July 8, 2013

More Housing For Prominent Mission Bay Block Number One

Mission Bay Block 1 Concept

The redevelopment plan for Mission Bay South was outlined and approved fifteen years ago. As part of the plan, the prominent Mission Bay Block 1, the northeastern gateway to the neighborhood, was zoned for the development of a 500 room hotel and up to 50,000 square feet of retail as rendered above. Last year Mission Bay Block 1 was sold to Strada Investment Group.

While hotel room and occupancy rates in San Francisco are booming, according to an analysis by Strada, the economic feasibility of a 500-room hotel "is not financially viable in today’s market" and the group has designed a plan for the site which includes the development of a 250-room hotel, 25,000 square feet of retail, and 350 residential units:

Mission%20Bay%20Block%201%202013.jpg

Having been passed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on its first reading last month, tomorrow an amendment to the Mission Bay South redevelopment plan which was sponsored by the Mayor is slated to be approved, changing the zoning of Mission Bay Block 1 to allow for the development of Strada's desired 350 residential units as well.

First Published: July 8, 2013 12:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I can barely bring myself to care what happens around that creek anymore. They wasted such a huge opportunity to make it a special neighborhood when they built the boring residential boxes along Berry St. The north side of the creek could have been an amazing restaurant row reminiscent of Nyhavn in Copenhagen or Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. Instead we got a dog walker's and homeless paradise where nobody wants to spend more than 5 minutes on a good day. Another monument to the provincial mindset of our so-called leaders.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at July 8, 2013 3:42 PM

@FDotN: totally agree. The common denominator here is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. period.

Posted by: sfjohn at July 8, 2013 4:58 PM

With all of the City oversight, this is turning into a cautionary tale about how NOT to develop a big, new urban neighborhood. They are creating a place without, as they say, "a sense of place." Bland architecture is creating a cold and sterile environment. Can this be reversed as other buildings fill in? Perhaps.

Posted by: Jlasf at July 8, 2013 10:59 PM

@ Jlasf, I went to a SWL337 CAC meeting last year, and one thing that the architects for that project heard loud and clear was the blandness of the immediate vicinity. During the meeting, one of the architects had mentioned that the remaining to-be-built parcels around SWL337 were being re-looked at for more "compelling" designs. We'll see...

Posted by: Can't think of cool name at July 9, 2013 7:21 AM

Too bad. This city needs more hotel rooms, and Mission Bay will, too, as it grows.

Posted by: Dan at July 9, 2013 8:07 AM

A major problem with Mission Bay is the scale of everything. Each development is huge. There are no fine-grained buildings to break-up the large blocks. It would have been nice if they had sold off the parcels in smaller pieces, but I'm guessing most developers want bigger, not smaller parcels.

Regarding this proposal, I agree with Dan. This part of the city especially needs more hotel rooms and I liked the look of one taller building better than two shorter ones.

Posted by: Turin at July 9, 2013 10:17 AM

A bigger hotel would have been nice. This is a prime parcel with what will be stunning views of the ballpark. The area is gonna fill out well once all the green spaces are in

Posted by: williemays at July 9, 2013 11:19 AM

Yep. Whoever says that planning doesn't bend over backwards to facilitate developers really has a skewed view of things.

If I were on the planning commission and a developer came forward with a request to modify an already-approved project because "the economic feasibility" of said project was "not financially viable in today’s market", I'd ask to see their analysis or projections. I've never, ever seen that happen. The commissioners just take the developer at their word and the change proposal moves forward.

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to conclude that what really happened is that the hotel would have made money, but the 350 residential unit will make more, and that's what's driving this proposal.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at July 9, 2013 11:39 AM

Am I the only one that lives near this neighborhood? I am on Potrero Hill and we bike over here all the time. We take out of town visitors and they love it. That 'dog walking' row you complain about is an urban oasis. Funky houseboats across the creek and a quiet trail away from traffic. The little park adjoining it has concerts on the weekends. There are nearby tennis courts and volley ball. Hey it caters to neighbors, not businesses. That is what that area needs!

I do agree that the architecture is a bit bland but the overall approach is on target.

Posted by: lark at July 9, 2013 12:36 PM

You've "never, ever seen that happen" where, Brahma? What are your credentials and experience? Sitting on the couch occasionally watching the city gov channel?

Posted by: Anowned at July 9, 2013 2:10 PM

Anowned: yes, that is my one "credential", a regular interested citizen watching the pc meetings via the city government channel, although I'm not sitting on the couch.

If you've got a reference to meeting minutes or video or what have you where a developer was challenged on their assertion that a project wasn't financially viable, and it happened during the last ten years of meetings, please by all means share a link.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at July 9, 2013 2:39 PM

Why would that possibly be the forum for such a discussion?

Posted by: Anowned at July 9, 2013 2:47 PM

What would the correct forum be then?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at July 9, 2013 4:39 PM

A meeting where a developer's team puts its bid together?

The criticism wasn't properly directed. The general plan for the area is what you're really after. Not a hypothetical modification from a hypothetical better target of more variation and height.

Apples and unicorns.

Posted by: Anowned at July 9, 2013 5:20 PM

If there's a certain level of consensus that more hotel space is needed in the immediate vicinity, that sounds like an opportunity for the Giants with SWL337 to me.

Posted by: Can't think of cool name at July 10, 2013 8:08 AM

Mission bay is San Jose and San Diego. It is absolutely horrendous. An industrial park with lofts is honestly better than the crap that is there now. Completely bland and unwalkable

Posted by: Moto mayhem at July 10, 2013 4:42 PM

Have you people even been to mission bay? I've lived on berry st for 5 years now, and currently trying to buy a place of my own. I love it here, and have a hard time imagine living somewhere else. I walk my daughter to daycare everyday along the canal and its the best part of my day. i pass by people playing volleyball even in the morning, and people who are taking thier dogs out. i drop her off and take the Caltrain to work, I come come and pick up groceries from Safeway and pick up books at the library.

Just today they had a circus performance at the park. Jazz on some weekends. Kite flying, Easter egg hunts. They're building a playground. There are at least 5 muni lines that go through here. They have a free shuttle that takes you to Powell street.

I'm looking at a lot of neighborhoods right now and none have the same kind of amenities that this one has, and its making my home search more difficult than I thought it would.

I don't get all the hate - everything is catered to the residents and there are LOTS of us, and there is a community of neighbors here that I never got in San Jose.

Posted by: I live in mission bay at July 13, 2013 8:40 PM

Posted by: SocketSite at January 16, 2014 9:50 AM

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