Former SF Building Commissioner Plans Office Redevelopment


The former head of San Francisco’s scandal-ridden Building Inspection Commission wants to bulldoze a 116-year-old office building in the Northern Waterfront to build a tower with up to 112 homes.

Locally based Mark Horton Architecture has filed plans on behalf of a firm tied to Angus McCarthy to bulldoze the three-story building at 1088 Sansome Street, to make way for the 17-story highrise just west of the Embarcadero, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

McCarthy served for more than a decade as president of San Francisco’s Building Inspection Commission, beginning in 2012. Federal prosecutors have named numerous Department of Building Inspection employees, including a former president of the commission, in a public corruption bribery scandal linked to developers. 

McCarthy was not implicated in corrupt or criminal conduct. But in 2021 he faced  allegations of numerous permitting irregularities linked to his properties, according to the Business Times.

An LLC that lists McCarthy as its managing member bought the three-story office property at 1088 Sansome in 2014 for $14.4 million.

In 2020, another McCarthy affiliate took out a $32.25 million loan on the 0.35-acre property, though it wasn’t clear whether that loan was intended to fund its future redevelopment. 

Plans call for the demolition of the 39,000-square-foot building, constructed in 1908, two years after the San Francisco earthquake.

McCarthy’s firm, 1088 Sansome Street LLC, wants to replace it with a 17-story tower with between 102 and 112 apartments, with onsite parking for 112 cars. Preliminary plans call for a 200-foot tall building and 15,300 square feet of ground-floor offices, according to SFYimby, which first reported the story.

The application comes four months after San Francisco-based Aralon Properties filed plans for a 16-story tower at 955 Sansome Street, a block away.

Aralon had previously proposed both eight- and 10-story versions of its mixed-use project, which drew the ire of neighborhood groups who said even an eight-story project would dwarf homes in Telegraph Hill and clash with the neighborhood’s character, according to the Business Times.

— Dana Bartholomew

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