1455 Irving Street Aerial

Listed for $1.795 million in March, the sale of the corner property at 1455 Irving and 16th Avenue, upon which the remnants of an historic neighborhood service station sit, has just closed escrow for $1.57 million.

1455 Irving Street Site

Back in 2011, it was determined that the station’s former garage, which sat behind the brick building, wasn’t a historic resource, at which point the garage was demolished.

1455 Irving Street Mohawk Station

And while the site is zoned for development up to 40 feet in height, and at least one team has met with Planning to discuss the feasibility of demolishing the brick structure in order to erect a multi-unit building, with a commercial space on the ground floor, the aforementioned historic determination didn’t extend to the brick structure.

From a Historic Preservation Planner’s email on April 29, which we reformatted for readability:

“I am writing to correct information that I gave during the project reviewing meeting for 1455 Irving Street on Tuesday April 26th. I misinterpreted information from the 2011 CEQA Exemption form and mistakenly stated that the brick gas station structure is not a historic resource. In fact, the 2011 review only evaluated the historical significance of the vehicle repair garage and not the brick structure.

Therefore, any proposal to demolish the existing structure would require submittal of an Environmental Evaluation Application and a Historic Resource Evaluation prepared by a qualified historic preservation professional to determine if the structure is historically significant. If the structure were found to be a historic resource, then the Department would evaluate effects of the proposal to the resource. The review typically takes up to 6 months.”

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in. But as of today, formal plans for the site have yet to emerge and an application for an Environmental Evaluation has yet to be filed.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Neighborhood Activist

    I always thought the tiny service station building was very cool. I’d be sad if it were demolished. But it’s clearly a very underutilized lot in a city that needs housing..

    Hard to imagine how the brick structure could be incorporated into a new, larger structure. And I’m sure it’s not earthquake safe, though there’s not much there to fall down.

  2. Posted by BobN

    Pick the thing up, move it to a park and make a concession stand out of it.

    • Posted by Hunter

      YES! Maybe in Civic Center plaza, where we badly need some activation / commercial activity.

      • Posted by BobN

        Is the hotdog stand still out there sometimes?

    • Posted by Orland

      Is it even feasible to move what is likely an unreinforced structure?

      • Posted by Torger Cobus

        If William Hearst could move an entire monastery from Spain, it could be done.

        • Posted by Skeeter

          How did moving that monastery from Spain turn out, anyway?

          • Posted by ohmy

            LOL in pieces now spread around in GG Park and the arboretum!

    • Posted by tyler

      why dont’ people do this? we have some evil developers here that refused to pick up and move an 8×15 ice cream shop that had cultural significance to the community. Greedy P.O.S.’s
      it’s smaller than a mobile home, it can’t possibly cost that much to move

  3. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Front Patio Garden Tool shed, and pottery sales shop….(maybe a FUF nursery) for the building that will wrap around the site…

    • Posted by Hunter

      I’ve fantasized about that, and maybe coffee and movie nights. Could be a great gathering spot, but probably not worth the 1.57 million…

  4. Posted by DM

    Unfuc*ing believable.

  5. Posted by Some Guy

    Puhh-lease.

  6. Posted by Notcom

    “You could buy a lot for $300—$300 for a sand lot with 25-foot frontage by 100 feet deep”

    My times HAVE changed. (Fun mention, too, in the linked article how the station was put OOB by its inability to upgrade its pumps to >$1/gallon….remember the “double the price” trick back in the early 80’s?)

    • Posted by Orland

      A preview to y2k?

      • Posted by Notcom

        No I believe the pumps at the time were mechanical; supposedly it was cheaper to (temporarily at least) convert to liters and there was all kinds of speculation it would ease us into the metric system…didn’t happen , of course (like a lot of other speculations people make).

        • Posted by Orland

          I was being facetious but it sounds as though this was a serious consideration you’re describing.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Indeed it was: the meter faces only went up to a dollar – 99.9 to be exact – so when prices finally went above 1.00 they had to set them to .50 and people would pay double what ever the total was (for some reason the pumps here, the article said, only went to .60, so people had to multiply by even more) . CA only tolerated this for so long, but it sounds like it’s still an issue elsewhere, incredibly enough.

  7. Posted by unlivable city

    Its what’s in the soil beneath it that will be the cost and hassle of developing that lot…

    • Posted by redseca2

      I couldn’t agree more. the pavement in the second photo looks original to the construction of the gas station. Somewhere under there is gas tank that is 75-100 years old.

  8. Posted by Amewsed

    How difficult is it to have one drunk driver smash into the building and render the whole thing structurally unsafe and red tagged for immediate demolition?

    Historical landmarks are already unsafe and no longer up to code – I’ve driven by this quiet section of Irving numerous times and thought what an absolute waste of space this otherwise important corner is.

    As a sidenote, NYC has a lot more historical pre-war and older buildings yet the city still allows for plenty of development. Gorgeously done and a much much nicer expensive product results. You pay for quality.

    • Posted by Jack

      Lol red tagging. I have had an unsafe porch front of my house red tagged for over a year, and Planning is still putting me through the wringer to get permission to tear it down,

  9. Posted by Zugamenzio Farnsworth.

    I keep thinking take some of these old walls/buildings, yes transport, flower stand at the zoo, etc,and or move it slightly, jet up some water, aka fountain, which indeed might look like the marquee at a mini mall: but some clever designer out there could think of something. they just don’t usually dress up that well into a brand new building, always looks like the berlin wall. where’s peter eisenmann when you need him? Or maybe it could be dipped in gold and stuck on the white house lawn.

  10. Posted by SFMichael

    Wait, someone had to spend time to figure out if that non-descript white box with the word ‘Repair’ on it was historically significant or not? Did it take more than five seconds?

  11. Posted by Mr Pants

    With the standing 40ft height restriction and needing to rehab the soil … that is going to be a fairly expensive development. If they want to pack people in to dorm sized units, do-able? Otherwise going to be super expensive for anyone that wants to ultimately buy units.

  12. Posted by Easwuud

    Raze every lot like this in SF, bump it up to six stories and it still would do nothing towards making this city affordable to whoever is crying about a crisis.

    A decent restaurant along this corridor would be nice though. Slap whatever height limit worth of housing and I am sold.

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