Condo proposal irks neighbors in Nob Hill 

A church might be razed to make way for condos. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • A church might be razed to make way for condos.

Some Nob Hill residents aren’t ringing bells over a proposal to replace a vacant church with a six-story condominium they complain doesn’t fit into their neighborhood.

Wrangling over the future of the property at Larkin and Clay streets has been going on for years, as the 101-year-old First Saint John’s Methodist Church sits unoccupied and boarded up. Developers want to replace it with a six-story, 27-unit residential complex.

A court exempted it from landmark status, but the Planning Commission rejected an environmental impact report for the development.

The City calls the church historic, but developers say its condition is so degraded that rebuilding isn’t possible, the Planning Department said.

Neighbors accuse the developer of being unwilling to work with them. They say the development would stand out in a neighborhood of three- and four-story residences.

“We’d like to see a building that is more appropriate for the neighborhood,” said Dawn Trennert, chair of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association. Despite a meeting Wednesday night with the architect for the proposed development, Trennert said the developer isn’t budging from its plan.

“They’ve offered minor concessions,” Trennert said. “We’re very willing to be reasonable about it. We’re willing to negotiate and meet halfway, but the developer needs to work with us as well.”

The Planning Department believes the housing project is both necessary and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. It has recommended certifying the project’s final EIR. The Planning Commission will consider the proposal at a hearing this evening.

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