What is 1001 Van Ness Avenue?
Offering an unparalleled modern living experience on the Van Ness Avenue corridor, 1001 Van Ness Avenue, the former KRON office and studio, is being redeveloped as a residential building, including townhomes, flats, neighborhood-serving retail and an inviting pedestrian experience featuring new landscaping and streetscape improvements. Bordered by Van Ness Avenue, O’Farrell Street, and Myrtle Street, this project’s thoughtful design embraces the urban fabric of the neighborhood and its historic neighbors.

One of the hallmark features of 1001 Van Ness Avenue will be the activation of Myrtle Street. New townhomes will be built across the street from the existing historic Myrtle Flats townhomes which, along with the attractive residential entry, will create a welcoming, pedestrian-scale street. Also proposed is approximately 5,100 square feet of ground floor retail on Van Ness Avenue and O’Farrell Street, further activating the sidewalks and providing new neighborhood-serving retail options for residents, shoppers and neighbors.

The final project is the result of a collaborative community process involving extensive dialogue with the Myrtle Street neighbors, Cathedral Hill Neighborhood Association (CHNA) and other interested stakeholders. We are very pleased that our efforts have resulted in a project that is widely endorsed by the community.

Can you provide more details on the building design?
We’ve partnered with San Francisco-based Handel Architects to create a design that responds collectively to the surrounding structures with architecture scaled to reflect each of the building’s street frontages on Van Ness, Myrtle and O’Farrell. Activating Myrtle Street will be an attractive residential entry and a series of townhomes across from the historic Myrtle Flats townhomes. The project is also placing ground floor retail space along Van Ness to further enliven the sidewalks and bring a human connection to the front of the project. A convenient bike lounge with a glass facade on the O’Farrell side of the building will serve as a secondary point of access for pedestrians using the retail garage and residents wanting to connect to the residential lobby via the bike lounge.

Will the project be designed as a “green building”?
Yes, we are pursing GreenPoint Rated certification, and have assembled a project team that is well-versed in sustainable design to evaluate all aspects of the building from energy and water efficiency to health and comfort. This includes designing a high-performance building envelope or “skin,” evaluating the optimal heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, selecting the right water-using fixtures and interior materials and evaluating the viability of renewable energy and water saving systems. These building systems, materials and technologies are in addition to the site’s transit-friendly location and bike-friendly policies.

What was your community engagement process?
1001 Van Ness Avenue is the result of over two years’ of meetings with neighbors soliciting input from the community to ensure that the final proposal reflects the community’s vision. Our closest neighbors, the Cathedral Hill Neighborhood Association and the Myrtle Street homeowners, as well as a number of other key community members, have been actively engaged since the outset of the project. We are very pleased that our efforts have resulted in a project that is widely supported by the community, including official endorsements from the Cathedral Hill Neighborhood Association and the Myrtle Street homeowners.

Are you requesting zoning variances?
We are not requesting zoning variances. Located in the Van Ness Special Use District (SUD), this project will not exceed the 130-foot height limit specified by the SUD, and will remain below the allowable Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for the site.

What is the make-up of residential units?
1001 Van Ness Avenue will feature a combination of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Ownership has proposed 239 units.

Will the project provide on-site affordable housing?
The proposed project will comply with the City of San Francisco’s Inclusionary Housing Program as modified and approved by voters in June 2016 (Prop C) and the accompanying trailing legislation which offered grandfathering for projects based on how long they had been in the pipeline. We have had extensive discussions with the community about this topic and they are aware that we have chosen to pursue the in-lieu fee option which requires a payment to the city’s affordable housing fund based on a 27.5% off-site requirement — the equivalent of over $19 million dollars.  

How much of the new open space will be accessible to neighbors?
The majority of the 11,800 square feet of new open space will be for residents’ use. However, one of the hallmark features of the project will be the activation of Myrtle Street. An attractive residential entry and new townhomes will be built across the street from the existing historic Myrtle Flats townhomes. Further activating the project site will be new landscaping, improved lighting and concrete seat wall-elements along Myrtle Street and new trees on Van Ness and O’Farrell.  In addition to these significant streetscape improvements, we are also proposing 5,100 square of new neighborhood-serving retail on Van Ness and O’Farrell.

How many parking spaces and bicycle spaces are being proposed?
Our intention is to provide 195 total parking spaces and 259 bicycle parking spaces. There is an underground garage to accommodate residents.

How did you determine your parking count?
When 1001 Van Ness was first acquired, the minimum parking allowed was one space per unit. Later on the city reduced the as-of-right parking ratio to 0.5, but the Van Ness SUD was specifically grandfathered to allow 0.75 spaces per unit with an exception. We intend to seek an exception to make use of the grandfathering provision, a provision supported by our community partners.  This results in 178 residential parking spaces accessed via the Myrtle Street entrance to the garage.  In addition there are 15 retail parking spaces and two car share spaces that are accessed via a separate retail parking entrance located on O’Farrell.

What are the results of your traffic study?
The Transportation Impact Study (“TIS”) for 1001 Van Ness, completed February 2016 by Fehr & Peers in close coordination and with guidance from the San Francisco Planning Department, performed extensive analysis on existing conditions, changes created by the proposed project, and cumulative conditions including the proposed project and other nearby proposed projects.  The TIS concluded that the project has “no significant environmental impacts” (all impacts were “Less Than Significant”).

Was this project subject to an environmental review?
The project was required to conduct a series of environmental studies to review possible impacts as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  These studies were completed by consultants selected from an approved list provided by the City’s Planning Department, and reviewed and approved by Planning Staff.  The result of this analysis was summarized and published in a Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration (PMND), which contains information about the possible environmental impacts of the proposed project on a wide range of categories such as cultural resources, transportation and circulation, wind and shadow, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.

The PMND also identifies mitigation and improvement measures that the project must comply with. The PMND has determined that the project does not have any significant unmitigated impacts on the environment. The neighborhood was notified of the opportunity to review the PMND  and it is available to view or download from the Planning Department’s Negative Declarations and EIRs web page.  

What type of retail will be opened?
Once the project is approved we will begin working with the community to identify specific retailers who may be the right fit for this location based on feedback we’ve received from the community. We understand that neighbors would prefer independent, neighborhood-serving retailers. The space will be able to accommodate either a retail or restaurant use and would likely fit one to three operators.

What is the current status of 1001 Van Ness Avenue?
We are in the final stages of the planning, outreach and environmental review process. Although the schedule for public hearings is variable, we anticipate going to the Planning Commission for project consideration on October 20, 2016. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2017 and be completed in early 2019.

What is your construction management plan?
The City of San Francisco requires strict procedures to mitigate construction impacts on the adjacent neighbors, including controlling dust during excavation and limiting construction activities to approved hours. In addition, neighbors will be provided with contact information for a construction management neighborhood liaison.

How can neighbors demonstrate their support for the project?
Supporters can send an email to both planning commission president, Rodney Fong at planning@rodneyfong.com and project planner, Mary Cheung-Woods at mary.woods@sfgov.org and share their experience collaborating with Oryx Partners to ensure that the final proposal reflects the community’s vision. Neighbors can also attend the Planning Commission hearing which will be held Thursday, October 20, 2016 at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Commission Chambers, Room 400.  The specific time is unknown at this time. If you plan on attending please email 1001vanness@gmail.com to be added to our list of speakers and to receive updates on the hearing schedule.