18-Story Hotel Proposed For SoMa's Former 'Restaurant LuLu'

18-Story Hotel Proposed For SoMa's Former 'Restaurant LuLu'
816 Folsom St. | Photo: Google 
By Elaine Gavin - Published on October 17, 2017.

A new hotel may rise over the former site of Restaurant LuLu, which shuttered in January after operating for 24 years near Moscone Center at 816 Folsom St. (at 4th).

The project is backed by CitizenM Hotel, an international chain with outposts in Taiwan, London, Amsterdam, Glasglow, Rotterdam, New York and Paris. Founded in 2005, CitizenM claims a mission of “affordable luxury."

Early plans call for an 18-story building with 218 rooms, 14 bike spaces, 5 loading spaces and parking for five shared cars. Although the former restaurant would be demolished, neighboring businesses such as Zero Zero would not be impacted.

Site of proposed 18-story hotel. | Photo: Google

The development's backers filed a preliminary project assessment (PPA) with the Planning Department on September 29th, which is now under review. 

According to property records, the 7,997-square-foot parcel last changed hands in 1991 for $1 million and is zoned for a maximum height of 55 feet. The building, built in 1923, would be demolished.

Current height restrictions are likely to change if the proposed Central SoMA Plan moves forward; a draft indicates that Planning would "allow a handful of buildings taller than 160 feet, to punctuate important intersections." According to Planning's website, the adoption process begins this fall.

The lot is next door to the still-under-construction Yerba Buena/Moscone Subway Station which is estimated to be completed in 2018. In its proposal, the project's sponsor stated a desire to pay an in lieu fee instead of providing privately owned public open space, as is required by the Central SoMa Plan. 

The application states that carving out open-air public space is "not compatible with the proposal. Planning will issue its preliminary feedback on the project no later than December 28th.