Yesterday evening I had the pleasure to attending “Cranes of SoMa” — a panel discussion of new residential developments in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. No other area of the city is seeing as much construction as is happening here–Approximately 60% of the city’s new construction is happening in District 6 which includes the Tenderloin, South of Market, Mid-Market/Civic Center, South Beach, Mission Bay and Rincon Hill.
Fact: Never has there been so much construction at one time in the history of San Francisco (at least since 1906).
Here’s an interactive map with information on the major new condominium developments of 60+ units currently selling and/or being built:
With consideration to new condominium developments of 60+ units:
- 8 new developments accounting for a total 1,425 units are now selling
- 941 units are currently under construction, pre-sale
Perhaps the most anticipated of the upcoming new developments is 181 Fremont Street, otherwise known as Park 181. Starting on the 53rd floor and rising 17 stories, the luxury high-rise condominiums here will offer residents the opportunity to live higher in the sky than anywhere west of Chicago. The unit count here includes a full 53rd floor of studio and one-bedroom residences available for purchase only be owners of larger units. At the 70th floor, a full-floor 7,000+/- square foot penthouse will be one of the San Francisco’s most valuable properties (the Tower B penthouse at nearby LUMINA is on the market right now for $49 million). Floors 54 thru 69 will offer a mix of two- and three-bedroom condominiums (no more than four per floor) and four half-floor penthouses. Recent sales have seen the cost of new condominiums rise above $2,200 per square foot, and residences at Park 181 are expected to start around $3,000 per square foot.
For more information on any of the new condominium developments now selling or under construction, please contact me.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors just unanimously passed legislation allowing for the addition of new in-law units throughout Districts 3 & 8. This affects the following neighborhoods: Chinatown, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Polk Street, the Financial District, Union Square, Castro, Eureka Valley, Upper Market, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle, Diamond Heights, Glen Park, College Hill, Corona Heights, Buena Vista, Twin Peaks, Mission-Dolores, and parts of the Inner Mission.
This comes in the wake of city-wide legislation passed earlier this year allowing unlimited density to be added to residential structures within a building’s existing footprint when ‘structural upgrades’ (such as seismic retrofitting) are also made. While the legislation passed today does not stipulate structural upgrades, new in-law units must be added within the existing envelope of the building.
“It’s great to know we can add housing without changing the exterior configuration of buildings, and of course the possibility to add rent-controlled housing in 2015 is exciting.” – Julie Christensen, Supervisor, District 3
San Francisco is a very special place. Right now, some think it’s the epicenter of the universe. The Titans of Tech, the heart of artistic culture and Karl the fog (our weather is now a mascot!) reside here, working and playing hard. But we all need a break…
The folks at SPUR have shared their local real estate expertise in a cell phone application titled, SPUR Secret Spaces & Hidden Oases to showcase destinations for revitalization. The best part, all are open to the public!
I have narrowed to my top 5. Enjoy!
1. Rooftop Reprieves at The Crocker Galleria on 50 Post St. @ Montgomery St. This breath of fresh air location boasts 2 Rooftop Sun Terraces. Complete with lovely benches, flowering trellis’ and a working foundation, this quiet open space has lived up to its name since its construction in 1982. With easy access to restaurants & restrooms, Rooftop Reprieves receives a stamp of excellence!
2. Standing Among Giants at TransAmerica Redwood Park on 600 Montgomery St. @ Clay St. This iconic oasis lives up to it’s fame.
Resting beneath the shadow of this towering skyscraper, an Urban Park accessorized with massive Redwood trees, grass, wooden benches and a stage, takes my first prize for best of the best. Nearby restaurants have cooked lunch for the voyeur of these gentle Redwood giants since 1973.
3. A Moroccan Plaza at Citicorp Center Building on 1 Samsome St. @ Sutter St. This remarkable architectural accomplishment has provided San Francisco with a glass enclosed roof, supported by 2-story arches of white marble since 1912. A visitor is sure to have a few moments of holiday bliss as palm trees accent this quaint cafe scene. Drift amongst the true show stoppers, an art deco bronze sculpture and marble fountain centerpiece. Sit back, relax and enjoy the tables and chairs free for visitors use since 1983.
4. Up in The Clouds on 343 Sansome St. @ Sacramento St. This split location shares 2 open spaces with the public. Savor the sun and the view from the 15th floor terrace.
Travel to the adjacent mall for easy food service. Bring lunch back over and appreciate the olive trees and flower bed planters. This special space has been gifting benches, moveable chairs and tables since 1990.
Bath in sunlight and pull up a chair or a bench to watch daily noon-time entertainment. Delight in the contrasting white marble and black granite decor that frame an over-sized painting and sculpture. What are your favorite San Francisco spaces?
What makes a neighborhood become more of a community? What does making a neighborhood more livable mean to you?
To one of my neighbors, Gillian Gillet, it means long term projects with an end game that adds up to a more livable city for us all.
So here we are, with great success on San Jose/Guerrero with the greening project, the amazing reconfiguring of Cesar Chavez Street with the new sewer line installation, greening and traffic re-organization, both examples of community cooperation that led to safer and more enjoyable streets!
Next on the schedule, I hope, is the safety improvement project on high-traffic Potrero Avenue in the Mission district. Plagued by a fatal bicycling accident in October 2013, the city with local encouragement, will hopefully perform a dramatic facelift.
Focused on blocks 21st-25th Street, city plans are calling for a $3.2million renovation to be completed in 2015. The proposed upgrades compliment the San Francisco General Hospital rebuild. The investment constructs wider sidewalks, new lighting and structured methods to slow traffic and secure pedestrians and cyclists.
Some local merchants and neighbors are supporting the preservation of existing parking spaces, while other neighbors and some San Francisco General Hospital employees express their concerns and needs for increased pedestrian safety. Sasha Cuttler, a nurse at SF General, shared her perspective with SF.Streetblog reporter Aaron Bialick. “I know people that work here (SF General) that have been injured just coming to work, and I’m concerned that we need to do more to protect people”. Cuttler has rallied workers to voice the urgency for buffered bike lanes, longer transit lanes or better yet, exclusive transit lanes to secure their safe daily transit.
The plan also proposes the expansion of street corners, bus stops and the addition of T lights at every corner. “The improvements to Potrero Avenue is a large project with lots of considerations to account for. As San Francisco Supervisor ensuring our citizens safety is the top concern. So of course pedestrian and bicyclist safety is absolutely a priority,” says Malia Cohen, District 10 Supervisor.
Nonetheless, the big debate was in not just the aesthetics but the functionality of the project. At some public meetings, the conversation targeted the addition of a landscaped median, and the removal of many existing parking spaces. Neighborhood residents and businesses strongly rejected this design, contending not only the effect a reduction of parking spaces will have on them, but also the possible effect of increased speed from commuters.
However, there now seems to be compromise, with option 1 being the preferred choice after 5 community meetings, there might be a ribbon cutting in the future, like that at the Cesar Chavez Streetscape project.
The SFMTA Traffic Engineering Public Hearing on the ‘Potrero Streetscape Improvement Project’ is scheduled:
Room 416 (Hearing Room 4)
4th Floor, City Hall
Public Comment needed on the proposed parking, traffic, and transit changes toPotrero Avenue between Alameda and 25th streets. (This is the proposal that will remove 58 parking spaces along Potrero Ave.)
Following the public hearing the project will go to the SFMTA Board for final approval.
The hearing date at the SFMTA Board has not yet been scheduled .
More information on the project can be found at
Neighbors are celebrating the completion of the 3 year transformation of Cesar Chavez Street! It’s happening Wednesday, January 29th @ 11AM with ribbon cutting celebration for the safety and street scape improvement project.
Re-named Cesar Chavez Street in 1995 to reflect the passion and cultural shift in the area, the avenue’s original name Army Street,was first designed as a car-centric thoroughfare to connect Twin Peaks and western San Franciscans to a second Trans Bay Bridge development. Years ago, the city and environmentalists shot down the original second bridge design.
Nevertheless, Cesar Chavez Street cuts through the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods and the three lanes of traffic going each way was an unattractive river of concrete to cross if you were on foot. Despite differences between local special interest groups who wanted easy commuter access, car parking restrictions, traffic calming, school children and cyclist travel safety, and creek daylighting, compromise was reached.
Now, the neighborhood will enjoy:
- A Road Diet: Three lanes of traffic reduced to two in each direction
- Left-turn pockets for vehicles
- A bike lane added in each direction
- A fourteen foot planted median in the middle
- Every corner has pedestrian treatments, including bulb-outs, better crosswalks and storm-water catchment planters
- The end of Capp Street at Mission Street is now a plaza and with crossing distances reduced
- Upgraded Street Lighting with LED bulbs
- Sewage & Storm water drainage management
“For me, the most important improvement has been the elimination of the double left-turn that used to feed traffic from southbound Bryant onto eastbound Cesar Chavez and the freeway ramp, making the pedestrian crossing on the east side of Chavez a death-defying experience,” she said. “The median, especially now that it’s landscaped, makes the street feel smaller and cozier.”
Bialick has been tracking Taylor’s and others efforts to challenge the status-quo of an outdated plan for Cesar Chavez Street and to serve its local neighbors.
Taylor’s efforts are a success. The intention for Cesar Chavez Street has been re-envisioned to enhance quality of life for the neighborhood, promoting ecological functionality in balance with high-volume traffic patterns. Enhanced greenery, trees and landscaping thanks to our Friends of the Urban Forest, evolved an auto artery into a low impact zone, transforming the livability of the neighborhood. Taylor continues the conversation with SF.Streetblog.com reporter Matthew Roth. “It could be good that it’s taken three years because people have had time to get use to the project.”
Coming together to make the best of a long term public project that impacted residents with noise, dirt and traffic, it seems to me that everyone came out a winner. We’ve vastly improved the sewer system, created a better traffic flow with bike lanes, and there’s trees and plants where once there was only concrete. Now on pleasant and safe walks from Precita Park to 24th Street, it is a vast difference for all to enjoy. Safety, quality of life and neighborhood property value increases are immediate benefits of this project’s completion.
Join in the celebration Wednesday, January 29th @11AM at the Si Se Puede Plaza in front of the popular eatery The Palace Steak House. To read more on the development of the plan, visit http://www.sfhomeblog.com/2010/05/cesar-chavez-sewer-streetscape-improvement-project-update.html.