November 21, 2006

Mint Plaza (And Livable City)

Mint Plaza (Image Source:

If all goes as proposed, the “290-by 54-foot-wide portion of Jessie Street extending between 5th Street and Mint Street” (off Mission) will be transformed into Mint Plaza – an automobile free pedestrian plaza lined by cafés, restaurants, and bars. Oh, and lofts (more on this tomorrow).

Mint Plaza (Image Source:

According to Livable City, the “schematic design for the plaza was developed based on two community workshops...[and] was presented at the Civic Design review committee of the San Francisco Arts Commission on July 17 and the San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board on July 19.” And it's consistent with with Livable City's Livable Downtown Initiative which aims to create a downtown "neighborhood that feels like home" by focusing on "livable streets, managing parking and traffic, improving public transit, and balancing jobs with housing."

And while the development of Mint Plaza might not be entirely altruistic (did we mention those lofts?), we're big fans of the concept and continued investment in the neighborhood.

Mint Plaza [San Francisco]
Mint Lofts: 410 + 418 Jessie Street, San Francisco [SocketSite]
Livable City []
The Livable Downtown Initiative []
It’s All About Service And Style At The Soma Grand (1160 Mission) [SocketSite]

First Published: November 21, 2006 10:35 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

That little alley has come a long way with Mezzanine, BOCA, the Mexican restaurant (forget the name, but it's delicious), the two live-work projects, and the firehouse which looks like it's being renovated to lofts too. But...I think this plaza will really kick into it's own when the Mint gets renovated and that boarded up/firebombed property just south of this diagram gets a new life. Regardless, I think a lot of this success will hinge on the management of the plaza as there is a fair bit of vagrancy in that area in the day and night and a bit of oversight will likely push it back over to 6th Street and make this a nice little outdoor space. And yeah, Martin Building Company owns most of those buildings around there and is the major booster of the project but it looks like they'll also pay for it out of assessments to their own buildings. Seems like a win-win - they get a nicer space outside of their buildings and the public gets a little more (much needed) outdoor public space and probably some outdoor cafe tables for nicer days.

Posted by: Anon at November 21, 2006 3:32 PM

Having worked at 5th and Market for almost 15 years, I really hope that this development happens. Along with the restored Mint, it will really improve this border area between downtown and skid row. I am even willing to lose my motorcycle parking which is right along side of the "existing restaurant" (actually the "nice asian lady donut shop"). Hopefully they will replace the motocycle parking with a new location behind the Mint. Motorcycles are an key element in my own ability to keep SF a "Livable City". Get one, and you are back in time to 1956 as far as traffic and parking go.

Posted by: Redseca2 at November 22, 2006 12:46 PM

Sorry this does not relate to the article but yes, two wheels can not be beat as far as traffic and parking. It's obvious but still worth saying: be extra cautious if you drive a motorcycle. I was almost killed by a garbage truck on my scooter last year. Wear a full face helmet for g's sake. On the bright side, I just bought my first home (in SOMA) with the help of the settlement! Yeah!

Posted by: free advice at November 22, 2006 1:43 PM

Does anyone know will there be parking for these units? Will it be on site or somewhere else? Will it be leased or deeded?

Posted by: Eric at February 1, 2007 6:25 PM

Onsite parking for a couple of the buildings according to the website (

Posted by: Anonymous at February 1, 2007 9:30 PM

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