1675 Pacific Avenue Site

Plans to raze the Pacific Heights Auto Body shop at 1675 Pacific Avenue and the perennially cursed restaurant space on the southeast corner of Van Ness and Pacific, across the street from the blessed Harris’ Steakhouse, have been filed with planning.

And as proposed, an eight-story building with 44 condos over 2,000 square feet of retail space and a ground floor garage for 25 stacked cars and 72 bikes would rise on the Nob Hill/Van Ness Corridor site.

Built in 1913, the auto body shop fronting Pacific and the restaurant space at 2050 Van Ness are actually a single structure with two separate facades and addresses.  And while originally identified as a potential historic resource for San Francisco’s Historic Auto Row, the structure was deemed ineligible for landmark status back in 2010.

The corner parcel, which is separated from the new six-story building which recently opened at 1645 Pacific by the 25-foot wide lot at 1665 Pacific, is zoned for development up to 80 feet in height, 15 feet higher than the west facing windows to the east.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Jackson

    Will the building at 1645 Pacific have to remove their west-facing windows to accommodate the proposed building at 1675 Pacific?

    When I look at the old Socket site thread when 1645 Pacific was proposed no west-facing windows were shown in the drawings, yet in today’s actual photos see them.

    I’m curious, will the owners at 1645 have to remove their west-facing property line windows? (Our 1988 condo building has deed restrictions stating we much remove our property line windows if the adjacent property is developed.)

    [Editor’s Note: As correctly noted by the reader below and since updated above, a 25-foot wide lot will remain between the proposed development and 1645 Pacific. That being said, the sliver at 1665 Pacific is zoned for development up to 80 feet as well.]

  2. Posted by david m

    but does it abut the grovenor development? 1665 PACIFIC AVE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94109 is not part of the parcel according to the property info map. it may be an orphaned little lot there…

    [Editor’s Note: Good catch and since updated above.]

  3. Posted by Bob

    Great news, I have seen probably 6 restaurants fail in that space.
    Would also love to see the vacant Ehlers bakery building a block south developed as well.
    It amazes me that entire buildings sit vacant for 10+ years in SF.

  4. Posted by sassyboyfrisco

    finally…YES…raze these crappy small buildings and raise dozens of condos where high rises ought ta be.

  5. Posted by Rusty865

    OK, who can name, in reverse chron order, the restaurants that were there?

    [Editor’s Note: Here’s a start.]

  6. Posted by Alai

    Speaking of 1645 [in today’s Chronicle]:

    “If I had to choose one adjective to describe 1645 Pacific Ave. in San Francisco — a 21st century concoction that looks like something cooked up in pre-World War I Paris — that word would be “goofy.”

    As in doorway lanterns so large they could adorn a battleship. An entryway festooned with cast-concrete succulents, two females discreetly entwined. Ceremonial urns popping out here and there.

    But a close runner-up to “goofy” would be “heartfelt.” And in an age when too many buildings look formulaic and thin, I’ll take heartfelt over humdrum any time.”

    • Posted by david m

      i’d say something like “cartoonishly posh” but i think it’ll age very very well, to the point where in 40 years it’ll be a beloved neighborhood landmark.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      I love it – it’s very unique, unlike so much of what’s being built; it harkens to the Art Deco era, without trying to re-create it or ape it.

  7. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I’m not familiar with this particular doomed eatery site. Is it more or less failtastic than that wedge shaped building at the corner of Church and Market? The one that was most recently occupied by Home?

  8. Posted by Rusty865

    Home had a good run, especially if you tack on the time its mother restaurant, John Frank, was in the space. Prior to that it was a dive diner / bar, Church Street Station, for decades (success is not always pretty). While it has sat vacant for years, the Church and Market space does not have the history of one short term resto after another that earns a cite the moniker of “doomed” or “cursed.” It’s the rapid turnover, not one longtime vacancy or one failed restaurant, that makes the grade.

  9. Posted by SocketSite

    OK, who can name, in reverse chron order, the restaurants that were [here]?

    Here’s a start:

    Million Thai
    House of Crawfish and Seafood
    Rendevous Tapas Lounge
    Tajine
    Heights
    Hue L’amour
    La Joya Restaurant Y Bar
    Habana
    On the Avenue

    And that’s just since 2002 (and as far as we know).

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Well that answers my question. This site is way more jinxed than Market/Church.

      BTW, I’ve noticed other jinxed eatery/retail sites around and notice a trend: they are often occupied naive store owners who seem to have flawed business plans and/or inflated expectations. That makes me wonder whether the site’s landlords have low standards on tenant selection. Normally residential landlords will vet their prospective tenant’s capability to keep up with the rent payments. I’d assume that commercial landlords do the same to varying degrees.

      So if you’re a wage slave looking to make the transition to your dream job selling small batch lavender hand creams imported from your favorite village in Provence, you might be rejected by the landlords who see the holes in your ability to cash flow positive. But keep looking and you will eventually find the landlord who doesn’t mind having a continuous parade of failed businesses operate in their space so long as they can secure a large enough deposit to make it worth their while.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        You’re spot on. An institutional landowner (think: national insurance company) is going to carefully vet retail & restaurant tenants, and want to see heavy and solid financials. But a local guy (especially one with a low basis and hence low tax payments, and/or who inherited the property from their grandpa and is just sitting on it for cash flow) may be more easily swayed by a prospective tenant’s exciting story or enthusiasm.

    • Posted by jlasf

      Rendezvous Tapas Lounge (2011)
      Tajine (2009)
      Heights Ultra Lounge (2008)
      Hue L’amour (2006)
      La Joya (2006)
      Habana (2003)
      On the Avenue (2002)
      F.I.G.S. aka France, Italy, Greece, Spain (2002)
      Rocco’s Seafood Grill (1996)
      Kiki’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar (1995)
      KiKi’s Paris 1920 (1994)
      Tutto Bene (1985)
      Sam Duval’s Cafe Royale (1983)
      Grison’s Chicken House

  10. Posted by R

    I look forward to the semi-caddy-corner lot where the “Jug Store” + paint store are, on Pacific and Polk getting tore down and built on… All of these vacant and hugely underdeveloped lots are totally being missed.

    • Posted by Norton's Empire

      Truly, we need less neighborhood serving retail and more condos for millionaires.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        what is a millionaire? is it someone with a $1M net worth? If so, i wouldnt say thats too wealthy in SF. more like middle class. would love to see the average net worth and income across buyers in SF in 2013 and 2014. i bet average net worth is well above $1M

      • Posted by Bob

        Because you cant have neighborhood serving retail in the street facing mixed use portions of EVERY building going up?

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