Having started clearing the site long ago, today the ground was officially broken for UCSF’s Mission Bay Medical Center. Once again, if all goes as planned, the new facility should be ready for operations in 2014. And an old aerial for perspective:

UCSF Mission Bay Campus Aerial Map

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Wish4BetterPlanning

    I’m not surprised there are no comments on this yet. BORING design and BORING urban planning tend to yield boredom. The “build anything!” crowd wins again and what could have been a chance to create a new neighborhood will now become San Francisco’s answer to Irvine. Mayor Gavin’s trip to Chicago with city staff to “learn” how Chicago builds has yet to show any results. Can you imagine Chicago, or even San Diego allowing this to happen on their waterfront?
    This area COULD have had the density and design AND location to rival any urban neighborhood in the world.

  2. Posted by invented

    An aside — GREAT photo showing the outrageous double-decker highway (280)cutting across & bisecting the landscape of our neighborhoods. Like massive walls which make the movement from one ‘hood to the next really tough. (pedestrians don’t happily cross under a 6-lane highway). This Embarcadero-like mistake may not seem absurd today (it does to me), but as Design Center, Mission Bay, lower Potrero, Dogpatch, SOMA continue to strive towards becoming livable ‘hoods — it’s only a matter of time. Create parks and new dev sites for housing. Planning vision? Socket Action?

  3. Posted by Mr. E.

    Wish4BetterPlanning, I just want to know if you have any idea of the (decades long) process it took to wrestle this land from So. Pacific. That it is no longer a rail yard is a major win, and the areas to the north (the Mission Bay Neighborhood), the south (Dog Patch) and the west (Showplace Square, Potrero Flats, highway no-mans land) still have the vast potential for density and design. Now, at least, there is some semblance of some there being built there to anchor the transformation.

  4. Posted by Mr.E.

    invented, yes, in an ideal world that freeway would not be there. That said, which is the bigger scar? 101 or 280? Given my preference, I would build a 280 extension to 80, and cut back 101 and the Central Freeway to the current 101-280 interchange. 101 does more to seperate living neighborhoods and developed infrastructure, and the nasty fact is that 280 covers both CalTrain and (being hopeful here) CAHSR. At the end of the day you have to connect the city to the rest of the state via the peninsula and the Bay Bridge; perhaps it is best we consolidate those connections along one corridor.

  5. Posted by WTF

    @Wish4BetterPlanning, I assume you remember the history of development proposals at Mission Bay. At one time in the early 80s there were proposals for much more density with a mix of retail, housing and “back office space”s. Those proposals were shot down by the then so-called “liberals” that feared the “Manhattanization” of The City. Today the so-called “progressives” are out there name calling “build anything!crowd” …as usual. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. I guess Daly liked nice tall building like in Manhattan cause he dealed one for cash…its all a matter of perspective and time.

  6. Posted by Dan

    Perhaps the residential component of Mission Bay is dull, but the UCSF campus and the UCSF hospital are big victories for SF. Until the Mission Bay deal was struck, UCSF was looking at sites outside the city (Alameda, South SF) for the second campus. (A big campaign donor to Willie Brown was offering land in Alameda.)UCSF was unable to expand at Panassus or Laurel Heights, and losing the UCSF second campus and hospital would have been a big blow to the city’s image.

  7. Posted by invented

    I petition 280 and 101/80 will be submerged in time. We cannot continue developing viable residential neighborhoods and have massive double deckers running through them. Right now, it might be perceived as a borderline issue– wait for another 200,000 residents to be living within blocks of these highways — things will change.
    Yes, we need to move people (apparently, still), but they don’t need to choke vibrant-becoming ‘hoods. It will happen, but in lookaway, no-rush San Francisco — probably not in my lifetime.
    I read SS mainly to think about the future in SF — my main interest — which is why this is far more interesting an issue to me than the hospital dev.

  8. Posted by sfrenegade

    “but in lookaway, no-rush San Francisco”
    You know, until I read this, your comment was pretty good. “no-rush San Francisco”? Really? This place is one of the least rush I’ve ever lived. No one lets anything happen.

  9. Posted by sfrenegade

    ^ack, that should say “unrealistic” instead of “good.” I changed my comment at the last minute. As an example, I don’t see us submerging the freeways or packing more than 200K people here.

  10. Posted by anon

    invented,
    to me 19th avenue is far worse for San Francisco. Not sure if you have seen/visited the Big Dig in Boston. Pretty amazing. Imagine having highways underground and green spaces above them. Unfortunately with state and city budgets, I don’t forsee the funds for such a project within the next 2-3 decades, if ever.

  11. Posted by Wish4BetterPlanning

    “@Wish4BetterPlanning, I assume you remember the history of development proposals at Mission Bay.”
    YES I do. I was very excited by the plans Nelson Rising, a friend of mine, was trying to put together originally. The concept was inspired by the density of central Amsterdam with a waterfront park and imaginative pedestrian-transit routes taking primary spaces instead of cars and parking structures.
    ” I just want to know if you have any idea of the (decades long) process it took to wrestle this land from So. Pacific”
    Funny, how was Chicago able to take a similar rail yard and create the greatest new park-civic-cultural space in perhaps the last three decades?
    I stand by my first comment, this waterfront parcel COULD have been one of the greatest new urban neighborhoods in the country, but instead we get Irvine.

  12. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Chicago didn’t have to deal with Union Pacific, an organization that turns its back to the communities it operates within and has no compunction at all about gouging for maximum fees to access the extensive monopoly of unique property it owns.

  13. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Union Pacific, an organization that turns its back to the communities it operates within and has no compunction at all about gouging for maximum fees to access the extensive monopoly of unique property it owns.”
    No joke. They’re trying to extract the maximum possible out of the High Speed Rail Authority too.

  14. Posted by vanillablue

    @Wish4BetterPlanning: “Funny, how was Chicago able to take a similar rail yard and create the greatest new park-civic-cultural space in perhaps the last three decades?”
    Helps to have a mayor who is essentially a (fairly benevolent) dictator.

  15. Posted by Robert

    They built a bay-front parking garage. The question is, will parking spaces facing the bay side cost more than the “city side” spots?

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