St. Joseph’s renovation faces Historic Preservation hearing on February 1

Chris Foley and the Polaris Group will be going before the Historic Preservation Commission on February 1 to present their plans for the renovation and adaptive reuse of St. Joseph’s Church. The landmark South of Market structure at 10th and Howard Street has sat empty since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and Foley bought it from the Archdiocese for a dollar after assuming all the seismic obligations attached to the beautiful old building. 

Chris Harney and Tom Murphy own the school, convent and a couple other buildings and they bear responsibility for throwing out the Childrens Village day care facility.

Any changes to St. Joseph’s Church will undergo close scrutiny because the property has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. The proposal makes only minor changes to the exterior of the building and would convert the interior to high tech office space.

The Polaris Group has reached out to United Playaz, a SoMa-based violence prevention and youth leadership organization that works with some of San Francisco’s hardest to reach youth, to establish a partnership to help find jobs for their members in the high tech industry.

The hearing takes place on February 1, 2012 starting at 12:30 p.m. in room 400 at city hall. If the project wins the Historic Preservation Commission’s approval, it’s scheduled to be heard at the Planning Commission on February 23. Construction could begin by this summer.

Jim Meko, chair
SoMa Leadership Council 


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