Having been expanded to include the Safeway parcel and parking lot at 4950 Mission Street, in addition to the Valente Marini Perata Funeral home parcel at 4840 Mission, the proposed development to rise up to seven stories in height across the Excelsior District site would now yield a total of 428 apartments, 175 of which would be offered at below market rates (i.e., “affordable”).

While the project as proposed would level the existing 36,000 square foot Safeway in the middle of the site, a brand new 53,000 square foot Safeway would rise upon the funeral home parcel, with the aforementioned affordable residential units above, 10,000 square feet of new space for the Mission Neighborhood Health Center on the second floor, and an underground garage for 126 cars below.

And as designed by Van Meter Williams Pollack for Bridge Housing and the Emerald Fund, the existing Safeway would remain in place and open for business until the replacement store was completed, at which point the six-story, market-rate portion of the development would break ground, along with an additional 13,500 square feet of ground floor retail space, a second underground garage for 204 cars and a mid-block public plaza and passageway running from Alemany to Mission.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

49 thoughts on “Major Excelsior District Development Newly Detailed and Phased”
    1. Yes, because no one should ever be allowed to take their car when they’re shopping for food for their family.

      1. really!!!??? you are living in another world. look at the population of the neighborhood, and many families have been there for 3 generations. this is NOT tech-central. THIS is a family neighborhood. the biggest family hood in the city. don’t change our hood, find a hood that fits your proclivities.

    2. not enough parking! this is a family neighborhood, not just the newly arrived techies on bikes!! we carry kids in these cars – sports teams, girl scouts, field trips, shopping that won’t fit in a bike basket! and our oldsters live here too – not a bike-centric neighborhood!!

      1. We are a big family, and we would love for the neighborhood to become bike friendly. It makes the place way safer for kids on the street. Now, that said, I do not think that there is enough parking either. You should count one car per unit.

      1. While I’m usually all for building higher, 7 stories isn’t bad. I would rather they build as presented above then risk asking for 14 and getting nothing. The bigger issue is all the single/2 story housing in the area that should be rebuilt to a 6-8 story height. That’s where we will get the density and amount of housing we need.

        1. 7 stories is residential, anything higher is for downtown. Building higher they need to have reclaimed water (grey water) system that cost contractors waaay more than anticipated.

  1. There we go again with the uninspiring San Leandro T.O.D. architecture again. Otherwise, this is a fantastic idea. My only requests are to redesign the skin so it doesn’t look so choppy and generic and keep the old neon sign from the funeral parlour…. it’s so snazzy. Oh, and please put an old man bar and a hobby shop in on the ground floor.

      1. Same here. A quick search shows me that Pissed Off Pete’s, Coco’s and Rock’s Den are just down the street.

        1. unless they post a keep out sign, or the new residents avoid the area entirely and spend at the big boxes (which will happen), the character of the bars will change with the clientele.

    1. i agree this rendering looks pretty lackluster, although the VMWP-designed building complex on Valencia between 15th and 14th is one of my faves (except for the surface parking everywhere, yuck).

      it seems like the design concept is the classic “this is a long building, so let’s make it look like 5 buildings” — hopefully they can come up with some bolder massing moves while maintaining the density…

  2. Maybe they can get the four single family homes along Alemany to sell to increase the scope of the project and square it off.

  3. The City of San Francisco did mention that the property of the Safeway Duboce/Market Sts. was underutilized for the location. A long block with a parking lot facing the street is unacceptable.

    1. Yes, there’s a de facto passageway already thanks to the existing surface parking. This should not be blocked. This development should not degrade pedestrian porosity. It would be straightforward to include a passage.

  4. can we stop designing four-sided courtyards? (courtyard that are wrapped by the building on all four sides?) the quality of the space is so depressing. along Mission and Alemany, it seems the building massing thins to a single-loaded corridor — make one a double-loaded and get rid of on the sides. it makes a much more interesting massing along the street wall, and then the units & courtyard suddenly open up to the street, which is a thousand times more pleasant than the Parisian-prison courtyard (paris is beautiful bla bla i’m just saying the courtyards are downright claustrophobic.

    tl;dr — simple massing movies could make this way more pleasant.

    1. Agree 100% we tried to show them a parti that opens up, or they should look at upper yards project for some massing changes or inclusion of some balconies and not flat stack em and pack em in designs

    2. We should absolutely stop designing courtyards bound by buildings on all sides. However, rather than having it open up to the street we should just not have them in general. They serve a very limited purpose (probably just light and air for interior units) and an even smaller group of people (both inside the project and outside). I don’t know of very many courtyards that used in SF for anything other than the occasional BBQ or other small event. I would rather fill that space with more housing or retail, especially in this case as there are several parks nearby. The only reason I see for keeping the interior space is that parents can let kids out without worrying about them walking onto the street or someone on the street walking onto the property…

      1. some kind of courtyard is necessary for light and air. you need windows on all rooms. if you had “housing” in the middle, where the courtyard is, you wouldn’t have any windows. housing density is mostly determined by extent of exterior wall, not square footage available. so, in some sense, there needs to be a “void” — and it needs to be a certain width for fire separation reasons… but it doesn’t have to be as claustrophobic as this…

      2. “They serve a very limited purpose (probably just light and air”.

        Yeah, who needs light and air in their living environment, when did people get so fancy…

        1. ha. Yes, SF has become so very fancy. I am also writing the rest of this while holding up my pinky…

          I probably should have been clearer in my statement, but what I meant was that you could have less courtyard space and more housing by reorienting/redesigning the property. If small cutouts for light wells work in some places then something similar could work here as well. Of course, that might make those rooms much less valuable to a potential buyer, and it would be hard for me to say if the increased unit count would counter the decreased price.

  5. It’s like we have learned nothing as a city from our few great successes and many many failures about how to design housing. This soviet era monolithic block housing is dehumanizing. The whole way Mission rolls is parcel to parcel. This project is appallingly ugly, cheap looking and yes, full of those sad blank hole courtyards kids hate. Our planning dept is a joke.

  6. There is no beauty at all in this design – no attempt at even a modicum of civic artistry. But that is the woeful tale of architecture in SF. Artistry in architecture and especially residential architecture allows a place to be worthy of affection – a place to be a welcome human habitat, a place worthy to be called home in the best sense of that word. This building is not such a place.

    1. Oh to aspire to the level of the spellbinding urban majesty of a Belltown, Seattle quality of architecture, eh Dave?

  7. To the owner of the property of Valente, Marini, Perata Funeral Home: You closed one of the best Funeral Homes in the City. It was an Historic building that served the community for more that 50 Years. Why couldn’t you work out a deal with the new owners to keep or include this Funeral Home in the new designs. How disappointed many families are to hear the news. You did not even try to preserve this site.

    As for the new owners, it would be to your advantage as well as the community to restore or to include the Valenti, Marini and Perata Funeral Home. Everyone claims they want a good community, but you eliminate the Funeral Home. You would rather add other types of venues. Do you realize that having this funeral would benefit the low cost elders. With this project you probably forced out the flower shop that was next store to the funeral home.

    Improving the neighborhood means having stores, shops and the Funeral home, everything that is needed within this community. I don’t think this plan with the old owners of the property and the new owners thought about how this plan would effect others. I am sadden to see that no one looked at the total picture and the needs of the people. I was born in San Francisco and see that most of the changes will not help the community.

    1. FYI. Valente, Marini, Perata owned the land. They decided to sell the land. It was their family business and their choice to leave the neighborhood.

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