899 Howard Street

As proposed by Hudson Pacific Properties and slated to be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, the three-story Burlington Coat Factory structure at 899 Howard Street, on the southeast corner of Howard and Fifth Street, will be re-skinned and its second and third floors will be converted from retail to office use.

899 Howard Street Reskined

In addition, a new 4,500-square-foot penthouse, with a conference room, kitchen, fitness center and outdoor terrace, would be constructed atop the building.

899 Howard Street Penthouse

The conversion of 899 Howard would yield 51,000 square feet of new office space. And as part of the project, 19,600 square feet of institutional space on the ground floor of the adjacent structure at 875 Howard Street, which is actually part of the same building, would be converted to office space as well.

In total, the 875-899 Howard Street project would add 71,000 square feet to San Francisco’s inventory of office space, or nearly 14 percent of the amount currently available for allocation to large projects over 50,000 square feet in size under proposition M which limits the creation of office space in the city.

26 thoughts on “From a Coat Factory to Tech Space as Proposed”
  1. SoMa is getting quite the tech hub. Don’t be shocked if a huge tech company takes over most (if not all) space in a very tall new SoMa building in the near future. #nobodywantstoworkinsv

    1. Salesforce has already leased the Transbay terminal building for a very long time, and Apple moved into South Beach with an Outpost – are you hinting at something larger?

      1. I don’t know that anyone knows anything in particular, but Facebook employees are still trying to get their employer to open an office in SF.

    2. “nobody?” Plenty of those tech folks have children, and do not want to send kids to SF schools, and per square foot, housing is cheaper in nearly all places in SV compared to SF. Plus you get schools.

      1. You’re right. It’s mostly the recent college grads who have zero interest in living in SV. BTW, I like the way van nessident thinks…

    1. I assume they are not building from scratch and larger as they’d be at the end of the line for the Prop M cap. As in it’d be 7, 8 years before such a project could go forward – based on the cap. They are “sneaking” through in trying to get 14% of the existing 750K cap. In so doing being able to start the project now not 10 years from now.

      This raises the question of how many of the large proposed projects will ever see the light of day. In the area of SOMA near Townsend there are proposals for 2.5 million plus square feet of office space. There is 5M also. The Giants million feet. Lennar’s HP with 3 million. Unless some of these are exempt, it will take a decade almost for them to all get the go-ahead and start building. Not to mention no other projects will fit in during that time. Unless the skids are greased for a particular developer at the expense of one of these pipeline projects.

    2. That would make sense. I’d suggest more height on this site. The Intercontinental is across the street and the 5M development is on that block as well. 5M projects is calling for multiple towers over 350ft.

      1. The site is zoned for 130 feet. Unless, the city is planning to rezone the whole area, it is unlikely the height would be increased (“spot zoning” is illegal). Also, why would a developer plan a big building when there is not enough large office space allocation. No developer wants to wait 10-15 years to get a project underway.

        It makes much more economic sense to use the existing building and go for a smaller office conversion that can squeeze through under the current Prop. M office space allocation.

  2. That corner is a mess for pedestrians. So many drivers doing crazy scary things to get a few car lengths ahead of the neighboring car.

    1. Not to mention the chaos from Bucca di Beppo’s double-parking tourists. Also down that way is not my favorite cannabis dispensary to walk past, either.

  3. They also must know something Muni does not since their wires go from mysteriously floating in mid-air to non-existent in the renderings.

    1. They’re not “floating in mid-air”: if you follow the guy wires you’ll see the anchor bolts on the building(s); whether/not those will be retained I don’t know, but imagine Muni has the final say.

  4. Current height limit is 130 feet. Is this parcel in line for upzoning related to the central subway?

    1. The Central SoMa Plan leaves this parcel at 130 feet. This block is a transition between the taller blocks north and east and shorter blocks west and south (mostly zoned 85 feet).

    1. You have to have the money and the permitting to tear it down and replace it with something taller. You also need the zoning (the site is only zoned for 130 feet). As several others have mentioned, the city will be short on “large” office space allocations for several years due to the Prop. M office cap.

      Unless a developer wants to sit on planned project for the next 10-15 years, and thinks they can still get the financing in place in the future, and believes they can get the site rezoned for a significantly taller height (and remember “spot zoning” is illegal), there would be no point to tearing down a perfectly good building that can be re-purposed quickly for a smaller amount of office space. The amount of office conversion is small enough that the developer can probably squeeze through with the current Prop. M. office space allocation.

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