88 Arkansas Site

Martin Building is pushing forward with plans for a Lower Potrero Hill development to rise up to five-stories at 17th and Arkansas Streets, across from Jackson Park.

As designed by BAR Architects, the proposed 88 Arkansas project includes 127 apartments – a mix of 25 studios averaging 435 square feet, 50 one-bedrooms averaging 600 square feet, and 52 two-bedrooms averaging 866 square feet – over a basement garage for 98 cars and 107 bikes and 3,300 square feet of double-height restaurant space fronting 17th Street.

88 Arkansas: 17th Street Facade

The building’s entrances and five townhomes would line the street along Arkansas.

88 Arkansas: Arkansas Street Facade

And while the application for the development is still under review by the City’s Planning Department, a review which was expedited as Martin has proposed to include 20 percent below market rate units and build a LEED Platinum product, the paperwork to secure the necessary building permits for the project has now been filed as well.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    I wish planning was more insistent on having architects work to break up the massing of these sorts of projects. I’m sure the renderings above is still fairly rough, but I hope materials and final adjustments to design address the lack of refinement seen here.

    Also… glass balconies. Ughhh

    • Posted by Swiftwamine

      Glass balconies… perfect for storing people’s stuff in public view.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      this building is too squat. It would look much better with 2-3 more floors.

  2. Posted by anon2

    I’ve heard some of the protests from neighbors who say this place, which is practically within a stone’s throw of the downtown of one of the most desirable and densely-populated cities on the continent, is not an appropriate location to build large structures such as apartment buildings.

    San Francisco has so many residents who are so vehemently opposed to the essential elements of an urban lifestyle, such as proximity to large buildings or large numbers of people, that I must wonder why they have chosen to live in an unquestionably urban area.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The stated concerns are increased traffic around the park and increased demand (and competition) for on-street parking spaces.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        having almost 1:1 parking should help with those concerns

    • Posted by Frank C.

      They got theirs, and now it’s time to pull up the drawbridge. Very simple. It is not at all rational, it’s purely selfish – Nothing. Can. Change. From. What. They. Bought. Into. Too bad if you didn’t make it in time.

      • Posted by Tony

        San Francisco where the idea of sharing is for libertarian capitalists, and the idea of walling everything off because “we got mine” is compassionate liberalism. Check your privilege SF NIMBYs…

    • Posted by Patrick

      Because their idea of “urban area” consists of SFRs with backyards. Not everyone wants to live in a glass and steel highrise.

      • Posted by Brian M

        This is NOT a high rise in any sense of that term.
        This is a central city of a major metropolitan area. If you “need” a star thistle-filled back yard, Tracy awaits.

  3. Posted by Rose Marie Sicoli-Ostler

    Maybe if you lived on Potrero Hill for 69 years you would understand why older residents feel all these buildings with many stories is ruining the character of the Hill. It’s not I’ve got mine now you can’t get yours. We just want to keep some of the wonderful character of the Hill.

    • Posted by anon2

      I grew up in that neighborhood. As a child, I played at the playground across the street from this planned new building. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of change, from goats to lofts.
      I still think the claim of “ruining the character” is frivolous and selfish.

      The last 69 years have been a transformative period in history. It’s fine if you want to live in the past, but why should others be forced to stay there with you?

      • Posted by Patrick

        Why should you shove change down people’s throats if they don’t want it.

        • Posted by Formerly Native

          If you don’t, nothing will ever get done.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          because they down’t own the land or the neighborhood, and they dont own the stoppage of progress. suggest moving to the petrified forest. not much changing there

        • Posted by Brian M

          Why should your prejudices and biases allow you to shove down restrictions on my property rights?

    • Posted by Orland

      Frankly, why should you care (that much longer)?

    • Posted by Evan

      Hey Rose, you’re forgetting those of us who lived on the Hill, lost our housing and then had to to move because there is so little housing available. Glad you got yours, but your fight for “character” excludes real people like me.

      • Posted by Jackson

        Evan, losing your place to live in Potrero Hill is certainly stressful and traumatic.

        Unfortunately, that’s not how capitalism works.

        When I asked for an increase in salary due to the high cost of living and representing my company in San Francisco, I was informed there are positions in open positions in Iowa. I declined.

        Perhaps you should look at less expensive rentals in cities around the Bay, be happy, and not try to fight the juggernaut?

        • Posted by anona

          Capitalism should also work to build additional housing when demand is high. I’m pretty sure that’s what Evan was talking about – Rose is attempting to thwart capitalism by disallowing natural development.

    • Posted by Brian M

      This is an industrial wasteland of one story concrete blocks. What a joke.

  4. Posted by Anon94123

    It is interesting to me that most neighborhoods south of California Street are being asked to “Build Higher!” while those of us on the north side of the city are pretty much living in neighborhoods that are unchanged and still have a density and urban context most people think of when they think San Francisco. I am for all these new buildings, and this one looks very attractive, but I understand why some may be troubled by neighborhoods changing rapidly. Why must the southern neighborhoods get all the development, why not a project like this on Lombard Street or even Chestnut?

    • Posted by NorthBeach

      Some reasons right away:
      Many new well-healed residents of the city want to commute down the peninsula.
      Large lots previously used for industry / business are available.
      Southern parts of the city have long been cheaper than the north.

      That said, I’m not at all opposed to more (higher) construction in the northern parts of the city. Just saying, I understand why it rarely happens.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Also the north neighborhoods are still stinging from the Fontana Towers.

    • Posted by Jake

      Agree with NorthBeach’s reasons plus zoning heights are only 40 feet in Marina. Marina and Lombard in particular has some multi-story condo projects underway or proposed, but they are on smaller lots than this:

      convert Bay St gas station
      convert Lombard retail
      convert Lombard restaurant

      Those large motel parcels along Lombard would be much more valuable and likely to convert to housing if we increased the max building heights to 65 or 85 feet.

  5. Posted by citizensagainstuglyboxes

    I also think this should get plopped down in the Marina. If we are such a progressive city why is our current architecture so, so bad? There’s nothing appealing about another block like this. It looks terrible and just like every other ugly box being dropped into the area. Boooo. Build us something beautiful that you won’t be ashamed of in fifteen years.

  6. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    Speaking of preserving the character of the neighborhood, I hope this development won’t interfere with the sleep-in trash heaps always parked on this block, or the good citizens enjoying their crack on the Jackson Park playground.

    • Posted by Orland

      Aren’t you for urbanism?

    • Posted by ph_goat

      You’re comment suggests you’ve never been on this block.

      • Posted by Fishchum

        Agreed. My office used to be on the other side of Jackson Playground and it’s a great area.

        • Posted by Brian M

          But nonetheless an area that includes some of the elements gentrified mentions. The Fun Bunch are always sitting along the Jackson Square frontage.

          • Posted by Mariachi

            Unless by “Fun Bunch” you mean one or two RVs, that’s not true. I’m around that park on a daily basis. Even the public bathroom is clean.

      • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

        As a matter of fact, I’ve lived 3 blocks away for the last 7 years. And I see on a regular basis what goes on there between midnight and 6am. Some of it’s surprising, actually, like the fact that the guys sleeping in those RVs have the means to be visited by prostitutes. I guess we all prioritize how we spend our money.

        I’ll grant you that it’s gotten better over the last few years – as the character of the neighborhood has been gradually destroyed, to put it in NIMBY terms I know you’ll agree with.

  7. Posted by tdesign

    i think the mix of units is good but the design does NOT say residential – it says office. Seriously if someone showed me this rendering i would think this as commercial space. Don’t use glass for the balconies and redo entire design so that it accommodates people that live there.

  8. Posted by ph_goat

    A bland, soulless office box for people to live in. Forgive us if we’re underwhelmed at the prospect of this addition to our neighborhood. I don’t really have an issue with the size or scale, but can someone enlighten me as to how this building is contextual to it’s surroundings?

    • Posted by Brian M

      I agree. We need a one story windowless concrete box covered with graffiti to better match the wonderous character of the street!

      • Posted by ph_goat

        Insightful comment. Again, I have no issue with the proposed size and scale. You’ve failed to shed any light on how this glass box fits with the surrounding neighborhood character. I can see how this proposed box would fit in well in downtown Walnut Creek. Go ahead and walk all the way around Jackson Park and report back on all the graffiti covered buildings you find.

        • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

          It’s my neighborhood too and I like the design. There is no distinct “style” or character to this part of Pot Hill that is worth preserving. Unless you’re really fond of run-down industrial blight like all the NIMBYs opposing 1601 Mariposa.

          • Posted by ph_goat

            Well neighbor, I’d offer that “Industrial” is a style. I can see how 1601 Mariposa perhaps takes some window cues from surrounding buildings. But I’m not an architect, which is why I was asking for contextual insight from those with more knowledge. I’d argue there is very little “blight” these days, save for the warehouse(s) near Bottom of the Hill and that an industrial style IS worth referencing, not necessarily preserving.

          • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

            OK, so keep most of the glass but add some concrete beams and you have a tacky “industrial” new-construction loft development a la SoMa circa 1997. Happy now? Or do we need smokestacks and loading docks to make it faux-thentic?

          • Posted by ph_goat

            I don’t think insightful means what you think it means.

  9. Posted by phil

    The neighborhood has certainly gentrified over the last few years, but that’s without any of the large developments in place yet. At the moment there is plenty of the character left around Jackson Park, with an interesting mix of 1-3 unit residential buildings and small businesses. It’s ridiculous to credit future development for the neighborhood getting safer or “better”.

    • Posted by anona

      Yes, ridiculous. We should credit the crappy rundown buildings going away with the neighborhood getting safer and better.

      • Posted by phil

        Nope, just proximity to the freeway, good weather, and rising property values.

  10. Posted by Ohlone Californio

    Hopefully nobody complains about thee Parkside moving forward …

  11. Posted by Gene Pithy

    ^Just wait: “I’m not paying $3K a month to listen to…when I get home.”

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