150 Van Ness Rendering

The Emerald Fund’s proposed 420-unit building to rise up to 13-stories along Hayes, stretching from Van Ness Avenue to Polk Street, has been approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission, despite objections from parents with children who attend the LePort PreSchool which occupies the historic building at 50 Fell Street and abuts one of the five parcels upon which 150 Van Ness will rise.

As designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), the existing building at 150 Van Ness Avenue, which has already been stripped of its guts and facade, will be demolished to make way for the development.  And yes, that includes the building’s original Moorish lobby.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    This is a new class of objection. A large building is somehow considered to be harmful to school and children nearby???

    [Editor’s Note: As outlined in the link above, the new building will rise within six feet of the school’s windows and classrooms, which was the basis of the objection.]

  2. Posted by Jackson

    Now queuing, the next city-wide proposition placing children and school windows as a protected class similar to the current park shadow legislation.

  3. Posted by Sierrajeff

    Really glad to see new projects getting added to the pipeline, as several of the SoMa towers under construction are nearing the end of the cladding phase. Let’s keep the construction momentum going!

  4. Posted by moto mayhem

    great news!

  5. Posted by Bertie Anglis

    Did the parents explain why the distance bothered them? Loss of light? The potential creepiness of having someone’s bedroom window 6 inches from a classroom?

  6. Posted by Jim

    Did the parents explain why they completely neglected to do any due diligence before leasing the building? Why they didn’t look at the Market Octavia Better Neighborhoods Plan that was adopted in 2008? Why they never googled “150 Van Ness” to see the developers plans? Why they imagined a vacant derelict building would stay that way forever? Why they imagined a surface parking lot would remain empty forever? Did they not see the 100 Van Ness project under construction next door? The parents looked like idiots.

    • Posted by Bertie Anglis

      Well, judging from A LePort Parent’s comment below, even if they did look idiotic, they got some concessions from the developer.

  7. Posted by A LePort parent

    Bertie,
    Yes, the parents were at the meeting and described exactly what bothered them including loss of light, having apartment windows 5 1/2 feet from classroom windows, additional wind impacts to the playground, construction hours, noise impacts and dust. The parent’s objections to the project, helped LePort negotiate an agreement with the developer just one hour before the meeting to help mitigate some of the concerns. The planning related items of this agreement were added to the project’s modifications. Also, added by the Planning Commission was:
    1. a check back after 3 months of demo to see if the developer is meeting the LePort agreement.
    2. double the number of car share parking spots to 8 total which will eliminate 12 parking spaces

  8. Posted by cody

    Glad to see that surface parking lot replaced by housing. The parking lot has been there for at lest 45 years – a big waste of valuable real estate.

    The rich parents of LePort school children should be glad more housing is being built. This is the heart of the city folks, not a small town or suburb!

    • Posted by James

      In that case, where are all the schools that SFUSD should be building in SOMA/Mid-Market/Octavia/Mission Bay/South Beach? Tens of thousands of new housing units, but only a tiny Tagalog ELL elementary school. Oh, and about a dozen private schools with more in the pipeline to fill the gap left by a derelict BoE.

  9. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Unlike parks which once established are usually there forever, private schools are ephemeral. The school may choose to move into better quarters or find a larger location if expanding. It seems shortsighted for a private school which might not be in the same location a decade later to influence the design of a new building which hopefully will last at least half a century.

    • Posted by downtown parent

      Not really that valid of an argue because all preschools in the downtown for children 3 and under are private schools. Some like Glide or Compass only take very low income children. Parent making more have to pay for preschool or daycare.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Those preschools can still close or move can’t they?

        • Posted by James

          The only reason for the private ones is because the pitiful public sector has yet to step up to the plate.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Oy. My point got lost along the way. This isn’t about the whether private schools are needed or not. It is about whether a use of space will remain used that way long enough to influence the attributes of adjacent property. Private schools come and go more frequently than public schools.

            Say what you want about the parkland shadow ordinance but once a space is a park it will stay that way essentially forever. Imagine on the other hand if a SOMA skyscraper had to lop off 20 stories because it shadowed a preschool. And then that preschool picked up and moved before the skyscraper was complete.

  10. Posted by sassyboyfrisco

    YAY…common sense wins!
    Now…let’s also raze that nasty old low-level shack on the opposite corner (across the street in the picture above.)

    • Posted by downtown parent

      that is housing for the blind.

    • Posted by Orland

      According to an article in this morning’s Chron, the SF Music Conservatory has purchased that property (200 Van Ness), but currently has no plans for a change in its status. The implication, however, is that it would possibly be used (or replaced) as student housing though it has met its present needs by leasing several floors of the micro-apartment Paramount development at 9th & Mission.

  11. Posted by MSTBLD

    The parents have filed an appeal with the Board of Appeals so work on the demolishing the seismically hazardous building has been halted. Hearing is a couple of weeks. More delays in building 400 more housing units for frivolous reasons.

  12. Posted by VSF

    Anyone know what is happening with this one now? I see a big hole but nothing going.

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