1805 Buchanan Street Site

The underdeveloped 3,160-square-foot lot at 1805 Buchanan Street was originally part of the adjacent Hotel Tomo’s property but was subdivided in 2013 to create a legal air space parcel above the hotel’s underground garage which extends beneath the lot.

And as proposed, a modern four-story building with six new condos, ranging in size from 1,122 to 1,365 square feet, will now rise upon the air space parcel with a five-space garage sandwiched between the new condos above and the existing garage below.

1805 Buchanan Street Rendering

From the project team with respect to the proposed design for the building by Butler Armsden Architects:

The materiality of the building would include board-formed concrete, a curtain wall, blackened metal bay windows and stained wood slats. The curtain wall would be treated as a contemporary shoji pattern that is accentuated with bay windows and wood slats providing varying degrees of privacy.

Projected windows and a cantilevered concrete beam over the entry would reflect ‘structural’ expressions of traditional Japanese architecture. The roof garden would create a miniature idealized landscape, and would also be designed to complement and enhance the character and aesthetic of the neighborhood context.

1805 Buchanan Street Roof Deck

And with the Planning Department’s blessing, the proposed 1805 Buchanan Street project is slated to be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission on Thursday.

One metered parking space would be removed to make way for the development.

21 thoughts on “Infilling Japantown”
  1. What’s preventing this from being built to the same height as 1800 Sutter? Financing? parking minimums? Height/density limits?

    1. The parcel is zoned for 40-feet in height, the height of the proposed project. The density limits would actually allow for eight units versus the six as proposed.

      1. Ah ok. It seems more reasonable to build to the height of the neighboring building, but it’s unfortunate that’s not how the zoning of the lot works out.

        1. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to find out that the hotel was allowed to be taller in part because of this “open space” between it and its neighbors, space which will no longer be open.

    1. Adding two stories would increase the unit count from six to ten, but would require three of those units (versus none as proposed) to be subsidized/affordable while increasing the overall cost of construction.

      In other words, the additional height likely wouldn’t pencil for the development team.

      1. what the comment means is that there is just a parking entrance and blank wall on the first level (rather than having residential or retail space). Given the street context not a huge deal IMHO, at least it seems the material is being given some aesthetic consideration. At least the rendering looks great.

    1. imo, the streetscape is actually improved compared to an empty lot with a low fence. If the garage façade is well detailed and their material is well chosen, it could very well enhance the pedestrian experience. Project looks much more promising than most.

      1. The block is mostly walls and driveways, though there are a couple storefronts across the street. Even the mall itself isn’t exactly “pedestrian friendly” on its side that faces Sutter.

  2. This is nice. Different though modern. It draws your attention. No flat roofline and, thankfully, no faux Bay windows.

  3. One of those rare but welcome occasions when a new building is size-appropriate and will enhance the area rather than loom over it.

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