The north-west corner of Castro and Market streets is currently occupied by an Arco gas station, that also seems to advertise a lot of other random things including virus checking your computer. However, as many people are already aware, plans are well underway to replace the gas station with a mixed-use development that will have the address of 376 Castro St.
When, however, is an open question. Planning on the project started almost a decade ago in 2004, and the building received approval from the planning commission on August 2 of last year (2012). That said, no building permits have been filed yet so when this development goes from planning board to reality is an open question.
Anyone who has tried to build something in San Francisco knows that the time from dreaming to doing is an incredibly long period. This project, in particular, went through extensive community review (honestly, what project in SF doesn’t ?). The project sponsor worked with representatives from at least three neighborhood groups, and based on community feedback the developer created space on the ground floor for both a “community” room as well as office space for a neighborhood group.
You can’t please everyone all of the time, and that is particularly true when it comes to building in San Francisco. The building design has elicited a wide range of feedback, from love-it to hate-it to meh. The homes on the Castro/Market corner make extensive use of glass, perhaps a tip of the proverbial hat to the Twin Peaks Tavern across the street which was one of the first openly-gay bars, with large glass windows looking out on to the street. Early building renderings showed it finished in stucco, but more recent drawings indicate that the building may be covered in patterned tiles.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.