Redevelopment Plans for Third Street Property Significantly Altered

in by
A rendering of the 2230 Third Street project by D-Scheme Studio. Image: Courtesy of D-Scheme Studio.

The property at 2230 Third Street, once home to Leo’s Tire & Brake, may be redeveloped into a life science and medical use building. The 8,000-square foot parcel is located within the Central Waterfront area of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, adopted in 2008. According to Planning Department records, it’s designated as an Urban Mixed Use (UMU) District, which is “intended to promote a vibrant mix of uses while maintaining the characteristics of this formerly industrially-zoned area. It is also intended to serve as a buffer between residential districts and PDR districts in the Eastern Neighborhoods.”

UMU designation allows for uses such as production, distribution and repair, retail, education, and nighttime entertainment. It permits housing, but affordable housing requirements are greater than the Planning Code’s standard obligations, and encourages the creation of units that are sizable enough to accommodate families, such as two- and three-bedrooms.

The property is owned by 2230 Third Street, LLC, which is working with architectural firm, D-Scheme Studio, to develop the site for a project that’d consist of a seven-story building reaching 68 feet in height, delivering 49,977 square feet of space, with ground floor retail and life science and medical uses on floors two through seven. Although not explicitly stated, plan details suggest that the life science and medical areas would be occupied by multiple tenants.

The existing 5,600 square foot auto shop, built in 1946, would be demolished to make way for a 1,168-square foot lobby and 14 parking spaces equipped with a mechanical lift. An additional American Disability Act-compliant surface parking spot and bike spaces would be incorporated. The plans show open space consisting of a landscaped and furnished roof deck, as well as seventh-floor balcony. Fifteen percent of the roof would be made available for solar panels.

Current proposals are a dramatic shift from plans submitted to the City in 2013 by the same development team, which outlined a 40-unit housing project with 31 parking spaces and two ground floor “flex” units geared for home-based business. The residences would’ve been a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

This past spring, Marc Dimalanta, D-Scheme Studio architect, submitted the revised proposals to the Planning Department.  Dimalanta told the View that he wasn’t authorized by 2230 Third Street, LLC to discuss the project; the property owner couldn’t be reached for comment. 

A March Planning Department letter requested that the sponsor present revised plans based on its comments, including submittal of a Large Project Authorization application, which applies to schemes that exceed a certain size within Eastern Neighborhoods Mixed Use Districts. Planning staff also asked for additional information related to design and historic preservation standards and public art provisions. The letter stated, “The Department supports the project’s current massing and scale, but recommends further consideration of the building’s materials, details and fenestration at the primary facade to ensure it is of high quality and compatible with the surrounding Third Street Historic District.”

According to Gina Simi, Planning Department communications manager, Dimalanta is preparing a response to staff’s feedback on the plans.  No community meetings have been held about the project. It’s expected to participate in a labor agreement, First Source Hiring Program, that works to connect economically disenfranchised workers with entry levels jobs.

Located on a bustling stretch of Third Street, the property is across the street from Triple Voodoo Brewery, Invention Hub and a number of eateries. It’s nearby La Scuola International School and Esprit Park. The original proposal was one among several in the vicinity that’re slated to add thousands of housing units to Dogpatch in the coming years. Two projects bordering the property, at 2290 Third Street and 815 Tennessee Street, are expected to add 140 homes, thereby increasing demand for public transportation.

In 2013, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition – a member-supported nonprofit that advocates for building well-designed housing with high affordability levels in locations that reduce suburban sprawl – publicly endorsed the originally proposed project for 2230 Third Street. A letter from the organization stated, “Following our review and discussion, our Endorsement Committee believes the project has many merits and will make a substantial contribution to SFHAC’s mission of increasing the supply of well designed, well-located housing in San Francisco.” The group uses a standard set of guidelines to evaluate projects, and expects that developers will resubmit plans for further assessment if there are significant changes.