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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is Getting a Rare, New Hotel

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The San Francisco Planning Commission has unanimously approved a hotel project at Fisherman’s Wharf, paving the way for the first new ground-level hotel project in a generation at one of the city’s premier tourist destinations.

The project will demolish the existing single-story commercial building at 2629 Taylor St., which currently contains a cannabis dispensary, a souvenir shop and Hollywood Cafe, and replace it with a four-story, 136-room hotel. Approximately 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space will face Taylor Street, a pathway between the cable car station and the wharf.

Amenities include fitness center, breakfast service area, staff showers and locker facilities, roof deck and large central courtyard. As part of the project, no vehicle parking spaces will be provided, but the hotel will include 16 bicycle parking spaces.

The hotel will now go to the full supervisory board for final approval.

Michael Stanton, principal of the project’s architect, Stanton Architecture, told a planning committee meeting that most of the rooms have double queen beds, in keeping with its mission as a “family hotel for tourists”.

Stanton cited a report by real estate services firm CBRE that average occupancy and revenue per room at San Francisco hotels will return to 2017 levels by 2025. The hotel is likely to open in summer 2025, he said.

Fisherman’s Wharf has just 3,000 hotel rooms, while the area welcomed 13.5 million unique visitors in 2019, said Randall Scott, executive director of the central business district at Fisherman’s Wharf. While visitor numbers have yet to recover to those heights, the organization expects 11 million unique visitors in 2022.

Developer Blackridge Group’s project has been underway for the past four years, with the timeline stretched because of the pandemic, Scott said.

“It’s a natural fit, especially for a neighborhood that’s very tourism-oriented, and it’s one of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in the city,” Scott said.

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While several hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf have changed hands in recent years, Scott said this is the first newly built hotel in the area in “recent memory.”

San Francisco’s hotel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and has yet to recover, in large part because international travel from Asia remains subdued.

The city’s tourism bureau aims to achieve a full recovery of the industry by 2025, but A recent report by the San Francisco Business Times Showing lower-than-expected bookings related to events at the Moscone Center could call that target into question.

Denver-based Blackridge Group has about a dozen hotels in major urban markets including New York City, Seattle and San Diego. The company is developing another hotel in San Francisco, the 230-room Hyatt Place San Francisco at 702 Third St., near Oracle Park.

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