7-Story Mixed-Use Building Planned For Lucky Penny Site

The days could be numbered for Lucky Penny, the 24-hour diner and coffee shop that's stood at the corner of Masonic and Geary for over 20 years. Plans are in motion to build a seven-story mixed-use building, which would replace the longstanding diner and add residential housing to an otherwise mostly commercial corridor.

A Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA) was filed on February of 2015 to get the permitting ball rolling, and the project is currently under Environmental Review. The plans are an initial step towards development and will still need to go through an extensive review process before the project can get the green light.

Lucky Penny, which has been around since at least 1993, is still open for business, and it's unclear when the diner might be closing its doors for good. It currently sits on a 2,684-square-foot lot, with the diner taking up 3,879 square feet and 20 parking spots occupying the rest. On any given day, the parking lot is mostly empty, with cars occasionally using it as overflow for the neighboring Trader Joe's. 

The proposed new building would have 21 two- to four-bedroom apartments spread over three of its seven floors. Three more floors totaling approximately 35,000 square feet would be designated for office space.

The remaining 11,000 square feet on the ground floor would be slated for commercial use, and underneath the whole structure would be two levels of below-grade parking, with room for 68 vehicles and 40 bicycles. The entrance to the garage would be off Masonic Avenue, with an on-site commercial loading dock proposed for Geary. 

Riyad Ghannam of RG Architecture confirmed with us today that his firm would be handling the design of the building, though renderings are not yet available. RG is behind a number of single-family, multi-family, commercial and retail spaces throughout the city, including b. patisserie in Pacific Heights, the parklet outside Blue Fig in the Mission, and the luxury condos at 1598 Bay Street in the Marina. 

The project comes at a time of flux for Masonic Avenue, as plans are being pushed forward to construct bike lanes and medians, intersections are being redesigned, and streetscape improvement projects are being considered.

Thanks to Dana D. for the tip.

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