After six years and multiple revisions, plans for 50 new condominiums at 1721 15th St. near Albion Street are heading to the Planning Commission.
On June 16, the Planning Commission will hold a hearing on a proposal to demolish the vacant Jay’s Auto Body Center garage. Slated to replace it is a six-story, 46-unit building and, behind it, a three-story, three-unit building and a one-story, one-unit condominium, said Sean Gibson, the developer’s spokesperson. Of these condos, 11 will be affordable.
Erecting three separate structures for the same project may seem unconventional, but it was necessary for the project to keep costs manageable and to respect neighbors’ wishes for a shorter building, according to Gibson.
The project’s Peninsula-based developer, Veev, is known for using modular housing, a type of construction in which the homes’ panels are produced in a factory and then brought and assembled on top of the building’s foundation. But Veev’s design works for buildings that are, at most, six stories tall.
Additionally, dividing the 50 units into a six-story, a three-story and a one-story building was the start-up’s preferred financial “solution,” Gibson. “The economics of building … a seven-story building has additional requirements and cost.”
The six-story building will be 65 feet tall and have a roof deck; the project also plans for a courtyard. Twenty-one of the condos will have two bedrooms, 21 will have one bedroom, and eight will be studios. The project is close to transit and will have 50 bike spaces, but no on-site parking. The unit mix and lack of parking honored Veev’s commitment to building more multi-unit family housing, Gibson said.
The current plan differs greatly from the one first submitted in 2016. At that time, the project had two retail properties on the ground floor and 24 residential units, with just three at below-market-rate prices. That became 35 units, of which nine were below-market. Following discussions with community groups like United to Save the Mission, Gibson said, the ground-floor commercial was scrapped altogether, and the project became fully residential with 39 units, which includes 11 below-market units.
“It’s basically evolved,” Gibson said. “In direct coordination with United to Save the Mission, we decided we don’t need ground floor retail. We need more homes.”
The project qualifies for a State Density Bonus and received certain waivers in exchange for providing more affordable units than required. That upped the overall project’s unit count to 50.
With the Mission’s colorful community in mind, the six-story building aims to incorporate a colorful exterior, Gibson said. According to the plans, pastel red, orange, yellow and seafoam panels peek out from the white building, creating a rainbow effect. The senior homes 580 Capp St. and 1296 Shotwell St. have a similar design.
The final community meeting took place on May 11, and only a handful of residents voiced opinions. So far, Gibson said, the feedback is “generally positive.” The complaints are “standard” and involve construction noise and lack of parking.
Still, community members may call in and offer input or hear about the project on June 16 at 1 p.m. The Planning Commission will decide to give Veev a special permit that allows the project to proceed.