2918 Mission Street Site

The formal request for approval to raze the Wash Club lavanderia at 2918 Mission Street and construct a six-story building on the Mission District parcel, with 55 residential units over two retail spaces and a garage for 18 cars, will soon be submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for review.

2918 Mission Street Rendering

As designed by Gould Evans, the 55 units, which are currently expected to be developed as rentals, would average 616 square feet apiece, ranging from a 332-square-foot studio to a 921-square-foot three-bedroom apartment

The bulk of the proposed development would consist of 19 one-bedrooms averaging 592 square feet each and 20 two-bedrooms ranging in size from 596 to 826 square feet.

Proposed outdoor areas for the project include a common roof deck for residents, a number of private patios, and an elevated rear terrace over the garage, the entrance to which would be by way of Osage.

2918 Mission Street Rendering: Rear

According to the developer who will be holding a pre-application meeting for the proposed 2918 Mission Street development this week and owns both the laundromat and land, the Wash Club has experienced a 20% decline in revenue over the past 10 years, a trend which is likely driven by the ongoing shift in neighborhood demographics.

The preliminary plans for the project, which were submitted to the City last year, had envisioned 38 larger units to be built upon the site versus the 55 as now proposed. And the developer is planning to apply for a density bonus which could allow for an even larger number of units to be built upon the site which is principally zoned for development up to 65-feet in height and includes the adjacent lot which currently provides parking for 20 cars.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by haighter

    great news, especially the low parking ratio. i hope it’s built soon.

  2. Posted by Contrarian

    Why is it “great news” that there is a low off street parking ratio? I would rather have street space devoted to pedestrians and bikes, than parking spaces. Let the cars park in private garages.

    • Posted by Alai

      Is that an alternative? I’ve never heard of that happening.

    • Posted by anon2

      “zomg parking spaces!”

      Lack of garage parking (and lack of parking in general) encourages residents to live a car-free lifestyle, which some people believe is desirable in dense urban environments such as San Francisco, due to the benefits for traffic and the environment.

  3. Posted by David

    @Contrarian: that’s not the way parking works. Increased parking induces demand. The net result is more cars on the road. That’s why a low off-street parking ratio is good. The project will attract more people who don’t own cars at all this way.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      it will result in a net increase of parking on the street as more than 18 cars will be owners by 55 units, including some 2 bdr units which may add 2 cars to the street per unit. Im sure there will be some renters who won’t own cars but most will.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        cite some data to support that assertion.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          70% of san Franciscan households own at least 1 car and 50% own 2 or more. if 70% of 55 units own a car, thats 38.5. lets call it 38. 50% of those own 2 cars or more. so, 27.5 units will have 1 more car. lets call it 27. So, according to city average, there will like be around 55 cars owned by these 55 units, leading to a net increase of 37 cars parked on the street (having subtracted the 18 parking spots)

          There is no evidence that car ownership is decreasing in SF. Jake has posted many times car ownership rates per neighborhood, and it is almost always related to income. Unless these are mostly BMW, no reason to beleive those 70% and 50% numbers will be different.

          • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

            There is a major fault to use “city average” in these calculation. A relevant factor in car ownership is the availability of parking space. I believe car ownership is a lot higher for household with dedicated parking space than household without dedicated parking.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            Yes, I know streetsblog has a point of view, but there actually IS evidence that car ownership RATES are decreasing in SF generally. And many studies have shown that car ownership is tied to income only to a point: poor people have a hard time affording cars, but there is relatively little impact of income once you’ve reached a moderate income. Rather, car ownership is MUCH more correlated to neighborhood density and transit access (unsurprisingly). Mission has both of those in spades, and 43.5% of neighborhood residents don’t have cars. (ACS for 94110).

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            Wai Yip, you believe this or you have data to cite?

          • Posted by Jake

            curmudgeon, that data is obsolete. The latest CA DMV registration data shows car ownership in SF at an all time high, both in total vehicles and per capita.

            FWIW, US vehicle-miles-traveled is also at an all time high and rising.

            As I showed in my previous SS post, car ownership in this part of SF is correlated with income (R-squared of 0.97). AFAIK, no one has ever published data for SF that shows “car ownership is correlated to neighborhood density and transit access”, though I would like to think there is some correlation. SF actual has adjacent census tracts with similar densities, but very different car ownership rates which correspond to their very different incomes.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            curmudgeon. reading streetsblog to learn about transporation is like listening to cigarrete companies tell you smoking doesnt cause cancer. It is one of the the most biased and misleading blogs ive personally read.

            alll of the factors you mention, density, transportation are factors, and so is income. There is no way that the sum total of a 55 unit building including 2 and 3bdr units will only have 18 cars. Any car over that adds to street congestion. While more parking may induce demand for having a car, not have a garage also leads to more cars having to park on the street. there is a balance. there is also a different between residents and households. Based on the number of 2 and 3 bdr units and the fact that some of the 1bdr will be inhabited by couples. I would assume that at least 110 adults will live in this building. 43.5% of that is 48 cars. Still much closer to my 55 number than the 18 spaces provided.

            Of course, there are other ways to remedy this. One would be to not give resident permits to anyone without a dedicated offf-street parking space. this is the best option. another would be to charge market rate for street permits and higher rates for parking meters. Both of those would disportionally affect the poorer residents. I do agree with you that the Mission has the best transit in the entrie city and this is IMHO where the most new developments of 6+ stories should be made. I would like to see 20 new market rate buildings of 6+ floors in the mission. Its really hard in other areas besides Mission and SOMA (or places that are walking distance to fidi) as public transport generally sucks for all other areas.

    • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

      The study concludes that free parking induces demand. That makes sense as not having to pay for parking might tip some people into buying a car who otherwise would not.

      But this discussion concerns off-street parking that is not free. Builders are simply trying to foist the cost of car ownership onto the public by not building sufficient parking for the cars that the residents of the buildings are going to own. That should not be permitted. Jake has pointed out many times that car ownership is increasing in SF, both in terms of absolute numbers and per capita bases. I’m all for solid efforts to reduce car use (better public transport, bike lanes, etc.) But we should not let car-free fantasies trump reality in planning decisions.

      • Posted by zig

        I’m too lazy to look it up but I think there is studies that would indicate just having off-street parking induces demand as well.

        It makes reasonably follows logic I think. I myself got rid of a car when my now wife and I moved in together because it was a hassle moving a car. If I had two off-street spots I am sure I would have kept the car. But to the point many would make here if we had zero spots I am not sure we would have gotten down to one car and likely would have put up with the car shuffle parking tickets lifestyle.

        Not an easy issue partly because on street parking is so cheap and is considered a human right in the US

      • Posted by Joseph Brant

        It depends. Will parking fees be bundled into the rent costs for these apartments? If so, then you are still subsidizing parking to the detriment of those who would rent there but do not own a car.

  4. Posted by soccermom

    How long has this owner owned the property? Pretty interesting call – to go from a cash business low intensity use owner to a big budget project like this.

    Can you right click and get “Mission Mural” as a surface in this modeling program? Future graffiti space does add some zestiness to the image.

    I am trying to start my new year without a sarcastic comment about the peril of losing a historic laundry space as a community crossroads nexus of intercultural relationality, but apparently I lack the will.

    They should build this. We need more places for people to live.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The developer purchased the laundromat business in 1998 and then purchased the building and parking lot parcels in 2005/2006.

    • Posted by Orland

      Whether “historic” or not it is a community asset the impact of the loss of which should be a factor of consideration by Planning.

  5. Posted by SFrentier

    I think the architecture should mirror that lovely chase bank bldg next to it

    • Posted by Serge

      Not sure if your post is serious or sarcastic…

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        Quite sure it’s sarcastic, because the Chase branch is 1980’s SoCal suburban strip mall style….

        • Posted by Joel

          What are you talking about? It’s Spanish Colonial Revival… 🙂

      • Posted by SFrentier

        Plus those arches, a natural for a Micky D’s there too. Mmm…

  6. Posted by moto mayhem

    921-square-foot three-bedroom apartment. wow, thats tiny.

    • Posted by Chad

      Compared to a 3-bedroom home in the ‘burbs? Sure.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        or compared to the vast majority of 3bdr condos in SF

    • Posted by SFrentier

      Agreed. It’s almost stupid to make 3br units that small. It’ll cap their future value if they sell off as condos in the future.

  7. Posted by curmudgeon

    There are a lot of very under-utilized Laundromats in the Mission these days. Definitely a sign of demographic transition.

    • Posted by Orland

      If that is so, removal of this facility may not be such a problem.

  8. Posted by Aaron Goodman

    Not the best in terms of materials or details, but not the worst, in terms of materials or details…

    whats the pricing range for the units? any info?

    • Posted by Joel

      Generally it’s difficult for developers to know how units will be priced until the project is being built. The cost of entitlement and construction is highly variable, especially in SF.

  9. Posted by Dave

    I agree with the parking comment above. 55 new units, about half two-bedroom (2 adults sharing a unit maybe) most likely will add more than 18 cars to the mix here. Forcing those not lucky enough to afford one of the on-site spaces to park on the street.

    They need not have gone 1:1 with the on-site parking, but 18 spaces total? Way too little.

  10. Posted by Jake

    I’ve cited plenty of data in the past that confirms more or less what moto and JR have written above, most extensively on a SocketSite article about another project in the Mission.

    You can look there for more detail, but wrt to a project in this location, 18 cars for 55 units is about what we should expect for an average household income of about $60k. And for every $10k of household income higher or lower you can add or subtract 3 cars, respectively. For example, if you expect the average household income will be $100k across these 55 units, then you should expect about 30 cars. If you expect the average household income will be $40k across these 55 units, then you should expect about 12 cars. And the calculus is similar for infill projects in Hayes Valley, Castro, western SoMa, and most of the more urban in-town side of SF.

    David linked to an article which mentions Donald Shoup’s book, The High Cost of Free Parking: “Shoup showed that the more cheap, abundant parking that cities build, the more traffic congestion and automobile dependence cities get.” As the title of Shoup’s book indicates, the real issue is underpricing a resource (parking) induces excessive demand. Resident street parking permits in SF are nearly free ($111/year price limited by state law), though this building would have to apply to join Zone I. And curb cuts are free. A block away from here at 25th/Bartlett are a pair of 4-story apt buildings with a total of 36 units and 19 individual garage doors with curb cuts that take away what would be ~13 street parking spaces. Maybe if we assessed a market-rate fee for curb cuts these buildings would find a way to take less of the public street for their private access. That’s a much bigger problem in the Mission than the off-street parking ratios.

    Alai, the approved second street project will take some street parking spaces and a traffic lane each way to create dedicated cycle tracks and widen some sidewalks. Similar conversions are in the long range plans for many SoMa streets.

    Wai Yip Tung, I agree that a city average shouldn’t be used for these calculations. FWIW, my previous SS post referenced above breaks down the numbers by neighborhood. The formula I gave above is specific to this part of town and does not apply to the more suburban western and southern neighborhoods.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      more than likely the average household income will be >$150K for a new building in a hot area like this (or even >$200K considering may 2bdr and 3bdr units), which means 45+ cars

      • Posted by zig

        So we are just going with city averages here? There has to be some self selection in the buyers here. Parking in the Mission would be possible but a big pain in the ass each night

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          jake is quoting averages for the Mission

        • Posted by SocketSite

          Nobody buys or rents a place without parking in the Mission anymore because all the parking spaces for people without parking are taken?

          • Posted by zig

            I am assuming with the option of company shuttles and Uber makes it is easier to not put up with the hassle. It was certainty easy for me to get rid of a car once my company had a shuttle and I assume the same for the self selected demographic that would buy here.

            Not saying nobody would buy here and use on street parking but I am saying I bet less than the average number of cars that Jake suggested would end up on the street because of the neighborhood and location

          • Posted by SFrentier

            I think SS is being sarcastic

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      the 2nd street plan will be a total congestion disaster.

      • Posted by Orland

        I was recently walking throughout that area beginning at 3:00 PM and it was degrees beyond horrific. For motorists and pedestrians alike. Can’t imagine what it will be like if/when the proposals are implemented. Of course, just about every vehicle trying to access Willie Brown Bridge had a sole occupant.

    • Posted by zig

      When does difficult off street parking hit a tipping point where the residents will self select to buy housing that matches their lifestyle? I just have a hard time believing moderately high income people will put up with circling the block, parking in sketching areas and walking long distances

      Certainly not an easy issue but in my personal experience when merging households with my now wife I got sick of it and we ditched one car and I have had well off relatives in the past in SF (different eras for sure) who didn’t bother having cars without parking

      To me Hayes Valley and Rincon Hill for example would be very difficult to live in with a car that had to be parked each night on the street. This part of Mission Street I am not so sure

      • Posted by Jake

        Thousands of people have been doing this for decades in North Beach, Nob Hill, Mission, Russian Hill, and other older neighborhoods with higher density and mostly pre-WWII era buildings. There are advantages to having your car waiting for you where you parked it, even if it took 10-20 minutes to find that parking space. Also, only about half of the cars in a neighborhood like this are used to commute to work. With a residential permit, you don’t even have to move it every day.

        And for a price valet services will do it all for you, the carshare anti-pattern.

        • Posted by zig

          I am sure they have but as a counter I have had relatives who where relatively well off who lived in the Marina and near Dolores Park who did not have off street parking and either never drove or gave up cars. I though there was some data on ownership patterns that showed ownership was lower in Nob Hill than would be predicted by income level and higher in Bay View but I will take your word for it that it doesn’t exist as you are a data savant

          Since parking on street is a calculation of price in terms of both dollars and convenience and it is very cheap it has to be very difficult to dissuade people. For me personally the Mission was awful to park off street but to each is own. I imagine the tipping point would be for many people in Nob Hill, Rincon Hill, SOMA, North Beach but what do I know. I live in the suburbs now though so what do I know

        • Posted by busrider

          Sure, some people put up with the hassle of repeatedly circling the block, looking for elusive parking spaces. Years ago I lived at Alamo Square and occasionally drove. I greatly disliked having to return home late at night from work (on those days when I drove) and, partly for this reason, I’d avoid driving as much as possible. Often, the 30 minutes I’d save driving would be lost with the far more frustrating and equally time consuming task of driving around, looking for parking, and then walking multiple blocks home from that hard-won and often distant parking spot. Convenience and time both have value. If parking is inconvenient and time consuming, driving is often avoided. The location of this development is a prime spot for its residents to get around by transit (and leave their car parked on the street, forego its ownership entirely, or enable a two-car household to downsize).

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          No doubt that people still juggle cars for on-street parking. This will always be the case in San Francisco. This is a city constantly attracting from the rest of the country where residents grew up only knowing the drive everywhere lifestyle. Of course they’re going to import that tendency.

          Most people will adapt to conditions but hold outs will resist change no matter what (and that goes with any lifestyle tendency: diet, sport, etc.).

          This place is a block from a major BART station which is significant not only because it provides a viable alternative for getting around. We also should avoid inviting any more large vehicles than necessary to a transit hub attracting thousands of riders. 1:1 parking would be silly here. 3:1 less so.

          Not every property needs to meet every requirement. If you need a bathtub, don’t buy a place that only has a shower. There’s no shortage of units to choose from.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            “This is a city constantly attracting from the rest of the country where residents grew up only knowing the drive everywhere lifestyle.” california, including SF, is a place where residents grew up only knowing the drive everywhere lifestyle.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            moto mayhem that is so NOT true, you should be ashamed. San Francisco is a place where a third of households are car free, and nearly all folks who grew up here AT LEAST knew a mixed drive/transit/walk/bike lifestyle, and some grew up without regular access to cars at all.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            for those of us from the east coast, california was always thought of as the place where everyone drives a car. Its not the other way around.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            California, yes. San Francisco, no.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            the vast majority of people in SF drive a car. it is a car friendly city and has been for a long time. maybe 30% of people don’t have a personal automobile, but many households have more than 1. We are a long way from a low car ratio utopia

          • Posted by zig

            “or those of us from the east coast, california was always thought of as the place where everyone drives a car. Its not the other way around.”

            Seems strange that you are making statements as if you would know rather than listening to others who were here but OK

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            having now been here for 20 yrs, i still think california and SF are both locations where a lot of people drive compared to boston, NYC, phlly, DC

        • Posted by Jake

          busrider, this location is nearly ideal for a commuter to the pennisula, which is about 20% of the people that live near this location and have a job. Minutes to 101 and well placed to avoid the worst of the PM backup via Bayshore or 280/San Jose.

          Zig, the formula I used here applies to Nob Hill as well. Nob Hill has abundant free street parking starting at 6 PM weekdays. Goes quickly though. A company shuttle eliminates the worst parking hassle: the tail end of the PM commute, when your neighbors have already taken the choice spots.

          The tipping point in some areas is the rate of overnight car breakins. Much of the street parking near me (south park area) doesn’t have enough residential presence to inhibit it and that makes secure overnight parking very valuable.

          Marina and Bayview have higher rates of car ownership for income level. Also higher percentages that drive to work. Similar for the other semi-suburban neighborhoods.

          From what I can see, there’s really two SF zones for transportation: the inner zone close enough to the CBD for relatively quick Muni and somewhat reasonable option to bike or walk to work. Then there is the arc of ridges from pac heights through twin peaks, bernal, and potrero and everything beyond them. Those all have higher rates of car ownership to income and drive to work, and low rates of bike and walk to work. It continues like that all the way to Palo Alto/Stanford, anyway.

          About half the cars registered in SF are not used to commute to work. According to the Census ACS 2014 (Table B08141), ~30% of SF residents that take transit to work live in households with at least two cars, and more than two-thirds of those that take transit to work live in households with at least one car. More than 4 out of every 5 SF residents that work from home live in a household with at least one car. And most of the people that walk to work in SF live in a household with at least one car.

          Even the continuing growth of the bike-to-work commute share that we hear so much about is less than the increase in the absolute number that drive-alone-to-work. Specifically, for every 6 additional San Franciscans that bike-to-work since 2010, there are 7 additional that drive-alone-to-work. And for every additional person that chose to use transit, two people chose to go solo, either walk, bike, work-from-home, or drive-alone. Choices abound and the choosers cohabit, at least in the denser more urban inner zone of SF.

          The popular happy notion that we are becoming a city of the carless carefree has no basis in fact, though extensive basis in anecdote and projection.

          • Posted by zig

            So with all that said what is the optimal parking maximum or minimum (or leave it to the market?) we should be imposing on developers of new construction?

          • Posted by Jake

            Zig, short answer: set a ‘play nice with the neighbors’ min of around 1 parking per 2 units for this location and let the developer buyout all the way to zero if they want, putting the money in a transit fund.

            Long answer: it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want a project like this to infill with minimal impact on the current street parking situation, then estimate the expected car loading factor based on location/demographics/price and set the parking to unit ratio. For this location it would probably be somewhere in the 1:3 min and 1:1 max.

            If you want the Mission gradually to become as tough to park in as say north of Market (North Beach, Russian/Nob Hill…), then set the min at zero and the max at 1:2 or 1:3. A couple of infill buildings this size with zero parking won’t do much no matter, but a couple hundred this size with no parking and voila, Mission could proudly join the list of worst hoods for street parking.

            Frankly, areas like this where parking is so constrained that we have parking meters and/or a residential parking permit zone are past leaving it to the market. For them, I would like a more rational assessment of all the loads, uses, and costs of the street and parking. This shouldn’t be much more difficult technically than modeling traffic for a Warriors game or the alternatives for the Second Street bicycle parkway, though politically it would expose many freeloaders.

            Personally, I would like us to increase the costs for all the automobile loads (including parking and curb cuts) both to gradually inhibit or reverse the growth and to use the money for enhanced transit. Someday we gonna have to build subways past the CBD. It is both unfair and inadequate to foist most of the costs on developers through impact fees, and my understanding is that the Trump Administration will be building walls not tunnels.

          • Posted by busrider

            This location is ideal for downtown commuters. It’s not a stretch to say that one could get downtown, door-to-door, in ten minutes with BART.

          • Posted by Jake

            Of course it is ideal for BART to the CBD. This location is one of the best in SF for choice of how to commute and where to commute. The nearby BART station and the nearby 101 exit have been there a long time. This location and the 24th St BART station are near the center of Census Tract 209. Here is the commute to work mode share for this census tract:

            43.1% public transit
            28.5% car, truck, or van
            9.9% bike
            9.5% walk
            9.3% work from home

            And the same breakdown for this census tract from 1990:

            54.2% public transit
            31.4% car, truck, or van
            3.3% bike
            8.4% walk
            1.0% work from home

            Notice that a big commute mode switch for workers from this location has been from public transit to bike. That is very typical in SF, you can see this throughout the areas with the greatest concentration of bike-to-work. In SF, bike-to-work competes most directly with public transit, not private vehicles.

            BTW, there are about 28% more workers in this location now than back in 1990, so the total number of cars used to commute to work from here is higher than it was then, while the total number of public transit commuters is about the same. We eat reality sandwiches.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Jake – Thanks for finding those numbers but at least interpret them objectively. How do you conclude that residents mode switched from transit to bike? I’m sure some of that happened but why not also conclude that former transit riders switched to working at home, that pajama clad commute from the bed to the office. See that the 8% growth in work-at-home is greater than the growth in biking.

          • Posted by Jake

            80+% of the population in this census tract moved in after 1990, so we are analyzing a statistical pattern changing, not individual behavior.

            As to my conclusion that cyclists compete with transit, well the pattern in SF is fairly clear. This is just one of many census tracts that shows the same thing. I explained some of this on SS nearly a year ago and provided a link to the US Census Explorer Commuting Edition for folks to see for themselves. I repost that comment here below the line.

            Briefly, the folks that work-at-home are scattered all around SF, with higher concentrations in wealthier areas, but also in more geographically remote areas like the former playland at the beach. The increase in work-at-home is due to the Internet and increasing bandwidth. Back in 1990, Pac Hghts was the only area with many people working from home, but now it is all over.

            The Mission is the center of the bike vs transit pattern, and this location is fairly typical. In SF bikes predominantly compete with transit for riders and for road surface. Partly it is topology, partly incomes. Wealthy people bike and transit at lower rates than less wealthy people here and just about everywhere. In SF they also tend to live on hills more than less wealthy, making both bike and transit less attractive. And you can see it in the ridership counts of BART for the 24th ST station and the bike counts SFMTA does. During the months of heavy rain transit from here goes up and bike ridership goes down.

            If you want to grind through the numbers for this census tract, then more than 20% of the workers from here commute to a job outside of SF (mostly San Mateo county) and nearly all of them take private vehicles to work. Nearly another 10% walk to work. These numbers haven’t changed much since 1990.
            ~60% of the workers leave home to commute to a job in SF. A small share drive to work in SF. That gets us down to the ~53% from here that commute to work in SF to a job and do not drive or walk there for whatever reason. By comparison in 1990 it was 57%. When folks from this location had this choice to make in 1990 nearly 94% chose transit, 6% chose bike. By 2013 it was 81% transit, 19% bike. Except when it rains.

            Below was posted on SS in February 2014:
            _______________________________
            US Census Explore makes it easy to see where the different commute modes are concentrated.

            Zoom to the map scaled to all of SF. Select the census tract level of detail for 2013. Then look at the map for different commute modes beginning with walk, then switch to bike, then transit, then car. You will see a progression of the location of greatest concentration as you change modes.

            Walk is heavily concentrated in the north east quadrant, essentially the area within a 15-20 minute walk of the central business district.

            The greatest concentration of bike commuters is in the next ring centered on mission-hayes valley, but spread through the relatively flat areas on the downtown side of the hills. This is more or less the drainage area of the old mission creek. The bike commute time from these areas to the CBD is about 15-20 minutes.

            Transit overlaps with the core bike area and spreads past the hills, especially along the BART and MUNI train lines and along Geary. Transit riders tend to have longer commute times than those that walk or bike.

            Car commuting dominates the huge outer c-shaped ring from the Marina through the western and southern areas all the way to Potrero Hill. I’m not aware of any census tract in SF where the number of bike commuters is greater than the number of car commuters.

            BTW, far more San Franciscans work from home as commute by bike. The cheapest way to reduce commuting in San Francisco would be to deploy fiber to the home.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Jake – Sorry I still don’t get it. You could just as easily have said: “Notice that a big commute mode switch for workers from this location has been from public transit to work-at-home.” (instead of bike). That is at least as valid of a conclusion and perhaps more so due to the larger increase in work-at-home.

          • Posted by Jake

            If you just look at the numbers from this census tract in isolation, you could fit many explanations, but look at them in context in the Census Explorer graphics I linked to above and follow the progression that I detailed. Then reconcile it with other independent data that I mentioned wrt to segmentation that show overlap between bike and transit, but not between work-home and transit: geographic, economic, and weather.
            For someone able to ride a bike to work from their residence in the Mission, the switching costs to/from MUNI/BART are fairly small compared to using a car or changing to work-at-home. Whether you prefer to apply a marketing type analysis, Occam’s razor, or the concept that an explanatory theory should apply broadly (isotropy), all lead to this.

            It may not be the politically favored narrative, but it seems rather obvious if you just follow the data. And hat tip to NVJ, he was the first to mention it, though anecdotally, but that queued me to look for it.

            “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” — John von Neumann

  11. Posted by donjuan

    Pleasantly surprised. This is a very handsome design.

    • Posted by Orland

      And not one “build it higher!” comment to my perusal.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        It is an ideal height for this location. Twice as tall would be out of scale. Shorter wastes its potential a single block from rapid transit.

  12. Posted by SFrentier

    Basically private parking will become more elite, a true luxury item as opposed to an expected amenity. Even so, there are more cars on the streets of SF, but a lot of those are now lyfts and ubers, so they are serving multiple people. That is a new phenomena that many different people (but especially millennials) are taking advantage of. All I know is that leasing out a place in the mish now w/o parking has gotten a lot easier (I get a lot less “must have parking” complaints.) Private parking is a luxury for the rich(er) folks.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      I do respect Jake’s extensive analysis. But I also know anecdotaly many of those millennials you’re talking about. They are living in Uber (to get around) and Google buses (to get to work). I HOPE that we begin to see that reflected in statistics, because I do think the romance AND the necessity of car ownership has declined for this age group.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        i also know housholds that own 3 cars . which anecdotal evidence is more important?

        neither

        • Posted by curmudgeon

          exactly….that’s why I’m eager for more statistics to show more car-free households in the future. I’m hopeful.

      • Posted by Jake

        While I am sure of the truth of the oft repeated anecdotes of millennials with good jobs that forego the agonies of the DMV car registration process and the sins of chevron pumps for the ecstasy and satori of cycling/uber/muni; many carless SF households are not so well off and can’t afford to be so choosy. From the 2014 Census ACS for SF:

        31.2% households have no car
        32.8% households have income less than $50k/year
        41.4% of carfree SF households have no employed person

        And that makes 41.4% * 31.2% = 12.9% of SF households with no car and no job. Guess what the poverty rate is for San Francisco. Not that I would want to correlate causation amid this meme of confusion, seeing as how Ronald Reagan told us poor folks all got Cadillacs.

        Don’t know why it is so hard to understand that most people want to own their own car, ya know freedom to roam, custom hub caps, and personalized microbiome on wheels. Not me, hate the things, I don’t want to buy another one until it can drive itself and comes with a drone dock for Amazon deliveries enroute. But then I am very very patient, and anecdotal.

        • Posted by curmudgeon

          I would guess that many of those unemployed no jobbers are actually seniors. Fixed income, certainly, with many probably less than the 50K you state, but there is a reason for the “no job” beyond moral lassitude. For another anecdote…..roam around Potrero Terrace (SF Housing Authority) sometime. It’s mind-boggling how many cars there are….. Which is really in support of your point that many people want and feel they need a car, and will stretch very far to do so (despite lots of bus service, Potrero Terrace is not a place to live if you want to get anywhere fast on transit).

        • Posted by zig

          I can just say I have the same anecdotal observation with the millennials at my work. I think it is partly related to Uber but also the shuttle network the company had

          When I was younger it was rare and inconvenient at least where I work to be carfree

          HS kids don’t drive like we did back in the day either I understand

  13. Posted by JT

    Are you all REEALLY only obsessing about parking. Sell your car, expand your view of shared mobility and transit in this area, and zip it (as in, zip car, car share, or any other wonderful alternative to individual car ownership). we need housing desperately in this city and this developer increased the density of this building by ~20 units. that’s not incredible, but its something.

    • Posted by Orland

      Do you REEALLY (sic) feel it necessary to foist your lifestyle choices on others?

  14. Posted by Government Shrinkage

    Parking doesn’t matter. Uber/Lyft and self-driving cars will have cars ownership plummet in urban environments. I forecast a 30% drop in 5 years and a 60% drop in 10 years.

    • Posted by Jake

      That would only happen if we have an economic depression. In the real world, SF vehicle registration is increasing around 1% per year.

      BTW, when cars are chauffeurs mine’s going to be a stretch limo. I plan to never need to park in the city again. I will just have the car drop me off and then meander within communication range until I summon it. Even if I need to park for a long time like overnight at an airport or for a few hour event, I can still have the car drop me off at the entrance and then go find cheap parking or free recharge.
      As the people and car density in space and time increases this doesn’t scale so well. End of a football game, xmas mall shopping, etc. I wonder if our decedents will have to pass laws that empty cars are not allowed in some areas unless they are to pickup a handicapped person — similar to hov lanes, there might be solo-occupancy and zero-occupancy roads/lanes or times.

      • Posted by anona

        Self-driving cars will likely change the entire way that we think about automobiles. In ten years we’ll look back at your statement of “economic depression” with the same chuckle that we now get from looking back at 1880s reports of manure 20′ high citywide by 1920.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          in 10 years, no, but maybe in 30. I am postiive that most of us will still have our private automobiles 10 yrs from now, although likely to be some self-driving on the road.

      • Posted by Jake

        Self-driving cars able to handle Market at 6th or the other manifold hazards of the urban streetscape are decades away, IMHO. But, yes, I expect when people can safely become passengers with auto-chauffeurs, they will think about cars differently than we do now. Afterall, those cars will be very different from anything anyone is roadtesting today. Pretty good chance the roadways or their signalling will be very different too.

        In ten years we probably won’t have even automated all the trains. Do you know that in civilized places like NY State people die because a multi-million dollar train doesn’t know a car is on the tracks of it’s multi-billion dollar right-of-way? Happens in semi-civilized places like Texas too.

        While you are certainly entitled to enjoy your fantasies, I wouldn’t be counting my chuckles until the leaden bureaucracies of the FHWA, CA DOT, et al sign off. The AI community has a long and fantastical history of overselling their just-over-the-horizon-everything-will-be-different revolutions based on their current lab toys and need for funding (1960s era natural language processing, japanese fifth generation computer, neural networks, …).

        “So the question is why didn’t we get HAL in 2001?” — Marvin Minsky

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          I agree with your conclusions for exactly the same reasons. Though we might be able to create self driving technology today, getting past the bureaucratic issues will take some time.

          You can see this occurring in the microcosm of passenger rail. We could easily have reasonable cost high(er) speed rail in the USA but the Federal Railroad Administration enforces outdated rules that keep our trains slow and inefficient. Meanwhile the developed world are over a half century ahead of us. While our trains are required to use sluggish heavy equipment and limited to 79MPH*, ordinary commuter trains in Europe and Asia commonly exceed 100MPH. And that’s not even their fast HSR products.

          We could have upgraded our passenger rail performance with the stroke of a pen as far back as 1970.

          Personally I would love to see self driving cars replace human drivers. As a pedestrian and experienced bicyclist the only real hazards these days are inattentive, negligent or sociopathic drivers.

          (* with one minor exception on the Northeast seaboard)

        • Posted by anona

          New York State is hardly civilized. That label only applies to places like Switzerland or Tokyo.

      • Posted by zig

        Hope you don’t mind me asking but are you actually involved in city planning in some way directly or tangentially or are you just an interested dilettante who gets down with lots of data?

  15. Posted by Government Shrinkage

    Self-driving cars can already handle Market and 6th (I am actually looking at the intersection from my desk). The issue to get self-driving cars on the road is not a technological one at this point, it is primarily regulatory. In 5 years they will be able to handle virtually any situation better than a human driver (as opposed to most situations, which is the case today).

    Marvin Minsky is notorious for misjudging the pace of progress in AI – he famously believed that replicating a dog’s intelligence would take a single summer in the 60s. But self-driving cars have very little to do with AI. A small number of the techniques are heuristic, and some are learning, but you can build a very reliable self-driving car with algorithms developed 10 or 15 years ago.

    So I will reiterate my prediction: we will see a 30% decline in private car ownership in 5 years, and 60% in 10 years. It just won’t be cost effective to own a car, especially if you have to garage it.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      i dont think we see a 60% decrease for much more than20 yrs. And a 30% decrease will take 15.

    • Posted by Jake

      If you know how to “build a very reliable self-driving car with algorithms developed 10 or 15 years ago” plus “a small number of heuristic/learning techniques”, then you should do it, make $ billions, and save a decade or so of work by hundreds of excellent researchers currently working on it.

      There is no need to reiterate your prediction. Multiple copies will be in the google cache soon enough. And it doesn’t get any more credible with repetition.

      • Posted by Government Shrinkage

        As someone with an interest in the real estate, you should educate yourself about the technology – particularly its state today. It will revolutionize the urban landscape. Regulatory hurdles remain, and could delay things but given the financials and political forces at work, maybe not.

        The components of that technology that require AI (in the traditional sense of the term) are 10 or 15 years old. There is much more to driving cars than AI of course, including computer vision, navigation and object detection that require more recent advances.

        As for the prediction, I’ll offer more food for thought. Many houses have 2, 3 or even 400 sqft of real estate dedicated to garages – at 900, 1000 or 1100$/sq ft that you can reclaim it’ll become significant incentive. What about if you are able convert your two car garage into an a room or studio you can rent out? Add to these incentives the cost of a car, upkeep, insurance etc, and the continually increasing hassles of ever shrinking streets, vanishing parking lanes (16th street revamp, here we come), transit and bike lanes, the resulting congestion… It’s easy to see that transition happen very quickly.

        I’m done writing on this subject, but I bought my first non-self-driving, car from Marvin Minsky while studying at the AI Lab at MIT. True story.

        • Posted by Jake

          I am at least somewhat educated about the technology, having deployed some of it in the real world where it has to satisfy life safety and regulatory requirements, and not just meet academic standards.

          Automobiles are rather durable these days. Many, possibly a majority, of cars bought today will still be in service in 10 years. Garages are even more durable. Many in SF have already been “reclaimed” as they are stuffed full of stuff besides cars.

          I believe that truly self-driving cars, when they are as good as trained human chauffeurs, will vastly increase the value of cars and the convenience of car ownership. If those benefits are not reflected in a cost increase, then it may well increase car ownership. In this rosy future, one could live almost anywhere in SF and jump into your private custom limo to be dropped off at work/shopping/play or at a BART/MUNI station. And then have your limo waiting for you or even tailing you, just like the rich people do. No need to enrich Uber or Yellow Cab; or wonder what that stain is on the seat.

          Afterall, someone that can afford to pay $1000/sqft for their housing surely can afford to spend $10k/year for personal luxury travel previously only available to the very wealthy.

          Let us know when you see a car drive by your office window without a human occupant. I’m sure many of us would pay good money to own one of those.

          • Posted by zig

            so ten’s of thousands of private self driving cars trying to all get to the same place at the same time but without the cost of parking. Sounds like worse congestion than today

          • Posted by anona

            Congestion pricing for actually driving (or riding in a self-driving car) is much easier to implement than using a proxy like parking. I wouldn’t worry about congestion – the whole idea will seem very odd in a decade or two.

  16. Posted by Robert R. Tillman

    My family is the majority owner of this property. I am the CEO of the entity that holds title, RRTI, Inc., and am the decision-maker regarding the property. We have owned the laundry business since 1998 and were originally a tenant. We purchased the property in 2005/2006. Anyone wishing to know more about the property and our plans should feel free to reach out to me at 415-332-9242 or rrti@pacbell.net.

    • Posted by al

      I live a couple of blocks away from site, and just wanted say that I’m really glad you’re building housing in the Mission. It sounds like the community meeting was, uh, interesting.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        wow, just read that story in mission local. What a bunch of wingnuts. they want all affordable housing and they want it to be no taller than 3 floors and they dont want housing near a school and they dont like gay people in the mission, and there shouldnt be parking and there is not enough parking. The mission is a mess, but it has the best public transport in the city. I think it should be at least 7 floors, and be 100% market rate.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          oh, and they don’t think the property owner should get a fair price if he sells to the city

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        Yes, al – thanks for posting that link.

        The report of the community meeting really reads like a parody. As if a group of comedy writers decided “Let’s have the participants take the most extreme lefty views, and articulate them in the most illogical and unreasonable manner we can think of. And let’s have them shout each other down like on Jerry Springer. Oh, and let’s throw in a homophobic slur or two by some of the lefties to go even further with the parody.” Simply astounding.

        Takes me back to my first read of Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers.

  17. Posted by Orland

    If you are willing to engage in the discourse here, I’m sure the obvious subject of interest is the thinking in arriving at the number of parking spaces to be included.

  18. Posted by Robert R. Tillman

    My 22 year old daughter was home from college. I brought her to the meeting, as I would like her to be able to live in one of the units if she returns to San Francisco for medical school. The same woman who made the numerous homophobic remarks also made repeated derogatory remarks regarding my daughter, at one point saying that she wished that my daughter had been blown up (presumably in the Boston marathon bombing). I was very proud of my daughter for not reacting.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      sorry that happened to you, and embarrassed that that kind of thing happens in our city. By building condos on this lot, you are doing a public good. don’t let crazy people get you down. and you should absolutely not take less than market value from the city if you decide to go that route.

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