New MiMo Revival Project in North Beach Unanimously ApprovedSeptember 9, 2013
In it’s September meeting, the Design Review Board was presented for approval the first re-use and adaptation of a MiMo property in North Beach. The trailblazer, 8505 Harding LLC, wished to develop the unused FAR, 8214 sfqt, by adding another story to the existing property. Through this adaptation & re-use of an existing building, the MiMo design can be preserved while still increasing the size of the property by half it’s original design. In order to insure he met proper MiMo guidelines, the development team with his architect, VHR Architecture, worked extensively with city staff and agreed to all conditions outlined, thus conducting a full restoration of the existing property, which was purchased as a vacant & dilapidated structure.
In the proposed design, the number of total units was reduced from 28 to 24, and the average size was increased from 588 to 1029 square feet. All units are two bedroom flats or bi-level, with the third level featuring huge terraces. In addition, there are private balconies along the sides on every floor. Given the surrounding buildings are mostly 2 stories, it would seem the third level may offer some views into the park, and maybe even a glimpse of the ocean. It really seems the development team is set to complete a wonderful new project in North Beach. This site is perfectly located for a number of uses. Since it is on Harding Avenue, the owner can seek a hotel license and market the property for short term rentals. This would be a huge appeal given the easy access to the beach, and there is favorable demand for weekly rentals at this location. The owner can also convert the project to condominiums, which would appeal to primary residents, as well as second home owners and investors. At the moment, the city does not allow condominiums to conduct short term rentals, although it seems that this use in the North Shore Neighborhood would be considered by residents. Here are some renderings of the proposed building:
Although the tone of the presentation was very positive, some concerns voiced at the meeting and from the community in general is the overall state of the back alley and the public lot just east of this project which has been used as a staging area for years for Capital Improvement projects in North Beach. Although these improvements are a welcomed investment in the community, the city may want to address the overall look of this lot, which can be better maintained. This lot faces our treasured North Shore Open Space Park, which is used by residents and visitors alike. The city should recognize this investment and try to coincide public improvements at the same time to make a more positive impact when funds are invested in an area.
So what’s next for this trailblazing project? Now that this MiMo revival was praised and unanimously approved by the Design Review Board & the Board of Adjustments, the owner can begin the permit application process with the city’s building department and the project should be ready by 2015.
Stay tuned for updates on this project or any others in North Beach!