New apartment tower would add to residential boom in S.F.'s Civic Center area 


Nestled a block off Market Street, near City Hall and across from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, is a nondescript parking lot that will soon house one of the newest residential towers in a burgeoning neighborhood.

A project to add 162 rental units to the area garnered key approvals Thursday from the Planning Commission.
The plan calls for a 13-story building at the intersection of Polk and Hayes streets that will include a mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom units, according to planning documents.

One aspect of the project made it particularly attractive: the addition of housing the Civic Center area, including the 19 affordable units that would be on site.

“The project will add vitality to the Civic Center area by adding full-time residents in an area that has limited activity before and after typical workday hours,” documents state.

In addition, the project would add 51 subterranean parking spaces and 62 bike parking spots.

A spokesman for the project said Thursday that the building’s design pulled in elements from the surrounding Beaux-Arts-style buildings to fit into the historic district.

Housing in the Civic Center area is expanding, with several recently completed projects and more that are planned or underway, including about 1,400 units near Market Street in the area around 10th Street and Van Ness Avenue, according to planning documents.

Planning Commissioner Kathrin Moore noted that it was remarkable to watch an entire district fill out and become a residential neighborhood so quickly.

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