Updated Plan Referral for 249 Pennsylvania Avenue, San Francisco

249 Pennsylvania Avenue, image via Google Satellite249 Pennsylvania Avenue, image via Google Satellite

The City has submitted a General Plan Referral for the affordable housing development of 249 Pennsylvania Avenue in Potrero Hill, San Francisco. The application comes after the city secured predevelopment and acquisition financing last year. The proposal is a joint venture by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Young Community Developers.

San Francisco purchased the site alongside four other properties across the city last year through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. The application text shares that the “GPR referral is required due to the proposed Predevelopment and Acquisition financing, as well as the future ground lease between the City and the project developer/owner to develop, own, and operate the housing.” The other four properties acquired by the MOHCD are 1234 Great Highway, 250 Laguna Honda Boulevard, 3300 Mission Street, and 650 Divisadero Street.

The previous owner, William Spencer Company, has been pushing plans to replace the hardware with housing since 2014, starting with a four-story structure with 59 homes. Updated plans were filed in 2022 for a seven-story infill with 92 units. In 2019, crews demolished the Center Hardware store and leveled the site, but construction never started. The preliminary application expects to see at least a hundred homes in a mid-rise structure. Unit sizes will be larger to accommodate prospective families, with over half being two or three-bedrooms.

The former Center Hardware building at 249 Pennsylvania Avenue image via Google Street View circa 2018

The former Center Hardware building at 249 Pennsylvania Avenue image via Google Street View circa 2018

The application writes, “the project team will select an architect to begin the design process alongside robust community outreach. The team is confident that the site can support 100+ units needed to create economies of scale during property operations and ensure its financial sustainability long into the future.”

The developer has already highlighted a few design features needed to mitigate the impact of the adjacent I-280 freeway. This includes increased air filtration, soundproofing of windows and walls, and greenery to buffer the impacts of the vehicular infrastructure. Residential amenities include a large community room, laundry, bicycle parking, and on-site social services office space.

Future residents will find nearby retail and bus lines. A 3rd Street light rail stop is a seven-minute walk away, providing riders with quick access to Dogpatch and the Mission District.

The project will designate all units as affordable to households, half of which will be set aside for extremely low-income households and applicants who have been or are unhoused. The estimated cost and timeline for construction have yet to be established.

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8 Comments on "Updated Plan Referral for 249 Pennsylvania Avenue, San Francisco"

  1. I really hope SF follows through on loose plans to demolish 280 at this intersection. 280 does not carry that many cars per day and is a scar that separates Potrero from Mission Bay. It also ruins Mission Creek with a creepy overpass. With work from home a reality, a second outlet to downtown is not necessary. Demolish 280 starting at Mariposa, make 7th St a street level boulevard like Octavia, and let this neighborhood flourish!

    • 100% in agreement with knocking down I-280 at the Mariposa Exit. It’s time to free these hundreds of acres of dead land for better redevelopment. Let’s get rid of the Central Freeway as well and unlock a ton of underutilized land in the process!!!

      • I think the 280 spur should come first as it’s an easier win, politically. Once that’s done, and it’s obvious that yet again, removing a freeway was the right call, it will be easier to do Central Freeway. That one’s going to be the hardest. The entire West Side of SF will hate the idea.

    • 100% Agree. I think about this every time I go by here on my bike. It’s such an eyesore and would unite the neighborhoods and allow more skyline. It would truly be transformational. I think Ed Lee touted this idea just prior to his death, but no one was really taking it seriously at the time. Scott Wiener is a champion for tearing down the Central Freeway, I’m sure that he is keen on taking this one down as well.

      • Scott Wiener is a self-enriching troll in the pocket of any developer nearby.
        Ed Lee was also a criminal. Your bicycle is not important to the discussion.
        People with jobs have to commute, lucky for you that doesn’t apply.

  2. Useless article, what is the update for 249 Pennsylvania avenue!

  3. Thank you for working on plans for more housing in a public transit area. Also great that the issues of being right on top of a freeway are being included in the plans.

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