12-Room 'Hotel Castro' seeks planning commission approval

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Planning Commission will soon consider a proposal to transform a Castro restaurant into a boutique hotel.

In their March 1st session, commissioners will consider a change of use request that would let owners transform Bite Me Sandwiches (4230 18th St. between Diamond and Collingwood) into Hotel Castro, a 4-story, 12-room lodge.

Before work can proceed, the project's sponsors must obtain a conditional use permit before demolishing the current building, which was built in 1900.

Property owner Gannon Tidwell said the sponsors "believe the Castro is a world-class travel destination" that deserves its own hotel. "We would like to fill this void with a high style boutique offering."

The building at 4230 18th could be demolished. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Backers have already filed a permit seeking to tear down the 5,625-square-foot building. If approved, "we expect 6-9 months for demolition," said Tidwell. The new hotel would include a 1,800-square-foot restaurant on the ground floor.

Castro Merchants President Daniel Bergerac told Hoodline that area business owners favored the project in a recent meeting.

"There's limited number of hotel rooms available in the Castro and this project will drive more tourism dollars to the neighborhood," Bergerac said.

Aerial rendering of the proposed hotel. | Image: SF Planning
Renderings by design firm Cass Calder Smith Architecture indicate that the hotel would rise 40 feet above 18th Street with a rooftop deck, but no formal lobby.

Because the planned hotel has no off-street parking or loading zones, some have expressed over the potential impact on parking, but sponsors said most customers will arrive via public transportation, taxis, or ride-hailing services.

Daniel Bergerac (left) and Property owner Gannon Tidwell (center) address Castro Merchants in December 2017. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Project sponsors proposed limiting construction hours to 8am to 6pm daily with no work on Sundays, along with building a noise wall and using mufflers and dampeners to reduce vibration.

To address security concerns, Hotel Castro would be would be staffed with a manager, security, and concierge with security cameras at ground level and a 24/7 hotline for guests and neighbors.

Hoodline will keep you updated with any new developments after the Planning Commission meeting on March 1st.

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