In the works since 2013, as we first reported at the time, the plans for a modern eight-story building to rise up to 85 feet in height upon the Arroyo Carlos & Sons auto shop parcel at 980 Folsom Street could be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission next week.

As designed Goldman Architects, the proposed development would stretch from Folsom to Clementina, with 33 condos over 951 square feet of ground floor retail space and a garage for 14 cars and 34 bikes.

And while the development will cast some new shadow upon the Gene Friend Recreation Center grounds, the projected 8,765 annual square-foot-hours of shadow, an increase of 0.005%, is recommended to be deemed as non-adverse to the use and enjoyment of the public park by the City’s Recreation and Park Commission.

39 thoughts on “SoMa Rising and One Less Auto Shop as Proposed”
    1. No uglier than the current 1-story brick autoshop. This half block is a wasteland—all these should be build up.

      1. That’s a fairly irrelevant point, no?

        This is just another example of the dearth of good design happening in SF.

        1. I’d much rather have hundreds of new homes/residents in mediocre buildings than a handful of auto shops in bleaker mediocre buildings. Got it?

          1. Don’t always bring things back to the NIMBY vs YIMBY thing – a lot of us on this site are just pure aesthetes.

          2. How decadent. It’s like Romans in vomitorium arguing the food taste while half the city is starving.

        2. I like it and think it works well for this location. More housing and a not-ugly building that responds to context is a good thing in my book. More of this please.

    2. I think it’s a decent example of something “contextual”–it’s industrial on the primarily industrial Folsom and imitates the large Victorian window bays on Clementina–while also being rather functional. The units should be exceptionally bright inside. We have all learned recently, in the Mission, that big windows mean “looking like rich people live there”.

    3. The more I look at it, the more I like it. It’s not a standard issue modern building and it’s a slightly different take on bay windows.

  1. Bit of a shame that Clementina gets all the garage doors — those alleys can make some of the nicest walking streets in the city.

    1. Thank you. We should have retail on the alleys. The block of Ritch Street with Little Skillet and Cento is a nice example.

    2. Not in this city, clearly. Have you walked down any of the alleys? You take your life in your hands most times.

    1. You do realize that technology is driving this change? We do not need hundreds of auto-body shops taking up extremely valuable land in our CBD, especially as private car ownership in SF is on the decline.

        1. Reference? The last report I saw, in 2014, was that 80% of new households owned no car, and the proportion of such households rose from 28.6 percent in 2000 to 31.4 percent in 2012.

          1. Homer is most likely right considering all the new residential buildings and their parking spaces going up around the city. Sure, some of these spots are filled by cars that were formerly using on street or other off street parking, but new residents adding new cars are most likely the case.

        2. My former 1-bedroom condo came with a deeded parking space. I’ve been renting out car parking separately since rental applicants didn’t want the car space.

          I’ve also seen parking space rates in my building drop from about $300 a month to $230 a month as less demand keeps dropping.

          Maybe ownership is up in western districts, but in SOMA, rates of ownership are dropping.

    2. How many people are employed by that body shop? Do they live in San Francisco? What is their salary?

      1. “How many people are employed by that body shop?”

        Roughly the same as would be employed in the “951 square feet of ground floor retail space,” assuming the retail space ever gets rented out, which looks increasingly unlikely considering the rapidly-increasing inventory of high-priced and vacant retail space building up around the city, especially in the eastern neighborhoods. Per current trends, it will most likely be a pot shop and medical office.

        “Do they live in San Francisco?”

        I don’t know, but PDR jobs historically hire locally.

        “What is their salary?”

        Likely in the $20-$30 range, higher than what mechanics make elsewhere, and considerably higher than what retail pays. Assuming the worker is a married male with a working spouse, that’s almost enough to raise a small family with rent control in SF. Retail pays poorly, so retail employees will likely have to come from elsewhere.

        1. Those are not answers. How many people work at that shop?

          And how many jobs will be created in construction of this building?

          1. “Those are not answers. How many people work at that shop? And how many jobs will be created in construction of this building?”

            If you don’t like may answers, then you tell me, because apparently you already know. And while you’re at it, tell me how many of those construction jobs will be permanent jobs, how many of those construction jobs will go to SF residents, how many retail jobs will be created in the retail space (assuming the space doesn’t sit vacant for four years until it’s turned into a nail salon or dentist’s office), what those retail jobs will pay, and where those retail workers will live.

          2. I don’t know the answers. And apparently neither do you.

            Many construction workers in SF live outside the city but make a living in SF. I see no reason why auto mechanics would be any different. Jobs in construction are in fact permanent. Not on any single building, but as long as we build anything, they exist.

    3. That’s incorrect if you were paying attention to last election and remember voting on prop X. If this building does contain PDR it will have to be replaced in the new structure.

  2. I am impressed by these renderings. Most of them are very unrealistic, but not this one, which clearly and accurately shows the bleak existing condition. The “after” rendering in particular is highly realistic, admitting that a new building is just a new building. There won’t be dozens of happy families strolling around walking dogs and licking ice-cream cones. It’s still going to be essentially Mogadishu, but with one more decent building and one less dilapidated, structurally unsound body shop.

  3. “essentially Mogadishu” is great work.

    Typically I would make a joke here about having played drums for “Essentially Mogadishu” on the ’09 Scandinavian tour, but my jokes don’t get through the filter these days.

    1. Substantively, job is right, though. I can’t think of a single difference between this and Mogadishu.

  4. The building in question is apparently from 1988 and is a bit strange-looking to say the least. That said, a lot of these old work-a-day auto shops and warehouses preserve some nice early 20th Century elements. New developers should preserve facades and try to fit in with the city’s existing architectural styles, instead of just plopping down monstrosities like this planned tower of garbage.

    1. 1. The tower is super ugly (from the front), but do we really need taste police? To be honest, I think it’s ugly probably for a different reason than you do. Neither of us is automatically right. So who cares, if it meets the needs of the people who will choose to live there?

      2. “New developers should preserve facades and try to fit in with the city’s existing architectural styles”

      Nope nope nope. ‘Fraid not. This is a cheap, crummy brick garage that was thrown up in 1988. Just because it has been there for a few years does not make it The Authentic San Francisco. It’s just some crummy, unremarkable building of which there are plenty of examples throughout California. Forcing the owner to preserve the façade of some crappy garage would do nothing to improve anything about that block or the enjoyment of the residents or anyone else. All it does is drive up costs, increasing housing costs further, and make it look like this city is populated by people who are very confused about the difference between a historic building and “a building.” I don’t really see how someone advocating for a run-of-the-mill 30 year old garage to be “preserved” like a museum piece could allow anything at all to be torn down, ever.

      If you want to see a bunch of fake façades, there’s always Disneyland.

  5. It is interesting that there is no exit/entrance on the alley street other than the garage doors.

    I usually don’t like sharp angles on a building, but I think this might work for me. Seeing it finished will be the test for me.

  6. This is a dead location. You want at least a few simple amenities on the same block where you live. This stretch has nothing useful.

  7. Enjoy living with the bloody needles and crazy people. This is absolutely perfect for children from suburbia who want an “urban adventure”.

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