Tenderloin Highrise Inspired by Other Cities

By Matt Baume
|  Sunday, Mar 27, 2011  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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An empty lot in the Tenderloin could soon be a new 14-story apartment complex and grocery store. And although the affordable housing requirements are distinctly San Francisco, the transit-oriented design of the building has already proven successful by similar developments around the country.

A new report from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development shows the key ingredients for developing along transit lines. The proposed Tenderloin development is just two blocks from the bustling lines of Market.

Among those ingredients: proximity to downtown and employment, small walkable blocks, and connections to public transportation, according to Streetsblog.

In Charlotte, development was most successful where there was already a tight street grid with numerous intersecting streets. In contrast, Denver has no successful street grids, and so development along transit lines was more sparse.

Similarly, in Minneapolis, property values and development opportunities only increased in areas immediately accessible to transit.

The good news is that, by these criteria, the Tenderloin development is poised for success, as long as Muni remains in operation and isn't permanently shut down.

The building will have 400 new residences, of which 153 will be low-income apartments. And its most revolutionary characteristic: no parking spaces. It's close to enough transit lines and the bike network that planners feel parking is unnecessary. Car ownership in the Tenderloin is relatively ow.

Construction could start in two years.

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