If approved as proposed, the redevelopment of the 29-acre Potrero Power Plant site will yield 2,700 units of housing; 600,000 square feet of office space; 700,000 square feet of R&D and PDR space; over 100,000 square feet of retail (including a new grocery); a 220-room waterfront hotel and parking for around 2,600 cars and 1,700 bikes with a dedicated bike land down 23rd Street and 6.3 acres of open space or parks.

But in order to build up to 300 feet in height, as newly massed above, the development team, which includes Meg Whitman and Associate Capital, will need to modify the existing zoning for the site which is currently limited to 65 feet, as it was for the adjacent Pier 70 project.

In addition, permission to demolish around 20 existing buildings on the site, including four historic resources, the plant’s Gate House, Meter House, Compressor House and Station A, all of which have been identified as contributors to San Francisco’s Third Street Industrial Historic District, will need to be granted as well or the overall mass of the development reduced.

While the aforementioned resources would be razed, the project team currently intends to seismically stabilized the plant’s 300-foot-tall Boiler Stack, re-purpose it with ground floor retail space and convert the adjacent Unit 3 power block, both of which are historic contributors, into the aforementioned waterfront hotel.

In terms of timing, the team is still aiming to break ground in 2020 and build in seven phases over the course of 16 years, completing the massive development circa 2036, “depending on market conditions and permitting requirements.”

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

37 thoughts on “Detailed Plans for Massive Power Plant Redevelopment and Stack”
  1. Seems like they’re not trying very hard if they can’t at least propose partially saving some of these brick buildings.

    1. Yeah, no way this will be approved in our city where a f*cking laundromat is studied as a potential historic resource.

    2. As noted above, the historic buildings could be saved but would reduce the overall mass and number of residential units as proposed, at least as the alternative/preservation plans for the project have been drawn.

    3. Yep! The prior thread noted the paucity of “authentic” industrial loft conversion in SF, and this is Exhibit (Station) A as to why: we can put a man on the Moon – and according to a thoroughly unreliable source, soon, Mars – but can’t find a way to preserve buildings that represent about 2% of the surface area; seems like all the effort went into finding ways to cram as many unimaginative boxes into the area as possible (and at 5 times the density currently permitted). Priorities.

      But hey, it will ease the housing “crisis”, right? More housing for those who currently don’t live here (and probably wouldn’t move here if this – and its ilk – wasn’t built).

  2. So about 6000 jobs and 2700 housing units. Digging the hole deeper. Why a 30 story building, why 18 story buildings? So close to the Bay. There will be push backand, if 18 story and higher towers are to be built here the City voters need to approve os such. As was the case with Mission Rock. Part of that approval needs to be the affordable housing component and, yes, retention of more of the historic brick buildings. To do that means less housing – how about less office space instead.

    One good thing – more activation (restaurants, shops and such) are needed at the Bay’s edge. The hotel on the water is a good move. Why not make it somewhat unique – a dock that could be used by people staying at the hotel? Or a rooftop restaurant? That and retaining many of the 20 brick buildings?

    Planning needs to reject this in favor of a “preservation” option. .

    1. Yep, and this is one of the Eastern Waterfront areas the planning department has been touting as picking up the slack for Central SoMa. SPOILER… it doesn’t matter if we have tens of thousands of units of housing in the pipeline if half don’t get build because we make them economically unfeasible and the other half come with twice as many jobs as places to live.

    2. There are 20 structures, not 20 brick buildings on the property. The Gate house and the meter house has a bit of detail that could be of some interest, but “station A”, the smoke stack and all the non-brick buildings can go as far as I am concerned. However, I seriously doubt that the project will be approved as proposed.

    3. Are you sure those numbers pencil out for jobs? That seems a bit high to me, especially since PDR and Life sciences are going to be lower density.

      We do need to build as much housing as possible. Period. Better here where it is near 22nd Street Caltrain and a light rail line.

      Also, the city requires affordable housing or affordable housing concessions from ALL buildings with more than 10 residential units. That would, for sure, include all the buildings here.

    4. Jobs near transit are bad now? You people need to get over yourself. Just because you “got here first” (except for the millions who came and went before you) you think you get to decide that the clock stops now and SF shall be frozen in time as you like it, would-be future San Franciscans be damned.

  3. too high! save the historic nature of the buildings and devote those to light production or community space. Build housing yes! and keep with the historical nature that we need to preserve in SF.

  4. Fantastic project. A good mix with one or two signature Towers. 16 years, really? I get the market dictates the development and we will probably go through a recession.

  5. Once entitled this project will be sold. No way will Meg Whitman and Associate Capital build it out themselves.

  6. It comes as no surprise that a project as unimaginative as this comes courtesy of Meg Witman, California’s last viable GOP gubernatorial candidate. Save Station A!

    1. Typical SF politics of personality. Who cares what’s truly best for the City so long as I can score points against my counter-ideologue.

  7. P.S., the only reason why Meg’s going to save the smokestack is the structure it’s attached to, the old peaker plant, is way higher than anything that you could build today. It’s also exempt from state Tidelands trust regulations because it’s built on terra firma (Potrero Point).

  8. Dang dog, another sizeable project for SE SF. Noice! Definitely this whole area of the city will feel so different in 10-20 years. And glad they’re providing ample office, bio and research facilities too. I’m just not too sure how the traffic flow is going to work from DT down south. But yeah, keep the balance of office and housing. Hate to see these all go bedroom communities.

  9. Bubbles. The smokestack needs to have bubbles come out of the top. Maybe one bubble an hour on the hour? A different color each hour? I.e. a clock?

  10. I never knew this existed before reading this post, but based on Google Street View I think this is a priceless historic resource that should be preserved as-is for future generations. Oh, and traffic.

  11. The height is very welcome. Would like to see a more equal number of homes and new office/research workers on the site. In theory this is just one development, but most of what’s getting built on the whole T line corridor is offices.

  12. I suppose this is near Caltrain but really this area should be housing and retail only. No more new office space out here please. We need more housing

    1. SF should be enjoined from building any more commercial space until they’ve built another million dwellings. I don’t know why all the other cities in the region just roll over and let SF walk all over them when it comes time to set regional housing needs targets.

        1. Ok 4000 per year means that after another 100 years we can let SF start building offices again. That’s how short the city is of housing.

          1. 4000 units per year is above other counties in the area when you compare to current population, so other cities in the region have no argument there. A lot of people work in SF to make the large paychecks, but prefer suburban living – especially if you want to put another million residents into the city.

            The trick would be to have companies that desire to locate outside the SF bay-side area – and not in Cupertino or Brisbane either; they would have to move east of the Bay to Livermore or something to balance out commute patterns. If you choke off all office development in San Francisco, the Brisbane Baylands development will just happen much sooner.

          2. I don’t think any city with more jobs than dwellings should be permitted to build commercial space so Brisbane would be frozen if I were king, too. Totally agreed on balancing commute patters. That’s why San Jose should be building offices. It’s not OK to just pave over Oakland because some people personally prefer to work in SF and live in Moraga.

            Speaking of Oakland that city built 2892 dwelling units in 2016, which is clearly more than SF on a per-capita basis.

          3. Alameda County with 1.5 million residents completed 5,500 dwellings which is clearly less than SF on a per capita basis…

            So is it ok to live in Moraga and commute into Oakland for a job? Or should commuting be outlawed?

          4. Comparing Alameda County which is half the size of Delaware to San Francisco is dumb and I’m not participating.

            Someone who commutes from anywhere *to* Oakland brings both a benefit and a cost to that city, while someone who commutes to SF *through* Oakland brings only the cost. People who don’t have to travel far to their jobs are best.

          5. ” I don’t know why all the other cities in the region just roll over and let SF walk all over them when it comes time to set regional housing needs targets.”

            You were talking of regional needs. Oakland is the County seat of Alameda County, so I think you are the one acting dumb.

            Too bad that Oakland is sandwiched between desirable jobs and desirable housing…

      1. the other cities are even worse than SF at building housing. SF needs to build 6000 units per year min, and the bay area needs to build 15K units per year

  13. They really want to tear down Station A? It was built in 1899 by Spreckles (of sugar fame) as a competitor to San Francisco Gas & Electric (whose offices were coincidentally near another development happening in the Marina). It was one of only power plans to survive the ’06 earthquake.

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