Plans To Maximize Affordable Housing Could Fast-Track Tenderloin Tower

Plans to replace a two-story building at 921-925 O’Farrell St. with a 15-story, mixed-use development may be eligible for expedited processing if the project's sponsors add more family-friendly units.

David Baker Architects has proposed constructing a 150 foot-tall tower with 51 residential units and about 1,050 square foot of ground-floor commercial space. More than forty percent of those units would be two-bedroom, according to plans filed in September.

The architectural firm represents property owners, Roger and Mike Abuyaghi, proprietors of nearby auto service and repair shop, SF Autosport.

The proposed development would exceed the site's height limit by 20 feet, or two stories.

The parcel near O'Farrell and Polk streets is zoned for buildings up to 130 feet, but developers hope to exceed height restrictions by setting aside 30 percent of the units as permanently affordable to leverage the Home-SF density bonus.

Under Home-SF, at least 10 percent of a building’s residential units must have three or more bedrooms. The current plans call for 25 two-bedroom, 25 one-bedroom, and one penthouse unit. 

The development near the intersection of O'Farrell and Polk streets would back onto Olive Street.

As an alternative to the requirement to make 10 percent of the units three-bedrooms or larger, developers could construct half of the building as two-bedroom units. As planned, 49 percent of the building's inventory would consist of 2BR homes. 

The two-story building that occupies the 4,795 square foot lot was built in 1927, according to SF Planning documents. It most recently hosted Thai Stick 4.0, a "Thai-style hot pot" restaurant with another location on Fillmore Street. 

Existing 925 O'Farrell St., former location of Thai Stick 4.0. | Photo: Google

In its Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) published yesterday, SF Planning said it supports the project sponsors’ efforts to utilize the Home-SF density bonus.

According to a recently updated Director's Bulletin, the project could receive priority processing due its its focus on adding new affordable housing.

The PPA issued yesterday is valid for 18 months, which gives developers time to complete other planning processes and make adjustments to align with requirements, such as adding more family-friendly residences.

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Plans to maximize affordable housing could fast track tenderloin tower