1198 Valencia Site 2015

In the works since 2012 and with the site’s environmental cleanup now complete, a permit to remove the remnants of the shuttered Chevron gas station on the northwest corner of 23rd and Valencia has been requested, an exception from having to complete a detailed environmental review has been granted, and the application to construct a five-story building with 52 condos over 5,300 square feet of ground floor retail and an underground garage on the Mission District site has been filed with Planning.

1198 Valencia Rendering

As proposed by JS Sullivan Development, the proposed development at 1198 Valencia units will include a mix of 31 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom units, with parking for 39 cars and 52 bikes below.  The entrance to the garage would be via a curb cut along 23rd Street.

If approved, the development will take around 18 months to complete, not accounting for a moratorium.

50 thoughts on “Mission District Development Moving Forward”
  1. Certainly glad to see the improvement, but I think I’m going to join the architectural critics’ peanut gallery on this one. That is one very pedestrian design job IM(unschooled)O.

  2. Yes, more mediocrity. This is why SF can’t become a world class city (one reason). Nothing special and or unique being built or developed here.

    Forget world class, SF can’t keep up with what Vancouver and Seattle and even (ouch) LA are doing in terms of architecture.

    1. Oh, give up your one-note tune, already! I love (I mean love) Vancouver. I love the dense scale of development and the fact that they aren’t afraid to build up. But architecturally, most those thickets of high rises might be just so many stacks of Pringles.

      1. Until the earthquake strikes and their complete lack of planning will make life untenable, the same thing that happened in SF and moved the population center south.

          1. That’s the joker in the real estate card game in SF. An earthquake will turn all of your investments to sh!t. Overnight. Even if you can afford the stratospheric earthquake coverage deductible, and the loss of rental income while you rebuild, your whole neighborhood will be a disaster zone – if not the whole city, after you rebuild.

      1. It’s certainly a significant factor in measuring a city’s merit. What is uncertain is just what “World class” means. Especially in the mind of Pocatello Dave.

        1. All cities have basic building block architecture. Even Paris. If one had access to cheap virgin redwood and stone quarries and could pay good craftsmen penury wages, then we could get classically detaled architecture. And, not everyone even wants to live in or see dominance of the Kool Kids Swoop and Whoop-de-Doop architecture being geenerated by drafting software obsessed architectural school religious cults on every block, either.

    2. Have you SEEN what Seattle is doing in person?

      I have.

      It is just as pedestrian and bland in its own way. In many cases, the urban design is less urbane.

      1. besides, since everyone is abandoning SF for Oakland, why do we need to build anything? dave is not one note, folks. he also harps on the utter devastation of the SF economy.

        1. Totally agree. Seattle architecture and urban planning has been a disaster since about 1993, and hasn’t changed much since then, either. Should we aspire to do better? Sure. But let’s at least choose a better model than that.

      2. In fairness to Seattle SF has a huge head-start. From what I have seen they seem to be trying harder than we are to create a city for the next generation. LA seems to be working harder on having an effective mass transit system as well. SF likes to admire itself and the past too much.

        This comment is not related to design styling which I think is too subjective but more simply urban planning

        1. About a month or so ago, someone posted a link here to a lengthy story about how Seattle is currently roiled in conflict and controversy over issues surrounding co-living housing throughout the neighborhoods which was a real eye-opener. Just demonstrated once more that you don’t really know a place until you’ve actually been a part of it.

        2. Reasonable points.

          It is easy to focus on a few neighborhoods (Denny Regrade, Capital Hill) and forget that much of Seattle looks like the grimmer parts of Hayward. I hope they can change and improve, because they are experiencing houisng cost inflation, too.

          The suburbs, though are worse. Utterly higgly-piggly. It is fashionable to ding “Dublin” or Vacaville, but look at the equivalents in the Seattle area. Of course, lots of greenery and trees hides multiple sins.

          1. I dunno, downtown Kirkland is quite nice. And downtown Bellevue is becoming legitimately urban, with dozens of highrises interspersed with 6-8 story midrises. Where is the equivalent of that in the Bay Area?

            I agree that anything north or south of Seattle is dreck though.

    3. I love Vancouver but find the Vancouver skyline about as one-note as it gets. I don’t know the neighborhood there as well as SF or Seattle, but absolutely don’t give them any points for originality in high-rise design.

      1. Outside the areas you would be familiar with as a tourist, Vancouver is about as mundane a town as you can imagine.

        I figure about 75% of SF is worth a look. Flip that for Vancouver.

    1. A bunch of parking? really? 52 units, 73 bedrooms, 39 parking spaces. Just wishing cars to go away doesn’t mean they will.

      1. It’s a vacant lot now, no cars to wish away. We can determine how many cars will be here in the future though…

    2. It’ll be fine because it’s not on Liberty St. Only certain residents of Liberty are blocking the old KFC redevelopment.

  3. I call it offensively inoffensive. Dull enough that the neighbors won’t fight the looks when protesting it.

  4. Developer has got an inside bulk window deal…..

    Lack of comprehension on materials and detailing, when in doubt plant vines and attach espalier, should conceal the building nicely in 10 years….

  5. I think the single most impressive feat of approval would be undergrounding the electrical / telephone / cable wires envisioned in the final plans. I’ve got PG&E’s number if you want to start now…good luck with that! I figure it’s only a few more years before overhead wires in Noe / Mission are granted historical status (perhaps even personhood) and protected forever.

  6. I think the design is decent. At least it is symmetrical in most lines. I advocate for symmetry in bland buildings

    1. Though I initiated all this negativity with my first comment on the design, upon closer and more considered review, it ain’t actually that bad in my (again, very unschooled) opinion. In fact, if anything, it’s a bit too “busy” rather than bland.

      However, it appears to me that the elements between the bays are actual several nearly floor to ceiling windows. Of course, design should primarily meet the wants and needs of the occupants. If I’m right in trying to discern this admittedly rather rough rendering, the residents should find this to be a very light-filled and airy home.

  7. In all seriousness…does the planning commission or dbi even have the reach to reject an application on the merits of design or aesthetics? There is the constant rhetoric about how San Francisco is falling short of other cities, but it seems to me that it isn’t even the purview of the City, but rather of the architects. I would presume that architects are bound by a number of factors, the two biggest i presume to be budget and constructability, and please anyone correct me if i am wrong.

    As with almost any field ,innovation generally requires a huge capital investment and right now it seems that in this housing frenzy, innovation would severely impact return on investment by extending build schedules with sourcing issues and construction methods. All of this i ultimately presume which is why there seems to be a standard form to new construction with minimal tweaks here an there as offset. Is there even a market where innovation and new aesthetics has taken precedent over the need to rapidly bring housing to the market, not only for demand but also for market capitalization? Beyond that if “San Francisco” is supposed to take the lead in its architecture would you really want to put that into the hands of planning? arts commission? all which would certainly have developers in arms to further slow down the process of development with the potential of endless design iterations and public comment.

    1. Yes, planning loves nothing more than to dip their fingers in the batter, whether they have the authority or not. Most developers just want to deliver units, and the market simply doesn’t demand good work. I can assure you that in every office worth a grain of salt, architects are eager to do better, but there are few arguments for narrowing margins and battling the city.

  8. There are so many fees imposed on development in san Francisco its impossible to build interesting buildings. Interesting costs money. After all the special interests have taken their cut, all you can afford to build is a box with windows.

    1. Yet is design in most other American cities any better? It seems that without the density, rules, and costs, housing just balloons in size, not in design quality. I can tell you the housing stock in my old midwestern hometown is NOT breaking any architectural rules or providing any quality. I would rather see the (regionally rooted) bay window blandness than horrific pseudo-Tudor stuff with fake brick like you see in much of the country.

    2. I don’t think this is quite right.

      I figure that, a hundred years ago when much of San Francisco was being built, there were few restrictions on what you could build, or where, or how much. So there was a lot of competition, supply would (in the medium term) keep pace with demand, and the builders and designers actually had to work to attract people to their product.

      Nowadays, the only important thing is having permission to build. Once you have that, it doesn’t matter how attractive or unattractive the result is, and buyers are guaranteed because of the perpetual shortage. The city tries to make good design a condition of getting permission, but that doesn’t really work when all the incentives point in the opposite direction.

  9. This building is totally out of scale for the Valencia/23rd Sts. area. And even at this size it does not provide parking for all units. Can it be seriously considered?

    1. I totally agree . It should be 2x as tall for this area that has the best public transit in the city, and lots of services nearby. 100 units would be much much better. ANd i think parking is enough here, even if you went up to 100 units. again, best public transit in the city

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