Parkmerced Project

Parkmerced header page=2529

What is Parkmerced?

Parkmerced is a 152-acre site under single ownership in the southwestern part of the City. The existing site, developed between 1941 and 1951, contains 3,221 housing units in a combination of high-rise towers and two-story townhouses. The project, which will be implemented over the course of three decades, includes comprehensive redesign, redevelopment and improvement of the site with new residential buildings, retail uses, parks, streets, and other amenities.  The project has been approved and will be implemented through a Development Agreement between the City and the developer that establishes the obligations of both parties, as well as through Planning Code regulations and accompanying Plan documents that lay out the details for community infrastructure improvements, environmental programs, and other elements necessary to support the neighborhood.

The Parkmerced project was approved by the Board of Supervisors on May 24, 2011

Documents for Download

Plan Documents
Vision Plan 24 MB
Design Standards and Guidelines 54 MB
Sustainability Plan 15 MB
Transportation Plan 16 MB
Infrastructure Report 15 MB
Development Agreement (as recorded) 6 MB
Development Phase 1 Documents
 August 6, 2015: Phase 1 Info Presentation  
 August 6, 2015: Phase 1 Overview  
 August 6, 2015: Design Review Staff Report  
 August 6, 2015: 300 Arballo Drive  
 August 6, 2015: 99 Vidal Drive  
 August 6, 2015: 455 Serrano Drive and 850 Gonzalez Drive  
 August 6, 2015: 1188-1198 Junipero Serra Boulevard  
 August 6, 2015: 21 and 25 Chumasero Drive  
Environmental Review
Draft Environmental Impact Report  
EIR Errata (dated Feb. 3, 2011)  
Comments and Responses (dated Oct. 28, 2010)  
Other Documents
SFMTA - M Ocean View Realignment Notification  
Parkmerced EOEP and First Source Signed SIGNED  

Purpose of the Project

The project is a long-term (approximately 20-30 years) mixed-use development program to comprehensively re-plan and re-design the entire Parkmerced site. The project will increase residential density, provide new commercial and retail services, provide new transit facilities, and improve existing utilities within the development site. The Vision Plan provides a good overview of the purposes and major components of the Parkmerced project.

Residential Development. There are 3,221 residential units on the site. Of these existing units, approximately 1,683 units located within the 11 existing towers will remain and approximately 1,538 existing apartments will be demolished and replaced in a phased work program. As required by the  Development Agreement, these replacement units will be subject to the San Francisco Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance and existing tenants in the to-be-replaced buildings will have rights to relocate into the new units at their existing rents. An additional 5,679 net new units will also be added to the site for a project total of 8,900 units. New buildings on the site will range in height from 35 feet to 145 feet, and will not be taller than the existing towers, which will remain.

Services, Amenities, and Infrastructure. Neighborhood-serving retail and office space will also be constructed as part of the project and concentrated on Crespi Drive, near the northeast part of the site and the light-rail line. The new neighborhood core will be located within walking distance of all the residences within Parkmerced. Small neighborhood-serving retail establishments will be constructed outside of the neighborhood core, in close proximity to residential units throughout the site. A new elementary school (to replace an existing one on-site) and daycare facility, fitness center, and new open space uses including athletic fields, walking and biking paths, a new organic farm, and community gardens will also be provided on the project Site. Infrastructure improvements include the installation of renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines and photovoltaic cells. The Sustainability Plan details goals and implementation actions for the project. The Infrastructure Report establishes an outline for anticipated site-wide improvements to all street and public rights-of-way, underground utilities, and grading.

Open Space and Recreation Facilities. The  project will provide 68 acres of open space in a network of publicly accessible neighborhood parks, athletic fields, public plazas, greenways and an organic farm. These are detailed in the Design Standards & Guidelines. In addition to these 68 acres of open space, the project will provide significant additional open space in the form of private or semi-private open space areas such as outdoor courtyards, roof decks, and balconies. These private and semi-private open spaces are required with the development of each residential building within Parkmerced. The parks and open space will be more accessible and usable than the current open spaces. Parks and open space within, and in the vicinity of, the  project will continue to receive a substantial amount of sunlight during the day when use is at its highest rate. Existing coastal views from parks located to the east and north of the project Site will be maintained with implementation of the  project.

Transportation Improvements. The transportation system modifications proposed as part of the Parkmerced Development Project, as described in the Transportation Plan, include rerouting the existing MUNI Metro M Ocean View line from 19th Avenue through the development, new and re-designed public streets, and modifications to intersections and streets around the perimeter of the site. These improvements require approval of the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority, the California Public Utilities Commission, and Caltrans. The Transportation Plan also includes a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program that obligates the Developer to undertake certain programs and services, including free shuttles to Daly City BART, transit pass subsidies for all residents, a Transportation Coordinator, amongst other items. Off-street parking for the residential units will primarily, but not exclusively be in underground garages, and will be concentrated on the west side of the site (while units are concentrated toward the eastern half) to discourage casual usage. Per the  SUD, parking will be capped at one space per dwelling unit and generally at one space per 750 square feet of non-residential uses (with some variation for specific uses).

Park Merced rendering

Development Process & Phasing

Because Parkmerced is a long-term project over several phases and involving both the construction of new buildings and community improvements (including re-aligned streets and blocks and multi-phase public transportation improvements), the existing zoning rules are inadequate in addressing a project of this scope and in regulating and laying out the requirements for the development. Additionally, there are key issues in the project, such as rent-protections and relocation rights of existing tenants, that cannot logistically or legally be regulated simply through the Planning Code or Planning Commission conditions of approval. Therefore the Parkmerced development program will be implemented through a Development Agreement and the changes to the Planning Code that were made when the project was approved in 2011.

The Development Agreement, a legally-binding contract between the City and Developer, lays out all of the obligations of the Developer and the City. This document establishes the overall framework for the project and all of the public benefits negotiated by the City, in exchange for a guarantee of the right of the Developer to build the basic project in accordance with the Plan documents (see below) while the Agreement is in effect (generally 30 years). The Agreement includes protections for existing tenants and a Phasing Plan that lists all required community improvements and the triggers for requiring their construction or implementation. The Development Agreement will need to be approved by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, and signed by the directors of other key agencies, including the SFMTA and SFPUC.

The Planning Code, through the creation of a Special Use District, establishes the core land use regulations for Parkmerced related to acceptable land uses, building height limits, bulk limits, setback requirements, open space for dwelling units, and parking. It also establishes the process for review and approval of specific building projects and land uses throughout the project's implementation. The Plan Documents, particularly the Design Standards and Guidelines, supplement the regulations included in the Special Use District.

Implementation Documents and Applications

Phase 1 – Development Summary

On June 3, 2015, the City approved Phase 1 of the Parkmerced project in accordance with the project’s Development Agreement, which requires the project sponsor to submit a Phase Application for approval by the Planning Director prior to the submittal of building permits for each phase of the project. Phase 1, which will be developed between 2016 and 2022, consists primarily of residential development on the western and southeastern portions of the project site. In addition, Phase 1 includes a number of Community Improvements and CEQA Mitigation Measures, as required by the approved Parkmerced Phasing Plan. For more information, please see the complete Park Merced Phase 1 Application.

Residential Development. Phase 1 includes construction of approximately 1,668 residential
dwelling units distributed among four subphases as follows

  • Subphase A – Approximately 390 new units with no demolition. Of the 390 new units 56 units will be Replacement Units to replace units demolished in subphase C and D.
  • Subphase B – Approximately 567 new units with the demolition of the existing parking garages, Garage No. 2 and Garage No. 1.
  • Subphase C – Approximately, 333 new units with the demolition of a maintenance building and 10 units on existing block 37W and 28 units on existing block 34. Of the new 333 new units 66 will be Replacement Units to replace units demolished in Phase 2.
  • Subphase D – Approximately, 378 new units with the demolition of 18 existing units on existing block 19. Of the 378 new units, 100 will be Replacement Units to replace units demolished in future Phase 2.

The Development Agreement permits the inclusionary housing requirements for the project to be satisfied by construction on-site, off-site, or payment of an in-lieu fee. Although the Development Agreement requires that the project applicant state its intended method of meeting the inclusionary housing requirements for each development phase in the Development Phase Application, in light of the significant obligation to provide rent controlled replacement units for all existing units on the project site, the agreement provides greater flexibility to the project sponsor in the timing of this choice as compared to the current San Francisco Planning Code; specifically, it permits this decision to be made at the time of the issuance of building permits for each residential building. If the on-site BMR Requirement of fifteen percent (15%) were to be applied to the  1,446 net new units in Phase 1, it would result in a requirement of approximately 220 BMR units. The project sponsor currently anticipates constructing one-third of the BMR units on-site and paying in-lieu fees to satisfy the remaining inclusionary housing requirement for net new units in Phase 1.

Non-Residential Summary. Phase 1 includes the following:

  • Subphase A – Construction of a two-level, below-grade, approximately 159,680-sf parking garage (accommodating approximately 453 parked cars) on Block 06.
  • Subphase B – Demolition of Garage No. 1 and Garage No. 2, which total approximately 222,000 sf (accommodating approximately 740 parked cars) and the construction of two two-level below-grade parking garages on Blocks 22 and 20 of approximately 133,099-sf (accommodating approximately 248 parked cars) and 133,691 sf (accommodating approximately 225 parked cars), respectively.
  • Subphase C – Demolition of a 28,343-sf maintenance building and 37 existing parking spaces located on a surface lot. Construction of a two-level below grade parking garage on Block 03W that is approximately 219,512-sf (accommodating approximately 618 parked cars).
  • Subphase D – Construction of approximately 3,500-sf ground floor active uses/retail that will be visible from and oriented towards the new neighborhood commons and a one level below grade parking garage of approximately 23,550 sf (accommodating approximately 66 parked cars) on Block 21S.


Environmental Review Elizabeth Purl
(415) 575-9028
General Questions Nancy Tran
(415) 575-9174
Veronica Flores
(415) 575-9173
Questions on Community Improvements (Streets, Parks) Ben Caldwell
(415) 575-9131

For project updates and current activities, you may also see the project sponsor’s web page.