CFAH

1450 Howard Street Site

In the works since 2006, plans to raze the single-story appliance parts store at 1450 Howard Street, across the street from the Saint Joseph’s Church which is undergoing a high-tech conversion, are under review by the city.

And as proposed, a six-story building with 16 residential units over 1,300 square feet of retail space and parking for 16 bikes will rise up to 55 feet in height across the Western SoMa site.

1450 Howard Street Massing

In order to take advantage of less restrictive Planning Code rules with respect to the required dwelling unit mix, rear yard and mandated open space for a new development, the development team is positioning the project as an “SRO” (single-room occupancy) building.

But as designed, four (4) of the sixteen (16) units are larger than 350 square feet in size, which is the maximum allowed per the Planning Code for an SRO unit. And as such, the plans for the 1450 Howard Street project will need to be tweaked or a host of variances will need to be secured in order for the project to proceed.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by JP

    Why would the city allow for more SROs here? It’s not what we need. Either they are low-end which time has proven end up being a disaster, OR they are high-end. And nobody past their 20’s wants to live in 250 sq ft and if high end, that age group can’t afford them. And as much as SF would like to pretend that you don’t need cars, it’s ludicrous that there is no parking. This owner is trying to get away with so much on both the front end and back end of their properties. Greedy move to unload their properties. How does one get groceries on a bike? And nobody over 60 will ride a bike. This is SF at it’s worse.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Judging from the current affordability crisis, SF needs any housing priced below the luxury level. All your rhetorical questions about people in their 20s, over 60, riding bikes, etc. show a total lack of awareness that plenty of people do want small, affordable spaces—and many of these people don’t own cars. Get over it! 😉

    • Posted by boojum

      Great leaps of derring-do ignorance. Not to be disrespectful, but “No one over 60 will ride a bike”? Wow! You don’t seem to know much about many/most 60+-year-olds, at least the ones I know. And “nobody past their 20’s wants to live in 250 sq ft”? I live in an enchanted apartment with three sides (lots of windows, light, views) overlooking Alamo Square, but if 250 square feet on Howard Street was my only option for staying in my marvelous city, I’d grab it! And I’m over 20. In fact, I’m over 60. There is a cure for acute solipsism: Open your eyes.

    • Posted by trat1955

      Yikes, I am over 60 and ride my bike to work everyday. I have for years.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Grocery shopping on a bike is no problem even if you’ve got an ordinary bike. Just add a rack and grocery basket panniers. If you want to haul larger loads look into a bakfiet.

      If you don’t have a bike and can walk to the supermarket, consider a granny cart. Worked for my grandma for years.

    • Posted by ayhsmb

      Compact efficiency housing is precisely what this city needs.

  2. Posted by ohmy

    Hey how about spreading the SRO wealth…it seems that regardless of if they are good or not so good they seem to end up in western soma or the loin. How about along Geary street in the Richmond on the corners? How about along N.Beach? How about the Marina along major transit?

  3. Posted by Sierrajeff

    This plus the new Flower Mart article so strongly illustrate all that’s wrong with planning in this city. “Mandated open space” for a narrow lot in a fully urban neighborhood? Required “rear yard”?

    FFS, if it’s within the height requirements and the developer wants to build 4 super high-end units, or 16 SROs, with some (OMG!) more than 350 square feet, or anything in between – then the developer should be able to do that. It’s laughably ridiculous (and tear-inducing frustrating) to think of this *single-story* building sitting there while the Planning Dept. tries to stick its thumb all over every aspect of every project.

    • Posted by HousingWonk

      Pretty much. And all this nonsense and delay over a measly 16 units. In a better world, developer shouldn’t even need planning approval for something that small.

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