1960-1998 Market: Revised Design
As plugged-in people know the proposed Arquitectonica designed development for 1960-1998 Market Street was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission in June.
Now seeking two amendments to the terms of the previously granted approval (to satisfy the Affordable Housing requirement by providing its required below market rate units off‐site rather than on‐site and reduce the number of car‐share spaces from six to two), the development is back in front of San Francisco’s Planning Commission tomorrow afternoon.

Section 415 requires that off-site affordable housing must be within a one‐mile radius of the market rate housing site and requires a higher percentage of BMR units (20% versus 15%) relative to on-site affordable housing units, resulting in a net gain of six affordable units off-site and up to 17 market rate units on-site. The area devoted to parking is being reduced by eliminating the subterranean portions of the parking garage. As amended, the parking garage is proposed to accommodate 52 off-street parking spaces in stackers, two car-share spaces in tandem and two disabled spaces that would be independently accessible. As a result, the ground floor commercial space would be reduced to approximately 7,300 square feet subdivided into smaller retail spaces.

The Planning Department’s recommendation: approve (with conditions).
Once again, as proposed the project would demolish the single-story ConocoPhillips Union 76 Service Station and surface parking lot and yield a mixed-use building with 115 residential units over ground floor commercial and partially subterranean garage for 69 independently accessible off‐street parking spaces.
The 1960-1998 Market Street Scoop: Unanimously Approved Design [SocketSite]
San Francisco Planning Commission Agenda: December 15, 2010 []
Now THAT’s Not The Arquitectonica Design For Market At Buchanan [SocketSite]
Now THAT’s The (An) Arquitectonica Design For Market At Buchanan [SocketSite]
Movement On Up To 115 Housing Units At Market And Buchanan? [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by wako kid

    What a coincidence. Same day as 2001 Market and the Whole Foods proposal. I actually like the proposal from this developer. Instead of 17 BMR’s at 100% AMI he is proposing to build 23 BMR units at 80% AMI within a mile of the project. I also like further lowering the total amount of parking spaces at the site while not excavating for two below floors of garage. Car share minimum as required by code is only 1 per building, they are still providing 2.

  2. Posted by lyqwyd

    yup, the amendment seems pretty reasonable to me.

  3. Posted by Dude SF

    I just want to see the building get built, it is not another stucco box, as well with the increased BMR in the neighborhood they are helping to make sure that all people can live in area.
    Hope they start construction soon.

  4. Posted by BT

    So after they save lots of money by not excavating, in whose neighborhood are they going to stick the BMR units?
    And for those who “like” having fewer parking spaces, I say, “You won’t be living there.” Fewer and fewer places to park in San Francisco means higher and higher costs for driving and parking while Muni continues to deteriorate. The end result is not switching people to transit so much as just making life in the city more difficult. And it will be especially difficult for people who own condo units that have no parking, should they ever want to move.

  5. Posted by BT

    @Dude SF: They won’t be making sure all people can live in the Upper Market neighborhood. Check out all the neighborhoods within a mile. My guess is they will put the BMR units somewhere in the old Central Freeway footprint or in the Mission. That saves them a ton of money–they can charge premium Upper Market prices for these units and build schlockey BMR units (think a stucco box) in a much less lucrative location.

  6. Posted by BobN

    Oh, great. A reduction of commercial space on Market St. Parking belongs underground.

  7. Posted by EH

    they can charge premium Upper Market prices for these units and build schlockey BMR units (think a stucco box) in a much less lucrative location.
    Such as the ghetto?

  8. Posted by anon

    BT- you’re right, I won’t be living there. However, fewer parking spots means fewer cars clogging the streets that I already use (with taxis, cars, and Muni). I’m happy to accommodate thousands more people into the city, so build, build, build more housing! Since we can’t widen streets and more (but can certainly build taller buildings to allow more people to live in the area), having limitations on the number of cars that can be parked seems absolutely reasonable. The limiting factor is street capacity, hence the cheers for less parking (and thus less overwhelming of street capacity).

  9. Posted by anon

    ^To add to my post above – if the developer feels that he can’t make money on the units without more parking, he won’t build. If he builds and people don’t want the units without parking, the prices will fall until folks who don’t care about parking decide to buy. Seems pretty straightforward.

  10. Posted by Pedestrianist

    “Fewer and fewer places to park in San Francisco means higher and higher costs for driving and parking while Muni continues to deteriorate”
    The way to guarantee that Muni will deteriorate is to 1) add more cars, and 2) take more money away from SFMTA. Making parking more expensive in the city does the opposite of those two things, giving Muni a fighting shot at improving that it certainly won’t have if more people drive.

  11. Posted by MCM

    SF’s “transit first” policy is unworkable, unrealistic and bogus. Everything from urban planning to parks & rec is supposed to support that policy. But our public transit system doesn’t work, so the whole system falls apart and makes getting around miserable. Epic failure on all sides.
    Cars remain the most efficient mode of transportation, especially if you’ve got stuff or kids to move, but also if you go out at night or on weekends. A 20 minute drive home in the evening is an hour or longer trip on public transit. If you live away from BART or Market, half your life would be spent waiting a bus and another third riding one only to walk 10 blocks home.
    Yet developers still get to build without parking spaces! Hey, their profit margin goes up and they get to claim residual greenness. Although we have hotels pay a tax for being hotels, developers don’t pay a public transit fee for depending on public transit for people to get to their buildings. No, we give them tax breaks!
    People will still buy cars because they need them to get around. They’ll just drive around and around looking for a space because the city issues more residential permits than there are parking spaces in the permit areas. Plus, drivers have to stay out of the unused bus and taxi lanes even though we have fewer buses and taxis.
    How is this good urban planning?

  12. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “Cars remain the most efficient mode of transportation…”
    why stop there ?
    “McDonalds serves the healthiest food”
    “Work will set you free”
    “War is Peace”
    I’ve got no problems with cars, just the outsized subsidies that encourage overuse. The problems with parking you bring up would go away of we charged market rate for both parking and access to other constrained street resources.

  13. Posted by A.T.

    I think MCM was talking about travel time, not a broader and more complex efficiency/cost/externalities analysis. He is certainly right that driving in this city is by far the quickest way to get around for many (not all) destinations and times of day. A 20 minute drive vs. an hour slog on an unpredictable Muni is a big deal in many circumstances.
    MCM is also right that a real effect of “Transit First” is that developers get a free ride by not having to pay for the congestion issues they help to create. It is a slogan, not a sound policy.

  14. Posted by Jeremy

    @MCM, developers pay a transit impact fee for all new residential and commercial projects, currently in the realm of $10 per square foot. Every developer I deal with fights tooth and nail for each parking space, until it stops making economic sense. That’s proof that the policy works.

  15. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Yeah, I think he meant “most convenient mode”. I mostly agree with that though the convenience relies on huge private and public parking subsidies. Muni’s lameness just makes the contrast even greater.
    Public transit need not be so poor. There are plenty of successful examples. If we fix the organizational issues within Muni and the greater bay area transit agencies while phasing out the subsidies for driving we could create a transportation system that is both efficient and convenient.

  16. Posted by amused

    Cars and parking are subsidized? Hardly.
    Now, I’m a supporter of smart meters, congestion charges and higher gas taxes. But to claim that the city subsidizes the use of cars is ludicrous. I pay $435/month for my spot downtown, and $250/month for my (other) garage at home — the market sets those prices. License fees of over $1,000/year on one of my vehicles alone, and I have four.
    I’d love to ride Muni, but it’s a complete mess. And the last thing that’s going to fix it is money. I’d like to grab a cab now and then, but of course there aren’t any.
    Yes, I do ride a bike and I love to walk.
    Cars are a privilege. But to claim that they’re “subsidized” by the city is complete nonsense.

  17. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    amused – looks like you’re paying market rate for those two primary parking spots. But I’ll go out on a limb and assert that you car travels to other places than just those two spots.
    Who pays for the parking at Safeway ? Safeway’s customers pay for that parking because the cost is baked into the amount you pay at checkout. And that includes customers who never drive and park in Safeway’s lot.
    Among bay area cities, SF has the highest amount of parking priced at market rate. Still most of the city’s parking is subsidized. Is the cost of a neighborhood parking permit really on par with the value of that parking entitlement ?

  18. Posted by BobN

    Around the world, cities are subsidizing off-street, residential parking. They are not doing it to encourage car use. They are doing it to get the damned things off the streets. Then they are using that space to create exclusive rights-of-way for buses and taxis. They are also turning entire neighborhoods over to pedestrians, with vehicle access for residents only.
    Here, instead, we restrict the creation of parking, even private parking, so much that the value of each single parking space is so high, we can never take any of them away.

  19. Posted by Pedestrianist

    “I’d love to ride Muni, but it’s a complete mess. And the last thing that’s going to fix it is money”
    What evidence to you have to support this assertion? Muni service has been declining in proportion with its budget and with increased congestion.

  20. Posted by amused

    1. Safeway? Gross. Bi-Rite. No parking lot, no Cheetos.
    2. Taxes on cars (parking, gas, licensing) subsidize non-drivers, not the other way around.
    3. If you think Muni’s challenges are due to a lack of money, no amount of Internet arguing will ever bridge our divide. SF MTA is less transparent and less functional than North Korea.

  21. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I agree that Muni’s problems extend beyond underfunding. Some of it is Muni’s own fault, others are due to extra legal burdens placed on transit that the auto based system is not bothered with. Imagine if Caltrans had to translate everything into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog too. Or accommodate blind motorists.
    You’re wrong about taxes though. It actually flows the other way. A large part of roads funding comes from general funds. There’s no way that gas+registration tax could fund our very nice roads system. Also consider that parking is a real estate investment. It has real and huge value and the only way to benefit from that value is to drive a car. No wonder driving is so popular.
    (but you have really pissed me off by denigrating Cheetos 🙂

  22. amused – Here’s some food for thought : an analysis showing that road user fees reached an all time low of providing 50% of roads funding.
    Note that the analysis only considers road maintenance and construction costs. It doesn’t include the whopper public/private parking subsidy as well as many other costs like police enforcement and DMV operations.
    Externalities like pollution and public safety aren’t factored in either.

  23. Posted by Al

    Reality is that a large fraction (~1/3) of SF’s households have no car. It’s obviously entirely possible. Muni’s problems should and can be fixed, while buildings built today will remain for decades if not centuries.
    New housing will be built. Two options: mandate lots of parking, or don’t. If you do, the new housing will obviously be more expensive, and there will be less of it. There will be more traffic with all the problems that causes. It will require destinations to have more parking as well, since people will be driving there.
    I just visited Philadelphia. It seemed like every other building downtown was a parking structure, and yet traffic was a ridiculous, almost comical mess.

  24. Posted by kathleen

    There should be a mandatory minimum parking of 1:1. It is already impossible to park on the street in this nieghborhood after 5:00pm.
    When this gets built the street clogged with cars circling for street parking.

  25. Posted by fritzwilliam

    No one is plugged in, I guess, to thinking about what will happen when we reach “the end of oil.” Maybe this also needs explaining. It doesn’t mean total oil depletion — it means that oil becomes so expensive that the effect is almost the same. When this happens, 5 cars will fit in the space now occupied by 3. And furthermore, here’s what’s going to happen: All those public transit rights of way and walkable neighborhoods cities created at the expense of everything else will become one of the biggest white elephant ideas of the late 20th Century — monuments to those nescient idiots we elect to positions of power in local government.

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