72 Ellis Site

Highgate Hotels has purchased the parking lot at 72 Ellis Street and intends to break ground for an upscale 11-story hotel with 156 guest rooms “as soon as possible.”

The site was first approved for development in 2001 but the project was waylaid by the dotcom collapse and decline in tourism following September 11th and then by “the collapse of the housing market and overall poor economic conditions” in San Francisco (which have since improved).

With the third extension of the original approval for the project set to expire on August 15 of this year, Highgate has engaged Handel Architects to refine and update the proposed design:

72 Ellis Refined Design

The updated project remains an 11-story building with 156 tourist guest rooms. The project would concentrate commercial retail use on the bottom two stories of the building, with a hotel entrance located in the far right bay of the façade.

The hotel is planned with a lobby and fitness area on the second floor.  Floors 3—11 would contain hotel rooms with a rooftop viewing terrace above…[and] the project does not include any off-street parking.

72 Ellis Refined Design

As a condition of the project’s original approval, the hotel’s final design was subject to review.  And according to Planning, “the final design of the updated project is appropriate for and consistent” with the Kearny‐Market-Mason‐Sutter Conservation District in which it is to be built and should soon rise.

When the project was approved in 2001, the annual hotel occupancy rate in San Francisco was 61.5%.   The hotel occupancy rate in San Francisco was 84.1% last year.

24 thoughts on “Waylaid Hotel Redesigned, Ready To Break Ground”
  1. Perfect infill use of an underutilized surface lot. Now the next step is to convert the Ellis / O’Farrell garage into apartments or demolish it outright and build up to the 130′ that zoning allows.

  2. Let’s destroy that garage and every other place to park cars! Build all new buildings without parking!

    Car-free paradise come up soon!

    1. Homo Sapiens have got along without cars 99.999995% of their existence. Actually, it seems that the tiny fraction of a percent of the time we have spent on earth *with* cars is when everything has gone to crap. (Not just cars to blame, but the entire system of industrialization through fossil fuels)

      1. So explain to us how any of us might want, say, go on a road trip for a long weekend to Lake Tahoe, go camping, hiking, boating; different sites, different routes, with our camping equipment.

        Cars give the INDIVIDUAL an INDIVIDUAL choice as to where to go, when and how to wander. Cars give us all a great amount of freedom. And yes, I welcome the day when we have entirely all electric cars and no longer dependent on fossil fuels of any kind.

          1. I can’t wait until anon turns 78 years old…Muni is always an option when you are elderly, just hang on for dear life as the driver accelerates or brakes…oh but wait, someone will have to give up their seat to you, there is a sign that clearly states that rule.

            Or you can always take a taxi, uber, or whatever will be here when you hit that age. All u gotta do is be able to see your Iphone200 buttons, and then see that the car has arrived, then of course that is the cheapest option…

          2. So you’d rather me be driving around at 78 when I can’t even see iPhone buttons? lol ok.

          3. The Ellis O’Farrell Garage is WHERE I often rent cars. It has a Hertz office and they have to park the rental cars somewhere.

          4. Wait. You go to an office to rent a car? You’re doing it wrong. There are dozens of car rental places that will bring the car to you, including Hertz. Rental car parking would make much more sense on cheaper land.

        1. zipcar, getaround, etc. are much easier to use and more accessible that rental locations like Hertz, Avis, etc. I suggest you give their apps a try if you’re sick of dealing with parking: Most cars spend 90% of their time parked – so don’t you agree that sharing those cars and reducing the parked time would be beneficial for us all? Beyond saving space for better usage, removing big lots from central SF will encourage people to rely on transit, which is actually great in this area, as it has BART, trolleys, Muni trains, and bus access.

    2. A hotel with no parking? That makes perfect sense to me. By definition, hotels are used by people who are here for a short time. A small number may have rented cars and will have to deal with that, but most guests likely wouldn’t have any need for off-street parking anyway.

      Building new apartments with no parking, on the other hand, makes no sense. ~80% of the residents are expected to own one or more cars, and the builder would just be foisting the parking problem and costs onto the public while keeping the profits.

      1. ~80%? Incorrect. Jake posted some great data on this a few days ago. Since 2000, the ratio of new households without parking is the same as the city as a whole (which means ~70%). We can only assume that this will drop as automated cars come online in a few decades.

      2. It makes a ton of sense because the 20% without cars in your made up number are not distributed everywhere. Really dense areas should not attract people who need cars but have no off street parking unless they are really dumb so I hardly see an issue. Hayes Valley is a good example of an emerging area that can become more like Nob Hill. Seems we need a few more areas like this

    3. Don’t worry, Conifer, there are eight other counties in the Bay Area completely eager to accomodate autosexuals! I here every new house in Brentwood has at two, if not three garage spaces!

  3. From the map that first block of Ellis is between Powell and Stockton, so this is more Union Square than TL.

    Union Square could use another dozen projects like this — hotel over retail.

    [UPDATE: Since updated above.]

  4. Man has also flourished for many centuries without snarky real estate speculators and investors…wonder if history will be more kind to the development [of the] automobile or to opportunistic profiteers?

    1. So…is your implication that not building more garage space somehow constitutes a historical crime?

      Wow…autosexuals are just amazing.

  5. I read that SF as a city has some of the most expensive hotels (I’m not sure how much of it is due to taxes). Of course the city needs more housing but more hotels are also very welcome.

    This size is good enough for the location – Union Square is a block north and nothing that could cast a shadow on it will ever get built.

  6. Oh, goodie. I’ll get to watch the whole thing, as it is directly across from my window in the Flood Building.

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