Having never recovered from stated concerns that a proposed four-story hotel to rise on the former Tower Records Annex turned bike rental parcel at 1196 Columbus Avenue, a development which was originally branded and designed to specifically target millennial travelers, would attract “late-night activity” that would be “incompatible” with its residential neighbors, the proposed project was rejected by San Francisco’s Planning Commission and subsequently abandoned.
While opponents of the development had also argued that the privately-owned site should be used for affordable housing, an argument which had caught the ear of a number of commissioners, the site quietly returned to the market with a $6.5 million price tag and sold to the “Linden Station Columbus LLC,” which is tied to Centrix Builders and developer Joe Cassidy, for $4.5 million in November of 2018. And even bigger plans for the site have since been drawn.
As newly rendered by Elevation Architects, a six-story building could now rise up to 60 feet in height on the site and yield 56 rooms of “group housing,” with a community room for the building’s residents and a storage room for 56 bikes, but no restaurant or retail space, on its ground floor.
Each of the roughly 300-square-foot units would be outfitted with a private bathroom and a kitchenette (with a two-burner electric stove and under-counter refrigerator, but no oven). And while the site isn’t zoned for the height nor density as proposed, a State Density Bonus and re-zoning could pave its way and would result in 10 of the 56 units being offered at below market rate rents.
Having just completed its preliminary review of the project as proposed, Planning hasn’t raised any red flags.
And in fact, while the project team had anticipated the need to secure a spot rezoning and legislative amendment for the project as envisioned, “the proposed zone change from C-2 to RM-3 would downzone the site with no apparent benefit because the density for Group Housing in C-2 is that of the nearest R District” (which is RM-3 and would permit the density as proposed).
We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.