CFAH

1266 9th Avenue
The demolition of the vacant two-story funeral home and parking lot at 1266 9th Avenue was approved in 2008 along with plans to construct a four-story building with 15 residential units over 5,650 square feet of ground floor retail and a 16-space subterranean garage.
1266 9th Avenue Rendering
Having recently just started site work and targeting a late 2012 completion, tomorrow San Francisco’s Planning Commission will hear a request to allow the ground floor retail space to house a La Boulange Café and Bakery, now a formula retail (i.e., “chain”) restaurant with 12 San Francisco locations, 18 in the Bay Area.
As proposed, the La Boulange would provide roughly 2,216 square feet of dining space including 341 square feet approximately outdoors at the front of the property. As proposed in 2008, the retail space was to be divided into three.
With approximately 250 written comments and a petition signed by 25 Inner Sunset merchants supporting the project versus approximately 50 written comments opposing, the Planning Department recommends approving the use.
And while rendered above without so you can see the full façade, there will be street trees.
1266 9th Avenue Rendering with Street Trees
1266 9th Avenue: Conditional Use Request to Open A La Boulange [sfplanning.org]
Keep Chain Stores out of the Inner Sunset [arizmendibakery.org]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by OakRes

    Great addition to an area in need of increased density, but I think you mean 1266 9th Avenue.
    [Editor’s Note: That we did and since corrected above.]

  2. Posted by Jackson

    Cue the complaints about too many parking spaces in 1,2,3……….

  3. Posted by lol

    Oui à la Boulange de Sunset! Croissants, fondants, tartines!
    The sidewalk cafe will be a nice place to be after 1PM plus it’s a stone’s throw away from the best of Irving and Judah.
    Editor, you confused your streets with your avenues…

  4. Posted by kg

    As tired as this architectural style is, the execution here actually looks great. That neighborhood could definitely use some color/landscaping.

  5. Posted by lyqwyd

    This is definitely a welcome change, that parking lot always seemed like a wasted opportunity for such a highly trafficked retail area.

  6. Posted by david m

    wish that it were at least another couple stories. i mean, come on.

  7. Posted by [anon.ed]

    It is legitimately difficult to park in that neighborhood. That lot has been my only option many, many times. Lots of people are going to complain about losing this lot, just watch.

  8. Posted by sf

    @OakRes
    Only in San Francisco is this considered “Density.”

  9. Posted by figured LOL

    Wow before I even clicked the link to opponents I guessed Arizmendi Bakery! I seriously doubt that their clients will go Boulange…i mean after all they use non organic flour! I mean reallllly.

  10. Posted by lyqwyd

    @sf
    Replacing a parking lot with housing is increasing density. Sure it could be bigger and have more units, but on the other hand it’s in scale with the rest of the street, and it’s better than what’s there now.

  11. Posted by simpr

    This is our hood and we are very happy this project is moving forward. When you ignore the insane reality that is SF, it’s hard to understand why anyone that lives near this corridor would oppose. Factor in the insanity and this was on the verge of becoming a polarizing issue. An Arizmendi owner/ worker (it is a collective after all!) actually posted on the neighborhood assn message board trying to drum up opposition. While Arizmendi does have tasty treats, they don’t give a rats a– about providing a comfortable place for their customers. They could have done this themselves if they had any vision

  12. Posted by lol

    Adding a new popular eatery to a neighborhood is most of the time a good thing, especially if it replaces nothing. Existing businesses see newcomers as a threat when more often than not they are a magnet that make the area more a destination, which ultimately benefits everyone.
    Take La Boulange de Hayes for instance. It makes this corner busier and there’s a ton more foot traffic around since it opened. La Boulange de Noe is also a fantastic addition. It makes the 2 boring blocks from Sanchez to Church more alive. La Boulange de Cole does bring more foot traffic further up Cole.
    Disclaimer: as a Frenchman I have a vested interest in seeing SF swamped with tasty pastries and decent coffee.

  13. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    With respect to the “15 residential units over” the ground floor retail that might be the Café and Bakery, I read this a few months ago about what that living arrangement is like in another large city; Living Above the Stove:

    The five boroughs of New York have more than 23,000 restaurants…what of the tenants who live above them, the unsung army of city residents who associate home with the smell of sautéed clams and garlic, baking bread, lamb vindaloo?

    They occupy a peculiar niche in a city full of peculiar niches, where the primal drive to obtain living space can force the marriage of tenant and trattoria…Catherine Redmond, who teaches painting at Pratt Institute, lived over two wildly contrasting food service businesses in the same loft building in TriBeCa between 1992 and 2008. The first, a fried-chicken franchise, was a disaster. The restaurant had a ventilating chimney, but when customers complained that it was too loud, the owners turned it off permanently. As a result, Ms. Redmond’s hair and clothes smelled like fried chicken. So did her sheets and her paintbrushes.

    …The chicken franchise was replaced by Taylor’s, a bakery that operated around the clock and sent heavenly aromas into Ms. Redmond’s apartment. The ovens kept her floors warm, an unexpected bonus. Ms. Redmond shifted her bed over the ovens and fell asleep every night to the smell of fresh-baked bread. “That scent is like the memory of a mother’s embrace,” she said.

    There were disadvantages. The elevator floor was covered with flour and sugar. And the 9/11 attacks mounted a threat that no one could have anticipated. “The refugee rodents went north,” Ms. Redmond said, “and where would they like to go but a place with fresh baked goods? I lived with a lot of rodent friends for a while.” A good mousing cat turned back the tide.

    Obviously there’s going to be less of these problems at this location given that it’s new construction. The premium, or lack thereof, which presumably takes into account the over-restaurant location, as indicated by the pricing of the residential units will be interesting to watch play out in the marketplace.

  14. Posted by Alai

    Not to say that there aren’t problems with over-restaurant housing, but from an affordable housing perspective, it’s ideal: functional housing that has a downside which keeps the people with money (who can pick and choose) away.

  15. Posted by anon

    Reminds of the last failed project like this two blocks over on 7th. Think it is going on two years and still hasn’t sold out.

  16. Posted by R

    “Reminds of the last failed project like this two blocks over on 7th”
    Completely different projects.. 7th was large luxury condos. 9th is intended for young professionals and grad students.

  17. Posted by anon

    Lots of grad students buying condos these days, huh? Sure maybe they will meet a different fate, but they better go with *thick* windows, the N Judah turns right there and is loud

  18. Posted by futurist

    Love La Boulange in Noe V on 24th st. I walk there often and they have GREAT pastries,great espresso drinks, you can sit inside as long as you want, or outside on tables and benches.
    Great addition to our ‘hood.

  19. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    anon wrote:

    Reminds of the last failed project like this two blocks over on 7th. Think it is going on two years and still hasn’t sold out.

    Would you be referring to 1327 7th Ave at Irving? If so, there’s more than one unit still available, and one of them, #5, is a 3/2 asking $692 per listed ft² and like you say, it’s never been occupied and not a resale.

  20. Posted by [sword]

    I have to say that every time I’ve been to Boulange, the pastries have been stale. Even before noon, they’ve tasted as if they were a day old. Not sure why people are so into the place.

  21. Posted by anonrandom

    Boulange has “jumped the shark” for sure. their pastries are not that good, particularly the croissants that are bland with no texture. if you go to the location on pine, where they make everything, you get the real flavor. i go to the one on union regularly and am underwhelmed with the baked goods. that being said, Arizmendi’s stupid campaign against them is hypocrisy at it’s worst. they have five or six locations, what makes them any better?

  22. Posted by lol

    Aren’t we picky…
    After more than a decade in CA, I have gotten used to all kinds of attempts at French pastries. La Boulange is decent. Not the usual “croissant au beurre” that melts as soon as you chew, but more like “croissant ordinaire” that has a bit drier fluff.
    My advice: try more specific tasty bits like chocolate fondants. They get the melting core just right. Macarons are also very decent if actually too small to compete with the full sized ones that have a very precise graduality of crustiness to softness.
    Now I am hungry.

  23. Posted by anon

    Yes that’s the one. Very aggressive pricing when it came on the market and timing didn’t help. Inside was more Walnut creek than inner sunset, anyway
    I think they sold one or two. Not quite sure. Whole project had 11 or 12 units i think. Can there really be 9-10 left?? They better drop prices!

  24. Posted by sparky-b

    ^^^
    They were never going to sell all of them. They were going to keep some as rentals. The plan was to sell more and the commercial would be one of the big rentals. But I think they sold the commercial space so they are looking at keeping more of the units as rentals. A few are still for sale.

  25. Posted by anon

    Sounds like post hoc rational, but who knows. Did they ever rent any of these out? Don’t recall seeing them advertised as rentals.
    Maybe the buy/rent split also hurt the market for buyers. I know I would think twice about buying in a project like that

  26. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Yep. The original list price of some of those (7th Ave at Irving) units was $1.2M, and they’re going to rent them out? I don’t doubt that the developer said this, but at what monthly lease rate? And was there going to be a single HOA covering the rental and condo-sold units in a 12 unit project?

  27. Posted by sparky-b

    I will ask him when I see him tomorrow. Anything else?

  28. Posted by anon

    Sure, if you’re willing, curious to know the info on the retail level sale. The retail there now is a (pretty bad acc. to me wife) nail place
    Did salon buy space directly or did an intermediary buy and the salon just rents from them?
    My wife keeps telling me the salon’s going out of business soon, FWIW

  29. Posted by sparky-b

    The salon bought the space and put in all the finishing work. So if it sells it will be the salon selling the space.

  30. Posted by WH

    La Boulange was approved unanimously.

  31. Posted by anon

    Interesting. Hope he already cashed the check

  32. Posted by Jim

    I drive to this hood all the time (since its not my hood and has a lot of good restaurants) and never once have I had any trouble parking on the street. Great addition to the area.

  33. Posted by anon

    Am I the only one who would be too creeped out to live on a plot that used to house a mortuary? Bad energy, plus Chinese superstition.

  34. Posted by Peter

    I am looking forward to the development! That old building has been there for way too long, I would rather have a business in the neighborhood than a vacant building.

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