One Oak Rendering 2016

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed 40-story tower to rise at the intersection of Market and Van Ness has just been released along with a number of project refinements and new details.

One Oak Rendering 2016: The Tower's Base

The condo count for the One Oak Street project has dropped from 320 to 310 and the development’s underground garage has dropped from 160 to 155 spaces accordingly.

And in addition, what was to be 13,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space at the base of the tower, adjacent to a new public plaza in the Oak Street right-of-way, has been reduced to 4,000 square feet in total, primarily fronting Market Street, and the proposed Oak Plaza has been dramatically redesigned.

One Oak Plaza 2016

The tower, which would take an estimated 32 months to complete once the ground was broken, would be 100 percent market rate with the development team planning to pay an in-lieu fee to meet the City’s inclusionary housing requirements, a fee which is envisioned to fund the development of below market rate (BMR) units along Octavia Boulevard on former Central Freeway Parcels R, S and U.

But as outlined in the DEIR, there are a number of “potential areas of [public] controversy” for the project which will need to be addressed or resolved prior to being entitled for development, including concerns about wind, aesthetics and transportation:

1. Wind: Comments express concern regarding strong winds in the area, note the increased development activity over the past decade and many planned future projects that require continuous updating of the wind model, note the increase in residences in the area that has shifted the timing of pedestrian use, suggest a charge to maintain and update the model, and state that the effects on pedestrians must be considered for all projects because the City desires an active pedestrian environment

2. Aesthetics and Historical Resources: Comments express concern with maintaining visual access to City Hall, an important visual landmark in the adjacent Civic Center.

3. Transportation: Comments express concern for the provision of parking spaces for residents of the proposed project and other projects in the area that would make it more likely that they would use their cars during commute hours. Comments also express concern about the proliferation of delivery trucks and other vehicles that may double park, and about the proliferation of private commuter shuttles, or “Google” buses, and Academy of Art, California Pacific Medical Center, and University of California San Francisco shuttles that stop on routes along Van Ness Avenue and throughout this area.

A letter from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) notes that Van Ness Avenue is designated as U.S. Route 101 and is under Caltrans jurisdiction. It states that the Traffic Impact Study (TIS) prepared for the proposed project should analyze multimodal demand, VMT reductions that could be achieved, and Travel Demand Management (TDM) measures.

The public hearing to review the adequacy and accuracy of the Draft EIR has been scheduled for January 5, 2017, after which comments will be collected, responses will be written, and San Francisco’s Planning Commission will then decided whether or not to finalize the EIR and approve the development of the One Oak project as proposed.

43 thoughts on “Refined Plans and Impact Report for the Prominent One Oak Tower”
  1. This can’t come soon enough! This prominant lot at the intersection of two of SF’s major streets over major transit lines has been a trash strewn parking lot with greasy donut shop for 30+ years. And I love greasy donuts! ?

    1. In fact, rather than re-locating the existing Muni station stairs on Market Street to align with the existing elevator shaft in what would be the new Oak Plaza, the existing stairs would remain in place (as newly rendered above), and two new replacement elevators are proposed to be constructed within the footprint of the One South Van Ness Avenue building across the street.

      “The proposed Muni elevator relocation, and the addition of a new elevator, are included in the proposed project because it is an SFMTA priority to provide more than one elevator at each Muni station in order to ensure redundancy in the event that one elevator is inoperable. The existing location of the elevator does not afford enough room for two elevators. Additionally, the proposed location of the new elevators would be within the direct line of sight of a station agent booth, which the existing elevator is not.”

      1. One South Van Ness… that’s the Bank of America building. Is there a developer and plans for building up on that site?

    2. Such a shame, that was going to be such a nice addition! I live on Hayes St, and the option to avoid Market St. completely was going to be a nice addition…

  2. In elaboration upon the BMR requirement issue, Build initially intended to build the Octavia Blvd parcel projects itself, but then decided to deed the land to the Mayor’s Office of Development along with a cash contribution to help fund it with a new developer to be selected. I don’t think that has been done as yet and don’t understand why as it should be able to proceed independently without regard to progress on One Oak. Or, is the finality of the transfer dependent upon Build ultimately receiving approval of the entitlements it seeks?

  3. Perhaps as well the city could get moving and figure out their plan for the Market street sidewalk improvement so that this corner’s hardscape could be better integrated into said plan?

  4. They need to keep focus on the WIND, especially since all the features of the design that seem intended to mitigate wind effects seem to have been eliminated. I favor this project but I have always been concerned about 2 issues: wind effects and any public amenities at its base being overwhelmed as a homeless hangout. Design needs to address both issues.

  5. Looks very nice. It would be better at 500-600 ft but nevertheless the shape of the building will be a beautiful addition to the skyline rather than the 300 ft rectangular, lego boxes we’ll soon see in the Central SoMa

  6. Does Snøhetta still have a hand in this? I thought they were doing the plaza, but the plaza design is gone. No more golden undulating canopies and new station entrance.

    1. Not if you’ve ever walked near polk / van ness on a semi-blustery day. I’ve seen several people walking nearly fall down, and can’t imagine a quadrant of several tall spires here is going to improve that.

    2. You evidently don’t walk past 100 Van Ness much. The city wants a vibrant sidewalk life. It’s impossible at the base of some buildings like that one due to wind. The Federal Building on Golden Gate is another example. It’s also impossible when crime and degradation overwhelm normal activities among homeless congregations.

      1. Exactly! Why should San Francisco be expected to learn from other cities when it comes to planning, we should be freely allowed to ignore their successes and repeat their mistakes.

          1. Well, Chicago is known as the windy city, but I don’t know if that is because of the unchecked high-rise buildings.

            Must say SS is the only web site I visit that replies to comments with a snark lol. Some weather data would be interesting, but I am sure it is out there for whoever wants to do the research.

    3. If you walk in the area around Fox Plaza, you’ll experience winds unlike any anywhere else in the City. It’s amazingly strong sometimes.

  7. Generally, I would really appreciate it if SocketSite ™ could start providing credit for copy-righted materials it publishes on it’s website. It is simply good journalism; even though it is in the public realm, there is still a creative team that has expended a great deal of intellectual capitol to create these works, and they deserve credit. Thanks!

    1. We do our best to credit the entire design and development team when we first reveal a project or major redesign, after which we provide directed links back to the overview (see “the proposed 40-story tower” in our first sentence above) and ongoing tags to the developers and architects on every related story as well.

  8. Wind? I don’t see a problem as the building design is rounded on the west side where the prevailing wind is. I presume the the building has already been engineered with devices to reduce wind at street level. The corner is windy even without a high rise on the corner as the river of cold air coming from the ocean flows through the Hayes Street corridor naturally. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 45 years and have never had a problem at that intersection.

  9. Silly looking umbrellas. Won’t the wind pick them up from underneath and knock them over.

    When will San Francisco get its first truly contemporary, handsome, finely detailed tower – like those in Spain or the Amsterdam that we always compare ourselves to?

    And in a way I’ll miss the little coffee and donut shop which actually does serve a demographic wider than you’d think (tourists, SRO residents, music students, commuters).

  10. A benefit of having a new building at that corner might be the elimination of a hangout for the thugs, aggressive panhandlers and nutcases who congregate in that short stretch along Market by the side of the donut shop by the wall of the MUNI underground opening.

    There are some pretty rough characters and some insane ones too. The sidewalk, the fence and the walls are filthy and greasy. But no worries. No matter what benefits would the byproduct of a new a building, it always takes forever for anything to be built in this town.

    Sometimes, even if a structure is approved and ready to be built, nothing happens. Consider the vacant lot on the corner of Eddy and Gough. A structure was approved over a year ago, but the lot just sits there, a big hole in the ground. On the good side of that site, the owners occasionally have some worker with a weed whacker to trim things up. They don’t whack it too close because then the discarded drug needles would show and the NIMBYs would complain.

    1. Eddy/Gough Isn’t that the lot on the SE corner where the St. Paulus church once stood is to be rebuilt as mixed-use with housing?

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