Bay Area/ San Francisco
Published on August 08, 2014
Renderings For Flax's 9-Story Replacement, RevealedPhoto: torbakhopper/Flickr
Back in May, we broke the news that longtime art supply store Flax Art & Design could be on its way out, with a new multi-story residential building on its way. More details emerged in June, when we noted that a Preliminary Project Assessment had been completed and an architect, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, had been attached to the project. 
Now, Socketsite reports that the project is moving forward, with an application to begin an environmental evaluation submitted to the Planning Department and a building permit request filed.

Socketsite also revealed a first look at the initial design for the 25,900-square-foot parcel of land, which would include a 9-story, 85-foot tall building with 160 residential units, 4,500 square feet of commercial space along Market Street, and 123 below-grade parking spaces. 

According to the initial draft, the building would be finished in stucco, with metal balcony guardrails painted in contrast (above) as well as two internal courtyards (below). 

We spoke to Howard Flax, CEO of the much-loved art store. He let us know that the store's lease expires in December, 2015, although there is a chance that they could stay a few months into 2016, depending on the developer's plans. As of right now, he and his staff are working under the assumption that they will be vacating on December 31st of next year. They are currently looking for a new location for the store.

Though the Market Street location has been Flax's flagship since 1981, the business opened its first San Francisco location at 437 Kearny in 1938. Here's hoping the long-lived store's 75+ year streak remains unbroken through the new changes. 

Stephen Jackson contributed reporting to this story.