We Like Potrero Hill
It's the sunniest neighborhood in San Francisco. Really. In a city of microclimates Potrero Hill has the best weather by far. Fog may be covering everything else, but it has a hard time getting here.
It's mellow without being boring. South of downtown and east of the Mission, it's somehow close to everything while still having a small-town feel.
It's full of great shops, businesses, and clubs—like Christopher's Books, Pawtrero, Good Life Grocery, Daytona Motors, Deluxe Skateboards, and The Bottom of the Hill ("the best place to hear live music in San Francisco" says Rolling Stone).
It's got amazing food—like Chez Mama, Pera, Aperto, Connecticut Yankee and Goat Hill Pizza, to name just a few. (The line for brunch at Plow is awe-inspiring.)
It's also a neighborhood with history. 100 years ago it was mostly a blue-collar industrial area dotted with warehouses, oil and iron works, small houses, saloons, a church or two, unpaved roads, and the occasional stray cow. Today the neighborhood is home to burgeoning start-ups and full-blown tech companies, a renowned art school, a cooking academy, design studios, and furniture showrooms. The list goes on, and we want to see it grow.
So Potrero Hill Is Great, But—
We're worried about its future. Six years ago an out of town developer bought a three acre lot at the base of the Hill, on a site where the pioneering steel-fabricator Pacific Rolling Mill set up shop in a complex of industrial buildings—the earliest of which was built by the company more than a century ago in 1908. Now the developer wants to demolish these historic buildings and put a gigantic, 84' tall, 700,000 square foot medical and housing complex (along with a three story underground garage) in its place. We think this would be particularly bad for the neighborhood.
Is It Really That Serious?
We're afraid it is. For one thing, the proposed development is totally out of scale with the neighborhood. (Imagine an ocean liner parked in a marina full of sail boats.) It just doesn't fit. The development would dramatically change the character of the Hill and not in a good way. Many of the small businesses on surrounding blocks would likely be pushed out. Traffic congestion would be a total headache and parking would be nearly impossible to find, keeping customers away. Plus the developer wants to bring "formula retail" to the site. (More Starbucks, less Farley's.)
And here's what it will look like if the massive medical office complex is built:
("That image can't be to-scale, can it?")
Some Project Stats:
The proposed location of the Kaiser complex:
We Understand Change is Inevitable
—And we're not anti-development. But we do think neighborhoods are like ecosystems: new species (and giant developments) should be introduced with the utmost caution and care. And frankly, we think this giant development (bigger than anything the neighborhood has ever seen before) is like an invasive species. Once it gets into the neighborhood it will be impossible to control. It will also spawn.
Do You Want To Help?
We're your neighbors and we need your help. Save The Hill is dedicated to the health, culture, heritage, and scenic beauty of Potrero Hill. Our mission is to protect and promote the neighborhood's unique identity, to support its locally run businesses and to ensure that neighborhood growth promotes the highest standards of urban development and planning. But we can't do it alone.
Sign Our Petition
We'd love you to join your voice with ours by signing our online petition to the Kaiser CEO and Board of Directors.
Email us at email@example.com
To view documents related to the design, location, impact and process of this development, click here.