Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Hearing to be held on upper Market Street housing project in SF Castro district

A rendering of the proposed building at the corner of Market and Sanchez streets.

A rendering of the proposed building at the corner of Market and Sanchez streets.

A planned mixed-use housing project on upper Market Street in San Francisco’s gay Castro district will be the subject of a zoning hearing next week.

The site in question, at 2201 Market Street, is a triangular lot at the intersection of Market and Sanchez streets and is one of the last remaining developable corner parcels in the area. It has also been hotly contested, with a plan for Starbucks to take over the existing building rejected by city planning officials in 2013.

At one point home furnishings store Industrialists was housed at the site. More recently real estate firm Catarra has used the space for its flagship location in the city.

Two years ago property owner Donald St. Sure announced plans to demolish the existing structure and replace it with a new 6-story building with nine condos over ground-floor commercial space over a basement parking garage.

At the time, a preliminary assessment of the project by planning staff found that it was “generally consistent” with the neighborhood design guidelines for the upper Market Street corridor, particularly for “including the active ground floor use and urban form that is generally appropriate for Market Street, as the city’s cultural, ceremonial and commercial spine.”

As currently proposed, the new construction would result in a six-story, 65-foot tall mixed-use building with 3,200 square feet of ground floor commercial retail space, fourteen dwelling units at the second through sixth floors, and a basement level garage with four stacked parking spaces accessed from Sanchez Street.

The building extends outwards at the corner, with the retail spaces recessed inwards. The design is by local firm Edmonds + Lee Architects, Inc.

Because the proposed building covers the entire lot and is designed with bays that extend beyond the property line, it requires the granting of a rear yard modification and variance from the requirements for obstructions over streets and alleys.

A view of the proposed building's Market Street facade.

A view of the proposed building’s Market Street facade.

Under the zoning code, the building is supposed to maintain a rear yard equal to 25 percent of the lot depth, but in no case less than 15 feet at grade level and each succeeding level or story of the building, according to planning department staff.

The bays planned for the building exceed the zoning guidelines that say they should not extend more than three feet beyond the street and that the maximum length of each bay window or balcony should be 15 feet at the line establishing the required open area.

Zoning Administrator Scott F. Sanchez will take up whether to grant the zoning code exceptions for the project at his monthly Zoning Variance Hearing set to take place at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 23.

The meeting is held in Room 408 at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

— Matthew S. Bajko, March 18, 2016 @ 3:36 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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