Heller Manus Tapped to Design Castro’s Greystar Development

2198 Market Street SiteAs we posted in December of 2012, Greystar, a huge development company based in South Carolina and the current lease owners of the transitioning, SF mega-plex, Park Merced, is building an 87 unit apartments with 36 below grade off-street parking spaces, 87 bicycle spaces and 4,745 gross square-feet of ground floor retail space along the Market Street frontage at the former Shell lot (2198 Market St.).

We can now report the project is being designed by Heller Manus Architects. Heller Manus is responsible for over 10,000 new residential units; high-density, market-rate, affordable, and luxury housing units. Current projects include the massive structure going up on the edge of the Civic Center at 10th/Market and the completed The Hayes (55 Page St). These new builds will be a stark change compared to surrounding neighborhood construction that ranges from buildings erected primarily from 1890 thru 1955.

Heller Manus completed build, The Hayes, at 55 Page St.

An example of the designers Heller Manus tapped to build Greystar’s new project the completed build, The Hayes, at 55 Page St.

Greystar’s new construction will be joining two other new builds on opposing corners of the Market, Sanchez and 15th Street intersections. One is currently half way through construction where Leticia’s Restaurant (2200 Market St.) once stood. The other, Forest City’s developers planned 88 apartments with 6,500 square feet of ground floor retail recently broke ground at the now empty 76 Station lot (2175 Market St).

All three of these new additions to the Castro skyline will feature similar design concepts currently dominating the City in a large number of new builds that some critics politely describe aesthetically as ‘brown box modern’.

The Greystar building is situated next to the historic Swedish American Hall and is set to rise within the next six to eight months. Supervisor Wiener has made some requests of both the developer and the project.

In a letter to District Eight constituents Wiener wrote that he’d asked developers, “design a step down on the Sanchez Street side so as to be compatible with the neighboring residences and backyards on the residential street. We have also requested on site affordable housing, rather than paying an in-lieu fee to the Mayor’s Office of Housing, or contributing to a dedicated affordable residential building elsewhere.”

The revelation that the Greystar building will be bringing some affordable housing units to the neighborhood is welcome news as many in our community struggle to find housing that matches their income level. As soon as renderings of the new build are made public we will update you.

-via San Francisco Business Times

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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13 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Psssst Waiyde….
    Check your headline. Name of the firm is “Heller – Manus”
    :-)

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    • Waiyde Palmer says:

      Thanks Peter: Writing without a net-aka an editor-at 5AM often leads to these embarrassing, “D’oh!” ,kind of mistakes.

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  2. Chris Pool says:

    I’m very nervous about the renderings. That area has a lot of iconic architecture from the Victorians to the half-timber designs from when the Swedes built up the area at the turn of the 19th century. I’d hate to see such beautiful buildings drowned out by the boring modern new construction some parts of the city have seen–judging by their portfolio I fear it won’t be too far off from that.

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    • rblack says:

      I bet the folks in the 1910s complained about all the bland cookie cutter victorians going up everywhere.

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      • Waiyde Palmer says:

        Doubtful as the area wasn’t developed much before that era and what remains now is much of the original build.

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        • Waiyde – There are maps from the Sanborn Fire Insurance books that show many homes built in the area before 1899-1900. The maps are available online.

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          • Waiyde Palmer says:

            Granted-and all in the Victorian (Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothic & Eastlake) style of the day-larger builds as in multi-unit dwellings were less ornate in nature so I can see how residential owners might’ve thought them philistine in comparison to their regal single dwelling homes.

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  3. Is anyone else worried about the retail spaces in these new buildings? What will be approved by DTNA, EVNA, and Planning? If you were against the Starbucks at 2100 Market, you might want to prepare for more formula retail trying to move into the neighborhood.

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    • Stephen says:

      My contacts in the retail industry have told me that the rejection of Starbuck’s has caused some hesitation to some retailers about pursuing expansion plans for the Octavia/Market Corridor and Castro area The process of getting approval to operate is expensive and the uncertainty of approval is a concern. There is also much focus on the Chipotle proposal’s success/failure as to whether their expansion plans will succeed.
      Any “formula” retail (aka chain store) company is now required to get planning dept approval via a Conditional Use Permit. This allows each proposal to be subject to not only planning dept review but also review by the community. There is also restriction on any 20% saturation of formula retail stores within 300 feet of the proposed site.

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      • Bob says:

        AKA, get ready for lots of empty storefronts

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      • Moist Pup says:

        Good riddance to large corporate chains sucking money out of communities, and only giving us minimum wage jobs in return. At least with a small business the owner probably lives locally and that money is staying in our city.

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        • rblack says:

          Except for Starbucks and Chipolte who both pay living wages, offer benefits, mostly promote from within, and give money back to the community.

          We will never get rid of chains, but what we can do is support the ones that treat their employees and the local neighborhood well.

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          • rblack says:

            Unlike CVS for example who only receive a score of 60 from the HRC.

            Funny how that chain sailed through without a peep from the LBGT and neighborhood groups.

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