1301 16th Street Site

As we first reported last year:

Just down the street from where Kaiser Permanente had proposed to build an 84-foot high building at the base of Potrero Hill but met with enough resistance from the “Save The Hill” folks that they moved their building to Mission Bay, the owner of the one-story warehouse at 1301 16th Street has been quietly drafting plans to build a big seven-story building.

The plans for a 68-foot-tall building with 276 residential units fronting Carolina, 16th, and Wisconsin Streets, and up to 82 parking spaces in a ground floor garage, have since been submitted to Planning and are now actively under review.

1301 16th Street Rendering

As designed and proposed by Workshop1, the 1301 16th Street development represents roughly 15 percent of the 1,859 residential units in the current housing pipeline for Potrero Hill.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Jackson

    The developer is only proposing 82 parking spaces for 276 residential units.

    Is this number limited by zoning regulations? Perhaps we are starting to see more demand for units without included parking spaces?

  2. Posted by anon

    ^No, not limited. The developer just sees that adding additional parking is a waste of money and not desired by the market. Hopefully the socialists won’t force additional spots to be included.

    • Posted by NoeNeighbor

      Not desired by the market? What world do you live in? While not everyone desires parking, units with parking generally sell faster than units without and, if the parking is separately deeded, it moves fast. I mean really, do you hear people complaining: “I would like a place without parking but just can’t find one?”

      • Posted by Alai

        If it’s a choice between parking and nothing, then obviously parking is better. In the real world there are tradeoffs– the additional parking would at the very least cost more, and would probably displace housing or retail or something else. People may not say “I would like a place without parking but just can’t find one”, but they may say “I would like a cheaper place, and I’d be willing to forgo parking, but I just can’t find one.”

        • Posted by Conifer

          “I would like a cheaper place, and I’d be willing to forgo parking, but I just can’t find one.”

          Do you really believe that more than one SF buyer in a hundred could be found to say this?

          • Posted by seriously

            Pretty much everyone I know. Are you forgetting the large amounts of historic housing in this city that does NOT have parking? However did they survive? My unit doesn’t have parking and I don’t have a car. My roommates do though. Parking is a luxury in a city like this that not everyone is entitled to. It keeps things cheap.

        • Posted by NoeNeighbor

          No doubt there are people who forgo parking because of the expense and they have plenty of those options in SF; my point is that, contrary to anon, parking is highly desired in this market. I have read articles suggesting that a parking spot adds $50K to $75K to the value of a unit. That obviously indicates strong market interest in parking. It also indicates that developers can make money by putting parking in. There may be issues with this site that make adding parking more expensive than typical, but the lower amount of parking certainly does not reflect lack of demand.

          • Posted by anon

            Um, what? Because parking adds $50k to 75k that means nothing other than it adds $50k to 75k to the value of the unit. It may well cost $100k though, meaning that it’s a net loss. Unless you can show that parking always costs less than $50k to include, you’ve proven absolutely nothing. I’ll take the market choosing not to include it as proof that it’s not a money maker.

          • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

            Parking adds way more than $50K to $75K to the value of a unit, or, at least, to the selling prince (for those who define “value” as something else). You don’t need to do any more than look at the listings to see this. For a house, a garage, even for just 1 car, adds 150k-200k to the selling price in any even marginally decent neighborhood. For a condo/TIC, it adds about 125k or a little more.

            90-95% of buyers have a car or want one. They are willing to pay a lot more for a place with a spot to park their car. Parking is clearly desired by the market. Now if a builder can turn the space that would be set aside for parking into additional units, fetching more $/sf, they will do that – and foist the costs on the public of having to deal with yet another car parked on the street somewhere. Buyers will buy no-parking units, but not because of lack of desire, but because they are settling for less than they want. Trade-offs between price and features occurs with just about every transaction. This is no different.

          • Posted by anon

            So you’re telling me that an identical unit in a new building sells for $150-200k more than one without parking? I’m going to have to see proof of this, as it doesn’t mesh with my browsing at ALL.

          • Posted by Alai

            If we, the public, don’t want to pay the costs of having to deal with yet another car parked on the street somewhere, why do we offer free parking on the street to anyone who wants it?

          • Posted by Jake

            “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

            We enjoy the free parking while complaining about how it makes it harder to find parking.

            Also, we as a public are very lazy in our affairs: currently on multi-hundred year paths both to underground all the powerlines and to Ellis Act out the last rent controlled units. I’d take bets on which happens first, but doubt I will be around to collect.

      • Posted by anon

        I hear people all the time saying “I’d like to buy a place, but I can’t afford the prices”. Wanting a cheaper place is the primary reason for wanting one without parking.

  3. Posted by potrero nimby

    They are definitely not using the max allowable.

    • Posted by Not Bashing

      Is it a matter of height? Fewer parking spaces = more of the allowable height dedicated to living units? Lots of transit near here, density seems ok to me…

      • Posted by potrero nimby

        Transit sucks. Traffic’s going from bad to worse. They say they don’t want to disrupt the toxic soil to put parking underground, but they will have to do so to put in a proper foundation and clear the use restriction that they are hoping we aren’t paying attention to.

        • Posted by Not Bashing

          Traffic? Ummm…I live in this neighborhood. Can’t say I have noticed much traffic. And the third street rail is awfully close for transit to suck – we have it better than the bus only north side of the city. I have to agree about toxic soil, though. Has to be cleaned up some time, why not now?

          • Posted by potrero nimby

            Obviously you’ve not been at Mississippi and Mariposa at rush hour recently and the T Third is lame.

          • Posted by Not Bashing

            Wow, at least you have the decency to put your position right there in your screen name!

          • Posted by NoeNeighbor

            Actually toxic soil doesn’t necessarily have to be cleaned up; if it is stable and not contaminating the water supply, its sometime acceptable to just cover it up.

        • Posted by BobN

          So, in order to avoid cleaning up something that eventually has to be cleaned up (plus, who wants to live above contaminated soil?), they’re going to sacrifice street life by having most of the building’s first floor dedicated to parking. How lovely for the pedestrians.

          This location would be great for first-floor offices for small businesses.

  4. Posted by Conifer

    I would bet that the developer is choosing to build fewer parking spaces because that makes it easier to get approval from the planners.

  5. Posted by Orland

    Why should there be any question as to approval? I’m sure it has been designed to conform to all parameters of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. Done!

    • Posted by spruce

      I assume you are being facetious – Planning has a team of frustrated architects who will expect to have a say in the name of “compatibility with the Neighborhood Design Guidelines.”

      • Posted by Not Bashing

        Yeah, this is where we are falling short as a city. The regulations and codes are there for a reason – and there are a lot of them. If a project is compliant it should fly through in a matter of weeks, not months to years. I do believe in this case that they are seeking some kind of variance, so that may not apply to this situation…

  6. Posted by rt

    Amazing the nimby’s on PH think they can stop the 21st century from happening. Perhaps another ice age?

    • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

      Those NIMBYs don’t have the level of neighborhood support they think they do. Many residents want to see the neighborhood improve in terms of services but it’s impossible to get a dialog with the city going as long as there are shrill reactionaries with far too much free time running around pretending to speak for all of us.

      • Posted by Fishchum

        Maybe if some people didn’t run around complaining that public parks aren’t “public” because the fields get rented for softball leagues, more would get done.

        • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

          It takes only a tiny bit of intelligence and common sense to understand why Jackson Park is not a public park like the other neighborhood parks around the city – Alta Plaza, Lafayette Park, Duboce Park, Esprit Park, Alamo Square, Precita Park, Jefferson Square, Mission Dolores, Corona Heights Park, South Park, etc. etc. That it’s still beyond the comprehension skills of certain commentators on this site should come as no surprise.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            It’s different from those others in that there’s a couple of ballfields that can be reserved – BY ANYONE. Hence, it is a “public” park.

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            By your definition the football field at Kezar Stadium is a public park. Maybe you can reserve that and have a trolls-only picnic.

          • Posted by Anon?

            kezar stadium is a public park. people can go running on the track, stands, and stairs whenever they like. people can also rent the field, which is kept pristine while rented. what’s the matter with you?

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            The matter with me is that I can tell the difference between a park that’s open to the public and one that’s closed to public access on weekends and evenings and thus doesn’t benefit its neighborhood. Some people apparently can’t tell the difference, but then there are also people who can’t tell the difference between Manhattan and Mission Bay. No IQ test is required for posting here.

      • Posted by Not Bashing

        Agreed. I would love to have more retail, restaurants, etc. but for that to happen we need ground level space and density to support the businesses. Granted, in this case there is ground level parking, right? Still, at least it could bring some density…15% of the existing pipeline for the area. We need more housing and this has easy access to transit (sorry nimby, I take the t third four times a week and am happy to have it). It’s hard to take the nimby’s seriously when they fight every single project. Big danger of “the boy who cried wolf” syndrome here…maybe even on this project, with “toxic soil”?

  7. Posted by Joel

    Somewhat OT: Muni is adding a new line to 16th St: the “55 16th St” (info in the name link.) It will run between BART and UCSF, so I’m guessing it might end up being more reliable than the 22 since the line is shorter. This, combined with the bus lanes planned, should improve transit in the area quite a bit.

    • Posted by minka

      Muni was also going to re-route the 33 to go up on 18th STreet and also re-route the 22 to stay on 16th. This was supposed to happen last summer. I don’t think there’s a timeline for these things that you can count on.

      • Posted by Joel

        Rerouting the 22 is particularly difficult due to putting overhead wires crossing Caltrain. It doesn’t seem like a worthwhile improvement until that intersection can be grade separated.

  8. Posted by Rook

    I’m curious how old you are, where you grew up, and what you consider traffic?
    I am third generation Potrero hill. The traffic around here has become ridiculous around here in the past ten years, and once all of these thousands of units are occupied, the traffic will be unbearable. I can’t understand why people think it is a good idea to add so many more people into an already congested area.

    • Posted by Not Bashing

      I’ve lived all over the city, Potrero isn’t bad at all in terms of traffic. Of course adjustments will have to be made as more density is added, just like any city or even suburb. There are benefits too – more services, a more vibrant street life, etc. I know Potrero is fairly sleepy and a lot of people like that, but SF has grown/is growing too fast for that to last. In three generations, things are going to change.

    • Posted by Zig

      Maybe they don’t have a place to live like you

  9. Posted by Dan

    3 generations ago BART didn’t exist. The army freeway plan for SF was considered the future then. Population of the bay was probably 25% of what it is today (guessing but you get the point).

    I don’t understand how people can’t accept the reality of the changing world. And focus on working together and solving problemsvs whining complaining or focusing to much on minute details.

    Density and public transit are the future in a city like SF plain and simple. Including your back yard.

    • Posted by Zig

      3 generations? I’m not that old bro. BART was completed when I was a baby. When my grandfather was a kid their were still farms inside the city and no bridges. When my Dad was a kid there was no freeways in SF. He walked across train tracks where 280 is now

  10. Posted by Curiousphresident

    Are these for sale or lease?

  11. Posted by Schlub

    The design pretty much looks like they took that boring concrete building that they’re replacing and made a stack of them. Sort of like a prison. So much for architectural aesthetic thinking. At least there are trees in the rendering, which will be an improvement to what’s there now. Hopefully also an expanded sidewalk for the expanded amounts of pedestrian traffic that is going on at this juncture.

  12. Posted by two beers

    Looks like a prison.

    As do many other recent, current, and future projects.

    Brutalist, 2015 SF style!

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