CFAH

Mint Plaza: Drawing
As we wrote five months ago: “If all goes as proposed, the ‘290-by 54-foot-wide portion of Jessie Street extending between 5th Street and Mint Street’ (off Mission) will be transformed into Mint Plazaan automobile free pedestrian plaza lined by cafés, restaurants, and bars.
And as we write today: the plan has been approved, the street should be closed in two weeks, construction should begin by the end of the month, and we (San Francisco that is) should have a new pedestrian plaza by the end of September.
And as you might have already heard, Chez Papa is definitely coming to the plaza (replacing what is now the Mint Lounge at 414 Jessie). And as far as we know (although we’re sure some plugged-in reader knows better), the Castillo family (think Limon in the Mission) remains in discussions to open a nuevo-Peruvian place on the plaza as well (418 Jessie).
In related news, the Mint Collection (a.k.a. Mint Lofts) sales office has officially opened its doors to the public.
Mint Plaza (And Livable City) [SocketSite]
Mint Plaza [San Francisco]
The Mint Lofts: The SocketSite Scoop, Update And (Some) Pricing [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by garrett

    that is GREAT news and will really change that area for the better. any word on when construction starts on the actual mint?

  2. Posted by cy

    does this mean that chez papa will leave potrero, or open up a second one?

  3. Posted by garrett

    i believe they will be opening an additional restaurant and not closing the one in potrero hill

  4. Posted by yum

    second location for chez papa. they are not leaving potrero.

  5. Posted by Jamie

    Yeah! 🙂

  6. Posted by 49Giants

    Sometimes San Francisco does things that are oh-so-wrong, but other times, we do things that are oh-so-right, and this is one of them. Saving those trees on Telegraph Hill for the parrots would be another.
    Pedestrian-friendly streets are so crucial for city living, and it’s something San Francisco doesn’t have enough of, so I’m really glad to see this happening. One only needs to look 400 miles south to see the benefits of car-free streets. In la, one of the most notoriously unwalkable cities in the country, you will actually see people walking at the 3rd Street Promenade. Now, I know that it’s a fancied up outdoor mall, but at least it gets angelenos out of thier cars and onto some pavement! Also, in NYC, they close off some streets to cars for a couple hours everyday.
    For a bunch of cool videos about streets: http://www.nycsr.org/nyc/video.php
    For a video about the NYC street closure experiment, click on the “Fulton Street” video. It’s about halfway down the page, just underneath the SF Park(ing) Day vid.
    Peace.

  7. Posted by Miles

    Agreed that pedestrian plazas and outdoor cafes and restaurants are a very positive move and one that should do well in that location especially. One thing to note though is that the SF Bus Times reported that all of the new units fronting the plaza will be paying for these street improvements through Mello Roos bonds. Most people in the city are unfamiliar with these bonds as they are more often used to pay for the construction of street infrastructure in rural tract home developments, but Mello Roos bonds can add a pretty big chunk to your tax bill. Does anyone know what they are estimating the annual cost will be to the units in Mint Plaza for these bonds?

  8. Posted by garrett

    miles–
    mello roos bonds are nothing new to home owners in san francisco. in fact, a great number of home owners pay them every year and don’t even know it as the bills are typically quite small. in regards to the units at the mint, there will be no special bond assessment to get the work done and the absolute most a mello roos tax can be is $1.75 per square foot (according to the paper work the Mint Lofts are handing out), but typically are significantly less (some home owners pay as little as $35 per year). i’m under the impression that the board of supervisors needs to vote to have the rates increased.

  9. Posted by M

    Why does the rendering show a motorcycle? Does that mean someone could cruise through the “automobile free pedestrian plaza” on a Harley?

  10. Posted by amused

    I’ve been warned by friends who live north of California St. that these developments are located in Crackville. So, please, for the love of God, don’t ever think of buying or leasing one. Who knows what you might see?

  11. Posted by Miles

    Thanks for the info Garrett, but actually, Mello Roos bonds can be very big and can affect prices dramatically. In Central Valley tract homes, there is a noticeable pricing difference between houses with large Mello Roos assessments (where the developer financed the infrastructure with bonds) and those without (where the developer paid for the infrastructure up front). So much in fact that sometimes the seller of a home pays a lump sum bond payoff to get rid of the Mello Roos stigma for a property. It sounds like it will be minor for these properties, but that is only because of the structure and budget of these particular Mello Roos bonds. There is not a legislated maximum amount for Mello Roos bonds and they can be a pretty large addition to your tax bill depending on the items they financed.

  12. Posted by redseca2

    M at May 2:
    The current portion of Jessie Street that will become the plaza has motorcycle dedicated parking. I suspect this is a nod that it will not go entirely away but be moved to the back side of the Mint as shown in the rendering.

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