Long-planned housing project moves forwardSan Francisco Examiner
April 16, 2009
A 6-year-old plan to develop an empty lot tucked between the Potrero Hill and Mission Bay neighborhoods has reached a critical juncture.
Planning commissioners are due to meet today to finalize an environmental-impact report for the six-story residential and industrial project in Daggett Triangle, at 16th, Seventh and Hubbell streets. Daggett Street runs through the plot and would become a green strip in the center of the development.
The project, by architect David Baker, calls for the construction of a series of imposing metallic buildings that would rise slightly above Interstate 280 at the site of the long-empty lot. The development features three squat, 68-foot tall silver towers filled with rental apartments, stores and industrial space suited for startup companies. Plans also call for a private courtyard and a public park on Daggett Street.
While the precise mix of uses in the 65-foot-tall buildings has not been finalized, the draft environmental-impact report assumes the structure will house at least 400 rental units, 400 parking spaces, a restaurant, 9,000 square feet of stores and 20,000 square feet of light-industrial workspace.
Baker said his design matches the fabric of the historically industrial area without imitating its existing elements.
“We do our own form of modern contextualism — we have urban typologies that match local typologies,” Baker said. “We don’t mimic.”
San Francisco Planning Commission Chairman Ron Miguel said one highlight of the project is its inclusion of industrial space in a neighborhood that still maintains vibrant industrial operations. The development will create a logical urban flow along the important 16th Street corridor, he said.
“16th Street goes from Mission Bay into the Daggett area, which hopefully will be developed with more neighborhood commercial [buildings], and then all the way into the Mission District,” Miguel said.
Still, the project has been criticized by some neighbors because of its overwhelming bulk and the number of units it will contain.
“I like the idea of small-scale industrial buildings,” said Kepa Askenasy, co-founder of the Coalition to Save Potrero neighborhood group. “What they’re doing is more of a cookie-cutter design.”
Barriers to breaking ground on the project also remain. As with most construction projects proposed in The City, financing for the Daggett Triangle development has not been secured. Financing has been difficult to obtain since the credit markets froze last year.
“We’re a little bit at the mercy of what’s going on — not just in the financing markets, but also the local real estate markets,” developer Dan Murphy said.
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