The plans for a massive redevelopment of the San Francisco Tennis Club site at 645 5th Street are moving forward and have been redesigned and newly rendered below by IwamotoScott and Studios Architecture.

As now formally proposed, the 88 Bluxome Street project would yield 833,000 square feet of office space rising up to 225 feet in height; 24,000 square feet of ground floor retail/restaurant space; 9,500 square feet of ground floor production distribution and repair (PDR); and a basement garage for 171 cars.

And below the basement garage, a new tennis club, with twelve (12) new tennis courts featuring 35-foot ceilings and all-new club facilities, will be built in order to avoid a threatened ballot measure which could have blocked the proposed redevelopment in its entirety.

In addition to the private tennis club, the proposed plans include a 30,050-square-foot community/recreational center with an underground pool as well, atop of which an affordable housing project is envisioned to be built at a later date, the funding and construction of which is not part of the official 88 Bluxome Street proposal other than a dedication of the site.

Keep in mind that Pulte Homes had planned to build over 500 condos on the Tennis Club site over a decade ago, but said plans were withdrawn in 2008 with the economy turning and club members having organized to Save [Their] San Francisco Tennis Club.

And of course, the latest plans for the site as outlined and rendered above are dependent on the adoption of San Francisco’s Central SoMa Plan as proposed.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Harambe

    I guess it’s a plus that there’s SOME housing being built (and 100% affordable to boot!).

    The rendering is attractive, too. Go, IwamotoScott, go!

  2. Posted by Pero

    Does anyone know what the timeline for this project looks like?

  3. Posted by Dave

    This is the problem – another 833K feet of office space. This should be all housing. The 100 units of affordable housing are not part of the project – the developer is simply deeding the space for the affordable project. So up to 4000 jobs could fill the building and no new housing is being required to be concurrently developed.

    Beyond the above, the pesky Prop M has pretty much used up the surplus pool and will revert to 850K feet/year going forward. Follow the money as always – the effort to get an exemption from M in the Central SOMA area is being done for one reason. To front load office developments such as this at the expense of housing. This project would have to wait in line for perhaps a good number of years before it gets an allocation but the contemplated exemption to M would allow around 6 million feet of office space to be immediately approved in the Central SOMA with the housing component left to maybe be built in the out years.

    • Posted by Orland

      I very much doubt the initiative will pass due to the housing impact and “affordability” issue.

      • Posted by Dave

        ITA and, should the jobs/housing imbalance not be ameliorated by Planning, expect an initiative from housing activists and others to mandate a more realistic jobs/housing balance. If Planning lowers the ratio to 3:1 my guess is most activists would be mollified.

        For commercial developers the target is Prop M. A 2018 RE preview by developers and commercial RE types noted that SF is built out (given current planned projects) and the Central SOMA plan has to be approved and M changed in order to continue major office development in SF.

        • Posted by Orland

          “built out”? there’s always UP!

          • Posted by Dave

            That was sort of the point of the observations. The FiDi is pretty much built out and the TTC hi-rise sites are pretty much taken with development plans in place. There is a shrinking number of parcels available on which large office hi-rise buildings can be built. The Central SOMA plan with parcels such as this up zoned to 250 feet or whatever is needed, per commercial development interests, to allow for continued office construction in SF.

          • Posted by hundoman

            Why would we ever build housing as that is some far away suburbs responsibility?

            No Bay Area city in it’s right mind would or should allow housing to be built when instead you can have the benefit of tech or bio-tech office space and all the tax roll benefits that entails verses the costs of having people actually live in your city.

  4. Posted by 101

    Nice mix use project. The office component will do well and is needed. The community will also get a recreation center and the tennis regulars will get a nice place to play.

  5. Posted by Mark Cole

    What a ridiculous project. Another sterile, soulless office complex bringing thousands of more people competing for a dwindling supply of middle-class housing. Without any matching housing. This site should be ALL housing. We need a progressive majority on the board of supes to put a stop to development driven by greed and nothing else.

    • Posted by Chris

      There is a progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors. And, there were plenty of times there was clearly a progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors in the past (e.g. remember the Chris Daly Board?) when they were free to pass whatever legislation they wished regarding housing, office development, etc.

      Expensive housing is nothing new in SF, nor is the shortage of affordable housing, nor is congestion, nor is homelessness, etc., etc. And, there could be all the housing necessary for current and future demand if the approval and permitting process was not so onerous in SF, and if there were some modest upzoning–just allow a couple of extra stories in the Sunset and Richmond and BAM, you would have 100,000 or more potential new units. But, nothing sensible like that will ever happen because most of the people wringing their hands and crying “housing,” do NOT want more housing–they want no development, period. Like those rich “neighbors” (who don’t act very neighborly) in North Beach who whined and cried for affordable housing, and now are actively trying to block a proposed affordable housing project.

      Nothing has come out of left field. SF has the most regulated, over-processed, public input heavy planning, zoning, approval, permitting, and appeals process in the nation. At the end of the day, SF is a large American city that needs to continue to grow and develop, if people wish to live in a dead city tourist museum, they should move to Venice–very lovely, but no one lives there.

    • Posted by RHlandlord

      I disagree completely and as a neighbor, I’ll be more affected by this than you.

      I think it looks great so get off your soapbox and go become an architect if you don’t like it.

  6. Posted by Pablito

    Looking at that diagram all I can think is that basement looks like a HSR rail stop. 🙂

  7. Posted by Adam

    I’ll bet right now that the tennis courts are designed to be converted into extra parking levels if (or when) these subterranean amenities fail to attract enough players to justify staying open.

    • Posted by Michael

      No chance. Club fees are through the roof, membership isn’t waning and the club’s indoor courts are the most prized.

    • Posted by Brad

      There is value in indoor courts as wind makes outdoor courts challenging.

    • Posted by Harvey

      Yes, of course. No membership fees (they’re at about $100/month now I think?), are going to compete with 800-plus cars paying $25-30 bucks a day. If this developer keeps with their historic pattern they will get this entitled, and then sell the project. After that, all bets are off.

      • Posted by citicritter

        Harvey: $100/month fees for the Bay Club – are you kidding? Pretty sure its over ten times that amount!

        And, regarding your claim that this developer will just sell the project, have you not seen all the buildings they have built or are currently building now?

  8. Posted by Dave

    Headline from the local CBS affiliate today – San Francisco Bay Area Experiencing Mass Exodus of Residents. It is precisely because of projects such as this – huge amount of new office space and virtually no new housing, that more and more people are fleeing the Bay Area. Not only are there now more people leaving the Bay Area than coming to the Bay Area, the Bay Area is now at the top of the list of regions experiencing out-migration. One SV observer noted

    “You can’t even contemplate getting into the housing market here,” Hancock said. “And I don’t mean just service workers, I mean highly skilled professionals. The tech elite are having a hard time affording reasonable housing in Silicon Valley. So this is difficult, this makes it very difficult for employers trying to recruit.”

    This is why the Central SOMA plan is so potentially disastrous and, in the long run, will likely hurt the region. Where exactly are the 4000 or so workers in this Tennis Club development expected to live?

    • Posted by Pero

      If you actually click on the report (and ignore the CBS headline), the number of residents in the Bay Area is still rising. Yes, domestic out-migration to other states exceeds in-migration, but foreign net-immigration offsets it and the overall population growth is positive.

    • Posted by citicritter

      Sure, some more new housing COULD be built here; but you constantly go on an on about “virtually no new housing” here — what SF are you referring to?

      Have you even been to South Beach, Mission Bay, Dogpatch, or the base of Potrero Hill in recent years? Have you not seen the thousands of new units gone up or currently going up?!

  9. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    They go a great length to appease tennis club members. How much addition cost is there per underground tennis court?

    Why on earth do they want to build underground tennis court? Rooftop courts sound more appealing. Probably much cheaper too.

    • Posted by GL

      Rooftop courts sound appealing until you actually play tennis there. The wind kills the joy. Can’t serve…. Most players in the current club play indoors instead of upstairs. The indoor courts in feels like you’re underground since there aren’t any windows anywhere.

  10. Posted by A.F

    It is a major disaster to SF residents and recreation area in the city. Do we need another high rise in the area and add more traffic to SOMA which is already congested. Who are the [people] behind this? Whoever approve this project should be fired from his job. Did anyone ask the resident in SOMA to vote on this? No more high rises in SF. We need our city back and developers should move develop outside SF.

    • Posted by sfarchitext

      A.F. You do know this is private “recreation” at a high, members-only fee, not public, right? As a concerned “resident in SOMA” you could have gone to the recent community meeting on this — where incidentally the project received positive response from (presumably “residents in SOMA). Lastly, in response to “We need our city back”?! You mean, you need back a brutal, hulking windowless, anti-pedestrian building that offers absolutely nothing to the public realm of our city?!?

  11. Posted by JJ

    Such a bad idea for SOMA. Traffic is congested already and adding Warriors Arena will devastate the are. Do not touch reacreation facilities in SF and build outside the city. Voters should not support this project.

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