CFAH

San Francisco Tennis Club

As we first wrote and ruffled some feathers with respect to the half-block San Francisco Tennis Club at 645 Fifth and Brannan when the (Bay) Club was sold to York Capital Management and San Francisco-based JMA Ventures last year:

While plans for the Bay Club’s clubs have yet to be announced, we’d be willing to bet that plans for developing the 645 5th Street site were central to the acquisition, especially in light of the fact that San Francisco’s pending Central SoMa Plan could up-zone the Tennis Club site for development up to 200-feet in height.

And according to the Business Times, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, which focuses on the development and management of “collaborative science campuses in urban innovation clusters” and now tech space, not tennis clubs, is now in contract to buy the Tennis Club site.

Ten years ago, Pulte Homes placed the half-block sized San Francisco Tennis Club at Fifth and Townsend under contract with plans to bulldoze the club and build over 500 condos on the Central SoMa parcel which is currently only zoned for development up to 65-feet, or roughly six stories, in height.

Pulte’s plans were withdrawn in 2008 with the economy turning and club members having organized to Save [Their] San Francisco Tennis Club. Expect another fight but a different outcome unless the economy turns again or a ballot measure to save the club succeeds.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by cfb

    Some wealthy NIMBYs are probably going to get really mad about their beloved tennis club closing down. I predict lawsuits, anti-development propaganda, and ballot measures in the future…

  2. Posted by Jon Schwark

    Funny, that linked article had a Save the Tennis Club woman saying they were going to expand it in 2009. Did it ever get expanded?

  3. Posted by Bertie Anglis

    Tennis lovers, take heart. Thanks to the millionaires’ victory in the “No Wall on the Waterfront” battle, there will be a private tennis club at 8 Washington for years to come.

    • Posted by Orland

      Bad enough in itself, but then, the parking lot, ugly fence, empty former junk building site… so pathetic.

  4. Posted by Some guy

    I guess it’s time to take up running, or … bicycling, tee-hee.

  5. Posted by sf

    This looks like the worst type of planning from Sim City 4. “I need to boost my residential demand, so let’s cram a bunch of tennis courts haphazardly in there here rectangular plot of land.”

  6. Posted by Pablito

    A building that will not be missed.

  7. Posted by bleeper

    No Walls anywhere in SF!

  8. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    So where are you going to play tennis downtown?
    Where is the future parks and open space?
    Where will people find a place to sit and enjoy the day in the downtown?

    We need to start realizing that the build build build mentality is ignoring quality of life issues, of our urban spaces. … Ammenities and Infrastructure including parks, playgrounds, and open space including swimming pools and tennis courts are a part of the discussion… Demand that the planning be all-encompassing and inclusive of the needs of the urban city dwellers.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Right, because this multi-story windowless fortress adds so much to the streetscape, walkability, and sense of openness of SoMa… /s

      (And just how much demand is there “to play tennis downtown”? I don’t recall seeing a lot of tennis courts in other cities’ downtowns – even L.A. And as I look out my office window right now, 3 of the 5 courts at the 8 Washington site are sitting empty (at noon, on a sunny day). *And* if there is sufficient demand, there’s no reason there couldn’t be 12 courts on top of a 6- or 10-story residential or office building, just like they’re on the roof of this building today.)

    • Posted by GoBlueInSF

      Will no one think of the trees? Or the people? Or the people-trees?

    • Posted by sf

      How about the new 8 block long Transbay Terminal park under construction? Or the new outdoor parkspace planned for 5th and Mission?

      Enough with the hyperbole.

    • Posted by bleeper

      I think you mean the urban city dwellers who already have housing in SF. Not the people priced out? I would think the people priced out by 30 years of virtually no building would care a little bit more about actual housing than open air swimming pools.

    • Posted by joh

      I would rather see a nice public park or public recreation facility than a private tennis club. With that said, I used to come here with a friend back in the 80s, who’s family had membership here. I always enjoyed it there, nice to be able to play indoors when the weather sucked.

      • Posted by Moto mayhem

        public park won’t work here. its full of homeless, poop and needles. I had a friend who moved out from across the street last year after living there 10 yrs. He was constantly aggressively yelled at by homeless and wife threatened. In the end, his dog stepped on a needle and that was the final straw.

  9. Posted by BrisketLover

    Wow, I’ve walked by there a hundred times and never knew there were courts on the roof. The existing building really adds nothing to block, its just a blank wall against the sidewalk. Hopefully whatever goes in will have something more interesting or even retail on the ground floor in this full block space.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      You forget about the homeless who sleep and urinate in the doorways along both sides of this building.

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