Corner Synagogue on the Market, Positioned for RedevelopmentFebruary 13, 2023
The 8,000-square-foot temple on the southeast corner of Taraval and 46th Avenue, which is currently home to Congregation Am Tikvah and Little People Preschool and Kindergarten, is on the market with a $4.2 million price tag.
The Outer Sunset parcel is zoned for development up 40 feet in height and up to 13 units of housing, within a district for which the development of housing is encouraged and prior to any Density bonuses.
And according to the marketing materials for the building, the synagogue “will vacate by close of escrow” and the preschool is on a month-to-month lease with a below-market, $3,000 per month rent. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Even with the recent track replacement, this remains one of the noisiest locations in the Sunset as the L Taraval churns around that tight bend.
Muni should really install a greaser there. Whoever develops this lot might want to see about working with the city to fund one.
Once upon a time this building was a nightclub.
That explains the absence of windows. Hopefully the Little People will acquire some windows allowing a glimpse of the sky in their new location.
How financially viable is this project? With prices falling and located in a somewhat bleak area of SF. The continuing job exodus shrinks the pool of potential buyers as does the shift to hybrid work models. A friend who works for SF employee and works 4 days/week from home just bought a condo in Pleasant Hill for around 350K. Great weather and a pool to boot. If I were in her shoes and this project was opening up, which would I choose? Plus, it’s doubtful one-bedroom units here will go for 350K.
I get where your head is in terms of amenities and cost comparison, but in no way think that anyone even slightly interested in living in the city would trade it for Pleasant Hill (even at $350K). SF still has a far better draw for most people, regardless of the pricing swing between here and other lil suburban cities around the bay.
I think this is one of the coolest (no pun intended) areas of SF. For lovers of oceans and beachy life, this is a great area to be in the city but also not at the same time.
It’s a matter of taste, but I disagree. Taraval is so far south. You can’t walk to Golden Gate Park or Fort Funston. There aren’t many interesting businesses compared to say Judah. Getting to the action in the eastern half of the city takes forever. Other than being close to the beach, what makes this a cool part of town?
I was actually thinking of Judah, got it mixed with Taraval (I haven’t lived in SF in over a decade). I used to live in this neighborhood and there were a few cool surfer bars and good mom and pop restaurants. But Judah is much more active.
Yes, the Judah / Irving cluster has much more going for it. More businesses, more hip, access to the park, and a straight shot to downtown via the N or driving down Lincoln. Taraval is worse in every way.
what makes this a cool part of town?
> The weather
(Actually make than
“what makes this the cool part of town?”
Free concerts at Stern Grove
United Irish Cultural Center
Then there’s the stretch of Taraval leading up to West Portal. Plenty of “cool” things out there.
“Bleak”? Tell us you know nothing about San Francisco neighborhoods without telling us you know nothing about San Francisco neighborhoods.
That $350K Pleasant Hill condo sounds great until you realize you’re stuck living in Pleasant Hill. It’s like comparing apples to spark plugs with this location.
A cursory look at the listings on realtor.com indicates that while there are no one-bedroom units on sale in the 94116 zip code currently, there’s also nothing for sale less than $990 per ft.² (that would be a 2bed, 2bath unit at The Parkside). Seems like new construction 1 Bed/1bath condos in much ‘bleaker’ neighborhoodas are still asking over $600k. Even if you completely buy into the notion that prices are currently falling and the job exodus from S.F. and acceptability of remote work will continue to shrink the pool of potential buyers, things would have to get significantly more bleak for this not to be a financially viable project.
It’s been a while, ten years or so, since the NYT had been out there describing the area as blighted. If you haven’t been out that way in a while: Muni has stopped storing trains down the dead end on Taraval, the streetscape has been redone and there’s a small collection of new restaurants.
Well, that’s great, but it’s not official until the Times gives their nod-of approval.
Meanwhile, I think of more immediate interest is the fact that – frequent opinion on here notwithstanding – PDR is apparently alive and well …just not necessarily where we think it is https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/crime/man-arrested-in-connection-with-fatal-sunset-district-fire/article_ea3d6e76-aa59-11ed-89ba-9396cac363ba.html
Not endorsing NYT’s breathless writeups of late… The area around Taraval and LGH was obvious to he plain eye.
This site will likely be rezoned for by-right development of much larger projects (5-8 stories) under the housing element rezone program. To which state density bonus can be added further additional height and density. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/housing-neighborhoods-17771881.php
Given recent events, what’s the seismic implication of tall buildings in the Sunset? As I recall, that area’s mainly sand, liquefaction rating 3, somewhere between bedrock (1) and infill (5). Anything special about building greater than 5 stories on sand?
That seems to be generally correct …tho I’m guessing many might prefer to emphaszie the “average” part, i.e. “half-full” as opposed to “half empty”.
New buildings will be safe, assuming they are built to code. (Recent events have shown that all bets are off if they’re not built to code.) They will also be safer than old ones.
Well it will be “safer” than the Marina or India Basin, but thats not saying much. Within 4 to 6 blocks of the Great Highway is basically all a high risk liquefaction zone. Just one step below actual Bay landfill. Further up Taraval bounced nicely in 1989 and there was a fair amount of damage in that area in 1957. You wont find many pre 1957 chimneys around there and even up on GG Heights there was serious foundation damage from the Daly City quake.
Its unconsolidated sand-dunes so anything above three stories stands a good chance of getting red tagged just due to uneven quake / post quake subsidence. No matter how good your foundations are. Thats what got most buildings red tagged in 1989. Foundations issues.
Not sure how far down Taraval the pre development trash dump went. But it pre-dated the building of Sunset Blvd in the 1920’s and reached down at least into what became the 40’s. According to my retired next door neighbor in the 1980’s. Who used to go with his dad to the dump when he was a kid.
As for “grim”. It sure can be. Some years it can be fogged in for weeks at a time and a few times a decade you can go rainy season to rainy season seeing little of the sun. Most years you are more likely to see the sun in February than July.
One other thing. Its in the tsunami evacuation zone. Last time I looked at the models the most probable tsunami height was 6 to 8 feet around there. So best to stick to the second story or above. Although if the tsunami warning ever goes off you should be heading east on a street like Pacheco up to 14’th or lower as fast as possible. Especially if you hear the word Hawaii anywhere in the warning. Alaska and Cascadia Fault are two other words / phrases that should make you move inland. Fast.
The Sunset is very boring. Until some day it is n’t.
Modern buildings are safe. Modern building codes, if followed, will result in safe buildings on virtually any sort of soil. The question is not the soil. The question is whether any corners were cut or whether anyone paid bribes to avoid meeting modern building codes, as seems to have happened in Turkey.
So you were n’t here in 1989 I take it. Or have n’t followed City Hall politics over the decades. Or even recently for that matter.
There would have been a lot more soft-story failures in 1989 if the shaking had gone on for the usual 40 / 50 seconds for a almost 7M earthquake than the actual 15 seconds. I know it was 15 because I was counting. In a tilt up one story building on land fill in Marin.
In fact we were just starting to get serious resonance shaking of structures when the shaking stopped. Not just the Embarcadero Freeway and 280 connector had a lucky escape. I look around some of the new builds in places like India Basin and I expect a lot of Red Tags after the next near Big One let alone Big One. Mostly due to foundations issues as well as weld failures. You probably dont remember Northridge in 1994 either and what that did to steel frame structures that had resonance damage. Several high rises were very close to partial failure during that quake. Just like the steel reinforced concrete structures that failed in Sylmar in 1971.
A lot of work has been done. But as the downed buildings in the Marina and the Cypress Structure proved, previous seismic upgrades can amplify the damage rather than negate it. The Cypress Structure collapse was turned from a major failure to a catastrophe due to a botched seismic upgrade. And soft-stories will fail. Unless very serious ground floor structural upgrades are done.
So have you got your 72 hour earthquake prep supplies? As you are supposed to. Or even better, done a NERT course? Like most people who realized just how lucky we were in 1989 I’ve got the more realistic 7 to 10 day prep and a go bag always in the trunk of my car. Just in case. Because some day..
Thats what comes of living on top of the San Andreas.
Thank you for proving my point.
The Cypress Street highway opened in 1957. Our building codes today are not the same as the building codes in 1957.
tfourier makes a point that is often overlooked with seismic building codes. The primary purpose of seismic building codes is to ensure that the building remains intact enough that it can be safely evacuated. If everyone gets out unharmed then the building codes succeeded.
A building intact enough for evac does not mean the building is safe for occupation. So expect many bay area buildings to be red tagged after the Big One, even the newest buildings.Some of those will be repaired, others will be razed and rebuilt.
Of course strengthening a building to be safe for evacuation probably also helps it resist damage that would cause it to be red tagged. But also expect developers to do the bare minimum to meet code.
Yes, some buildings will be red tagged. And yes some builders cheat. Look at what is happening in Turkey. The point is that it is very possible to build safe buildings in the Sunset and modern buildings will be the last to fall. The safest place when the big one hits is in a modern building that’s been built to modern codes, no matter where you are in San Francisco.
It is well known how things play out in Turkey. After the ’99 earthquake they found empty oil canisters littering the streets. They’d popped out of the columns of collapsed multi story buildings. Meanwhile, back home, thinking of those gas lines that were cemented into foundations of seismic retrofits, you realize not everything’s on the up-and-up either. But you’re not going to find blatant violations like in Turkey.
Let’s hope that the flagrant violations here are very rare. I’m sure some gas lines have been cemented, just as surely at least one construction crew somewhere has cut corners. If it really is the Big One, people will die. That’s inevitable. Thankfully, though, modern earthquake codes, if followed, and modern construction materials will help immensely.
My point was that even if builders do not cheat or cut corners, the building can still be red-tagged even if it truly meets code. Going beyond the code to add extra fortification to preserve occupation after a quake is very expensive. Do any builders of residential towers do this extra work? I’ve never seen such extra asset protection touted on any marketing materials. In fact I get the impression that marketers of tower properties steer clear of even mentioning quake resilience. You don’t want potential buyers to develop any FUD before closing day.
That’s not a controversial statement. No building is100% safe. There’s always a bigger earthquake.
However. I was reacting against the incorrect fear mongering of the original posts by jenofla and tfourier. A 5 story building in this location can be perfectly safe if built to modern earthquake codes.
I agree that there is always a chance the a new code compliant building will be red tagged. You cannot make a building that is strong enough for the largest possible earthquake. (If that is your standard, then no one should ever live in San Francisco, or Japan, or Turkey, etc.)
However, there is a much, much better chance of an old building being red tagged or, worse, collapsing and killing people inside. Code compliant new buildings are not 100% safe, but they are more safe than old buildings.
You might be happy to know – tho I’d not be surprised if “disappointed” isn’t equally descriptive – that most of SF survived 1906 with minimal earthquake damage (afterward, of course the storyline went south, but even at that most everything west of Van Ness made it…a lot is still here today)
So another person who was not here in 1989 I’d guess. Those who were in the City at the time take earthquakes a lot more seriously. In my experience. But I suppose as there has not been a major urban earthquake in California in over 35 years years not surprising that younger people or out of staters dont take the subject that seriously.
Well that was the official story after 1906. It was all burned in the Great Fire. But if you read the actual damage reports of the time, the engineering ones from 1908 were republished about 30 years ago, which have lots of photos of the very extensive structural damage to buildings taken in the first 24 / 48 hours before the fires took hold tell a very different story. As did all the lawsuits brought by the insurance companies in the years after. But thats another story.
As for your – a lot of the City survived. Well you must not have an accurate idea of just how much was built out by early 1906 because the actual burned out area was were almost 2/3’rd of the population lived at the time. So buildings outside the burn area mostly survived. But most of the “Victorians” you see in those areas today were built in the decade after 1906 not before. For the people who lived previously in the burnt out areas.
Like the very old lady I had a wonderful conversation with more than 20 years ago. Her family moved to a house on Lombard where she was born after been burned out of North Beach in 1906. A very common story in places like the Mission, Upper Market and Inner Richmond more than 100 years ago.
So yeah, I know the history of the City. And after being through two large earthquakes take them seriously. Just in case. Because, after all, we live in Earthquake Country.
You guess wrong: I was crossing California Street (at Sansome) at the time.
And yes, I’m quite aware of how built out the city – excuse me, The City was in 1906 (as I’m the one always posting links to the Rumsey Collection maps)
You get one more guess: choose carefully (or your crystal ball will get red-tagged)
I live not far from here. Is it as exciting as other parts of the city? No. But it’s clean, safe, near the beach, and a lot of young families have moved in over the past few years. I remember when we’d see the occasional Tesla, now there’s one almost one a block.
That said, as a weekend bbq-er (real Texas bbq, not that fake grilling stuff) I always have this fantasy of quitting and opening my own bbq joint in the area BUT I just don’t see the traffic to make it viable. Aside from a few like Devil’s Teeth, Outerlands, Old Mandarin, etc…I just don’t see strong traffic
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