Owned by the “5H GP” LLC, which is an affiliated entity of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), plans for an 18-story tower with 205 Below Market Rate (BMR) apartments to rise on the Central SoMa parcels at 915-921 Howard Street, near the corner of 5th, have been drafted and submitted to the City for review.

In order to make way for the development, the Dreams Down Duvet & Bed Linen building and adjacent warehouse at 915 Howard Street would be razed. And in addition to the 205 affordable units, the proposed development, which would rise directly across the street from the bulk of the massive 5M project, includes a garage for 13 cars fronting Tehama, a storage room for 127 bikes and a ground floor retail space fronting Howard.

And while the 921 Howard Street site is currently only zoned for development up to 85 feet in height, it’s slated to be up-zoned to 180 feet per San Francisco’s Central SoMa Plan, a development which shouldn’t catch any plugged-in readers by surprise.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by cfb


  2. Posted by Alex

    Should be at least 30 stories

  3. Posted by archiwha?

    do we know the architect?

    [Editor’s Note: Perry Architects.]

  4. Posted by Notcom

    In the “credit where credit is due dept” : if you’re going to do a simplified rendering, this is the way to do it…simple blocks indicating (neighboring) building shapes, w/ do pretense of detail.

    That “simple block(s)” may actually BE a detailed rendering of the proposed buildings themselves, is something else …

  5. Posted by woolie

    A great idea, but build a few copies in West Portal and Noe Valley as well.

    • Posted by mukdutch

      Hahaha. 18 stories in Noe or West Portal….don’t think so.

    • Posted by scott f

      Yes! And don’t forget lonely Glen Park too. Most underused BART station in the city and could use a more active streetscape.

  6. Posted by Cynthia

    Why should it be the poorest neighborhoods (the Mission, SOMA, the Tenderloin) that bear the brunt of these huge developments? Glen Park’s got a BART station, and yet it’s managed to stay this ridiculously expensive little “village.”

    • Posted by BTinSF

      I think the neighborhoods mentioned are appropriate for the SIZE buildings planned but I agree with you that AFFORDABLE development should be spread out. I’m not sure how affordability could be separated from scale (large multifamily buildings being inherently cheaper per unit) but we need to try much harder to put affordable development in Noe, Pac Heights, the Castro, the Haight and the other playgrounds of San Francisco’s economic and political elite.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Playgrounds? really?
        We live there. You seem to have a problem with that.

        Your disdain for certain neighborhoods, BECAUSE they are actually livable, safe, clean areas is so obvious. But why?

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      I understand what you’re saying, but just take a look at an aerial of Glen Park and try to think where some major buildings could be fit? Aside from the BART Parking lot, there are virtually no soft sites, and the village is hemmed in by single family homes. It would be very difficult to try to find decent development sites even if you could get the area rezoned.

      The Mission, in contrast, has TONS of soft sites that would be easily convertible to higher density res if the neighborhood (Calle 24, the old supervisor, presumably the new supervisor) were not such complete NIMBY’s. The Mission, by the way, has had VERY LITTLE new development in this cycle…only a couple of significant buildings compared to dozens in SOMA, Hayes Valley, Mid Market.

      • Posted by cleverpunhere

        I agree. I would add that there is already a 275 unit affordable development in Glen Park, which is a tiny neighborhood compared to the mission.

      • Posted by Orland

        Nothing wrong with a single building of this scale on the BART parking lot in GP. I think it would diversify and actually enhance the neighborhood.

        • Posted by Orland

          Upon further thought, 18 floors would likely be a bit overwhelming for that site. A squatter 10 story structure covering the entire footprint above ground floor parking would be ideal for the location.

          • Posted by scott f

            Wow I’m glad so many of us had the same idea!

          • Posted by Alai

            Adjacent to a Bart station, and the ground floor used for parking? That’s depressing.

          • Posted by Orland

            I wasn’t thinking of resident-parking but of a replacement for the current neighborhood lot which I’m sure the merchants on Diamond St. would howl in opposition against if it were lost as a result of development for the housing.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Because every big city, including London, NY, Paris, etc. has “ridiculously expensive little villages” and they are a valid component of those cities.

      And I’m glad we have ours as well.

      • Posted by Cynthia

        If you want little villages, you still have St. Francis Wood, Seacliff, Twin Peaks, and parts of Parkmerced.

    • Posted by scott f

      Ha! I just posted about Glen Park right above before seeing this. Totally agree. There is a surface parking lot right across from Glen Park station I’d love to see 10+ stories on, another one down the hill from Bosworth further east, and a strip of nondescript overgrown brush lining Bosworth which while technically a “park,” is pretty sad and unnecessary next to the huge Glen Canyon Park. I also think single-family homes, which are already not rent controlled, are perfectly fair game for replacing with denser development.

      If you go east under the freeway, there’s a ton of underused space there too, still within a 10 min walk of the station. Not a pleasant walk right now but stoplights and crosswalks can be added.

      • Posted by scott f

        To clarify, I totally agree with the part about Glen Park doing its share. I don’t oppose SoMa or Mission housing development. Research and experience shows that restricting new homebuilding doesn’t protect people from displacement. Also, it will take time to get areas like Glen Park rezoned and we can’t suspend progress on the regionwide housing shortage in the meantime.

        But yeah. Glen Park and other wealthy, low-density neighborhoods near rail absolutely need to step up.

      • Posted by Futurist

        The disdain for our smaller scale neighborhoods of mainly single family homes continues to baffle me.

        No logical reason except for the “build more and higher” crowd. The 5 story development with the library in GP is a great example of APPROPRIATELY SCALED new development, literally one block from BART.

        10 stories is not.

        • Posted by cfb

          Advocating for denser development near transit stations does not translate into “disdain for our smaller scale neighborhoods”. It’s actually completely sensible and good, unlike advocating for low density single family homes and parking lots next to a BART station (during a housing crisis, no less).

          And 10 stories would fit in fine, in the opinion of many people, myself included. We’re talking a single building here. What makes your opinion so much more valid?

        • Posted by scott f

          This “smaller scaled neighborhood” is in the top 1% of the Bay Area for number of jobs you can access within a half hour on rapid transit. Forcing such a neighborhood to stay small-scale through restrictive zoning has irresponsible and destructive impacts on the environment (by causing sprawl) and equal access to opportunity (by shutting out lower income households).

      • Posted by AnonAnon

        I’m trying to figure out where there is a lot “down the hill from Bosworth further east”?

        And you are also suggesting eminent domaining peoples homes? Good grief, I don’t imagine you’d like to volunteer your house as part of your proposal..

        • Posted by scott f

          Absolutely not. Just allowing homeowners, if they so choose, to build something taller on their property or sell to someone who would do so.

    • Posted by Spencer

      Agree glen park needs to be upzoned. Its bart station is somwhat of a waste, but much more hilly than mission and soma

  7. Posted by Shmendrick

    An 18 story building is a tower? Maybe in San Francisco. I always thought tower was synonymous with high-rise.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As opposed to low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise, the relative dimensions of a building determine whether or not it’s a tower, not its absolute height.

  8. Posted by Bart Samsung

    when do people start slurring this as “low income housing” or use code words to say “colored people will move here eww stop neighborhood character” and al that assorted jazz that goes with building anything not luxury boxes for chinese people to hide their money from their corrupt government from?

  9. Posted by Kento

    What is the building massed in the back? It does not seem to be part of the 5M project. Nice to see more height in this area.

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