Purchased for $1.9 million in November of last year, plans to raze the little 1,200-square-foot home at 3832 18th Street, a “1900’s home with period detail on [an] amazing block in Eureka Valley,” are in the works.

And as envisioned by M-J SF Investments, which is effectively an arm of Vanguard Properties, a six-story building would rise up to 60 feet in height upon the home’s parcel and yield 19 single room occupancy (SRO) units.

While the 3,872-square-foot parcel is currently only zoned for development up to 40 feet in height, and a maximum of four individual units, the project team is aiming to define the units as “Group Housing” (a designation which would allow for up to 14 units in a single development) and employ a State Density Bonus for the additional height and density.

Keep in mind that Group Housing units can only be outfitted with “limited kitchen facilities” (which includes a small counter space, a small under-counter refrigerator, a small sink, a microwave, and a small two-ring burner but no oven).

And in order to qualify as a single room occupancy (SRO) project, which would be necessary for the development as envisioned, none of the units could effectively exceed a gross floor area of 350 square feet (which is not the case as preliminarily designed and rendered).

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by littlexsparkee

    Can’t imagine any community backlash, no siree.

    • Posted by bigshane

      I get the feeling the neighbors might have some reservations…

    • Posted by Anonymous


    • Posted by daved

      Especially whoever buys the $9.4 million (sorry $8.5 million) boondoggle across the street: 3847-3849 18th Street.

      • Posted by Alai

        Two very different visions for a neighborhood: exclusive ultra-luxury low density, and expansive high density. Both market-driven. This is exactly the sort of thing proponents of zoning would seek to avoid.

      • Posted by Anna

        Heck if someone had 2 million dollars more they can buy 17 acres in SF. Balboa Reservoir. But apparently it’s already been sold to The Avalon.

    • Posted by Notcom

      I don’t question your take on it, but what a difference a photo can make:
      had the top shot been cropped a little bit on the right and (especially) the left we might have all thought this was just a street of SFR Victorians; but there’s enough of a hint of something else to make us explore the map function and…voila! it’s actually a block of variously sized buildings (some quite large)

      • Posted by John Trevithick

        This is exactly right; two doors to the left is a huge 5 story Bridge managed senior housing complex that fills much of the block’s interior, continuing to the street behind, Dorland St. While there are a few decent enough looking Victorians on the block similar in appearance to the two on either side of the project site, the block also has a number of ugly boxes, some Richmond Special types with the awful rock facade ground floor, bad aluminum replacement windows, etc. The proposal isn’t as bad a fit as it appears.

        • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

          I am one of the property owners on this block and could not disagree with you more. That proposal is much too tall, has no parking, and no kitchens in units. This is transient housing, which our neighborhood does not need!!!!!

          • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

            plus they will be selling these at “MARKET VALUE” If you think this offers affordable housing, think again!!

      • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

        But none of the other “modern” apartment buildings are 20 feet higher than every other building in the neighborhood, nor do they encroach on the rear yard requirements in a way that will block light into all apartments, whether occupied by tenants or owners!

  2. Posted by DavesterCA

    I needed a good laugh today.

    As Ms. Coco Peru would say….

    “Gooooood Luck”

  3. Posted by james skelton

    Would call this Castro or Mission, not Eureka Valley. Unfortunate model, doesn’t show the actual scale of the block at all.

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      Eureka Valley is huge and Castro, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle, parts of the Mission, are all within Eureka Valley.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        Nobody says they live in Eureka Valley. They say they live in any of the others you listed.

      • Posted by Estiv

        WRONG! Noe Valley and Eureka Valley are two distinctly separate named areas based on geography. Both names date to well before either area was settled by a lot of white people.

        • Posted by Seb

          Neither Noe nor Eureka are Ohlone names. I don’t personally care which name people use, but pretending that either one is pre-colonization is just wrong.

  4. Posted by Hunter

    Perfect spot for it – desirable neighborhood near jobs/transit with too many low-density homes. Would like to see this all over the western and southern neighborhoods as well.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      “too many low-density homes” according to whom? Developers who want to profit from driving down San Franciscans’ standard of living?

      • Posted by Alai

        People who think $5 million is too much for a home in the city? People who would like an apartment to call their own?

        • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

          Believe me when I tell you these developers will want top dollar for these units–especially the ones at the very top that blow the height restrictions on this block (and EVERY block) in San Francisco from 40′ to 60′!! No problem with the idea of creating affordable housing, or more units, but these will not be affordable and the building height and rear expansion are atrocious!!!!!!!

      • Posted by Hunter Oatman-Stanford

        Anyone who can’t afford a million+ dollars or 3K/person for rent. There are no “affordable” single family homes in SF whatsoever.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          Keep in mind that roughly 10 percent of single-family homes sales in San Francisco over the past quarter closed escrow with a contract price of under a million dollars (and the percentage of sub-million dollar listings has been ticking up).

          • Posted by Jake T

            Amazing, so 10% of the SFH inventory is a mere 3x the country’s median home price <2x California's median?

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Or less than a fifth the average price of a single-family home in Manhattan! So it’s actually cheap here, right?

          • Posted by Anonymous

            This seems pretty intentionally trollish SS. Going from wildly unaffordable to the vast majority of people to wildly unaffordable to a slightly lower percentage of people (and that’s assuming household incomes haven’t dropped due to surging unemployments, furloughs, etc.) Isn’t exactly comforting and it sure as hell isn’t particularly informative.

          • Posted by Mark

            Big deal. It’s SF. There are people who think SF is some kind of mecca and are willing to pay any price to live there.

    • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

      The scale is completely non contextual. This is transient housing. This neighborhood does not need development projects of this scale and non-conformity. I will fight this as strenuously as possible!!

  5. Posted by haighter

    This development would be perfect for a young single professional. Get your food from restaurants around the neighborhood, hang in dolores park. Get your own private space without paying for a kitchen you rarely use.

    • Posted by Jake T

      Yeah – I can’t imagine the young technology workers splitting a unrenovated Victorian shack with 4 friends use the dilapidated kitchens I’ve seen in some rental listings. This will help ease the pressure on the multi-bedroom market from unrelated persons trying to find affordable bedrooms.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      I would bet that the folks who have access to kitchens, dilapidated or not, are using them much more frequently now that restaurants are either shut down or only selling take-out and that includes young single professionals. Of course, if you’re shilling for a developer who is trying to profit from taking a single family home and turning it into a market-rate SRO building in order to maximize profit from the age-old “rack-em, pack-em, stack-em” strategy, then it makes rhetorical sense to say that young professionals rarely use the kitchens available to them.

      • Posted by NF

        “taking a single family home and turning it into a market-rate SRO building”

        You’re either not actually an incensed renter or you haven’t really thought this through. If, hypothetically, every SFH was replaced with apartments, what would that do for affordability?

  6. Posted by Scott F

    I would love to see this height and density around Dolores Park. It’s a shame the park is surrounded on three sides by ostentatiously low-rise buildings that have become luxury housing. I’m sure there are a few rent-controlled tenants holding on in some of those, but overall it’s like an advertisement for an unattainable lifestyle of the rich.

    How many affordable apartments and at what income levels as proposed?

    • Posted by 18th St Citizen

      This comment has been bugging me since I read it. Do you really want to destroy 130 years of history because we have had a decade of bubble growth? Hey, who needs the park anyway? Why don’t we just build on that – all that wasted space. Do you even know why there is a park there in the first place? Move to Atlanta or Dallas if you want height and density uber alles.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        What is this delusion? Atlanta and Dallas are vastly lower slug and less dense than Dan Francisco. They have famously NIMBYist suburbs.

        And something ring old doesn’t mean it has real historical value. Things change. They always have and always will. The city today is vastly different than 50 years ago and that version was vastly different from 50 years before that. Nobody is talking about forced relocation. If a develop can buy a property or properties with redevelopment in mind, greater density should be encouraged, even if it offends your completely ahistorical sensibilities.

        • Posted by 18th St Citizen

          Do you know what ahistorical means? I was encouraging Scott to be aware of history.

    • Posted by Mark

      Wrong. Replacing these low-rise buildings will not provide any affordability to those who are already priced out of the market. All it will do is create more market rate luxury housing. Cost to build and land prices make it prohibitively expensive. You want affordability? Move away from SF.

    • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

      It would stick out like a sore thumb!! What about the lack of parking requirements??? This project is way overscaled for this block. Clearly you don’t live anywhere near to here!!!

      • Posted by Jake T

        The city nixed parking requirements a long time ago. Sorry to say, but you may want to move to Marin if that’s so important to you.

  7. Posted by Anna

    Seems a bit aggressive for the lot size and I can’t imagine the neighbors on either side will be very excited about the project…but understand the need for affordable housing!

    • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

      this is NOT AFFORDABLE HOUsING!! The developers are trying to stick a 60′ high building in a whoe neighborhood that has a maximum height of 40″. They are asking for a variance for this building that will disrupt every tenant and homeowner’s light in the rear of their neighboring buildings, and asking for it so they can maximize their profits! So they will only have to make a few (on the ground floor most likely) affordable, and totally capitalize on the height and views/ light they are vying for while obliterating light in all the back yards of the entire block.

  8. Posted by Karl

    An excellent project — and a State Density Bonus Law one, to boot!
    Accordingly and thankfully, it is irrelevant what the neighbors think.

  9. Posted by Clyde benke

    A new slum fit for rats… San Francisco tries so hard to ignore reality. But reality won’t be denied.

  10. Posted by Old Mission

    A group home in my neighborhood was closed by the Fire Department, because it lost its back yard exit. It did not lose its back yard, but its path from the back yard to the street, without going through the building. Is that second exit path required for all group homes? Does this project have it?

    • Posted by Kyle S.

      DBI let someone build a group home without an easement for their rear egress?

      • Posted by Old Mission

        The group home I refer to lost its rear yard egress (long story) That caused Fire Dep’t to shut it down. My question concerns this proposed project. Are SRO’s required to provide rear yard egress (meaning they have a path from the rear yard to the street)?

  11. Posted by Conifer

    I favor both conservation and rational development, but this is simply appalling. Regardless of the big buildings already on this street, this monster will put paid to any Victorian flavor. Unless the developer knows a surviving “expediter” this will not happen.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      The idea that the city can only be Victorian is insanely regressive and so damaging.

      • Posted by 18th St Citizen

        Nobody is saying that… There are plenty of crappy buildings that could be taken down and have a unit like that put in its place. Walk around the Mission from the freeway to, say 20th St, and see how many one-floor car repair places there are. How about sacrificing a few of those to put up some of the denser developments such as have already gone in on 15th and on SVN?

        • Posted by NF

          Thanos, this is about as NIMBY a statement as you could make

      • Posted by Leslie C. Bahr

        No one is saying that. No one! We approve of conscientious development in this neighborhood, but this Godzilla project is higher than every other building and wants to push out into the rear yard space in a way that will destroy the light back there people need to live in their homes/apartments!!

  12. Posted by geminiguy

    How does one get permission to ‘raze’ a building? Doesn’t it have to be totally dilapidated and unlivable and unable to be remodeled?

    • Posted by Jake T

      More or less. It’s probably impossible if the building is rent controlled. Even if your application is approved by planning, you can be guaranteed that some busybody will appeal it to the supes.

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