CFAH

The Elbo Room

The owners of the corner building at 645 Valencia which is currently home to the Elbo Room, the iconic Mission District club whose lease will end on November 1, have submitted their application for a permit to demolish the building along with an application for the permit to build nine condos on the site, a development which shouldn’t have caught any plugged-in readers, nor operators, by surprise.

The permits await the final approval of the proposed five-story development, the environmental review for which is nearly complete and the Planning Commission hearing for which should soon be scheduled.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Alai

    Given current sound-proofing construction techniques, how realistic would it be for a place like this to both add a few stories of housing and preserve an ample club space?

    Otherwise, it seems that the inevitable replacement of all the 1-2 story buildings will be marked by the elimination of the majority of the commercial space which makes this corridor interesting. Many new construction buildings have street-facing commercial spaces, which is nice, but they often seem too shallow for most businesses.

  2. Posted by Orland

    I understand that the owners have their alleged particular circumstances motivating their intent to proceed in this fashion, but I see no good reason to allow demolition of this building vs infill elsewhere. And I certainly don’t want to see it as precedent for similar properties in the neighborhood as suggested by Alai.

    • Posted by gribble

      Because they own this building and don’t own an empty lot elsewhere?

      • Posted by jack

        That’s a good succinct answer. But it does beg the follow-on question: “why can’t the owners suffer for the public good?” 🙂

        • Posted by Orland

          It’s just a bit disingenuous of the owners to profess this is all about securing a place for their retirement. If that were the case, they could much more simply just sell the property (possibly to the current operators of the business) and buy themselves a fabulous condo (or perhaps a 100 acre estate in the Idaho Panhandle). This is primarily about development of the land as money grab. If every other owner decided/was allowed to do the same, an entire vibrant, wonderful neighborhood would disappear. I don’t see any good reason to issue the demolition permit for this particular property.

          Mere ownership of property does not necessarily assure maximizing its value.

    • Posted by anon

      The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan is the reason. You should read about it if you want to understand why more vertical density is being greenlighted throughout several corridors in San Francisco.

      • Posted by Orland

        The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan was just as much if not more about addressing repurposing properties (witness the numerous light industrial and gas stations converted to multi-unit housing) and infill by rezoning than about upzoning. And, in any event, in no manner was it meant to facilitate removal of vibrant existing uses contributing positively to the neighborhoods.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          nothing vibrant about the Elbo room

        • Posted by anon

          why are you inserting sentimentality, with a word such as “vibrant” and subjectivity with the “positively” ? And again with somebody using the past tense to talk about the ENP. No. It’s happening now, and it’s happening the way it was laid out, by the plan. Realize that and talk real talk, already

          • Posted by Orland

            You have a decidedly unrealistic hope as to how the plan will be implemented in practice. This (if it actually ever happens) is the exception to what’s proceeding.

          • Posted by anon

            what are you talking about? it’s being implemented now. “will be” ? “If it actually ever happens” ? characterizing my “Hope” as if I used words to describe my feelings as to how it is being utilized?

  3. Posted by Toby Snozzwanger

    Apparently the smart money on Valencia is not looking for crappy garage bands.

    • Posted by anon

      Booking “crappy garage bands” was never the Elbo Room. Snark works better when it comes from a place of knowledge.

  4. Posted by dogpatchresident

    They deserve to sell it. Or we could all chip in to fund their retirement?

    • Posted by Orland

      Their “retirement” is plenty secured by the value of the property as is.

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