Purchased for $800,000 in August of 2019, the seemingly shoehorned Twin Peaks parcel at 4512 23rd Street, which technically fronts a little known spur of 23rd Street and Argent Alley, between Market Street and Corbett Avenue, measures 3,027 square feet and is zoned for the development of up to four dwelling units, rising up to 40 feet in height, the plans for which had been drafted for the sale.

But as subsequently re-envisioned by SIA Consulting for the Paramount Estates LLC, a five-story, 13-unit apartment building could rise up to 46 feet in height upon the site, not including the penthouse for the stairs and access to a rooftop deck, with 3 studios, 4 one-bedrooms, 5 twos and one (1) three-bedroom unit, leveraging San Francisco’s HOME-SF program for the additional (setback) height and density.

Not too surprisingly, Planning has received 41 letters in opposition to the project, primarily penned by uphill residents that currently overlook the lot, but also by those below looking up the hill, objecting to the project’s proposed height, density and lack of parking, as well as the impact the development would have on the “wildlife that currently inhabits the site.”

But having found that the project as proposed is, on balance, consistent with the Objectives and Policies of San Francisco’s General Plan, meets all applicable requirements of San Francisco’s Planning Code, and will maximize the use of the vacant lot, San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending the 13-unit infill development be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, with 3 of the units to be rented at below market rates (BMR) per the terms of the HOME-SF bonus program.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

39 thoughts on “Supersized Twin Peaks Infill Project Slated for Approval”
      1. To actually walk up the path past this parcel from the pedestrian overpass (on Grand View) that crosses Market and looking at the above renderings are 2 obviously different experiences.

        The parcel is in between the pedestrian path that leads up to Corbett and Argent Alley at the north end (also a foot path). It is a hillside T shaped open space filled with trees, sunlight and in the spring, a green grassy oasis. And yes, (city) wildlife. So I can understand the 41 letters of opposition to build on the section of the T that runs north/south. The people who live in the apartments and homes that back up to this space have been living with a park like amenity right out their windows.

        Shoehorned is a perfect word to describe this project.

        1. Gotta admit this does stink for neighbors who have enjoyed this undeveloped lot for all these years. OTOH, I think you have to expect that any undeveloped lot will sooner or later be built upon.

          1. For the most part I agree but it’s hard to beware/prepare when height limits are changed.

          2. When I first moved to the neighborhood (in 1973) that I’m still living in there were empty lots (in places a double or triple lot) here and there including a very large hilltop lot up the street from me. Every single one of them has been built on.

            The hilltop lot was leveled and 4 very expensive (at the time the most expensive homes ever sold in the neighborhood) properties were built. One passionate neighbor chained herself to a huge Monterey Cypress that was going to be cut down. (she got arrested) You get used to seeing the greenery paved over.

            I like to walk up to the Diamond Hts Safeway occasionally and use Diamond St and then DH Blvd to get there. At Diamond and DH Blvd there is a long steep slender tree studded lot that affords a drop dead view of the eastern half of the City, SF Bay and East Bay as you walk or drive by above it. That is also soon to be completely covered over.

        2. Except it is not a public park. If the nearby residents want a park, they are welcome to petition the city to pay the owner full fair-market value for their property to convert it into a public park. What they cannot do is try to obstruct a project that meets the requirements of the Planning Code in some back door attempt to create a public park out of private property without compensation to the property owner.

          1. I have not read here or anywhere that the people that oppose this project are out to turn the parcel into a public park. If it turns out that is the case then yes, of course, the property owner would have to be paid for the lot.

            Since City Planning sends out notices to all residents within a certain distance of the project and invites public comment they have a right to send in their comments/complaints or attend the hearings and do it in person. 41 letters of opposition is a lot for a small project like this. It may bring changes to the project so that some of the nearby residents are appeased. Or not. Those now looking at tree tops out their windows but will be looking at a wall in the future have the option to move.

            I would hazard a guess that all of the residents around this parcel know it is not a public park but are reacting to the loss of light, views, etc (the “park like” amenity). Some property owners may be wondering about how it will affect future rents/property values.

  1. fronts a little known spur of 23rd Street and Argent Alley, between Market Street and Corbett Avenue

    I was going to complain – whining?? Perhaps…but no whinging!! – about your semantics, but looking at the detailed o/head I see what you mean: I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a street that takes up all three sides of a tee intersection…they’ve always been lines (maybe bent lines, but one direction only).

  2. This is the best example yet to indicate just how motivated SF Planning has become to build housing. Awesome to see, unless you’re the resident / owner of one of those homes on Corbett…

    1. What a cool little infill site. I’m happy to see developers finding a way to add housing at sites like this. If they added some lot-line windows to the top floor apartments, they’ll have great city views on clear days.

      1. Agreed. This bodes extremely well for the future of density in SF.

        Next, I’d love to see an official, city sponsored loan + construction program to enable SFH homeowners to jack up their house and add a unit (or two), then use that rent to re-pay. If we can get the Richmond / Sunset to get to 2-3 stories, we’d really be talking…

        1. The Richmond and Sunset already are 2-3 (actually 2-4) stories for the most part, barring just a few blocks in the outer sunset that have midcentury 1 story cottages (some of which have had a floor added).

  3. Dang, that’s a really dick move to block the views of that entire row of buildings on Corbet just to add a penthouse that won’t even have east facing windows.

    1. The elevation implies that entire side of the building’s view is blocked by the equally tall neighboring building.

    2. Agree. The sale went forward with plans and zoning for 40 ft elevation that wouldn’t block views. Now it’s upzoned for a penthouse that will block multiple properties’ views while only giving one unit crappy views. My takeaway is that any owner whose neighboring lots are for sale should not trust what’s zoned and just buy the land and not develop it. To be honest, this one feels icky.

      1. Neither the Planning Code nor the Residential Design Guidelines protect views. Whether the project would block anyone’s views cannot be considered by the Planning Commission in its review of the proposal.

  4. It looks like the penthouse is just for access to a common roof deck. Stair towers can be recessed if you add a drain and waterproof. Elevator penthouse cannot.

  5. The only thing I find surprising is that SIA Consulting, who is knee-deep in the DBI scandal, apparently having bribed officials and building inspectors with “loans” they never had to repay, is still bringing new projects forward for approval. I’m a bit surprised they have time, in between depositions and meetings with defense counsel. I think there is little chance they build this, but maybe they’ll succeed in selling off the entitled project.

  6. This project is a joke. It is not a HOME-SF project, a HOME-SF project needs to be 1/2 mile to a major transit. If you have ever walked this area, you know it is over a mile down VERY steep hills to major transit and over a mile away to any form of retail.

    This SIA project was obviously allowed as I’m sure many SF politicians palms were greased for this approval to happen. Funny, the President of the SF Board of Appeals, Darryl Honda, is SIA’s Realtor. Coincidence? I think not.

    This is classic SF corruption at it’s finest. Anders Fung, the owner of the property is a politician in Millbrae who is EXTREMELY corrupt. If you doubt my words, please feel free to research all parties before responding.

    1. The FBI has a public tip line. By all means, if you have so much evidence of “corruption” instead of posting here, where very few will see your comments and even fewer will care, pick up your phone and report the evidence you have. But, if you’re just ranting, get a new hobby.

  7. For all of the YIMBYs out there, who blindly support development, without questioning the people/organizations behind them, these are the corrupt people/organizations you are supporting. They are not good people looking to save SF from a housing problem, the are greedy people taking advantages of loopholes in laws to build sub-standard housing, pocket the money and move on. Leaving SF with a bigger problem in the future and ugly scars that are buildings to remind us of how they took advantage of the SF.

    1. Not sure how you tie corrupt employees to YIMBY support of building housing, and I’m not a supporter of greed or loopholes, and I’m not blind, but I sure know we need more housing and less NIMBY opposition to good projects, usually because they’re worried about street parking being more difficult.

      1. YIMBYs support the idea of development, since they don’t have to live in the actual development. I very much know that SF needs more development, I just support common sense development that is well thought out and not developed via corrupt ways.

        This particular site is a a money grab for Anders Fung and SIA. Anders actually said that he wants, “Hong Kong Style” development. I’ve been to Hong Kong and do not want Hong Kong style living spaces in SF. Since you’re such a “Keenplanner” please explain to me how a family lives in a 300 sqft. apartment that the developers are proposing?

          1. BMRs, or Below Market Rate apartments, are usually intended for families. All of the BMRs in the project are micro-sized at best.

          2. No, BMRs address a larger spectrum of housing needs. If a building contains 2br units, its BMRs will also be 2br. If the building is all small studio units, its BMRs will also be studios. If there’s a mix, the BMRs will also be a mix.

  8. Here we are, the readers, on SocketSite are discussing the merit of a new 13 units housing project. And you Ms. Suzy went on with your unsubstantiated claims, political assassination & smear campaign against the developer and the architectural consultant (SIA).

    Your claim regarding “This SIA project was obviously allowed as I’m sure many SF politicians palms were greased for this approval to happen”, do you have any proof of it?

    Your statement against Anders Fung being “EXTREMELY corrupt”, do you have any solid and unrefuted evidence you can share?

    I read the presentation, viewed the planning commission video, and saw no reference of “Hong Kong Style Development” by anyone from the development team. Could you please cite the source of your comment? Or it is your imagination again?

    When you say “YIMBYs support the idea of development, since they don’t have to live in the actual development”, that is a classic assumption and ideology of NIMBYism. I recall during the hearing, quite a few supporting speakers are living near Corbett Ave and upper Noe District. So you saying if others don’t live on 23rd St or Corbett, their voices don’t matter???

    Bottom line, this post is about building 13 units of new housing in twin peak. Take your political vendetta elsewhere.

    1. I assume you are Anders. I have no political vendetta, but clearly you do. I only know that Anders Fung is in bed with SIA and SIA is currently under investigation for paying off city employees. Not too hard to piece that together. Google Darryl Honda’s name. He was in a court of law recently admitting under oath that he has been SIA’s realtor for 10+ years and he is a President of the SF Board of Appeals and that he didn’t always recuse himself from reviewing SIA projects in the past. I do appreciate that you try to spin me to be the “bad person”, but I’m just telling it like it is. This project is as corrupt as it gets.

      1. Most people come to SocketSite are interested in discussion of housing projects and housing related issues. I don’t know you, so I won’t call you a “bad person” without any solid reason. But it is clear that you are not interested in discussion of housing, whereas your agenda is clearly in attacking SIA consulting, city commissioners/officials and the developer. Also suggesting that when members of the public questioning the intent of your comments, he/she must be someone from within the development team, with all due respect, seems crazy. The news you cited has no relation to the project in question at all. So your comments are clearly an attempt to spread accusations with misinformation, conspiracy theory & guilt by association, rather then basing discussion on facts and evidence. It is the toxic nature of your comments that I have a problem with, not you personally.

        Like you said, I’m just telling it like it is.

  9. Anders Fung can go f*ck himself. He’s screwing over the people in that neighborhood. It sounds like they want him to develop the land, just not in a way that abuses HomeSF. He won’t even meet with the neighbors to hear their concerns.

  10. Anders, claims to be for housing, but he’s a NIMBY at heart. He voted against more housing projects in Millbrae, a place where he actually lives.

    Rules for thee but not for me.

  11. Corruption seems to go hand in hand when it comes to SIA and Anders Fung. This guy is in politics in Millbrae and we all know the shady things he’s done there. He’s a real estate developer at heart. SIA cheats left and right paying off city officials and it’s crazy that they’ve allowed that outfit to continue doing projects. Those two deserve each other and more. JP is on point.

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