Old Presidio hospital becoming stunning apartments

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An abandoned hospital building has shed its decrepit character — plus two nonhistoric wings — and is taking shape as a decadent national park apartment complex.

Hundreds of construction workers have labored since late 2008 to rehabilitate the once-grand Public Health Services Hospital and convert its six stories into 154 market-rate apartments.

The 78-year-old building is scheduled to open for tenants this summer as the Presidio Landmark in the Presidio National Park near the 15th Avenue entrance off Lake Street.

Rents have yet to be set, but the hardwood-floored, stainless steel-furnished units offer jaw-dropping views of cityscapes and parkland next to an already-upscale neighborhood.

Housing will be targeted at empty-nesters, young families and residents who could exercise along the park’s trails and beaches, according to Abigail Friedland, a Forest City Development official overseeing the project.

More than 1,000 units of former military housing have been rehabilitated and rented since the Presidio National Park was created in the 1990s from a former Army base as part of a successful effort to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

“This is a location you can’t get anywhere else, living in a national park,” Friedland said. “If you look at the Presidio, the vacancy rate is very low and they traditionally have waiting lists for units.”

None of the existing units of park housing resemble the apartments that are being created out of former treatment and sitting rooms in the Presidio Landmark.

The units’ floor plans are unique, with long hallways and dexterously designed, jigsaw-puzzle-shaped rooms flooded by natural light that reflect the hospital’s historic original layout.

The high-ceiling units range from junior one-bedrooms to 1,500-square-foot two-bedrooms, with 38 floor plans available.

A doorman will gaze over a fireplace-warmed shared living space, and outside courtyards will bathe in the warmth of fire pits.

Original marble walls in shared hallways are being cleaned and repaired, and nearly 700 windows and 20,000 bricks colored with countless shades of sand have been replaced to help the building’s former grandeur burst into modern New York-style living.

To help address neighbors’ concerns about traffic jams in their hitherto quiet streets, the 14th Avenue gate will be opened for inbound traffic, which will loop and flow outbound through the 15th Avenue gate, according to Presidio Trust spokeswoman Dana Polk.

The Presidio’s shuttle bus will be rerouted to reach the apartments, which will form the heart of a 42-acre district where scores of new and rehabilitated buildings are being converted into housing and office space.

 

Presidio Landmark tenant perks

•Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances
•Marble stairs and hallways
•Chef’s kitchen for demonstrations and residents’ use
•Communal fireplace and fire pits
•Climate-controlled wine storage room
•Wine tasting room
•Fitness center
•Yoga and Pilates studio

Source: Forest City Development

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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