Short Cuts

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Family House

The Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House opens next month in Mission Bay.  For more than thirty years, Family House has served as a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, providing physical comfort and emotional support, free from financial concerns.  The Family House is a few blocks away from the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital, where most of the families’ kids will be treated.  The new facility is twice as large as two former Inner Sunset locations, which it replaces.  The nonprofit organization raised $42 million to develop and operate the building, with no public financing.  Designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and built by Nibbi Brothers Construction, the 92,000 square foot Family House includes 80 bedrooms; communal kitchens and living rooms; teen room; exercise room; family parking; and a private 3,200 square foot outdoor courtyard.  The interior was designed by San Francisco-based Palmer Weiss.  Several companies donated materials, furniture, fixtures, and design elements, including European Sleep Works, Pottery Barn, and Container Store.

Church Prevails, For Now

The San Francisco Planning Commission delayed for two months a Potrero Hill project that if ultimately approved will displaced Moto, a motorcycle repair shop, eliminate a blue-collar work space, and cast a shadow over the Church of St. Gregory’s cupola windows, blocking sunlight that currently streams through the Episcopal Church’s windows.  A developer wants to construct 17 luxury condominiums on the 500 block of De Haro Street. The proposed project was originally on the Commission’s consent calendar, meaning it was on track to be lumped with several other noncontroversial items and approved without discussion. But Hill residents and church members showed up to oppose the deal, which they said was progressing without adequate community outreach. “We are facing a death of 1,000 cuts. With every displaced business we lose a little more of San Francisco,” Alison Heath, a Hill resident, told the Commission. According to Peter Papadopoulos, who works for Cultural Action Network, luxury condos are “displacement machines.” He noted that Mayor Ed Lee issued a five-point plan to save Production, Distribution, and Repair businesses that included protecting PDR space.

Building on Park

Martin Building is pushing forward with plans for a five-story development at 17th and Arkansas streets, across from Jackson Park. As designed by BAR Architects, the proposed 88 Arkansas project would include 127 apartments – 25 studios averaging 435 square feet, 50 one-bedrooms averaging 600 square feet, and 52 two-bedrooms averaging 866 square feet – over a basement garage that can accommodate 98 cars and 107 bikes, as well as 3,300 square feet of double-height restaurant space fronting 17th Street. The building’s entrances and five townhomes would line Arkansas Street.  The project’s application is under expedited review by the City’s Planning Department, as Martin has proposed to include 20 percent below-market rate units and build to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Platinum standards.

Sandwich Moves

The Sandwich Shop, which was featured in the April 2015 View (“Dogpatch Deli Serves Up Affordable Quality”) has moved its bread and deli meats down the road, to 2071 Third Street.  The building it had occupied, on 19th and Tennessee streets, is being developed into yet more condominiums…Threadflip, an online consignment marketplace for women’s clothing located at 2360 Third Street, flopped last month.  The startup, founded in 2011, shutdown and transferred its assets to clothing rental startup, Le Tote.  Competition from a similar service offered by much larger eBay stripped the fashion forward attempt of its momentum.

Super Traffic

City officials expect Superbowl-related traffic congestion to be heaviest at the two main events occurring in San Francisco: Super Bowl City, a free fan village in Justin Herman Plaza, and NFL Experience, a paid-entry theme park located at Moscone Center North and South.  Starting last month and extending to February 12, roads will be closed to motor vehicles and bicycles at The Embarcadero southbound from Washington Street to Don Chee Way (the Ferry Plaza), Market Street east of Beale/Davis Streets, and Steuart Street from Market to Don Chee Way.  Vehicle traffic won’t be allowed on Howard Street from Third to Fourth streets, as well as on some lanes between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Detours for Moscone Center will be the same as during last year’s Oracle OpenWorld and Dreamforce. Bicycles that cross zones of activity will be re-routed. Regulated taxis will have designated areas for drop-offs and pick-ups. Curb parking will be limited. All Muni lines will run except the E-Embarcadero, the weekend-only line. For more information on all things transportation related to Superbowl 50:… Speaking of traffic, Peter Albert, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency urban planning initiatives manager, who has been working on traffic planning associated with the Mission Rock development and Golden State Warrior’s arena, will retire in April.

Earthquake to Hit, Predict Tibetan Lamas

It’s not uncommon for religious organizations to ask the public’s help for earthquake disaster relief.  But they usually wait until after the temblor has happened. Not one Bay Area Buddhist organization, which wants assistance to prevent a major earthquake from occuring here sometime soon. According to Sister Drimay, a nun who lives at the Land of Medicine Buddha monastery, an Oracle serving Tibetan Buddhism’s senior lamas has predicted that major tremors will occur in Nepal and the Bay Area in the near future. She said the Oracle has a track record of accurately predicting quakes, and that Bay Area centers associated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition are asking the public to recite a prayer, the Kshitigahhrba, as many times as possible, as soon as possible. The prayer is designed to prevent, or at least mitigate, major earthquakes. It’s been used in Tibet for centuries.  Some might consider prayer to be useless, but the Tibetans may be onto something. In her groundbreaking book The Field, Lynne McTaggart cited a Stanford study that found a low but statistically consistent positive effect in mind over matter experiments.  Prayer might not stop an earthquake, but it could make people less fearful that one will happen.  For more information, and the text of the prayer: