480 Potrero Avenue Could Become Large Box
By George Nelson
The San Francisco Planning Department is reviewing a proposal to develop a large pit currently used as a makeshift skateboard park at 480 Potrero Avenue into a 58-foot-tall, six-story building, with 84 apartments and more than 13,000 square feet of retail space. Developers want to build 26 one-bedroom and 58 two-bedroom apartments, with 38 parking spaces in a one-level basement garage. The vacant lot, on the northwest corner of Potrero Avenue and Mariposa Street, was once a four-story live/work concrete structure, which was demolished in 2005.
The new building would contain 9,354 square feet of common open space consisting of a courtyard and roof deck. An automobile body repair garage and the Verdi Club, both two-story buildings, neighbour the site.
Architect Reza Khoshnevisan, with project sponsors Sia Consulting, designed the proposed edifice, which has come under fire from community members. “The size of the building concerns us and we feel it will be out of place in our neighbourhood. It looks from the design to be a bit of an eyesore,” said Denny Palmer, manager of the Verdi Club. “We are also concerned that the new tenants will move in and start complaining about our events. We have live music and various other things going on most nights. I’ve heard about this happening in other locations, particularly when lofts started going up in SoMa near the clubs.”
According to a Hampshire Street resident, “You only have to take a look around the immediate area to realise that a six-story building will stick out like a sore thumb. The planners are insane.”
The project is located in the eastern portion of the City’s Mission Area Plan – part of Eastern Neighbourhoods Planning – which is designed to “preserve the diversity and vitality of the Mission” while increasing the amount of affordable housing. Objective 1.2 of the Mission Area Plan states, “It is important that new housing be developed in appropriate areas and that it be compatible with its surroundings.” However, many development proposals that fall under the Eastern Neighbourhoods Plan have been met with discontent from Potrero Hill residents in recent months, with potential projects at both the Concourse and One Henry Adams proving unpopular.
Khoshneivsan was unavailable for comment, but according to City planner Ben Fu, “There are review and approval processes for other City agencies before the project can begin construction. Therefore, it is impossible to estimate the construction timeline at this point.” Initial plans indicate that it would take roughly a year to construct the building.
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