You remember FLAX Art & Design, right? You are sure to recognize the iconic building, which features a giant wooden man poised to launch a colored pencil like a javelin, even if you have never heard of FLAX. Well, much to the dismay of many in San Francisco's artist community, the family-owned art supply store at Market and Valencia earlier this year announced its intention to leave its longtime home and move to Oakland. The building is now set to be torn down to make room for condos. Which, even though we all know we need more housing, just makes us sad because look at the proposed replacement pictured above — just another bland building for what is soon to be another bland corner where there was once this.
The proposed nine-story replacement, reports Curbed, is set to be 162 units and will feature a ground floor retail space along with a restaurant. Nineteen of those units will theoretically be below market rate, and while we cheer the developers for putting them onsite (as opposed to simply paying into the general affordable housing fund), Curbed notes that those 19 affordable units come out to less than the 12 percent required by law. Odd!
The Market street FLAX is still open as of today (we called and checked), but it will close by the end of the month. The new Oakland store is set to have its grand opening on April 2. If you want to still support FLAX, but don't quite have it in you to trek across the Bay, they have a Fort Mason store that isn't going anywhere.
Anyway, here's another look at the future of Valencia and Market Streets.
Rendering via Presidio Development Partners LLC.