1900 Mission Street

In the works since 2013, the plans for a modern seven-story building to rise on the southwest corner of Mission and 15th Streets, replacing the two-story Performance Auto shop which currently occupies the 1900 Mission Street site, were substantially revised following a series of meetings with the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA).

In an effort to addresses MEDA’s stated concerns, that “this luxurious project comprised of large, high-end units would be occupied by wealthy residents that will negatively impact the character of this working-class neighborhood and directly and indirectly contribute to displacement impacts that threaten the community’s cultural and economic diversity,” the following revisions were made:

  1. The top floor was split into two units instead of having a luxury penthouse unit.
  2. Removed office space to add three more small dwelling units.
  3. Split another floor into three units from two to make the project more affordable by design.
  4. Included a below market rate unit, which wasn’t originally required, on-site.
  5. Signed a Letter of Intent for the ground floor commercial space with Jason Nazzal, whose family has owned retail businesses in the Mission for 30 years that hires at-risk youth in the Mission and intends to create up to fourteen new jobs for local employment, which is a net addition of thirteen new jobs.

And in response, a representative of MEDA has requested a Discretionary Review (DR) and is seeking to have the project – for which the building permits are pending – blocked.

1900 Mission Street Rendering

Next week, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will hear the request. And note, “the DR Requestor stated [that MEDA is] universally opposed to any new construction along Mission Street, regardless of the nature of the project.”

San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending the 12-unit project be approved as proposed.

UPDATE: The line about MEDA being “universally opposed to any new construction along Mission Street” has been stricken from the official record, but their opposition to the project remains.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by BTinSF

    1984 must be back. The Mission Economic Development Agency opposes economic development in the Mission. San Francisco never disappoints.

  2. Posted by Mark

    Opposition to a 7-story residential building 1 block from a BART station
    Opposition to Geary BRT to improve travel from the Richmond to downtown
    Opposition to everything

    SF can hardly be called progressive. But, when you live in a bubble and are scared of change this is what you end up with. All yours.

  3. Posted by ijustworkhere

    Would it help if the project was less luxurious? For example if they use cheaper finishes, get the plumbing to leak a little, and add noisy heaters like the rest of the housing stock?

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      possibly apporved by MEDA if they agree to added grafitti and allow homeless to sleep in the doorway

    • Posted by Mark

      You mean that same housing stock that people are willing to pay small fortunes to live in?

  4. Posted by Joe

    What if each unit came with a self flagellation nook?

    • Posted by Some Guy

      Would be best to install this in the foyer; self-flag is much more convincing in public. Tint the front entrance glass up to 4 foot level so toddlers can’t see.

  5. Posted by SF-ing

    …and then folks wonder why the units will be 1M a piece. I can only hope it will get built so eventually the disgusting plaza at 16th & Mission will get cleaned up. This wk I saw drug deals blatantly rampant.

    So long old’ Mission, you need to get out of the way. The irish & germans sold to the Latino’s, the latino’s sold these buildings on and profited nicely from it. They are not looking in the rear view mirror like MEDA.

    • Posted by Mr Pants

      You say ‘this week’ as if this is not a daily activity in the plaza.

  6. Posted by Snark17

    So disgusting… the poverty pimps like MEDA in this town are out of control.

  7. Posted by invented

    No one has ever heard of the Economic Development Agency and it’s unlikely it actually exists. Appears to be a pop-up NIMBY knee-jerk, if even that.

  8. Posted by 101

    Those pesky wealthy people. They will be parking the high end cars all around the place and spend too much money in the local stores and restaurants . The City should not be getting the property taxes on those high priced units. Let’s keep the Mission poor and on welfare.

    • Posted by BTinSF

      As long as they don’t park them in the middle of Valencia St., no complaints from me (but yeah, I don’t live in the Mission–just drive there to eat sometimes).

  9. Posted by Pero

    The two units replacing the luxury penthouse will now attract two mid-career engineers instead of the one tech executive that would have rented the penthouse. Cultural and economic diversity is saved now.

    I don’t understand why developers would make any concessions to a party that is explicitly opposed to any and all new construction in that area. What do they get in return for this concession?

    • Posted by Alai

      Maybe not saved, but it’s still a step in the right direction. One of the stories of gentrification is how the population density drops- even as new apartments are added and the area becomes more desirable and unaffordable, household sizes drop, fewer people patronize local businesses (although with more money) and the roi of the city’s investments in infrastructure like Bart is less than it could be. Having more ‘affordable by design’ market rate units allows the positive aspects of gentrification while limiting the negatives.

      • Posted by cleverpunhere

        You do realize that this building would add housing where none currently exists, right? Your theory is literally that the key to more housing is to build less housing.

      • Posted by Pero

        ‘fewer people patronize local businesses’? Last time I checked, the Mission has added numerous new restaurants and stores over the past decade. Same thing happened to Brooklyn as it became gentrified. How do you get the idea that gentrification doesn’t benefit local businesses?

        • Posted by Alai

          Sure. It’s an economic boom, people are eager to live here, business is good. New construction adds more people, which in turn adds more businesses.

          But it’s also true that the average household size is dropping. Wealthy households may have more money to spend, but they won’t necessarily spend them at local businesses, especially prosaic local businesses like grocery stores.

          London is seeing this: property values going through the roof, housing shortages everywhere, and yet businesses are folding because they no longer have customers. New residents are fewer, and spend more time away from home. They have cars and shop in big box stores and on Amazon. And it isn’t just new units, but old units that are remodeled and occupied by fewer, wealthier people.

          So while building additional housing is great, building more and cheaper units will do more for local business than building fewer, larger, more expensive units.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            I’m sorry to break this to you, but small local business are being crowded out by Amazon everywhere. Here, New York, New Orleans, Dubuque, Fresno, London, etc. Every city and town on earth with an internet connection.

          • Posted by Brian M

            This is not replacing housing. It is a net gain. How does your household size factor affect this specific project?

            If you are making a claim that this project will exacerbate the trends you discuss, perhaps. But I think that ship has already long sailed.

  10. Posted by donjuan

    “the DR Requestor stated [that MEDA is] universally opposed to any new construction along Mission Street, regardless of the nature of the project.”

    That sums it up. An insanely stupid blanket statement that should disqualify their opinion on any project. The MEDA does not own that plot of land. They do not own San Francisco.

    • Posted by Turin

      Totally agreed. I’m morbidly curious to hear the pretzel logic that someone calling themselves the Mission Economic Development Agency would use to justify being universally opposed to any new construction, which you know, would drive economic development.

      • Posted by Hunter

        Agreed! Isn’t the new retail space alone a net economic benefit?

      • Posted by The Iceman Cometh

        Would be interesting if they were – but they’re not. The quote is false and no source given.

        [Editor’s Note: Please see our comment above.]

    • Posted by The Iceman Cometh

      THIS QUOTE IS FALSE AND THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE TAKEN DOWN.

      “the DR Requestor stated [that MEDA is] universally opposed to any new construction along Mission Street, regardless of the nature of the project.”

      • Posted by SocketSite

        From the Planning Department’s Full Analysis of the requested Discretionary Review (DR), prepared on February 16 and based on materials submitted to the Planning Department from either the requestor of the DR or project sponsor in response:

        “Despite the Sponsor’s efforts to revise the Project that resulted in a more compatible project, the DR Requestor stated they are universally opposed to any new construction along Mission Street, regardless of the nature of the project.”

        The DR Requestor of record is Peter Papadopoulos, on behalf of Mission Economic Development Agency. The response to the DR was prepared and formally attested to by Kevin Cich, the property owner of record.

  11. Posted by rinconmike

    Luxury is a joke. The only luxurious fact about new construction buildings is the price… The finishes are cheap. I have lived in several new buildings on Rincon Hill.

    • Posted by boojum

      I agree. Most new so-called luxury rentals and condos have formulaic floor plans, low square footage, small windowless bathrooms, tiny kitchens with sinks facing a wall, few windows and lots of dark areas, and very little or no private space other than bedrooms and bathrooms.

      What used to be called closets are called dens. What used to be called the hall, or more grandly, entry hall, is now called the gallery. Somewhat more expensive materials (sometimes) for countertops, appliances, and plumbing, and the addition of communal movie rooms or barbecue pits, do not vault the units into the luxury category.

      I don’t object to the building and selling and buying and renting of units like this, but I see through the luxury con. I respect the tradeoffs people make by choice and necessity. I lived in New York in the 80s and soon learned that while I may have started looking for an apartment with twenty items on my must-have list, my means limited me to two. But I was so glad to live in New York at that time – and most people I knew were in the same situation – so I hardly noticed.

  12. Posted by sfcommie

    Exhibit A on why SF is so expensive. Rich folks don’t want anything built in their neighborhood, lest their property value may drop; poor folks don’t want anything in their neighborhood either, lest the rich folks may take over. The only real winner is the rich folks who already own properties, not the low/moderate income folks that MEDIA is purportedly fighting for.

  13. Posted by Shmendrick

    This is satire, right? Please tell me this is satire.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Yes it’s satire: the project qualifies under the Arboreal Density Act, that a building can always rise as high as the street tree outside it (this encourages more street planting of macho trees – like redwoods – and yet serves as a defacto height limiter, since there are so few existing ones)

    • Posted by BobN

      The good news is that, yes, it is satire. The bad news, in case you hadn’t noticed, is that we now live in satire.

  14. Posted by Philip Campbell

    [Prople] like those involved with MEDA is why the CEQA process needs to be streamlined and DR criteria tightened.

  15. Posted by AnonAnon

    Confirming the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. They revised their plans in response to MEDA’s concerns and in response MEDA said go pound sand. The revisions also make the plans less family friendly by making smaller units (wealthy families, but still), so now wealthy singles instead of wealthy families can live there.

    • Posted by Alai

      I’d be more impressed with the idea that larger units are more family friendly if we didn’t so often see 2500 square foot two-bedrooms.

      • Posted by cleverpunhere

        Where do you see 2500 square foot two bedroom units? That is really, really, really far from the norm for new construction.

        • Posted by Alai

          I was thinking of another recent article on socketsite which involved merging units to create a 3,179 square foot two-bedroom.

          Someone commented: “I think that is a great use of this space it will encourage families to stay in the area”. This struck me as particularly absurd. I guess I shouldn’t say “so often”, though.

          Yeah, new construction is generally more reasonable.

      • Posted by Mr Pants

        I have the same opinion but 2500 sqft is too massive. At least move from 800 sqft to 1000~1200 sqft 2BR for people that are considering families.

        • Posted by Freeloader

          It may be a luxury, but 2000 sf is not ridiculous for a family with two kids. Having extra space may also mean a family can get an au pere for $1400/mo rather than a nanny or daycare for $4500/mo.

  16. Posted by Kento

    “Negatively impact the character of the neighborhood” The street full of homeless people and junkies? GTFO.

  17. Posted by archiwha?

    and just a few blocks away, MEDA is building this! not that they shouldn’t build it, but we should be able to build BOTH!

  18. Posted by Anonymous

    I hope MEDA fails stupendously.

  19. Posted by scott f

    It’s astonishing they still oppose after all those revisions. I support all the revisions made — better, fairer result — but if MEDA still opposes the project, will future developers learn not to bother compromising?

  20. Posted by Kraus

    The only kind of housing that MEDA likes/wants is subsidized housing.

    Subsidized housing that is provided utilizing tax dollars.

    As a so-called “non-profit” housing developer, MEDA is able to charge twice the developer fee (8%) — rather than the 4% developer fee that is typical with market-rate housing development.

    That’s how they make their money.

    Furthermore, the more market-rate housing they block, the more housing costs rise — and, therefore, the more their “services” are required.

    Accordingly, more subsidized (i.e., so-called “affordable”) housing is needed in a futile attempt to offset the ever-increasing distortion in the market caused by the chronic underdevelopment of housing overall.

    Get it — it’s the direct opposite of a “virtuous cycle”; its a “vicious circle” brought to you by hypocritical/self-serving/circular “logic” of MEDA.

  21. Posted by Amewsed

    Why is there so much wasted time and energy spent on revising the design of the building? It just adds to the final purchasing costs.

    It is like when tenants of rent controlled units want a six figure payout in addition to statutory fees for an owner move in eviction. And you wonder why rents are so high in SF and why many landlords are angry about the whole rental process.

  22. Posted by pablito

    Wow. Seems like extortion. Certainly will not be donating money to MEDA ever again.

  23. Posted by unlivable city

    The Mission Economic Development Agency is to its name what AMWAY is to Mary Kay is to pink Caddy’s — a bumper sticker of cheap lipstick, on a pig that’s really a lemon. For this post to be titled as it was, belies either ignorance or click-baiting or moral turpitude. I vote #3.

  24. Posted by Sally Torez

    Jane Duong – President of MEDA, William Ortiz-Cartagena Vice President of MEDA, and Whitney Jones Treasurer of MEDA would like to let developers on 1900 Mission street and any other developers wanting to improve Mission Street to know that they can hand them a few fat red envelopes at Plaza Adelante 2301 Mission Street (@ 19th Street) Suite 301 San Francisco, CA 94110 if you would like to get their project going.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Hmmmm. “Duong” and “Jones” do not sound like Latino names. I think they should resign immediately as the carpetbaggers they must be! Only La Raza is worthy of living in La Mission!

  25. Posted by Neighborhood Activist

    “Luxury housing” = housing affordable by people with good jobs, who have money to spend, who contribute to the economic vibrancy of the city.

    Remind me why that is a bad thing, particularly when it’s adding new housing?

    MEDA wants to keep the Mission a run-down [area], because it economically benefits them to do so.

  26. Posted by r_sq

    “displacement impacts that threaten the community’s cultural and economic diversity,”

    You mean impacts that threaten the (incumbent) community’s cultural and economic homogeneity? Why is it that successful community organization seems to gravitate around nativist, isolationist, protectionist policy rather than real progressivism?

  27. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The line about MEDA being “universally opposed to any new construction along Mission Street” has been stricken from the official record but their opposition to the development remains.

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