Partial demolition work has started on the vacant warehouse at 901 16th Street in Potrero Hill, San Francisco. The property will soon be built up with a new location for the San Francisco Wholesale Flower Market. 901 16th Street LLC is listed as responsible for the development.San Francisco Flower Mart will be responsible for managing the new market space. The building rises beside Mission Bay, one block west of the UCSF medical campus and three blocks from the waterfront Chase Center stadium, home to the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
The project was approved and the CPE and EIR were certified by the Planning Commission and sustained by the Board of Supervisors following an appeal filed by Potrero Hill-based opponents to the project. A legal challenge was subsequently filed in Superior Court against the project by the same project opponents. The legal challenge raised a host of issues, one of which was whether the City’s use of a CPE was legal under CEQA. Lamphier-Gregory was not named or involved in defending the lawsuit. The Court found that the legal challenge was not properly filed, as a procedural matter, but nevertheless determined that even if it had been properly filed, all arguments raised in the challenge were rejected for lack of merit, thereby sustaining the CEQA document and the City’s approval of the project.Lamphier-Gregory was selected by the project sponsor from the City’s list of pre-qualified environmental consultants. We prepared an Initial Study in support of a Community Plan Exemption (CPE) and a focused Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which was necessary because of a significant and unavoidable environmental impact (traffic).Both the San Francisco Flower Market and the Central SoMa neighborhood have evolved over the last century. As Central SoMa prepares for major growth and reshaping, Kilroy will lead the historic San Francisco Flower Mart site at 6th and Brannan into its new role as the focal point of a dynamic, mixed-use space that offers a unique take on the urban lifestyle. A series of integrated stairs throughout the site connect an expansive street-level public open space to interesting and inviting features for visitors and tenants to explore and enjoy. The plazas will be the focal point of the Central SoMa neighborhood, which is currently lacking in high quality, well-maintained public open space. Boasting several convenient access points, connecting through the Market Hall, and encouraging pedestrian activity from nearby public transit, the plazas will also act as a programmable space for events such as floral exhibitions, farmers markets, movie nights, and more. Pedestrian connections woven through the site are designed to address the recommendation of the Central SoMa Plan to link the surrounding city blocks to create a sense of neighborhood and community. Rising above the vibrant retail and pedestrian-oriented experience will be a series of LEED Platinum-certified creative office buildings connected by sky bridges, giving tenants the flexibility to enjoy either large or medium-sized floorplates. A mix of rustic and modern facades and a low-rise podium building above the Market Hall on Brannan Street celebrates the industrial history and creative future of the neighborhood. Amenity decks, located on several levels throughout the buildings, will contribute to a healthy office environment by providing office workers with a convenient connection to the outdoors. These amenity zones, featuring attractive seating zones, recreational areas, and kiosks are additionally activated by the adjacent market hall and dynamic landscaping, which will also extend the visual and functional identity of space.
Jeanne Boes, the Flower Market’s general manager, told The Potrero View that “we are looking forward to adding color and community to the already vibrant Potrero Hill neighborhood. The SFFM has been in the City since 1912. The move will be an exciting time for our historic market and the many small businesses which make our marketplace so unique.”
“A building inspector conducted a site visit…and spoke to the superintendent on the job who informed the inspector that work normally starts at 7 a.m.,” reported the Department of Public Works. “However, he said that…four large semi-trucks unexpectedly arrived early and were outside the gate waiting to be unloaded when the construction crews arrived. The superintendent stated that this was not anticipated and assured the inspector that it will not happen again. The inspector then informed the superintendent of the Night Noise Permit process should they need to begin work outside of normal construction hours.”
Development of the new location has triggered grievances from neighbors. One complained about “incessant backup beepers in what seemed like the middle of the night” keeping them constantly awake. “There was no use trying to get anymore sleep once the cacophony of beepers started echoing around the neighborhood in the predawn hours. Construction was in full swing by the time I got there at 6:30 a.m. with trucks moving around the interior of the site, trucks blocking the south bound lane of Seventh and Mississippi and a long haul semi illegally parked in the commuter shuttle stop at Seventh and 17th streets. I took photos and video and was finally approached by a worker there. He was polite and apologetic but explained that they had permission from the City of San Francisco to start at 6 a.m. instead of the agreed upon and posted time of 7 a.m. It must stop. This is a residential area, and we would like this site to return to more normal hours so we can get some sleep.”“They had the option of remaining at Sixth and Brannan in a new facility but chose instead to move to Potrero Hill,” stated Grisso, senior vice president of development and land planning at Kilroy. “They had concerns about the future development and street changes around their new location and the traffic that it could bring to a neighborhood that already has heavy traffic.”