Argenta Rising (
The soon to be 17-story Argenta is rising to the west of Fox Plaza with little fanfare (and nary a mention of sales), while across the street to the south (at the southwest corner of 10th and Market) all of the buildings have been razed in order to make way for the 9, 18, 19 and 35-story Crescent Heights development.
Crescent Heights Coming Soon? (
Argenta (1 Polk): Ground Breaking [SocketSite]
Fox Plaza (1390 Market): 250 New Condos In The Works [SocketSite]
Crescent Heights: 10th And Market Recap, Rendering, And Details [SocketSite]

32 thoughts on “Argenta Rises While Buildings For Crescent Heights Are Razed”
  1. It should be noted that the Crescent Heights development at 10th and Market is at the Board of Appeals tomorrow. Apparently some NIMBY found something to complain about it.

  2. I was quite surprised at how fast the Argenta has gone up.. It seems to have almost appeared over night. But I’ve also been watching the commercial 555 Mission and its going more or less finished with the below ground stuff right now.

  3. 555 Mission is proceeding more rapidly because it has a steel frame, as opposed to concrete that we’ve been seeing as of late here in the city. They don’t have to do a 4 day pour cycle per floor for steel, which speeds up the process.
    I like the fact that Argenta is going up quickly and that Fox Plaza will be building a 2nd tower. I also liked the design of Crescent Heights (reminds me of 101 California). I am frustrated that some NIMBY is protesting this development and I hope that the supervisors don’t give in to her plea. I sometimes feel like people in this city don’t have anything better to do than complain over ticky-tacky things. If they’d only see the big picture.

  4. I’m just happy to see development along this blighted section of Market St. Does anyone know what is going on next to the LGBT Center? I was surprised to see that area completely razed recently too.

  5. I understand that the site next to the LBGT center will be condos. I was delighted to see those abandoned buildings bite the dust.
    It’s interesting to see so much development in such an utterly blighted neighborhood. Usually, people won’t invest until a semblance of safety and public order is restored (that’s what’s happened recently in Hollywood). Seems to me we’ve put the cart before the horse, but hopefully the new residents of these developments will create enough pressure to finally clean up a huge civic embarassment.

  6. Thank God for change in San Francisco, especially in this area of Market St. which has been neglected far too long. I’m hoping that these developments will bring about more businesses to take over empty buildings, porn shops, and other blight in the area.
    NIMBYs can move out of San Francisco if they don’t like it. I’m sure that they will not be missed — they are the real environmental pollutants.

  7. It was interesting to watch the old buildings come down on the Crescent Heights site. Underneath the ugly 1960 skin was an even older brick building. The real decider in this development was the SF rules for un-reinforced masonry and the reason, along with the skanky ugly skin and rough location, that the building sat empty for so long.

  8. “Thank God for change […] this area of Market St. […] to take over empty buildings, porn shops, and other blight in the area.”
    “NIMBYs can move out of San Francisco if they don’t like it.”

    Funny, u must not be from the neighborhood because this area of Market does NOT have “porn shops, empty buildings, other blights”. This is on 10th street, where there are lots of businesses (BofA, SFMart, etc). The blight you mention doesn’t begin (or rather, ends) b4 8th st.

    And NIMBYs do in fact have reason to be worried about these developments because the city would love nothing more than to have this area share a disproportional amount of affordable housing. Rincon Hill isn’t getting it, Hayes Valley isn’t getting it. And it is unfair to ask this area to house all affordable housing in these large towers. A neighborhood with lots of affordable housing = a ghetto. And yes, NIMBY. And I would guess NIY(our)BY either.

  9. Ok, NIMBY, remember – affordable housing in SF does not = ghetto. It equals middle class. Someone with an income of $80,000 can get into some of the “affordable housing”. We’re not talking projects here.

  10. NIMBY,
    Wow, you pretty much equate affordable housing here in the city to projects (i.e. Cabrini Green in Chicago).
    Nothing can be further from the truth. As mentioned many times on this forum, affordable housing in the city is still in the ballpark of $200-300k and it often houses traditional middle-class residents (teachers, journalists, police offiers, etc), not drug addicts and murderers. Just walk over to Mission Bay and take a look at the Rich Sorro Commons (a large affordable housing complex). They are visually appealing and these residents in no way make the neighborhood more dangerous or uninviting.
    Wow, the prejudice on this board is astounding.

  11. Well, correct me if I’m wrong – but I understood that the definition of “affordable” has been revised to exclude individuals and families who earn more than 60% of the area median income. In other words, middle-class wage-earners need not apply. I think it’s a huge mistake for us to ignore the lessons of the past by creating large concentrations of poverty in subsidized housing developments.

  12. rose is still a rose by any other name.
    affordable housing is just the new term for projects. sure, we’ve learned alot over the years in how to make these more livable, but it’s housing for the poor. NOT all affordable housing is for the middle class, look up the requirements in any giving project. Usually it state some % for 120% of median income, % for 80%-100%, and % for below 80%.
    For fun, here’s a quote about the Plaza East development: “Completed Product – Rebuilt a total of 455 bedrooms in family apartments to replace the original 508 bedrooms in predominantly studio and 1-bedroom units. The new housing includes 193, Victorian style townhouses and flats for families (19 1-bedroom, 105 2- bedroom, 50 3-bedroom and 19 4-bedroom).”
    um… yea, “family housing”. Guess what one of the towers at 10th is billed as? Yup, “Family housing”.
    kid yourselves if you want, but affordable housing is what is it is.
    And I’m not against affordable housing. I’m against aggregating a bunch of them in one area. especially when other neighborhoods are allowed to opt out of taking their fair share of responsibility. in addition to the tower at 10th, there a building going up at 10th & mission, another one on 9th between market & mission, and another one on mission between 9th & 8th; all billed as family and senior housing.
    prejudice? it was u that linked people who live in projects as “drug addicts” and “murders”. I believe that the majority of people living in projects or “affordable housing” are good people. But whenever you build a neighborhood comprised of many poor residents bad things happen. Just look at Plaza East.

  13. NIMBY,
    How did I link them to murderers and drug addicts? I mention them to describe how these AREN’T the type of people that go into these buildings.
    With an average household income in the area around 60-70k, even making the maximum at 80% would still be around $50k+ annual income. You cannot tell me that someone who is making $10k per year from welfare and food stamps is going to afford this building, even if they qualify. I’ve seen plenty of affordable units in the South Beach/ Mission Bay area on Craigslist, and 1 bedrooms tended to go for around $250k or more. So, even if someone on the low-end of the income distribution would qualify to apply, they couldn’t afford the mortgage payments!
    Also, senior housing shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing either. In addition to the Rich Sorro Commons, Mission Bay also has a Senior Complex. In my opinion, the city needs more of them.
    Your argument that other parts of the city should have an equal share of affordable units makes sense, but its unfair to equate affordable housing to the deterioration of the neighborhood. I’ve walked around the Civic Center recently and while you can argue that its a little nicer than the area around 7th & Market, it is still not a prime neighborhood and a lot of work can be done to improve it. These developments could be the catalyst to really improve this area.

  14. zzzzzz,
    Yes, you are wrong. 60% of median income? I don’t know where you got that from – the vast majority of these places are for 80-120% of AMI.

  15. SFhighrise,
    Mission bay has ONE (1) affordable housing project and ONE (1) senior housing project. And how many new projects have gone up, going up, planned for Mission Bay? Like 20? 2 out of 20 for affordable/senior? There are already 4 (listed above) being planned for a 2 block radius (8th-10th, market-mission) in this area. The market/octavia plan says that 50% of new development has to be “affordable” ( see page 3.
    Now, as for your affordable=middle class. That’s not that case, atleast not according to the market/octavia plans, upper market plan, or the mid-market plan. In fact, even the Eastern neighborhood plans doesn’t list affordable as middle class. If that’s what it is for mission bay (fyi: mission bay has mostly BMRs, which is not exactly affordable housing), then that only further supports my claim that other neighborhoods are NOT taking on their fair share.
    again, I’m not against affordable housing (for middle class or the truly poor). I’m against building large amounts of affordable housing in one area.

    as for your “drug addicts” and “murders” statement. U stated affordable housing in the city is not like other places (chicago) and is for “middle-class residents” and not “drug addicts”, “murders”. which is to say that affordable housing not for middle-class residents is for “drug addicts”, “murders”. That’s what I understood. I could have been wrong, and probably was.

  16. etslee,
    There are 2 towers proposed for that site. One is market rate and the 2nd one is being developed in conjunction with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp (TNDC).
    Just to drive home the “affordable housing” is NOT middle class housing, the TNDC’s mission (verbatim): “TNDC’s mission is to provide safe, affordable housing with support services for low-income people in the Tenderloin community and be a leader in making the neighborhood a better place to live.”
    again, nothing wrong with low-income housing, let’s just learn from the past that large concentrations of low-income housing is not good, for anyone.

  17. NIMBY,
    Yes, one tower will be operated by the TNDC. The other tower (on the same site) will be more than twice as large (in number of units) and will be market-rate. So how is that concentrating low-income housing?

  18. Brutus,
    As I mentioned b4: “in addition to the tower at 10th [& market], there is a building going up at 10th & mission, another one on 9th between market & mission, and another one on mission between 9th & 8th; all billed as family and senior housing.”
    That’s 4 buildings (ok, 3+1 tower) serving low-income/senior/family/affordable/whatever-u-want-2-call-it in a 2 block radius. That is “concentration”.

  19. And I assume you have sources to show that all of these buildings are sub 50% AMI? The link you provided above is no good. I know for a FACT that one of those buildings is BMR 100% AMI, unless it’s a different building from the one that I’m thinking of. And let’s assume that you’re right – four buildings in the area are sub 50% AMI, yet there are how many other market rate places in the area? Fox Plaza’s new place, Argenta, Trinity Plaza (which will be majority market-rate apartments), some others proposed…that sounds like a mixed neighborhood to me.
    Yes, there might be a high density of lower income people (although I still heartily dispute your claim), but if there are also other levels of income – that’s what we call building a diverse, healthy neighborhood.

  20. “Affordable Housing Project” = “Subsidised Housing Project.
    Residents are selected based on their LACK of income and a publically funded housing agency manages it.
    It’s Public Housing.

  21. Rough Numbers: The Crescent Heights development going up at 10th & Market will consist of 720 units in several towers: One 35-story tower will be market rate condos.
    Most – if not all – of the other units (in three towers: 19, 10 and 9 stories) are euphemistically billed as “affordable” – translated: 360 subsidized units. The subsidized units will be managed by low income housing developer TNDC (Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp.)
    A block away at 9th & Market, the massive 2,100 unit project approved recently will be about 30% “affordable” (in one form or another) adding another 700 subsidized units.
    … About a 1000 subsidized units within two blocks. To put it into some perspective…the rebuilt Valencia Gardens Housing Project has 220 Total units.

  22. sonofsoma,
    I was under the impression that the TNDC was only going to be operating the 19 story tower. Are you (or anyone else here) sure that they are taking three of the four towers?
    And seriously – many of those units at 9th and Market are BMR units at 80%, 100%, and 120% of AMI. Do you really think comparing housing for households making $60k+ is at all comparable to the Valencia Gardens Housing Project (where most residents are sub-$25,000). Yes, both may be “subsidized” in some way, but if you really think the two are comparable – you’re one of three things – angry that you can’t buy a BMR unit, scared for unnecessary reasons, or elitist.

  23. You’re all talking out of your asses here. There are various levels of “affordable” including ones termed in the planning code “low-income” and “very-low-income”. The usual BMR units are bought by ordinary middle class San Franciscans. “Low-income” units go to people who need some real help and “very-low-income” are for those in dire straits indeed.
    I do think it’s a mistake to concentrate any one income level. The BMR units should be sprinkled around the city.

  24. I’m amused that while we discuss the problems of over-concentrating low-income housing, the MAC is furiously opposing market-rate housing anywhere in the Mission. The idea of market-rate housing as a menace – only in San Francisco!

  25. My original post was intended was to point out the euphemistic fog terms like “Affordable Housing” create.
    Like all effective euphemisms, it is no accident the phrase is not easily defined by bright, reasonable people.
    Along with such gems as: “better neighborhoods”,”livable cites” and “smart growth”…the term “affordable housing” should raise red flags. All sound so perfectly benign that you can bet each is being employed to doll-up something that is otherwise unsellable!
    Lets be real. Who is FOR: Worse Neighborhoods, Un-livable Cities, or Stupid Growth? – Nobody.
    Likewise.. Who is AGAINST Affordable Housing? – Nobody.
    Everybody agrees then..Right? Give me frikin’ a break!
    The same kind of fool-a-six-year-old-into-agreement routine is employed by the ‘climate change’ hysterics to stifle any inquiry. (‘climate change’? ..what happened to the ‘warming’ part? hmmmm)
    Anyway… Why should one distrust the soothing “things have changed..affordable housing is not like subsidized/public housing of the past” talk? Consider the following.
    Which is NOT an Urban, Low-income, High-rise Housing Project?
    a] 20-story “Cabrini Green” (Chicago)
    b] 20-story “Geneva Towers” (San Francisco)
    c] 16-story “Grands Ensembles” (Suburban Paris)
    d] 19-story “Crescent Heights” (San Francisco)
    Would you plunk down $100k and $3,500 a month for a place with a low-income highrise(v2.0) on the same site?

  26. These are NOT low-income places of anywhere near the same caliber that you’re referring to. We’re talking about $10 wine instead of $100 wine – you’re talking about malt liquor.

  27. We should also tear down every building that has apartments that were built before 1979 – because those places are rent controlled – in other words, those are projects – in sonofsoma’s opinion. The Nob Hill area (with it’s building upon building of project housing) is a danger that we need to rid ourselves of – think of all of those people being subsidized by owner of the building and the newest residents to the building – we’re talking about a major clustering of the worthless – the largest grouping of low income housing in the Western US…

  28. wow – what an interesting thread. Well, without “affordable housing”, a city such as San Francisco stands to lose the people who make the city work. Policemen, Firefighters, Teachers, Nurses. And that’s the travesty! If you’re single, try getting a mortgage even at 70K/yr. I don’t know about some of you, but I want my policemen, firefighters, nurses, and teachers to live in my city so they will be invested in its future and its safety as well.
    Oh, and what about the people on fixed incomes? There’s a high number of people on disability in this city (higher per capita than anywhere in the nation according to the SF Supes office). Where do they go? Or the seniors?
    The heart and soul of this town has disappeared. It’s been torn out by developers wanting to displace people so they can make a buck and homeowners who are supporting that mentality by shopping with no conscience.

  29. If Anka’s Argenta on Market St. is anything like their two projects in downtown San Diego, this will be a gem. Their attention to detail and their friendly, knowledgeable sales office is a welcomed site for this industry. (god, I sound like a marketing rep. for them.)
    If SF is lucky, they will do more projects.

  30. According to San Francisco New Developments (, the Argenta will be completed 3rd qtr 2008, be mixed use (I didn’t know this), have 179 one and two bedroom units, and 128 parking spaces. I just can’t wait for it to be finished so I can finally sleep past the 4 a.m. construction ‘wake up music’.

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