Plans for a 5-story, 48-unit apartment building to rise on the odd-shaped parking lot parcel at 98 Pennsylvania Avenue in Lower Potrero Hill were approved back in 2016 and building permits for the project were secured and issued in December of 2018.

But the ground has yet to be broken.  And the project team is now seeking to supersize the approved plans for the development as newly rendered below, a requested modification which would allow for a 7-story building, with 79 residential units over a basement garage for 18 cars and 79 bikes, to rise on the site, with the entrance to the building’s garage at the rear of its lot and accessed via 7th Street (and a new sidewalk wrapping around the building with the non-rendered freeway overhead).

While the site is only zoned for development up to 45 feet in height, the project team is seeking to invoke the State’s Density Bonus law for  to build up to 68 feet, as measured from Pennsylvania Avenue and not including the “basement level” fronting an extended 7th Street as envisioned.

And if the modified plans are approved and the ground is broken, the development would now yield 7 studios, 32 one-bedrooms, 35 two-bedrooms and 5 three-bedrooms.  And 12 of the units would be required to be offered at below market rates (BMR) versus 7 of the 48 as already approved.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

18 thoughts on “Supersized Plans for Lower Potrero Hill Parking Lot Site”
  1. Awesome project. This is a short walk to thousands of Mission Bay jobs and the T line. Love to see more homes near jobs and transit.

    I wish SF would build more 7-12 story buildings like this. European scale but not a tower – a compromise between people who are scared of tall buildings and SF’s desperate home shortage.

    1. Stick-built new construction above the current 5 to 6 stories atop a concrete podium would cost considerably more, necessitating/justifying going to hi-rise. Stick-built can only go to the current height(s) due to structural strength parameters. Going any higher would require steel and concrete

      1. Would cross-laminated timber have any chance of increasing the feasibility of 7-12 stories in SF, without steel + concrete?

      1. Good intel on the 7th Street extension. That’s slightly bad news, IMO, as it throws a small wrench to demolishing the 280 spur at Mariposa, and replace it with 7th St. 7th would become a standard street level boulevard on ramping to 280 a la Octavia

        1. I would think “small wrench” is overstating how large this lilliputian wrench really is compared to the scale of getting rid of 280 (which we should do). 280 is mostly over the Caltrain tracks here, which are likely to keep this alignment for at least another 10 years (if we’re lucky)

      2. The intersection of 16th, Mississippi, 7th and Caltrain is already a pretty unusual mess. It will be interesting to see the plans for extending 7th and if that makes this intersection better.

        45′ feet in height is probably lower than the adjacent freeway. I’m guessing the units at 58-68 feet will be near the level of traffic…

        1. I think so too. The top floor of the neighboring building appears to be at freeway height, so I’d guess at least the top 2 floors of this would be.

    1. The 7th Street extension is vaporware at this point; it’s at least contingent on undergrounding Caltrain, and likely contingent on removing 280. The project is forward-looking in anticipating that this *may* happen, but it’s a significant issue of *when*.

  2. Great spot for infill. I used to live just up the hill a few blocks, and the area at the bottom of the hill is perfect for more homes. Hope this happens!

  3. What are the air quality impacts of living right next to the freeway, though? Seems like a lot of fumes and PM2.5, even with good HVAC systems.

    1. Known risks to people living right next to a freeway include higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and pre-term births than the rest of the local population. In addition, recent research has identified increased childhood obesity, autism and dementia to the list of health risks to the list.

      Doubt you’re going to get much sympathy for the folks who wind up living here from the anarcho-capitalist commentariat on socketsite, though. They’ll just say “If you don’t like the idea of exposing your lungs to auto exhaust on a regular basis, go ahead and don’t live there.” Like it’s a free choice.

  4. Good spot, and would be a great addition. I hope they have good soundproofing. Having lived next to Caltrain, the train noise can be quite loud.

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