11-story mixed-use development floated for Telegraph Hill

1235 Sansome St. | Photo: Google 
By Nathan Falstreau - Published on December 19, 2018.

A Nevada-based developer has filed a Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) application with the Planning Department for an 11-story project that would be built on a picturesque portion of Telegraph Hill with sweeping views of the bay. 

The proposed site is located at 1235 Sansome St. and was put on the market in 2016 for $1.4 million, according to SocketSite. Earlier this year, the price for the three-parcel lot and former quarry was reduced to $998,000

According to the PPA, the new owner of the lot is Eric Woods of Minden, Nevada. Earle Weiss of EE Weiss Architects in Mill Valley has supplemented the application with design renderings that show a building that could rise up to 110 feet above Sansome Street, to just below the homes at the end of Alta Street. The building's height would amount to less than the 84-foot height limit due to the slope of the site. 

Rendering: SF Planning Department/EE Weiss Architects

Because the proposed project is "located in a known slide zone at the base of Telegraph Hill ... the intent of the project is to both construct a new, multi-use building, and permanently stabilize the site," reads the project description in part. The developer adds that "for density purposes, the entire property will be used."

While the proposed 18,990-square-foot residential development lists seven units on 11 floors, the project will include a total of 84 bedrooms, each equipped with a private bath and access to shared kitchens and living rooms. An additional 2,850 square feet is slated for commercial use, as permitted by C-2 zoning, according to the filing. Also included in plans are a 1,150-square-foot common area and "green roof" on the top floor, along with parking for 40 bicycles. 

Floor plan for 10th and 11th floors. | Rendering: SF Planning/EE Weiss Architects

Due to the unique nature of the building's layout, it's not clear how Woods plans to use the space should the project be approved. Weiss noted the project's preliminary phase, and said that "we are looking at the city's first impression on the concept" before a project application is filed with Planning. 

As the proposed development lies within the Waterfront Historic District, neighborhood association Telegraph Hill Dwellers (THD) will be able to weigh in on the project. 

THD president Judy Irving told us the organization is aware of the proposal, but that it may not be permitted. While the developer suggests the project would help stabilize a site prone to rock slides, "it's my understanding that cliff construction is not supposed to be permitted if it might destabilize nearby structures, such as the houses above," said Irving. 

We reached out to District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin, but a spokesperson for Peskin told Hoodline that his office will not have any comment until the community has expressed questions or concerns. 

If approved, it's estimated that construction will cost $9.5 million. 

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