Sprawling San Francisco Apt. Complex May Densify

Plans are afoot to densify one of San Francisco's biggest, most suburban apartment complexes, the 152-acre Park Merced constructed in 1941. If the Planning Commission approves the plan, the existing housing could be tripled, adding 14,000 units.

New homes and retail may replace some of the broad landscaping and surface parking that marks the suburban Park Merced complex in the southwest corner of the city. However, one aspect that the $1.2 billion project won't change is rent-control for current tenants.

"The broad, sprawling streets that promote driving now run counter to the city's transit-first policy, which promotes using transit, biking and walking, said Gabriel Metcalf, head of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, a pro-development think tank."

"Park Merced is part of the city that was conceived in an age when Americans hated urban complexity," he said. "What we've learned in the half-century since it was created is that traditional city patterns ... is the more sustainable way of living."

The plan needs approval of the city's planning Commission and county Board of Supervisors.

Thanks to SF Streetsblog

Full Story: Park Merced: Lofty plan would revamp neighborhood



Irvin Dawid's picture

Parkmerced may be razed, displacing residents of 15000 townhome

I had thought that density would be 'added' in the sense that new units would be built alongside existing units - no, the 152-acre development would be razed and rebuilt. The owner of the complex would be required to find rent-controlled homes during the transition, but understandably these residents have concerns.

The plan passed a controversial SF Planning Commission vote on Feb. 11.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Park Merced Keeping Towers, Demolishing 1,500 Townhomes

"The plan calls for keeping all 11 apartment towers, but tripling the number of homes over the next 20 years so that 14,000 new residents can move into the 152-acre development. About 1,500 town homes would be destroyed and replaced with 7,200 new units."

Doing some quick and dirty arithmetic:

If they are tripling the number of homes by adding a net 5,700 units (7,200 new units being built - 1500 units being demolished), then they currently have just a bit less than 3,000 units.

If so, the 1,500 town homes being demolished are a bit more than half the units currently on the site.

The towers are ugly. They look like Robert Moses specials. It will be interesting to see if they can design a new neighborhood around the existing towers in a way that makes them look like part of an appealing ensemble.

Charles Siegel

Irvin Dawid's picture

thanks for Parkmerced correction, Charles, on razing vs. additio

Just one very important point, IMO, on this 'redevelopment' - in the literal sense that the 152 acres is being 'redeveloped' or transformed. This is not a redevelopment zone - it is not benefiting from tax increment funding and thus contributing to state budget deficit per the governor's budget proposal, yet it will be one of the largest housing projects in the city, thus illustrating that new housing is not dependent on the existence of RDAs. However, I am not aware of the affordability of the new units....

On the aspect of towers - the project seems reminescent of a recent project at Stanford University. The graduate/married student complex known as Escondido Village was a sprawling, green, town home complex....taller units were added while some town homes were razed, and town homes added around perimeter - place was modernized IMO....

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.