Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), the architects behind the proposed residential tower at 2700 Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood, have released new renderings that further detail the project’s design.
The proposed 50-story tower, whose suggested height previously varied, will include 680 residential units, SCB told AN. Ranging from studio to three-bedroom units, 110 units (16 percent) will be affordable. The project will provide 212 parking spaces in an underground garage, and storage capacity for 331 bicycles. A third floor amenity space “will include a private indoor community facility,” on a large exterior terrace.
Aside from housing, 2700 Sloat will host 15,300-square-feet of retail in a two-story podium on one corner of the site. Another corner will host a 31,075-square-foot commercial gym, and the main residential entrance will be accessed through a landscaped plaza. On the top floor, SCB says that “a fully accessible community facility provides a new public amenity with panoramic views unique to the area.”
Renderings of the tower show rounded corners with a ridged array of balconies extending from the envelope. A double-height, copper-colored podium brings some color to the otherwise glass-and-metal facade. The ongoing conflict between the developer, Reno, Nevada–based CH Planning LLC, and the city, revolves around whether zoning will permit the project. Juxtaposed with low-rise buildings in the neighborhood, the massive scale of the tower sticks out.
The site is currently zoned for small scale neighborhood commercial use and is home to a small garden center. 2700 Sloat is also within the Sunset Chinese Cultural District, which, in theory, allows city departments to provide resources for cultural communities who are threatened by displacement.
When the project was first proposed in 2020, the San Francisco Planning Department took issue with the project and its potential violations of Urban Design Guidelines, concerns over shadows (particularly over parks and the nearby zoo), but found the housing approach compatible with California laws. After numerous rounds of revisions, the conflict between the city and developers now resolves around bulk regulations, which constrict massing.
The developers filed a pre-application for the project in April, citing California’s density bonus regulations, which allow taller projects if they include affordable housing, as allowing them to legally reach the 50 stories currently planned for. After considering changing the design to have multiple towers on the site, SCB’s design reverted back to the single-tower approach, which the Planning Department deemed in violation of building codes. In finding it noncompliant, the Planning Department argues that the project is not eligible for California’s Housing Accountability Act, which could have fast-tracked the project. The city and developer are also sparring over an attempt by the developer to lower the 80 percent area median income (AMI) requirement for affordable housing to 50 percent, which they argue is more in-line with state standards, which the Planning Department says is not permitted under the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program.
The project’s future remains uncertain as the developers may continue to make adjustments to proposed designs and appeal to Planning Department decisions, though the project is still far from approval.