Plans Revived for 400 Divisadero Street in Lower Haight, San Francisco

400 Divisadero Street, rendering by BDE Architecture400 Divisadero Street, rendering by BDE Architecture

Plans for a once-abandoned housing proposal have been revived. Reuben Law is scheduled to request an extension of city approval for the 184-unit project to replace a former car wash at 400 Divisadero Street in San Francisco’s Lower Haight. If the extension is approved, the developer will have until the summer of 2025 to secure funding and start construction.

400 Divisadero Street aerial view, image via Google Satellite

400 Divisadero Street aerial view, image via Google Satellite

In October last year, Supervisor Dean Preston told SFGATE that his team would be “actively engaged to do everything possible to secure this site for 100 percent affordable housing.” Reuben Law and Preston have yet to reply to our request for comment. The extension request is paired with resubmitted plans for the 2019-approved project. The property owners will likely wait to consider revisions to the project if the city’s Planning Commission approves an extension.

400 Divisadero Street street view, rendering by BDE Architecture

400 Divisadero Street street view, rendering by BDE Architecture

Five demolition permits were filed in early 2022 for 1048 Oak Street, 1052 Oak Street, 400 Divisadero Street, 444 Divisadero Street, and 271 Granada Avenue. The historic 1060-1062 Oak Street, a two-story two-unit apartment building, will be moved 49 feet to the east.

Roy and Patricia Shimek are listed as the property owners. A project developer has yet to be revealed. The 2019-approved plans were sponsored by Genesis Living, who has yet to reply to a request for comment from YIMBY. The Texas-based developer dropped out in October last year. The extension request will be considered during a public meeting with the Planning Commission scheduled for Thursday, July 13th, starting at 1 PM. The meeting will be held in person in City Hall and remotely.

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13 Comments on "Plans Revived for 400 Divisadero Street in Lower Haight, San Francisco"

  1. Pean Dreston | July 3, 2023 at 8:11 am | Reply

    Another soul-less 5-story apartment building…. How can we continue to call ourselves a “world-class” city if our architecture is no different than Mountain View or Sunnyvale…..

    • “World class?” LOL

      San Francisco is a laughingstock. At a new employee orientation at Google, the suggestion of living in SF for a Google employee was met with laughter across the auditorium.

      Needles and feces on the street have become SF’s brand image.

  2. Mountain View & Sunnyvale arr currently getting better architecture than San Francisco which is good for them.

    No all low-income development here. How many thousands of units must NOPA & Lower Haight & WA support?

  3. Anthony Snyder | July 3, 2023 at 9:16 am | Reply

    Weird to call this soulless. I like the corner windows, changing materials throughout the facade and the abundance of retail at the bottom. Y’all talk about Mountain View and Sunnyvale forgetting that they refuse to build mixed-use and every unit has a million parking spaces. Also – they have HIGHER average rent than San Francisco and they both have strong opposition to affordable housing specifically for the formerly homeless. I grew up there and I can tell you it’s just as much of suburban hell in the new apartments/condos as it is in the single family neighborhoods. There’s also a lot of segregation between income classes that it’s CLEAR if you are poor. Or rich. I love the blended expectations in the city. All people get access to everywhere regardless of “class”.

  4. Drive down El Camino in Sunnyvale, every new apartment building looks exactly like this one. Not a knock on Sunnyvale, but San Francisco is supposed to be a world-class city with international prestige. If we are building things like every cookie-cutter suburb in America is doing, what makes SF special? Every suburb in America is litered with basic 5-story apartment buildings.

    • Anthony Snyder | July 3, 2023 at 12:49 pm | Reply

      3 points in favor of buildings like this in SF vs Sunnyvale:
      1) consistent walkability across a majority of the city vs just a few blocks.
      2) transit access – miles above Sunnyvale. SF has light rail, BART, actually useful busses.
      3) mixed-use everywhere. This means everyone has access to parks, local stores, restaurants/bars within 5-10 minutes of walking.

      The architecture (“neighborhood character”) is a common argument against developments in SF, but architecture styles are generally driven by the time period, rather than the location.

      For example, Victorian/Edwardian architecture is not SF-exclusive (found all over the US) but is commonly found in SF because of the time period the city was developed.

      Any housing that promotes the 3 points above is absolutely welcome.

    • Have you not noticed that the Bay Area is in the midst of a housing crisis? Affordable housing should take priority here, whether you find the architecture boring or not.

  5. I live two blocks from that eyesore site and have a few comments of my own.
    *Anything there is better than the nothing that’s there now.
    *Why is retail constantly being added in these developments when retail is in such decline?
    *For that many units there had better be a large garage underneath…street parking around there is pretty bad already without throwing another hundred cars in the mix. This isn’t New York…people have cars here.
    *When are we going to stop deluding ourselves that SF is a “world class” city??

    • *Retail is hurting because there isn’t enough population density to support it in the ecommerce era. This building will help support more retail in the area.
      *Over 30% of households don’t have cars in SF. You certainly don’t need one in this neighborhood. As a car-free resident of it, I can attest to that. Why waste the space and drive up the costs of the building to build unnecessary parking?

    • There’s maybe one retail vacancy per block on Divis, I wouldn’t say that stretch is hurting in terms of retail in the way many other strips are.

  6. “Does not belong in my neighborhood” is the first line of defense for NIMBYs. It may not belong in your neighborhood today, but we have to start somewhere don’t we?

    The second line of defense is “there isn’t affordable housing units.” 110 units for households making 80% of the Area’s Median Income is a lot better than the current status quo.

    Third line of defense is “no one will want to live there because this project is so ugly.” You clearly live there (or nearby) since you’re riled up about the project. There’s also no accounting for taste. You may like the single family home you inherited from your family, but others may be ok with living in a skyscraper since they cannot afford a single family home.

    As someone who subscribes to this forum, it’s hilarious to see the hypocrisy of the people who comment/subscribe to this forum. Creating 110 units on a lot under 1 acre plot will go a long way in making the City more affordable.

    • “Does not belong in my neighborhood” is the first line of defense for NIMBYs. It may not belong in your neighborhood today, but we have to start somewhere don’t we?

      They seem to think the world began when they were born, and that there will be no world after them.

      Their ‘neighborhood’ wasn’t there in the 18th century, was it?

      NIMBYs are, first and foremost, regressive luddites.

  7. There must be a way though for it to seem less jarring and out of place? And compliment the surroundings?

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