By Meghan Hall
Plans for 921-925 O’Farrell Street, a new mixed-use development in San Francisco’s centrally located Van Ness Special Use District, are slowly moving forward.
Nestled in the rapidly changing Tenderloin district, the site is close to Union Square, Japantown and San Francisco’s Civic Center. The site is currently home to a two-story, 4,800 square foot commercial office building. The existing building, which was constructed in 1927, would be demolished and replaced with a 15-story mainly residential building.
The project sponsor, San Francisco-based David Baker Architects (DB Architects), is designing the building. While design plans are still being developed, initial renderings of the building show a sleek, modern complex with large windows. According to DB Architects’ Designer Cristina Rossi, “The slender tower features a “push and pull” elevation to reduce the box-like feel common to recent high rises.”
The new building will have 51 residential units spread across 29,856 square feet of space. Of those units, the proposed plan allots for 25 two-bedroom units, 25 studios and one penthouse unit on the top floor. DB Architects is incorporating guidelines from the HOME-SF program into the plans in order to maximize the amount of housing available on the site. As a part of the HOME-SF program, 30 percent of the residential units at 921-925 O’Farrell will be rented to people of low to moderate income. The remaining units will be priced at market rate.
Participation in the HOME-SF program also requires the studios to be at least 200 square feet, and the two bedroom apartments must be at least 700 square feet. PPA Plans released in September 2017 adhere to these requirements; studios would be roughly 450 square feet while the two-bedroom apartments will be around 700 square feet. The penthouse unit will be 850 square feet.
The building would also include 1,079 square feet of commercial space along O’Farrell Street. The site is close to several bus stops and the 101 Freeway. While plans for the building do not include any parking spaces for cars, there will be 51 bike spaces.
Currently, an Environmental Impact Report has not been issued for the 921-925 O’Farrell Street project, and no other approvals may be granted until the environmental review has been completed. As of December 2017, an Environmental Evaluation Application had not yet been submitted to the City. According to Rossi, the sites developers, Roger and Mike Abuyaghi, have not begun the permitting process nor have they submitted construction plans to the City for approval. The Building Permit Application must be submitted no later than June 2019.
The City of San Francisco did not return a request for comment.