Swinerton In the News

Swinerton Builders: July 16, 2014

Transforming San Francisco's Mid-Mission District

While the tech-fueled renaissance of central Market Street has generated headlines around the world, a block away the parallel stretch of Mission Street is undergoing its own, much quieter transformation.

Over the past five years, 1,400 new housing units have opened on Mission Street between Fifth Street and South Van Ness Avenue, including 800 studio apartments that landlord Angelo Sangiacomo built between Seventh and Eighth streets.

And there are a lot more coming.

On Mission between Eighth Street and around 10th Street, contractors are pouring floors on three mid-rise residential towers, construction that will bring an additional 500 units to the corridor by the end of 2015.

At 1400 Mission St., Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. is building 190 affordable family units. Swinerton Builders is the General Contractor on the project. Across the street, at 1415 Mission St., Martin Building Co. is working on 126 apartments, while a block to the east at 1321 Mission St., Berkeley developer Patrick Kennedy is well under way on 160 micro-studios and "micro-suites," half of which will provide housing for students from the California College of the Arts.

Plans for 750 more units
In the past two weeks alone, developers have submitted plans that would add an additional 750 units of housing to Mid-Mission. AGI Avant has proposed 200 units at 1270 Mission St., now home to a pizza place and parking lot. On the current site of Goodwill, there are plans for 550 apartments and a 460,000-square-foot city office building.

"We are hoping that part of Mission Street establishes its own identity, on a smaller scale than Market Street," Kennedy said. "Having a few thousand new residents should help generate fine-grain retail. ... There is nothing now on our block but pot clubs."

Those bullish on central Mission Street say it has the potential to be a more intimate alternative to Market Street. While Market has a few big housing projects in the pipeline, the street is dominated by block-long buildings home to big tech companies like Dolby, Twitter, Uber and Square.

In contrast, central Mission will be mostly residential. The street has split zoning: The north side is zoned for 140-foot mid-rise buildings and the south side for buildings 65 feet or less. Eric Tao of AGI Avant said the zoning will help protect the row of former garment sweatshops that line the south side of Mission.

Unique character
"Even as the high-rises get developed on the north side, the south side is always going to retain that unique Mission Street character with smaller, interesting buildings," Tao said.

Tao was an early believer in Mid-Mission. A decade ago the block of Mission between Seventh and Eighth streets was an abandoned Greyhound station and surface parking lots. There was a methadone clinic in the alley and homeless encampments.

"It was pretty God-awful," Tao said.

But when the federal government built its office building on the corner of Seventh Street - an attention-getting structure designed by well-known architect Thom Mayne of Los Angeles firm Morphosis - Tao saw potential. His group joined forces with TMG Partners to build the 260-unit SoMa Grand condominium project.

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