Lucca Ravioli Company has been serving salami sandwiches on the corner of 22nd and Valencia for 93 years. But soon, it may be serving up something else: housing.
Its parking lot at 1120 Valencia Street, which is connected to piece of property that includes Lucca on the corner and a 15-unit apartment building at 22nd and Valencia Streets, is on sale for $2.995 million.
The property’s owner, Michael Feno — who also owns Lucca — said, more than anything, he envisions six to eight housing units there. Feno said he is still “exploring” a potential sale, as developers still must determine whether it’s possible to build on the land. He acknowledged it could be a lengthy process.
“You put a lot up for sale, and by time you get through city planning, it could be two years down the road,” he said. “Not like a house, where you could be in escrow in 30 days.”
The land, measuring 4,132 square feet, is zoned for a structure of up to 55 feet. Per the Valencia Street Commercial Transit District, commercial space is encouraged on the ground floor and housing is encourage above it.
Although he says it’s important for Lucca to “take care of the middle class,” he does not expect any developer to include affordable housing at that scale.
“That would never happen,” he said about the prospect of below-market-rate housing on the lot. “Any developer will look at it … and they’ll run with it like no tomorrow.”
Yet, Feno said, adding even a small number of units to the neighborhood’s housing stock will help out. “As long as you’re short on housing, what are you going to have is every house with a multi-millionaire,” he said.
But, he said, his hoped-for six to eight units “is not even a drop in the bucket — we would need hundreds.”
Feno’s family has been running Lucca on the corner since 1925. The ravioli maker and delicatessen was founded by Feno’s great uncle, Francesco Stanghellini. Sometime in the 1950s, Feno said, his family bought the apartment building next door as well as the parking lot.
Since then, Lucca has been one of the enduring vestiges of the old Mission — preserved from an era preceding even the area’s boom of Latino culture — on hip Valencia Street, no less. By Mission Local’s assessment, Lucca is the only spot in the neighborhood that has more than 10 different salami options and serves its sandwiches with only three ingredients: meat, cheese, and bread.
A Lucca manager, who did not give his name, said he’s worked at the deli for 14 years — but had no idea about the sale. “It’s news to me,” he said, unpacking pasta from cardboard boxes at the store Monday afternoon.
He added that the parking lot was a big draw for the shop. “We need the parking,” he said, as many of Lucca customers drive to the store.
No matter, Feno said: The sale of the lot is contingent on a developer incorporating parking into any potential project. “As long as the store is there,” he said, “the contingency would require parking.”