205 housing units coming to Rincon Hill’s ‘strange shaped parcel’

San Francisco is relaxing tower spacing rules in the Rincon Hill area to allow for a 250 foot-tall tower containing 205 housing units at 525 Harrison St.

Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Rincon Hill area, praised the development Monday during the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee hearing on the proposal, which was unanimously supported.

Subject of a more than two-year process with city planners, the proposed development by Hines would offer a higher percentage of the units onsite as below market rate, 15 percent, not the required 12 percent. The unit size will be mixed with 94 two-bedroom units, 69 one-bedroom units and 42 studio units.

“Under these current· controls, the developable area of the site is compromised and hinders the feasibility of the development,” said a Nov. 9 letter from Hines senior managing director Cameron Falconer. “A code conforming development that adheres to the current tower separation requirement of 115 feet would create a narrow and inefficient tower floor plate that would be difficult to construct and would likely result in the development of only· a 110-foot tall mid-rise building.”

The current land use code requires towers spaced out at least 115 feet apart, but the 525 Harrison St. site is 82 feet away from the 400-foot tall 45 Lansing tower. The proposal also allows for greater bulk than currently permitted. The site was zoned for a building as high as 400 feet, but city planners advised against such a tall building.

“The site is a very unique site, located just north of the 80 Bay Bridge and it is a strange shaped parcel across the street from many residential towers that are in construction right now as part of the Rincon Hill master plan,” Kim said. “We are going to be making some amendments to the Rincon Hill plan to allow for a more slender tower that is also able to provide more square footage and build additional units on site.”

The development will result in the demolition of the existing two-story industrial space housing the Sound Factory nightclub. The development will have about 1,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

The full board vote on the proposal is Dec. 1.

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