Avalon at Mission Bay III (www.SocketSite.com)
While the 192 units of Strata at Mission Bay should be renting in March, the 260 rental units of Avalon at Mission Bay III should be online by the middle of the year (about 18 months after having started its ascent).
Coming Soon: “Strata At Mission Bay” (A.K.A. 555 Mission Rock) [SocketSite]
Avalon At Mission Bay Phase III (240 Berry) Rises Up Aside Arterra [SocketSite]
Avalon At Mission Bay Phase III (240 Berry) Starts Its Ascent [SocketSite]
Avalon at Mission Bay III (240 Berry) [avalonatmissionbayiii.com]

53 thoughts on “Avalon At Mission Bay Phase III (240 Berry): True To Design”
  1. actually the trinity plaza tower will look better because they’re not using a majorly contrasting color scheme.
    the design of this building is o.k. — yet the color scheme makes it look pedestrian. especially next to the arterra.

  2. Geez…the armchair architects on SocketSite are even worse than us armchair economists.
    Seriously – is there any building built in the last 50 years that people here DO like? Not everything needs to look like a giant glass dildo to be worthy of building and living in.
    Anyway, I like it. This city needs more housing for regular people, which this is. And unlike the rest of Berry, it doesn’t look like the Seattle waterfront, so at least it stands out from its surroundings (despite not having metal beams jutting out everywhere or being shaped like upside-down tetrahedron).

  3. [Removed by Editor] There’s plenty of stuff I like just not this.
    [Editor’s Note: And so we’ll ask, like what?]

  4. I kinda like it. The taller gray section looks somewhat like an ordinary glass box with a sheaf slid over it. The irregular outline of the sheaf is both organic and angular.
    Interesting. Plus this design feature probably didn’t affect the build cost much.

  5. The change the city has undergone in its eastern middle portion in the last seven or eight years or so is nothing short of incredible.

  6. Just about anything but this. I’d take something shiny, glass, and tall over this.
    I’d take Victorians over this.
    I just wish if they were going to make generic housing units they would have it fit with the cityscape.
    Did I answer your question?


  8. I’m not trying to single you out, jessep. It just seems like every time a new building is featured here, the comments are predominantly negative. Too tall, too short, sticks out too much, doesn’t stand out enough, no bay windows, hate the fake bay windows, etc.
    Let’s face it, folks. The only place in SF where new building is (or was) occurring on any meaningful scale was here in Soma/South Beach. This IS the “real SF,” at least the new version of it. So it DOES fit with the cityscape. Spend some time walking around here. Like it or not, this is the direction our city is going.
    We get the city government that we deserve. Many complain we don’t get any world class buildings around here. Ever consider that maybe we’re just not a world class city on par with London, Tokyo, or Hong Kong? At least something is getting built and the land is being put to productive use.
    For those that don’t like it, fear not. Nobody is going to yank you out of your time capsule, kicking and screaming, and force you to live in the 21st century. But it’s still a positive event for the city that these buildings are being built, even if they don’t win the AIA gold medal for most floating gardens supported by transparent aluminum pipes. Sure beats vacant lots and rotting warehouses.

  9. “I’m not trying to single you out, jessep. It just seems like every time a new building is featured here, the comments are predominantly negative. Too tall, too short, sticks out too much, doesn’t stand out enough, no bay windows, hate the fake bay windows, etc.”
    I have never said anything about bay windows, something sticking out too much, etc. I could care less about those things. I just don’t like the building, that’s all.

  10. waiting2nest nailed it.
    It’s just a bunch of rectangles and glass either stacked next to each other or inside each other.
    For most of history, architecture (and especially building exteriors) was defined by its symmetry. For some reason, it has become en vogue to toss that out the window and just stack things of various sizes next to each other.
    The transbay tower would be an example of current city buildings I like. If we can go broader in architecture, the new eastern span of the BB is another.

  11. I like this much more than most of Mission Bay. I like the Arterra too and the view from across shitcreek looking back to Berry. Other stuff not so much
    I wonder is Mission Bay might evolve into a family friendly neighborhood at some point? Lots of parks and sun. Will there be family sized units?

  12. I live at Arterra and am disappointed at the color scheme of this place (well, the red really kills me). On the other hand, it makes Arterra look god damn spectacular. 2nd complaint is the the plaza level had a real opportunity to put in restaurants/bars and that’s not happening.

  13. It’s not that bad. I really like the new-ish green building on Mission with the asian-y garden at the base designed by Ceasar Pelli (sp?) I think. Actually, the only new buildings I truly detest downtown are the hotels: namely the Intercontinental (which I’ve heard even the planners at the planning department say was “spot zoned” off the record, and broke various rules along the way such as publicly accessible open space for which enforcement actions are about to be filed, just fyi) and that hideous jukebox/Marriot. The rest are either boring/shoddy looking at worse (ORH) or generally inoffensive (Infinity). There is of course the federal building which as an element unto itself I like, but on the city skyline from most angles is like a 40 story wall of berlin (or should I say jerusalem?)

  14. “I wonder is Mission Bay might evolve into a family friendly neighborhood at some point? Lots of parks and sun. Will there be family sized units?”
    It will certainly attract more families when the K-8 school is built: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2008/04/21/focus5.html
    “The parties agreed on a K-8 school limited to 500 students that will “emphasize inter-disciplinary project-based learning with a special focus on life, health, and environmental sciences,” according to the final document. And the school will feature a science center run by a third party — not yet determined, but potentially the Exploratorium or the Lawrence Hall of Science — that will bring together the city’s colleges to offer courses for high school students.”
    I guess only science-oriented families though…
    Radiance has the biggest floor plans that could accommodate families but they are more expensive than the others in the area.

  15. I will out myself now as an architectural heretic: the “jukebox” Marriott is one of my favorite buildings in the city. And no, I’m not joking or trying to stir things up. For hideous, check out the AAA building on Van Ness.

  16. SFReo, thanks
    If what my uncle is going through with his young daughter is any indication it will be very difficult to get into this school regardless of where one lives.

  17. I like the Mariott too! People can’t accept it either. Everyone here is so sensitive and cries easily.

  18. I actually love this building and Arterra next to it. Besides the Legoretta building at UCSF, these are my two favorite buildings in Mission Bay. 555 Mission Rock is pretty bland, but whatever, most buildings (even in world class cities) are bland. The bland buildings are what make the good ones stand out.

  19. Dude – I’m not a huge fan of the Marriott, but it’s ok. The Holiday Inn on Van Ness is nasty, but the Market Street Safeway is by FAR the most hideous building in SF, IMO, just because of the prime spot that it sits its nasty suburban self and parking lot on.

  20. I am excited to find out what this neighborhood is going to look like in 30 years when this part of SF is partially submerged. Maybe that’s why there’s nothing wood frame going up here anymore?

  21. Dude:
    the jukebox Marriott is also my fave building in SF
    My favorite picture that I’ve ever taken is a black and white pic of me sitting in Yerba Buena with Marriott in the background.
    Very distinctive and surprisingly forgotten.
    I’ve always thought I’ve been alone in my love for the building.
    The SFMoma is also cool, but you kinda expect that in a MOMA.

  22. SF MOMA is ok, but to me it has been outclassed by the de Young.
    I missed the post from diemos before – I actually like the Intercontinental quite a bit too. Very, very distinctive color.

  23. Good thing Herb Caen is dead! The idea that any true San Franciscan would have kind words to say about the Marriot Jukebox would have pushed him one step closer to moving to Los Angeles.

  24. Speaking of Herb Caen, many of you may already have seen this clip from 1981 about “electronic newspapers” in SF, including an interview with one of the “two to three thousand” home computer owners in the bay area (the fellow is captioned “Owns Home Computer”):
    Maybe the credit bubble gave us some good things after all? 🙂
    And can anyone identify the “fashionable northbeach apartment”?

  25. “And can anyone identify the “fashionable northbeach apartment”?”
    Either Macondray or Buckelew at the Golden Gateway. (All have since been renamed.)

  26. People who live in a city should be passionate about the buildings being built in that city. I’m loving the dialogue here about architectural standards. For me, one of the obvious lessons to learn from the real estate/economic bubble is that a city isn’t just about “units” and profit but about the long-term live-ability and beauty of a place.

  27. Most cities are known for the buildings that stand out, often hated by the residents initially, not the buildings that “blend in”.
    I hate to bring up Chicago (again) but the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza was despised by the public when it was unveiled but is now a beloved monument. The buildings in the city that people love the most are often the most controversial when they are completed.
    I hope SF continues to build “stand out” buildings and stops concerning itself with “blending in” because that is the last thing I think off when I think of SF.

  28. Ha ha…OK, Brutus, you win. Tough to argue with the Safeway on Market. I tried to think of something more hideous but honestly drew a blank.
    Regarding Herb Caen….look, I was a fan like everyone else. But so many here still seem to cling to Herb’s definition of “real San Francisco.” Hate to break it to you, but that concept of SF died along with Herb. Let it go. It’s time to move on.

  29. Wow, everybody coming out as closet Marriott admirers… I have to admit a trip to the restaurant/bar at the top used to be part of my “tourist junket” when people were visiting from out of town (didn’t actually eat there, just found an underutilized area at one of the “clamshells” and admired the view). And speaking of Herb Caen, I remember reading a column long ago where he said you could get lower prices on drinks if you told your waiter that your were a local. Never had the chutzpah to give it a try (… and would your server today even know who Caen was?)

  30. “The Safeway on Market is actually admired by many as a classic mid century structure”
    That link is showing admiration of the Marina Safeway

  31. The Herb Caen post was to be read as a joke! I am sorry it was taken so seriously. The point was that poor Herb had trouble with the coming changes to the city, including the Transamerica pyramid, and a growing skyline in general for that matter.
    But since he is no longer alive to defend himself, I thought there is something positive that should be mentioned….
    The one thing Caen did give us was a passionate voice to tear down the embarcadero freeway, The new waterfront we all enjoy is partly because of Herb’s campaign year after year to change the waterfront into something other than a overhead road with parking underneath. This may be hard for people now to understand, but there were some who liked that freeway and claimed that its destruction would ruin San Francisco commerce(!) The 1989 earthquake helped push Herb’s cause along towards what we now have. The only thing left was to create the piazza type space without cars in front of the Ferry Building he used to hope for, which we have sort of already started.

  32. It just seems like every time a new building is featured here, the comments are predominantly negative.
    Remove the introductory phrase and you have Socketsite in a nutshell.
    I disliked the Marriott originally, but the neighborhood that has built up around it makes it fit in.
    240 Berry doesn’t do much for me one way or another. Kind of boring, but it is not offensive or anything.

  33. Really, what about the Millennium Tower posts? People are writing about how it is their favorite new tower, how they like the design, “the way the light plays off the glass”. This is negative?
    “The building is beautiful. It’s amazing how light plays off the facade as you approach the city from the bay bridge or from the south on 101. It looks like a different building at different times of the day.”
    There is a world of difference between dumb designs like the Avalon or Jukebox, and buildings like the Millennium.

  34. There were snarky comments about the motorcycle parking and the on-site morgue, but most of the actual comments about the building’s appearance are positive, this is true.
    They are overwhelmed by the number of posters claiming that The Millennium is overpriced and will sit mostly empty.

  35. There is no contradiction.
    The Millennium is a beautiful building that is overpriced and will sit mostly empty. It will be just as beautiful when it’s for sale for half-off.

  36. Not only is it not a contradiction, but who would want to go to site that in a “nutshell” is nothing but a bunch of “professionals” posting about how exceptional, outstanding and luxurioius each building is? If I wanted to read about how luxurious and outstanding a building’s archtecture was, I could simply go to the developer or realtor websites.

  37. I would definetly rent the second to the top apartment with the big patio, that can be really nice. Some of the other full floor to ceiling windows might be interesting too, specially a corner unit, you can’t get that effect anywhere in the city now other than millenium that I can think of. Sure would be worth 3-5 grand, that’s being paid for falling apart crap in this city anyway.

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