The San Francisco Planning Commission has unanimously approved a hotel project in Fisherman’s Wharf, paving the way for the first new ground-up hospitality project in a generation in one of the city’s premier tourist destinations.
The project would demolish the existing one-story commercial building at 2629 Taylor St., which currently contains a cannabis dispensary, a souvenir shop and Hollywood Café, and replace it with a 136-room four-story hotel. Around 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space will front Taylor Street, a throughway between the cable car stop and the wharf.
Amenities include a fitness center, breakfast service area, employee shower and locker facilities, a roof deck and a large central courtyard. No vehicle parking will be provided as part of the project, but the hotel will include 16 bicycle parking spaces.
The hotel will now go to the full Board of Supervisors for final approval.
Michael Stanton, the principal of the project’s architect Stanton Architecture, said at a Planning Commission meeting that a large percentage of the rooms are double queens in line with its purpose as a “visitor-serving family hotel.”
Stanton cited a report from real estate services firm CBRE that showed San Francisco’s average hotel occupancy and revenue per room rebounding to 2017 levels by 2025. He said the hotel is likely to be open in summer 2025.
Randall Scott, the executive director of the Fisherman’s Wharf Central Business District, said Fisherman’s Wharf has only 3,000 hotel rooms while the district saw 13.5 million unique visitors in 2019. While visitor numbers have yet to recover to those heights, the organization is projecting 11 million unique visitors for 2022.
Scott said the project from developer Blackridge Group has been in the works for the past four years, with the timeline extended because of the pandemic.
“It’s a match made in heaven, particularly for a neighborhood with a strong focus on tourism and that is one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in the city,” Scott said.
While a number of hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf have traded hands in recent years, Scott said this is the first new hotel construction in the neighborhood in “recent memory.”
San Francisco’s hospitality industry took a major hit from the pandemic and has yet to recover, in large part because international travel from Asia is still stifled.
The city’s tourism board has been targeting 2025 for a full recovery of the industry, but recent reporting from the San Francisco Business Times showed slower-than-expected bookings tied to events at Moscone Center could call that target into question.
Denver-based Blackridge Group owns about a dozen hotels across major metro markets including New York City, Seattle and San Diego. The company has developed one other hotel in San Francisco, the 230-room Hyatt Place San Francisco at 702 Third St. near Oracle Park.
Kevin Truong can be reached at [email protected]