June 2014

New Office Space, Single-Family Homes Coming to the Hill

Keith Burbank

According to Potrero Hill resident and architect Kevin Dill, the neighborhood is a place for single-family homes. And he plans to build more. Dill purchased 580 De Haro Street, a former residential and office complex, from architect Ugo Sap, and wants to build five single-family homes and two two-unit residences on the property. 

On the whole, “it's really a single-family neighborhood,” he said. Rhode Island Street is primarily single-family homes, while 18th Street has a mix of single-family and multi-unit buildings. The new 580 De Haro Street homes will each have their own separate detail, character, and finishes. Plans include one parking space per unit, and Dill Architectural Group, Dill’s company, plans to design the homes with fence-free rear yards. 

Roughly 13 years ago, Dill built a similar project, consisting of eight condominiums, at 692 to 698 De Haro Street. He lives in one of the units. At 580 De Haro Street, the two two-unit residences will be from 1,450 square feet to 2,000 square feet, while the single-family homes will be from 2,700 to 3,200 square feet.

Bay West Development is proposing to designate 2 Henry Adams Street as a City landmark as part of an agreement that would enable most of the building to shift from production, distribution, and repair uses to office space. The building is part of the San Francisco Design Center, which includes 101 Henry Adams Street, also known as the Galleria, located near Townsend Circle. Bay West Development has owned property in Showplace Square for more than 30 years.

“Luckily this building has been cared for for a really long time,” said Sean Murphy, partner, Bay West Development, of 2 Henry Adams. According to the San Francisco Planning Department, the structure was built in 1915. After it obtains landmark status, which requires approval by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee, Bay West plans to improve disability access at the north and south entrances, install new sidewalks, plant street trees, and conduct minor exterior work. Bay West Development will also rehabilitate a triangular parcel on the north side of the building. 

“We're creating open space for the neighborhood on that parcel,” Murphy said. The area, which is currently covered with gravel, will have seating, bike racks, planters, and additional landscaping. Bay West will also replace the screen surrounding the dumpsters. “We'll clean up all that area,” he said. 

Landmark status will enable Bay West to transition the top four floors of the five-story building to office use from PDR-1-D. The ground floor will remain a showroom. “That showroom design focus is very important for us for the neighborhood,” he said. As the four upper floors become office space, current tenants will be given the opportunity to move their showrooms to 101 Henry Adams Street, which will become “the real showroom building,” Murphy said. Office uses will be design-focused. 

Bay West Development hopes to obtain final project approvals this summer. By next summer, it wants to have completed the exterior modifications, including the sidewalks and disability access improvements. Transitioning the upper floors to office uses will take longer; some existing tenants have 10-year leases. As the tenants change, so will the signage, becoming consistent with historic guidelines. 

City fees and landscaping will cost the Bay West about $8 million, none of which will be borne by tenants, according to Murphy. Everything necessary for the designation to be introduced by the Board of Supervisors is at Board's clerk's office, according to Tim Frye, preservation coordinator, San Francisco Planning Department. But the Board hasn't set a date for a hearing on the proposal. 

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