1394 Harrison Street

As we first reported last August:

The long-standing 10th Street Car Wash at the corner of Harrison and 10th which has occupied the Western SoMa site since 1969 is in contract to be sold and plans to develop the parcel have just been submitted to Planning.

As proposed, a five story building with four floors of single-room occupancy “efficiency studios” atop a ground floor commercial space and parking for bicycles, but ironically, no cars, will rise on the corner.

The 1394 Harrison Street site ended up selling for $3.9 million three months ago.

And today, the parcel is back on the market with drawings for a 76-unit building of micro-units and an asking price of $7 million for the parcel and plans which have yet to be permitted or approved.

1394 Harrison Street Rendering

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by MG

    Expensive drawings.

    • Posted by OE

      And worthless considering code won’t permit that many stories on the site nor the variances the building requires. No wonder they’re selling! Too bad they figured that out after they purchased rather than before (well, not for the original owner who was probably laughing all the way to the bank). Wonder if there are any more stupid foreigners with more money than common sense to try to develop this site? I can’t imagine lightening striking twice in the same place!

  2. Posted by kbbl

    What’s that canopy-like thing on the roof?

  3. Posted by moto mayhem

    thats actually a great location to live for commuters to Peninsula. Man, these residents are going to hate cars. they won’t have them, yet they are going to live on a main car artery for the city. and very close to the freeway

  4. Posted by david m

    ***three months??

    also, damn, that really should be ~10 stories at a minimum on that site. we’re just burning through our land here.

    • Posted by seriously

      agreed. in 20 years when everyone else realizes this they’ll be banging their heads against the wall.

      • Posted by Jon Schwark

        Totally agreed. We already built way too much of this 5 story loft crap in the 90s.

      • Posted by Futurist

        In 20 years the new generations living here will be thankful that we did not turn SF into one big high rise mall, but rather WORK WITH the existing character that makes San Francisco so special and livable in the first place.

        They will appreciate the moderate scale that has been developed.

        • Posted by david m

          wtf are you talking about? that’s a hellishly shitty corner with ultra wide roadway with no “san francisco character”, 10 stories is nothing more than we have in parts of the tl and all across the fidi and south fidi (which is what this area is becoming), we’re in a catastrophic self-inflicted housing crisis that makes it impossible for people to move here unless they’re making 100k+/year, and in 20 years we’ll likely be knocking down the shit 2-3 story ground floor parking condos that went up in the 1990s because of the same moronic attitude. like, i know from your comments that, like many of the very frequent commenters on here, you’re retired and living the last third of your life, but because you’ve lived in sf and enjoyed the however many years you’ve lived here since you moved from somewhere less dense does not make you an expert in smart growth. literally, your generation’s management of the city has done economic and social harm to my generation’s experience of the city, and you’ll find that as more of my generation (or older types like scott wiener who get it) take over, that this sort of underbuilding on what’s essentially brownfield is one of the first things we’ll take the hammer to.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Not sure why the angry tone and foul language, but you have your opinion and I have mine. I’ve always supported responsible, careful growth in The City, but I, like many others do not want super high density.
            There are those that advocate high rises all over. I don’t. I also support abolishing Prop 13 ALONG with complete removal of rent control.
            I personally think it’s a myth (pushed by the socialists here) who believe that SF SHOULD be available and affordable to every newbie who wants to move here, regardless of income or goals.

            Not gonna happen. We are expensive now, that’s reality and it will remain so. Sorry to burst your bubble.

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          You’re assuming that adding more residents will make the city less livable. It might actually make SF a better place to live. Certainly it will increase the number of residents (duh!) most of whom will feel that residing in SF as a positive thing.

          • Posted by david m

            and get some of the nutso rent pressures [off] the neighborhoods, which is where the “sf character” resides at any rate.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Yes, I am. More people means more people in parks. Are we going to build more parks and open space? Oh wait, I forgot: Parklets will solve that problem. More people means more crowded public transit. More people means more traffic.(news flash: Many people still WANT to drive). More people simply means more crowded.

            Higher density means more people. There will be no more land added, unless I’m missing something.

            Why not talk about adding more density to the peninsula? San Jose? so that many of those tech workers will NOT have to commute to live in SF. More density in Oakland. Marin? why not?

            Think of those outlying areas as satellites of SF. Make them contribute to density and growth as well. Make BART ring the bay. Make BART go to Santa Rosa.

            Let’s talk about those ideas, other than JUST adding density to San Francisco.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Hmmm…. I kind of like people.

            We do agree however that the rest of the Bay Area should contribute to housing new residents as well. It still doesn’t get SF off the hook.

          • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

            We have added a lot of density to South Bay and East Bay. SF is rather stagnant in comparison.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            call me crazy, but i dont want max density either. it makes sense to build higher in certain neighborhoods, especially new ones like mission bay. and old industrial ones with no character like western SOMA. but i dont think we should massively build all across the city. and more people will make the city less livable. futurist is right. i dont want crowded aprks where i cant have my kid or dug run a little free. i dont want more gridlock on the roads. i dont want longer grocery lines. i dont want to circle mpore for parking. we should add the the most urban core, but not make SF crazy. we do live in a capitalist country where people live where they can afford. im 40, which i consider young. i lived with 4 other people in my early and mid 20s, and it was easily doable and work with several 25 yr olds who seem to be fine. we have a fantastic high paying job market, so housing will be expensive. there are many places that are commuteable that are cheaper. and pretty close. oakland, alameda, san bruno, south san francisco, daly city, etc.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Exactly what I’m talking about. The members of the density cult seem to forget that increased density
            (on the scale they would prefer) does, in fact, mean a more CROWDED city. And guess what? most San Franciscans don’t want that.

            Ever been to the fabulous Dolores Park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon? it can be pretty filled up, but open space to still enjoy and breath.

            Imagine that doubled with people; that’s an example of “quality of life” diminished.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i wouldnt be caught dead in dolores park on a sunny day. way way way too crowded, and i hate for pot smoke to infringe on my space.

            the presidio on the other hand is an oasis.

          • Posted by Jake

            @ Wai Yip Tung, that population growth at the county level in the bay area are mostly due to sprawl outwards not increasing density near mass transit. And you can see the results on the freeways of the east bay and south bay.

          • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

            @Jake, the boundary of Alameda county and Santa Clara county has not change much in the last 3 decades. So you can see contra costa county’s density has growth,by 60% Santa Clara county and Alameda by 40%. San Francisco has only grown by 20%.

            I haven’t say anything about mass transit. Some people say it is not fair for San Francisco to grow and the rest of Bay Area is not contributing. I am just showing that the census disagree. San Francisco has much less growth compare to other counties.

          • Posted by Jake

            Of course the average population density in counties with vast rural areas to build on grew more than San Francisco. That’s been going on since the great post-WWII car boom.
            Where the people live matters, not just how many people there are. Adding people in SoMa tends to add an even commute split between car:transit:walk+bike, while adding people in Parkmerced tends to add car 60%, transit 25%, 10% walk+bike. But they both count as SF. In general, the population growth in San Francisco is drawing the population center towards downtown and BART and Caltrain, while the growth in Alameda County is shifting their population center eastward towards Livermore.
            The historic census data by California city shows the sprawl (namelink). For example, the city of Richmond in Contra Costa County has hardly grown at all in population since 1950 (100k in 1950 to 104k in 2010), while during the same time Antioch 30 miles to the east but still in CC County has grown from 11k to 103k. Similarly Berkeley and Oakland together had about the same population in 1950 (498k) as in 2010 (503k), while Pleasanton + Dublin + Livermore grew from 7k to 197k.
            BTW, since I know you like maps, check out the USGS maps of population density. They show the inner bay ring vs the outer ring and also what a laggard Marin has been in population.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Wai Yip – I think you’re referring to the urban boundaries of those two counties. And I agree that they haven’t sprawled much in the last generation. Most growth has been infill: low buildings replaced with taller and a few remaining farm pockets within city limits developed. Yes there are still farms in the middle of Silicon Valley. Kind of like SF in the 1910s.


            Moto and Futurist – you do realize that you’re pining for basically suburban ideals. Nothing wrong with that unless you’re interfering with the urban dreams of others.

          • Posted by Jake

            MoD, when I moved to silicon valley in the late 1980s there were hardly any farms remaining north of San Jose. That era is long gone.
            As to the actual growth in these counties, here are the fastest growing cities in Alameda and Santa Clara counties from 1980 to 2010 by percentage growth. Any incorporated city in these counties not on these lists had lower growth. All data US Census via CA gov (namelink).
            Alameda County (2010/1980)
            341% Dublin
            271% Emeryville
            200% Pleasanton
            176% Union City
            167% Livermore
            162% Fremont
            153% Hayward
            Santa Clara County (2010/1980)
            222% Morgan Hill
            189% Gilroy
            177% Milpitas
            170% Cupertino
            150% San Jose
            146% Campbell
            And for Contra Costa County from 2000 to 2010 (Oakley was incorporated in 1999).
            221% Brentwood
            161% San Ramon
            138% Oakley
            123% Hercules
            113% Antioch
            111% Pittsburg
            You may notice that the greatest growth is away from the population centers toward the periphery, with only little Emeryville population 10k for your infill. Even San Jose reached it’s peak growth rate in the 1960s (225%) and their growth rate has declined every decade since.
            So, if there is any doubt about why there are so many cars clogging the east bay freeways headed for SF in the AM commute….Sprawl baby.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Jake – Here are a couple of farms still existing in Silicon valley.

            this one in Sunnyvale was holding out for quite a while and you can see a new development of McMansions being built now on the west half. The east half is still a farm, A.K.A the “Corn Palace”

            Here is an orange orchard right in the midst of the North First Street high tech zone.

            Those are relatively small farms. But here’s one big enough to see from an airliner. The family who operated this farm just shut it down and donated the land to the city who hopefully will turn it into a park instead of developing it.

          • Posted by Jake

            Thanks, I had read about the family farm on the south side of San Jose that will be made into a park. From what I read (article at namelink) it was definitely going to be preserved as a working farm. At 287 acres it is almost as big as Mission Bay.

            The other two are just the remnants of real farms. There are parking lots in Sunnyvale as big as the last field of the Corn Palace. I remember watching a similar field on Lawrence at Calabazas Creek get made over into houses. Not being a superfund site, it happened quickly.

            FWIW, the heart of the valley around Sunnyvale has had increased density from infill and replacing office and PDR with multistory housing. They just haven’t done nearly as much as the remote parts of the county.

        • Posted by two beers

          Sorry, Futurist, there’s no money in less-than-max density.

          Won’t somebody please think about the developers, bankers, realtors, landlords, and speculators? How are they supposed to survive if we don’t let them max every sq. ft out during an epic zeo-interest rate asset bubble?

          • Posted by Futurist

            Good point. I forgot about those fine people.

  5. Posted by soccermom

    It’s quite inexpensive to list a property at a high price just in case someone has 1031 crazy pills.

  6. Posted by San FronziScheme

    I washed my car there. Does that make it historical. I will gently accept a plate “Here San FronziScheme used to wash his car every 2 months or more often depending on the weather. He gave away quarters for dollar bills to strangers when the machine was broken.”

    • Posted by Amewsed (formerly anon. but now anon. w/ carpal tunnel syndrome)

      Is that three quarters for a dollar? A quarter “convenience charge?” Winks are gratis.

  7. Posted by MDG399

    now where will we wash our cars….those awful machines everyone hates….(I like mine…)

  8. Posted by Not Bashing

    $3.2 million for a plan set? Must have been done by Renzo Piano…

    • Posted by Amewsed (formerly anon.)

      It comes with a Steinway “Piano.”

  9. Posted by BTinSF

    Soon there will be no place to wash a car or get gas in the northeastern quadrant of the city: The war on cars and the people who need to drive them continues.

    • Posted by soccermom

      Please tell me I should read sarcasm into your message.

      • Posted by Abonadon

        He still hasn’t realized that he’s not in Arizona anymore…

  10. Posted by actionless action

    I no longer wash my car. Not only am I saving precious water, but the accumulated soot adhering to the surface sequesters carbon.

  11. Posted by Jim

    Paris, one of the most livable cities on the planet, is predominantly 100 ft, high +/- buildings. It accommodates a population of 2,156,000 in 41 square miles in style and grace (52,600 people per square mile). San Francisco, at let’s say 850,000 people in 47 square miles, is 18,000 people per square mile. Really, can’t we develop these sites to a more reasonable height. It would accommodate more people at less cost and improve the environment, lessening the need to turn every street into a traffic sewer bringing workers from the far flung suburbs.

    • Posted by c_q

      paris has 20 or so subway lines in those 41 square miles. SF has 1 (ok, working on 2nd). SF will never achieve the density of paris or NYC or tokyo without a LOT more investment in subways.

      • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

        What do you mean there is 1 subway line? There is BART and several metro lines.

        If you mean we should invest in transit along with the population growth I agree with you. However I don’t agree with the hidden assumption that there will never be more subway or other transit option.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        agree. SF transportation is 3rd world. we are not even in top 6 in US. we may be the only city in the top 100 not to have a usable subway system.

        • Posted by James

          Have you been to the 3rd world? What are you thinking of? I use BART daily and it’s fine. It doesn’t have enough coverage, but it’s not 3rd world. Go to London and they moan about the Underground as if it’s completely non-functional, too. Everybody hates their subway. But try to get a little realistic perspective.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            we dont have a subway. bart is an underground train designed to bring people in from the upper peninsula and east bay. its unusable to 90% of city residents who dont live along it few stops

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i lived in sao paulo for a while and they have a much better subway system. i know its not rwanda, but.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      paris density is also relatively spread out. the density in the SF urban core is way higher than 18,000/sq mile. they dont have a majority of SFH neighborhodds such as bernal, glen park, outser sunset, outer richmond, bayview, noe valley, etc, etc.

  12. Posted by Schaetzer

    The asking price is ridiculous and not supported by the market. I used the sale at $3.6 million as a comp in a recent appraisal. The price was high then relative to the other comps at $513/SF – second highest of nine comps and that included two that were slated for 8 and 9 stories. At $7m it comes in at a staggering $921/SF. And at more than $92K on a price per unit basis it is higher than other projects that have a mix of larger units. On the other hand, the price is not as ridiculous as the gas station at 376 Castro Street.

    • Posted by OE

      I remember from growing up in this neighborhood that there used to be a gas station here back in the 60s. I bet that was never cleaned up right (are they ever?). Seems like the developer bought the property and was able to conduct the environmental analysis and discovered the site was too toxic to clean up profitably so now they’re trying to find another sucker to unload it on. Seems like that should drive down the price, but what do I know, I’m just a disposable SOMA resident.

  13. Posted by Chickenjer

    You will soon have a first class car wash next to Lowe’s opening this summer.
    You will be very pleased with this express wash. Try it and you will be able to buy a monthly card and save money I have been told.

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