Exterior view of building at 988 Market Street
Credit: SF Planning / Ferguson

Downtown Adaptive Reuse Program

Part of the Future of Downtown initiative

In July 2023, the City of San Francisco established a new Commercial to Residential Adaptive Reuse Program. In accordance with the Roadmap to San Francisco’s Future, the program is intended to facilitate the expansion of housing downtown by waiving certain Planning Code requirements.

Office to housing conversion is one potential tool to help create more housing and diversify land uses and activities downtown.

New legislation passed July 2023 aims to reduce the regulatory barriers to make it easier to convert underutilized office buildings into housing. Not all buildings are suitable or economically feasible for adaptive reuse. Further work is underway to study and develop financial incentives for adaptive reuse projects.


Commercial to Residential Adaptive Reuse shall mean to change the use of an existing Gross Floor Area from a non-residential use, other than a hotel use, to a residential use pursuant to Section 210.5.


map of eligibility areaClick on map to enlarge.

To be eligible for the Commercial to Residential Adaptive Reuse Program a project must:

  • Located in C-3 zoning district or C-2 zoning district that is east of or fronting Franklin Street/13th Street and north of Townsend Street
  • Not seek approval under Section 206.5 or 206.6. (State Density Bonus)
  • Submit a  Planning application by December 31, 2028

Planning Code Waivers

Projects which meet the eligibility criteria, could receive zoning modifications (or waivers) from some Planning Code requirements:

image of thumbs up over a stacked set of columns

The Planning Code waivers can also apply to an expansion of the building. A project may add up to 33% additional volume. The waivers could be applicable to both the existing building and the expansion.

State Programs

Commercial to Residential Adaptive Reuse Program projects may be eligible for various State ministerial programs provided that all of the eligibility criteria are met. Please see the Ministerial Programs website for additional information. State ministerial program projects must be code-complying. Although Commercial to Residential Adaptive Reuse Program projects may not take advantage of State Density Program, relief from Planning Code requirements are available by use of specific Planning Code waivers included in this program. A Commercial to Residential Adaptive Reuse Program project that requests waivers as specified in this program may still be considered code-complying.