December 15, 2006
Neighbors In South Mission Bay (555 Mission Rock Street?)
From a “plugged in” tipster:
In the comments to the Radiance project, someone mentioned that it will be the only project there for a while.
That's actually not true. There's a 9-story building by Urban Housing Group under construction right now…
We assume this to be 555 Mission Rock Street (just north of Radiance and previously a parking lot for AT&T Park). If so, it’s designed by SB Architects and will consist of 192 apartments when completed in early 2009. If not, somebody set us straight.
First Published: December 15, 2006 12:05 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Another bland oversized complex in Mission Bay. What fun. At least it's just rentals. Why would anyone BUY something in Mission Bay when the apartment buildings look the same as the condo buildings, and are on the same block? I don't get it. This should have been rethought a bit to insist that some smaller projects were put into the mix.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 1:04 AM
This picture could be included as an example of what is happening to the city in the previous thread about whether or not San Francisco is going to loose a unique architectural identity.
Would one wake up here and walk outside and feel they are living in San Francisco or San Diego?
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 4:27 AM
Is it just me or have those sidewalk shrub trees become a complete SF new development clichce? How about mixing up the species a bit, maybe throw the odd cypress in there?
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 9:04 AM
The issue is more important than where you "feel" you are when you walk out of your door. Building exclusively developments that house 100-200 tenants at a time on full blocks enforces a homogeneous character on the area that goes much deeper than what species of tree the developer plunks into the pavement. The only difference from block to block is whether it's a Washington Mututal or a Wells Fargo in the corner retail slot.
Ever been to Manhattan's Murray Hill? Block after block of brutal twenty story apartment dorms with crappy overpriced Italian restaurants and sports bars on the ground floor. The whole area is justifiably reviled as a stepping stone for financial district climbers-- okay for the first few years out of Penn State, perhaps, but no one really wants to live there.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 9:16 AM
Bingo, Anon, Mission Bay is starting to look like a mini-Murray Hill. Your description of the endless dorm-like apartment blocks with crap retail/restaurant below as a way-station for recent college grads on their way up is spot on. I'll add that at least on the north end Murray Hill also seems to draw some country couples seeking a cheap pied a terre near transit hubs -- I somehow don't think Mission Bay will achieve much of that crowd, given the lack of other amenities and the better alternatives elsewhere in our much smaller city. But the corporate housing agencies will likely love it if the rents are low enough. Ugh.
Posted by: Tom at December 15, 2006 9:51 AM
Does one unit seem to have a Christmas Tree farm on the roof deck?
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 9:59 AM
Why does everyone here post anon? Use a pseudonym if you want to stay unknown, so we can keep track of comments. [Editor's Note: Yes please.]
I completely agree about the soullessness of uniform megablock housing. Even with street-level retail interest, it's still pretty dull (South Beach, 1980s and 1960s Golden Gateway, Fillmore btwn Geary & Turk). Horticultural variety would help -- lollypop Ficus/pear/Lophostemon trees simply exacerbate the uniformity -- but mostly giving some areas over to small developer-contractors to build townhouses or even sliver buildings could add some joy. Check out this idea for Candlestick from the geniuses at SFCityscape.com: http://www.sfcityscape.com/log_06_07-09.html#0722
I used to work right next to Murray Hill, and while there are nice stretches of townhouses, it is mostly an eerie towers+podiums wasteland. Unlike Mission Bay, it at least has some slopes.
Posted by: Jason at December 15, 2006 10:22 AM
Blech...Given a complete blank slate, that's the best they can come up with? I know a lot of people believe Mission Bay is the next great neighborhood in the city, but so far I'm completely underwhelmed. The buildings are ugly (the Beacon, Avalon, etc) and all the stores going in are just chains.
Posted by: Mike at December 15, 2006 10:31 AM
I'm going to beg to differ about the desirability of having a variety of street trees. That's the landscape style employed by the well-intentioned Friends of the Urban Forest, and I think it often produces an unimpressive result. Using large numbers of the same species (preferably, large shade trees and not just shrubs pruned into tree form) are much more impressive and pleasing to the eye, at least in my book. Think of the palms along the Embarcadero, and you get the picture.
Posted by: zzzzzzz at December 15, 2006 11:31 AM
It's no "godzilla", but Anon's "...Christmas Tree farm on the roof deck..." line was at least good for a little chuckle this afternoon. And quite festive to boot.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 2:25 PM
Anon of 11:31AM, do you really want every block in the city to have the same 15-20 foot lollipop trees?
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 5:23 PM
No, but I like the look of an entire block filled with a single species. I mentioned the Embarcadero palms; some other examples include the rows of sycamores along California St. in the outer Richmond, the solid rows of Brisbane Box on the north side of 16th between Church and Sanchez and the north side of 14th between Castro and Noe, or the single-species plantings on the blocks of St. Francis Wood. Some other species that make for attractive, single-species blocks include ornamental pears, liquidambar, southern magnolias, New Zealand Christmas tree, and Victorian Box. I like the mass effect! To my way of thinking that's far more attractive than a smattering of unrelated, small, shrub-like trees schmooshed all together.
Posted by: zzzzzzzz at December 15, 2006 7:41 PM
Why y'all down on the MB? Who wouldn't want to live next to a freeway, with a view of a puddle? And mere walking distance to Safeway, McDonald's and Washington Mutual!
Posted by: Anonymous at December 15, 2006 7:42 PM
Correction: that's the north side of 17th (not 16th) between Church and Sanchez.
Posted by: zzzzzz at December 15, 2006 9:05 PM
i'm also troubled by the vision for mission bay being endless blocks of huge monotonous buildings with 15 "sandwich concepts" to serve you. but how does one plan for character these days? i'm starting to wonder if character is just something you have to wait 50 years for.
Posted by: foo at December 18, 2006 10:08 PM
"i'm starting to wonder if character is just something you have to wait 50 years for"
I'm wondering the same thing. What used to be cheap postwar little boxes is now "mid-century modern" and it looks kind of cool, now that you mention it. Maybe it's the trees getting bigger?
Anyway, it would be great if someone could dispute this point and explain how character can exist from the get-go.
Posted by: Anonymous at December 19, 2006 2:31 PM
It would be awesome if you included google map links to the locations of the developments you post. Just a thought. I love this site
Posted by: ablondon at April 26, 2007 12:26 PM
"This picture could be included as an example of what is happening to the city in the previous thread about whether or not San Francisco is going to loose a unique architectural identity."
And what is San Francisco's unique architectural identity? 100 year old Victorians of various condition and beauty next to ugly, 2-3 story stucco apartment buildings? While I do agree that much of the architecture in Mission Bay/South Beach is bland and uninspired, it's probably the only thing inoffensive enough to pass review of our esteemed city government.
I do wish, for such a supposedly progressive city, that we'd embrace more progressive and modern forms of architecture. Perhaps that could be the "unique architectural identity" of San Francisco in the 21st century, but for now I'll grudgingly settle for anything other than bland wannabe Victorians and bay windows.
Posted by: g at April 26, 2007 2:08 PM