Developers of a proposed eight-story, mixed-use building at the intersection of Market and Duboce streets are seeking approval today for plans to utilize the state’s density bonus by including on-site affordable housing units.
The project sponsor is the law firm housed in the building currently on site.
The development, designed by David Baker Architects, will include an 85-foot-tall residential tower — 95 feet tall with rooftop structures included — and a vertical addition of three or four floor of residential space above the current three-story structure.
The building will offer 96 residential units, 14 of which will be affordable. The dwellings will include 52 one-bedroom, 43 two-bedroom, and one studio unit.
The site currently houses a FedEx location, Pet Food Express, a mix of legal, real estate, and vacant office space, and a 9,000 square-foot surface parking lot largely used by the building’s commercial tenants.
The plans would demolish the parking lot, but include below-grade parking for up to 48 vehicles and at least 97 bicycles.
The project plans preserve many of the existing exterior fixtures of the existing building, which is a historical resource on the state and national level.
The 35-foot tall building, designed by San Francisco architect Walter Charles Falch, was constructed in 1924 during the Reconstruction-era commercial development in the Market-Octavia Area Plan. It has also been recognized for the quality of its Spanish Colonial/Mission Revival architecture style.
The structure initially housed a mortuary and funeral chapel, with two residences, and also was the site of Atlas Saving and Loan Association, the first financial institution in the United States established by a partnership of gays and lesbians.
The proposal for the vertical addition to the existing structure would incorporate the historical facade as part of the new development’s main entryway, and carries over stylistically distinct materials. The added floors would be set back to preserve the historical building’s architectural features.
The anchor retail space fronting Market Street would be maintained, and portions of the building’s existing interior will also be preserved.
The project sponsor has proposed installing a permanent historical interpretive display in the building’s ground-floor retail space.
The proposal will be considered at today’s Planning Commission meeting, which will offer community members a chance to voice their concerns about or support for the project.
The commission received letters of support from several neighborhood business advocacy groups and the San Francisco Housing Coalition, as well as three emails opposing the project for its potential to cause environmental harm by increasing emissions, traffic congestion, pollutants, and noise in the neighborhood.
Despite the opposition, SF Planning staff believes the project is approvable because it aligns with the Market-Octavia Area Plan by offering dense housing options through an infill project, and will preserve the historically significant aspects of the existing structure.