If approved, the Happy Chinese Restaurant at 1326 Powell Street will be leveled. And in its place, a new six-story building will rise up to 65 feet in height, with 14 apartments over a new ground floor restaurant/retail space and a basement garage for 14 bikes and 5 cars.

A permit “expeditor” for the 1324-1326 Powell Street project has been engaged and the paperwork to secure the necessary demolition and building permits has already been filed and triaged by the City.

37 thoughts on “A Happy Ending and More Housing in Chinatown as Proposed”
  1. So the existing side lane would be the parking ingress? That’s not so bad. Good project, overall. But is parking necessary for apartments in that part of town?

  2. OK, not even any pretense of accuracy in the rendering this time: is the bay windowed building to the right being preserved or not ?? Or is that what the giant “T” is supposed to be ?? Or is Sesame Street moving in ?? Or maybe ‘cuz it’s “T”hursday ??

  3. If there’s anyplace in SF where auto parking isn’t needed and shouldn’t be approved, I would think it’s here. But it’s Chinatown so I guess different rules apply (politics you know).

    1. Like how non-Chinese businesses are limited in Chinatown by law? Can you imagine a Chinese business being denied permits in the Marina simply because of their race? Yet, that’s perfectly legal in Chinatown.

    2. “If there’s anyplace in SF where auto parking isn’t needed and shouldn’t be approved, I would think it’s here”

      Just because you can conveniently buy vegetables downstairs?

      1. Because it’s as central as it gets, well-served by public transportation but especially because the streets in that area are horribly congested already and the last thing it needs is more cars. But notice I said, “If there’s anyplace in SF where auto parking isn’t needed . . . .” My own view is this is not something government should be mandating anywhere. It would be a good place to live a car-free life, but I don’t think the city should be telling me that’s the life I have to live anywhere including here.

          1. there are other spots in the city that could just as well be “the one” neighborhood that didn’t need a car (if there was any, which i don’t think there is). but as an example i would save that characterization for say a building on market street which is at the crossroads of bart and multiple munit lines. in any case, needing a car in SF is more a function of your lifestyle than where exactly you live, due to limited reach, hours, reliability, and safety of any of these systems even if you live next to them.

        1. I get what you’re saying BT, and yes, this would be an ideal spot. Not to mention the added cost of creating an underground parking to the price tag of the units.

  4. It is right next door to a fire station, having underground parking makes sense. Do you want residents to temporarily park in front of or block the fire station to unload their stuff?

    Fine as is. Build them. The units should sell quickly.

    1. What sort of person would temporarily park in front of a fire station? Besides, how are five underground parking spaces going to prevent double parking anyway? If you want to prevent double parking, enforce the laws on double parking. Which they probably do since it’s a fire station. And put in some loading zones so people can do their business– like the one that already exists, right there.

      1. I mean, if lack of parking is what causes people to block fire stations, then I guess that fire station must be constantly blocked, because the building on the other side of it suffers from a terrible lack of parking, as does the next one, and the ones across the street, and…

        Better just condemn the whole block, I guess.

        1. It’s funny and racist. Appropriate for standup comedy but not a real estate blog. You can bet SS wouldn’t make a similar joke with African Americans.

          1. While there certainly is a vulgar connotation to a “happy ending,” it applies to massages in general, regardless of ethnicity. And regardless of where the “Happy” restaurant was located, or the type of cuisine it served, we would have employed the same unfortunate headline.

    1. was this place a massage parlor before? there is no shortage of asian prostitution in SF. Its really quite unbleiveable how ubuitous the massage brothels are. Is there any other place in the US that has 200+ massage places that are really asian prostitution rings?

  5. When you say apartments, do you mean rental units? In New York City an apartment can mean a unit that is rented or owned. In California we say condo as an owned unit and apartment as a rented unit. The reason I ask is because so much proposed new construction are described as apartments. Are some of those units possibly going to be condos but aren’t yet determined? Thanks.

  6. I grew up in this area years ago. Yeah, parking is not totally essential (Stockton Street is one block down) and that new proposed subway station is a couple of blocks away too but if we are talking market rate housing people will want option to have a car. Also, not sure how desirable having a Fire Station next door will be. Hopefully, that is not considered an amenity (for high HOA fee)….

  7. I live near a fire station. Whenever the youngsters start firing off the sirens to announce themselves coming and going, I just call the Battalion Chief and she/he’ll put a stop to it. Otherwise they’re ok neighbors and dang good looking. On the other hand, the aimless, bored and over-saturated ambulances that wander around like tow trucks drivers looking for a body to tow, while playing DJ with their sirens… they need to be tossed into the Bay.

    1. And yet it can take 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene of a serious accident in SOMA in mid-afternoon of a weekday. I once witnessed a car vs motorcycle collision there and saw the motorcycle rider go flying, ending up lying in the middle of the street. I went to his aid and believed his hip was broken (I am a medical professional) so, having called 911, I stayed by his side to protect him from traffic. It was literally 30 minutes before the ambulance came because they considered this less than the most urgent of calls.

  8. Wow. The existing building is super fugly. Why do they need a permit expeditor? It is hard to imagine that anyone would turn down a demo permit for that drek.

    1. Well, as you may know, the city is pretty tough about full demo remodels so a permit expeditor is perfect to help move the project through the approval process. I used one in my simple remodel and frankly it was much faster. I hope this project gets approved because it could be a game changer in this neighborhood. There are so many opportunities like this in the neighborhood and all over the city really that if the city is so serious about increasing housing then these projects need to be practically fast tracked.

  9. UPDATE: The formal application to move forward with the redevelopment of the Happy Chinese Restaurant site has been submitted to Planning with a refined design to yield 17 units (7 studios, 9 one-bedrooms and 1 two) without the garage.

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