The lot located at 580 De Haro Street is occupied by six dilapidated residential and one commercial building. All of them have been derelict and boarded-up for more than 15 years. Husband and wife development team Kevin and Cathy Dill purchased the property in 2014. They propose to demolish the existing structures, and subdivide the space into seven lots – three 25 by 100 feet and four 25 by 75 feet – which would house two two-unit residential buildings and five single-family homes.
The Dill’s, both architects, were drawn to the deteriorating buildings, which are located a block north of their Potrero Hill home. “We have lived [on] De Haro Street for several years,” said Kevin, ”and have always wondered why the northwest corner of De Haro and 18th streets was vacant and such an eyesore. I was walking my dog one morning and noticed the for-sale sign going up. We were fortunate enough to purchase the property and our proposed project will make a huge positive impact on the neighborhood.”
Under their proposal the existing structures, which Kevin calls an “eyesore,” would be replaced with modern sleek buildings. Plans include additional trees and improved vehicular access to each parcel.
“We have hosted two neighborhood meetings and have presented to the Potrero Boosters general membership and to the Boosters Development Committee,” said Kevin. “The response from neighbors, the Boosters and the Planning Department has all been very positive.”
The project needs to undergo a series of reviews before it’s presented for approval to the San Francisco Planning Commission. Among the evaluations will be a historical assessment, as the buildings to be demolished were constructed before 1954 and are listed as a potential historic resource, according to the San Francisco Planning Department’s property information database. The project must comply with zoning guidelines, and be harmonious with the surrounding area. In addition, construction activities cannot destroy archaeological or historic objects of importance, and environmental impacts must be kept to a minimum. An extensive environmental review was completed last month.
The Planning Department project planner Chris Townes believes that the 580 De Haro proposal is consistent with Planning Code and Residential Design Guidelines. As a result, no modifications will be requested to the design.
“One could argue,” said Townes, “that it’s adding an active use to an underutilized site which includes abandoned buildings, things that have been sort of boarded up. My sense is that this is a use that is both consistent with the purpose of the districts and is a proposing land use that is compatible and consistent with the district as well. The fact that the project is not seeking any exceptions is an important factor and that makes it kind of unique; I think more harmonious with the neighborhood. The architect has made it clear they are not seeking any exceptions, or variances. It seems to be pretty compatible as a concept and as a project, with the underlying zoning as well as the property development.”
The Dills hope to begin construction early next year.