Plans to raze the white two-story garage/warehouse building at 262 7th Street, adjacent to Sightglass Coffee, between Folsom and Howard, are in the works.

And as envisioned, a new six-story development would rise up to 65 feet in height upon the Western SoMa site, which stretches to Langton, with 96 new single-room occupancy (SRO) units, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette (i.e. studios), over four (4) small commercial spaces and a basement level with secured parking for 96 bikes.

The development would actually be two buildings, one fronting 7th and the other Langton and a courtyard between. And the existing building’s façade on Langton would be retained and incorporated into the development as an architectural feature.

Twelve (12) of the 96 units would be rented at below-market rates as proposed. And the project, which would take an estimated 18 months to build, has just been deemed eligible for a streamlined environmental review. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

19 thoughts on “Plans for New SRO Units to Rise in Western SoMa”
    1. 6 stories isn’t a joke and it pretty typical of what you see in denser European cities. Not everything has to be a tower.

      1. we are in a huge housing deficit, unlike european cities that are/have been covered with 6-7 story buildings for decades. western SOMA is in the downtown core and walkable to thousands of jobs. a tower is like 30 plus stories, and i agree we dont need them everywhere, but 12 stories sounds pretty reasonable.

          1. He seems to be arguing 12 stories for downtown core, which if anything, is still under building for that location

    1. Whoever wrote this story has the wrong building. Yes, this building has character but the building the story is referring to is at the other end of the block, closer to Howard.

  1. Awesome, more of this and faster please. Thousands of people would be happy to live here. And new customers for sightglass.

  2. So then market rate studio apartments are now called SROs? And 12 of the 96 will be “below market rate SROs” ? A tutorial to explain the real estate terminology is needed in this town, especially when income and lottery and waitlists come into play. Hey Mom, I live in an SRO—-no, no, not that kind of SRO…..the other kind.

    1. You should take up your “nomenclature” gripe with the Planning Dept. — but I wouldn’t count on your success in getting them to rewrite the Planning Code with whatever your preferred terminology might be.

      FYI, in the Western SoMa, when a building consists entirely of “efficiency dwelling units” (i.e. “Studios” with a gross area (not including bathroom) of 350 sf or less, then the Planning Dept. refers to it as an “SRO Building”.

      Also FYI, a below-market-rate SRO must be rented/sold at 3/4 the price of a below-market-rate “Studio” — which is an efficiency dwelling unit that is larger than 350 gsf (not including the bathroom.)

      1. Thank you for the tutorial. I thought “studio apartment” would suffice. Evidently not anymore. Unless the studio apartment is in an older building not subject to the new definition. As in, hey Mom, I rented a studio apartment in SF. No, it is not an SRO. It is bigger and not in Western SoMa.

        1. In effect, qualifying as an “SRO” or “Group Housing” project allows developers to skirt the sections of San Francisco’s Planning Code which regulate the required mix of unit sizes, and inclusionary housing levels, in a new development and isn’t specific to Western SoMa.

          1. Interesting.

            Is this a way to classify a more market rate unit as an SRO for legal purposes? It’s quite profitable to run an SRO as a slumlord, but probably even more profitable to charge market rates and call yourself an SRO.

      2. Karl, I think what Citizenkarma is getting at is that in traditional SROs, at least the one’s I rented in the early 90’s in this city, many don’t have their own kitchens and most have a shared bathroom or shower down the hallway (so what is specifying a gross area not including bathroom actually effecting?). Every studio I’ve ever rented, no matter how small had it’s own kitchen and bathroom. OTOH, I’ve never been inside an SRO that was newly constructed so maybe things will be different with this property.

    2. I think the difference between an “SRO” and a studio is in the kitchen. To my mind, if you have a real kitchen with a 4-burner stove and full size refrigerator, so you can cook serious meals, it’s a “studio”. If you have a mini-stove (2 burners of less)–or just a microwave–and a “compact” refrigerator, say one under the counter, so you’re pretty much dependent on heating stuff up and take-out, then it’s an “SRO”.

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