San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood wasn’t always a trendy, happening neighborhood. Chances are, until recently, most San Francisco residents wouldn’t have been able to point it out on the map. But beginning in the 1990s, developers began in earnest, transforming the neighborhood’s former industrial space into housing and commercial space. In fact, according to a recent report from the San Francisco Planning Department, more industrial space is being converted to housing in the Dogpatch than in any other neighborhood in the city.
This rapid evolution has put Dogpatch squarely on the map. It’s now a favorite up-and-coming neighborhood, or as Huffington Post called it in 2013, “San Francisco’s newest indie neighborhood.” That rising popularity makes sense. Not only has the Dogpatch added loads of housing since the Dot Com boom, now trendy cafes, off-beat shops, and pop-up farmers markets are sprouting up on every corner.
The rate of develop doesn’t seem likely to slow any time soon either. At least five condo buildings are set to rise in the next 18 months, the mega development at Pier 70 is hoping to break ground in 2017, and many of the neighborhood’s historic properties are being slated for conversion to lofts and upscale condos. Simply put, the up-and-coming Dogpatch is coming into its own.
A Changing Landscape
Dogpatch wasn’t much of a neighborhood prior to the 1990s. There were few residents, and the neighborhood was mostly home to warehouses and industrial facilities. Until recently, that gritty, industrial past was still visible, but with the recent spate of development, Dogpatch has mostly shed its working-class roots.
This rapid change is causing property values to rise. Over the last decade, condo prices in the neighborhood have jumped by nearly 50 percent, according to data from PropertyShark, and rents are up 13 percent in just the last two years.
It’s the perfect storm for development: Tons of interest from buyers, rising property values, and plenty of space perfect for redevelopment. The Dogpatch skyline will be dotted with construction cranes in the coming years. Here’s a look at projects on the horizon:
- San Francisco Opera Set Warehouse: AvalonBay has plans to redevelop the site of the Opera’s set warehouse and build 338 apartments. The property is bounded by I-280. Plus, earlier this year, Build Inc. broke ground on a 120-unit apartment building at 650 Indiana Street. Build Inc. has plans to construct an “arts plaza” adjacent to their property.
- Along Tennessee Street: AGI Capital Group will begin construction on 258 condos at 1201 Tennessee later this year. This development is just down the street from 777 Tennessee, where plans are in place for a 59-unit building. At 950 Tennessee, a 129-unit building is set to rise and replace an aging warehouse, and finally, the Furniture Innovation warehouse will be razed to make room for 44 units at 901 Tennessee.
That’s just a small sampling, and it doesn’t include the proposed Pier 70 development. That development, which has been met with opposition from city residents, is currently working its way through planning and approval, but it would completely transform the blighted pier. Pier 70 will include thousands of housing units, public parks, commercial spaces and restored historic properties.
Dogpatch’s Growing Pains
One thing is clear: Dogpatch was never designed to be a full-fledged residential neighborhood. And because it was mostly industrial into the 1990s, it remains underserved by public transit and parking. As J.R. Eppler, a neighborhood organizer recently told the San Francisco Chronicle, Dogpatch is now home to “where there was not a neighborhood previously.”
Because of this, the Dogpatch seems to be bursting at the seams, but that will likely change. The city has devoted to funding to eastern neighborhoods for parks and transit, and developers are pitching in building parks and public spaces. Yet, if you were to ask the neighborhood’s long-time residents, the construction is likely more welcomed than what once was: gritty industrial buildings, crime and blight.
Transformed by the Boom is a series looking at the impact real estate development is transforming San Francisco’s established neighborhoods.