1178 Folsom Street Rendering

As we first reported last year, David Baker + Partners has been working on plans for 42 market-rate “micro-units” over ground-floor retail and a second floor of office space to be built at 1178 Folsom Street, adjacent to “the City Beer Store building” (aka 1168 Folsom Street) in western SoMa.

As designed, the development would rise to a height of 65-feet, stepping down to 54 feet along Folsom and 26 feet along Clementina Alley, between 8th Street and Rausch.

1178 Folsom Street Rendering, Clementina Alley Facade

From the architects:

The mixed-use building is set back at both Folsom Street to the north and Clementina Alley to the south, creating widened sidewalks that support gracious retail frontages at both sides.  The ground level features back-to-back retail spaces—larger in front and smaller to the rear—in keeping with the scale of the surrounding streets. A corridor connects the larger street to the smaller alley through the building.  At Clementina, a garage entrance accesses 23 parking spaces arranged in puzzle lifts, one standard garage space and one handicapped parking space.

1178 Folsom Section

Above the second level, a full floor of flexible high-tech office space is illuminated by a glass front at Folsom as and by a lightwell that relates in width and position to the neighboring building’s lightwell. Additionally, the office space opens to a shared terrace. The two commercial stories are topped by four levels of micro-units, ranging from 290 to 350 square feet. Most units included a split bath, convenient when there is more than one resident.

1178 Folsom Floor Plans

North-facing studios on Folsom Street feature vertical and horizontal sunshades. Six of the larger studios—four at the third level and two at the sixth level—enjoy private decks overlooking quiet Clementina Street. The 16 interior units face onto a sunny central courtyard. Shared open spaces include a third-level terrace and a sixth level community room, laundry lounge, and outdoor roof deck facing Folsom Street.

Parking for 48 bikes in the garage and another 6 on the street or within the building’s lobby has been included as well.

While the 1178 Folsom Street project has yet to be approved or permitted, it is actively working its way through Planning.  A tip of the hat to BuzzBuzzHome for tipping us off to the latest designs on the David Baker + Partners site.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by seriously

    I’m getting really tired of microunits. I for one would much rather have a building twice as tall with units twice as big. I guess this will keep some of these units priced a little cheaper, but I’m skeptical.

    • Posted by S

      the units being smaller will make them a lot cheaper. I’m all for micro-units downtown and south of market.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Cheaper compared to what? A doghouse?

        So the bathtub is in a closet directly across from the kitchen. Brilliant design.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Radical suggestion: if you don’t like it, don’t live there

          • Posted by Futurist

            No, I wouldn’t live there. But your criticism offers nothing to the dialogue. My point is that this type of “dumbing down” of new residential design really serves no one. I suspect these units will STILL be expensive, rental or for sale, by comparison to square foot prices.

            Do they really solve the “housing crisis”? Or do they merely bump UP the cost of the next available one bedroom unit? These will simply serve the already well paid, young tech professionals, who will be able to pay much more when they graduate up to a larger unit, thereby continue to increase housing costs.

            This project does nothing to create truly “affordable” housing for middle or lower middle class families and individuals.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            Futurist, what do you care about affordability? You’ve constantly stated on this site that if you can’t afford San Francisco, you can’t afford San Francisco.

          • Posted by Alai

            Am I really understanding this argument right? These units will raise housing costs, because they will be cheaper, so the occupants will save so much money that they’ll then spend on fancier housing, thereby driving up housing costs?

            I guess in order to bring down housing prices, we should do everything we can to raise housing prices, so people won’t be able to afford anything, and housing prices will fall?

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Helpful reference for for the laws of supply and demand.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Ha! The laws of supply and demand? Why on earth would they apply? Just because they govern pricing of every item on earth, what makes you think they would have relevance here?

    • Posted by anotherSF

      I quite enjoyed 2 years in a 300 sqft studio. It was cozy but plenty big for a queen bed and a couch. It’s not a place to settle down in but no one expects that when you sign the lease. It was also cheaper than friends’ places in shared apartments.

  2. Posted by Spencer

    “Most units included a split bath, convenient when there is more than one resident.”

    more than one resident in a 300Sq ft apt.? like sharing a coffin

    • Posted by S

      lol. well maybe its an overnight guest?

    • Posted by Joel

      It’s better than some European hotels, that literally put the shower in the bedroom. Though I suppose that could be entertaining for you and your SO, having guests over would be awkward.

  3. Posted by R

    Honestly, these places are more comfortably sized that you’d think… With the population/density issue the city is facing, I think a few hundred of these units (in the right areas) is not only totally acceptable, but very much needed. Not everyone requires 1200sf to sleep and watch TV.

  4. Posted by Rob

    Best business idea ever. Small, depressing units next to a limitless supply of booze.

  5. Posted by frog

    I remember when my friend graduated from college and moved to Manhattan. He had an awesome studio with a fold out couch and a desk and pretty much that’s it. When the couch was a bed, there was no floor space. And I was so jealous because his place was completely awesome. I’m now in my late 30s and would never want to live that way. But for the early 20somethings, a place of ones own and a communal movie/game room would be awesome. I would have lived there happily until my late 20s.

  6. Posted by JB10

    Shower rather than a bathtub would be preferable. Otherwise nicely designed and a height consistent with neighboring buildings. Wish more developments were like this.

  7. Posted by nycdr

    Micro units are not cheap to build. Kitchens and baths cost much more per square feet as compared to blank floor space of a living area. Consider this building (and others) a storage house full of stack plumbing fixtures. Given land and height limit restrictions, this building type probably provided the developer better rental proforma.

    Base on my own experience, living in a micro unit the first couple of nights is fine but after that it gets claustrophobic. Coffee shops, bars, outdoors space, restaurant become your second home. Common spaces in the building will play an vital part of the livability in this building.

  8. Posted by MarinaBoy

    I can’t even begin to imagine something so small as an entire home, my closet is larger! I have a 2,450 square foot for two and two dogs and feel like I have the right size. But good for the people that want to live in something so small. The design seems fine and efficient.

  9. Posted by Jamie Whitaker

    I just wish someone would consider the lack of parks and open space in SoMa, and maybe think about locating these types of small units in other neighborhoods that have some breathing room for their residents via parks, etc.

    • Posted by AK

      There is a park exactly one block from this development. Admittedly it is one of the only ones of its kind in SOMA, but that makes this location the perfect one for such a project.

  10. Posted by Joseph A

    No issue with the project , just a shame it does not include 1168 Folsom so that the building was slightly larger

  11. Posted by Mark F.

    A bit small for me. I have 408 square feet.

  12. Posted by Miss Janet

    Anyone else think “Micro-Units” are a clever new spin for “S.R.O.”s??

    • Posted by Brian M

      S.R.O.s are a necessary part of any big city’s housing supply. Whether they are cesspools or not depends on management, including tenant selection. Not everyone, even young techies, can afford a large apartment. I know, I know, they need to just drive three hours each day rather than live in a “micro unit”. Better to have a horrible commute and a 1970s ranch house in a declining suburb. At least there is plenty of room for the cars we must all have.

  13. Posted by Gary Keim

    You can grab a micro-brew and take it up to your micro-unit.

  14. Posted by Sam

    289 sq. ft. is inhumane and a ripoff for what it surely will cost. Is welfare housing that small? This city sure wants to mistreat the working class aspiring to homeownership.

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