CFAH

1050/8 Valencia

The 1970’s construction at the corner of Valencia and Hill was home to Kentucky Fried Chicken prior to becoming “Spork” in 2006. And as is proposed, the one-story building would be razed and a five-story mixed-use development would rise in its place.

The ground floor of the structure and a portion of the basement would contain a 3,500-square-foot commercial space (assumed to be in the form of a restaurant) with floors two through five containing a total of 16 residential units. The residential unit mix would consist of eight studios and eight two-bedroom units, with two of each type of unit on every residential floor.

1050 Valencia: Proposed Hill Street Elevation

A 1,460-square-foot rooftop deck would provide common open space to the residents. In addition, four of the dwelling units would have private decks, which would encompass a total of 640 square feet (combined).

1050 Valencia: Proposed Valencia Street Elevation

The proposed structure would be approximately 55 feet in height to the roof, with rooftop features, including the mechanical penthouse for the elevator overrun, extending an additional nine feet above the roofline.

Apparently Spork would have the first right of refusal to reoccupy the new commercial space, “an option that Spork’s owners have indicated they intend to exercise.”

And while no new parking would be created and the current single space would be reserved for commercial use, the proposal calls for widening the sidewalk along Hill Street by six feet in front of the development which would result in the loss of two on-street parking spaces.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Dan

    Interesting choice to provide no parking at all. A car share space and a few spaces (for any couples with kids buying the 2 bedrooms) would have been well utilized by buyers. Street parking is scarce in the neighborhood, though there is the Bartlett garage. We’ll see if a building that size makes it through planning. Hopefully it will look better than the former KFC it replaces. Great neighborhood.
    Spork’s owners are opening a new restaurant in Mint Plaza, Thermidor, which will keep them occupied for a while.

  2. Posted by anon

    A development that adds 16 units and has a net LOSS of one parking spot? Wins my best development of the year.
    More of this please. A LOT more.

  3. Posted by anonn

    The Spork guys are great and we’re big fans of Bruce’s food too. If it goes away it will be missed. It seems like Valencia is getting more vertical all the time.

  4. Posted by terciopelado

    Isn’t there a height limit in that neighborhood? Besides City College down the street, I think this building will be much taller than the buildings nearby.

  5. Posted by A. Nonny Mouse

    Not sure about the height limit, but I think building more residential units of this magnitude in this neighborhood without any parking is a bad idea. You can’t stop people from driving and owning cars just by not building parking spots; this will just make it even more difficult for residents of this neighborhood and merchants.

  6. Posted by Mole Man

    People who need to drive are not going to want these units as proposed, so there isn’t really any conflict. Living here without a vehicle is not a problem because there are plenty of employers and services in easy walking distance, and rail is close by.

  7. Posted by Zig

    This block is covered under the Eastern Neighborhood Plan I believe.
    If so, and if that plan allows for 5-6 stories and reduced parking this should be more or less a ministerial approval right?
    Regarding parking
    “this will just make it even more difficult for residents of this neighborhood and merchants.”
    I don’t know about merchants. There is a garage near by and the street parking is metered Mon-Sat.
    With regard to residents and their street parking, tough. They don’t own the public’s street.

  8. Posted by anonn

    That garage is already at capacity just about nightly. If it goes through it will be all about proximity to BART, pure and simple.

  9. Posted by spitpalm

    I think this would be great for the street and I like how they are prosing to widen (bulb out) part
    of the sidewalk on Hill. It could provide a great option for sidewalk seating and dining. Now we just need some of those old gas station parcels developed.

  10. Posted by Dave

    I’m also skeptical about the market for $500,000+ condos with no parking. I think there’s some market there but it’s certainly limiting. I expect most lenders would be reluctant to lend to construct such a project.

  11. Posted by HonuTurtle

    I live in the Mission. And would love to continue to live in the Mission. So I love seeing new contemporary residential units close to transportation. And I think the location of this proposed unit is excellent.
    BUT….
    No parking? No way.
    I take BART, Muni, and Caltrain regularly. And I also drive. Because none of those public options goes all places and all times. And when I drive, spending 30+ minutes driving around in ever widening circles to find a place to park when I get home is not fun, reasonable, or environmentally helpful to the community in which I am a part.
    New housing, YES. But only if it includes places for the new residents to park their cars.
    I do not understand the thinking that “building housing without parking will cause people to abandon cars”.
    Building public transportation that goes where people need to go, for reasonable costs (including the cost of “time”) will cause people to abandon cars.
    Housing W/O parking will just make the congested streets, more congested.

  12. Posted by abc

    I agree with HonuTurtle.
    A lot of people who live in that neighborhood commute down the Peninsula to work. The idea that none of them would have cars is crazy. The wait to sign up for monthly parking at the Bartlett garage is like 7 months.
    I am totally supportive of housing without parking as long as the city is willing to prevent people living at those addresses from registering vehicles.

  13. Posted by curmudgeon

    I like ABC’s comment…I think it’s a good policy compromise to prevent parking permits for residents.
    However, on the issue of parking generally and at this site specifically: This is a retail frontage. Insisting on parking would wipe out most or probably all of the retail, and would be a horrible urban design solution, and would be completely the wrong direction for the neighborhood. The real options, then, are living with the old KFC as a kind of wry commentary on post war suburban design, or embrace a little more density on an increasingly great, walkable retail street.

  14. Posted by Pedestrianist

    I was born and raised in the neighborhood and I still live nearby. And I’ve always done so without a car.
    If you think you need a car all the time, you’ve clearly just never tried living without one, especially in this transit-rich area.
    If you absolutely need a parking spot, you may just have to realize that not every building will be for you.

  15. Posted by Dan

    Agree that most Valencia buildings are better without a curb cut that reduces retail, but this is a corner building, that already has a garage entrance planned on Hill St. That garage could go under the retail/restaurant space without reducing retail street frontage.

  16. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Californians have over $100B invested in cars alone. This doesn’t include the value of public investment in roads nor does it include the public/private investment in parking facilities, either of which dwarf the investment in cars. This investment creates a lot of inertia to change. It is no surprise that some people are resisting change considering the massive investment that continues to be put into a auto-centric infrastructure.
    As pedestrianist mentions, it is pretty easy to make the transition in a central and moderately transit-rich location like this. The transition isn’t without effort and requires rethinking and reworking some old habits. We can’t expect to step out of our cars and into a brand new high speed transit system. Unfortunately there will be pain in the transition : this is a huge diversion of capital and can’t occur overnight.
    Adding more parking isn’t a sustainable solution. The streets are already congested and increasing traffic just makes it worse for everyone.
    Providing housing without bundled parking is a great way to improve affordability. Previously it was hard to buy a home without also buying parking : that raised the bar to home ownership. Projects like this provide an alternative to those who don’t need or want a car.
    Muni service will continue to be lame until it can start to work through its many problems. Meanwhile the population of SF and the bay area will grow. While most will still be car dependent, a larger number will transition towards other means to get around. More Muni riders will create more pressure to improve Muni. More cyclists will cause more pressure to add bike lanes and other infrastructure.
    The grassroots pressure comes first, the response is delayed. In between is a little pain, brace for it.

  17. Posted by Dave

    Kentucky Friend Chicken? I realize their chicken may have come from questionable sources, but I hope I never unknowingly ate someone’s Kentucky Friend.
    Back to the topic:
    @Pedestrianist: It’s great that you manage to live without a car. But it’s both arrogant and unrealistic to presume that solution works for everyone.
    I own a car that I drive as little as possible. I use MUNI frequently and walk all over the place. But when I need my car, I need it. I go places where public transit isn’t available, and any attempt to use it would turn a 30 minute drive into a 2+ hour slog (4-5 hours round trip) with multiple transfers. The economics of carshare don’t even come close to working given the length of time I must often remain at my destination. And so a car is a necessary part of my life, but not “all the time.” I’ll also readily admit to enjoying the convenience of being able to get around quickly when I need to go places only served by slow, infrequent bus service.
    I suspect there are lots of people out there with more-or-less similar situations. Car owners are not evil (though there are undoubtedly some who could use alternative forms of transportation relatively easily, there are many who could not.)
    I agree with those who suggest that residents of a new building like this one, built without parking, should be ineligible for street parking permits, to encourage these units to be sold to folks without cars. I’ve also frequently espoused the (difficult to implement) idea that people who reside in homes/apartments with garages should be ineligible for street parking permits. If you choose to use your garage for junk storage instead of vehicle storage, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t ALSO get to occupy a street parking space in your neighborhood if you have a garage. Or perhaps you’d be eligible for one parking permit, but only if there were two vehicles registered at your address.

  18. Posted by snark17

    Having no parking is ridiculous.
    The building is nice.
    Won’t miss Spork, which seems over-rated.

  19. Posted by EBGuy

    I agree with Dan that a dedicated carshare spot would be nice for buildings that do not provide parking spaces. Note that: The proposed project would provide 20 bicycle storage lockers in the basement, available to residents and restaurant employees.

  20. Posted by Invented

    As parent with lots to tow, still don’t understand the parking thing. If you have to have parking for your car – why not rent a garage within a block of the building? Or does one’s SUV HAVE to be in the same structure in which one dwells? Is it that uber American suburban car convenience which is the must-haveness of parking? Don’t understand this in-building requirement @ all. (oh, and love the building of course. More please).

  21. Posted by steve

    snark17, how can is “seem” overrated? either you have been and concluded it is or you have been and concluded it isn’t. if you haven’t been, well…
    abc, this suggestion is brilliant:
    I am totally supportive of housing without parking as long as the city is willing to prevent people living at those addresses from registering vehicles.
    should improve “affordability” nicely 😉

  22. Posted by joh

    Dave wrote:
    @Pedestrianist: It’s great that you manage to live without a car. But it’s both arrogant and unrealistic to presume that solution works for everyone.
    Pedestrianist never said that not owning a car works for everyone:
    If you absolutely need a parking spot, you may just have to realize that not every building will be for you.

  23. Posted by OneEyedMan

    It is well recognized that one of the ways to reduce car usage is to make it more expensive and/or less convenient. We use a lot of public transportation. When we lived in an apt and paid an additional $300 mo for a parking spot we decided to give our car up – 300 clams covers a lot of Zipcar and cab fares for the occasional journey (we used safeway.com a lot too). Before we ditched the car, we bought a condo with a deeded parking space. So, we kept the car because the disincentive disappeared.

  24. Posted by Eric in SF

    My experience as an 8 year carshare member is that the cost of carsharing versus the cost of owning a car, insuring it, repairing it, etc. is faaaar less than owning the car. I’ve never spent more in one month on carshare than all the actual and indirect costs of owning a car add up to in a month and I use it quite a bit.
    I have discovered a lot of people refuse to change one iota of their lives to go car free and we’re all the worse for it.

  25. Posted by Zig

    “I have discovered a lot of people refuse to change one iota of their lives to go car free and we’re all the worse for it.”
    I pay for off street parking, like having a car and am happy.
    I can’t understand the hysteria that other people have over units being built with debundled parking or in this case with none.
    It’s an issue of choice to me.
    Someone seems to think it pencils and someone else will likely want to buy it.

  26. Posted by anon

    I do not understand the thinking that “building housing without parking will cause people to abandon cars”.
    Who is thinking something as absurd as that?
    The thinking is this: “Build housing without parking and those that don’t need a car will be interested in that housing. Build housing with parking and those that need a car will be interested in that housing.”
    Why do we need to build ALL housing for people that need cars, rather than allow some housing to be built for those that don’t. Seems pretty heavy-handed to me – forcing me to buy housing in a building with parking.
    Remember – the city is NOT forcing this developer to build this without parking. The developer is CHOOSING to do it. He must see some demand there, no?

  27. Posted by bird_man

    Spork is opening a place in Mint Plaza. I believe I was told end of March. They are working on it now.

  28. Posted by anon

    I own a car that I drive as little as possible. I use MUNI frequently and walk all over the place. But when I need my car, I need it. I go places where public transit isn’t available, and any attempt to use it would turn a 30 minute drive into a 2+ hour slog (4-5 hours round trip) with multiple transfers. The economics of carshare don’t even come close to working given the length of time I must often remain at my destination. And so a car is a necessary part of my life, but not “all the time.” I’ll also readily admit to enjoying the convenience of being able to get around quickly when I need to go places only served by slow, infrequent bus service.
    Sounds like you’re not the target demographic for this project then. What’s the problem with that? Why force all projects to be built for you?
    Can I walk into a restaurant and say “All meals must come with rice, because I like rice and can’t have a meal without it!” Or can I just go to restaurants that serve rice with every meal?
    Choice, folks. I am certainly glad that the government of SF is getting out of the communist policy of mandating parking be provided with every development. Finally, some sanity.

  29. Posted by anon

    “Won’t miss Spork, which seems over-rated.”
    Was just discussing with a friend about how several hipster-loved restaurants in the Mission are overrated. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great places to eat in the Mission too, but the irony of pretending not to care about stuff apparently means that everyone goes to the same overhyped places.

  30. Posted by anon

    “the government of SF is getting out of the communist policy of mandating parking be provided with every development”
    Would that be communist or totalitarian or fascist or something else? This is why I strongly discourage people from using those terms on these sorts of things.
    Most of the talking heads calling things “socialist” don’t really know what socialist means.

  31. Posted by NoeNeighbor

    Though people talk about the Mission being transit rich, it really isn’t. It is easy to get down the Market St. corridor but beyond that getting anywhere is difficult. I am sure some people manage in the Mission without cars, but families are people who need to get outside the City or to more obscure parts of it, certainly need cars sometimes (even if they don’t use it for a daily commute).
    If we could build this building and ensure that nobody in it owned a car that would be fine. The concern is that residents will in fact own cars. Adding a bunch of units w/o parking means that there will lots more cars looking for parking in an area that is already very difficult to park in. (The off-street parking space rental options in the area are completely full now) So the building will have a negative impact on the neighbors and merchants in the area by making a difficult parking situation worse — that is just bad planning.
    I am sure that if developer is required to put parking in that building and is required to sell it separately (so no one is force to buy), there will be plenty of takers.
    Obviously there are some people responding who applaud this because they are just reflexively and ideologically opposed to cars. However, for those of us actually care about quality of life in the neighborhood, this proposal is a bad idea.

  32. Posted by anonn

    “Seems overrated.” — meaning you never ate there? LOL. Spork was overhyped by someone at some point in time? Hipsters love it? Color me doubtful. If you want overhyped, Flour and Water is overhyped. Spork never got that level of notoriety, review or anything of the sort. If you won’t miss it, hey, fine. If you don’t like the food then cool. But if you never ate there and you just like to hate on stuff then shut up.

  33. Posted by anon

    “If you want overhyped, Flour and Water is overhyped.”
    Agree wholeheartedly. This was one of the restaurants that my friend and I discussed. Can’t figure it out.

  34. Posted by Dan

    I’ve had great meals at Spork and at Flour+Water. I’ve had disappointing meals at a number of well-known restaurants, including Range, Incanto, and Delfina, but I’ve also had great meals at all of these. Even great restaurants miss at times.

  35. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “Obviously there are some people responding who applaud this because they are just reflexively and ideologically opposed to cars…”
    Not opposed to cars (I own one myself), but rather the negative consequences of over-reliance on cars : pollution, unnecessary deaths, noise, over-dependency on foreign resources, allocation of trillions of dollars of land resources to parking (which results in longer journeys, encouraging even more car use), higher living costs, etc.
    “…However, for those of us actually care about quality of life in the neighborhood, this proposal is a bad idea.”
    Please see above. Not everyone equates routine car use with improved quality of life. Nice try though.

  36. Posted by anonn

    Yeah, I hear you Dan. It can vary. (But at least at there in person first!) Personally I had three back to back to back bad experiences at Delfina. So I banned it and never looked back. None of my friends can believe it. They all rave about that place. But to me, that’s about as overhyped as you can get.

  37. Posted by Zig

    “Obviously there are some people responding who applaud this because they are just reflexively and ideologically opposed to cars.”
    Personally I like having a car so my wife and I pay for a parking spot for it.
    I am not ideologically opposed to cars but accommodating them certainly don’t fit well with what is nice about living in a city
    I just think we need a lot more housing. Spatially for any even allowable density there is going to be a lot less if we have to include a lot of parking.
    I do totally get why someone used to parking on the street in this area would be pissed though.
    Also, I like the pasta very much at Flour and Water hype or not. Not enought to wait in a long line though

  38. Posted by marvinsnephew

    You all seem so hung up on the restaurant and parking issues that no one has identified the elephant in the room. THIS BUILDING IS UGLY! Who designed it? It looks like so much average junk that is rampant in San Francisco. Where is the Planning Dep’t in all this? Its one thing to completely change the zoning (10 years for Eastern Neighb’s), but how about requiring some decent and innovative design to go with the innovative zoning??

  39. Posted by Kurt Brown

    Car owner must park
    Pedestrian doesn’t care
    Mutual hatred

  40. Posted by Mole Man

    If all options for living without parking are removed then the argument is over?

  41. Posted by NoeNeighbor

    @Milkshake: It seem that you are saying that you are opposed to all the negative aspects of cars, but, of course, you aren’t willing to give them up yourself — you just don’t want want to accommodate anybody else’s desire to own one. Well at least you are honest in your hypocrisy.
    You nicely avoid the substance of my argument. Most people (including yourself!) find cars extremely useful in the city and it adds to their quality of life (more time with family, better able to enjoy the City etc.) Relying solely on bikes and Muni (particularly for families) is just not a reasonable option for most people.
    So why build something that does not meet the needs of most people and is just going to worsen the quality of life of others in the neighborhood? That is just bad planning.
    Nice try, but being snide does not substitute for actually dealing with the real issues.

  42. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    NoeNeighbor – There’s no hypocrisy in being against over-reliance of cars and using a car. I drive so infrequently that if my home didn’t include “free” parking, I’d have no car. If owning a car is free, why not ? The market signal is very clear.
    Where exactly did I state that I find cars to be “extremely useful” ? Where did I (or anyone in this thread for that matter) claim that reliance on bikes and Muni alone was sufficient ?
    You’re right that I listed the negative sides of auto dependency but I think they’re worth stating because so many people think that the only cost of driving is the price of gas.
    Of course owning and using a car has value. It also has cost, only a part of which is borne by the motorist.
    The hot issue here is increased pressure on street capacity and parking, provided nearly free thanks to the SF taxpayer. It is a classic tragedy of the commons. Provide a resource for free and it will become over-consumed. Introduce more residents and the incumbents will complain.
    If you are convinced that your quality of life depends on using a car then please do so. Please be ready to pay a fair price for it too.
    Also realize that there are plenty of people who enjoy the city and spend quality time with their families without requiring ownership and storage of two tons of equipment.

  43. Posted by hugh

    “The hot issue here is increased pressure on street capacity and parking, provided nearly free thanks to the SF taxpayer.”
    I don’t know how true that is… the part about the taxpayer-enabled tragic commons of SF street parking… I did a quick (fruitless) search for a municipal revenue breakdown (it has to be public record). I don’t know the percentage, but I’d imagine one of the larger sources for city revenue has to be cars; tickets, residential permits, metered parking, whatever they make off City Tow, etc. and it’s one of the areas where the city is unafraid to hike fines/fees by 100% in a single step, with little controversy. At the least, cars are a huge net gain (revenue-wise) for the city.
    What I see at issue here is just the practical. This building, by nature, will invariably add more cars to the street. It’s increasing density, and also catering to a higher socioeconomic demographic than surrounding rentals. In my own totally unscientific observation (based on people I know), people who can afford to own their own home in the city, nearly universally own cars (with the rare exception). It’s not a necessity, but somewhere between a convenience and a luxury, and one that’s available to anyone who can afford one of these units. Especially the two-bedrooms.
    There’s an argument to be made that even if everyone was driving in SF (just hypothetically), it’s still much less an impact than it would be in a sprawling area… shorter distances traveled, more alternatives in terms of getting around (including walking). I wonder how much gas consumption/pollution amounts from people circling for spaces in this city.

  44. Posted by anon

    I don’t know the percentage, but I’d imagine one of the larger sources for city revenue has to be cars; tickets, residential permits, metered parking, whatever they make off City Tow, etc. and it’s one of the areas where the city is unafraid to hike fines/fees by 100% in a single step, with little controversy. At the least, cars are a huge net gain (revenue-wise) for the city.
    The city budget is $6.6 billion. You seriously think that tickets, metered parking, residential permits, etc, are even a percentage point of that? The revenue that you’re talking about doesn’t even make up a majority of the budget for the MTA, let alone the city. LOL

  45. Posted by hugh

    I wasn’t saying it makes up a majority of the city budget, but as income for the city, it has to be one of the larger sources of revenue. definitely more than a blip (or percentage point).
    According to this story, the city projects 1.6 million parking tickets this year (at say, $50 a piece that’s $800m, just in tickets. granted lots go unpaid…). That’s something, even if it doesn’t cover the majority of the MTA budget.
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Parking-citations-on-the-decline-80978002.html

  46. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Parking permit fees are a bargain which is part of the reason why it is hard to find a space on many streets. If fees were raised to market rate then fewer people would see the appeal of street parking and it would become a lot easier to find a space.
    If you’re going to look at revenue from parking tickets, you also need to deduct the cost of issuing and administering those tickets, their burden on the court system, as well as discount for scofflaws.
    In any case there’s no way that the city is earning enough from street parking to cover the costs of providing this amenity. Street parking is hugely subsidized which is why it is so popular and why people are willing to drive around for a long time to find one of these subsidized spaces. Those who value their time pay market rate for private parking.

  47. Posted by hugh

    sorry. my $800m figure was actually $80 as well…
    permit fees are a bargain. and lots of areas don’t even require them.

  48. Posted by SF10

    Whatever on the parking debate. We’ll see what prices they can command w/out a garage.
    But holy cow! What this city does NOT need is another butcher-block, anonymous-looking, square, no character building! Talk about PLAIN and ugly.
    Plain ugly.
    But great neighborhood, no doubt.
    And there are a few new developments opening in the area, including the 2 on Valencia/18th and one up on Guerrero/23rd. And that nice mod “Green” building on 22nd.

  49. Posted by Lwr Haight

    Anyone know who the developer is? Having recently made the decision to start looking to buy new construction in an older neighborhood, and being bike heavy and car free, this bldg could be a good contendor. (Bike lockers but no car parking, I love that!)

  50. Posted by sg

    Not sure how I feel one way or the other about the parking issue, but I will say that those that think it is simply an issue of choice for the buyers as to whether they can live with parking or not: you will own that place for probably a very long time. During that long time, you might become disabled, get married, have kids or any other of a myriad of things that might make owning a car more imperative.
    I would view it as somewhat of a gamble for people with limited means and any uncertaintly in their near future.

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