1965 Market Street Site

While the plans for the parcels have yet to be submitted to the city, much less approved, the prominent corner building and parking lot at the intersection of Market Street and Duboce are in contract to be sold and designs for an ambitious residential development to rise across the site have been drawn.

1965 Market Street Rendering

As drafted by BAR Architects, the conceptual 1965 Market Street development would rise to a height of 85-feet behind the existing 15,400-square-foot building’s facade, and to a height of 50-feet atop the parking lot, resulting in 72 condos, 8,500 square feet of retail space and off-street parking for 42 cars.

Plans to build a six unit building on a portion of the parking lot were filed back in 1999 but never materialized.  We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in as the new plans and designs evolve.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Rillion

    Why keep that facade?

    • Posted by Futurist

      The façade may be “historic”. I would rather they demolish the entire thing, but keeping it may be a factor in securing permits to move forward.

    • Posted by Jake

      It dates back to at least 1937 as Gantner, Felder, Kenny Funeral Home, might be as far back as 1922. There are photos at sf lib of it from the 1950s and 1960s. Photo album at namelink has photos and some history of many SF mortuaries.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Thanks for the great link. As for preserving these, I am open to the best solution. Since they do have historic value, they could work toward keeping the scale relevant at this corner, while allowing a completely modern structure at the rear.

        We do need this balance in San Francisco. I don’t think anyone wants ALL existing older buildings, with historic value and character to be torn down; at the same time we don’t want ALL new structures with no sense of character. Both are important to SF.

        • Posted by Mark

          I’ve seen facadectomies (sp?) that are actually quite good. In this case perhaps a better blending of styles (not everything in SF has to be rigid and modern) because it is rather jarring and obvious that the older structure is a facade. I agree that there needs to be a sense of scale at street level with height in the rear. That they got right.

    • Posted by Thomas Dutton

      Odd question. How about “because it is beautiful”… and if anything should be torn down, I would suggest it be those sun-blocking towers– before they get built!

  2. Posted by Ham

    I am totally against this Disneylandification of buildings. Just tear them down or utilize them completely. It just looks tacky, chintzy, cheap.

  3. Posted by Jackson

    Using the Spanish facade offers a break from the sameness of new construction. From the initial drawings, it looks like a great mix.

    • Posted by Orland

      Like all extreme positions, yours is flawed.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Hardly an extreme position, but rather a balanced one.

        • Posted by Anton

          I agree. The Spanish facade is quite interesting and I’d love to have it remain in some form.

        • Posted by Orland

          My screw-up. I meant to reply to “Ham.” I agree the proposed development enhances the existing with the new.

      • Posted by Serge

        Hardly see how his position is extreme. It appears to be quite well rooted in fact.

    • Posted by NoeNeighbor

      I like the basic approach but I think the modern could be blended better with the old.

  4. Posted by Sierrajeff

    Ugh, I think that’s an atrocious combo – and this is coming from someone who actually likes that Moorish castle thing proposed for Berkeley!

    • Posted by frog

      I’m with you. The Moorish castle is kitschy and absurd, but it’s also the unified work of a mad architect and the sort of thing that could only come out of the mind of a bold lunatic. In other words, it’s insane but it looks like it was designed to be insane.

      The fake fronted modern buildings, they just look like the worst kind of compromise. They are exactly what you would expect from a city that can’t make up its mind about what it wants to be and that has planning by referendum. Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas is a better tribute to Roman architecture than this is to our past.

      • Posted by Futurist

        This one is actually NOT fake. If preserved it will be the real façade of an historic building. Let’s be clear about that.

        All of the fake architecture in Las Vegas is truly fake. Nothing wrong with Vegas but fake is fake.

  5. Posted by Marten

    Use the Spanish influence in the new construction too, stuccoed exterior with red tiled roof. Getting a little tired of the tacky modern. 35 Dolores’ design is not befitting its location on its boulevard.

    • Posted by Zig

      I’m with this idea but it is very unfashionable. From what I understand new buildings can no longer be beautiful in anyway that is reminiscent of a historical style and being symmetrical is suspect too. Also no adornments are allowed now but we love these on old buildings

  6. Posted by moses

    Who is the developer?

  7. Posted by sassyboyfrisco

    nice use of space! BUILD please.

  8. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    As a few others have mentioned, the strange combination of architectural styles can generally yield pretty bad results, but this, on the other hand, actually has an interesting charm. Its nice to see forgotten, or under realized buildings get a second change like this. Scale looks great, as well.

  9. Posted by Clinton Park neighbor

    would it include the Pet Food Express and their parking lot?

    [Editor’s Note: No.]

    • Posted by StockBoySF

      This has been on the market for a while and I looked at it briefly a couple months ago. It does not include Petco. The site is just the corner bit of property and the empty parking lot on Duboce. I’ve always been a fan of buildings this height along Market Street but as it stands now most of the building faces Duboce. Though it would be nice to have the development include the Petco lot with the building wrapping around to front Market. Though I believe in maintaining history in development projects I’m not a fan of this particular building and think it should be razed then developed from the ground up.

  10. Posted by R

    OMG that is the worst combination of architectural styles I’ve seen in a very long time. Yes build but the two styles have no common design elements or shared characteristics.

    • Posted by foggydunes

      Agree, yes build. But would you rather the brand new buildings have a “fake” spanish style applied to them to match the existing? If they have to keep the old buildings (not sure why), I’d rather they do something completely different from them. Tons of buildings sit side by side in this city without common design elements or shared characteristics. And if anything the new building could visually related to the one across Market St.

      • Posted by Zig

        Why is Spanish “fake” now but homes with Spanish influences built in the 1930’s California authentic?

        In SoCa they still built Spanish style buildings

  11. Posted by invented

    Must be from The Onion. Thanks for the chuckle editor! How ’bout landing the Moorish confection proposed for Berk on top of the existing building — and stay with some glassy and office-Linea-y for the parking lot. This is an unwelcoming traffic-y location — but the site would lend itself to taller mixed use — with residences on top.

  12. Posted by BobN

    A more sensible approach would be to grant the developer the right to go much higher on the parking lot in exchange for keeping all (or a heck of a lot more) of the old structure.

  13. Posted by BobN

    Just as tourists flock to the architectural oddity that is San Gimignano, where strange local politics yielded a quirky result no sane community would create, so will people flock to San Francisco in the 24th Century, just to see all the weirdly facaded modern buildings. Of particular interest will be Starship Headquarters, rising to 200 stories, positioned a mere 10 feet back from the preserved facade of Mel’s Diner on Lombard.

  14. Posted by cody

    Some of you are looking at the development in a wrong way. It is a new building being built next to and behind an old structure and not meant as a match. Do you expect a whole block to be demolished to satisfy one development? The drawing is nothing more than a idea at this point. If in fact it is the final produce, oh my!

  15. Posted by Someone stole my burrito

    Fiesta Village Apartmentos! Welcome.
    Enjoy a churro or crate-paper flower from our courtyard vendors or take some pictures around the fiesta fountain!

    • Posted by James

      Either that or Corporate Office-ville, where the comforts of your sterile workplace can be yours at home!

  16. Posted by Cal Culver

    I rather like the idea. A familiar structure to soften the hard edge architecture of these cold and sterile condos going up all over; providing much needed housing and an interesting eclectic look at street level.

  17. Posted by Joel V

    I don’t have a problem with the contrasting styles. Build it!

  18. Posted by SFRealist

    It looks really dumb. We are mistaking “historic” for “old”. Not everything historic is worth saving.

    On the other hand, we need housing. And if this gets means the historic preservation idiots don’t hold it up, it’s better move forward with an ugly building than to do nothing.

  19. Posted by dotpocalypse now

    Its not just the Elbow Room that is being crushed by soulless developers. Its all of our elbow room. This intersection is a manufactured problem of weird and ugly traffic flow design. Its been turned into a relief valve for even worse flow design further East. And now they want to cram –what? Quell surprise — luxurious hamster-wheel living units for a dreary horde who could care less about San Francisco. Why is this something to celebrate? Its awful. Every last square inch of our city is being ‘occupied’ by the lowest common denominator of every demographic. Its not good. Its ruinous. It turns us from an easy-breezy hope hub into a sleazy cesspool.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Breathe. Deep breaths. 10 times.

      Okay? Are you sitting down? City is already a cesspool. Sleazy is the cherry on top.

      I had a lunch meeting @ 101 Mission St. but opted to park at the Stockton and Sutter St. garage due to traffic. Plus I wanted to take a walk and look around. In the rain. With huge wind gusts. The Sutter St. part of garage reeked of urine. And I saw two bums laying in front of empty storefronts. Market Street was okay. I stopped a gentleman on the street and asked where Spear St. was and he answered cheerfully with a smile. It is way down there, he said. I know, I thought. I just wanted to see if people still responded to strangers.

      The Millenium towers looked majestic. So will the new Salesforce building. Not sure about the Transbay Terminal since it is still a big hole in the ground. Even though I had not seen my colleague in over 15 years, we picked up right where we left off and we laughed about her commute from the East Bay via BART. It should only take 20 mins. from Rockridge to Embarcadero except when there is a “medical emergency” or “a police incident.” It was funny because she thought medical emergencies were heart attacks, etc. which would not cause significant train delays and backups. No, it is actually code for “someone committed suicide on the tracks and it will shut the station down for several hours.” Likewise, “police incident” is code for station riot and protest. She said, in comparison, trying a case in Los Angeles was less stressful.

    • Posted by gone on


  20. Posted by Maria

    Look at the picture people. It shows this magic low drape of architecture that follows the backdrop of the hills and the light that surges over them. Then there are these very few awful broken-teeth and super ugly intruding monstrosities of greed that ruin that environment.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Actually, it looks like the shopping area off the Powell St. Exit in Emeryville (en route to IKEA.) You overshot it a bit with your dramatics.

      • Posted by Futurist

        And who’s being dramatic here? Your rants are full of sound and fury and not much else.

        New here, huh? At least a new name.

    • Posted by James

      The only part worth taking seriously is “bad for the environment” because it’s not true. Higher density is better for the environment because it uses energy more efficiently, reduces the need to drive, and uses less land than those houses covering the hillside.

  21. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Thank the NIMBYs for forcing developers to come up with ideas like this. I hope all of you complaining about this design voted against Prop J when it was on the ballot. Another of Aaron Peskin’s attempts to dip San Francisco in amber.

    • Posted by Futurist

      That doesn’t mean that the historic preservation commission has no purpose or goals of good practice. Nimby’s really have nothing to do with this. Other cities like NY, Chicago, Paris and London ALSO work to preserve parts of their architecture of the past. We can too.

      But I do get that you, personally, just don’t like it.

  22. Posted by Memo-san

    The old Spanish building is lovely as is. But I’m tiring of this new design. It’s everywhere and it’s overdone. There is no sense of design. It’s just a box. And it doesn’t even look like a particularly nice box. Keep this kinda stuff in the suburbs OUT OF the city.

    • Posted by Serge

      The part that people fail to realize is that we’ve been through this before. We’ve built tacky box apartment complexes in virtually every empty lot of SF from the 1950s and on. Just look at all the flat faced apartments in the Richmond or Sunset. They may have looked “hip” and contemporary when built, but now they are eye sores. The same will happen with this new design “style.”

      • Posted by Futurist

        You do realize that this is a very quick hand sketched image.

        • Posted by Serge

          My comment was not directed at this design in particular, but the slew of buildings being stamped out in the past decade.

          • Posted by Mark

            The way I see it is if you don’t like a particular architectural style then don’t live in it. You’re under no obligation to buy one of these units. For example, if Edwardian is your thing then pursue that style. While I’m no fan of a lot of the modern residential buildings being slapped up with abandon, I know for a fact that there are others out there who do like it and will buy it.

  23. Posted by UpMark

    What is the setback from the street? Or from the retail facade? Are they cutting into the existing retail footprint?

  24. Posted by KC

    Does anyone have an update on this project? Is Axis still developer?

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