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Japantown Plans Revealed

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[Preliminary designs: A version of the Roji scheme (above), with rooftop open green spaces and a mid-rise tower at the Geary and Webster streets.]

Beverly Hills-based 3D Investments unveiled three preliminary plans for Japantown at last weeks community meeting, part of the city's Better Neighborhood Planning process for Japantown; designs for the nearby 1481 Post Street high-rise housing complex were also presented to the J-town community. Architecture firm EDAW Inc. was hired by 3D investments to design the renovation of the 40-year old center that is bordered by Post, Geary, Webster, and Laguna. Mixed use (retail, residential, cultural ) and mixed ownership are (Park and Recreation Department owns the Peace Plaza, the Union Bank of California and others own parts of the Miyako and Kintetsu malls, and the city owns the parking garage under the Center) have been taken into consideration by the architects. EDAW Inc. principal Stephen Engblom sees the J-town and the project as "an important anchor within the neighborhood", hoping that the final result will introduce a "new generation of economic development" and "diverse housing" to the area. The overall scheme will encompass 2-3,000 square feet, including townhouse, lowrise, and midrise buildings with 150 housing units.

Visit the rest of this post; it's worth it, trust us. EDAW Inc. has drawn up three distinct scenarios (well done— nice to take a break from stiff, overly polished renderings). All deserve consideration. Do we feel a vote coming on? Oh yes, we do.

Above: Baseline scheme — which would incorporate existing retail, and turn the mall inside-out while adding 73 residential units above.

Left: Baseline scheme perspective; Right Hiroba scheme perspective

Above: drawing of the Hiroba scheme which would relocate the Peace Plaza Pagoda from the Geary Boulevard side to along Post Street near Buchanan Mall, and "redistribute" the Peace Plaza to three interlocking areas surrounded by new buildings.

Above: Tori scheme — with overhead retail across the top of the Peace Plaza looking towards the south.

Right: Tori scheme perspective; Left Right: Roji scheme perspective

Above: Roji scheme — Japanese traditional alleyways with internal shopping streets and the opening up of the malls.
· Preliminary Plans for SF J-Town's Japan Center Unveiled [Nichi Bei Times]

[renderings and their descriptions courtesy of EDAW and Robin Chiang]