With the pipeline of fully approved projects on the rise, the pace of construction slowing down, and more entitled projects being put up for sale or banked rather than preparing to break ground, including a rather prominent one down the block, the refined plans for redeveloping the historic Delucchi Sheet Metal Works building at 1526 Powell Street are poised to be approved.

As we first revealed back in 2021, the proposed redevelopment would effectively demolish the existing North Beach building, save for its historic façade, and yield a new six-story, 20-unit building on the site, with 7 one-bedroom units, 4 junior ones, 6 two-bedrooms and 3 threes; a basement garage for 10 cars; and 1,450-square-foot roof deck for the building’s residents, leveraging the approval of a State Density Bonus to entitle the project as proposed, including an extra two stories and a waiver from the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties that would otherwise require a ground floor commercial use (as was originally proposed).

And having been proactively requested back in 2022 and parallel processed, a building permit for the infill development could soon be approved, but not necessarily requested/issued, as well. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

23 thoughts on “Revised Plans for Historic Redevelopment Poised to Be Approved”
  1. It looks like the design has been tweaked a little – more glass – when did that happen ?? (and my apologies for not clicking thru all of the “collect-the-whole-set” links, if it was indicated therein)

  2. Please forgive ignorance, but what is a “junior one”? Does that mean what the English used to call a bed-sitter, or a studio apartment, or a bedroom only suitable for a small child, or a bedroom that is really a closet because it doesn’t have a window?

    1. Junior one’s are studios with a bedroom alcove/nook but no wall/door to delineate the space as a formal bedroom. And yes, “rood” was a typo (and since corrected above).

  3. They are going to leave that facade on the front? Looks like disneyland. The disney-fication of SF continues. Just another attraction for Disney California Adventure Park.

    1. Except that it isn’t disney-fication.
      The Sheet Metal Shop is part of San Francisco’s past, so that will not fit your definition. The business is just no longer viable in that location.
      Preserving the front of the building seems like a good attempt to blend the past with newer development.
      (And at this point, I wish our San Francisco had a few features of Disneyland such as safety in clean streets, and no druggies.)

      1. The preservation of historic facades is not a new architectural phenomenon, nor is it by any means unique to SF or to the United States as a whole. Facadism is practiced around the globe with notable modern examples of it going back at least 100 years. When done well, the practice provides an interesting blend of old and new and tells a story of both the history of a place and architectural evolution.

        I certainly do not think every old facade is worth preserving, and there are certainly situations where the preservation of an old facade detracts from the appearance or impact of a new building. But, in this case, I think old and new blend well together, and I see nothing either weird or tacky.

        1. Preserving the name of some guy in some building that had a business at some point is definition of weird. So should we have plaques on every building where every person ever did any work that was different (“historical”) than the work done now? Imagine the facades in a few decades commemorating everyone who worked from home in their buildings.

          1. In other news Macys dumping 400k sqft of vacant retail space on market in union square. Retain facade for nostalgia?

          2. “Preserving […] is definition of weird.”

            You’ve never been to New England, let alone Europe, or God forbid, Japan, have you?

          3. “In other news Macys dumping 400k sqft of vacant retail space”

            Oh you scamp! You left out the most important detail: the space isn’t vacant….yet.

          4. Regarding Macy’s – absolutely the facade should be retained, but only the original Macy’s on Stockton and O’Farrell.

            Macy’s problem is that they have accumulated to much square footage for today’s retail experience. They might be better off if they could get back to the original building by shedding the center expansion on Geary and the adjacent I.Magnin expansion on the corner. At one point they had even expanded into the J.Magnin store across Stockton, though that square footage has since been sold off.

          5. Joseph Magnin ?? I think that’s a figment of your imagination …the space is still signed for Barneys so I don’t know when that could have been; perhaps you’re confusing it with the furniture store they operated in the Emporium (building) for a while (Or maybe the old Liberty house >men’s store?? that, of course, they had for decades.)

          6. Commerce is a crucial part of any society and one profession certainly is an important part of life. Why do you think it is “the definition of weird” to preserve a small portion of historic day-to-day life? I think it is very weird to only recognize wars, natural disasters, and old or dead politicians.

            Again, no one, including myself is stating that every old facade should be preserved, and in fact, it is a relatively uncommon occurrence to preserve old facades either in SF or the rest of the country (there are certainly examples, such as this proposed project, but they are the exception, not the rule).

            If a facade is a good example of a certain historical style and it helps contribute to the context and story of a neighborhood, I see no problem with incorporating into new buildings when feasible and when a good marriage of old and new can be achieved,

            It seems a very odd hill to die on to protest so much about this modest project and its incorporation of the original facade. But, I guess to each their own—just close your eyes (but be careful not to trip) if you happen to walk past it.

  4. I feel like of the developers I see working around town, JS Sullivan is committed to producing a high quality product, at different price points. They even do a relatively good job adapting to the puzzling Facadism requirements of our planners (see Noir on Franklin). I feel like they’re much more plugged into the neighborhoods they’re building in than other developers.

  5. Notcom: “the space isn’t vacant….yet.”

    Could be long slow depressing winding down “Going Out of Business Sale”? Call it “shadow space” on the market?

    1. Well, yeah, that was my point: they’re not putting “vacant space” on the market…they’re closing their store!
      We’ll certainly have a drama unfold: much of it will be finger-pointing – some thoughtful, some not – but I suspect there will also be moves to intervene to keep the store open (again, some of the ideas will be thoughtful and some will not be).

      1. I haven’t been into their Union Square location for years, but even before the pandemic, other Macy’s stores seem to have been on a slow, depressing inexorable winding down to the level of a Ross dress for less.

        The entire retail sector is has been under pressure for quite some time. For that reason, it’s quite difficult for me to imagine who would buy it to operate as a retail store once Macy’s actually pulls the trigger, unless it trades for an absolute fire sale price. But that kinda thing tends not to happen in the real world of CRE.

        1. macy*s store quality varies quite a bit – that’s been one of their problems – but generally the Northen California stores (i.e. the “legacy” stores) look pretty good. That having been said, the last time I was @ Union Square, it was a depressing experience: several of the escalators were out of service. and IIRC, the gold leaf ceiling on the first floor had been painted over (White!! who’d have guessed…) That’s the knid of self-inflicted damage that sets off a death spiral.

        2. Especially considering older department store flooplans can be particularly challenging to re-purpose for new uses. Escalators make it difficult to securely and separately demise the floorplates. HVAC can be difficult to reconfigure etc. It wouldn’t be simple to reconfigure. Its not good fit except for another large scale retailers who will be reluctant to roll the dice with uncontrolled shoplifting.

          1. Older department store floor plates ?? I would say it’s just the opposite: it’s the newer stores, with large floor areas and windowless walls that are a bigger problem (look what was required for the former Men’s store). Here the multiple windows and relatively narrow (50 vara) width make the job eas….well, less challenging. Into… what? of course is the issue, since neither office nor residential space is much in demand at the moment.

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