Noe Valley Voice July-August 2007

Former Lunny House May Lose 'Senior' Units

By Jan Goben

Unable to attract older buyers, developers of a six-unit, seniors-only condominium complex across from Bell Market have asked the city for permission to sell the units to the general public.

The San Francisco Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for July 12, 1:30 p.m., at City Hall, Room 400, to consider revised plans for the site at 3953 24th Street, where the old Lunny House once stood.

A new permit, if approved, would mean the units would no longer be reserved for buyers 62 and older without cars, as specified in the plans allowing demolition of the Lunny House three years ago. The developer's new proposal also would convert the six units, currently offered at market rates, to five.

More than a dozen people by late June had notified the Planning Department that they opposed the change, according to city planner Elizabeth Watty. She said no one had yet indicated support for the revised proposal.

The developers, Eileen Long, Denis Cullinane, and Jeremiah Cullinane, could not be reached for comment. They purchased the house once owned by Robert and Evelyn Lunny for $700,000 in 2002.

The developers have been trying to sell the condos for roughly two years, with no buyers--apparently because of the no-car restriction. Potential tenants also say price was a factor.

In 2003, the development was initially proposed as market-rate housing with parking. But neighbors and civic groups complained that the extra vehicles would add congestion as drivers pulled into traffic on 24th Street. Developers then proposed to sell the units to seniors but without the parking. As senior housing, the city gave developers a density bonus that allowed them to build a sixth unit. General sales, if okayed by the Planning Commission, would require the developers to return to the maximum five units. The owners have asked to do so by merging two units on the top floor. The 2,400-square-foot commercial space on the ground floor would not be affected.

For information or to comment on the proposal, call 558-6620 or e-mail, and refer to Case No. 2007.0136C.