UCSF Laurel Heights Campus

The development team which has been negotiating with the University of California San Francisco for the right to redevelop UCSF’s 10-acre Laurel Heights campus at 3333 California Street has inked a deal to move forward and “maximize the value of the property.”

According to the Business Times, SKS Partners LLC and Prado Group have signed a 99-year ground lease for the campus, the terms of which include a five year leaseback to UCSF while the development plans are refined and the necessary approvals are sought.

While the specific plans for the site have yet to be publicized, a mix of housing and retail is to be expected and the campus could support up to 500 units of housing in buildings rising up to 40 feet in height as currently zoned.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Invented

    While we’re at it, replace the two-block long 50s stretch of Laurel Village with mixed use and connect the Laurel Heights development with this. Add another couple hundred units.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      I know you want height and density, but – why? These are some of the most popular and functional businesses for a long way in any direction – they generate a ton of foot traffic; on any given day, you’ll see a lot of people out and about, stopping to chat – much more neighborhood-y than “successful” shopping districts like Fillmore or Cow Hollow. I’d put my energies in a lot of other areas before screwing up Laurel Village.

      • Posted by Becky Evans

        Laurel Village is like a linear neighborhood. Good shops; good transit. Leave it alone.

        • Posted by Spencer

          I agree. Laurel village is very nice and local. Great place to go and shop and hang out with neighbors. I really like this campus and all the open green space. Would prefer if the existing buildings just got repurposed and they opened public sidewalks through the campus. Please don’t add an ugly box to beautiful green space. And don’t screw with laurel village . It’s one of the neighborhood gems of sf

      • Posted by Invented

        I was mainly thinking it would be an excellent site for housing (seniors perhaps) — and with a long, 1-2 story stretch that’s intensely car centric, envisioning a nicer pedestrian experience wouldn’t take away any of the retail buzz only enhance it — and create new & needed housing choices in an area that is stagnant in terms of new housing.

        • Posted by Patrick

          It would be possible to build senior housing over the parking lot at the rear of LV, with senior housing facing onto Mayfair Drive without disturbing the shopping center.

  2. Posted by d-b

    A 99 year ground lease is interesting. I wonder why UCSF did not sell the property?

    • Posted by spruce

      As I have heard it if they sell, the revenue goes to the UC system; by renting the revenue goes to UCSF.

  3. Posted by dotpocalypse now

    “Maximize the value” all depends on your values. To a great great many of us, San Francisco has lost its “values” compass and a landslide of lowest common denominator thinking has blocked our path out.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      No, some of us just realize preserving The City in amber isn’t a sound urban planning solution.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        I have to confess to having a taint of NIMBY on this one – I like the open green space of the campus…. I’m not opposed to increased density, but I’d rather see any of the many, many underbuilt blocks of Geary rebuilt at a higher density before sacrifycing the green space of the UCSF Laurel campus.

        • Posted by anon

          I’d be ok with keeping the green space as long as the buildings and parking lots portion of the area was redeveloped and the green space was reconfigured to face the street. As it is now the whole thing feels and looks like a gated development walled off from the city.

  4. Posted by Booger

    I am with invented on this one. Bulldoze the two blocks just east of Spruce where that over priced dirty grocery store and all the banks are and make better use of that land. It could be much nicer, attract more commercial business and provide residential as well.

  5. Posted by Alai

    One thing I look forward to is better access to Masonic & Geary from the north/northwest, avoiding the big hill on Euclid. It would make it a lot easier to bike to Trader Joe’s.

    • Posted by Alai

      …On the flip side, I’m disappointed to see the university leave. I think it’s nice to have institutions distributed throughout the city. It balances out traffic, and makes Muni more efficient, by allowing it to carry passengers in both directions on buses which might be pretty empty otherwise. Between this and UOP moving out, it seems like this corner of the city is becoming more single-purpose residential.

      • Posted by NoeValleyJim

        The NIMBYs pushed them out. There were plans ages ago to make this the bio-tech campus for UCSF before Mission Bay happened, but the neighbors squawked and blocked it. I used to live near here and this spot is a serious dead space for the neighborhood. Almost anything would be welcome, but high density housing is what is needed the best. Just make sure and upgrade the 38 at the same time.

        • Posted by Spencer

          i live here and am certainly a nimby on new development here if it removes green space. most people i know in the neighborhood love whats there. we would just like to have it opened up with some sidewalks or an alleyway. im all for density but this location would look terrible with anything over 2 stories. possibly a good place for luxury townhomes with lots of gardens

          • Posted by Chris

            It is only zoned for 40 feet, so you will only get three-story condos with patios. I am afraid with 500 units, there will not be as much green space. It would actually be nicer to have somewhat taller buildings (7 floors or so) and more open lawns, but everyone will sqwalk about “high rises” so that will not happen.

  6. Posted by Confier

    On the subject of institutions leaving, it would be very nice if the Brutalist Bunker of CPMC was repurposed for apartments, with the brutalism removed. There have been several articles about the “beauty” of the former Berkeley Art Museum, but CPMC is nothing that anyone will call beautiful. It is a wall of concrete facing Alta Plaza park, also visible from many house of other buildings to the west.

  7. Posted by Downtown parent

    Conifer, CPMC’s master plan changes the PAC campus into an outpatient center when the hospitals on Van Ness and St Luke’s open. The Cal campus will be sold so look for more development west of Laurel Village in 6-7 years.

  8. Posted by Dave

    No way will one of the few remaining open spaces with greenery be ploughed over. Even now there is talk of an initiative to prevent any reduction in the green space of this campus with any new development.

    Wanna bet that initiative passes?

    • Posted by anon

      “few remaining open spaces with greenery”

      What? This is literally five blocks from the Presidio, one of the largest open spaces with greenery in urban America.

  9. Posted by Dan

    If there are only 500 homes planned on 10 acres, in 4 story buildings, there will be space for greenery.

  10. Posted by Conifer

    They can keep the office building, and the old ones used for offices. They are also building an office building across Van Ness. Plenty of offices, mostly small and modest, since most of the doctors will be employees of Sutter or PAMF, and not in strictly private practice as in the past.

    BUT THE BRUTALIST BUNKER MUST GO ! PacHts needs more housing, and less architectural horrible ugliness.

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