The two-story concrete building at 220 9th Street, which is currently home to Desmoto Sport, and a number of other businesses in the portion of the building which fronts Dore Street (such as Guitronics amplifier repair) was built in 1924 for the Wells Manufacturing Company.

While the 220 9th Street parcel is zoned for development up to 55 feet in height, the existing building has been identified as a historic resource for San Francisco’s Western SoMa Light Industrial and Residential Historic District. And as such, the building’s façade will likely need to be preserved.

But that doesn’t mean the 16,000-square-foot parcel can’t be developed and densified.

And with the building now on the market with a $9.9 million price tag, ISO Ideas was engaged to draft a couple of conceptual plans for how the parcel could be developed.

As envisioned by Ideas and rendered with both a classical and more modern approach, the parcel could yield up to 52 residential units over 10,000 square feet of commercial space and parking for 25 cars.

And the bulk of the five-story development would front Dore.

But once again, other than the list price, it’s all conceptual for now.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Tony

    Wow this is nice, and the little terrace really would create a nice street presence compared to the existing feel.

    • Posted by Mark

      The existing feel is that it’s a 2-story commercial building. You can hardly compare the two.

      • Posted by Ray

        I believe Tony has provided an existence proof that you can compare the two.

  2. Posted by Sierrajeff

    Wow this is fugly. Thank goddess it’s only conceptual.

    • Posted by Serge

      Might be even worse once built, so I wouldn’t hold my breath 🙁

  3. Posted by Hancock

    I love the “classical” approach and appreciate the “more modern” approach. I work across the street, and regardless of the approach, this area can use more people living and working.

    • Posted by NoeNeighbor

      I think the classical approach works really well; the more modern approach just doesn’t blend as well. Either way, it is nice to see that they are trying to preserve the aesthetic of the existing building.

  4. Posted by Curious

    Can they do the “classical” approach on 9th to not look overly jarring and the “modern” on Dore because it looks good on its own? Best of both worlds?

    • Posted by NoeNeighbor

      I had assumed that was what they were planning as we only see one version of the Dore facade. In any case, I would agree that it is the best approach.

  5. Posted by scott f

    Which treaty was signed in that building? It doesn’t look historic to me, just old. Not everything a hundred years old and with a little trim should have to be forcibly preserved. Being limited to two stories fronting 9th just to keep that ridiculous-looking thing is nonsense.

  6. Posted by Easwuud

    Where is Desmoto going? They are a great shop.

  7. Posted by Cody

    The first pictured concept looks good to me. It does not try to compete with the old building. Both being white works well.

    I agree that there is too much nonsense in preservation of some of the industrial buildings south of Market. A number of years ago an architect made the comment that San Francisco is lucky to have earthquakes as it allows some new architecture to be built!

    • Posted by Orland

      What an absurdity! Just go to Seattle, Portland or Denver to see what was lost in way of late 19th Century American commercial architecture.

      • Posted by Dave

        ITA. To say something like this is absurd. Maybe the architect doesn’t know people die during earthquakes.

        Seattle and Portland are young cities like SF but have far more buildings from the 19th century in part because of less seismic activity in the past several hundred years compared to SF. What makes the architect’s comments even more absurd is the allowing new architecture to be built. SF is pretty much devoid of “new” and different architecture despite the destruction of the earthquakes and especially the 1906 quake.

        The greatest collection of pre-1900 buildings still standing (west of the Mississippi) lies in the Willamette Valley starting south of Eugene and stretching north to Portland. For those into pre-1900 architecture, it is well worth the trip.

        • Posted by Richard

          Seattle has had its share of seismic activity. It has more remaining pre-1900 buildings because the city’s downtown growth has been outside Pioneer Square or clustered in pockets elsewhere. Where historic buildings have been in the way of progress, the buildings have either been preserved or incorporated into their new use.

          • Posted by Dave

            Portland’s downtown growth is right at the Pearl. And has been so for a long time. The Seattle scenario, which is a bit more nuanced than you state, but let’s go with it, is yes somewhat different. The Pearl and the older apartment buildings cresting towards Forest Park and Council Crest have survived and are being rehab’ed. It’s turning into a grand “old apartment” neighborhood akin to older coveted apartment neighborhoods of NYC.

            The Pearl survived and has been reinvented as are the apartment neighborhoods climbing the hills to the northwest. It’s a great walk on a rainy day in Portland – exploring these places which have survived a stone’s throw from downtown. So many architectural surprises – if one is in to that.

            The SOMA does not have “historic” buildings per se, but it has buildings of interest built in the first decades of the 20th century. There is some attention to detail. Cornices, fenestrations, arched windows, brick facades. That is far more than the housing blocks proposed to blanket Central and Western SOMA. Why not build on the detail, variety and, yes, even intimacy of some of these not so historic older buildings? The example here does not do that. It may not be brutalist, but it is off-putting none the same. No effort to build upon the context of the building to the left , let alone the building it sits atop. Well, but for the stark white color.

      • Posted by Rick

        Maybe, but this building was built in 1924. Big difference in design standards from the late 19th Century.

        • Posted by Orland

          Wasn’t talking about this building, just the absurdity of the sentiment quoted

  8. Posted by Serge

    Is Brutalism back in fashion or something? I thought history learned that lesson already.

  9. Posted by Philip

    Makes me homesick for Santa Monica, 1975.

  10. Posted by ldr

    it’s an insult to the neighborhood.

  11. Posted by that_dude

    I totally dig it, as a neighbor too!

  12. Posted by Jay78


  13. Posted by Nada

    This is fantastic! I love the design! This area so depressing, lighten it up with a light colored building and terrace look promising! I would love to see this get built in my neighborhood!

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