As proposed, the former Pacific Bicycles building at 345 4th Street will be razed and a seven-story commercial building will rise up to 85 feet in height upon the Central SoMa site, with 49,580 square feet of office space over 3,240 square feet of ground floor retail.
And as designed by Stanton Architecture, the proposed project will avoid having to vie for an allocation of allowable office space development from the city’s dwindling pool of that’s reserved for large-scale development, as per Proposition M, projects with under 50,000 square feet of office space qualify as small-scale developments, the allocation for which is not oversubscribed.
But there is another Proposition which could pose a problem from the 345 4th Street project as proposed.
While most recently used for “retail,” the two-story building on the site was built for industrial uses back in 1925. According to Planning’s recently complete preliminary review of the proposed plans for the site, it is unclear if the ownership team ever obtained a legal change of use. And if the use was never legally changed to retail, it is possible that Proposition X, which was adopted by voters in San Francisco last year and requires any demolition or conversion of existing Production, Distribution or Repair (PDR) space in the area to be replaced with like space at a ratio of .75:1, could require any redevelopment of the 345 4th Street parcel to include 7,500 square feet of PDR space as well.
All that being said, the Planning Department “appreciates that the project proposes no on-site parking” (other than for bikes) and the intent to provide a connection from 4th street to the interior of the block, but is recommending a widening of the proposed mid-block passage to a minimum of 18 feet “to allow [for] a usable and inviting space.”