768 Harrison Site

The plans to raze Ed’s Autohaus at 768 Harrison Street and construct a nine-story building with 26 residential units, nearly 5,000 square feet of office space, and a 600 square foot retail space adjacent to Cubix are making their way through planning.

768 Harrison Rendering

As designed by Ian Birchall and Associates, the development’s twenty one-bedrooms would average about 600 square feet apiece while the two-bedrooms would be around double that size.  The office space would front Rizal Street with a courtyard between the building’s two masses.

768 Harrison Rendering: Rizal Street

And in terms of parking, the project includes thirty spaces for bicycles and none for cars as proposed.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Sam

    Ha I always like seeing a small building sandwiched like that. Reminds me of when a luxury rental building was built on Mass ave in DC Chinatown, where the developers couldn’t buy out some run down bombed out looking ‘hey this is how chinatown was in the 80s’ kind of thing

  2. Posted by R

    I wonder who the hold out next door is.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Why would say the property next door is a “hold out”? It appears to be a separate legal piece of property, with nothing to do with the subject property.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      Come back to socketsite in 3-5 years. There will be another story of another narrow mutli-unit residential to go up on this site.

  3. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Uh huh. Like in the movie Up, where Edward Asner’s character refuses to sell his SFH to a high-rise developer, so the developer builds around it. At least I think that’s what happened.

  4. Posted by squigglebird

    Great news on both the building and the (lack of) parking. A shame, though, that the residents, who one assumes will not own cars, have to live with the noise, pollution, and general hideousness of Harrison St and the 101.

    • Posted by emanon

      If potential residents truly believed that Harrison Street and (the) 101 were “hideous” they would most likely decide not to live in the proposed building.

    • Posted by jill

      i doubt that all of the owners will be “carless”. I bet 15-20 cars will be owned by the 26 units.

    • Posted by seriously

      The 101 is about to be blocked by towers as soon as the Central SoMa plan goes through. Just wait 5 years.

      • Posted by Invented


        Gimme 25 yrs; cap the highway
        – bicycle highway (as London is proposing; the city that is ) and, an amazing network of elevated greenways.

        If the region continues to densify.

        Also Transbay park, will show how well used and smart elevated green spaces are.

        All in time.

  5. Posted by curmudgeon

    jill, you’re assertion is very doubtful. Living in that neighborhood, with a general lack of on-street parking, residents will be much more likely to use transit, taxi, uber, car-sharing, and bikes (and walking!) to get around. Owning a car would be a major headache if you lack off-street parking for it. Enough to constrain the market for buyers to those who are happy to do without.

  6. Posted by jill

    of course, it is just pure conjecture and i get your point.
    but lets assume 30 people live in that building of 20 1bdrooms.

    You really dont think at least half of those people will own cars (15)? It would be hard for me to believe there would be <10.

    One statistic would really like to see is what % of homeowners have at least 1 car in their household and even better to have that broken down by neighborhood.

    • Posted by anon

      Neighborhood stats mean little. People are smart enough not to buy/rent in a building without parking if they need parking and it’s not easily available.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        LOL. Neighborhood stats mean little – so even if hard, objective evidence shows that even in SoMa, 50% of people own cars – that’s meaningless? I know your response will be “so what, people with cars don’t have to live here” – but from a (more responsible) city planning perspective, the object fact that a certain percentage of people have cars needs to be accommodated.

        • Posted by jill

          92% of owners in SOMA have cars. hard to believe <50% will own in this development

          • Posted by anon

            Again, that means nothing. What percentage of current units have parking available? Probably somewhere around 92%. Available parking is what determines whether people who want a car buy/rent a place, not the other way around.

        • Posted by anon

          Available parking drives auto ownership rates, not the other way around. We’ve been down this road a hundred times before – why is the auto ownership rate of Nob Hill half of what it is in Russian Hill? Because half as much parking exists.

    • Posted by cfb

      from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey (SF households by number of vehicles available):

      No vehicle available – 104,015
      1 vehicle available – 139,768
      2 vehicles available – 71,894
      3 vehicles available – 18,233
      4 or more vehicles available – 6,929

      • Posted by Jill

        Good stats, but includes renters. I wNted to know specifically for owners

        Jake provided the number below. 92% of owners in SOMA have a car

        • Posted by anon

          I bet 92% of current units have a parking spot. Let’s see percentage of car owners in units without a parking spot.

          • Posted by SFCitizen

            MTA should be able to provide street parking permit numbers. What letter is this area?

          • Posted by anon

            That doesn’t tell us the percentage of car owners in the area that have units with an off-street parking spot.

  7. Posted by frog

    One of my best friends lives in Cubix. When he was in Silicon Valley he had a car. Now that he lives here, he gave it up. From my data set of one, it’s obvious that no one will have cars in the new development. I’m insanely pro car and pro more parking and even I’ll admit that starter apartments like this have many fewer cars when compared to almost any other form of housing.

  8. Posted by friscan

    Rent or ownership costs willbe appropriately reduced to reflect lack of parking — a valid component to structuring housing costs — and there should be no shortage of applicants going into this with eyes wide open. People who forego car ownership are sizable and increasing and include “have a choice” tenants who elect to spend income elsewhere. That said, carshare would be compelling complement, and need not be in the building — just nearby

  9. Posted by Jake

    Jill, SF Planning assembles US Census data by neighborhood including car ownership. They update it about once a year in a document called San Francisco Socio-Economic Profiles (2012 release pdf at namelink).

    For SOMA circa 2010, 92% of homeowning households had at least one vehicle as did 39% of renting households.

    Also, 29% of SOMA residents that work use a car to get to work. Just as many walk.

    I live a few blocks from this location and could easily see living there and not owning a car, but I think not having dedicated parking would make it more difficult to resell.

    • Posted by anon

      Which lowers the cost of units, which is kind of the point.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      This is a good snapshot of SOMA 2010. The transit landscape has actually evolved significantly in the last 10 years. The options of car share, ride share, bike share, company shuttle and bike commuting is exploding. People begin to figure out even if they use taxi or ride share 5 days a week, it is actually cost competitive to owning a car. Building is of course lagging to these change. A new housing with no parking is a good experiment. These new generation of housing take a more contemporary view of transit. I see no reason why they would not work. Besides people who need parking have the entire SOMA to choose from and they need not trouble themselves with this little building.

      I think this is a good start. We need space for people far more than we need space for car.

  10. Posted by Joseph A

    So its a 84 foot , 9 story mixed use project of , Office , Retail , and Residence ,
    Just a short walk from Caltrain or the 3rd Street Subway , and is in the heart of what is going to be a very very busy development zone ,
    because in a few years this block of Harrison is going to see its Southern side fully rebuilt with its current block of single story buildings demolished and replaced with new construction no less then 8 – 9 stories ,

  11. Posted by Jill

    “For SOMA circa 2010, 92% of homeowning households had at least one vehicle as did 39% of renting households.”

    92% is a big number . Sorry I didn’t know it was broken down this well. My guess is that 90% of homeowners across the city own a car. Of course, it makes sense it’s lower for renters

    • Posted by anon

      So let’s see the numbers on units built without parking. Remember that from the 50s through a few years ago it was literally illegal to build any kind of housing unit in San Francisco without also building an off street parking spot – and remains illegal to do so in over 90% of SF. That blatant market manipulation by the city government has obviously led to much cheaper parking than a free market would provide (which leads to much higher auto ownership rates than would naturally occur in a free market).

    • Posted by Brad

      90% is a wild overestimate. Parking has historically been easier to park in than many other neighborhoods, so it makes sense that their car ownership stats would be higher. That number will change dramatically as people move into the neighborhood and parking lots disappear.

      • Posted by anon

        1:1 parking is still required everywhere outside of the northeast quadrant (that’s 75%), and even within the northeast quadrant the majority of the area – basically anywhere not included in a neighborhood plan – is set to force 1:1 parking. That’s the 90%. Unless you have something showing that this area is not 90% of the land in the city…

  12. Posted by Joseph A

    Jill ,
    except that the type of housing is changing radically in certain parts of San Francisco for example based on a survey done in 2009 ,
    Mission Bay , only a tiny fraction of the current, and future housing will have existed prior to 2000.
    South of Market , already has a thriving community such that it rivals any other neighborhood, BUT the amount of housing is about to double which should make this the most populated part of San Francisco within 10 years.
    But I think the most dramatic change is coming to Potrero Hill, that was a mix of Residential , and Work Spaces , because with over the next few years as dozens of commercial spaces are demolished the population will at least double ,

    • Posted by Jake

      Not sure where you are getting your numbers, but the population growth in SOMA is projected in the 30-50% range over the next 10 years. Which is huge compared to most of the rest of SF, but nowhere close to 100%. FWIW, the 2010 census had SOMA housing units at more than 20k and the current SF housing pipeline report has less than 7k for SOMA.

      Also, the total 2010 census population for SOMA + MB + Potero/Showplace/Dogpatch/Central Waterfront was greater than 52k. Most projections for the total citywide SF population growth over the next 10 years is around 50k, with roughly half of that in these neighborhoods.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        How dare you keep injecting objective and demonstrable facts into this discussion. Clearly you don’t understand that the merits (or demerits) of a given propoals must be judged solely on the standards of an unachievable utopia (or exaggerated dystopia). Bonus points if you use your personal experience, a sample set of one, to extrapolate as to what’s good for the entire Bay Area.

        But no, you have to go and be all reality-based statistics and numbers. Balderdash. 🙂

      • Posted by Joseph A

        It is because the report you are referencing does not include all of the projects not yet in the pipeline for the SOMA, but are going to be presented over the next 2 years ,

  13. Posted by Anon94123

    I vote Jake for mayor of Socketsite! Bringing actual facts to this discussion, and others in the past, has always been informative .

  14. Posted by Charles

    I suspect many of these will end up as rental investments, depending on the HOAs.

  15. Posted by Josh G

    I love the fact that the trees are behind the windows …

  16. Posted by Sammy

    No parking at all is insane. This short sighted policy will eventually lead to violence as working class drivers will become more desperate. We won’t be around but we know that there will be private mode of transportation in the 22nd century, necessitating parking. This no parking policy is intended to hobble SOMA and keep it a low income ghetto. Hopefully, residents will wake up and vote moderate next time around.

  17. Posted by anon

    And what is worse, If I wanted to build a 3 or 4 story private garage nearby to lease spaces to neighborhood residents the MTA would block it with all the powers at their disposal. Their stated policy is still “not one new parking space in the city”, as stated by Ed Reiskin himself both at a Polk Street hearing, and at a hearing for possible changes to Market Street when they were discussing closing Market to vehicles between Castro and Gough (business owners blocked that). Remember, there is less available parking in the city today than there was 10 years ago, but there are more private vehicles.

    Sammy also notices something that has been brought to the MTA’s attention by a couple of developers including myself, and that is if a new residential project consists of very expensive units, getting approval of parking is not a problem, but if the units are for “middle income” dwellers you are most probably not going to be allowed to build adequate parking.

  18. Posted by Sammy

    There should be a new large parking structure next to the Central Freeway in order to give out-of-town drivers the chance to get out of their cars and on to public transportation. Parking should be right next to the freeway, where the noise and the poor air quality is not appropriate for housing. Just ask the CA Air Resources Board, which recommends no housing within 500 ft. of a freeway with diesel truck traffic. The geographic opportunities to build such parking are dwindling fast and the City will deserve the greater mess it is willfully creating.

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