oWow proposes 10-story residential development above San Francisco office project

The developer hopes to add housing to the office project to benefit from the Central SoMa Plan

San Francisco /
Oct.October 19, 2021 10:00 AM
Renderings of 952-960 Howard Street in San Francisco, CA and oWow CEO Danny Haber (oWow Design, iStock)
Renderings of 952-960 Howard Street in San Francisco, CA and oWow CEO Danny Haber (oWow Design, iStock)

A developer is proposing a residential development that would be built above a small office building in San Francisco’s Central Soma.

Local developer oWow has a 25,000-square-foot, 3-story office building under construction at 952-960 Howard Street, the San Francisco Business Times reported. The project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2022.

Rendering of 952-960 Howard Street (oWow Design)
Rendering of 952-960 Howard Street (oWow Design)

OWow submitted a project assessment on Oct. 7 to build 10 more floors with 130 residential units above the offices. Of the units, 24 will be marketed for residents who earn 55 to 120 percent of the area’s median income. oWow CEO Danny Haber said the developer was inspired by the Central SoMa plan that provides incentives to those who designate at least 10 percent of units as affordable.

“The Central SoMa plan really makes it a must-have for projects in that area to include high-density housing, including increasing the number of affordable units,” Haber told the Times. The entitlement process will also be sped up under the plan.

To get the most out of the project, oWow will use the state density bonus law, which will waive an 85-foot height cap for Central SoMa buildings and allow the residential portion to be 92,400 square feet. The project is expected to be 162 feet high.

To lower costs, oWow and its design division, the architect, may use two standardized floor plans for the residential units. If construction costs for the residential portion push rents too high, Haber said oWow would have to reconsider the residential part’s or potentially cancel the 10-story addition altogether.

oWow is also working on a 19-story high-rise on Webster Street. The 182-unit building is set to become the country’s second-tallest mass timber building.

Update: This story has been corrected to reflect that the project is in San Francisco, not Oakland.

[SFBT] — Victoria Pruitt





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