901 16th Street Rendering

The Impact Report for the proposed 395-unit Lower Potrero Hill development to rise up to six-stories in height at 16th and Mississippi, and up to four stories along 17th Street, has just been published and the public hearing for the project has been scheduled for September 17.

As designed by BAR Architects, the development’s 901 16th Street building would rise to a height of 68 feet (not including screening for roof-top equipment or elevator shafts which would reach a height of 82 feet) on the northern half of the Corovan Storage Facility site and includes 260 residential units over 20,000 square feet of retail and an underground garage for 263 cars and 264 bikes.

901 16th Street Design

A private landscaped mews would run between the northern and southern halves of the site.

901 16th Street /1200 17th Design Fronting Mariposa

And on the southern half, the proposed 1200 17th Street building by Christiani Johnson Architects would rise up to 48-feet in height, with 135 units over 4,700 square feet of retail and an underground garage for 125 cars and 191 bikes.

1200 17th Street Design

A public promenade and plaza would run mid-block between 16th and 17th Streets, aligned with the future Daggett Park to the north.

901 16th / 1200 17th Site Plan

According to the project’s official Impact Report, the most significant impact would be with respect to traffic at the intersections of 17th and Mississippi, Mariposa and Pennsylvania, and Mariposa and Mississippi Streets, but those impacts could be mitigated with new signals or other such measures.

The neighborhood group known as Save the Hill, which was successful in driving Kaiser from the site, remains opposed to the development as proposed and has drafted an unofficial set of alternative plans for the site.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Drew

    Neighborhood groups that submit alternative design schemes should also be asked to submit alternative construction budgets and pro formas.

  2. Posted by Jake

    The traffic section of this EIR: “Due to the relative timing of the proposals, the Warriors’ event center project was not included in the cumulative analysis of the proposed project….the Event Center project would not cause any significant change to the results given in this report and may potentially reduce the percent contribution to the impacted intersection from the proposed project.”

    Welcome to the land of wishful thinking and willful avoidance/ignorance. There’s an art to scoping these traffic EIRs to avoid enough of the worst factors/intersections to make each project appear tenable. The Warriors EIR leftout 8th St, even though that is where most of the cars from the east bay will get off I80. The Second Street bikeway EIR didn’t evaluate the impact on 3rd/Harrison, even though that is where they expect most of the traffic offloaded from Bryant/2nd to go.

    There’s a famous essay called “Hatching a Catastrophe.” This is how we hatching a gridlock: one overbuild, underanalyse at a time. I’m sure it all be fine after our ancestors build the subway under 16th St.

    • Posted by pioneer

      “I’m sure it all be fine after our [descendants] build the subway under 16th St.”

      I know what you meant and agree. Why not do it now?

    • Posted by zig

      “I’m sure it all be fine after our ancestors build the subway under 16th St.”

      Either I am not getting the sarcasm or you mean our distant descendants like maybe my grand kids? My grandfather’s generation built the bridges and highways, my Dad’s built BART and our contribution is…the central subway/T line to nowhere

      • Posted by Frisco

        Chinatown is not “nowhere.” Why do you say that?

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          chinatown is pretty much nowhere comercially

        • Posted by zig

          Chinatown is not nowhere but it is a short walk/bus ride to downtown and there are access issues with a stub subway line that requires difficult transfers to Market street

      • Posted by CACuzcatlan

        It goes from the ballpark, to the Moscone Center, to Union Square, and Chinatown. All are heavily trafficked areas that take a while to get to on the current bus lines that serve that route. The central subway is pretty much the opposite of nowhere

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          most of that is extremely easy to walk

        • Posted by zig

          So that is what, a few miles of moderate usefulness? How much was it?

      • Posted by Jake

        zig, ancestors or descendants: both about equally likely, unless the GOP Congress agrees to fund urban infrastructure like the USA did back in the eras of our fathers and grandfathers. Our generation did remove the worst freeway overbuilding of the previous generation and seismically rebuilt the elevated freeways in SF.

        Central Subway is vital. It should be underground from Fisherman’s Wharf to 16th or Cesar Chavez. And it will be when/if the Feds decide to invest more in American cities than in Imperial outposts. Maybe after we lose another land war in Asia. Know hope.

        Moto, you usually advocate for more density. The more we build up, the more we have to build underground, especially subways (19th century tech) and optical fiber (20th century tech).

        Pioneer, a 16th St subway is far down the priority list of needed subways in SF (Caltrain to the $Bus $tation, Geary out to ~Masonic, Folsom out to 16th, extend Central from Wharf to Warriors, the Van Ness monster, 16th from Market to 3rd), and much of our near term capital budget is committed to sexy projects like rebuilding the 100-year-old sewer/water system and seismic retrofit/rebuild for essential police state buildings.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          i do advocate density and subways. i jsut think the central subway was a waste considering all the other subway needs, like geary and van ness. the whole distance of the central subway is walkable.

          imo, the 1st priority i think is geary to park presidio. I wouldnt stop at masonic. park presidio is a good point, but would need arguello at least. Geary is one of the most underdeveloped cpmmercial corridors and 38 geary is the most used bus west of the east coast. its desperately needed.

          van ness from bay to market would be next priority.

          • Posted by Jake

            “the whole distance of the central subway is walkable.”

            Transit extends the range people can get around by foot without a car/taxi/etc. When people get off a BART train or MUNI bus they don’t levitate the rest of the way to their destination.

            As short as it is, the Central Subway doubles or triples the distance people in the heart of the city can travel by foot. FWIW, the Central Subway is a segment of the T-line, which will end up carrying more people than the 38 Geary. With the Central Subway in operation SF may barely handle the Warriors pre-game crush. Without it, not.

            The Richmond has steadfastly refused to increase density to anywhere near the levels that would justify the cost of a subway. There isn’t even a single major destination along Geary west of USF and the medical complex around Divis.

          • Posted by anon

            The Geary corridor is already 40k ppsm until the middle of the Richmond (25th-33rd or so). That’s more than dense enough to support a subway, though obviously I’d agree that it should be MUCH denser, especially with subway investments.

            The problems with the Central Subway are all due to the way that it’s been half-done. The stations will only support three car trains max, the connection to the Market Street subway (the most important piece) is atrocious and an afterthought, etc, etc. This isn’t a matter of not enough money, it’s a matter of vast amounts of money being used in very poor ways. With the amount of money being spent on the Central Subway the Swiss could have built a line three times as long in Zurich – one of the few cities of the world that’s more expensive than SF in most ways.

          • Posted by Jake

            anon, I don’t think there is an abstract population density threshold necessary to support a commuter railway, which is the only justification for a Richmond subway or even BRT.

            A surface-built BART line in low density suburbs to stations with car parking can aggregate and deliver large incremental increases of commuters to the SF CBD at lower cost than tunneling in the sands of western SF. For example, today more people commute via BART to SF from the Contra Costa County stations of the Bay Point line than all the transit commuters of the Richmond district. Those same stations have more total ridership than the entire 38 Geary. And it is much easier to grow that ridership than to increase the population in the Richmond.

          • Posted by parklife

            Jake,

            I haven’t bothered to look but does the bay point BART line carry more passengers than the 38 Geary, 31 Balboa, 5 Fulton, 1 California, etc? This would be a more apt comparison. I have no idea where you live, but those who live on the east side of SF typically underestimate the density of the Richmond.

          • Posted by anon

            Looking at just the 38 Geary ridership stats would be severely misleading. As parklife says, you need to look at the catchment area of a potential line, which would be at least 4-5 blocks on either side, likely more (and especially more if Muni lines were reoriented to send people to the line from the Sunset).

            Also, since BART does pay attention to farebox recovery rates more than other local transit agencies, they need to look at mid-day and weekend ridership rather than just delivering people to the SF CBD. Urban lines, while more expensive from a capital standpoint, are often less expensive operationally because of the more consistent ridership throughout the day.

        • Posted by zig

          As currently configured it is hardly vital or well planned

          • Posted by zig

            The Richmond has steadfastly refused to increase density to anywhere near the levels that would justify the cost of a subway. There isn’t even a single major destination along Geary west of USF and the medical complex around Divis.”

            I guess you could argue there would be a modest peaking issue but the corridor itself already has very high bus ridership

            In fact much higher bus ridership today than the central subway projections of 35,100 in 2020

          • Posted by Jake

            zig, you are comparing the ridership of the entire ~7 mile 38 Geary with only the 1.7 mile Central Subway segment of the T Line. Our generation’s great new Muni train line from Chinatown to Sunnydale (the Willie-Brown-Rose-Pak local) is about the same length as the 38 Geary and will carry more people.

            Now, if you want to build a 1.7 mile subway under Geary from Market, then it will terminate at Japantown/Western Addition. And from there it can either go surface to outer Richmond like it did in olden times or it can aggregate bus lines from Richmond and nearby. I think if they ever get the money for this it should go another half mile to the hospitals and/or USF. But then if they had the money, the Central Subway would go the Wharf and have been subterranean to Caltrain. But they didn’t and they don’t, so it isn’t and it won’t until ….

            I won’t argue that the Central Subway is ideal, or want to rehash it. It is one of the very few projects that will increase the walkability of the SF CBD in an era when it is getting much harder to get around via the surface streets. A godsend from the lesser gods or fallen angels if you will.

          • Posted by anon

            Again, you need to look at what the Geary subway would replace. It wouldn’t be just the 38 lines, but also most/all parallel lines within 4-5 blocks AND some parallel lines as far south as the Sunset (many riders would ride north for a mile and jump to a subway over the 45+ minute ride downtown on bus/lrv alone).

            The Central Subway as currently built will not have the capacity to have higher ridership than the entire Geary/Fulton/California/etc lines. It’s simply not possible with the three car max trains and low pedestrian throughput stations (narrow escalators, etc). The Central Subway is an abomination and the exact way to NOT build a subway. I have no issues with a subway being built in that corridor, just not this clown car.

          • Posted by Jake

            parklife and anon, the entire Richmond transit commute, not just the 38 Geary riders, but all residents of Richmond plus Seacliff that commute to work via every transit carrier of any kind to work anywhere, not just downtown, is ~15k and that is less than the number of BART riders that currently commute from those CC stations to SF. And let’s not kid ourselves about the importance of other uses than the commute. There is no reason to spend even BRT levels of money except to ease the commute flow, unless someone is planning to build a football stadium in the Richmond.

            You folks need to realize that when we build a subway line in a city, we don’t eliminate all the buses there or within a block or two parallel. We still have buses on Market and Mission and Howard in downtown. When the Central Subway is running MUNI is still going to run buses on 4th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd, 6th, Stockton, and Kearny and … A lot of buses, especially on 3rd.

            And if we magically had a subway under Geary in the Richmond right now, MUNI would still run buses along California and Fulton and Balboa and Geary. Not as many along California and Geary as now, but they would not eliminate the service. The subway isn’t going to stop every two blocks like the bus; more like every half mile plus in the Richmond. And it will be a good half mile hike from say Cabrillo and 3rd Ave to a potential subway stop at Geary and 6th or Arguello. May as well take a 10 minute ride on a Fulton or Balboa bus to a subway station at Masonic and Geary for a 12-15 minute subway ride into downtown. 70% of the riders at the Balboa BART station arrive there via other transit. That’s the best way to feed commute riders to subway stations with no parking in medium density locations (everywhere west of Cathedral Hill in northern SF).

            And I know the Richmond very well. I’ve done the commute run along Geary and Fulton and California from about Park Presidio. Yes, there is some congestion on Geary that slows the buses, though much less than east of Van Ness. And the BRT won’t help much, but it would be nuts to spend a billion dollars or two to save 15k people 10 minutes twice a day before we address the part of the city that actually experiences gridlock and is ontrack to add as many people as the entire population of the outer Richmond within 10-20 years. This is all about who is on first, not what’s on second, because the real clown show is our congress that can’t even pass a one-year highway bill, let alone commit to a new megafund for all of our fanciful unicorn solutions to minor problems.

          • Posted by anon

            Jake, induced demand. Study it.

            The Geary corridor is easily a 100k+ BART ride a day corridor. This isn’t me thinking that, this is numerous SPUR, BART, and APTA studies.

            The idea that all transit should be built solely or even mostly for commute trips is the entire reason that Bay Area transit is so terrible compared to even places like Vancouver. Invest in transit where transit is used for all trips, not simply where riders make a trip out and back per day.

          • Posted by Jake

            anon, I know what induced demand is. Afterall, I induced this whole branch of commentary you joined. Politeness, you may want for lack of studying it.

            The topic wasn’t the entire Geary corridor. It was whether it would be the best use of a billion or two dollars to build subway stations in the Richmond.

            At the start of this thread I suggested building subway stations along Geary as far as USF. That would capture most of the ridership.

            We have transit for many kinds of trips now, including multiple bus lines that serve the Richmond. A flexible transit system that handles all loads is what we need. We get as many of the needs met as we can afford in priority order. And the greatest and highest priority unmet needs now in SF and in all the forecasts of BART, MTC, and SFPlanning are for the work commute to/from the CBD.

            I would appreciate it if you could point me to a study that estimates the increased use of transit by spending billions to build subway stations in the Richmond. I doubt it will ever be worth it, but am happy to learn from the work of others.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i think a subway out to arguello, if not park presidio is well supported by the potential number of commuters. Geary is a prime area for building. its become much more wealthy and gentrified as well, and think there would be more support now for creating 8-10 story residential buildings with ground floor commercial. Besides Western SOMA which should be upzoned and filled with 12-15 story buildings, I can’t think of another corridor in SF that is so prime for building as geary. I feel we should be supporting infrastructure for the city, and arguello is only 3 miles from downtown.

    • Posted by JDR

      You raise excellent points about not including the Event Center, but fortunately the “Event Center” is about to die a quick death. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t consider the traffic consequences of the originally planned activities for that land and all the other incoming development for Mission Bay and Dogpatch.

  3. Posted by Futurist

    It’s actually a nice scale for the surrounding context. I like the mews concept as well, offering a quieter and pedestrian scale to the interior of the project: similar in scale and height to many neighborhoods in London and Paris.

    • Posted by Oh Dear

      LOL yet most posters on this board call for 450 foot towers right next to 45 foot residential in western soma!

      As residents of western soma, who were left out of the M and O plan even though the two plan boundaries directly abut, its interesting that we are called NIMBY because we accepted the original 250 foot towers as per the M and O plan, not the 400 towers now proposed. Yet you want a mews concept. How about a 250 tower, that will make the Bernal people happy.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        Western SOMA claims Otis and Mission as part of your territory? Give me a break. You don’t get a buffer zone for your nimby-ism.

        • Posted by Oh Dear

          We are talking about south van ness and Mission….just across the street from the western soma planning area….check out the two plan boundaries.

      • Posted by Dave

        Exactly.

        If western SOMA folks want to engage this proposal to go higher than 250 feet then play hardball. Insist the any residential towers going higher in this plan area (assuming it is modified to go higher) allocate 60% of the additional units in the over 250 foot limit to BMR housing.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Not following your statements at all. I don’t “want” a mews concept. I’m just commenting I like the mews concept in this project.
        Can’t make sense of your 250′ tower statement. Huh? How will that make Bernal people happy? What are you talking about?

        • Posted by Oh Dear

          Exactly, I would gladly accept the Mews concept adjacent to western soma to facilitate a transition between the 45 foot residential in soma …we were ok with 250, now they want 400+. Get it? Its bate and switch, the western soma neighborhood said ok to 250 WITH transition podiums, but now they are saying they want 400+.

  4. Posted by AIASF

    This is a cheap building and a better architect could have made this work. A win for developers, a loss for everyone else…so goes SF.

  5. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Materials selected will make or break this… Corrugated steal. Brick. Concrete. Wood siding. No on needs anymore aluminum, composite paneling, or stucco.

  6. Posted by ph_goat

    Well, it’s bland – I’ll give it that…

  7. Posted by phil

    Nice trees.

  8. Posted by Poor in Potrero

    With all the large scale developments proposed on 16th, the developers should have to help fund (aka feeees!!) for a Bart or light rail line on 16th Street from 3rd to at least Mission… should also be a part of the Warriors Stadium approval. The T can’t handle all that….

  9. Posted by Sierrajeff

    I like it. Ludicrous to oppose development at this scale and height – so many more important things to worry about.

  10. Posted by Cynthia Vine

    And directly across the street from this development is the new Kaiser Mission Bay. I love the top drawing. Everything looks so spacious.

  11. Posted by ncydr

    Responding to comment this is “cheap” building. My example of a cheap and ugly building is the condo on 5th and Townsend; a featureless gray stucco with chezzy nail-on aluminum windows.
    This building will be expensive to build. The design is another outcome of economic forces driven partly by the city’s public agenda and client’s budget. It’s not particularly bland, nor it is very inspired either.

  12. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    The West side of SF, and the East side of SF and the SOUTH side of SF, needs improved bi-county transit connectivity and LIGHT RAIL improvements…

    T-Line up Geneva, to Balboa BART
    extensions around the BVHP development,
    a line out on oakdale possibly up allemany
    a line out to daly city sunset blvd. and a few other links like the L Taraval back up sloat..possibly to John Daly Blvd.

    do it now, to ignore it = GRIDLOCK even worse than today…

  13. Posted by Dave

    Transportation is not “sexy” so it doesn’t get the politicians attention as it should.

    Extending LRV throughout SF is a great idea and “relatively” cheap. Talk of more BART lines in SF (down Geary) is overkill. Extend BART down the Peninsula instead.

    The other huge problem – housing affordability. The BMR fees are not enough IMO.

    How about this. Planning wants to maybe exceed the 250 foot height limit around Otis and Mission. Agreed upon by the western SOMA neighborhood.

    OK. Allow exceptions to the limit but only if the additional housing units above 250 feet are 60% BMR. Developers would either put up or shut up at that point.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      “talk of more BART lines in SF (down Geary) is overkill. Extend BART down the Peninsula instead.” subway down geary is way more important and much better way for smarter growth within city

    • Posted by zig

      Extend BART down the Peninsula instead.”

      Please stop with this idea which is wrong

  14. Posted by Dave

    Extend LRV to the BVHP development but that won’t solve its “jobs” problem.

    As a poster pointed out recently, the 3 million feet of proposed office space there won’t be served by significant regional transportation. Most workers will drive there (those coming from outside SF).

    This may be why they are having trouble leasing space to hi-tech companies so far and may end up leasing a large chunk of that space to a private educational academy (K through 12).

    So regional transportation of course needs to be addressed and can’t wait 30 years for another BART tube or a southern crossing.

    Its a shame virtually no Bay Area politicians are talking transportation as the number one issue for the region.

  15. Posted by Patrick

    I just hope this development doesn’t kill off one of my favorite venues, The Bottom of the Hill with complaints from people who didn’t know that a club with live music is right across the street when they bought their unit. If allowed to proceed, the buyers should be required to read a disclosure that they are aware that there will be loud noise and music in the later hours of the evening and they are OK with that.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      I thought I read somewhere a law has been passed (I think London Breed authored it) that it’s now a requirement for a disclosure to go out notifying a buyer of this fact.

  16. Posted by G

    Sick and tired of seeing this entitled behavior. NIMBYs and sexual predators should be all castrated immediately so they can’t reproduce then they should be given a frontal lobotomy so they can’t speak. The world would begin to be a better place

  17. Posted by Willow

    That color palette is very often seen in Chicago & DC. If the developer uses quality materials this building could end up looking very elegant.

  18. Posted by Pablito

    The Mississippi/ 16th Street / 7th Street / Caltrain 5-way intersection is a disaster waiting to happen.
    Of course the City seems to have zero interest or plan in fixing it.

    One option discussed over the years has been opening Texas street through this site – and closing Mississippi street adjacent to the site.

  19. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The public hearing to review the Environmental Impact Report for the proposed 395-unit Lower Potrero Hill development to rise up to six-stories at 16th and Mississippi, and up to four stories along 17th Street, has been continued to October 1.

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