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Planning Has Some Problems With the 584-Unit Complex Proposed for Civic Center Hotel Site

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Back in May, development firm Strada Investment Group teamed up with nonprofit Community Housing Partnership to propose a massive 584-unit development on what is now the site of the dilapidated Civic Center Hotel. The complex would include 107 supportive housing units for formerly homeless residents, 477 market-rate rentals, and a big open space accessible to the public. However, the SF Planning Department's newly released feedback on the proposal is not very positive. The main problem with the plans are the proposed open space, which Planning says is not consistent with the Market & Octavia Plan's designation for a "signature public park" at the center of short Brady Street. The new buildings would throw shade across the block, line it with non-active uses, and keep it from being exposed and visible from surrounding streets.

Further complicating the plans is the presence of a BART tunnel and ventilation shaft right in the middle of the space. Planning recommends that the developers in touch with BART right away, and suggests further solutions like developing a new public open space fronted by active uses such as retail and creating a living alley near the public space. There are also increased height limits that would have to be approved for parts of the complex. It seems like this project won't be an easy one, but are they ever in San Francisco?

· 1601-1637 Market Street & 53 Colton Street [SF Planning, PDF]
· Development Watch [Curbed SF]