SFGov]
On the boards: Hotel SOMA [dbarchitect.com]

29 thoughts on “Hotel SoMa (690 Fifth Street) As Proposed And Planning’s EIR”
  1. I expect to hear a NIMBY protest that the proposed hotel would cover up a beautiful piece of wall art on 410 Townsend.
    Love the pool, BTW.

  2. Why do all these proposed buildings look the same? I guess it’s better than what’s already there though, so that’s good.

  3. You know what, I’m not an architect, and I can totally understand the scars that the onslaught of ‘Richmond Specials’ put on this town. But at the risk of sounding out of touch, enough already.
    The miami comment is dead on, but as any native or observant transplant will tell you these buildings will be suitable only a handful of weeks out of the year. Even if it is sunny in the Spring it is too windy to enjoy these places as drawn.
    By all means build it, but they will not see their design really enjoyed but for late Sept to early Oct.
    The idea of Form AND Function should not only lead an occupant to fully utilize their surroundings, but also not lead them into a utilization that will consistenly disappoint them.

  4. does the city really need this?
    and does the city need this now, let alone ever?
    I’d like some of whatever the loan officer is smoking.
    I don’t mean to piss on their parade, but I can’t wait to pee in their pool!

  5. Plate glass is the new stucco. Still, this glass box doesn’t bug me as much as some others. The pool is brilliant–imagine the film noir possibilities! Just don’t close 280 for the filming, or any other trivial reason again, ever. Ya hear, Newsom?
    Tough location–there are enough bars and restaurants within two blocks, but it’ll be heavily dependent on convention center business. And Howard Street fair tourists.

  6. Com’on – a rooftop pool, deck, and bar? It’ll be nice to enjoy only if the weather permits. Honestly, how much sunshine do we get?

  7. Strange location for what will probably bill itself as a luxury hotel. I understand it’s hard to find land, but, really, what were they thinking in this location?

  8. FormerAptBroker has it right – financing any kind of large scale proposed construction right now is a pipe dream – and hotels are one of the more risky and variable asset classes even in stable times, so don’t change into your swim suits quite yet. Their strategy is probably to just get approvals now and hope that the market will support its construction before the permits expire.

  9. I bet the hookers and pimps from the Mission will be onto this within months !
    Read “5th street is the latest TRACK !”

  10. Moreover, glass is a poor insulator and causes blinding reflections. But it’s bloody cheap and kinda looks cool in certain respects.

  11. I love it! I live in the neigborhood and can’t wait for this to be built. The weather in this area gets much more sun then most and if they can figure a way to block the wind to some degree a roof deck pool and bar could be spectacular. Keep the development coming, the more the better.

  12. Very interesting. The city could use a few hotels in this part of town long term. UCSF is right there, all those biotech offices, plus Caltrain. Why not a hotel? Or two or three?
    I hope someone plans a nice waterfront hotel also.

  13. I’m with midcentfan…this area is starting to get more of a draw so a hotel doesn’t seem too crazy.- I can tell you that that Courtyard on 2nd/Folsom is always packed and it’s due to the location – folks want to stay near that ballpark sometimes and I can totally see the UCSF / biotech draw.
    I hear folks on the weather too but I actually think this is a fairly sunny area. Just make sure there are heat lamps.
    BTW, this is just a 75-room hotel too – not hundreds of rooms.
    But it’ll all come down to financing…

  14. One of the worst locations I can think of for a luxury hotel. Never gonna happen — won’t get financing (even when RevPARs start to pick up). When I first moved to San Francisco three years ago I almost rented a condo at fifth and townsend. Only thing that kept me from doing it was the near deafening sound of the Caltrain engines idling.

  15. I really don’t understand the vehemence of the negativity some of the posters in this thread show – its almost like you are being asked to spend your OWN money on these projects. Lets leave the ROI to the project sponsors and let the people who hang out there decide whether or not the weather is good enough to sustain activity.
    Id like to remind people that there is another famous hotel with a pool on the roof that has been around for quite a bit…

  16. This makes perfect sense to me. I bet the location will pay off if this is built – UCSF, Biotech, the ballpark, and most importantly, no competition. I hope it happens.

  17. Humm…ok only cause I live in western SOMA and see it all the time I will guess that this project will have acid etched glass, and not by architect design. Maybe David is working with the local taggers to lay off his design? After all he is progressively connected.

  18. I live a couple blocks from the site……great!!
    This is actually what the neighborhood needs…makes sense to me.

  19. This get’s my vote, if someone is willing to put their dollars at risk to build here, on what is a tough intersection without a whole lot of charm then go for it.
    I think it will be a good additon to the neighborhood.

  20. As someone that lives nearby and walks or drives past almost everyday, I welcome the proposal. Is the area a transient area?……without a doubt. However it will be developments like the proposed hotel that will help clean up the neighborhood. The townsend street corridor in between 4th and 7th is in major need of refurbishing. If these backers are willing to be the first major new development, then I fully support the proposal.
    I would love to throw some drinks back atop the rooftop bar. This area is fortunate to be one of the nicer weather locations in San Francisco. The wind does kick up, so I hope the architect plans on incorporating wind protection.
    Good luck….I’d love to see this go forward.

  21. If it does’nt get built it will probably have more to do with protests and in-fighting than financing.

  22. Didn’t Medjool get into to trouble for having a bar on a rooftop? And they are above a hotel, too.

  23. Dan – What sort of trouble ?
    As for rooftop bars, check out The Standard in downtown LA. By far the coolest rooftop bar I’ve ever forked over $10 for a martini. It is an amazing place. Even the restroom washbasins are amazing.
    Looks like Hotel Soma are taking some cues from The Standard. I really hope this gets built, but I’m not paying more than $10 for my cocktail !

  24. Apparently, according to the city, rooftop hotel bars can only serve hotel guests. Medjool got in trouble for being open to the public.
    With this new Hotel SoMa, there is no way a rooftop bar could survive if it only allowed guests of its 75 rooms to be patrons. There wouldn’t be enough customers to pay the bartender.

Leave a Reply

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