1601 Mission Street Site

As referenced by J.K. Dineen a few weeks ago, Trumark Urban has been working on plans to raze the Tower Car Wash and gas station on the southwest corner of Mission and South Van Ness and build around 200 condos over retail on the triangular site, with a building reaching up to 120 feet in height.

Plans to construct a high-rise residential building on the corner date back over 25 years, when a proposal to develop a 500-unit building across the 1601 Mission Street site and its adjacent parcels was floated.  Instead, the then Firestone tire shop on the corner was converted into the car wash and 140 South (Van Ness) was eventually constructed on the parcel next door, with 212 condos over a bit of retail space.

45 thoughts on “Tower Car Wash Redevelopment Plans Take Two (Or Three)”
        1. I love this “debate”. DO go on! What else can we blame on techies?!?

          This condo plan is obviously not due to the Great Inversion of millenials moving into urban environments all over the nation, the inevitable and ultimately desirable growth of a city, the planned development of a site woefully underbuilt considering its zoning and proximity to public transit, or just the fact that- hey some people try to make money from building houses.

          No, no. It’s definitely those nefarious techies- moving here just to spite YOU and ruin YOUR city! Yes, yes that’s it. Fight the inevitable, dynamic change that affects every city!

          And no, I’m not even remotely involved in tech so don’t even try to go there. Instead Google “ad hominem” and learn how to have a proper debate.

          1. I know, we can blame last night’s riots on techies. Oh wait, they’ve been doing that all day over on sfgate.
            Hmm, well then how about Ebola? Surely that started out as a computer virus before it mutated into its current form.

          2. whether he was facetious or a troll it still echoes a very real sentiment you find on a lot of SF blogs

    1. Yes, it’s a well known fact that only techies live in apartments. And they have stuff. That’s where the expression “technology and stuff” comes from.

          1. There is a reason Divisadero and Fell is called “Touchless Car Wash”, they suck in comparison to Tower. Its a shame that it is going away but I will not blame techies for that. Lets point the finger at past and present city leadership for failing to implement housing policies that would have promulgated new construction to keep in step with a growing city instead of agruing about whether 15% or 25% inclusionary housing was the right level. Any housing development would have added to the total # of affordable housing units.

    2. Yes, it’s not the thugs who burned down the city last night ruining SF. It’s the “techies.”

      And, ironic that you are lambasting “techies” on your computer or smartphone. LOL. You lose.

    3. We need more housing for everyone. I hope this gets built quick! It would be great if I had minimal parking too!

      1. Especially because the thugs “burned down the city” last night. I mean, where are the former residents of this devastated community going to live now that the thugs have caused such chaos?

    1. A huge carwash adjacent to as rich a public transit corridor as any big city in the country — a big, implicit FU to public transit in general. They should turn it into a historic landmark as a relic to the whole era of car first, big-oil driven suburbanization, when urban cores were reserved for society’s dropouts and outcasts.

      1. Yes, Bill Graham’s Fillmore West was at 10 South Van Ness 1968-71. Previously, The Carousel Ballroom, and before that El Patio Ballroom all the way back to the 1920s.

        Final show lineup: Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and a poetry reading by Allen Ginsberg.

  1. Wait – this beautiful classic structure must surely be in protected status – the Europeany tower-thing and probably Victorian stained glass. Then there are the classic native trees, looking so healthy.
    Agnos needs to get on this asap!

  2. Surely we can integrate businesses of daily living into an urban landscape no? Be nice if they could keep a car wash or access to one on the ground floor. Other cities (in Asia) manage to put in gas stations and car washes and supermarkets in cities, usually piled on top of one another. It’s kind of interesting how the public life in cities in US still are focused on the ground floor and *maybe* the second floor, whereas in Tokyo you’re going as high as the fourth or more.

    Anyway, I drive to Daly City/Peninsula to get my car washed. Along with purchase home repair supplies, gas up, and buy furniture. The economy of urban vs suburban real estate means that certain businesses will always be “outside” and others “inside.”

    1. I strongly agree with that sentiment. I think Embarcadero Center does manage to do the multi-level street life very well, but for some reason people tend to think of that layout and those structures as urban planning failures. Oh well, I guess Americans will have to stay in the ‘small town’ mindset as long as we must remain a nation essentially of many small towns with a couple comparatively dense areas on the coasts.

  3. Does retail make sense for this location? Maybe in ten years… Are there other good ways to activate the street level other than retail?

    1. The adjacent 12th Street corridor is starting to evolve a bit, new restaurants and other venues are opening at a good pace. But here at Van Ness next to the carwash it is pretty much a freeway most of the day, hard to visualise what it would take to make that corner a magnet for pedestrian traffic.

  4. Agnos is in part and always will be the reason rents are SKY HIGH.
    Why wait???…BUILD IT NOW…don’t let Agnos + his backwards fools continue to allow SF to stay frozen in time where limited housing exists and renters get PUSHED OUT due to limited stock making for targeted evictions!

  5. Condos are dead walls that funnel wind. Currently its a busy little wonder of a carwash that employs humans.

    1. Yes, because constructing, managing, cleaning, delivering to, remodeling, etc condo buildings doesn’t employ humans.

  6. Fun fact – only 19% of the Bay Area residents work in tech. That means 81% of Bay Area residents DO NOT work in tech. Dang you, non-techies! You’re ruining my city! 😉

  7. How many of those 8% want to live in the Mission? All of them? Seems like it. That’s the problem. Historically you would not have all seven out of the seven marketing employees of some halfway successful startup’s marketing wing clamoring to live in the Mission.

    1. the mission has been a draw for posers for about the last 10 yrs, whether in tech or not. Its the most uniform group of people in the city, all trying to be tragically hip and following each other

  8. Utne Reader called The Inner Mission the “second hippest neighborhood in America” back in 1997. It has won that exact same designation by a few other magazines most recently that noted arbiter of fashion, Forbes Magazine.

    1. I would agree with that distinction in 1997. not in the last 10 yrs though. i now consider it the most fake neighborhood in SF

      1. It isn’t about the last 10 years, or your opinion of what’s cool. It’s to do with tech in SF, and how many of them want to be in SF’s Mission. Lots. So if you factor in the outsize voice that the Mission seems to have when it comes to blogs that seem to go viral, and indeed now Mission Local is featured in SFGate all the time? We see why perception might be slanted as to the number of tech jobs and their effects on SF as a whole.

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