Greystar Developers Reveal Plans & Renderings for New Castro Build
Greystar, the largest property management company in the US out of South Carolina, has revealed their most detailed, and at this point unapproved plans, for the prime real estate plot of 2198 Market Street.
The property, bound by Market Street and Sanchez Streets and across from two other new builds going up opposite corners of 15th Street, has been used for the past few years as a seasonal Delancey Street Christmas Tree lot and part-time parking lot. Prior to that incarnation it was a Shell Gas Station operated by the Wong family of San Francisco for over three decades.
Greystar has acquired the lease on the property from the Wongs for 99 years and exclusive rights to develop it. They’ve filed paperwork with the City to build and during a mandated Planning Department community meeting held July 10th local architect firm Heller Manus* presented their plans for the Castro’s newest residential rental build.
The $15 million dollar budgeted project will house 87 new rental residential units — 35 two bedroom, 52 one bedrooms — 32 underground vehicle parking spaces, 87 bicycle parking spaces and sit atop 5100 sq. foot of retail space. The building is also slated to have an additional 10-foot high windscreen on the roof so residents would be able to access it for recreational purposes. The building will be graduated down to 40 feet on the Sanchez side which will also be the entry point to the underground garage.
Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association’s Aug/Sept. 2013 Newsletter posted 26 members of the community attended the Greystar/Heller Manus* led town hall. Many voiced concerns regarding several issues. Among them: How will the new tall build affect the light of its adjacent neighbors? What new level of shadows will be created? How will this effect the historic Swedish American Hall that abuts the building directly next door on the Market St. side? According to DTNA’s report studies have been conducted regarding light and historical analysis, but, developers didn’t have them available at this meeting. There also hasn’t been an analysis done on shadowing or its effects on surrounding space at all.
Also, as we previously posted, no below market units will be offered at this new build. Instead Greystar is opting to contribute to the City fund, as many other developers through out SF have done, that’ll be used at some later date at undisclosed locations to erect affordable housing. The likelihood of any of those future affordable builds being within the confines of the Castro seem slim at best.
Developers are also seeking a variance on rear yard exposure on this new build. Planning Department regs call for 25% rear yard set back to keep new builds from towering over their lower, older neighbors. Greystar contends that won’t work for this site. Due to the odd shape of the lot they want that percentage reduced to 9.8% otherwise they won’t be able to build all 87 units their design calls for. Neighbors who dwell next door will now face huge a concrete wall, limited light and no view to speak of if that variance is allowed by the Planning Dept.
The building design seems to be following the current trend to build modern, utilitarian, structures that lack any great architectural character. This building could be located, in my opinion, Topeka, Little Rock or Irvine as easily as the Castro .
*Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly named the local architects who designed this building as Heller Magnus when it fact it’s Heller Manus. Apologies to them and our readers if this misnomer created any confusion.