As Related California pushes forward with plans for a 560-unit rental tower to rise at 1500 Mission and South Van Ness, the corner parcel upon which Goodwill currently resides, we get our first peek at ​SOM’s early designs for the project.

1500 Mission Rendered

The proposed apartments will average around 730 square feet apiece and the 39-story building will be “competitively amenitized,” with doormen, a fitness center, pool, terraces, rooftop access and other amenities “as dictated by market conditions.”  Twenty (20) percent of the units are expected to be designated as affordable/Below Market Rate.

In addition to the apartment tower, the 1500 Mission Street development includes plans for over 450,000 square feet of office space along Mission Street for the City, one entrance to which would be by way of the existing Coca Cola Bottling Plant Clock Tower building which would be incorporated into the development, and 24,000 square feet of retail.

A subterranean garage will provide up to 300 parking spaces for the residents.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by sassyboyfrisco

    Nice, me likey 🙂

  2. Posted by Dave

    I assume the City is exempt from Prop M? City offices that is.

    • Posted by bananas

      I would hope so.

    • Posted by Louis

      The federal govt is exempt, not sure about City.

      • Posted by Pablito

        The CA State government is also exempt.

  3. Posted by anon

    Wow, what a nice looking building. Great addition to the neighborhood too.

  4. Posted by Ivan

    More small apt living. Is there not a demand for larger units?

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      Of course there is, but you can probably make more money selling lots of units over larger ones.

    • Posted by zig

      I would have to guess there is demand for all types of housing in SF. But small apt living is suitable for the so many single people in SF so I am sure there is tons of demand for these units. This is downtown in on of the most dense cities in the US

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      The question is not demand but can you afford a larger unit?

  5. Posted by BobN

    Those wind screens or whatever they might be called are pretty… but not from inside the building.

  6. Posted by boysf

    For cheap, slip-form construction, this one looks fantastic.
    one should keep in mind that renderings tend to be slightly unrealistic.
    kudos to the architects.
    so how can the city screw this up?

    • Posted by bananas

      blind anti-city rhetoric gets boring quickly

      • Posted by Mark

        Sorry you’re so bored, but the reality is that most of these developments change significantly from architect rendering to actual building.

        • Posted by bananas

          For sure it changes! But the blaming the city by default isn’t that original or accurate.

          • Posted by Mark

            Maybe not original, but in terms of accuracy, please enlighten us on the real reasons.

          • Posted by bananas

            Value engineering $ out of the project is an easy one.
            Proposing non-compliant buildings and then later having to comply is another easy one (that not the city).

  7. Posted by jamesjr

    Love it. Build it.

  8. Posted by haighter

    Will the BMR renters have access to all the amenities?

    • Posted by OMN

      I sure hope not!
      – typicaly out of town socketsite commenter

      • Posted by Orland

        And you new bastards truly are ruining this city.

  9. Posted by soccermom

    Does the notched corner get value-engineered away?

    • Posted by NJ

      Was wondering the same thing… I hope not. I love the fissure/cracking apart look.

    • Posted by SFRealist


      Sadly. Because it’s an interesting look

  10. Posted by Mike

    I use the Van Ness MUNI stop regularly, and it’s getting very tough to get on the trains in the morning to get downtown. I hope the City is working on plans to address crowding there. Love the density at Van Ness/Market, but there needs to be a transportation solution there also.

    • Posted by anon2

      City leaders are likely unaware of the Muni crowding problem because they all get car allowances and parking spaces.

    • Posted by Mark

      Sadly, Van Ness BRT, whenever it gets built (if, at all), will not be a solution to the transportation problem at this intersection.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        van ness BRT is not a solution anywhere on Van Ness. Its just a total waste of money for very little good

    • Posted by BTinSF

      There is a proposal to add a BART stop near this intersection. Apparently the trains going from Civic Center to 16th St pass pretty much under it.

      • Posted by Elitist Pig

        I think they pass directly under the Honda site across the street.

        • Posted by Mark

          There’s a vent shaft near 12th St. between Market and Otis. I think because of the track curve a station isn’t possible at Van Ness

          • Posted by Adam

            Only because BART insists on perfectly straight platforms. Look at other subway systems that have curved platforms and are perfectly safe to use. It could be done.

      • Posted by zig

        I hope it is with a passing track. They should not slow the system down anymore but I’d think they have learned the lesson by now. Same thing with a 30th street station. Great if it is a stub but honestly from San Mateo Co the commute downtown is already such a slog

        • Posted by Mark

          Faster to take BART from San Mateo Co to downtown that most MUNI bus/rail lines from the Sunset/Richmond

    • Posted by zig

      There is a solution to this problem which is running modern LRT on Market in a transit only lane. The F line is cute and all but there is a simple solution for medium capacity redundant service all up and down Market and the Embarcedero.

      I must be missing something because I have never seen this proposed but they work great in Europe

      • Posted by Mark

        Ah, the problem is that SF thinks of its rail transit as streetcars versus true light rail. While many modern LRT systems have stops close together in their downtown areas, once you get outside the stations are farther apart. Not in SF. Once the MUNI lines surface from the Market St. Subway they stop every 2 to 3 blocks, like streetcars. This is both an identity and operational issue.

        Having modern LRT vehicles run along Market St will do nothing to improve speed and efficiency if they stop at every single block. They will still take 30+ min to go from the Castro to the Embarcadero which does nothing to speed service.

        • Posted by zig

          well at least it is redundant service on Market as capacity is needed to but I hear your point.

          I have ridden modern LRT in places like Switzerland and they are very smooth and fast and run in and out of transit only lanes. Of course in their cores they also control traffic like crazy so there is way fewer conflicts even on street with limited car access.

          SF could easily support a system that ran around downtown and maybe even expanded to Golden Gate park Museums as an example. Pretty cheap relatively speaking

          • Posted by Mark

            I don’t mind the redundancy in service, especially handy if there’s a MUNI meltdown in the tunnel. However, given all the public transit that weaves in and out on Market St., having a dedicated rail lane would squeeze the busses in one lane, not to mention the F isn’t going to disappear.

      • Posted by zig

        And I would make the J a surface line too

        • Posted by Mark

          That I agree with since it will remove one line from the subway. However, from an operational standpoint it would be a slow, nightmarish ride on the J, unless riders transferred at Church/Market or Church/Duboce.

          • Posted by zig

            I used to live in Noe Valley and honestly the transfer would not be that bad especially with more subway shuttles.

            For many of the neighbors replacing the lumbering Bredas with modern LRT would be worth it. Don’t know what the new cars will be like

          • Posted by Mark

            I think the new rail cars are slated for release in 2019 when the CS opens. The Breda are horrific, heavy on the rails (requiring more rail maintenance), and certainly showing their age. I live out in Parkside and am all for a shuttle service between Embarcadero and WP. Once the T opens, run 3-car trains back and forth during rush. Combine the M and L so it runs from the Zoo to Balboa Park, Combine the K and L and have it run from Balboa Park to 22nd Ave/Taraval. Would it require me to transfer at WP? Of course, but it’s not a big deal, especially on the commute home. I’d rather take the guaranteed shuttle from Montgomery to WP and then wait for the surface L train.

    • Posted by Kyle

      Making the Castro-Embarcadero/Caltrain shuttle a permanent route would help greatly with this. Well that and getting traffic in the subway somewhat coordinated.

  11. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    Something a little different for once. The mullion pattern on the S. Van Ness facade is reminiscent of their work on the St. Regis tower over on Mission and Third.

  12. Posted by John

    I like how mid-market is turning into a true ‘mid-town’. With the Civic Center’s opera/symphony houses to the north and Hayes Valley to west, it’ll become a destination in the city. Today that area is just an urban dump where the freeway turns into the city…

  13. Posted by Cody

    I’m amazed that the Coca Cola tower will be saved! I remember when I arrived in SF in 1969 I could see the bottles on the production line.

    A nice addition to the neighborhood. But don’t be surprised if the final product does not look like the drawings

  14. Posted by sfcommie

    Paramount, a Related building, charges for the amenities separately from the lease. I’m afraid it’ll be a discrimination if they bar the bmr residents who are willing to pay.

    • Posted by Exa

      No it doesn’t. I lived in that building and the only thing not included in my lease was gym membership, which is fine since it wasn’t a very good gym. The doorman, lounges, etc. were all part of the lease.

  15. Posted by sfrepro

    its a rental building

  16. A strong enough wind might just rip the side off of this thing. I love how it looks, but who would want to live in a unit that looks out the window at those giant flaps? Very claustrophobic.

  17. Posted by moto mayhem

    love it. build it.

  18. Posted by Bryan Shiles

    Wait, this looks like it will add units to a market where people want to live. How will liberals and “progressives” stop this project? They will, of course. They must. It is why they exist: to stop anything new.

  19. Posted by JB10

    Awful, a Fox Plaza in the making.

  20. Posted by Louis

    for SOM , at the early stages when rendering is easy, this is a surprisingly mediocre design.

    rehash of st regis and other last decade projects.

    value engineering from this level, not high to start, would be bad.

    There are no provisions in the planning code, and apparently little skill or will within the department to block VE “design downgrades”. 45 Lansing Street “Jasper” is a stunning example of this phenonoma — where the distance travelled from original Rincon Hill Plan period building design ( 2006, original developer), to what see now is huge.

    projects get sold, change of ownership, change of architect, very weak conditions of approval. old SF story.

  21. Posted by Zugamenzia Farnsworth

    Sporting flaps, perhaps the edifice could be called Trump Tower Two: I could even see…..Trump Tower Too Two…..a nod homonym aficionados………especially with the Castro just up the street….

  22. Posted by Pfffttt

    Now, THIS, I like.

  23. Posted by Dave

    Does rent control work the same on new BMR apartments as those older apartments under rent control?

    • Posted by anon

      No, new BMR units have rents set by the MOH.

      • Posted by Dave

        What is MOH? If the initial tenant moves out does the unit remain BMR or go market rate?

  24. Posted by Dan

    Mayor’s Office of Housing. And yes, it stays BMR after the initial tenant moves out.

    • Posted by Dave

      Thanks. So it is sort of under rent control permanently. Except that the MOH sets the rent increases which I am guessing are larger than the increases allowed under traditional rent control. Sort of semi-rent control for new apartment construction designated BMR.

      • Posted by anon

        No, not like rent control at all. Rents are set by the MOH rather than just a formula based on the initial market-based rent, and more importantly, tenants are means tested. This means that BMR units tend to at least go to people who need below market rent, rather than just favoring longevity.

  25. Posted by BayviewSF

    For BMR rental units, does the city qualify the tenants every year? Some tenants may make less money and qualify when they move in, but subsequently their income may increase and exceed the qualifying income limit. Does the tenant need to move out or pay market rent when their income exceeds the limit?

    • Posted by anon

      Yes, re-certification for rental units is annually. A tenant’s income can increase to 200% of the original standard before being forced to move. For example, if the unit is set as 60% of area median income, they can make up to 120% of median income before being forced to move. Of course, if they decide to move on their own they won’t be eligible to reapply.

      This differs drastically from the BMR for-sale units, where no such restrictions exist.

      Details of BMR rental unit annual re-certs are in part III here.

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