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Block 11a Supportive Housing Plans for Your Review

Thank you to Mike Grisso of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency for providing the design schematic and an overview of the design that will be presented this Thursday at the Transbay CAC meeting at 5:30pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 2nd Floor Conference Room.

There are two design criticisms that I would encourage neighbors attending Thursday’s CAC meeting to bring up and maybe push back on:

  1. The two retail spaces pushed to the ends of the building appear to have lost some frontage along Folsom Street.  There is discussion about the neighborhood not being viable to support businesses in the retail spaces in the narrative.  I’d suggest folks go visit Epicenter Cafe between 3rd and 4th Streets on Harrison to get a better idea of what is viable for young professionals and retirees living in and around Rincon Hill.  While the viability of businesses in Rincon Hill at this stage may or may not be accurate, the Transbay Redevelopment Area plan promises retail storefronts along a grand Folsom Boulevard … and this is the western entrance, more or less, to the Rincon Hill neighborhood’s core shopping boulevard.  I would hate to see retail spaces with bedsheets covering the windows as we see in some of the spaces at our beloved Delancey Street Foundation building in South Beach.
  2. Related to the Transbay Redevelopment Area plans for retail storefronts along Folsom Boulevard, it seems to be a direct contradiction of the plan to have as the central section of the building’s frontage on Folsom Street  the onsite supportive services/counseling clinic area.  Instead, the entrance for counseling and services should be on Essex Street so that the two retail spaces can be extended along the frontage facing Folsom Street, in my humble opinion, so that the design complies with the plan’s call for retail spaces facing Folsom Street …. not doctor’s offices, counseling, or other non-retail uses.

Take a look at the design and the narrative … maybe look through the Transbay Redevelopment Area Plan and specifically the Folsom Streetscape plan.  Attend Thursday’s meeting – and ask the questions that come to mind relating to the design of the building and how that design meshes with what we were told to expect by the Transbay Redevelopment Area Plan and how this works with the neighborhood needs and quality of life goals.

Key design elements:

  • Building orientation and layout to promote interaction between tenants, services, and the neighborhood
  • Meet the goal of 120 studio and one-bedroom units of supportive housing
  • Attractive outdoor amenities
  • Active ground floor uses along Folsom and Essex Streets
  • Attractive, efficient, economical and sustainable architectural design
  • Respond to the Transbay Redevelopment Area development controls and design guidelines

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