Hopes to rebuild a shuttered San Francisco car wash have been revived with new plans submitted to the city’s planning commission. So far, the reconstruction plan has been proposed for eight years, but it has not been launched.

The car wash at 400 Divisadero Street is owned by Roy Shimek and Patricia Shimek. Roy Shimek started working at the car wash as a student in 1960 and purchased the car wash from the first owners.the couple told Hoodline in a 2015 interview It first opened in 1958 as the city’s first automated car wash and later reopened in 1987 as a no-touch car wash, becoming the first car wash in the country to eliminate mechanical scrubbing.

The couple said in interviews that they were ready to retire and that the only offer on the property was to redevelop it rather than keep it as a car wash or gas station.

The first redevelopment plan was submitted in 2019 by Genesis Living of Texas. The developer’s goal is to create a 184-unit apartment complex, 20 percent of which will be affordable, with ground-floor retail. The licenses are valid for three years and expire this month.

Late last year, director Dean Preston claimed the developer had “abandoned” the project. Construction stalled last year when the planning council asked Genesis to make some tweaks to its demolition permits regarding sidewalk encroachment and street trees. In July, city authorities said they had not yet received designs to move forward with the project.

Preston said he became aware last February that the long-awaited apartment and retail complex was “on the market”. In May of that same year, Genesis filed an exit claim deed on the property, returning all title to longtime owners Roy and Patricia Shimek.

“Since the original developer abandoned the plan after obtaining all necessary city approvals, we have been actively involved in doing everything possible to ensure this site becomes 100 percent affordable housing,” Preston told reporters. TRD Statement via email.

However, plans for the exact same 184-apartment project were recently submitted to the city, but for another three years. It’s unclear if Genesis is still the developer; however, it still lists 400 Divisadero projects on its website. The latest proposals will be presented to the planning committee on July 13.
The new filing comes as construction applications in San Francisco have fallen to a six-year low, with developers telling the city they must address their fee structure and affordable housing requirements so housing projects can go ahead.

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