January 29, 2009
Coming Soon: "Strata At Mission Bay" (A.K.A. 555 Mission Rock)
The Mission Bay new development previously known as 555 Mission Rock has been branded “Strata at Mission Bay.” The 192 new units of rental inventory will be coming online in March of 2009 with an interest list now forming.
∙ 555 Mission Rock: Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow (And A Recap) [SocketSite]
∙ Strata at Mission Bay [stratasf.com]
First Published: January 29, 2009 11:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Why does everything in Mission Bay look so awful?
Posted by: jessep at January 29, 2009 11:14 AM
Everything in SF doesn't have to look like it was built in 1907.
Posted by: Tweety at January 29, 2009 11:19 AM
sheez, laguna honda @ mission bay ...
Posted by: tbonestk at January 29, 2009 11:19 AM
The name brings back great memories of Cafe Strada in Berkeley. The building brings back memories of crap architecture typical of this town.
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at January 29, 2009 11:26 AM
It's all about "modulation" and "breaking up the mass." It's what planning departments and planning commissioners like. They are afraid of an actual building and the result is this sort of nonsense. The developers kowtow because they want to avoid delays and the architects are dragged along willy nilly.
Posted by: Salarywoman at January 29, 2009 11:28 AM
All that's missing is the "La Quinta" sign.
Posted by: Delancey at January 29, 2009 11:31 AM
I thought they named it "Mission Rock" because they based the design on Alcatraz...
Posted by: pica1986 at January 29, 2009 11:32 AM
Posted by: anotheranon at January 29, 2009 11:55 AM
Sales dept said, $3300 for a 2 br 2 ba, $300/mo on parking, free with 1 yr lease (deal for the first few tennants). Haven't seen the unit but with rent prices dropping can this price hold?
Posted by: Greg at January 29, 2009 12:00 PM
Posted by: inthemarket at January 29, 2009 12:03 PM
This makes the Whole Foods building proposed for Haight Street actually look good.
Posted by: redseca2 at January 29, 2009 12:18 PM
You think this side is ugly?
Socketsite! Show everyone the photo taken from the 3rd street side!
How do you like a four story blank concrete wall?
The commericial buildings and Radiance condos are gorgeous relative to this eyesore.
Shame on you, San Franciscans, for accepting what Vancouver or San Diego, or even Long Beach, would throw out.
[Editor's Note: Try the first link above for the 3rd Street perspective.]
Posted by: MBPioneer at January 29, 2009 12:30 PM
The problem with "new towns" in general and MB in particular is one of scale. In the old SF neighborhoods, even when they were a "development" (such as most of west of Twin Peaks) the block sizes are smaller, and there is a fine grain of development, with a door every 25 feet. When you get a whole-block building, with just one door, and a huge parking garage door, with most people driving, you just don't get the human scale. If you really look at most buildings, (in San Francisco or anywhere), whether they were built in 1909 or 2009, the average level of architecture is pretty mediocre. But when there is an interesting streetscape for the pedestrian, that is more what you notice. A fine grain of doors and windows and porches, 25' unique stores not block-long Safeways, etc. all help. Street trees will help, assuming they are well maintained and allowed to grow. Landscaping covers a multitude of sins, in that it brings the scale down, and blocks out views of much of the buildings. While the Hausmanian buildings in Paris are beautiful materials and detailing,they are massive and repetitive. Paris has probably the best street tree program of any city - and the tree canopy provides a lot of what you actually experience. (A maratime climate also helps in the tree department). The other thing that helps is time, as demonstrated in "How Buildings Learn." Unplanned accretions and deletions and embellishments humanize the environment, much as architects hate it.
Posted by: Jim at January 29, 2009 12:34 PM
I am hoping there is going to be another part of the building in front facing third. That concrete wall is seriously ugly
Posted by: rr at January 29, 2009 12:51 PM
Right on Jim! The real fabric of a community is pieced together over time - not overnight with redevelopment RFPs.
Having said that, this place could be way worse. The balconies, colors and various other "pop-outs" break up what may have been a monolithic slab like most SOMA "loft" buildings from the early 2000's.
Posted by: Ed at January 29, 2009 12:55 PM
I heard they built that building with the idea of using car stackers at some point in the future.
But car stackers are tall. To get the car stackers in the basement after the building is built, they will need to tip the building up on its side, so the third street blank side was designed to allow them to tip the opposite side up while they install the car stackers. Then they'll tip the building back down, cut windows and doors in the third street side, and it will all look OK.
They should have it completed soon. Much like the ORH tower 2 will balance out the "sticks-out-like-a-sore-thumb ORH1", once they get this project all completed, it will look OK.
Posted by: tipster at January 29, 2009 1:00 PM
Well at least their website is honest and calls the place "stunning". I was certainly stunned by its blandness.
Posted by: Rillion at January 29, 2009 2:47 PM
I personally think SF needs more housing in general, although that will depress housing values of those people who already bought.
I think that the density of this new neighborhood is also quite nice.
I haven't WALKED around there though (just drove). is there adequate street retail in this area?
overall, I am both happy and sad with Mission Bay. I'm happy because finally something is getting done.
I'm sad because it's always hard when things don't live up to the potential that you believe is there.
but overall, I'm pretty happy with the area. SF has enough "quaint" nabes, I think it's fine to have nabes for regular folk too.
Posted by: ex SF-er at January 29, 2009 3:25 PM
"I'm sad because it's always hard when things don't live up to the potential that you believe is there."
What do you mean? The area is brand new and far from being finished, isnt MB on something like a 30-year plan?
Posted by: anon at January 29, 2009 4:09 PM
Why not give new buildings the "Paris Test"? In earlier times, San Francisco leaders WANTED this city to be Paris on the Pacific, with broad boulevards, plazas, fountains, and structures that would be world class. Would you be happy to see something like this while walking down a street in London or Paris or even Chicago or New York?
I am very pro modern, but is this building modern, or just ugly? Every building cannot be a monument, but we should try to raise the standard of design if we want to claim to be "unique". At least the Transbay tower would be a start. Europe encourages real modern structures that are original and aesthetic, why can't we? We should stop comparing ourselves to Cleveland and Sacramento, and start trying to be more like a true world class cities.
Posted by: Morgan at January 29, 2009 4:29 PM
Or maybe we just accept the fact that we're a 2nd tier city like Boston or Seattle, and go on with our lives. It's OK. Not everybody grows up to be an astronaut.
Posted by: Dude at January 29, 2009 4:34 PM
Boston has the Rowes Wharf complex and the ICA, two buildings I would not mind seeing in SF, even if off the waterfront. I doubt the Rowes Wharf complex could be built here--it has elements of classical architecture.
Posted by: Delancey at January 29, 2009 5:05 PM
"I haven't WALKED around there though (just drove). is there adequate street retail in this area?"
How many people here have actually walked past the building yet?...it actually doesn't look that bad in person. And, yes, the concrete wall facing third is just as ugly in person but will eventually have another building in front of it.
The entire bottom floor facing fourth street is built for retail. There are actually some pretty nice looking spaces in there. It will be a long time before it gets filled up though.
One of the things I've noticed down here is that all of the power lines are buried, not like Noe Valley and other areas where ugly wires from decrepit telephone poles ruin the views. This combined with the nice use of street lamps and trees (many already planted, some palms) in all of the sidewalks will certainly make the streets surrounding this building mature nicely.
Posted by: SFReo at January 29, 2009 5:22 PM
They are into this thing just north of 100 million bucks. I cannot see how this pencils at all. With the Avalon coming on line and all the busted condo deals moving into the rental market they will be lucky to get $2.25 a foot for rent.
Posted by: jimmythekid at January 29, 2009 9:11 PM
that is north of 100 million
Posted by: jimmythekid at January 29, 2009 9:31 PM
@ ex-SFer's comment "SF has enough "quaint" nabes, I think it's fine to have nabes for regular folk too."
Why on earth do people let themselves think that "regular folk" (whatever *that* might mean) should settle (or will happily settle) for inhumanly ugly environments? I'd think the goal would be inspiring and beautiful environments for everyone who lives in San Francisco.
To poorly paraphrase an old saying (was it from Churchill?), "We make our buildings and then they make us." I shudder to think of the future citizens molded by a place like this.
Posted by: inthemarket at January 29, 2009 9:48 PM
I personally don't understand why anyone would want to live in San Francisco if they were going to live in something like this.
Me personally. I would want to live in a "quaint nabe" or some high rise downtown.
Posted by: jessep at January 29, 2009 10:02 PM
Some of you people need to look at what new neighborhoods in suburbs look like these days - they aren't exactly "pretty". I'd live in a building like this in Mission Bay for the right price. Easy access to other "quaint" areas of SF, easy access to Caltrain and downtown, good weather, etc. The neighborhood will continue to improve.
Posted by: Brutus at January 29, 2009 11:07 PM
Why on earth do people let themselves think that "regular folk" (whatever *that* might mean) should settle (or will happily settle) for inhumanly ugly environments?
because a lot of people think that these "inhumanly ugly" environments are nice. I'm sorry to break this to you, but there's a reason why Starbucks and McDonald's and Olive Garden and Slumberland do well in our country. There a hundreds of millions of people who like "inhumanly ugly" things. There are hundreds of millions of people who lack "style". Everybody isn't Karen Walker from Will/Grace fame.
Do I like these? No. But I personally don't find these places that much worse than ORH or Infinity (all of it looks bland to me). And I also feel that there are tons of people who would love to live in a nabe like this. MB looks exactly like the refurbished warehouse districts in countless cities around the nation. this is the style of mid-rise density living around the nation now, although SF's version is even more bland than other cities due to the planning process.
We all don't need to have Ruth Asawas in the living room. We all can't afford to have ultra-designer living abodes. In fact, that's been the problem with the US for some time now- "needing" rediculous things like granite counters and italian marble floors and Subzero freezers and going into debt to do it.
In a different city this could be done cheaper since people actually have rights to their property. thus, you might be able to create design on a budget. But in SF one must play to the planning boards and thus only the worst blandest awfulest stuff gets through.
Like I said above, I had originally thought that SF could do better with the MB area. However, at least some progress is being made on getting housing into the city. Increased housing supply=lower housing prices. SF desperately needs lower housing prices. THis will do far more to alleviate that than any harebrained BMR program could allow.
It's not like they're tearing down nice stuff to build out this area.
Posted by: ex SF-er at January 30, 2009 3:06 AM
You don't have to be Jane Jacobs, or FLW to plainly see this place is AWFUL.
Posted by: Patrick at January 30, 2009 9:38 AM
Funny thing is that this looks almost like 21 Lafayette. (See above.)
Posted by: jlasf at January 30, 2009 10:47 AM
to ex SF-er's "It's not like they're tearing down nice stuff to build out this area."
No, but this stuff will deteriorate soon enough into the kinds of horrors that will have to be torn down so that (we hope) a nicer and more human environment can be built. These are simply "projects" for people who aren't quite poor yet. And the social effect will be exactly the same.
Have you taken the time to tour the projects recently, ex-SFer?
Posted by: inthemarket at January 30, 2009 2:52 PM
Projects? Really? So these are faux-luxury apartments for the downwardly mobile?
Let me guess: granite counters which aren't really solid granite, they're just yellow formica coated with shale. Like M&Ms. So after you use them for a while, the stone flakes off and you realize that you're living in a slum (as if the shag carpet growing through your Pergo, like crab grass, wasn't indication enough).
Posted by: Dude at January 30, 2009 3:26 PM
I did a hard hat tour of Strata SF this weekend. I think the building itself is ok. A little bland but I have seen worse. The interior halls look nice....well lite and a good color scheme. The views in the distance are nice, the views of the surround lots (aka lots of dirt and construction areas) not as nice. First move in's are scheduled for March 1st but they have a long way to go in 30 days to make this a reality. 4th street should be open to traffic in 6 months (says the sales center). Rents seemed high for this undeveloped neighborhood (1/1 650 sqft starting for around $2,300).
I will say looking back at north mission bay from the Strata I was impressed with the look of that neighborhood. The new avalon building and arterra behind the smaller developments closer to the canal really worked well together. At least from that vantage point I think they have done a superb job of building a nice looking community.
Posted by: Karl and Lenny at February 2, 2009 3:44 PM
Posted by: Ugbuysuglyhouses at February 3, 2009 2:34 PM