Short Cuts: August 2021

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Odds and Ends

San Francisco Police Department has a new Bayview Station captain, David Maron… Jackson Park will be re-named through a public process to be kicked off in October by Friends of Jackson Park…The closure of the 18th Street commercial strip hasn’t resulted in the hope-for deluge of happy crowds.  Enthusiasm has perhaps been doused by the generally grey, cold, windy weather. Road closing isn’t cheap, costing upwards of $1,000 a week, generally paid for by the Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Association. If you haven’t visited, maybe it’s time you did…

Homeless Prenatal

Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation sponsored by District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton to allow 100 percent affordable housing at the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP) located on 2500-2530 18th Street. The ordinance is part of a multi-step process to enable HPP to expand its services to include placing very low-income families in housing they can afford. Prior to the bill’s passage residences weren’t a permitted use on the Production, Distributing, and Repair (PDR) 1G parcel immediately adjacent to HPP’s existing building.

Code Changes 

The Dogpatch Neighborhood Association (DNA) and Potrero Boosters are working with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Planning Department and Supervisor Shamann Walton to devise ways to manage the emergence of laboratories in buildings zoned for PDR. “There appeared to be a loophole for businesses designated as labs to threaten to homogenize our warehouse PDR use and future PDR construction. A monoculture of one industry is not healthy for any community, especially a growing residential community lacking basic services,” said Katherine Doumani, DNA president. “We’re concerned about unplanned life sciences uses taking advantage of a loophole on paying impact fees and displacing the types of PDR we intended to protect in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan,” said J.R. Eppler, Boosters president. “Pier 70 and the Power Station’s life sciences uses were intended to be a planned relief valve. Between them, Mission Bay and Central SoMa, there will be an incentive for additional clustering of life sciences uses. Unless the PDR loophole is closed and the life sciences overlay in Dogpatch is lifted, the concern is that life sciences will displace traditional PDR in the Design District, Dogpatch, and northern Bayview.” Advocates what to eliminate the Life Science and Medical Special Use District in Dogpatch and clarify what life sciences uses are permitted within PDR zoning. Potential projects of concern are located at a 69,000 square-foot building on 101 Utah Street, 200 Kansas Street, 300 Kansas Street, 1111 Pennsylvania Street, 1401 Illinois Street, and Third Street. 

Lab Fish

A first-of-its-kind tasting room serving cultured salmon samples will open on Third Street this fall. Startup Wildtype has been working since 2016 to produce “fish” grown in a laboratory. Like other alternative meat companies, Wildtype ultimately wants to harvest “salmon” to be sold at grocery stores and appear on menus. According to founders Aryé Elfenbein and Justin Kolbeck, the Dogpatch tasting room will open in September, functioning as a kind of interactive museum where visitors can learn how the product is made. The tasting room will feature a glass barrier to enable diners to see the “salmon” being cultivated in stainless steel tanks, similar to what visitors might find in a brewery. Apropos of the previous item, is fish grown in a laboratory a legitimate PDR use..?

Power Station 

Construction is underway at the Power Station, a 29-acre waterfront site south of Pier 70 that will ultimately host 2,600 new homes, offices and life science laboratories, open space and community-serving amenities. Associate Capital, the project’s developer, held a groundbreaking celebration last May.  “Having 30 percent of the units be affordable housing is a big win for the community. It took meeting with community members to get the developer to that point, and to the point of ensuring a high percentage of the workforce would be from the community. The effort the community and the developer made together shows cooperation can be effective,” said District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton. “It’s a balanced approach to build housing and offices while preserving Station A. This ensures things will come online together,” said J.R. Eppler, Potrero Boosters president.  “Selecting good architects helped. There was no skimping in terms of the design aspect.” According to Katherine Doumani, Dogpatch Neighborhood Association president, “Basically, you’re building a new town on privately held land. It’s still a bit daunting to think of the number of people, businesses, cars, and trips that will come through Dogpatch. Yet it’s a just end to a facility that wreaked havoc on the environment for most of its lifetime. To have the site converted into a community by the water is very fitting. 

Distill Still

Hotaling & Company, formerly Anchor Distilling Company, previously Anchor Brewing’s distilling and spirits-importing arm that was spun off when Sapporo bought Anchor Brewing in 2017, is named after the once-largest whiskey warehouse on the West Coast, located in North Beach. Legend has it that Hotaling & Co. survived the 1906 earthquake and fires while surrounding buildings burned to the ground, a bit of an oddity given all that flammable alcohol. Hotaling produces Junipero Gin and Old Potrero Whiskey at Pier 50 in Mission Rock, which once housed Distillery No. 209. The spirits continue to be made by master distiller Bruce Joseph, along with head distiller Arne Hillesland, the long-time brains behind Distillery No. 209’s gin operation. The Anchor Distilling still – number two – was moved to the facility to join No. 209’s much larger “Rosie” still. 

Interesting Rate

“Consolidate with a lower rate and save. It’s smart,” announced the direct mail advertisement from Union Bank, which encouraged would-be customers to “Enjoy” loan rates from “6.99% – 19.99%.” The average interest rate for a savings account is close to zero.  Average credit card interest is 16 percent.  The S&P 500 has so far generated a 17% return this year. Average mortgage rates are 2.8%.  The wealthy get higher returns at lower borrowing costs, the poor the opposite. Nothing new, but somethings wrong with these numbers…