Whole Foods coming to Market Street in San Francisco

A Whole Foods is coming to Market Street in a development that will include residential units in the eight-story building.

A triangular lot that is bounded by Market, 14th and Dolores streets will be transformed from a vacant S&C Ford dealership building and two residential units to 82 new studios, one- to three-bedroom apartments and the 31,000-square-foot grocery store.

Plans for the Whole Foods call for a glossy storefront on the Market Street side with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the floors above. Tiered balconies will scale the Dolores Street facade.

A unanimous decision by the Planning Commission to move forward with construction came after three years of renderings and more than 60 outreach meetings to help appease some of The City’s most engaged neighbors.

“Initially I was a little skeptical; we are tough customers,” San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Program Director Andy Thornley told commissioners, after approving of the proposal’s 16 bike racks and at least 18 additional bike parking spaces. “We worked and worked, but I am pleased to see [the outcome].”

The grocery store could be the sixth, or seventh, Whole Foods to open in The City, depending on the progress of two others — one at the former Cala Foods site in the Haight scheduled to open early next year and one on Ocean Avenue scheduled to open in late 2012.

Neighbors raised concerns about traffic in the area, considering it is already a busy intersection around Duboce and Market streets, and about noisy commercial loading.

The commission requested a report on its progress specifically regarding those concerns one year after the doors finally open, but it still needs to receive permits through the Department of Building Inspection.

The market will be one of the smallest Whole Foods in The City, with just the Noe Valley location being tinier at about 17,000 square feet.

The building project will create jobs, according to a representative from property owners Prado Group, who told commissioners the construction and retail could bring in 250 union jobs and about 175 retail positions.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty told commissioners that Prado Group is a “model in how it’s supposed to work with the neighborhood and the Planning Department.”

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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