The preliminary project assessment application has been filed for an eleven-story residential infill at 530 Turk Street, located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. The application expects to benefit from the state density bonus and Cars-to-Casas ordinance, both programs to increase the amount of affordable housing. The property is currently used as a parking lot.
Plans for 530 Turk Street are expected to rise to be 105 feet tall, with a single story of commercial retail and some parking above ten floors of housing. The amount and sizes of apartments have not yet been established, as this project is in a preliminary stage.
The Cars to Casas ordinance was announced in October of 2021 by Mayor London Breed. The ordinance is focused on hastening the bureaucratic process, increasing allowed density, and reducing the number of lots in San Francisco which also for less than three units. The most substantial alteration is allowing four units in Residential Housing zoning district on lots that currently have auto-oriented use.
The ordinance is still pending approval at the Board of Supervisors.
According to the Mayor’s press release, “The “Cars to Casas” ordinance will increase density on auto-centric lots to be up to four units in Residential Housing (RH) zoning districts. In other zoning districts, where housing is already permitted, the density will be relaxed to be “to-form,” which means it will be set by existing height, bulk, and set back requirements etc. Height limits will not be raised in any zoning districts, only density will be relaxed. This will help transition what are under-utilized lots into desperately needed housing.”
The press release goes on to describe that “the ordinance will also make it easier to transition away from auto-oriented uses by removing the existing conditional use requirement to remove an auto use, which will help cut bureaucracy, another impediment to building affordable housing.”
The Cars to Casas announcement was attended by State Senator Scott Weiner, YIMBY Action, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, and Brightline Defense. Describing the intent for the bill, Executive Director Laura Foote of YIMBY Action explains that “Cars to Casas will take steps to make our cities more accessible, address a chronic housing shortage, add housing and put downward pressure on rents, and make our city more accessible and equitable.”
Public documents do not list who the project developer or architect will be. An estimated timeline and cost for construction have not yet been established either. An anonymous source close to the property shared with SFYIMBY that the property has recently sold, though the identity of the buyer is unknown.
530 Turk Street is expected to rise next to 555 Larkin Street, a nearly-complete apartment complex developed by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. The project replaced the Kahn and Keville automotive garage with an eight-story building, adding 107 affordable dwelling units to the neighborhood housing market above supportive services, common open space, and a residential courtyard.
Designed by David Baker Architects, the project at 555 Larkin Street retains the retro marquee used by Kahn & Keville. Of the 108 units, there are 23 studios, 20 one-bedrooms, 50 two-bedrooms, and 14 three-bedrooms.
The property is on the border of the Civic Center neighborhood, which includes the San Francisco City Hall, the United Nations Plaza, and access to Market Street with light rail, buses, and the Civic Center BART Station.