Plans for bonus-sized development to rise up to 65 feet in height on the the shuttered Firestone Complete Auto Care shop at 2800 Geary Boulevard and yield 42 “light-filled” residential condos, with a ground floor commercial space and garage for 23 cars, were approved by Planning back in 2021 but the ground for the development has yet to be broken.

Applications to secure demolition and building permits for the development were submitted to the City a few months ago, however. But rather than preparing to break ground, the Laurel Heights/Lone Mountain parcel, which was acquired for $4 million in September of 2019, prior to being entitled, is now on the market with a $5.995 million price tag, which includes the approved plans and entitlements to build over the existing 40-foot height limit for the site while touting “PENDING CITY PROPOSALS COULD POTENTIALLY INCREASE HEIGHT/DENSITY [even further] AND REDUCE [Below Market Rate requirements for the development].” We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

14 thoughts on “Another Dormant Development Site Making the Rounds”
  1. I wonder how all these permitted/on hold properties are looking at the possible reductions to the inclusionary requirements. Seems like there isn’t a good reason to start now if this is going to happen and not require full repermitting.

    1. If it’s true that the number of S.F. residents with large six-figure salaried jobs is shrinking, from layoffs, people fleeing the city to take advantage of remote work and general California State Tax dodging, than from The City’s perspective, reducing the inclusionary housing requirements is a self-defeating strategy. The city has plenty of inventory of unaffordable (to the overwhelming majority of household who live and work here) condos and will for the foreseeable future.

      The project team/owner might be able to punch up their pro formas that they show lenders, but when the homes come to market, who is going to pay the pre-pandemic-era pricing + accumulated inflation for the market-rate units? And the city wouldn’t get any (or, much less) affordable housing built in return.

      This project should have broken ground back in back in 2021, and it is not The City’s fault that it hasn’t. Someone in the S.F. real estate “game” should offer the owner(s) here $3.9 million to take it off their hands.

      1. While the earth has ~4B years left – at best – most of us go on shorter timeframes: one person’s “delay” is another’s “halting”… particularly as those delays go into auto-renewal.

    1. I was skeptical about Google’s ability to follow through from their original announcement years ago. In San Jose there seems to be a curse on any master planned mega-campus though Coyote Valley is usually the site of the disappointment.

      But someone at least spent to demolish several of the old buildings on that site a few months ago.

        1. Ironically the Pier 70 project is stalled too. Brookfield brought in King Street earlier this year to try to salvage the project. The irony? Google was set to lease all of the almost 2 million feet of planned office space at Pier 70 but backed out a year plus ago. Not quite killing the project but putting it on life support.

        2. Thanks for the informative article. The lead photo is a view of part of the recently demolished sites. I hope my prediction is wrong.

          1. From Bay Area News Group on April 21, Google stays committed to downtown San Jose, mayor and tech titan say,

            Google and San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan both said Friday the search giant remains fully committed to its ambitious new neighborhood in downtown San Jose although the project’s timeline is still being reassessed… “There is actually no news, which is good news,” Mayor Matt Mahan said Friday afternoon during a meeting with media to discuss the current status of the project, which is known as Downtown West.
            The mayor said he was in contact with key officials at Google on Friday to get the latest regarding Downtown West. “Google remains fully committed to San Jose in the long term and San Jose is fully committed to Google,” Mahan said…“The speed at which they move forward ebbs and flows, depending on the macroeconomic situation,” Mahan said. “They speed up when there is growth. When companies are contracting, pulling back a little bit after a period of over-hiring they slow down capital investments.”…The tech giant’s interest in the…neighborhood hasn’t wavered and is as solid as ever, the Google spokesperson said. Google’s last earnings call produced a flurry of updates regarding the company’s plans for the spaces that it leases and the properties that it owns. During a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter financial results for Alphabet and its principal operating unit Google, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said the company intends to leave some currently leased spaces…Mayor Mahan noted that during the fourth-quarter earnings call in February, Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google and its owner Alphabet, indicated that the search giant would undertake space cutbacks primarily directed at rented office space and not in properties that the company owns. “While they are shedding some of their leased property, they are doubling down on the property that they own,” Mahan said. “I would argue that as the company looks to future expansion, there is no owned property that is more strategically located than Downtown West.”

            Emphasis mine.

            Of course, The Mayor is a politician and has to put a positive spin on anything that happens. He’ll probably be out of office before it becomes clear if Google is really backing all the way out of this.

            If I were running Google, though, I’d try to get out of leasing space and fill up the space that I owned with my company’s employees. But Boston Properties managed to get Salesforce as a tenant while they were in the process of developing their own campus, so what do I know.

            Real estate agents have been advertising property in the surrounding area literally for years as being “close to the new google campus”, trying to attract flippers who are in turn think there’s a killing to be made exploiting Google’s future workers. Hopefully, even if this is just a pause, prices can return to what local residents can afford and the property hustlers take some serious losses in the meantime.

          2. Thanks Brahma. The mayor almost has a duty to appear positive up until it becomes obvious that the deal has fallen apart. The “Downtown west” site is more important to the city than Coyote Valley so the city is strongly motivated to see it rapidly developed. I would not be surprised if Google is current re-negotiating some of the terms, perhaps to reduce the affordable housing and public spaces components. If so then I hope the city conditions those relaxed terms to Google and to proceed with construction promptly. It would be a shame if the relaxed terms were just simply resold to another developer.

            Meanwhile Adobe is nearly doubling their footprint in DTSJ.

    1. I think it isn’t any uglier than any other gentrification building in this or any other N. American city over the past few decades. It’s generic modernism. The architects design something to be built as cheaply as possible, and return the maximum amount of profit to the developer, that looks like it could be or was built anywhere, which is the same thing as nowhere in particular.

      Luckily, this is highly unlikely to be built any time soon. As indicated above, the project team has been sitting on this for four years, and now they are waiting around for some “greater fool” to take the property off their hands for more money than they paid for it.

  2. A) agree with SF Native the architectural designs are P-Poor….
    B) bring in alibaba maybe the pier 70 restart…?
    C) where was that geary subway or lightrail fix? SFMTA? SFCTA, MUNI? BART? anyone? Just ask Wiener….Chiu, or Haney where dat money at? 😉

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