Shuttered last year, plans to raze the long-standing Car Wash on the southeast corner of Collins and Geary, which has occupied the site for 45-years, are in the works.

And while plans for the site’s redevelopment have yet to be drawn, an architect has been engaged and the Geary Corridor parcel is zoned for development up to 40 feet in height, not including any density bonuses that could be claimed.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by formerly%whatever

    Yes but 45 years qualifies as historic(?), at the very least it would be a legacy business.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      It’s actually at 50 years of age, or more, that a historic review is required prior to any demolition or major alteration.

      And as we outlined a few years ago, “the benefit [or impediment] of being awarded “Legacy Business” status in San Francisco is widely misunderstood and frequently misrepresented.”

      • Posted by Marvinsnephew

        It is 45 years when the Planning Dept evaluates for historic status.

  2. Posted by Charla Tan

    With the drought once again upon us, this place was going to be closing down regardless, due to mandatory water restrictions. This lot just screams mutil-use: retail below and residences above. Hopefully, some clever architect will be found and the best use of the site will be delivered. Fingers crossed!

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      It’s that pesky “will be delivered” part that is the important one. Anybody with a moderate amount of capital can engage an architect and get plans drawn up, but nowadays, few residential projects will actually proceed to be built and bring units to market.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      These days most car washes recycle their water, making them more efficient than the garden hose driveway DIY alternative.

  3. Posted by Endicott Johnson

    Let me guess. Another “stumpy” – rectangular condos with rectangular bay windows, and empty retail space available below.

  4. Posted by john p downey

    The entire Geary Blvd from Masonic to Park Presidio ought to be seriously upsized. There are so many pathetic underbuilt sites and surface parking lots. The 38 runs every 8 mins and connects you to downtown in 20 mins.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      A) I generally agree with you, it’s pathetic; though I like the scale of the rest of the Richmond, Geary should be built up like Wilshire in Westwood (at least to Park Presdidio). But…

      B) The 38, and 38R, and 38A, and 38B are all SRO most of the time (pre-covid) by the time they get to this area. SF should do the same thing here that it did with the Transbay Transit district downtown – upzone and use the delta on property taxes to build an underground Muni line with more frequent and non-streetlight-dependant service.

      • Posted by Scott F

        That may happen. Look at the ConnectSF plans.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        This is the way to do it! Devote the increased property taxes to a subway. Not all the way to the ocean, but at least past Van Ness. When I took this line, it would be so slow getting through the TL.

        • Posted by jimbo

          the density in the inner richmond is higher than the city on average. and clearly the 38 is not cutting it. a subway could be supported to park presidio

          • Posted by SFRealist

            I would be happy with it going to Park Presidio, but I wouldn’t demand it. Past Van Ness is a minimum, actually past Gough/Franklin too. If it went to Fillmore, the time to get downtown would drop enormously.

    • Posted by jimbo

      agree it should be upzoned, but we also need a plan for a subway under Geary that corresponds with massive upzoning. I live in inner richmond. From the time I arrive at the bustop on Geary and Arguello, it take 40-45 mins to get downtown, not 20. Generally 2 full buses pass before there is space and even on board it takes more than 20 mins. this was ll pre-covid. havent been on the bus in 15 months

      • Posted by DAA

        I lived near that intersection almost 20 years ago and it was the exact same situation. A real transportation solution to that neighborhood is long overdue.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      (addendum: It’s 3 miles to downtown from this location…. so to say Muni gets you there in 20 minutes is actually pretty pathetic. This city has got to do something about cross-town transit times, whether it’s underground light rail or bus tunnels (like in Cambridge, Mass.) to get busses past bottleneck streets.)

      • Posted by jimbo

        more like 40 mins.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Yeah I was just going off @john p downey’s comment – *even if* it took 20 minutes, which I agree it does not, that’s a ridiculously poor performance.

  5. Posted by Bluntcard

    Turn it into a bicycle wash and half the city would protest to save it. Am I the only one who finds these kinds of places oddly charming and beneficial to the city vibe? Not telling anyone what to do with their property, just an observation.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      They are oddly charming, and useful … but also woefully out of place at this location. I’m hard-pressed to think of any major U.S. city (other than L.A. …) where you’d see a less-than-one-story use like this in such a central, densified location. It’d be like having a car wash in the middle of Williamsburg (Brooklyn), or Brookline (Mass), or Dupont Circle (DC).

      • Posted by Bluntcard

        Why aspire to be Brooklyn? There’s only one San Francisco.

        • Posted by sierrajeff

          I am pointing out distinctions between efficient and logical urban design and development, and illogical design and development. The Bay Area is rife with the latter… and if we can’t learn from other cities – if we can’t use other cities’ experience to guide decisions here — then we are being so short-sighted as to be walking with our eyes closed.

          • Posted by Bluntcard

            San Francisco’s lack of efficient and logical urban design and development is why it is considered one of the most charming and sought after destinations in the world. As is the Bay Area. It’s weird and wonderful and the very lack of logical. You want to end up like Manhattan? A charmless, efficient, logical ghost of what it once was? If you develop everything, you end up with all the charm removed and people questioning why they want to live there in the first place.

          • Posted by two beers

            “Efficiency” killed the real estate star. And yet, the real estate mob keeps destroying more of the structures that gave this city the unique appeal it had that attracted people from around the world. Who will want to live in a cookie-cutter city full of generic luxury condos and block-long opaque glass streetfronts that can be found in any ugly mid-west downtown? The banker/builder/landlord/used house salesman cartel shed no tears for the city they have been destroying with their insatiable greed and unilateral, top-down class war that never sleeps.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            Two beers it’s quite clear you’ve never been associated with any concern which attempted to get a building permit, let alone a demolition permit in San Francisco.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            @Bluntcard: I didn’t realize a single-story self-service car wash in the middle of a dense and transit-rich corridor was a “charming” attraction that put San Francisco on the map – as opposed to its hills, views, parks, diversity, etc. By all means, save the self-service carwash on a major thoroughfare, if that’s what’s keeping San Francisco from becoming the next Brody.

            Also, a few (million) people might take issue with you portraying places like Brooklyn or Dupont Circle as “charmless”!

    • Posted by redux

      try living by it. the amount of traffic it caused on a small street like Collins was overwhelming, the accumulation of trash all over the sidewalk and 3am car washes with music blasting did not resemble anything I would think of as charming. good riddance.

  6. Posted by Dale Duncan

    Two beers nailed it. We’re entering a new paradigm where this will be common knowledge. Too big fails.

  7. Posted by Jimmy the Kid

    Two beers I love your pithy rant. Very well written.

  8. Posted by Rob D

    This looks like a great place for housing with first floor retail. I’m excited to see what they build.

  9. Posted by Been there

    This sidewalk is a regular dumping ground for all kinds of household items for whatever reason, so good riddance! The lazy bums who can’t bother to call RMJ for a FREE scheduled pickup irk me to no end! It’s passive bullying!

    • Posted by Brian M

      Class warfare! Random dumping of garbage is part of SF’s charm! LOL

  10. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: With the application to raze the car wash shed and facilities working its way through Planning, the unentitled 5,000-square-foot site is now on the market with a $1.75 million price tag. As a point of reference, that Polk Gulch parcel upon which a 140-foot-tall tower is slated to be entitled measures 4,795 square feet.

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