Affordable Housing for Artists Proposed at 1687 Market Street, San Francisco

1687 Market Street, rendering by Mark Cavagnero Associates1687 Market Street, rendering by Mark Cavagnero Associates

Permits have been filed for the proposed 17-story mixed-use project at 1687 Market Street in San Francisco. The development would replace the historic three-story McRoskey Mattress store at the corner of Gough Street with affordable housing and an artist’s community. Mercy Housing is responsible for the application on behalf of the Artists Hub on Market.

1687 Market Street floor plans, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

1687 Market Street floor plans, illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The application uses the 2022-passed Assembly Bill 2011 to streamline the approval process for 100% affordable housing on land zoned for commercial use. Plans for 1687 Market Street will ensure most of the 102-unit residential component of the artist’s hub will be designated as affordable to households earning under 80% of the area’s median income, with one market-rate unit for the on-site property manager. Three waivers and one concession have been requested to achieve the 50% state density.

Plans for 1687 Market Street will be divided between two programmatic elements, with the artist’s community occupying the first four floors above the housing. The street-level floor will contain a small residential lobby, a cafe, and an 85-seat black box theater.

The 182-foot-tall structure is expected to yield around 124,840 square feet, including 95,500 square feet for housing and 28,770 square feet for the arts community. Of the 102 rental units, sizes will vary, with 26 studios, 51 one-bedrooms, and 25 two-bedrooms. One of the two-bedroom apartments will be designated for the property manager. Parking will be included for 124 bicycles and no cars. The fifth floor will feature shared amenities for residents, including a community room, fitness center, and laundry. Additional open space will be provided with the rooftop deck.

1687 Market Street base zoning scheme (left) and proposed massing (right), illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

1687 Market Street base zoning scheme (left) and proposed massing (right), illustration by Mark Cavagnero Associates

The art space will offer offices for arts-focused non-profit organizations and rehearsal space for the arts community and residents of 1687 Market Street. The fourth floor will include a nine-unit hotel area for non-profits to support visiting artists.

Mark Cavagnero Associates is responsible for the design, and Sausalito-based Shades of Green is the landscape architect. Illustrations show the glassy building with white vertical elements along the facade. The podium will be delineated by three floors of transparent glass curtainwall overlooking the double-height events lobby and the third-floor rehearsal studio will visually emphasize the arts community space.

Demolition will be required for the McRoskey Mattress Company, which has occupied the two-story structure since its completion in 1925. The historic structure was designed by the O’Brien Brothers with classical revival features.

Mercy Housing will be partnering with Randall Kline of Artists Hub on Market. Kline is best known for founding the non-profit SFJAZZ in 1983. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the project is being supported by an anonymous $100 million gift.

1687 Market Street, image via Google Street View

1687 Market Street, image via Google Street View

According to the application, construction is estimated to cost around $74.5 million, not including all development costs. Construction could start as early as December 2025 and be completed by 2027, an optimistic estimate that could be achieved with streamlined approval using State law.

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14 Comments on "Affordable Housing for Artists Proposed at 1687 Market Street, San Francisco"

  1. I wish more cities would make developers preserve historic facades like Berkeley

  2. The project is being supported by a $100 million dollar anonymous gift? Which probably means taxpayer money and a government giveaways and if correct this is one more example to vote these politicians out of office!

    • an anonymous gift means that it was paid for by a private donor. That is great news! It means wealthy people are helping to pay for the housing crisis instead of waiting on taxpayers alone to pay for affordable housing! Why do you think that is bad?

    • An anonymous donation is a gift.

      My issue with this is that’s a BOX. I despise boxes. LOL.

  3. I would not like to see the McRoskey building destroyed. Surely there are distressed or dilapidated properties nearby that could be used for this.

    • We need more people living on market street, retail and office vacancies are not going to reverse in the near term and the only way to keep neighborhoods vibrant is to get more people living in them. Historic buildings are amazing parts of our history, but I would prefer to see affordable housing built. Cities full of empty historic buildings are just museums of the past. Vibrant cities are full of people and culture not vacant monuments to the past.

  4. Frank: I fear the gift came from the UN as part of the stack and pack conspiracy.

  5. I’d rather have a façadectomy, but this will do in a pinch.

  6. AB 2011 does not allow the demo of historic building, the mattress factory is a listed City landmark under Article 10. To date to applications have been filed per SF Property Info Map. The public can tract the project there and the SF Planning has a detailed bulletin on AB 2011.

  7. The McRoskey building is one of 8 buildings listed in the SF Planning Code as part of the Market Street Historic Masonry District.
    You would think there would be a requirement to at least incorporate the existing building into the design.
    The Hub has other buildings that would be better candidates for demolition.
    Why take one of the best buildings in that neighborhood?
    Also, what’s going on with that big, empty building right across the street from SF Jazz?
    Or the empty lot across from City Hall?

  8. Irish Scarlett | May 25, 2024 at 8:34 pm | Reply

    Why are we building work space for artists with so many commercial buildings sitting empty?

    And it’s another generic box An ugly and imposing box without any architectural statement other than “we built it cheaply.” What does it add to Market St? Who will subsidize the struggling artists who are being given a brand new building? The fact that Mercy Housing is involved is not exactly comforting.

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