In their draft Market-Octavia Neighborhood Plan, San Francisco’s Planning Department identified the Market Street Safeway site bounded by Market, Church and Duboce Streets as “the single largest opportunity site [for redevelopment] outside of the Central Freeway parcels,” proffering Planning Policy 6.1.2 to encourage its development.
The triangular block is surrounded by a mix of large and small residential buildings, as well as small-scaled retail shops along Church Street and Market Street.
The structure housing the current Safeway store is located at the rear of the site, with a large surface parking lot facing onto Market Street. Several small retail storefronts line the eastern side of the structure, fronting on the parking lot. This siting of the Safeway creates an 800-foot void in the streetwall along Market Street and seriously diminishes its quality.
While a supermarket-type use is appropriate here, the configuration and low level of development is not appropriate to the level of transit service provided to this site and the area by the city nor to the level of importance and prominence of this key intersection.
The potential for a new mixed-use development that incorporates a fully functional supermarket while improving the area cannot be overlooked; it is an excellent opportunity to strengthen Market Street and focus activity around the transit connections here.
The Planning Department even developed a conceptual strategy for redeveloping the site which would not only allow Safeway to maintain operations throughout, but yield 185 new units of housing and up to 300 additional parking spots as well.
Planning’s five phase strategy for the Market Street Safeway site, which, as far as we know, remains simply conceptual and the encouragement never became official policy:
UPDATE: In the words of a plugged-in reader: “My understanding is that Safeway leaned on the Planning Department to remove [it from] the plan since they don’t want anything to do with having to do anything differently from what they do in, say, Antioch.”