Planning Rejects Proposed 'Moxy Hotel' Design For North Beach

Plans to move forward with a proposed Moxy Hotel by Marriott at the former Tower Records site (1196 Columbus Ave. at Bay St.) have been tabled by the Planning Commission.

According to SocketSite, the commission rejected a Conditional Use authorization because the proposal lacked neighborhood-serving retail, other hotels are nearby, and it "could have negative impacts to surrounding affordable housing development." 

We reported that the boutique hotel project was in the works in 2015, with a scheduled arrival this past summer that came and went after a hearing was postponed until September 28th.

Proposed hotel location at 1196 Columbus Ave. | Photo: Google

Original plans included a lobby, lounge/bar and a roof deck fronting Bay Street and Columbus Avenue. Ultimately, concerns over the hotel's potential for attracting late night-life activity made it "incompatible with with the adjacent residential development," SocketSite reported.

The brand bills itself as an affordable boutique experience, with chic, modern design, comfortable beds, and a "vibrant social scene." Marketing materials declare that the experience is "just like home, but with a bartender."

Property owner J Street Hospitality—which planned to demolish the building currently housing Basically Free Bike Rentals to build the four-story, 65-room hotel in its stead—is reworking the proposal to make it more suitable for the area. 

That means rebranding the site as AC Hotels by Marriott, a "European-inspired design focused hotel," and nixing the rooftop lounge and lobby bar.

New designs have also been submitted by Stanton Architecture which include a masonry facade on the Bay Street side and bay windows overlooking Columbus Avenue and Jones Street. The design is meant to resemble adjacent architecture. 

Photo: Google

While neighbors have voiced opposition to hotel projects at the site, executive director of the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District, Tony Campbell, told Hoodline in 2015 he supported a new hotel, even though it's technically not in the group's jurisdiction.

“It could make a great addition to the Wharf," he said. "Fisherman's Wharf has some of the highest occupancy and highest room rates in the city, so definitely there’s enough room for another hotel.”

Both the San Francisco Travel Association and the Fisherman's Wharf CBD submitted written support for the hotel project. 

The Planning Commission will weigh in on the new design proposals at its next hearing, scheduled for November 16th. 

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Planning rejects proposed moxy hotel design for north beach