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Updated: 2018-01-19T13:42:31-08:00


SoMa loft hides a surprise behind modest facade



Like living inside Candy Crush

Tucked away at the end of Gilbert Street, located right off Harrison in SoMa, sits an unassuming residential complex with loft-style units. You’ve seen them. You know them. Or do you? Today a unit inside the modest circa-1995 complex lands on the market, and it’s a secret treat for anyone who years for more color in their life.

Featuring one bed, one bath, and 896 square feet, 161 Gilbert, #3 (known as the Candyland Loft) comes with 17-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a mural by street artist Brian Barneclo.


Perhaps most noteworthy—the de-muzzled color and vibrancy shouting from room to room. Drink it in. It’s a lot, but it somehow works. The ad notes that this place is “chock full of eclectic art” and “may be sold furnished or unfurnished.”

HOAs are $642/month. Asking is $799,000.


Dozens of ‘invisible’ statues coming to Civic Center


Inspired by Ralph Ellison’s 1952 classic work San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza will play host to 40 new occupants this summer—and they’re all six and a half feet tall, 300 pounds, identical, and, by a certain standard of the word, invisible. The San Francisco Arts Commission announced Thursday that, starting in July, British Trinidadian artist Zak Ove’s sculpture installation Invisible Men will go on display in Civic Center. The piece consists of 40 similar human figures, to be arranged in four rows of ten facing San Francisco City Hall. Each piece is sculpted to resemble a Kenyan statuette that Ove has had since childhood and which has served as a muse for him during his career, according to a 2017 interview. “I was trying to make a work about Africa’s diaspora, what it is to be an African born away from the continent,” Ove said. “[The figures] stand as a regiment, almost as a tribe out of context, heralding what it’s like.” A post shared by Rebecca Greenwood (@r.greenwood) on Jan 7, 2018 at 7:55am PST Procuring Invisible Men for San Francisco cost $90,000, which the Arts Commission received from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development with a mandate to bring public art to Civic Center. His work will remain in Civic Center until October of this year. Ove, also a filmmaker and photographer, splits his time between both London and Trinidad. This is the first time his sculpture will appear in San Francisco, although his films have screened locally in the past. Ove Interview, 2017 [YouTube] Zak Ove, CV Visual Arts Committee, 12.20.17 [SF Arts] [...]

Women’s March 2018: San Francisco street closures, route, and time (updated)


Everything you need to know about the march on Saturday After the success of the 2017 Women’s March—prompted by the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the effort saw millions of people gathering to support women’s rights—organizers have announced a series of anniversary events set to take place on Saturday, January 20. And one of those events will be right here in San Francisco. An estimated 100,000 people marched from Civic Center to the Embarcadero in 2017. The route for the 2018 march will be the same: Starting at Civic Center Plaza for a rally with speakers. Once that ends, the actual march will head down Market Street to the Embarcadero near the Vaillancourt Fountain. This march will coincide with hundreds of similar marches throughout the country. On a non-political level, this will mean street closures and transit disruptions in the City. Here’s what you need to know before Saturday’s march. When will the 2018 Women’s March on SF take place? Saturday, January 20 at 11:30 a.m. Rally begins at noon at Civic Center Plaza and the march happens at 2 p.m. down Market Street to the Embarcadero (1.7 miles ) What’s the route for the Women’s March on SF? It’s an east straight shot from Civic Center to Embarcadero. Here’s a handy map from the organizers: Map via Women’s March Bay Area What’s the best way to get to the march? Public transportation, via Muni and/or BART, will be the best bet. Driving into the city is possible, but expect major traffic and plan to pay a hefty sum for parking, How to get there on BART It’s super easy. Hop on any BART train and get off at Civic Center in San Francisco. Some East Bay train may require transferring cars. Please check your BART map for details. How to get there on Muni March participants can get to Civic Center via any Muni Metro line to Civic Center station, the F Market and Wharves Line, as well as the 6 Haight/Parnassus, 7 Haight/Noriega, 9 San Bruno, 14 Mission/14R Mission Rapid, 19 Polk, or the 21 Hayes routes. Are there any other public transit options available? You bet! They are: AC Transit; SamTrans; CalTrain (exit San Francisco Station, Fourth & King), and use trip planner to find transportation to Civic Center; Golden Gate Ferry/Golden Gate Transit options; San Francisco Bay Ferry; Blue & Gold Fleet; and Tideline ferry shuttle from Berkeley to SF and Tiburon to SF. Muni service reroutes and disruptions The F Market and Wharves line, 2 Clement, 5, 6, 7, 8 Bayshore, 9, 10 Townsend, 12 Folsom/Pacific, 14/14R, 19, 21, 27 Bryant, 30 Stockton, 31 Balboa, 38 Geary/38R Geary Rapid and 45 Union-Stockton routes will have reroutes. Service delays and vehicle crowding are possible during this event. Which streets will be closed for the Women’s March on SF? Market Street from 10th to Stuart streets will be closed for marching traffic between 1 pm. to 7 p.m. Cross traffic will not be allowed. According to SF Examiner, “Mission Street between South Van Ness and Steuart streets will be closed to create a transit only street for Muni service diverted from Market Street from Noon to approximately 5 p.m.” What about accessibility issues? An ASL space will be available in front of the stage on Polk Street. Senior/disabled services are provided free of charge. Trolleys will drive down Market Street to the end of the march area only—available only to senior/disabled individuals who cannot walk the length of the march. Who are the speakers? You can find a list here. Do I need to RSVP? No, RSVPing is not necessary. The Eventbright registry option is only to get a rough estimate of attendees. Can I watch it online? Absolutely. If you cannot make the rally in person, watch it live online on both Facebook Live and Periscope. Will there be another Women’s March in the Bay Area? Indeed. San Jose City Hall will host an additional rally and march. And in Oakland, an estimated 30,000 attendees will march from Lake Merritt, near the Lake Merritt BART station, into d[...]

How to file a noise or off-hours construction complaint in San Francisco


What to do if crews disturb your sleep The sight of cranes and sounds of construction in San Francisco—it’s a good thing. Nay, a great thing. Years of misguided intentions to preserve a bygone time have resulted in mass displacement, astronomical rent and housing prices, and even homelessness. However, sometimes said sights and sounds of growth aren’t welcome during the wee hours of the morning, especially while trying to amass much-needed beauty sleep. Take, for example, the plight of a Curbed SF reader who writes to us asking: “Is there a way for me to halt construction on a project right next to my Folsom Street apartment building? They start working super early in the morning and it’s ruining my sleep.” Yes, there is a way to help! Here’s what you need to know: Building construction at any legal noise level can occur between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays. Work done before or after 7 a.m. and 8 p.m cannot exceed the noise level of five decibels at the nearest lot line. According to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, “Five decibels is similar to the sound of a screw gun installing screws in drywall.” In rare cases, construction sites can build during off-hours if they have a Night Noise Permit (NNP). Here’s a map of such sites. Who should I contact to complain? Complaints about noisy construction at ungodly hours can be directed to the Department of Building Inspection at 415-558-6570. You can also file a complaint online. Complaints about construction at non-permitted times should be directed to your local police station. You can also file noise complaints with SF311. What about suspected illegal construction? If you suspect illegal construction (e.g., work without permits), call Inspection Services at 415-558-6570 to file a complaint. “When filing a complaint, please provide us with the valid property address and the type of work being done.” You can also file a complaint online. Should I confront the construction crew in person? Please don’t do this. Workers are merely following orders from superiors. Follow proper procedure by making a formal complaint (see above). When feeling the urge to march over to a site, full of righteous fury, remember the case of TV anchor Terilyn Joe, who made headlines in 2002 after allegedly hurling eggs and tomatoes at tree trimmers who were making a fracas near her Russian Hill home. I’m still angry! How can I contact my district’s building inspector? District inspectors ensure construction projects are built according to approved plans. You can find your area building inspector here. Filing a Complaint [SFDBI] Night Noise Permits [SFDBI] What to Expect During Construction in Your Neighborhood [SFDBI] TV anchor Terilyn Joe won’t face charges in throwing incident [SFGate] Map shows which SF neighborhoods gentrifying fastest [Curbed SF] San Francisco rents finish 2017 by rising, breaking our hearts [Curbed SF] [...]

As bridge toll hike vote looms, commuters reach for the brakes


Will voters approve a $3 toll hike? On January 24, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)—a 21-member body with authority over seven key Bay Area bridge crossings, including the Bay Bridge but not the Golden Gate Bridge—will vote on whether or not to support $3 toll hikes to raise money for transit funding, leaving some commuters already grinding their gears. The BATA vote comes after the lower toll Oversight Committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, which would push tolls up gradually, implementing the final price of $9 for the Bay Bridge and $8 for half a dozen other regional bridges by 2025. But voters would get the final say on the matter via a ballot measure (Regional Measure 3) in the June election. San Jose State Senator Jim Beall masterminded the transit plan, which, in part, could raise more than $4.5 billion annually in transit funds: Regional Measure 3 gives voters the opportunity to determine whether they want to invest in a comprehensive regional plan to cut commute times. If passed, RM3 projects will also create jobs in transit and construction, increase transit ridership, provide matching funds for state and federal grants, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all with the goal of reducing congestion. Beall’s bill passed the State Senate on a 27-13 vote in October. Governor Jerry Brown signed it shortly thereafter. If BATA buoys Beall’s ambitions, the last obstacle will be the voters themselves. Photo by Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH San Rafael Bridge. However. commuter Rebecca Gerber started a petition protesting the potential price hike this week, netting over 20,000 signatures in three days (although fewer than 5,200 of the signers are actually from California). “As housing costs skyrocket across the Bay Area, many people are being forced to move to more affordable areas and accept longer commutes to work,” writes Gerber. “These toll hikes [...] would make driving unaffordable too.” “I don’t believe BART or the South Bay should receive funds from our bridges,” one signature reads, echoing comments from Concord Assemblymember Tim Grayson, who opposed the Beall bill in the legislature for (in his view) enriching some commuters’ infrastructure at the expense of others’. (Grayson failed to block the toll plan in the assembly, which passed it 43-31.) “When these bridges were built, the tolls were supposed to end when the construction cost was paid off,” another signer complains, adding “I learned this from my mother decades ago.” Despite petitioner’s gripes, they may have an uphill battle; SF Weekly reports that in a 2017 poll, 60 percent of likely voters said they’d approve the toll hike once they found out which projects the money would finance, including finally extending BART to San Jose. Photo by Anthony Massie Bay Area Bridge Toll Authority, 1.24.18 [MTC] Tolls On The Rise [Curbed SF] Don’t Approve Toll Hikes [Care2 Petition] Toll Hikes Go To Voters [Curbed SF] Commuters Irate Over Tolls [SF Weekly] [...]

New BART cars go into service today



State approves first ten vehicles, with hundreds more planned

BART announced on Thursday that, after years of planning, waiting, and testing along with a marathon of delays, the first of its new train cars will finally go into service Friday.

According to a brief message from BART:

We’ve been given the go ahead to put our new Fleet of the Future cars into service. That approval came from the California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday night after a comprehensive testing process. You can expect to see the first train in service as early as Friday afternoon. [...] The new cars will offer BART passengers a quieter and more comfortable ride while expanding our capacity.

The transit agency says it’s run the vehicles more than 75,000 miles and finished 382 required tests before winning approval to carry passengers.

Once up on a time BART hoped to have these vehicles running by the end of 2016. Then a series of delays pushed that mark back many times throughout 2017. A self-imposed December 15 deadline seemed within their grasp, but malfunctions with the doors during a crucial test took weeks more to resolve.

The agency has bought 775 of the Canadian-built cars in all, spending roughly $2.6 billion on the “fleet of the future.” BART still hopes to receive the full order by the end of 2022.

Genteel Georgian Pac Heights mansion prunes price


Franklin Street staple snips asking to $7,495,000 Hello again, gorgeous. The stately Pacific Heights mansion at 1735 Franklin, landing on the market for $9.7 million in 2014, has gone through several price cuts over the years. It returns today with a newer, svelter asking price—$7,495,000. The house comes with an ample 9,815 square feet, eight bedrooms, four and a half baths, a library, and six fireplaces. It’s been renovated gently over the years to feature a blend of period details (think wood-paneled walls and wainscoting) and contemporary touches. It is, inarguably, a glorious home, a work that would fit in seamlessly along Billionaire’s Row or even Presidio Heights. The minor squabble is its location next to a busy city artery. What’s more, it doesn’t come with the sweeping vistas typically seen from many a multimillion-dollar San Francisco home. Most of the circa-1904 property is bounded by taller buildings that have sprouted up around it over the last century. On the plus side, while property taxes on a home like this would typically be astronomical, 1735 Franklin falls under the Mills Act, which offers reduced property tax rates to owners who use the savings to restore and maintain their historic properties. But smart buyers should be able to look beyond the minimal drawbacks. This historic abode is one-of-a-kind place that deserves a special kind of owner who cherishes its well-worn appeal. Swoon! Super-Genteel Pac Heights Manse Politely Asks $9.7M [Curbed SF] Landmark Pac Heights Mansion Back on the Market for $9.7M [Curbed SF] 1735 Franklin [Dona Crowder and Joel Goodrich] [...]

What $1,600 rents you in San Francisco right now


Five new (small) rentals, from Pac Heights to the Richmond Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different neighborhoods. Is one person’s studio another person’s townhouse? Today’s price: $1,600. ↑ There’s not a lot of new construction to be had for $1,600/month. And in the case of this Glen Park in-law unit there’s still not a lot to be had, given the cubby-like proportions of this space, dubbed a “comfy garden studio” and tucked beneath the back porch and steps on Alemany Boulevard. But at least the shower is roomy—a deal is a deal in this economy. “NO PETS,” the ad says (and apparently no lower case letters either). ↑ Speaking of which, the Richmond is ready with an in-law of its own, this one bearing a slightly more homey atmosphere, affording the tenant one bedroom and one bath for $1,400 (which these days is almost as cheap as they come). The place comes furnished, but “decorations, throw rugs, and posters belong to current tenant so not included.” And the rent includes “utilities and garbage but not wi-fi.” Whether or not it includes pet permissions is anyone’s guess. ↑ Is it possible to live in a “Pacific Heights mansion” for $1,600? Technically, yes. At least inside this circa 1900 (which means it could be older, since 1900 is the placeholder date the city uses for pre-1906 homes with no original records) Victorian. Of course, there is a catch: “This is an SRO (Single Room Occupancy)” the ad says. “It is like a dorm room. It is not a room in an apartment.” Precisely what distinguishes an SRO in a Pac Heights house from just a regular room remains a bit hazy, but that’s the sales pitch. Rent includes utilities but there’s no word on pets this time again. ↑ Whereas this tiny studio on the west side of Nob Hill doesn’t mince words about itself: “Efficiencies in a perfect downtown location,” says the ad. There’s no footage count, so precisely how efficient we’re talking here isn’t clear; however, judging from the photos, it’s cutting the living space back pretty far. It doesn’t even have a kitchenette. In lieu of amenities, this landlord plays up the location instead, asking, “Do you want a home that’s affordable and close to all of the things that make San Francisco great?” Affordable in this case means $1,600. Alas. ↑ Finally, there’s a “quaint studio” in SoMa, located on Ninth near Howard, also holding down $1,600 with the usual pairing of parquet and shallow bay windows. (Note that these photos are of a “similar unit,” than the studio on offer.) But this is the one and only listing on today’s slate that permits pets (or at least one pet), so it makes the final cut. [...]

Pedestrian attacks self-driving car in the Mission



Nobody was hurt, except our civic dignity

Cruise AV, a self-driving car company owned by General Motors, reports that on January 2 an unidentified man in the Mission flung himself onto one of the company’s autonomous vehicles while it was conducting a road test.

According to a report filed with the California DMV (all companies testing self-driving cars on California public streets are required to make public reports any time an accident happens), the close encounter of the vehicular kind happened at 9:27 p.m. as the car was waiting to make a turn and “stopped at a green light in between crosswalks of Valencia Street and 16th Street, waiting for pedestrians to cross.”

The car’s human driver says that a pedestrian then unexpectedly ran into the street against the traffic signal and “shouting....struck the left side of the Cruise AV’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body.”

The driver adds, “There were no injuries, but the Cruise AV sustained some damage to its rear light.”

No witnesses called the police.

(image) Photo by Dreamyshade
16th and Valencia, where the notably weird incident happened.

Mission Local notes that this is the city’s first self-driving car collision of the year and that Cruise had five accidents in the Mission (out of 22 citywide) in 2017, although almost all were minor and resulted in no injury and little or no damage.

Cruise has the uncomfortable distinction of being the first company whose self-driving cars have actually injured a human being, most notably on December 7 when a GM robot car smacked a motorcyclist in the Haight. However, police found the cyclist, not the car, at fault in that incident.

As for the Mission attack, it’s not clear whether or not the assailant’s spontaneous Valencia Street charge was a reaction to self-driving technology or just a troubled person’s outburst.

Amazon snubs Silicon Valley, San Francisco for HQ2


Nine local cities vied for Bezos’ bounty, but LA is only West Coast city on shortlist Amazon announced Thursday morning that it has selected 20 cities as potential sites for its planned new headquarters, and the commerce giant has snubbed Silicon Valley, rejecting bids by San Francisco and more than a half dozen nearby municipalities. San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Concord, Fremont, Pittsburg, Union City, San Jose, and Vallejo all made eyes at the Amazon project, seven of those cities even banding together to submit a bid jointly in hopes of attracting the new tech hub to a combination of local spots. San Francisco offered up Candlestick Point, dubbed “the largest single redevelopment opportunity on the West Coast.” Oakland floated the possibility of moving into Uptown Station, the onetime department store recently jilted by Uber, who recently sold it. And Concord hoped the Seattle-based company would consider moving into the long disused Concord Naval Weapons station, which the city has tried to redevelop for a generation. In the end, no Bay Area proposal proved much of a lure for the big-ticket project, which Amazon projects will cost $5 billion and yield 50,000 local jobs. In fact, the list of 20 finalists includes only one city on the West Coast: Los Angeles. Rendering courtesy of IBI The ongoing Candlestick Point development proved little attraction for Bezos and company. When fishing for invitations, the company said it was in the market for a metro area “with more than one million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent, communities that think big and creatively.” Although that sounded like courting language for Silicon Valley—or at least, so Valley insiders would like to think—it seems Amazon will be delivering somewhere else in the future. HQ2 Finalists [Amazon] SF, Others Bid For Amazon [Curbed SF] Uber Sells Uptown Station [Curbed SF] Amazon RFP Amazon announces 20 finalists for new headquarters [Curbed] Where in Southern California could Amazon’s new headquarters go? [Curbed LA] [...]