Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Real Estate & Development
Published on October 20, 2015
Sunshine Cleaners, Former Poleng Lounge May Be Demolished For 5-Story Residential BuildingPhoto: Nuala Sawyer/Hoodline

Fulton Street between Masonic and Central may soon look a bit different, as plans are being explore to demolish two one-story buildings and construct new housing. 

A Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA) was filed on October 9th to demolish both 1735 Fulton and 1751 Fulton St., and build a five-story mixed-use building in their place. (A PPA doesn't necessarily mean the development will be pursued — it's simply a way to receive feedback and learn about potential obstacles from the Planning Department before proceeding.)

As proposed, the building, right across the street from The Village at Petrini Place and its adjoining Lucky Supermarket, would stand 40 feet tall, and would contain nine residential dwellings, ground-floor retail space, and 14 parking spaces. Construction costs are estimated at $5 million. 

The PPA was filed by Ian Birchall of Ian Birchall and Associates, an architecture firm with a number of San Francisco projects under its belt. Other multi-family, multi-use buildings the firm has constructed include 555 Fulton, 1601 Larkin and 2299 Market.  

Sunshine Cleaners has resided at 1735 Fulton St. since October 1993, managed by owners Oh Jae Bong and Ha Ja. According to a real estate listing, its 3,436-square-foot building was constructed in 1948. 

1751 Fulton St. next door is larger, with 4,477 square feet and 14-foot ceilings. A series of bar/restaurants have occupied the space over the years, starting with Off Plaza in the 1970s and 1980s. Famous jazz singers Ethel Ennis and Abbey Lincoln graced the stage, along with musician Jimmy Smith. In 1996, the bar became Storyville, described in this Chronicle article as "a fresh, carefully planned and elegantly turned out club."

Storyville's focus continued to be jazz until the arrival of 1751 Social Club, a bar and restaurant.  The most recent tenant was Poleng Lounge, which opened in 2005, offering Asian bar food, drinks and dancing. The space has been vacant since Poleng closed in 2010, though the owners did try to lease it for $18,000 a month in 2013

No word yet on if and when Sunshine Cleaning might close its doors, or when the buildings could be demolished.