Prado Group pitches more homes at shuttered SF hospital site

Developer aims to add 230 senior units to approved plan for 5-acre campus

Prado Group Pitches More Homes at Closed SF Hospital Site
Prado Group's Dan Safier with rendering of 3700 California Street (LinkedIn, TMG Partners, Getty)

Prado Group wants to add more than 230 homes for seniors to its approved plan to redevelop the former California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights.

The locally based developer led by Dan Safier aims to revise its plans to add 157 independent living units for seniors and 75 assisted living and memory care units at the hospital site at 3700 California Street, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Prado bought the 700,000-square-foot medical center at the end of 2022 for around $50 million, or $71 per square foot.

The seller of the vacant hospital was Sacramento-based Sutter Health, which in 2020 won approval to replace the 5-acre campus with 273 apartments and homes.

Locally based TMG Partners had worked to approve the former hospital site for redevelopment into 273 residential units, spread across 19 apartment buildings and 14 single-family homes. The approval process took five years.

To make way for the first large housing development in upscale Presidio Heights in 70 years, five of the hospital’s six buildings and a two-level parking garage would be razed. A nine-unit apartment building at 401 Cherry Street would be preserved.

After a year of planning, however, Prado didn’t think the project, as initially approved, would pencil out.

“There have been a number of rumors that have floated about why the prior project did not go forward,” Safier told the Chronicle. “The approved plans were not feasible in their current condition and the current environment.”

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So Prado is filing a separate senior living project on the east side of the campus that wasn’t part of the original approvals. If approved, it would bring the campus total to 505 new homes.

Rather than build the required affordable housing, the developer has chosen to pay a fee, which San Francisco can use to pay for affordable housing development elsewhere. According to a 2020 report, that fee was estimated to cost from $43 million to $45 million.

Safier said Prado has worked on the redesign for nearly a year. While the original architect,  BDE Architecture, is still on board, Handel Architects has joined to help complete the project.

The design changes must be approved by the city’s Planning Commission. Prado hopes to win approval for the revised plan by October. Groundbreaking is expected between 2026 and 2027.

The site is now limited to buildings between 40 and 80 feet — and Safier wants it to stay that way. He said his development staff feel it’s important to design buildings that are “appropriate for the surrounding context.”

“We are, as a local firm and as somebody who lives in the neighborhood and has a number of our team members living in the neighborhood, actually excited to be involved in this project, because we care a lot about this neighborhood and the outcome for this neighborhood,” Safier told the Chronicle.

A few blocks away in Laurel Heights, Prado Group won approval to redevelop the former UC San Francisco medical campus at 3333 California Street with 744 homes, 35,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, a child care center and 5 acres of open space.

— Dana Bartholomew

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