1979 Mission Rendering: 16th Street Building

Last night’s community meeting in the Mission, intended to sway the opposition to the development of a 331-unit building at the corner of 16th and Mission, devolved into a shouting match (or a “lively discussion,” depending upon one’s point of view and spin).

While Maximus Real Estate Partners has doubled the number of below market rate units it intends to build as part of the 1979 Mission Street development, 41 of which would be for sale on-site and another 49 would be developed as rentals off-site, at least one vocal contingent, the Plaza 16 Coalition, is demanding the corner site be developed with 100 percent affordable housing.

As proposed by Maximus, the 41 on-site BMR units would be priced from $280,000 to $350,000 and be available to “middle-class” households with incomes between $61,000-$145,650, the 49 off-site rentals would be developed as low-income housing for those making between 30-55% of the area median income, and 290 units at 1979 Mission would be rented at market rates.

99 thoughts on “Community Meeting Ruckus Over Mission Development”
  1. A news report described the protestors as repeatedly shouting down the presenters, ignoring the hosts’ request for civility, and making it impossible to hear the entire presentation.

    And the protestors are describing the developers as bullies?

    1. The people who disrespect / disrupt the presentation should be asked to leave. If you’re not willing to act accordingly—or ultimately, behave like an adult—then you should not have the opportunity to participate.

      The tone of these meetings absolutely needs to change for anything else to progress effectively.

      1. The 16th Street Plaza folks don’t want anything to progress at all unless it is 100% what they want somebody else to do. They were being disruptive because that is all they can do.

        I mean, one of the people there was complaining that she would lose a cheap market she buys stuff at. Excuse me, there are five or six other markets just like it within a one block radius.

  2. To be fair, Maximus isn’t really offering much with this latest proposal with just 12% onsite middle-income housing and the all the remaining 15% low-income housing offsite with no guarantees it will be in the Mission or that it will even be built. From the perspective of the protesters, this can hardly be considered generous.

    1. on the other thread about this project someone brought up the highly relevant point that HOA fees are usually the same for the market rate/BMR units. If these units were to go to low income folks, they would have to be able to pay $400 plus per month just in HOA fees. In that light, it’s probably better for the units to be off-site so that they can actually be affordable.

    2. To be fair, it isn’t the developer’s job to provide housing at below market rates for whoever wants it.

      1. But it is City policy now. Practically speaking, if Maximus wants to get this done, they will need to make further concessions.

    3. Ridiculous. To be faith as nothing to do with this. The developer has offered to rebuild a school and a playground as well as going above and beyond the already high 12% requirement. Many in SF have completely lost touch with reality.

        1. Not necessarily true, although I can concede your point and still standby my statement. The protestors will not get what they want. Nobody is building 100% BMR for these people, that is completely unrealistic.

  3. I say – give ’em what they want – Public Housing projects at 16th and Mission. But remove those discriminatory policies of other Public Housing projects and allow newly-released Felons to jump to the head of the line.

    Actually, that might actually improve the existing neighborhood!

    1. The city actually has a property located directly across the street (1950 Mission) that is a “Tier 1/Pilot” Public Site site slated for construction of up to 150 BMR units. I’m not sure why that project isn’t getting more media coverage. According to the city’s timeline they will be going out to developers with an RFP this summer.

      Maybe SocketSite could do another update on their piece from early Sept.

  4. still failing to see how less housing will help the housing crisis. Any coherent argument on that from the folks at Plaza 16, or just more yelling?

    1. “Housing rights activists say the roughly 300 new market-rate apartments to be built in an area with primarily working class and low income residents will drive up property values in its immediate surroundings and prompt evictions and real estate speculation.”

      1. Yeah, the playbook for the radical left is pretty much purely scorch and burn at this point. They see the only way to remain an entrenched political power is to try and make the city unappealing to moderate voters. That means preventing any kind of development or improvement to the cityscape. It’s really sad, and a good reminder that the true enemy of society is radicalism on any corner of the political spectrum.

        1. Well…to be honest, major new development WILL prompt speculation and drive up property values. In the context of the modern American market, that is the way things work. Stopping this project would not in itself stymie fundamental market forces.

          The radical approach seems to be focused on preserving a neighrbohood in amber, based often on racial or ethnic grounds. How is stagnation “liberal”? Mission at 16th is a troubled area, and I guess their philosophy is to preserve in place all of the problems to reduce speculation and gentrification. One cannot deny the reality that a major project like this would have gentrification impacts. There are no easy answers.

          1. Not preserving a neighborhood in amber, but trying to retain what they have. The are not motivated by nostalgia for the past, but by the real threat of being priced out. I would say they are acting in their economic self-interest. Which is all a free-marketer would expect of anyone, right?

          2. @James, I’d say its a form of protectionism. Wouldn’t a free-marketer fight, but if they lose, they would walk since the market won?

  5. A nice slogan, but who the heck is going to pay for the “100% affordable” housing? Do these protestors know of some secret fount of money to pay for that? Certainly the current developer is not going to do that, and they own the land. And you can bet that if their project gets run out of town they are not going to give that land away to the City or some nonprofit. It’s OK to protest the scope and scale of a development – that’s the official SF sport- but demanding some unrealistic pipe dream will just leave that corner sad and filthy.

  6. “100% Affordable” How is taking an untenable position going to help to anything but sideline Plaza 16 as a bunch of unreasonable cranks?

    Building dense housing on a transit points is absolutely what needs to be done in SF

  7. Maybe that should be the slogan for the Plaza 16 Coalition – “keeping 16th and Mission sad and filthy for future generations.” Do they even realize that nobody was even considering affordable housing in this area until the developers came along?

      1. I meant on this property. I haven’t heard that the City or any non-profit housing developer has proposed to buy this property, and imagine that because of the BMR project across the street the city was not ready to plunk down the money for another big project here. So if this doesn’t get built then we’ll either keep the same cruddy buildings or get some undersized condo/apartment development. Either option will mean no significant affordable units will result.

      2. That is a homeless shelter, per the cops I spoke to the other day. If homeless = BMR, then let’s not do any BMR because I’m tired of the hopeless and the homeless.

        1. The homeless transition center is a temporary tenant until the BMR units get built. That said, I hope the transitional shelter thing works out better than whatever policies we currently have. We have a ton of homeless camps all over the Mission right now.

          1. Care Not Cash was so successful that 12 years later we are EXACTLY back to where we were when it was started.

            Has the city become poorer? Nope. This is not Detroit where willing people stay unemployed forever and the city cannot collect their taxe.

            We are in the exact case of a “If you build it they will come” situation. Generous homeless services have led to wave after wave of delusional newcomers, or more precisely delusional newcomers failing behind and not moving on with their lives to a place where they would be more comfortable. Adding a new shelter will not solve this situation.

  8. When they built BART there was a plan to put towers on all 4 corners of this intersection, and at Mission/24th. Does anyone know the history of why that plan didn’t go through in the late 60s?

  9. To the developers: move to easier and greener pastures! There is such a taint on this project that you may have difficulty selling and or leasing your market rate housing. Hence, homes in Glen Park, Diamond Heights, Bernal Heights sell for multi-million dollars. The Mission district, though hip, has also brought more physical violent crime and drug dealing.

    1. Once this is built it will sell out in very short order. People want to live here and especially right next to transit. Mission Street itself is starting to get built up. The Alamo Drafthouse will open sometime in the next two years. There is another brewery restaurant just down the street in the works and I am sure developers are starting to figure out what else they can do with all the awesome old shuttered businesses between 16th and 22nd. With UCSF’s three new hospitals, the new Warriors Arena and the direct transportation from here to Mission Bay there will be more demand than this place alone can accommodate.

  10. Does Plaza 16 Coalition has a veto power on this project? Is it legal to ignore them and starts building?

    1. Certainly hope the city does not cave in so easily. We have been waiting decades for this filthy, dangerous transportation hub to get a project like this.

  11. I heard a rumor that one other demand the protestors might have is that the developer set aside a large portion of the commercial space to be used as “The David Campos Re-Education Center for People Who do not Think Like David Campos.”

    I’m okay with that as long as we get served cookies.

      1. heehee! Good one! When Hitman says Kool-aid, it has a certain deliciously dark tone as in, “I’ll bring the Baccarat glasses but you toss back a few first.”

  12. People on Socketsite often bemoan how some well-organized vocal neighborhood NIMBYs can hijack a conversation and claim they speak for the entire “community.” I live 3 blocks from the proposed Mission site and went to this meeting. At least 95% of the people who bothered to show up were clearly against the project. A couple weeks ago I went to the 1601 Mariposa planning meeting in City Hall. I was one of three people who spoke in favor of the project during public commenting. Around 25 people spoke against it.

    There are lots of people who don’t oppose market-based housing developments in SF, but we need to actually show up to these meetings and make our voices heard! Bitching on SS doesn’t count. If you want to know why good projects often get deep sixed, it’s because the opponents are usually the only ones who bother to show up and speak out. My read is that most Planning officials actually *want* to approve more housing and development, but sometimes find it difficult to justify when at meeting after meeting they only hear opposition to every project.

    If even a handful of pro-development people showed up to critical meetings and spoke in favor of new projects, it would make a big difference. If you want to know when those critical meetings are, go to the pro-growth SF Bay Area Renters Association website and join their mailing list.

    1. I went to the Transbay Tower and development meetings before everything was finalized, so I like to think I was a part of what is happening now downtown 🙂

    2. “At least 95% of the people who bothered to show up were clearly against the project. ”

      I too live 3-4 blocks away from the proposed development AND i am the parent of a Marshall Elementary School student (the small public elementary school next door to the project) AND I privately support the project 100% as planned.

      However, there is absolutely ZERO way i’m going to put myself (or potentially my child) at risk by going forward in public with my support in such an emotionally charged atmosphere. Frankly, if not for the presence of the union members acting as de-facto security, i think that meeting could quickly have gotten out of hand. The plaza 16 people seem very, very volatile and it doesn’t take an expert in human behavior to know the dangers posed by “mob mentality”. There was (and is) just no way I’m going to take the risk of speaking out unless a safer and more respectful environment is provided for this “discussion”. The meeting itself was an embarrassment for all involved.

      I am sure there are many other supporters that feel similarly.

      1. Yes, it’s a clear clash of 2 San Franciscos.

        One San Francisco that dwells in the past and still believes they’re in a separate Republic where they cancelled capitalism, property rights, basic laws of economics. They often take more than they give financially, since they are voting themselves freebies again and again under the guise of equality and progress. They’re rent controlled, subsidized, protected and always see themselves as victims. They are the voting base of Campos, Kim and other extremists.

        One San Francisco that works hard, succeeds, innovates, believes in the future, brings more financially than it takes, asks nothing more in return than pure fairness. They understand that SF needs to change to be able to afford all the generous things that they accept as part of the deal. They’re pushing ahead and slowly becoming the new norm in San Francisco. Are they visible? Not in these shout-out meetings.

        Developers, take note: the passeists are not and will never be in favor of anything that is not a 100% give-away. Do not waste your time on these meetings. The many buyers you will get will be the best proof that you are doing it right.

  13. Incredibly generous (for a real estate developer) as is. Build it. Delaying and adding litigation just adds to the cost of housing at all levels, and the blame can be laid on the reactionaries for that.

    1. “Generosity” has nothing to do about it. They are offering what they think they need to offer to get their project built. Developers expect to make a LOT of money building projects in San Francisco (the proof is the number of units in the pipeline). Given the strength of the market, the city should extract as much as possible from developers for benefits to the people of the city.

      We will know that the demands are too high when developers stop building. We aren’t there yet. Not even close.

      1. Yeah, look how well that turned out for the MidMarket development by Build Inc. City got totally screwed on that one by “extracting as much as possible” from the developers, and ended up with a project half the size (half the tax revenue) and no community Arts spaces at all.

      2. So…should we then “extract as much as possible” from every business enterprise in the city? What makes developers so special? Why not force for profit hospitals, bowling alleys, restaurants, mini-marts, law firms, accountants, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, etc. to build low income housing in exchange for the right to do business in SF? I mean, they are also making money. Which of course, is bad. And it’s not like they provide an essential service to the people of San Francisco. Such as…i don’t know…providing more housing in a city that has a major shortfall.

        1. Regarding your three questions:

          Yes, within the limits of the constitution, city charter, etc. and up to the amount needed for the approved budgets. “Politics is the art of the possible,” Otto von Bismarck. And SF is such an artisanal village, just look at the Municipal Code, a fine work of surreal expressionism and on an epic scale, so rare these days of punchcard length correspondence.

          Nothing, though they do seem to complain like they are god’s gift.

          Because those business aren’t good at building housing. Some of them are required to treat indigent patients, some of them pay license fees, sales and other taxes that are not based on their profit. Many ways “we” the people extract money from each other and from our businesses. Overall, government extracts more than a third of the economy.

      3. Extract, under what principle? Take the money where it is? Have you worked for that money? That’s a “takers” mentality. Gimme gimme gimme you capitalist pig!

  14. We are being a bit black and white about this, though. Building this WILL significantly help to gentrify the area, and in turn push these people out, whether by evictions, rising commercial rents of their businesses, or simply the price of services to a point where there is no practical way to shop, eat, and obtain services for them. If I was in their position, I would be frustrated too. Foreign Cinema aside, there is a VAST difference between Mission and Valencia.

    That being said, the site is also an underutilized cess pool of drug dealing, violence, and addiction. Leaving it as is is a terrible idea. And the developer is actually going beyond what is required of them.

    I am pro-development and hope this gets built. But we also can take a step back and acknowledge the human impact of development in an already populated area like this, as opposed to say Transbay/Mission Bay/even Civic Center. At the end of the day, if SF had been doing its job and added housing over the past four decades we wouldn’t be here in this mess, but they didn’t and now somebody is going to get screwed. They’re angry, and I get that. But the city needs housing, and right by the best transportation in the entire city is unfortunately an extremely logical place to build it.

    Also, not understanding the economic implications of land valuation and building costs and how they make a 100% affordable building in this area impossible is sheer, utter delusion.

    1. I think it would be nice to push all the activists into Oakland just like they did with the Occupy movement. They can take BART to their protests just like those who have real jobs. As for gentrification, look no further than Campos because he is the true gentrifier of SF. As he places the burden of affordable housing on mom & pop landlords, they give up and sell out to the ultra-rich who don’t care and just Ellis. 30+ years of failed housing policy is coming back to bite the progressives in the butt…. they will soon go the way of the dinosaur!

      1. My contractor said houses sell for $100-200K in East Oakland. The problem is how do you justify putting in $40-$60K in renovations you can take the money and buy another property. He doesn’t go out there to bid on jobs.

        1. Those $100k-$200k houses in East Oakland are now selling for $200k-$400k. So someone is making money fixing them up.

  15. The average asking rent in the Mission is about $3400/month for a one bedroom. New market rate housing is not going to cause neighboring apartment rents to be out of the reach of those on moderate incomes– because the rent is already out of their reach, if they are not longtime residents in rent controlled apartments.

    1. Exactly – though I’m not a landlord, I can’t help but agree with the landlords here who are cackling with glee as the housing stock is further restricted. Low supply + high demand = big $$$. This one project likely won’t move the needle either way, but stopping it certainly won’t relieve pressure on existing Mission property owners to engage in more rent-seeking behavior (i.e. Ellis, evict, jack up rents, etc.).

      1. I’m not a landlord but I do own the condo I live in and I’m “crackling with glee” too. Maybe someday when I “move on” my heirs will be able to sell the condo for twice what its worth just because the SF housing shortage is worse than ever due to the NIMBYs who are protesting this and everything else that might alleviate it.

  16. To anyone who thinks this SHOULD get built because NOT BUILDING ANYTHING and killing 90 affordable units isn’t actually helping the housing crisis, you should really know about SFBARF. Funny name, I know.

    The San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation goes to meetings and opposes NIMBYism across the bay area, in rich neighborhoods and in poor ones. We support ABUNDANT housing at all income levels. Let’s get this housing built! Click my name for more info.

      1. Yes, there were (by my count) around 5 or 6 people with SFBARF at the meeting (using the term loosely — it’s more an affiliation of pro-development people rather than a card-carrying club). Not enough, unfortunately, to have an impact at this meeting. If even a fraction of Socketsite’s readership had shown up, it might have gone very differently… as it was Calle 16 was able to present itself as representing the entire “community” and there weren’t enough pro-development people at the meeting to effectively refute that.

      2. It is not realistic to expect working people to show up in these meetings. If Calle 16 has many professional protesters, there should be some non-profit pro-development organization to call up retirees and stay home moms to show up.

    1. I read about SFBARF who was started by a former school teacher. Cool story. She is tired of the naysayers and preservationists (of the bad and ugly) and is doing a lot about it. I have sent emails to various Supervisors and emailed letters of support (remember CityPlace on Market?)

      We can all be more aggressive in our circles to make change. Hitman is serving “special” drinks for the anti-development crowd. I am creating more housing and doing my part in the future to rid NIMBYs.

      1. A school teacher that moved from philly to oakland a few years ago, sold t-shirts saying “Free Leland Yee”, and passes out pictures of 50 story buildings in place of the Balboa Reservoir. Deep stuff. Comically deep.

  17. I live in the Mission. We deserve nothing less than a low income ghetto littered by loitering jobless and crawling w drug dealers.

  18. The sooner this is built, the sooner the BART station across the street will begin to get cleaned up. Quite honestly, richer people commit less crime and make less mess and generally take care of the neighborhood better, especially if they own their property rather than just rent.

    1. Richer people commit different kinds of crimes, often against poorer people (as we learned in 2008). But thanks for the telling class distinctions. BTW, the BART station is at this site (in addition to across the street) making it seem that you don’t spend much time there.

      1. Lots of the SRO crowd are just plain and simple useless dirtbags. This is who is around these plazas not working class people.

  19. You can buy 3/2 house for $50k in Florida. It is a beautiful place with beautiful weather. Can we use the BMR funds to buy many houses in Florida instead? All the low income folks can choose to move to Florida and pay a low rent of $600?

    1. There are reason those places are so cheap. A lack of jobs is one. Mandatory (and expensive) car ownership is another.

      1. If you don’t have a job and live off the state, might as well live somewhere cheap, instead of somewhere expensive like SF.

  20. “Affordable” means paid for by other people. When you let people who have devoted their life to mooching into a “hearing” what else do you expect but plebeian shouting?

        1. Or

          Someone who always asks for things and favors constantly and will never leave you alone. They will ask for money, rides to places, for you to do simple tasks they could do easily but they think the whole world should cater to them, basically just a leech to everyone around them, a parasite to the community.

  21. You can’t expect the Gov’t/tax payers to subsidize your existence. Not sustainable.

    No one is entitled to live in SF, so quit acting like it’s your right. There are many cities across the Bay Area where “affordable” housing exists and even within close proximity to BART.

    Building density, near transit, is what the Urban environment is all about.

  22. Hopefully whoever is the intended audience for the views expressed at a “community meeting” is capable of distinguishing the noisy sabotage of an idiotic mob from the rational input of legitimate stakeholders.

  23. It was said that NY is the city that never sleeps, and SF the city that always dreams. Can you envision affordable housing in density and done well at this intersection, making it win win for the city? If we wanted it, we could do it–but that much market rate housing at this location WILL push out lower income residents and businesses. All life is change, but there is insufficient commitment with our city leaders at present to ensure an economically diverse population, and that’s where the issue lies.

    I really appreciate how informative this site is vis-a-vis the pulse of development and the real estate market here and thus check in with it often; but the snarky comments are more worthy of Potterville than the City of St. Francis. I just had to say it, what I read therein so often represents an overall disdain of civic participation, and the trope that having–and demanding–a respectable baseline, for all, in areas of our commons such housing, education, and healthcare is tantamount to dirty lazy moochers forever looking to be on the dole at the expense of others, rather than something good for the health of a civil society. But what do I know, I must just be part of an idiotic mob that just happened to know a kinder, gentler SF.

    1. Oh sure, the meeting was attended by perfectly reasonable and compassionate people. Did u go? Have you seen the vids or reports? A bunch of hysterical clowns yelling, not letting the presenters talk. Just demanding 100% low income units. That’s real effective.

  24. There’s a right and a wrong process for achieving “an economically diverse population”. Angry shouting mobs demanding 100% subsidized units in a development such as this is so far outside the boundaries of anything reasonable that it deserves to be derided and ridiculed.

  25. No, I wasn’t at the meeting, but I’ve been at my share of contentious public meetings in SF. I would counter that an economically diverse population is not being achieved: such a population existed, and is being supplanted in short order, through inaction–and sometimes with the help and blessings–of our city government. To me, that’s the wrong process which has people at such a degree of ire. A commitment to affordable housing at such a strategic location, vis-a-vis transit and services, is neither outside of the boundaries nor unreasonable, and in fact is something we should expect as part and parcel of long-term planning for a vibrant urban fabric. It’s tempting to shoot the messengers, especially when they are unruly, but the unwillingness to acknowledge that legitimate grounds for concern and anger exist–and they do–only fuels the problem.

    1. The project as proposed does have BMR housing, just not 100%. 100% subsidized means nobody will build it, so I guess you’re suggesting the city use eminent domain and build it at a loss?

  26. ChrisBnSF: I understand your argument. Judging the manner in which you write, I can safely assume you are well-educated. However, your ideas are great in theory (much like my college senior thesis on the shifting role between individual autonomy and social cooperation within society.) I like to believe everyone starts at a baseline level of altruism. Over time through a series of misguided (and one-sided) laws, this altruism gets eroded. Until both sides of the development debate descend into these contentious and unnecessarily angry battles. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Our elected officials should be held accountable to higher standards. They have not. Their inability to lead San Francisco is evidenced by the number of referendums being tossed around by collecting enough signatures. If I wanted any man on the street to make sound decisions, I certainly would no longer pay for any more elected officials with my taxpayer dollars. (Imagine if the U.S. Supreme Court Judges simply ignored the law and Constitution and ruled based on the squeakiest wheel.)

  27. ChrisBnSF: You must be a naive college student. How can you produce subsidized housing out of nothing? “Subsidized housing” means that it is paid by someone else. SF already has much more “subsidized housing” than other cities. In my opinion, SF has too much a share of “subsidized housing” and too much a share of “subsidized population”. It is not sustainable.

    If you have 100% “subsidized housing”, who is going to subsidize these “subsidized housing”?

    SF government is too big and SF government is doing way too much to distort the market. That’s the ultimate source of all the SF housing problems.

    SF’s housing problem is from our ridiculous rent control. If we get rid of rent control, rent will be more affordable to people who pay their own rent. SF should not and will never be able to accommodate all the people who want or need to have their housing paid by others.

  28. Tear down the building, leave the lot unkept, open to the elements and crime for 3 to 5 years. Then come back with your project. They’ll BEG you to put something, anything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *