March 31, 2014 Housing Action Coalition

Inside AVA 55 Ninth

Over 25 SFHAC members took a guided tour of Mid-Market’s new mixed-use development, AVA 55 Ninth. Developer Joe Kirchofer of Avalon Bay and architect Matt Benz of Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) led our group through the building showing us the model units for this 273-unit rental building with 33 below-market rate (BMRs) on-site. The tour included the other building amenities including the 205 indoor bike parking facility, dog run and pet wash station, the three workshop spaces and over 10,000 feet of outdoor space, including a movie theater. One of our favorite parts of the outdoor space was the tangibility of the one-percent for the arts “Caruso’s Dream”, which is the 13 piano’s hanging off the building.
When planning the project, Joe explained how they wanted to design a building that would create a social environment attractive to the younger residents moving to San Francisco, and have created this new “AVA” brand. They created a lobby that interacts with the retail space connected to the building lobby, which will be open soon with a cafe and restaurant owned by a local restauranteur (stay tuned for that announcement) and is intended to be used as a gathering space for building residents as well as non-residents. Their open space is stocked with funky chairs, sleek ping pong tables and a movie screen. Different communal rooms located inside the building come equipped with vintage kitchen appliances and separated spaces where residents can “work from home”. Internal hallways feature photography by a local photographer who’s captured images and icons from Mid-Market.
The project promotes the increasingly popular urban lifestyle that SFHAC supports. Located next to Civic Center BART, the building has 119 parking spaces, a ratio of about 0.4 spaces per unit. Our guide expressed that car parking hasn’t been in demand while the request for bike parking has been tremendous. In addition to the Class 1 bike parking spaces located in the lobby and garage, apartments come equipped with wall-mounted bike racks, a nice bonus for the tenants.
The building’s unit mix consists of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, only 10 percent of which will be corporate rentals. Our group walked through two model units. A single-bedroom  features creative storage space on the walls, a modular closet, forced hot air electrical heating and chalk walls (yes, you can write on the wall with chalk). The bathroom and closet essentially make up one long room that leads into the bedroom, which is separated from the living room by a sliding door. A compact kitchen and dining space make up the remainder of the home.
Scroll through the images below to get a feel of what AVA 55 Ninth brings to San Francisco.
IMG_2775ava 55 ninthSFHAC members gather in the lobby.


IMG_2803The rooms provide creative storage space for the tenants who like to explore the city during the weekends.


 IMG_2818AVA keeps it funky and offers some nice views.


IMG_2796IMG_2796IMG_2796IMG_2796Not a bad place to hang out with your neighbors, right?


IMG_2783Bet it looks pretty cool at night!


Check out more photos from our tour of AVA on our Flickr page.

Housing Action Coalition

The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions.

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