Archive for April, 2007

Not On My Tennis Court

Back in December, SF Tennis Club members were able to convince the ‘Supes to pass a resolution creating a moratorium on any development that would eliminate a recreational facility.

That seems to be the nail in the coffin for Pulte Homes, which had been looking to put 500 condos on the site of the current SF Tennis Club at 5th & Brannan.

From today’s SF Business Times,

Pulte Homes has abandoned plans to build 500 condos at the South of Market site of the San Francisco Tennis Club, a project club members had battled hard to defeat.

Pulte’s decision was driven by ongoing discussions with the Western SoMa Task Force, a neighborhood planning group that is studying rezoning the area, according to Kim Diamond, senior manager of land acquisition and entitlement for Michigan-based Pulte. The Western SoMa Task Force is pushing for a development mix that reflects the neighborhood’s low-key melange of industry, entertainment, office, housing and retail.

“The uses we intended for the site were different from what the Western SoMa Task Force wanted to put forth — it didn’t make any more sense to pursue it financially,” said Diamond.

San Francisco Tennis Club, on the southeast corner of Fifth and Brannan streets, has 1,100 members and was built in 1974. Its owner, Dallas-based ClubCorp., bought the club in 1981. In December the private equity group KSL Capital Partners bought ClubCorp.

Doug Howe, president of the San Francisco Tennis Club, said the owner is “evaluating our options.”

“I can’t tell you with any certainty what we’re going to do next,” he said.

Lena Grotz of Save Our San Francisco Tennis Club committee said the group would now focus on pushing a new planning code regulating developers building on recreational facilities. Under the proposed code, any developer looking to build on the tennis club — or any other recreational facility in San Francisco — would have to replace the facilities “in kind.” In December, the Board of Supervisors passed an 18-month moratorium on developing on recreational facilities.

“We do know from talking to ClubCorp and KSL that they are fielding phone calls from interested developers every day,” she said. [more…]

So the ‘Supes have ruled in favor of 1,100 tennis players instead of (roughly) 1,100 residents of housing. But I would be hard-pressed to see the investment group that bought the club in December holding for any longer than it took to find a builder that could work with the SOMA neighborhood…

Pulte drops condo plan for S.F. tennis club site [SFHomeBlog]
SF Tennis Club to become housing? [SFHomeBlog]


Presidio Trust OKs housing development at former hospital

From Friday’s SF Business Times,

The Presidio Trust has given developer Forest City the green light to build a 186-unit housing development at the former Public Health Service Hospital Complex, a project that had faced vociferous opposition from Richmond District neighbors.

The project, which was significantly scaled back after a series of neighborhood hearings, will include a little more than half the 350 units Forest City had originally proposed. It will also have 76,000 square feet of educational, office, and cultural space. Current tenants Arion Press and Lone Mountain Preschool will remain in the complex.

The “development agreement” between Forest City and the Presidio Trust comes 26 years after the army closed down the former Public Health Service Hospital Complex at 15th Avenue on the Presidio’s southern edge.

The total project will be 330,000 square feet. The historic buildings on the site will be rehabilitated and the non-historic wings of Building 1801, the main hospital building, will be knocked down. Up to 133,000 square feet will be demolished and no more than 51,000 square feet of replacement construction will be allowed, according to the agreement.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the final project reflects a good compromise.

“I applaud the Presidio Trust and its neighbors for coming together in a public process that has resulted in an improved plan that addresses the traffic, safety and environmental concerns of the surrounding community,” said Pelosi.

In 1996, Congress passed legislation drafted by Pelosi that created the Presidio Trust to preserve the Presidio as an public resource. Some of the revenues from the Forest City development will be invested back into the Presidio. [more…]

Presidio Trust OKs housing development at former hospital [SF Business Times]
Trust plans smaller project after protests by nearby residents [SFGate]

More info on housing development in the Presidio [SFHomeBlog]


Mapping San Francisco's TICs

From Plan C San Francisco,

Ever wonder where San Francisco’s TICs are forming? We’ve taken data from the thousands of TICs sales reported by the Multiple Listing Service from 2000 to 2007, and mapped the locations against a map of San Francisco’s political districts. The results are striking, but not surprising – TICs are forming where there are lots of small, multi-unit buildings (Districts 8 and 5 especially – Castro, Noe Valley, Haight Ashbury, Hayes Valley). Not so much in districts with lots of single family homes that already have high homeownership rates (Districts 10 and 11 – Excelsior, OMI, Bayview/Hunter’s point). Thanks to David Latterman of Fall Line Analytics for pulling this together.

‘Crisis’ in evictions doesn’t add up when you do the math [Plan C via SFHomeBlog]


Free Admission to Pacific Coast Builder's Conference – May 29 – June 1

I’ve been to this trade show in the past and it’s worth a trip.

From the PCBC site:

PCBC is homebuilding’s premier tradeshow and conference — an annual event bringing together the people who imagine, design and create our neighborhoods and communities of the future.

Held each summer in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, PCBC draws over 33,000 residential builders, developers, architects, financiers, product manufacturers, and consultants from the industry.

Originally named the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, PCBC was launched in 1959 as a small educational conference at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Since then, the show has grown in size and quality to become homebuilding’s premier event — a place where the industry’s most influential trendsetters gather to share ideas and information.

I got an email today offering free admission into the expo, which is really the only reason I’ve gone in the past.

If you’re interested in remodeling, or especially if you’re about to embark on a remodel, this is a great place to see what’s available and what’s on the horizon in materials and technologies.

To get your free expo pass, click on, then when prompted, enter the code ‘EPASS2’.

I found that their site didn’t work in Safari, but worked fine in Firefox…

See you there!

PCBC 2007 [official site]


New Developer for Arden Woods

Exactly one year after I posted an article from the SF Business Times, they have published an update which includes changes to the plan as well as a new developer.

Four months after Union Capital Properties dropped an agreement to build 200 condos in West Portal’s woodsy Christian Science enclave known as Arden Wood, a Washington, D.C., developer with deep San Francisco roots has taken over the project.

Republic Urban Properties, which has developed more than $4 billion in office, housing and retail over the past 30 years, mostly around Washington, has been picked to develop the verdant 12.3-acre property.

While Republic Urban Properties is new to the Bay Area — the firm has just opened a San Francisco office and has one project in San Jose — its West Coast president is Robert Mendelsohn, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Mendelsohn served 10 years on the board before leaving in 1977 to become assistant to the secretary of the interior in the Carter administration. [more…]

The article also goes on to say that plans are far from complete and they are working on making “part of the property out as a public park. The lush woods are not now open to the public, and many lifelong West Portal residents have never set foot on the property.”

More housing and public parks? Sounds like a great idea to me…

S.F. religious campus to sell open space for housing [SFHomeBlog]
Leafy west side tract scores a new developer [SF Business Times]