Another SoMa PDR building to get demolished for (you guessed it) more high-end HOUSING

" Stanley Saitowitz has brought the flash to his newest design for 259 Clara Street in SoMa." - SF Curbed.

“Stanley Saitowitz has brought the flash to his newest design for 259 Clara Street in SoMa.” – SF Curbed.



According to Planning documents, the project will demo a (perfectly good and neighborhood appropriate: my words) two-story industrial building and construct a 45′-tall, five-story mixed-use building with eight 2BR residences over ground-floor office and eight parking spaces.

What is PDR? Source (oh, the irony!) 

Some have been concerned that the city is trying to preserve old-fashioned, smoke-stack industry. This is not the case. The Planning Department has adopted the term Production, Distribution and Repair or PDR to refer to the very wide variety of activities which have traditionally occurred and still occur in our industrially zoned areas.

PDR businesses and workers prepare our food and print our books; produce the sounds and images for our movies; take people to the airport; arrange flowers and set theatrical stages; build houses and offices; pick up our mail and garbage. PDR includes arts activities, performance spaces, furniture wholesaling, and design activities.

In general, PDR activities, occurring with little notice and largely in the Eastern Neighborhoods, provide critical support to the drivers of San Francisco’s economy, including the tourist industry, high tech industry and financial and legal services, to name a few. PDR businesses also tend to provide stable and well-paying jobs for the 50% of San Francisco residents who do not have a college degree.

Why do PDR businesses need protection through zoning? There are several reasons why San Francisco, like many other large U.S. cities, is considering providing protection for PDR activities through zoning changes in some areas.

1) Competition for land: San Francisco has very limited land available and because current zoning permits almost any activity in an industrial zone, residential and office uses, which can afford to pay far more to buy land, have been gradually displacing PDR activities.

2) Land use conflicts: Some (though certainly not all) PDR businesses use large trucks, stay open late, make noise or emit odors. As residences and offices locate adjacent to these PDR businesses more frequently, conflicts arise, sometimes forcing the PDR businesses to curtail operations or even leave the city.


1 Comment

Filed under housing, planning

One response to “Another SoMa PDR building to get demolished for (you guessed it) more high-end HOUSING

  1. Jim Meko

    Ironically, although surrounded by Eastern Neighborhoods zoning, 259 Clara Street falls into the Western SoMa plan area. Stanley has bristled under the constraints of the Western SoMa Community Plan in the past. In this case, his project falls under the draft Western SoMa Design Standards (, a set of neighborhood design guidelines which the Planning Department has refused to bring before the Commission for adoption but nevertheless promised would be respected when reviewing new projects. This should be interesting.

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