The corner at 24th and Folsom would change significantly with a proposed five-story development with 20 modern condos, but La Parrilla’s management and the architect say the chicken grill that has been there for more than 20 years would remain.

“The impetus for it is basically he wants to try to have a better restaurant there,” said Stanley Saitowitz from Natoma Architects.

Saitowitz said the owner of the building and the restaurant, Vladimir Abramov, is trying to improve the restaurant. “The exact same style of food, the same guys are going to stay cooking there, it’s going be the same restaurant,” Saitowitz said.

The proposed five-story plan has two retail spaces, one measuring 2,200 square-feet and the other 600 square-feet. Saitowitz said the smaller space is being considered for the “to-go” window for the restaurant.

Abromov could not be reached for comment. However, Edward A., the restaurant’s manager who declined to give his full name, said that the chicken grill will remain.

Regardless, Erick Arguello, president of Calle 24 Merchants and Neighborhood Association, said the association and neighbors do not support the proposal because it contributes to gentrification.

“Any development that size will absolutely affect the character of 24th Street, of Calle 24,” he said. “It will definitely open the door to more gentrification and price increases in the area for commercial spaces and for renters.  Any time development comes in like that it’s a ripple effect and we don’t want that to happen, not on 24th Street or anywhere.“

Natoma Architects submitted a plan to the San Francisco Planning Department to bulldoze La Parrilla Grill and build a five-story building that would include eight two-bedroom and 12 one-bedroom condominiums as well as a parking garage for eight cars. It also envisions a second-story deck and a roof deck. If the owner developed affordable housing on site, two of the units would have to be designated as such, according to the preliminary assessment letter.

In that letter, dated Feb. 19, 2014, the city says the plan met many of the city’s requirements, but failed to meet others and made a number of suggestions including one to readjust the planned arcade and facades so that the building would be more in character with the neighborhood.

Neighborhood outreach and a number of public hearings would be required for the project to meet all of the city’s requirements, which would have to be met within 18 months of the city’s preliminary assessment of Feb. 19. 2014.

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  1. A beautiful architectural design could improve this important location. The project should minimize its monetary gain and speculation by offering to sell/rent to long term residents facing evictions at below market value. Building projects that reverse gentrification should be encouraged, or even better mandated by local legislation. Artists that are being affected by Ellis evictions should be helped to stay and continue making San Francisco beautiful. Hipster techies need to become active in developing anti-gentrification opportunities to help the people in the communities they are joining as the new comers. The current dynamic should trigger an opportunity for humans from different walks of life to help each other improve everyone’s existence in our home.

  2. Those glass buildings are one day going to become eyesores just like the the box apartments built near twin peaks in the 70s. Build something with staying power.

  3. given the housing cost crisis in SF, it makes a lot of sense to build higher density housing along major roads like 24th st.

  4. Eric Arguello needs to shut his trap, he does nothing but keep “Calle 24” stuck in 1986. Im born and raised in this neighborhood and its a great feeling to walk out my door at night and not feel like i need a police escort.

    1. What a shame you never connected with your neighbors to the point that you were afraid of them, and felt like you needed a police escort, however, this speaks volumes about how YOU feel about the community and how YOU interacted (or not) with them! I have never, ever felt like I needed a police escort when leaving my place because I love my community and understand their background. You must not be Latino, if you are, shame on you for trashing your own ‘hood! And if you aren’t, I am not shocked. El que no quiere a su vecindario, no quiere ni a su madre!

  5. I respect everyones opionions and comments.

    Mission’s local questions to me was about the original drawing. It included market rate, no business,and at 55 feet and I stand by that. After meeting with the owner we were told that its not what he wants to build. (?) He told us 4 floors and the 4th having a set back and could include work force housing or 100% affordable and that he would save the business and his employees. What mission local failed to report is that the plan is on hold pending on his ability to get financing. We are looking at 2 or 3 years down the line if anything happens according to the owner. The palnning dept told him the size of the building was to big for 24th and they made recommendations to down size.

    During the development of the Eastern Neighobrhood Plan many merchants, artist, 24th street organizations and residents fought the increase of heights for 24th. Many meetings were held with the planning dept on 24th and at city hall.

  6. The new comment policy is in place. Please, respect it.

    Exchange emails if you want to continue conversation with commenters.


    Andrea Valencia

  7. It’s time for height limits to be thrown out. Local character for San Francisco for many years has meant dilapidated short shacks of faux Victorians, bland Edwardians, and boxy warehouse looking commercial buildings. SF isn’t known for it’s architecture. NIMBY self-centered busy-bodies have kept San Francisco from looking like the world-class city that it is (on paper) to preserve the look of a village.

  8. Erick Arguello by no means speaks for all of the people in the neighborhood, nor all the businesses. If preserving the Hispanic character of the neighborhood is the aim, go after Hispanics who have sold; eg. the owner of J & J Jewellry on 24th St. who sold his building last year.

    More units means more housing means at least a slowdown in the increasing costs. Argue over the visual architecture of the building, its height, etc. but don’t argue from one side of your mouth about people being priced out of the neighborhood and argue out of the other side for the limitation of new residential units. Doing so makes one perceive you as a hypocrite. Or worse.

  9. Every single use one story lot should be considered for maximum use to add housing. I think this is a good use of this space, I will attend the planning meeting giving my support for sure.

  10. What the neighborhood needs is the promised affordable developments at Shotwell and Cesar Chavez and at 16th and Mission on the former SFUSD property before even thinking of blowing through longstanding, reasonable height limitations in order to enrich real estate speculators at the expense of neighborhood character and livablility.

    24th Street is already congested with traffic and it is only two lanes.

    1. This is a sincere question: What makes the height limits “reasonable”? I honestly don’t understand the point of setting the height limits so low.

      I can understand not wanting a 40-story building in the mission, but is it really impossible to go beyond 40 feet without destroying the character/aesthetic of the neighborhood?

      1. Take a stroll around the Tenderloin which has buildings in the 60+ foot category, and then take a stroll around the Mission neighborhoods like 24th which have a 40 foot limit.

        The difference is striking in terms of sunlight, airflow car traffic and sidewalk traffic. The 40 foot limit creates a “neighborhoody” feel, yet fully urban. Going above 40, you start to get an oppressive feel.

        I know this is not very scientific, but what is about city design? It’s all about feeling and the numbers are based on subjective judgment calls.

        Some people like taller-denser city, some like more intimate-neighborhoody. By having both, people can pick where they feel most comfortable. And people who rent and own in the Mission HAVE picked. So it’s unfair to change the character now by granting exceptions to the height regulations..

        Sure, one exception on height doesn’t change the character of the whole area, but one exception usually leads to another… and another… Furthermore, exceptions are fundamentally unfair.

        1. I’m not talking land use I’m talking zoning, that is why I used the word “zoning,” because it has a meaning.

  11. The condos will be an asset to this stretch of 24th St. Natoma Architects have some great designs. Glad the restaurant can stay in this spot.
    Calle 24 really needs to do something to help bring more housing into the area instead of constantly complaining about the lack if it, & being part of the problem.

  12. Erick Arguello shows his true colors as being both anti-housing and anti-business, if he wants to preserve that crappy building. He really does not represent the community. The size of this development is very reasonable and will benefit the area.

    1. . Erick has never hidden his true colors. Erick is anti racist business owner nothing more. He is anti housing when 92-yr.-old, multi generation San Franciscans are evicted so multi millionaires can build housing only for themselves. NONE of the new housing is for people like us. Anyone who disagrees is either paid off or sadly naïve. They have no heart, no creativity, and selfish

      1. As far as I know, missionnative, this development will not evict anyone, but will build 20 additional housing units (including 2 affordable ones). So why is Eric against this housing?

  13. Why even bother having height limits if some sleazebag developer can bribe the local politicians (legally with campaign contributions, of course) to allow a much higher and bulkier projects?

    This stinks. NOTHING OVER 40 feet on 24th!

    1. hahahahaahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha!

      do you wake up every morning scanning headlines and then plan your “whine marathons”???

    2. I sincerely don’t understand why people are opposed to tall buildings. Can you explain this to me? Is it purely for aesthetic reasons? As far as I’m concerned, we can’t solve the housing affordability crisis without taller buildings. This is not to say that increased housing is the sole solution.

      It seems to me that if you oppose tall buildings, you’re basically saying you would rather have more poor people continue to be evicted than have the appearance of the city change slightly. The more new housing we build, the less of a market there is to Ellis act poor people and convert their existing homes into the condos.

      1. No one really believes that tall buildings help the affordability issue. New construction is very expensive and draws new people to the neighborhood. So it creates demand with its own supply and doesn’t stop prices from rising (while also accelerating change in neighborhoods).
        Lots of people like living in San Francisco because of its neighborhoods and their very livable scale. Massive new construction will erode what makes these area pleasant to live in without actually delivering any of the promised affordability benefits.
        That doesn’t mean that all new buildings should be opposed; but we should not be seduced into supporting out of character buildings because of a blind belief (promoted by developers) that these buildings will somehow address our affordability issues.

        1. In addition, San Francisco’s climate means that tall buildings bring with them not only expensive housing, but shade and wind which makes the streetscape undesirable and inhosbitable, precisely the opposite of what the urbanist boosters claim.

        2. It depends what you mean by tall. The Rincom Hill towers are tall by normal standards but do not in any way look out of place where they are, because the block sizes in that location are huge, and the entire area has many other taller buildings.

          Generally, the quieter and narrower the street, the more obtrusive a tall building may be perceived as being. But again that depends on the height of other buildings in that immediate vicinity.

          Some parts of the city support very tall and densely populated structures – generally the eastern parts of the city. While the western residential neighborhoods have a very different scale, and also infrastructural difficulties with building high.

          So we can do both. We can build high in the east, and keep scale in the west. The Mission probably falls between the two extremes. We would not want to build two Rincom Hill Towers on 16th or 24th Streets, but we can certainly go up to 60 feet or so without compromising the existing scale. and higher at major intersections like Mission/16th and Mission/24th. Again, transit is the key.

          As always here, we have the NIMBYs fighting the affordable housing interests. And as always, the solution is a compromise – higher limits than at present but not as high as downtown.

  14. The zoning height limit on 24th Street is 40 feet. This project tops off at 55 feet. If this developer can build this one, then the next developer might try to replace House of Brakes with a 60 plus footer and on it goes.

    And yes, marcos, that new project at 15th and South Van Ness looks like an office building from anywhere in the United States. U G L Y, you ain’t got no alibi.

    Mission residents of all incomes and backgrounds deserve better than to look at that monstrosity and the Vida desecration of the architectural character of our (increasingly less) special neighborhood.

    To see a newish development that fits in with the Victorian/Edwardian character of the neighborhood, look at the subsidized development at 21st and South Van Ness. Oh how the real estate money grubbers fought that one!!!!

    1. Yeah, the 15th and Van Ness building looks like a prison. I would have never imagined the Vida apartments being built. And “Vida” ? Come on! Is that supposed to have a “Latin Flavor”? Ugh.

    2. Unfortunately, while you make a good point about the height limits of new construction in SF, we have limited land on this water blocked peninsula. There’s really no place to build except up…that is if there is any chance of meeting the housing supply issues of this City.

          1. The local government is trying to preserve affordable privately owned rental housing by increasing the financial costs to speculators of Ellis Act evictions and by encouraging the State Legislature to curb the abuse of the Ellis Act.

            The rapidly increased pace of Ellis Act evictions or coerced buyouts under threat of Ellis Act eviction has created the critical mass needed for political reform. In other words, the greedy have gotten so greedy that they have created their own backlash, including even sold out politicians like Ed Lee and Scott Wiener and rapacious capitalists like Ron Conway.

            The eviction epidemic caused by the current real estate boom is radicalizing the populace more effectively than all other efforts from organized left groups. Thanks John and friends.

  15. Stanley Saitowitz has really worn out his welcome in San Francisco, it is time for him to give the fauxdustrial sleekness a rest. His 1501 15th Street project looks like Silvio Berlusconi’s favorite whore house in Milan circa 1983 where Duran Duran played, completely out of character and scale with the existing neighborhood. Twice. Bunga bunga.

    It turns its back on and gives The Mission the finger, casting its gaze towards Mission Bay where it would be completely in (the full lack) of character of that pre-fab district.

    I could scarcely think of a worse architect for a structure on 24th Street than Stanley Saitowitz.

    1. If all the hype about a housing crisis is true then it is insane to have single-floor buildings with large lots on major traffic and transit arteries like 24th Street and Mission Street.

      There are various other five-floor buildings in the Mission so clearly the height is not an issue, particularly when it is on a corner like this.

      No brainer. Build it. NIMBYism never housed anyone.

      1. Could not agree more!! We need HIGH density Housing badly! That is one of the reasons that housing is so unaffordable! Can’t people see high density is an efficient use of limited land?

      2. We need high density, but not in low-density areas. There is not 1 single building on 24th that is 5 stories! What are you smoking? Its not MIssion St. and its not Valencia St even if that is what you would like to see. This is a pretty quiet neighborhood. I live right off 24th St and its all 2 story houses… The 5-10 stories buildings should be on areas zoned for that.

        Point is moot anyway, this will never pass the planning department.

    2. I completely agree. I’m all for new housing in San Francisco, but what is up with these square boxes? San Francisco’s known for having such fantastic architecture. Why dilute that with these bland metal boxes with no character.

    3. Bunga Bunga!! Maybe it will be a set for an soon to be released “The Great Beauty: Mission Edition!

  16. It can’t happen soon enough. Somebody named Vladimir Abramov sounds like a developer or maybe an owner of an Eastern European restaurant. I always knew there was a reason I never went in this place..

  17. La Parilla is great. Good, standard burritos, chicken, etc. Great local business. A good amount of seating, clean, etc.

    1. Glad to hear that La Parilla will stay on in the new building. The current building could not be more ugly if it tried.

      Saitowitz is an interesting architect and it will be great to have one of his designs on 24th street. The NIMBYs on this board hate everything new and will never be satisfied.

    2. What are you kidding me? I live a block away, this is the worst Mexican restaurant on 24th St. And even for just grilled chicken, supposed to be their specialty, George’s BBQ up the street blows them away…

      And really not excited about putting a 5 story condo on top of it in what is a purely 2-story neighborhood. Nothing more than 2 stories for blocks in any direction… Can’t beleive this passed the planning dept.