New Homes in San Francisco – Residential (Approved) – 13/16
|Daggett Place,1000 16th St.|
For at least eight years, the Daggett Triangle development site in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood sat vacant while neighbors debated with the owners about what to do with it.
In August, apartment builder Archstone finally bought the 3.15-acre site from Cherokee Mission Bay LLC, which had owned the property since 2004, for $36 million after securing approvals to build 467 apartment units there.
Archstone’s group vice president, Amir Massih, said he was in touch with Cherokee’s local representative, Dan Murphy, for years as the rezoning of the land — at the corner of 16th and 7th streets — moved forward.
It took a lot of meetings, many of them heated, with members of the community and government officials to get the site zoned as mixed-use rather than industrial, Massih said. In July, the project was approved to include 467 apartment units, retail space, some light industrial businesses, a community garden and a park.
“We had a fair amount of conversation to have everyone come to a recognition that the gateway from Mission Bay to Potrero Hill should be something outstanding,” Massih said.
Some neighbors objected to the proposed height of the development — six stories — and some didn’t want any housing on the site (which formerly held a paint manufacturing plant), said Steven Vettel, a land use attorney at Farella Braun + Martel who worked for the seller and buyer.
In the end, the planning commission approved the project unanimously, Vettel said.
“With the size of project and number of residences, it’s unusual for a large residential site to change hands at this speed,” Vettel said. “We expect to break ground in next few months.”
Massih feels gratified by the planning commission’s approval and said having the site empty for so many years was both a help and a stumbling block to the project.
“I think we did a good job of pushing the project to the finish line,” he said. “On the one hand, people see an empty site and they see blight and want development, but some imagine what it could be and if what you present isn’t what they imagined, they get a little worked up.”
Massih gets a little worked up himself, talking about the park that will be at the site.
“From a technical standpoint, we didn’t need the park to have the project approved, but it’s nice to give back to the community,” he said. “A fair number of resources went into designing something that will be spectacular.”
The park will have something for just about everyone, Massih said, including a dog run, public art and playground.
Archstone believed in the site due to its proximity to Mission Bay, where the University of California, San Francisco, is building a massive new hospital and biotech companies are filling up R&D space.
The land in the Potrero/Mission Bay neighborhood fits in with Archstone’s strategy of owning and building apartment in desirable, walkable neighborhoods with limited land.
“In Mission Bay, (companies are) creating employment, but they don’t have housing, so that people can get out of their homes and walk to jobs and to restaurants,” Massih said. “A mixed-use project like this is a lot more complementary to the way people live in San Francisco.”
Archstone hopes to break ground later this year.