Top Image, Courtesy Heller Manus, Bottom: Don Nolte

Top Image, Courtesy Heller Manus, Bottom: Don Nolte

February 2014

Luxury Apartments to Replace Historic Bank Building

Keith Burbank

By summer, construction will start to transform an historic Dogpatch bank building into luxury apartments. The building at 2290 Third Street was constructed in 1917, and most recently housed Pro Camera. Though opposition to development in the neighborhood seems to be growing, community members submitted eight letters to the Planning Commission in support of the project, with no letters of opposition recorded. The project consists of 70 or 71 apartments.

“It will be a high quality product,” said Brent Gaulke, Gerding Edlen, the project’s developer. Portland, Oregon-based Gerding Edlen specializes in infill construction. It recently purchased the property from Build Inc., which developed a successful project near Esprit Park.

Susan Eslick, vice president, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, had positive things to say about Build Inc., but wants to know if 2290’s design has changed since Gerding Edlen bought the property. “If they do have changes, it would behoove them to contact the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association,” she said.

Several other five and six story buildings are planned for the Third Street corridor, which some residents fear may cause a “canyon effect.” Other residents, such as Eslick, believe that more people will benefit the neighborhood, including by increasing safety.

According to Gaulke, 60 percent of the units will be one bedroom; 40 percent two bedrooms. On average, the one bedroom units will be 600 square feet in size, with the average size of the two bedroom units  slated at 900 square feet.

“We were lucky to get it,” Gaulke said. Gerding Edlen is also developing a project at Sutter and Van Ness streets, and the company has just started construction on a project in Berkeley.

To preserve the building’s history before it’s demolished, Gerding Edlen is in the process of hiring an architect to document the edifice as it is now. Once the apartments are built, the documentation will become a history display inside the lobby of the complex. “That’s something we’re committed to,” Gaulke said.

Construction will take roughly a year and a half. Both the materials used in the building’s construction and the design will reflect the character of Dogpatch. Gerding Edlen hasn’t chosen colors for the building yet. Gaulke said he still has work to do with the Planning Department’s design committee.

The company hasn’t settled on rents for the apartments, but Gaulke said prices will be consistent with the company’s quality of construction and focus on sustainability. The building will capture storm water; units will feature low flow fixtures and energy efficient appliances.

The project is next door to La Scuola, an Italian immersion pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school. According to director Valentina Imbeni, the school doesn’t oppose the project, but wants to be 100 percent sure the children are kept safe from hazards during construction. Imbeni was impressed with the concern Build Inc. demonstrated to the school; she’s eager to meet with someone from Gerding Edlen. Gaulke said his company has placed two calls to the school, but it hasn’t had a face to face meeting with anyone yet.

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