Having been approved back in 2016 but yet to break ground, the entitlements for a skinny 495-foot-tall tower to rise at 524 Howard Street, a development which could yield up to 334 condos, or 72 condos over a 273-room hotel, “depending upon market conditions,” were quietly sold, along with the parking lot parcel, to a group of investors for $78 million last year.
And having already been granted four extensions, the operators of the Transbay District parking lot, which is technically a temporary, non-conforming use, were positioning for a fifth extension in order to continue to operate the lot for (at least) another two years.
From American West Parking’s plea to Planning: “In the several years since you last authorized this use, the immediate area has seen a flurry of new nearby office, residential and retail buildings. With that new development, a number of surface parking lots nearby have been developed without replacing the surface parking, making the parking shortage even greater. The pandemic has led to even more people driving downtown.”
And while noting that San Francisco’s General Plan actively discourages parking within Downtown Zoning Districts, but acknowledging that public parking lots “provide off-street parking for essential workers, commuters, and other users of the immediate vicinity,” San Francisco’s Planning Commission is expected to approve the fifth extension, which would allow the “temporary” parking lot to continue to operate through September of 2022, this week.
And with the entitlements for the 495-foot-tall tower having technically expired, an application to secure a sixth two-year extension for the “temporary” parking lot, which would run through the third quarter of 2024, has been filed with Planning. At the same time, building permits for the tower have yet to be requested. We’ll continue to keep you posted and plugged-in.