From Rentals To Condos In Western SoMa And A Bay Window DebateMay 13, 2015
Plans to the raze the Hertz car-rental building at 241 10th Street, across the street from the Saint Joseph’s Church project, are working their way through Planning. And as proposed by JS Sullivan Development, a five-story building with 28 condos over 1,900-square-feet of commercial space and 17 off-street parking spaces will rise upon the Western SoMa site.
The environmental review for the project is pending, and a hearing to allow the proposed bay windows to vary in size from what’s prescribed by San Francisco’s Planning code will be held in a couple of weeks.
From the developer’s application for the variance:
“The literal enforcement of the Planning Code permitting only prescribed limits on the spaces and width of bay windows and balconies presents a practical and esthetic (sic) difficulty for larger-scale, high density urban structures with a contemporary motif. The literal restriction of the code eliminate or reduce the opportunity for more creative façade designs and better-scaled articulation of projecting bay windows. The Planning Code, as applied, has roots in historic bay window designs characterized in older 19th Century Victorian architecture, inappropriate for modern designs.
The interior planning of smaller, tightly organized interior dwelling spaces for maximum density, resulted in a design approach that departs from the literal code while maintaining an equivalent area and combined width. Older structures in the neighborhood of various heights and constructed at different periods with different building systems, express the design integrity of another period. Thus, both historic and contemporary buildings should enjoy the same property right of design, provided the contextual expression of the neighborhood is maintained by the use of a façade scheme that fits comfortably with its neighbors.”
Granting the variance will not be detrimental to the urban landscape on 10th Street. The proposed building design is well-scaled to the street and neighborhood, and is compatible through the use of materials and forms that respect the scale of the surrounding community of existing buildings.”
And as designed, the development’s bay windows would be screened with perforated aluminum wings, similar to 8 Octavia or 1234 Howard, and framed by perforated aluminum panel rain screens.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Only thing is, the traffic’s out of control already, whenever I walk to Costco I’m nearly killed, especially at 10th and harrison, the whole soma district’s become a freeway onramp. bravo planning department.
That’s the thing about traffic in a City of 800,000, you constrict it in one area (think Central Freeway backup) and it is forced to move to another neighborhood such as 9th and 10th streets, which is hardly the fault of the Planning Department. Further, the planned removal of traffic lanes is only going to exasperate the problem in SOMA.
Regarding the condo proposal, build it.
How does a person walk to Costco, then buy and carry a giant package(s) of stuff, and walk home?
Costco sells caxkets (not the high-end wood kind, but the lower end metal kind.)
I can walk to Costco in about 12 minutes: muni takes 40, and it’s ingratiating. i’d rather be exhausted than exasperated. i usually take a padded backpack, and an extra bag, just in case. and toilet paper days…well, that’s all i can carry. i think of it all as part-time work that pays fairly well.
that because they got rid of the actual freeway onramp. this is why elevated onramps and freeways can be preferable to take fast traffic away from the street area.
If the whole district is a freeway onramp, then that would be evidence that too many people are commuting to/from there, as opposed to residing there. Which would be an argument in favor of new residential development. One might then question whether it’s an appropriate location for a Costco.
Ding ding ding! Move Costco to the Bayview or Outer Sunset – they would love it – and build housing here. The streets in SOMA also need many pedestrian upgrades such as wider sidewalks now that it’s becoming a major residential/office area. That whole Trader Joe’s / BBB shopping center is so badly designed (making everyone enter a nasty parking garage to get into the stores), as though it wasn’t for people who actually live there.
At some point, I hope the stores in that complex will re-orient themselves to the street side. The Nordstrom Rack, BB&B and others could have attractive street-front entrances with awnings, trees, etc.
Good point. The building WAS built to allow exterior doors, but no one has used that option. I’m sure retailers prefer to have only one entrance for security reasons, but it is a real shame. FWIW, I usually park on the street when I go to trader joes…much easier than dealing with the insanity of that parking lot.
I don’t even bother going to the SOMA Costco anymore. South city may be farther away, but it’s a far more pleasant experience for anyone driving from the westside.
Excellent! Fresh bodies for SOMA, in addition to the walking dead aka “street people”.
Hope the newcomers take in stride Folsom Street Fair’s 10th St. main stage right in front of their million dollar shoe boxes – rather than forcing their entitlement onto an institution which predates them by 30+ years.
Get ready for the complete Disneyfication of Folsom street fair.
that happened 10 years ago. Dore is now what Folsom once was.
What do you mean? Like tattoos of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and/or mouse ears?
If you haven’t been spanked in public by a leather Goofy with genital piercings, you haven’t really experienced Disneyfication.
I don’t understand the point of new, little apartment buildings being built in that area. They should be going tall. It is not a scenic area by any means. Who would care? The need is clearly there.
[Editor’s Note: A Short-Sighted Plan For Western SoMa?]
well , i think most would agree, but the western SOMA plan is in effect now and it limits heights to a ridiculous degree. The plan took years to put in place and was well out of date by the time enacted. It should be discarded and redone with some forethought into the future. Western SOMA plan is possible the worst neighborhood planning ever done in SF
The planning department gave a green light to roughly a dozen skyscrapers, largely residential, whilst the transit lines serving the area….what….19 polk…27 bryant….. if the planning deparment has no responsibility in creating a inhumane environment than city hall does. i’d say a fix would be a few more subways, and or an underground cross-town freeway. money’s obviously flying like pigeons so maybe now’s a good time to fund something realistic, like a real, live grown-up city would have.
agree. the city is bringing in sh*tloads of dough. transformative tranportation projects should be taking place instead of bandaid plans like BRT, red striped streets and provide bike lanes that will be rarely used
“environmental review for the project is pending….”
Why is environmental review necessary for a 28 unit residential building near downtown in one of the biggest cities in the state?
Why isn’t the City policy to put projects of this size under the Ceqa infill exemption like Oakland?
This is why we can’t have nice things – like affordable housing…
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