Annie Street Plaza Rendering

Annie Alley, off Mission between New Montgomery and Third, is now under construction and in the process of being transformed into Annie Street Plaza, a future “pedestrian-friendly enclave” in downtown San Francisco.

Annie Street Plaza Aerial

One of 36 projects in the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District’s Street Life Plan, Annie Street Plaza is the YBCBD’s pilot effort to activate the neighborhood’s alleyways and encourage pedestrian circulation between Market and Mission.

Designed by CMG Landscape Architecture, the enclave will allow for both informal and formal uses, including film screenings and performances (of which at least a few are likely to be Novela-fueled).

Construction of Annie Street Plaza should be finished by the end of November.

24 thoughts on “Under Construction And Designed To Activate The Alleyways”
  1. I like the idea, but am just wondering if those gray (concrete) seatwalls would limit the flexible uses of the space. Anyway, excited to see how it turns out. Seems like quick construction!

    1. I totally agree. I’ve been to many cities where alleys are a hotspots of all kind of activity from morning to night. I wish we had more examples of Belden alley throughout the city. I’d also like to see similar more cozy pedestrian oriented spaces in areas currently under construction like mission bay.

      Unfortunately the city’s lack of initiative on dealing with the homeless problem may affect its success. Last time I walked by mint plaza it was a sunny warm day and no one was there except for a half naked drunk guy screaming obscenities.

  2. I’d rather see tax money going to this than subsidizing out of town transients. At least the locals can have some nice things paid for by their tax dollars.

  3. Are ANY of the restaurants in Mint Plaza still open? Seems that except for the Blue Bottle, this project, as nice as it was from a pure design perspective, has been a major failure.

    1. 54 Mint is still there and going strong. Recent warm weather made it lovely for a couple of cocktails before dinner. Good reminder to head back over there for another happy hour(s).

      1. Actually, the only restaurant that is no longer there, IIRC, is the sadly departed Chez Papa Bistrot. I don’t see how a single restaurant closure makes for a “major failure” of this project.

          1. Good to hear about 54 Mint. I have to say, the commercial space LOOKED empty, hence my question. But more broadly, except for right in front of the coffee bar, I have not observed the space being used very heavily.

  4. Exactly what part of Annie St will be blocked? There is a channel there from Stevenson down to Jessie ->and then down to Mission. Is it just the Mission to Jessie section? Would be a shame to cut off the throughway of Jessie from New Montgomery to 3rd. A lot of those little streets make getting around pretty useful. As much as we need more open spaces its a shame to further cut down on these little arteries.

    Some more pics on the project here. And even more here starting on page 72.

  5. spur has been pushing for something like this for a long time, and this is a nice – if lower budget – way of adding more space there.

    i wonder what the palace hotel people have to say about this, they have deliveries and all that up that way (they’ve really made a hash of that lane, i should add) and they have that plan to build a large residential tower on the corner of jessie/annie, something that would probably mean that they’d want this side of annie as an access lane (since it’ll not happen off market street). i mean, they can suck it, but i guess they’ll probably have something to say.

  6. Closing off Annie Street so that pedestrians can have a little narrow pathway gather is such a terrible, ill-thought out idea. This little street has been a channel for many, many years for drivers to access Mission street. This closure will only put a long line of idling cars in the only exit route left, traffic will back up for blocks, pollution will choke the pedestrians, and everyone will be unhappy. Who ever thought of this idea is a real blockhead.

    1. Don’t be ridiculous, of course you can “have it both ways”. Owning a car does not prohibit one from believing that there should be a balance of various transportation options.

      Just because you like pizza should every restaurant be a pizza place? Or because you don’t like sushi should all sushi restaurants be banned? No, because that would be ridiculous.

  7. R….It is the ultimate form of nimbyism….basically saying as long as I can have a car and parking it is “o.k.”, but then going into an anti-car frenzy when adequate parking is included in a residential construction project because those cars might cause traffic. Why not let the change begin with yourself? If you don’t like cars, don’t own them or use them. We are creating a “transit rich” bike utopia metropolis, so everyone needs to get on board and get rid of those evil smog creating death causing automobiles.

  8. I’m certain that those advocating for safer, sustainable streets are not the absolutists you paint them as. Characterizing every effort to advocate for better alternative transportation as anti-car is just the same old scare tactic that the old guard has been using for decades.

  9. Ill-conceived plan has caused horrible evening rush hour traffic jams as cars try to exit from nearby parking lots. Annie Street allowed cars to pass through to Mission, avoiding New Montgomery and 3rd Streets, which get extremely clogged. It’s added 10-15 minutes to my commute. Very upset.

  10. For those concerned about traffic access to Mission, would you be interested in advocating for a stop light at Jessie and New Montgomery? The ground work for it is in the Central SoMa EIR, but having the EIR work for it doesn’t mean it will happen, it just means that making it happen is a little easier. If you are inclined, support that aspect of the EIR and advocate to SF Planning and MTA to get a light installed.

    The challenges with the Jessie & New Montgomery intersection are high pedestrian load and parked cars in front of the Palace blocking sight of New Montgomery traffic. If you think a light will help or not help, please let the city know.

    Congratulations to the YBCBD for the opening of the south Annie St Plaza.

  11. Looks like there is already quite a backlash. Hearst corp has filed a motion to have this ripped out due to the unintended traffic issues created by the closure. Traffic on Jessie is a disaster at rush hour. My guess is that this gets removed and it should. We need more open spaces but not at the expense of cutting off little thoroughfares in the heart of the city.

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