Parkmerced Redevelopment Plan

The massive redevelopment plan for Parkmerced includes 5,679 net new units of housing, for a neighborhood total of 8,900; a network of new neighborhood parks, athletic fields, greenways and an organic farm; new underground garages on the west side of the site to discourage casual car usage by residents concentrated in buildings on the eastern side of the site; and a rerouting of MUNI’s M Ocean View line from 19th Avenue through the development, along with re-designed streets, bike paths and other transportation improvements.

And if everything goes as currently planned, construction for the first phase of the three-decade project, which includes the building of 1,668 housing units, of which 222 will be one-to-one replacement units for those demolished during Phase One, has been scheduled to commence in early February 2016.

Phase One will also include 3,500 square feet of retail, along with street improvements, public open spaces and community gardens on the western and eastern sides of the site.

Parkmerced Phase 1 Map

The four Phase One Subphases, as mapped above, which may run concurrently:

Subphase A – Construction of 390 new units, of which 56 units will be Replacement Units for those demolished in subphase C and D, and a two-level, below-grade, garage for 453 cars.

Subphase B – Construction of 567 new units, the demolition of the two existing above-ground parking garages for 740 cars, and the the construction of two below grade parking garages for a total of 473 cars.

Subphase C – Construction of 333 new units, of which 66 will be Replacement Units to replace units demolished in Phase 2, and a below grade garage for 618 cars. A maintenance building, 10 units on block 37W, and 28 units on block 34 will be demolished.

Subphase D – Construction of 378 new units, of which 100 will be Replacement Units to replace units demolished in future Phase 2, 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail oriented towards a new neighborhood commons, and a below grade parking garage for 66 cars. 18 existing units on block 19 will be demolished.

The overall Parkmerced redevelopment plan includes 230,000 square feet of retail, 80,000 square feet of office space, a 64,000 square foot community center, and a replacement preschool as well.

Parkmerced, which was named to the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s “Marvels of Modernism” list in 2008, was originally developed between 1941 and 1951 with 3,221 units of housing for veterans returning from World War II and was designed to be “a city within a city” by architect Leonard Schultze and Associates, with landscape design by Thomas Church and Robert Royston.

UPDATE: The five designs and architects for the first two subphases of the project: The Varied Designs And Architects For Parkmerced 2.0.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Oh Dear

    5,700 net new units and “new underground garages on the west side of the site to discourage casual car usage by residents concentrated in buildings on the eastern side of the site.”

    Any number on net new car spaces?

  2. Posted by ostrich

    5000 new units and still no way to exit. What a transportation nightmare.

    • Posted by cfb

      What are you talking about? There are multiple ways to exit by car/bike/foot, and a Muni metro line is going to get rerouted through the development.

  3. Posted by We're All Doomed

    the improvements to muni they are paying for and the improvements to BART access are a big deal. screw cars. if you want to drive a car, move to contra costa county. plenty of roads to drive your little toy.

    • Posted by zig

      Improvements all the way to the West Portal tunnel are called for or a Muni Metro connection to DC BART. That is one slow ride today

      • Posted by Mark

        Agreed, but the L from the ocean to WP is even more tedious as it stops every 2 blocks, plus the wait at 19th Ave. (no signal priority). But, MUNI plans up “speed” up service along this portion of the L by putting in a few more traffic lights (18th Ave., 24th Ave, to name a few), but keep almost all of the existing stops.

    • Posted by Oh Dear

      Ahh the answer for everything…if you dont like it ….move.

      Hope when your in your late 70s you enjoy the MUNI shuffle …accelerate and brake…bam.

      • Posted by cmak

        I’ll never understand how MUNI is just too hard for older people to use, but it’s totally OK for them to operate 2-ton machines throughout the city.

  4. Posted by Just My Opinion

    Why three decades to build?

    Is that the developers choice?

    “originally developed between 1941 and 1951 with 3,221 units of housing”

    • Posted by sf

      It took a decade and a half to build half the bay bridge. Took about 3 years to build the original entire bay bridge in the 1930s. Short answer- we’re much more lazy.

    • Posted by Jeanne

      It’s taking that long for several reasons, one of which is that the redevelopment will happen in phases: new buildings into which current residents (and new residents) of next phase will move. Then, those now vacated units will be demolished, new buildings constructed, and next group of current residents (and new residents) move to those new units. Second group of vacated units demolished and next new buildings for current residents (and new residents), and so on…until all phases are complete.

  5. Posted by Bob

    I wish this was more like Peter Cooper Village, get some real density there.

  6. Posted by Turin

    Do we know when Muni will be rerouted? Last I recall, there were a couple of options for that. Has one been selected?

    Doomed – what is the improved BART access you mentioned?

    • Posted by Mark

      I don’t think a final design has been selected, but getting it financed is another story. One of the plans is to connect the M to the Daly City BART station, having a surface stop in the Park Merced complex. Designs include undergrounding the line between Ocean/Eucalyptus and SFSU, in either a tunnel for both IB/OB traffic or a surface/underground separation of IB/OB traffic.

      Ideally, a double tunnel should be built carrying the M line and a new BART line up 19th Ave over to Geary.

      • Posted by Dave

        I think extending the M line to DC BART is a no-brainer. And relatively “easily” done (easy in SF is never really easy).

        The BART line up19thand on Geary is decades away. The PM project will likely be built out before we see BART on 19th.t

      • Posted by Conifer

        The only BART that will ever be on 19th Avenue is Bart Simpson when he is born a real person.

        • Posted by Dave

          You take my point.

          Frankly it makes more sense extending BART south from Millbrae as opposed to a Geary line or a 19th Ave line. Far, far more bang for the buck.

          I don’t think Geary will happen.

          • Posted by zig

            This is actually totally incorrect and would just repeat the mistakes of the past. BART technology is best suited to be a subway system. Caltrain already serves the Peninsula (where I live) and would do that job better than BART at 1/10 the price by simply electrifying it, making it grade separated and bringing it to the transbay terminal. BART is also really slow compared to Caltrain. BART from say San Mateo to downtown would likely take an hour while an electrified Caltrain to Transbay could make that trip in maybe 20-25 minutes. It is a no brainer really and how the rest of the world does it

            A BART line on Geary could support likely 50K+ trips a day TODAY without a single parking space and think about what could be possible with real upzoning and a line that connected to the Sunset. I think it could be built if somehow had the vision to capture the value of the upzoning possible

          • Posted by Mark

            Zig is correct. The Geary bus has one of the highest riderships of any bus line on the entire west coast. There is need and there is demand.

            We all know what a success BART is on the peninsula. How many billions went into the Millbrae intermodal station? Although BART’s original system design had it running down to Palo Alto, it will never go any farther south than its current terminus. First, Caltrain redundancy. Second, cost. Third, BART is slowly realizing that it needs to focus on the urban cores of the Bay Area.

            The lack of communication and coordination among Bay Area transit agencies ends up costing riders time and money. If the M line is built as a subway on its stretch of 19th Ave without consideration of a future BART tunnel under 19th Ave (yes, BART is considering 19th Ave as a potential transit corridor) then it pretty much becomes the poster child for poor transit planning.

            Just sayin’.

          • Posted by Zig

            My wife takes BART from Milbrae and it is a slow slog. The day Caltrain goes to the transbay terminal BART will lose half the ridership on the San Mateo extension of not more

          • Posted by Mark

            @zig: I’ve made the transfer at Millbrae numerous times. There are no NB timed transfers. Often, riders run through the BART gates only to have the doors close on them. Also, once the extension is built, why would Caltrain riders want to pay a double fare AND spend more time on a train to get to downtown SF?

            Big problem with integration of systems is that BART is not standard gauge rail. This is one reason why it can’t run down the length of the peninsula to SJ as a replacement to Caltrain. Another reason is that HSR will use the Caltrain tracks which are not compatible with BART. If it’s not one thing it’s another.

          • Posted by mike

            Not sure what ‘bang’ you’re referring too, other than maybe nice lines on a map… or miles of track in the ground.

            You can see a big chunk of red in this map which follows the Geary corridor out from downtown. The 19th st corridor is not so strong, but certainly stronger than the peninsula.

            If high ridership is a desired goal – build through the red. That’s a zeroth order approximation for transit line planning that I would argue covers >50% of the whole picture.

          • Posted by Cogate

            A southern route from Millbrae will never happen. They have Caltrain already and the peninsula residents would never go for tearing up their neighborhood.

  7. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Underground garages across the WHOLE site, meaning more cars, no connectivity for 20 years across Brotherhood Way, Allemany Fly-Over and I-280

    and they call this a “green” project…. nice…

  8. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    The tunnel ing is super expensive, better to go with an air platform… get it separated from traffic and quickly out to the major connection links…. and a revised Daly City Bart Station…

    that’s what was needed, what was approved is a joke in terms of transit effectiveness, and planning…

    • Posted by zig

      Don’t know what was approved but why not a culvert under 19th Ave? Or your suggestion or a combo but I can’t see why a full subway tunnel is needed at all but crossing over 19th an then crossing back is the issue

  9. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Don’t forget 800 Brotherhood approved without any transit study of impacts, SFSU-CSU increase of students, no impacts, no joint fees on transit seriously assessed, while they cut shuttle services and propose to demolish the SFSU-CSU garage. Than tack in stonestown,

    Where’s the transit planning, in the pocket of developers…. our city sold our transit future down the river….

    • Posted by Dave

      Stonestown is a good point. At one time they were planning to add another major department store and a score of new stores over the west parking lot (behind Macy’s).

      Don’t know if that has been given up on or is just on hold.

      There were also plans for an apartment or condo project where the theatre is now – again behind Macy’s and across the street.

  10. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Planning Commissioners noted prior the need to have their project brought forward. But the owner has not shown any “cards” to date on any proposals…. Most people want density and the empty parking lots at stonestown beckon for change.

    Best solution was a transit stop and hub Air Platform across from Mercy HS by reconnecting the L Taraval back up sloat to Stern Grove going underground along 20th (not 19th to lessen traffic construction impacts) and bring it back up through the YMCA Annex and Pet-co sites, along a small access 19th ave road… Could easily be a new urban plaza and density across from Macy’s and the fitness center…. (THINK CONCEPTUAL!!!)

    • Posted by Joel

      The proposal is being shown to the PC this week – check the commission agenda for Thursday. It even includes some nice renderings the editor didn’t include in this article.

    • Posted by Dave

      Are you talking the parking lots north of Stonestown? I’ve never heard any proposal to develop them – only that at one the Stonestown owners wanted to extend the Mall over the south parking lots. Stonestown has a fair number of empty strore fronts so I don’t know if expanding the mall makes economic sense.

  11. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    the renderings are of high-end pads built adjacent to student dormitories….

    remember you cannot drink, smoke or have pets on SFSU_CSU owned property, but in the rest of Parkmerced you can do all three. Therefore there was a mass exodus from student housing yearly to parkmerced units, to take advantage of the lack of enforcement by CSU / City agencies. This caused displacement of existing families. and in the long-run promoted the developers and SFSU-CSU collaboration to flip units and eliminate family housing in the area….

    No new families stay long, like the Avalon on Ocean Ave, when the year is up the rent goes UP UP UP… and the displacement and empty units begin…..(Air BNB, VRBO, executive rentals etc….)

  12. Posted by GoBlueInSF

    Build transit before you build more housing is the new mantra for the old 2:1 parking ratio crowd. Same NIMBY, different flavor.

  13. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Wrong GoBlueInSF, we designed MORE density in the alternatives, by replacing the existing un-retrofitted towers with new 25-30 story buildings, than infilling the parking garages across the site, with townhomes, 2-3 and 3-4 stories 1-2-3 bedroom designs, and promoted preservation through the Mills Act of the existing landscape and townhomes. We also submitted quicker links for transit connections by extending the L-Taraval back up sloat to Stern Grove, densifying at Lakeshore Mall, and Stonestown, and all the air-rights out to Daly City BART from junippero serra 19th “x” near Randolph towards the Daly City Bart… Plenty of added financial bonus money for new entry to SF… FAR from a NIMBY attitude….. in my opinion… and respectfull of the existing community per the SF General Plan… and housing element…

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles