Two large residential towers planned for the Honda dealership on South Van Ness Avenue and Market Street may get almost twice as much parking as originally proposed, striking a blow to safe streets advocates who oppose increased vehicle traffic in that area.
The two towers are at leat a year away from being built, but developer Crescent Heights is already pushing forward designs for city approval. Based on the original proposal, the 10 South Van Ness “Double Tower” buildings would each be 400 feet tall and would contain a total of 767 residential units, large ground floor retail spaces, and a shared below-ground garage with spots for 275 cars and 265 bikes.
But new plans filed on May 18 (caught by the ever-attentive Socketsite) have altered those numbers, with the dwelling unit count coming in at 984, along with a garage that could hold 518 cars and 397 bicycles. Six of the parking spots would be dedicated to car share.
If math isn’t your strong suit: The first proposal stated that 36 percent of the units to have a parking spot. The new one calls for 53 percent.
One of the reasons the developers may have opted for this drastic parking increase, in a city that’s rapidly getting more congested, is money: Charging tenants for car parking spots is a solid source of monthly income. (If, for example, tenants were charged $250 a month for a valet parking spot, as residents of NEMA supposedly are, that would total $129,500 in monthly income for the developers.) Plus, last month the Planning Commission approved One Oak, a luxury high-rise building that, when built, will contain 304 condos — just across Market Street from the Double Tower buildings. Despite pushback from local residents and neighborhood groups, One Oak was granted permission to include 136 parking spots in its construction — 45 percent of the units that will be built.
Gaul Baugh, president of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, says the new push for increased parking at 10 South Van Ness directly contradicts the Market and Octavia Area Plan, which took 10 years to create, and which went into effect in 2008. “The NEMA apartment building at 10th and Market has many parking spaces that are not being used,” she tells SF Weekly. “Why continue to build buildings ignoring transportation forecasts that continue to point toward less car ownership, especially in transit-rich areas?
“It’s no longer about cars, but mobility,” she adds. “Why does our Planning Department continue to plan for the past, rather that the future that is already here?”
As we’ve previously reported, 9,000 new apartments are planned for the Van Ness Market Street hub.