Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Planning body to review updated plans for Castro housing project

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 4.13.56 PMThe San Francisco Planning Commission will review next week the updated plans for a new mixed-use development that will replace a gas station at the heart of the city’s gayborhood.

The project at 376 Castro Street on the intersection of Market, Castro and 17th streets (seen at right), has gone through several iterations. One proposal a number of years ago was outright rejected by planning staff who felt the design wasn’t worthy for a site at such a prominent intersection in the city.

Last summer a retooled design for the property, which will replace the gas station with housing over ground floor retail, won approval from the planning commission. The six-story, 65 foot tall mixed-use building will have 24 dwelling units and 3,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

It will have five one bedroom units and 19 two bedroom units, including several that will be on-site below market residential units.

There will also be a street level community room space for local groups to use as a place to hold board meetings or smaller get-togethers. There will also be parking for bicycles and cars.

Yet, despite their vote of approval, the commissioners instructed the project sponsor to continue to refine its design for the building. Over the ensuing months project’s sponsor, David Silverman with Reuben & Junius, and Sternberg Benjamin Architects have worked with planning staff to tweak the design’s final materials, glazing, color, texture, landscaping, and detailing.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 4.35.46 PMAccording to the latest staff report on the project, the design (its Castro Street facade is at left) now is “a fusion of a bold transparent element at the intersection of Market and Castro Streets flanked by solid walls with rhythmically patterned window openings, balconies, and bay projections.”

The corner element is a spandrel glass system with non-tinted glazing and an aluminum frame in a warm, pewter color paint finish, states the report. The solid walls are clad with terra cotta tiles, “grounding the building with a dark grey at the base of the building and a random palette of terra cotta red and buff colors for the body of the building.”
The building’s roof terrace has a windscreen of glass and mesh that is a continuation of the corner transparent element, states the report, and will be capped with a pewter colored aluminum cornice.

Staff will present an informational-only update on the design to the Planning Commission at its Thursday, June 6 meeting. The oversight body meets at noon in Room 400 at City Hall.

— Matthew S. Bajko, May 31, 2013 @ 4:47 pm PST
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