719 Larkin Street Site

Speaking of revitalizing the Tenderloin, developer JS Sullivan is quietly working on plans to raze the single-story Susan’s Massage, Four Seasons restaurant and Excellent Dry Cleaners building at the corner of Larkin and Olive and raise an eight-story building with 42 condos over 1,400-square-feet of retail space and parking for 22 cars across the 719 Larkin Street site.

Larkin Street from McAllister to Geary is one of the nine “Action Zones” at the heart of the City’s “game changing” strategy for revitalizing the Tenderloin, Central Market and Sixth Street.

The game-changing strategy for the Larkin Street Action Zone: enhance the visibility of Little Saigon as a Vietnamese-oriented cultural district, which includes providing “focused business retention services” to Larkin Street businesses backed by the Little Saigon merchants association.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Alai

    Another case of increased residential space, but greatly reduced retail space. Maybe the current tenants won’t be missed, at least by commentators here, but do we really want to be replacing retail with garages in dense walkable neighborhoods, especially when they will in all likelihood be supporting more residents in the future? The city should, at least, require that the ground floor be designed to be convertible to retail or other space, if future market conditions warrant.

    • Posted by Moto mayhem

      22 spaces for 42 units is pretty minimal.

      • Posted by Alai

        Decreasing retail space from the current 5400 square feet to 1400 square feet is not minimal.

        • Posted by Conifer

          What will we do without Susan’s Message (and associated services)?

        • Posted by david m

          i agree totally with you. this much of a reduction in retail space in this area seems really off to me, i hope that the city pushes back against this.

          and moto mayhem, 22 spaces in this neighborhood (i live up the block) is quite a lot, given how walkable it is.

          • Posted by BobN

            Some cities ban ground-floor parking (other than the driveway).

            Too sensible for us…

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i agree on the retail. don’t agree on the parking.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            don’t agree on the parking because im not a fan of people congesting the streets by circling looking for parking. If they provide less car storage, there will be mroe congestion.

          • Posted by david m

            in this neighborhood, we should encourage walkability and affordability. if people need to park here, let them do it at one of the many monthly parking lots in the neighborhood instead of jamming parking onto this site.

          • Posted by Comment

            or alternatively to “circling” they go car-less and rely on public transit, taxis, car share and bikes. It is an entirely realistic way for transportation to work within a city. Not that I’m necessarily against 22 spaces…

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            the stats in the city of homeowners with cars is just too overwhelming to ignore. 22 spaces already assumes that half of the units won’t have a car, which will be much less than half of occupants. if we make a law stating now new neighborhood parking permits if you rent or buy a home without parking, then im all for it. but thats not happening. i would rather those cars be parked in a garage than on the street. your utopian ideas are nice, but in the real world we have to make the city work .

          • Posted by Comment

            I think half the households in a relatively dense park of the city owning cars, it pretty generous. The roads are not getting wider, so assuming everyone will commute in there own personal vehicle seems less “real world”, than using alternative methods.

            Restricting new permits is unethical, re-working the permit / street parking system, for everybody makes sense… No over night parking, how about that? If you don’t have a place to put your car out of the public realm, use public transportation.

          • Posted by Jake

            @Comment, 81% of the households in this census tract (122.02) do not have a car, according to the US Census. By contrast, just across Van Ness on Cathedral Hill in the neighboring census tract (151) only 31% of households don’t have a car. There are more than 4 times as many cars per household in the Cathedral Hill census tract than in the adjoining Tenderloin census tract because more of the CH households have 2 cars than TL households have any. The givers and the takers.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            jake, that is due to wealth and not necessrily due to density. the tenderloinites in the census are not the same people who are going to buy these condos

    • Posted by Giuliani

      I completely agree with you! Retail is important. I hope the city pushes back…. I think they are only permitted 21, unless the city grants a conditional use.

      Conifer- Alai, addressed in the initial comment that the current use may not be what “we” want, but the space is important for the cities future.

  2. Posted by Zugamenzia Farnsworth

    Maybe there could be a special name for Tenderloin condos….conloins, conderloins, tenderdo’s, tendo’s, as in “I was able to swing a tendo on my modest salary.”

    • Posted by BobN

      Tenderminiums? Sort of conveys the idea of minimal space, too… Sort of…

  3. Posted by Amewsed

    Great. Love it. Build it. Legal Tender.

    • Posted by Jake

      ‘Legal Tender’ would be a great name for a legit massage place in the Tenderloin.

      • Posted by NJ


        • Posted by BobN

          Especially if it only employed students from Hastings.

  4. Posted by DM

    Looks pretty architecturally significant to me. Landmark it NOW before it’s too late! San Francisco can no longer afford to squander its historic and architectural treasures in the name of urban residential housing with parking and retail. Oh the horror!

    • Posted by seriously

      Just think of the deadly SHADOWS!

  5. Posted by Tim Bracken

    The City plan is to retain Vietnamese businesses in Little Saigon. First step…get rid of this popular Vietnamese restaurant?

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      why is this area called little saigon anyway? if we really wanted to stick to its roots, we would call it “little transvestite hooker village”

  6. Posted by Steve Stephens

    SF should stick with a little old school here and keep retail/office on the street level. Kind of what makes San Francisco, well, San Francisco. I lived in The City and one of my favorite memories is being able to go downstairs to a small grocer, restaurant, dry cleaners, etc.

  7. Posted by seriously

    Larkin is the new Polk Street. It’s getting very trendy.

  8. Posted by Dave

    The 4 story brick building next to this site is potentially quite handsome. Re-do the top trim. Clean it up. Put awnings over the windows and voila. The 4 story height conforms generally to this area and the brick exterior is appealing.

  9. Posted by Zugamenzia Farnsworth

    The taller brick number sports a very grand “entry entablature” on Ellis, totally off center, etc, but entirely big…..and i believe the edifice houses 20 x 20 efficiencies.

    • Posted by Dave

      It is the kind of building, polished up, which begets a street level intimacy sorely lacking in most of the new SF construction.

      Its not historic but, in an area zoned for low heights to begin with (around 8 stories) it is the type of existing structure that needs to be kept albeit given a makeover.

  10. Posted by BTinSF

    “enhance the visibility of Little Saigon as a Vietnamese-oriented cultural district” . . . isn’t that exactly what Susan’s massage is? Vietnamese culture?

  11. Posted by soccermom

    I don’t really understand the qualms about retaining retail space in this neighborhood. There is a good amount of retail in the surrounding area. It seems to me that what the neighborhood needs to become a safe clean place for everyone to be is to have a large number of owner residents introduced. Those people will become advocates for clean streets, for finding a better solution than the status quo for the prevailing mental illness and drug addiction problems.

    I am all for more housing. That’s what will get the streets washed and police patrols increased.

  12. Posted by david m

    for what it’s worth, this morning there was a fatal drive-by shooting 2 blocks away from this building.

  13. Posted by boxerflower

    I saw a guy wearing a hoodie over his hat, looking fishy at the door of Susan’s Massage during my lunch break couple weeks ago. At the moment, I wonder what type of exclusive massage parlor is Susan’s Massage, and ewww. lol

    • Posted by Amewsed

      You should have yelled out, “hey! what’s up? Haven’t seen you in ages?” in a pretend “I know you and your whole family” kind of way. And then recorded his reaction on your iphone. That would be classic.

  14. Posted by jamesjr

    At least Aaron Peskin and Art Agnos won’t try to stop this one.

  15. Posted by lolcat_94123

    Build it. Tear down the SROs while you’re at it. Time to finally clean up the ‘loin.

  16. Posted by Tommy Strange

    Wow, most of the people that comment on this site actually think this is not a disastrous bubble. You’ve been subsidized with 12 trillion dollars interest free flooding from the Fed bank, and QE buying up another 4 trillion to put on the tax payers’ books via the Fed Reserve, and you still WANT MORE. You get massive mortgage deductions. tax free on profit of $200,000, if you hold on for two years. And you still WANT MORE. Who are the welfare babies? the 10 percent of course.

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