3601 Lawton Site

As originally proposed a couple years ago, the 76 station on the southwest corner of Lawton and 42nd Avenue in the Outer Sunset was to be razed for a four-story development to rise, with twelve condos, twelve parking spaces and an approach designed to avoid having to include any inclusionary (BMR) units or the payment of an in lieu fee.

And while the aforementioned plans have since been scrapped, plans for a denser development have been drawn and submitted to Planning for review.

As newly drafted by Kodorski Design, the proposed development now includes 15 residential condos, of which 14 are three-bedrooms, averaging 1,326 square feet apiece; six commercial spaces, four of which would be on the second floor, fronting Lawton; and an underground garage for 24 cars.

Private rear years or roof decks would provide open space for the condos.

And every unit at 3601 Lawton is expected to be priced at market rates, with the developer paying an in lieu fee into the City’s inclusionary housing fund.

48 thoughts on “Bigger Plans for Outer Sunset Gas Station Site”
  1. Like that there are rear yards, roof decks and 3BRs. Those little balconies are useless though and just become a place to store bicycles.

      1. Aesthetics aside, they’re actually a horrible place to store a bike that one actually cares about (especially the closer you get to the ocean and moisture in the air).

        1. @Brisket this isn’t an early 20th century NYC tenement. These are 1,300 sq ft market rate condos. I don’t think we’ll see any laundry billowing from the balconies.

          1. This prejudice against hanging laundry outside is ridiculous. It’s not a blight, it’s a great way to dry clothes that keeps them fresh and unwrinkled. And doesn’t waste a huge amount of electricity.

      2. Is a balcony properly considered an open-air hanging shed? Would an architect agree with that? Seems like more of an “affordance” than a designed use.

    1. If we’re lucky, the residents will throw in a planter or two for some greenery to break up the facade. Otherwise, it can be a good place to banish visiting smokers.

  2. 90% of the time, I open the balcony to check the weather in the morning, so I know how warm to dress. This excludes sliding then balcony door open to get some fresh air into the unit.

    1. Right. Because the weather in the outer Sunset is indicative of what it’s like throughout the rest of the Bay Area. Considering there will be 24 parking spots for 15 units, I really don’t think residents will be too concerned about stepping out on the their balcony when they will most likely be behind the wheel of their car.

    2. A window serves just as well for that purpose but I was speaking of actually use of the balcony itself, not advocating for non-operational windows or doors. Of course my comment was just based on anecdotal observations around town – at least until my 10 years of research that went into “An Empirical Study of Small San Francisco Balconies” gets through the peer review process for publication.

  3. missing from the render: the billion pieces of flashing that will be need at each and every little corner, thus making the building look flimsy and cheap.

  4. Lived around the corner from this service station for 13 years. This was basically a nice kind of quite part of the City, not much happened. So happy to have left before this change comes along.

    Not interested in getting into a housing debate, but this building is so out of character for its neighborhood, it will change the feel of the surrounding area permanently (because all of the buildings around it are two story houses, whereas this is five; the largest building on the block is a church at three stories).

    I get that people want housing, and the Sunset is now in the cross-hairs. Cities change, people move on. Have fun SF, it was a slice of heaven while I was in the Outer Sunset.

    1. If there were many of this kind of project, the Sunset will change. But if just one or a few, to be honest, I’m not sure. I see small patches of density and commercial in the Sunset (Ex. around Polly Ann’s on Noriega, along Vicente near between 22nd and 24th, near South Sunset playground) and the areas still seem pretty sleepy. They prevent a place from being 100% residential, which is actually kind of nice to have an ice cream shop here, a supermarket there, a hardware store over there. But yes, if block after block started to bulk up, it could be huge. But I don’t see much opportunity for that to happen unless people start buying SFH’s to tear down. This project and other pending projects (Sloat near zoo) replace gas stations, old motels, all commercial sites already.

      I think a bigger change to the neighborhood is that the houses are going for million plus! Dang!

      1. This area is mostly residential. Call it a sleepy suburb on the west side of the city. There are commercial strips (Taraval, Noriega, Irving) and little pockets here and there, but infill on empty lots or rundown commercial lots is a good thing. As for price points, it was just a matter of time before the Sunset hit the $1M mark. More power to those who want to spend that money to live in the fog belt.

  5. Yes, many longtime residents are sitting on a lot of equity. There are certain issues that will render the Outer Sunset a perennial second fiddle: distance from downtown and other major shopping areas, the weather (getting better with climate change, but still…) and a predominance of single-family homes (see my first point), which means the population density is different.

    That said, as people and businesses are pushed out of expensive areas, this type of project will become more prevalent in the Sunset. Supervisor Katy Tang was involved in a master housing plan which identifies many sites in the Sunset that can be developed. You will, of course, need to drive to Daly City for gasoline.

    But the future is greater density and taller buildings, unless there is a major course correction in terms of population growth. And remember: everytime a larger building is built, it gives cover to the next person who wants to build as big.

  6. I live two doors down from this (unfortunately) and can say this will most certainly ruin the neighborhood. Why can’t they build closer to the inner sunset…closer to things and people. #theregoesparking

    1. “The proposed development now includes 15 residential condos… and an underground garage for 24 cars.”

      What amount of on-site parking wouldn’t “ruin the neighborhood?” 30? 45?

      1. “Whatever it is, I’m Against It!” –
        Baby Boomer NIMBYs EVERYWHERE sing their favorite Marx Brothers song.

  7. This is the worst! Must the construction of unoriginal and unsightly condos seep into our lives everywhere we turn in San Francisco?! I am a neighbor and I WILL fight this development.

    1. Because the typical Sunset District Doelger is such a paragon of design excellence? because the unsightly old gas station must be at least 50 years old and is historic and must be preserved?

      Come on, people. At least SD recognizes cities change. There are plenty of cul de sacs in Tracy that will never change if that is what you are looking for.

  8. Well I hope they shoulder more of the taxes for street upkeep and schools– I am so not in favor of this. Are they providing parking or just planning on inconveniencing the current residents in the sunset. Also what about Muni– we have barely enough transit to support our current population.

    1. 24 parking spaces…15 units. These people won’t be riding Muni. If they do, they will be commuting about an hour to downtown. No one in their right mind in this part of town takes public transit to the East Bay or peninsula/South Bay. I wish our local and regional transit systems were more robust so that people had a legit option not to drive, but that simply is not the case.

      I’m actually in favor of this development. 4 stories is double the status quo in the Sunset.

  9. This is a “sleepy” part of town – we don’t need condos like the ones shown. They did build condos where the ice skating rink used to be but it fits in and looks like a nice pair of flats. When is a hearing supposed to be held?

      1. Without adequate infrastructure? I would disagree. We can’t get 8-10 floors built in denser parts of the city close to transit or walking distance to downtown without people wielding torches and pitchforks.

        The problem that keeps going unsolved is how to move all these additional people around the city and the Bay Area. Roads are already at capacity. Transit is woefully insufficient.

  10. gas stations have to remain vacant w/o gas storage for 10 years before residential building so… This is going to be a while…right?

  11. The one and only thing keeping projects like this from becoming the defacto standard in the Outset is an already beyond capacity utility infrastructure. Ask the home owners near 46th and Lincoln how that smells. Once the over-inflated house values become a disproportionately accommodating tax base, we’ll see infrastructure overhaul and civic expansion indicators such as increased police and fire contingencies, safer intersections, street lighting, harsher enforcement of blight contributing factors, etc.

    If you doubt that, ask an oldtimer where the neighborhood ended and sand dunes began once upon a time.

    1. Though I more or less concur with your statements, we are kind of in the sweet spot for sewer infrastructure.

      The smell issue at 46th and Lincoln is interestingly due to an underground transfer basin from the old old sewer system from the 20s (ie before the Sloat treatment plan) that was buried and never really dug up and filled in properly. The smell happens only at specific conditions during the year when the wet/dry conditions dredge up buried issues. FYI SF is one of the few cities that has a combined sewer system, meaning both storm water (roof drains, street drains, etc) and ‘domestic’ water (ie poop and stuff) go in the same sewer system.

      See: San Francisco Sewerage, a Historical Essay

  12. So long as the City landmarks that ’76’ sign and requires the developer to incorporate it in the facade then I’m all for it. Seriously, the architecture is nice, but it is not interesting. There is an important difference. We are building a city largely devoid of character. If this was your place how would you describe it to a friend? A big white boxy thing with some balconies?

  13. I don’t see the ground floor commercial food market that supposed to be part of this development. The design is way too fussy for the context of the neighborhood. I’d rather see a few more 2-BR condos. But I’d still vote for this since I believe we need more housing, and I want to see Gus’s Market expand in this space. We don’t need the gas station since there’s another a few blocks away. But please simplify the design!

  14. Though I love the idea of replacing an outdated gas station with residential and commercial space, I have MANY concerns with this plan. First is how the 24 car garage and traffic from the commercial spaces, will integrate with the school traffic from FSK across the street. 550+ kids and their families/cars/bikes/scooters are coming and going down Lawton and 42nd Ave. every Mon-Fri, so this seems like a terribly UNSAFE location for a building like this.

  15. What happened to setbacks of the 3rd and 4th stories? Why does the architecture not match the neighborhood buildings. Architecture 101 would say “fit in with the neighborhood”. Architects know this so there is something amiss.

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