Plans for over 100 condos to rise over a newly stacked garage on the prominent parking lot parcel on the southeast corner of Second and Howard were approved back in 2006 but the development was then waylaid by the Great Recession and the 19-story tower never broke ground.

With the route for “The Portal” (a.k.a. the Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) to San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center) having since been selected to run directly underneath the 201 2nd Street site, the corner parcel is now subject to eminent domain and will need to be fully excavated in order for The Portal tunnel to be built.

As such, a two year extension of the required Conditional Use authorization needed to continue operating the 19-space parking lot has just been requested. And according to the application, the owners of the parcel aren’t expecting The Portal to be completed “until 2031,” at the earliest and based on feedback from the City. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

15 thoughts on “Make That 2031, at the Earliest”
  1. It’s too bad the entire crew/project team from the Central Subway wasn’t able to simply be re-directed to this project. I realize from a project financing POV it’s more complicated than this, but there should be one team that’s building one of these tunnels at all times. 2010’s was the Central Subway, 2020’s the DTX, 2030’s the Central Subway left turn to Palace of Fine Arts, etc. One tunnel per decade would be a pretty good outcome, given the state of infra projects in this country.

    1. Wasn’t that Weiner’s plan / desired policy before he moved to State government – always have at least one project under planning and another under construction.

      As someone who lived at 11th & Arizona in Santa Monica, when it was all cars (or horrible buses) … to know that less than 20 years after being a gleam in an eye there’s light rail (and soon heavy underground rail) from the beach to DTLA is breathtaking. And such an indictment against SF. (One minor apologia for the Bay Area is that it’s so balkanized – the State should have created one regional transit agency (like MassPort or the NY/NJ Port Authority) to plan and run it all … if not even going so far as to force merge cities into a larger government (like Greater Toronto). But … coulda woulda shoulda…)

        1. .. hence continued Balkanization. Neverminding that if the population of much of the Bay Area were in one metro jurisdiction, then perhaps some of our more egregious policies and political farces would be ameliorated by the larger voting population.

          But we can’t even force unincorporated enclaves to be absorbed – I recently moved to Marin and was surprised to learn there are a few blocks of Mill Valley, north of East Blithedale by Camino Alto, that are *not* M.V., but are surrounded by M.V. So they reap the benefits of the address and services but don’t pay into the system (or get a say in the political process).

          Unincorporated enclaves should be forced to be absorbed, and ditto small jurisdictions like Kensington or PIedmont. They serve no planning or political purpose other than segregating (higher valued) property tax revenue away from larger jurisdictions, and creating a vehicle for exclusionary “local” land use planning.

          1. I agree. Little unincorporated county enclaves are scattered all over the Bay Area. Some are only a half block wide. Their dispersion makes it difficult for the county sheriff and other services to cover. But they contain a lot of residents who need services and that need spills over into the incorporated areas.

          2. Agreed. The United States should also be forced to give California back to Mexico. Not only was it forcibly taken by war, but the state’s wealth should be fairly distributed to disadvantaged people. Mexico should have a say in how California is run, and benefit from its power and influence.

  2. I have in my possession a picture book that (the long gone) San Francisco Federal Savings – IIRC the one Herb Caen used to do ads for – put out in the early 60s on their 25th Anniversary. One of the pages is devoted to the new San Francisco Airport opening in 1937, and opposite the 1954 Terminal – the one that’s still there (well hidden!); the caption reads:

    “Progress!! Before 1937’s babies were out of High School both plane and terminal were out of date. 300,000 of us opened the new terminal August 1954”

    A current version would read:

    Lack of Progress!! Long after 2006’s babies are out of Grad School, the DTX will remain a pipe dream…rather literally”

  3. Isn’t the whole idea of the DTX pretty questionable at this point? Put the terminal at 4th and King and just declare it to be the center of the city. After all it has two light rail lines serving it while Salesforce has zero.

      1. Both are difficult but it is easier to move rail to density than visa versa

        You wouldn’t know it, from the evidence available

        1. I guess you’re referring to the increasing density of SOMA. Not sure whether the DTX plans include it, but it would be nice to retain the 4th and King station, but beneath whatever new buildings are constructed at that site. And some Caltrains could terminate there to relieve the pressure on the limited number of platforms at the Transbay terminal.

    1. We can leave HSR out of the picture, but judging by the increasing Peninsula commuter traffic on 101 and 280, Caltrain demand will be back. DTX enables Caltrain to connect to the Market Street corridor/FiDi, a worthy project. Then there’s BART into the Richmond (vapor for 50 years) and the second Transbay tube, which is long overdue.

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