Category Archives: housing

Oops! Famed architect designs building too tall for site


When the Code says the height limit is 300 feet, one would think they’d ask the architect to design a 300 foot tall building. Except, this is San Francisco and the Planning Department rarely adheres to the Code. And, the thing is kinda pretty.

Jeanne Gang, the architect of Chicago’s iconic Aqua building, has designed an unusual residential tower with bays and balconies twisting up its 400 foot height, for the corner of Folsom and Spear Streets. The tower and an adjacent eight story structure will include 139 affordable units among the 390 condos proposed.  Continue reading

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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!)  Continue reading

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Why so hesitant to plan?


Last fall, voters rejected 8 Washington, an over-sized condo project on the waterfront that would rise to 136 feet in an area zoned for 84 feet. The Planning Department didn’t get the message. They’re still supporting a large housing and retail project proposed by the San Francisco Giants at Pier 48/Seawall Lot 337 and a sprawling office, residential, and retail project that Forest City wants to build at Pier 70. Each project violates parts of the Waterfront Land Use Plan, which just so happens to be the law.

I dislike ballot box planning as much as anyone but Prop B is an effective response to a Planning Department that doesn’t respect its own rules.  Continue reading

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Low income housing slated for site once dubbed “too good for poor people”

This is a "concept" drawing for TNDC's scaled-down affordable housing project at 1036 Mission Street.

This is a “concept” drawing for TNDC’s scaled-down affordable housing at 1036 Mission Street.


Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) will return to the Planning Commission on May 1st to renew entitlements for a project that lost its funding from the Mayor’s Office of Housing back in 2012 because they had determined that the land had become too valuable for affordable housing.  Continue reading

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