parkmerced.jpgLeah Garchik is reporting that the folks who own Parkmerced, the Yelp-disapproved apartment towers way way out by SF State, want “to turn it into an internationally known, environmentally faultless urban oasis.” They even made an internet website about it!

The Chronicle reported on some of the more controversial aspects of this aspiration last year, including tripling the population density by demolishing the area’s “garden apartments, preserving the high-rises and adding others, along with new midrise dwellings.” According to Craig Hartman, the architect responsible for the new plans for Parkmerced, argues that his plans “provide for the organic development of the city.” I’d love to hear what local high-rise fighter Alvin Duskin, who shares the Chronicle’s pages with Garchik today, has to say about that. (You should read both of these articles, they’re really interesting.)

But back to Leah: she says they’re “about to announce a contest to find the Greenest Family in San Francisco. Winner gets a year’s free rent in a sustainable apartment.” No details seem available on the contest yet, we’ll let you know when we hear more. And can’t wait to follow this contest, man, we hope all the entries involve chemical toilets and solar cars.

You know, year’s free rent sounds pretty good to me right now, but at Parkmerced? I dunno. How about you? What would it take for you to live in one of those towers for the next year?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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