1522 Bush Street

Purchased by MXB Battery LP, which shares the same Pacific Heights address as Michael and Xochi Birch, the founders of The Battery, for $4.2 million in 2014 and transferred to the MXB Family LP last year, plans to convert the former Bee Automotive garage at 1522 Bush Street into a high-end residence have been quietly working their way through Planning.

As originally envisioned, the upper half of the 13,500-square-foot structure would have been converted into a single-family home, with a roof deck above and a private office, storage space and parking below.

After meeting with Planning, Jensen Architects subsequently drafted plans for three intertwined units to be constructed within the building’s envelope, with a 900-square-foot roof deck above, two bedrooms on the mezzanine, an artist’s workshop/studio (and more residential rooms) below, and an open 1,400-square-foot courtyard on the second floor with a landscaped path leading up to the roof deck.

1522 Bush Street Plan

1522 Bush Street Second Floor Plan

But while a variance and buildings permits for the estimated $3.25 million redevelopment were sought and approved, it appears as though MXB is now abandoning the project as 1522 Bush Street has just returned to the market with a $6 million price tag and no mention of the drawings nor plans.

Keep in mind that the existing building, which was built on spec and flipped by a developer back in 1916, has been deemed a potential historic resource (both individually and as a contributor to San Francisco’s Historic Auto District) but also sits on a Van Ness Corridor parcel that is zoned for development up to 130 feet in height.

7 thoughts on “The Battery Founders Abandoning Residential Project”
  1. Weren’t the air rights to this property and the one next door sold back in the early 1980s, so they can’t build up to 130 feet?

    1. San Francisco Towers to the north bought it in the open market, and then resold it with a 45 or 50 ft height restriction.

  2. New construction market is dropping. Lot of approved project will be on market in late this year and January 2017.

    1. That makes sense. I have gotten two cold calls from contractors and real estate agents trying to drum up home improvement projects, or unloading a multi-unit rental property for sale.

  3. Anyone else think that the commencing Van Ness BRT project added a point to the “Let’s hold off for now” calculation here?

    That idea is of course colored through my lens, but we’ve lived in the NE neighborhoods for 15 years and will soon move to a recently-purchased home in Marin. Van Ness BRT and what I believe will be the permanent (ie: beyond the 3-yr construction window) debacle it creates, are another reason we’re gotten over raising a family in SF… (so many of those reasons come down to municipal management, but I digress.)

    Of course, with an occasional Marin-commute necessitated, Van Ness will still be part of our lives, but at least not up close…

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