[maxgallery name=”119-7th-street-top”]Let me pose a question to you, the reader. Can you name the city neighborhood once known for its grittiness, industrial buildings, and parking lots? A place where the rich, poor, homeless, and few in the in-between call home. A place for artists, techies, and … drag queens? I’ll give you a couple of hints: flying pianos and Folsom Fair. If you said SoMa – a bronze star for you. Why not a gold star you ask? I’m looking for something more granular. SoMa is filled with microhoods such as Yuerba Buena, Transbay, Rincon Hill, and South Beach. I’m referring to the distinct hood that lies west of 5th Street and ends at Route 101. The city labels the area as “Western SoMa”, though they give it a different and somewhat illogical boundaries. So why am I calling this area out? In search of new building construction, I recently walked through the area and witnessed considerable changes from only a few years ago. Blocks are now brimming with development activity and sidewalks are bustling with significantly more people.
Gone are many of the old structures and empty lots that once dominated SoMa’s west side, replaced with residential buildings such as 1401 Mission, 1400 Mission, and the Panoramic. And with these new buildings, the retail activity, increased foot traffic, and street vitality have started following. Projects such as 5M and the cluster of planned towers around Van Ness and Market Street indicate more big developments are on the way. But what about the smaller lesser known developments? On a recent walk up Seventh Street, I stumbled upon 119 7th Street, a corner lot filled with unsettled dirt and heavy construction machinery. Let’s take a closer look at the future plans for this property.
[maxgallery name=”119-7th-street-bottom”]Peering through the property’s perimeter fencing, I noticed excavators standing idle next to the crumbled remains of the land’s former parking lot. Development should move quickly with installation of shoring systems and excavation to follow. Plans call for a 39 unit 85 ft tall apartment building containing 2,423 sq. feet of ground retail and 24 underground parking spaces. As for the building’s design … meh. Basic, bland, and cookie cutter. Concerning affordability, no below market rate seekers need apply, as the apartment complex is BMR free. The owner decided to pay nearly $2.5 million in affordability fees and $700,000 in impact fees. I would love to know what the city does with this money!
It is unclear whether Architecture International, the architect for the previous owners, has been retained under Guangzhou R&F Properties. The project’s current architect was called into question when a new set of renderings, different from the illustrations in the original city planning docs, were found and credited to SB Architects.