For the size of this project — upwards of 448 units and 323 parking spaces— this one almost sailed through the Planning Commission last night. Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of 900 Folsom/260 5th, generally praising developer AGI Capital for doing its due diligence in adjusting the project based on neighborhood concerns, and noting that it was a "good" infill project. Skeptics in the crowd at times said AGI had gone MIA from the community input process, while others wondered whether the alley "park" being built along Clementina would be enough in proportion to the size of the project — but for the most part nothing more than the usual grumbling. In fact, less than the usual!
Commissioners did wonder why, given all the energy focused on turning Folsom into SoMa's answer to Valencia, retail spaces would end up fronting 5th Street, rather than Folsom. The development team explained that in response to community concerns that retail spaces would just be planting seeds for empty storefronts, they created a "flex space" residential/commercial concept that they were actually quite proud of: "occupied space is better than empty space." In the end, evidently, the commissioners were quite happy to approve the project — and they did note that it would be the first under the new fee deferral "stimulus" program, and as such should get some extra scrutiny to see how all that stimulating works out.
· SoMa Grand Team's New 9-Story Buildings Are Looking for Approval [Curbed SF]
· Pocket Park and Alleyway Townhomes in SoMa Grand Team's Project [Curbed SF]