[maxgallery name=”1598-bay-street-main”]”Honey, I’m at the corner of Broadway and Lyon Street. You got to see this.”, the visitor spoke with a mobile phone clasped to her ear. I followed her beaming eyes to the bay and a blissful panorama of the Marina District, San Francisco Bay, and Marin County Hills unfolded before me. There on top of Lyon Street Steps with no significant structure impeding my vast views, I understood – irrespective of the rightness – the reasoning around the Marina’s stifling 40 foot building height limits. High-rises in the marina would disrupt the neighborhood’s rustic skyline and block views of the bay’s serene waters and surrounding mountainous geography. But who’s talking about high-rises? Is their a middle ground between a 400 foot tower and a 40 foot low rise building? The question arose when I stumbled upon 1598 Bay Street, a Marina corner lot currently hosting a derelict gas station but slated for redevelopment as a housing complex.
[maxgallery name=”1598-current-site-view”]Approved plans call for a 40 foot tall condominium complex with 28 homes and 42 parking spaces. The building will lack ground retail and the developer opted to pay an inclusionary housing fee to avoid including any below market rate (BMR) units. Architects bulked up the structure’s proportions, squeezing as much square footage as possible under the height limits, and outfitted the facade with brick veneer intended to complement nearby wood and brick cladded buildings.
For its intended purposes the building will undoubtedly blend into existing structures, throttle population growth in the area, and maintain the Marina’s signature flat skyline. The question remains whether a moderately taller building, which would add more homes, incentivize on-site affordable housing, and motivate a slimmer higher quality design, is more in tuned with the today’s housing shortage, stratospheric home prices, and barren night-time streets.[maxgallery name=”1598-bay-street-renderings”]
Address: 1598 Bay Street
Lot Size: .29 acre
Developer: Presidio Development Partners
Architect: Seidel Architects
Status: Demolition permits issued in early May. Construction start is imminent.
Specifications: 28 Homes, 42 parking stalls