Having already been redesigned to look less upscale, the façade of the approved seven story development to rise up to 79 feet in height upon the former auto body shop site at 1924 Mission Street has been redesigned anew, “to reflect a more traditional design…in keeping with the [existing] character of the Mission Street Neighborhood,” as was a condition of the project’s approval last year.

The redesigned project could still yield eleven (11) apartments with smaller windows, the original designs for which had been characterized as “a statement of class and privilege,” over a 1,350-square-foot retail space fronting Mission Street and a rooftop deck for the building’s residents.

And with the required demolition and building permits required to proceed with the development now nearly in hand, the parcel at 1924 Mission Street is now on the market with a $3 million price tag.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Sutro_Tower

    This reminds me of that wonderful final scene in Amadeus: “Mediocrity is everywhere — I absolve you.”

  2. Posted by Anonymous

    Dumb question, but what happens with the side facing windows on the adjacent buildings in an infill project like this?

    • Posted by MDG399

      Side windows get covered up – there are no windows allowed on common wall or firewalls. And IF a building has them, there are covenants in the deed stating they might be covered up one day if a taller building is built.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        So do they get physically removed and get studs and drywall (i.e. a normal wall) in their place?

        • Posted by SFrentier

          I dunno…but I recon you can leave them as windows to nowhere, as long as they meet fire code. Look kinda weird though

          • Posted by Freeloader

            I have one of these windows in my kids room. It’s grandfathered in but not up to code. The glass is frosted but if you open the window you see a wood building

  3. Posted by unlivable city

    Its too tall and ugly as all get out.

    • Posted by GuyFox

      Not even close to “too tall”. It is ugly as all get out because the ridiculous planning department seems to think they know better than professional architects. It’s no wonder everything that gets built in this city is generic and generally ugly!

      • Posted by Brian M

        Not sure the appeal to authority works w/r/t “professional architects”. “Professional architects,” even celebrated ones, have been responsible for many, many abominations over the decades.

        Not disagreeing that the Planning comments on this project were silly, but…

  4. Posted by Paulish

    The original design was Way better

    • Posted by Aerel


    • Posted by J


      • Posted by Brian M

        Not sure this design is very good, but it is not that bad. There is nothing wrong, in a background building, with riffing off an existing vernacular. Not everything has to be a MAJOR ARHCITECTURAL STATEMENT. Especially when “professional architects” are busy following trends and crazy ideas.

        This is fine. The top cornice line is heavy and really clumsy, but there are many buildings in SF which feature bay windows on multiple floors.

        • Posted by Curious

          I was going to comment, but you already said everything.

    • Posted by Torger Cobus

      The first design was bad, but the second is worse. This passes for tradition. A Victorian bay stretched up for five stories.

    • Posted by RySF

      Definitely agree.

    • Posted by RySF

      Definitely agree that the first design was the better of the two.

  5. Posted by Formerly Native

    Just that phrase “a statement of class and privilege,” is ridiculous. Shouldn’t we be building the best possible buildings? What am I missing?

    • Posted by Frisco

      Okay, I’ll bite. “Best” is best for whom? As defined by whom?

      • Posted by Formerly Native

        I don’t know, Best is surely subjective.

        My point is intentionally making buildings less attractive is, to my mind, silly

    • Posted by Torger Cobus

      It is well known that people of affordable means do not like big windows. /s

  6. Posted by M

    As an architect for 20 years, and in SF for about 10 years in the housing & mixed-use sector, THIS IS ABOMINABLE.

    Good job, NIMBY’s, and calle 24, and MEDA, and whomever else feels the need to inject everyone with their “privilege” and their “exclusive rights to this neighborhood” — telling us all that they matter more than anyone else.

    If you are only catering to “Latino” families, YOU ARE BEING RACIST
    If your group only considers your own point of view, you are ONE-SIDED & SPECIAL INTEREST
    If your group hates rich people, well…that part of life only you control.

    • Posted by J

      Thank you for your comments and for jacking up our city.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Thank YOU for making liberal politics a group identity joke that gave us the buffoon in Washington.

  7. Posted by Joy Jacobs


  8. Posted by jeremyharrison

    In the same vein, we need a law to force every attractive person to have plastic surgery to make them uglier, so no one ever feels like someone else is better looking.

    No more aesthetic inequality!!

    Wow, that rush of self-righteousness I just felt was AMAZING! 🙂 Need more of that…..

  9. Posted by BobN

    Well, they certainly captured a lack of elegance. Surely no “elite” would wand to live here…

  10. Posted by DCArch

    Is this a case where value engineering during construction might actually have changes that make it nicer?

  11. Posted by Dave

    This brings the number of units in entitled projects put up for sale rather than being built to 963 – give or take. That doesn’t include 524 Howard which Crescent has delayed yet again and which will (IMO) be put on the market rather than built.

    There will likely be more entitlements not being built and especially those funded by investment groups who purchased in the past few years and may have overpaid for the property. Irrational exuberance will get investors every time. Clearly prices for new/newer condos are leveling out or going up at a slow pace and the halcyon days of large yearly price jumps are over for the foreseeable future – IMO. The rising interest rates and construction costs further aggravate the situation.

  12. Posted by J

    The new building is way better than that crap they tried to put in there before. It just didnt fit the area.

    • Posted by Big D

      Thankfully almost no one agrees.

    • Posted by Formerly Native

      Faux old awful. The other design, perhaps needed some fine detail improved, I liked it as it was but make no mistake, from day one, this new, fake retro design will not fit the area either.

  13. Posted by Bobby Mucho

    Kinda sad. I sort of enjoyed the version in the rendering at the top; reminding me of Mexico City in a way.

  14. Posted by scott f

    Delay is a bigger issue than the design. The Planning Department’s guidelines discourage this “traditional” design and encourage the more modern style with square bay windows that the developer originally had. Accordingly, the Department had probably been in constant communication with the developer for 3 years (PPA filed in 2014, Commission hearing in 2017), all the while telling them to do the modern design. Then the Commission arbitrarily threw out those guidelines, trash-talked the modern design and insisted on something different.

    The Department can’t predict the Commission’s capricious votes and can’t advise developers properly on how to get something through the Commission. If the Commission likes traditional design, it should direct the Department to put that in its guidelines instead of doing these one-off requests late in the process.

    These 11 homes have been held up for a year now over this request for a redesign, and we may lose them entirely if no buyer shows up. More than the traditional vs. modern design debate, this is a case study in why San Francisco fails to build enough housing.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      This is the biggest problem. No one is building it as the developer is shopping the site and plans. At this point, who cares about the hypothetical building design?

  15. Posted by r_sq

    So glad we are working to preserve the historical slummy character of this neighborhood. The last thing we want is for the Mission anything approaching classy…

  16. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I’m on the fence as both designs seem equally bad but in different ways. The previous design with that exaggerated corny crown is reminiscent of the quasi streamline deco buildings you see in south and southeast Asia. None near as elegant as what was built in Miami during the heyday of that style.

    • Posted by SFrentier

      Look at the original original in the link. Modern. Much better.

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Thanks. So there have been three designs so far. I agree that the first design not pictured in this article is by far the best. Wow, it went from good to bad to worse, all due to stakeholders supposedly improving the project. This makes a good example for how the existing process not only delays projects but degrades them.

  17. Posted by SFrentier

    The beauty (sic) of this being now sold is that the new owner will probably want to tweak or modify the design *again*, so only more delays to be expected. (I don’t think the new buyer is obligated to build it as is…it’s so fugly who would want to pay market rate and build this crap.) This could go on for a lot more time…nimbys win again!

  18. Posted by Jerry G. Rendón

    Based on design image above, the building will be UGLY and does nothing further to beautify this culturally rich neighborhood. As a neighboring resident with windows on one side of the new proposed building, it is going to “royally suck” that I and others will lose our sky views and access to sunshine. Shame on the developers and the City of SF for approving this building and design.

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