April 20, 2015 Housing Action Coalition

Taking a Stroll Down a Renewed Mid-Market

On a recent warm and sunny Saturday, the SF Housing Action Coalition’s staff met 20 of us at the corner of Turk and Market Streets for a walking tour of Mid-Market to show us the new housing developments that will be sprouting up along our City’s premier cultural, civic and commercial corridor.  

IMG_2037The first stop on the tour was the proposed future site of 950-974 Market, which will almost fill the entire triangular block, surrounding the historic Warfield Theater building. Offices, a parking garage and some vacant commercial space currently occupy this stretch of mid-Market. Steven Kuklin, the Project Director working with Group i, led us into the non-theater portion of the Warfield (which they also own) to show us the view of the site from the back roof. The plans include 11 stories of housing, hotel and retail, which has gone through a few design iterations with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The original design included an art and theater component which has since been removed due to a lack of funding.

Next, Helen Sautou of Urban Solutions, a non-profit that works with commercial landlords to fill vacant and blighted storefronts in the 6th Street corridor, gave us an overview of street level revitalization efforts in the neighborhood. New businesses moving in to activate the street from morning til night make it a safer and more inviting place to live, walk and enjoy. New 6th Street’s businesses include Equator Coffee in the Warfield Building, Homeskillet, Chai Bar and the super chic Montesacro, serving Roman style pizza just opened in Stevenson alley behind the famous Dottie’s True Blue Cafe.

On the north side of Market St between 6th and 7th Sts, we visited one of the most exciting additions to the neighborhood  — The Hall, a food truck inspired dining court that currently occupies an old boarded up billiards hall. The Hall manager, Kelle Furrier, explained that the Hall is only a temporary business while the developer, Tidewater Capital, waits for entitlements to build a 13-story building with 186 new homes. I liked the way the space engaged the community. I’d love to see other developers use pop-up storefronts as a way to inject new into their development sites while their project goes through the approval process.

We then met Julie Burdick of Shorenstein Residential, where she presented the developer’s first San Francisco housing development. 1066 Market cuts through to Golden Gate Ave where they propose turning a parking lot into 304 rental units including more than 30 on-site affordable apartments.

IMG_2069The final stop is where we met Emerald Fund Principal Tim Vrabel to get the inside scoop on three projects, totaling 1,000 new rental homes, that will turn a vacant stretch near City Hall into an active, 24/7 neighborhood. One-hundred sixty-two units at 101 Polk are well underway. 150 Van Ness recently received approval for 420 apartments stretching down Hayes Street. Our Mid-Market walking tour concluded on the rooftop terrace of the newly completed 100 Van Ness, a 400 ft tower formerly the headquarters of AAA California. Wow, we enjoyed some spectacular view of the City and I can honestly say, we would all have been happy if the tour lasted another 3 hours. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Guest Blogger Jon Schwark spends his days as an independent motion graphics and video editor. He’s an active Friends of SFHAC member and volunteer who’s interested in international urban design and local community engagement. Jon is also an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area Renter’s Federation.

Thanks to all our tour speakers for dedicating their Saturday morning to our neighborhood tours.

If you like this tour recap, join us on the next tour!  The SF Housing Action Coalition’s tours are open to all Business Members and Friends of the SFHAC. Receive tour announcements and join all our tours for free when you become a member of the SF Housing Action Coalition.

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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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