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New apartment construction and remodeling
The case against apartment buildings on Market St between Fifth and Seventh Streets

• The position of ObserveSF is that apartment buildings are not a suitable use for Market Street between Fifth and Seventh Streets:


• Especially not on the North side, which directly connects to the Tenderloin, zoned and agreed by city departments not to be changed enough to remove the current uses. The City wants to keep the former single occupancy hotels. And other neighborhoods do not want what is in the Tenderloin.


• The history of The City reveals that in times of economic recession, landlords lure away the tenants of the Mid-Market buildings. What is built in Mid-Market, going forward, must be especially unique and vital to The City. It also should be large and densely inhabited to balance the pedestrian traffic from the Tenderloin. On sidewalks, crowds create a sense of safety.


• Big office buildings fill up with employees and are the best generators of taxes.


• Some city planners suggest that transit hubs are ideal locations for employment centers. Mid-Market has two BART stations (P0well and Civic Center) which are not overcrowded (as are Embarcadero and Montgomery). The zoning for these existing locations should be zoned to be much more dense. Mention is being made of constructing more BART lines. But more time and money would be saved by rezoning the blocks around the only two less crowded downtown stations available now.

An earthquake survivor prepares for more shaking

The Wilson Building at 973 Market Sreet


• The Wilson Building has new double windows to dim the Market Street noise.

• Conversion to 65 rental units is complete and renting is underway,

• This building and its neighbor (now Zendesk and Zoosk and Blick Art Materials) survived the quake and fire.

• The history of that building is HERE.

• One building to the left of The Wilson, is the site of the Market Street Place mall, which will intensify the heavily commercial environment of the area.


• More on Market Street Place mall is HERE.


• Between City Place and the Wilson Builing is The Village, the city's largest extended - hours night Club and Entertainment venue.This is one of the few buildings in The City which can operate until 4 AM. The two story bulding has completed the interior renovation. More information is HERE.



• Two additional misguided proposals for housing are HERE.

A new apartment building is proposed for 1125 Market St, between Seventh and Eighth

•   A new owner is considering an old plan for a property next to the Strand Theater. MacFarlane Partners purchased the former site of the Embassy Movie Theater, (seen at right, at the end of World War II) for $7.8 million.

•  A previous owner proposed a project with very small apartments before recent improvements in the area were even a dream.

• The Strand Theater (at right of the Embassy), later purchased by ACT, the City's leading theatrical producer, built a 300 seat performance space and restaurant in the shell of the Strand. A.C.T. renewed their lease in 1119 Market, the building to the east, for ten years with renewal options. They constructed a Black Box arts space on the first floor.

• A better use for the former Embassy site is HERE


• As land prices rise along Central Market Street, 1125 could be the last chance to create an arts venture with critical mass, on the lower floors of the new building. Let's hope that the city can encourage this.

•  An apartment building would face competion from other projects nearby of more than 3000 units under construction or approved.

More about theaters HERE.


The Embassy and Strand Theaters

At Ninth Street, Nema and Ava, surrounding Twitter, are completed and fully rented

Nema, 1401 Mission (which is different from what is there now) contains a total of 750 rental apartments, which are 338 studios, the remainder are one bedroom. (Designed by Glenn Rescalvo of Handel Architects.)


•  AvalonBay, which has built several rental apartment buildings between Giants Stadium and Caltrain, constructed a 273-unit rental apartment building, named Ava, across from 1355 Market (Twitter) with the entrance at 55 Ninth St. This is a $125 million project for the real estate trust.


More new apartment projects are underway, ready to dig, or city approved

•  Trinity Place has constructed and has rented a second building at Eighth and Mission Streets of 418 apartments. Most of the apartments are junior one-bedrooms. This is phase 2 of what will be 1,100 studio and 800 one-bedroom apartments extending from Market to Mission St.

•  AvalonBay, which in December, 2012 purchased the Fox Plaza apartment tower at Market and Polk St, has plans approved by The City to build more apartments there in a tower where the post office is now located - no starting date announced.

Contact us: observesf.com, E-mail: observesf@me.com, Anthony King, editor