Final Design Renderings Revealed for Prime Castro Market Corner

Designers of the proposed project slated to rise atop Arco Gas Station (376 Castro St.) have released a new version of the 65 foot tall, six story building set to break ground soon.

The SF Planning Department, Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association, Merchants of Upper Market/Castro and Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association all requested architect Mitchell Benjamin work with them to rethink the original design and make it more modern and conducive to the surrounding neighborhood as a condition of having their plan approved. The building will be a dominant feature of the Castro. No one was interested in seeing just another residential box design perched there.

The redesigned rendering of the 6 story building soon to be constructed on the northwest corner of Market and Castro.

376 will sport 24 residential units-5 one bedroom and 19 two bedrooms-3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 14 car parking spaces and 12 for bikes. Additionally a street-level, community room for neighborhood groups to hold meeting in is included.

The developers have also chosen to offer Below Market Rate (BMR) units on site bucking the popular trend of many others buildings currently under construction who instead contribute to a City trust set aside to develop affordable housing at a as yet undetermined future date.

The Planning Department had this to say about the new design:

The building is a fusion of a bold transparent element at the intersection of Market and Castro Streets flanked by solid walls with rhythmically patterned window openings, balconies, and bay projections. The corner element is a spandrel glass system with non-tinted glazing and an aluminum frame in a warm, pewter color paint finish. The solid walls are clad with terra cotta tiles, grounding the building with a dark grey at the base of the building and a random palette of terra cotta red and buff colors for the body of the building. The precise palette may include less color variety than presented.

The building is flanked by a shallow bay window system on both Market and Castro Streets, and will be clad with the same aluminum color as the corner element. The roof terrace has a windscreen of glass and mesh that is a continuation of the corner transparent element, and it will be capped with a pewter colored aluminum cornice. Balcony rails are either comprised of clear glass elements or painted metal rails.

This will be a drastic change for the northwest corner of Castro/Market situated opposite Castro’s newly designated historic landmark, Twin Peaks Tavern, and the iconic Gay flag. Critics noted residents who lie behind the new project sunny views will soon be blocked by their new towering neighbor. Others worried the new build accommodates only half of its new residents parking needs pushing all overflow vehicles out onto already tight street parking.

Wether or not you applaud or abhor this project the truth is the ink is dry and the deal is done. Many new emigrants to SF want to claim the Castro as home. Real estate is limited with less than 2% rental vacancy reported per year throughout the neighborhood. New builds are inevitable.

376 Castro developers did the right thing working with all three of the organized (and often cantankerous) neighborhood groups, adjusted their original vision, supplied useable community space and provided desperately needed, affordable, BMR units.


From The Castro Biscuit

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