When San Francisco’s 300-acre Mission Bay neighborhood is “fully developed,” it is slated to encompass 6,500 units of housing; 4.4 million square feet of clinical, office and other commercial space; 419,000 square feet of retail; and over 40 acres of landscaped open space.

Of those 6,500 units of housing, roughly 5,800 have already been built, including nearly 1,200 units of below market rate housing, with another 271 affordable units under construction and affordable units on the boards for Blocks 9 and 9A.

Of the 4.4 million square feet of commercial space, 2.6 million square has been completed, with 1.8 million square feet currently under construction, including the 250-room SOMA Hotel now rising on Block 1, Uber’s future HQ on Blocks 26/27 (which is slated to open next year) and the Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center development on Blocks 29-32 (which is slated to be completed this August).

Another 70,000 square feet of retail will be added to the 350,000 square feet that’s already been built, largely within the Warriors development.

Of the 22 acres of additional open space that has yet to be completed, six acres will be added to Mission Creek Park over the next couple of years on blocks P2, P8 and P3; the nearly 2-acre Mariposa Bayfront Park (P23/P24) is expected to be completed by the end of this year; and the 5.4-acre Bayfront Park should be ready for play on P22 by the middle of next year (not including its future restaurant and restrooms).

And once again, none of the numbers above include the Giants’ massive Mission Rock project which is slated to rise on the Port’s Seawall Lot 337 (aka the Giants Parking Lot A), a development which sits outside the official boundaries and tallies of Mission Bay and is expected to break ground by the end of this year.

54 thoughts on “Mission Bay Is Nearly Built Out, Mission Rock in the Wings”
  1. I’d love to know when the streets will open. Channel St and the Mission Bay Blvds at the roundabout have been closed for almost 2yrs. They sit completely finished.

    1. Was just about to ask the same thing. Their closures are creating unnecessary bottlenecks as it stands.

      1. I can understand how those who are looking for a faster way in and out of SOMA want it to open. As it is you can already make your way through mission bay through some of the other streets. As a resident who lives near by and spends a lot of time in the area I personally hope the answer is never. The last thing mission bay needs is people trying to speed through a “short cut.”

        1. Why stop there? They should extend Mission Creek to be a moat around the whole neighborhood, accessible only by drawbridge. Anything to prevent the neighborhood from being integrated into the network of city streets.

        2. One more typical NIMBY reaction. A city is there to be shared!

          I live at Channel & El Dorado and I can’t wait to see that section of Channel St open. No more fences on great infrastructures that should benefit everyone. I asked SF’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure and they told me: “Still trying to work some things up between the developer and city agencies. Hoping to get it open as soon as possible but right now I don’t have a date for you”.

          1. A city is meant to be shared, totally agree. Too bad the rest of the city doesn’t feel the same way. Love how the neighbors across the “moat” turned down the Embarcadero location for the new Warriors arena. Because having a major arena on a major thoroughfare and much closer to regional heavy rail makes too much sense. Putting it in a less politically cohesive neighborhood of Mission Bay and Dogpatch is much easier, even if light rail transit is inadequate and the roads are fit for 2 lane country traffic levels.

            But hey, in the end, the folks a little further north got their homeless shelter instead of an arena. So I guess there is karmic justice. Hopefully these Mission Bay streets get opened before September rolls around, although Traffic Armageddon is guaranteed.

        3. So you moved in next to a street that was always meant to be open to the public and are complaining that it might *gasp* actually be opened? This is like people who move in next to the Caltrain line and then complain that trains sometimes go by.

    2. The Channel St. section between El Dorado and the roundabout just opened half an hour ago. 🙂

    1. It was an industrial ghetto before the ballpark and UCSF accelerated the change. The kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised to find dumped bodies.

  2. such a miss for this many acres of undeveloped land to only build 6500 units of new housing. could have easily built 20,000+ units here.

    1. I was under the impression the John Burton prevented it from being taller because he liked the views from his house on Potrero Hill.

    2. 6500 units in a little under 0.5 sq miles isn’t a miss. If you don’t think it’s sufficiently dense, why target 20,000 and not 50,000?

      When you account for the amount open open space and the fact that there’s a large world-class hospital and med school there, it becomes even more clear that it isn’t a miss.

      1. IMO there are a lot of misses. I would list at least three or four which would include:

        1) Lack of a good “main street” for the new neighborhood – 4th is not fulfilling that role and the sidewalks are too narrow for really good public retail/rest space. Unfortunately without that strong spine the neighborhood doesn’t have much coherence (related, King Street is a disaster as a retail street due to its width). This is sad not only for residents of the new neighborhood, but for the City as a whole.

        2) As much as the park space is appreciated, it’s nearly all passive except for some very forgotten space under the freeway….hard to imagine why more active uses weren’t programmed. I don’t even think the miniature soccer fields along Mission Bay Blvd are permanent, and they get tons of use but are completely penned in. There was PLENTY of space to develop ball fields, tennis courts, etc, and the City completely dropped the ball in programming for a space that was destined to be settled by many young newcomers to the City

        3) Without a question residential density could have been much higher, and was doubtlessly constrained by expectations to park many of those new units, and also by the CEQA process which worried about traffic (and yeah, maybe even John Burton who definitely opposed UCSF’s plans for a higher residence hall).

        My 4th would be the overall blandness of the architecture, and while it’s hard to blame a policy for that, it’s very hard to get excited about going to Mission Bay just to walk around and see the buildings.

        1. Literally every single development could be bigger, taller, and/or denser. They could have built this like the hellscape that is Hong Kong or they could have built it like the low slung mistake that is the Sunset. But they didn’t. The housing and subsequent population density of Mission Bay + Mission rock is higher that anything nearby, and not by a little.

          This is all just opinion and personal preference and claims made without even seeing what the design of some of the open spaces will be like.

          The real question is what are you going to do to push the powers that be to make additional/future development in the area and in the broader city more to your liking?

          1. Hong Kong is in no way a hellscape. It has world-class transit and a beautiful, striking skyline of towers contrasted against massive green wilderness parks that the high level of density has allowed the region to preserve. City, and nature, that’s it: none of the miles of suburban sprawl in between. It would be a blessing if the Bay Area had developed that way.

          2. Hong Kong’s house is primarily concrete block tenements designed and arranged in a way that keeps many units in permanent shadows with little space between adjacent blocks. If that’s your cup of tea, feel free to go live there.

          3. Housing aside, what’s SF’s excuse for more potholes than asphalt, an incompetently run transit system? Not very world class.

          4. Oh no, the evil shadows! With a warm climate shade is welcome. Even San Franciscans like shade, contrary to what you may read in discretionary review filings. Just look at the furor over removal of lower 24th Street’s ficus trees that put the corridor in permanent shadow. People love the trees!

            I also recommend getting outside Central on your next trip to Hong Kong. It’s understandable to spend most time in the business and tourist center, but you will find a lot more open space between buildings if you venture out a bit to the types of places more Hongkongers actually live. As with mainland Chinese development, the tradeoff versus American new urbanist style development is taller buildings but larger courtyards and more space between buildings. If anything, I think some of the newer developments have the opposite problem of too much internal open space and a towers in the park vibe, like Parkmerced.

          5. @TBK – SF’s excuse and the state’s excuse? Not enough tax revenue to fix the roads. Hang tight – gas taxes go up 5 cents in July and up to 71 cents next January. All will be fixed then don’t you know!?

        2. Berry too could have been so much more inviting with a more active street life with a few restaurants, cafes and lounges along those blocks west of 4th.

  3. When will they remove the fences that block access to the completed park at P5? The park was completed long ago and there’s no ongoing construction nearby, so why not open it?

  4. A huge area of undeveloped land is “discovered” on the edge of downtown and SF builds a sprawling medical campus and surrounding suburban-scale sprawl that looks like San Jose. A massive failure.

    There could have been planning to build real transit, including tunneling Caltrain down the length of Third from 16th to Transbay with a spur into an East Bay tunnel. There could have been some rationalization of the N/J/T nonsense. Instead the only transit here involved ripping out a freshly built section of the most expensive light rail ever constructed to change around the platforms, as if that will adequately serve anyone on game day.

    There could have been a continuation of west SOMA luxury towers that stacked up rich people into the sky and taxed them to subsidize actual “affordable housing” or just built public housing projects. No, instead just some unremarkably bland, car centric low-slung apartment buildings that are cold and sterile. No street life, no retail strip, no desire to walk anywhere. It’s an ugly wasteland.

    The “parks” include a charming mini putt course for tech workers to stand around looking at their phones. Not really a park, just the kind of dreary lot you could host a carnival on.

    And the cherry on top is a mini stadium dropped in the center of it, which could have instead been built on the embarcadero and been a notable coastal landmark rather than a dinky little spot for tech workers to have team building events at, wasting the prime land that could have done something to address SF’s needs.

    It’s as shamelessly incompetent as the Central Subway, and does just about as much to address the City’s crisis-level housing issues.

    But looking at it, it became clear that SF is intentionally working to create inequality while handwaving about ‘affordable housing.’ This isn’t a mistake, it’s not some unknown practice how to build cities. 40 acres on the edge of SoMa and SF builds exactly what any racist NIMBY town on the peninsula would have built.

    SF needs to be honest: it’s building for rich people by design. Housing prices are not some oops mistake. The pipeline is constricted to keep property values stratospheric. But beyond that, it’s not even nice stuff. These units all look like crap and the neighborhood is straight up unpleasant even to drive through. It’s both greedy drawbridge and a big con at the same time. Bravo, Incompetent City!

    1. “and surrounding suburban-scale sprawl”
      Well look at that. Right off the bat you’re factually and objectively wrong. Makes it impossible to take anything you say seriously.

      1. Sorry to offend you. In using “suburban” I intended to mean what’s commonly developed outside of an urban core, and “sprawl” to mean apparently unplanned growth. I am aware this is both urban and had planners looking at it for decades. It just looks like something a much smaller city would build on the far reaches of its burbs.

        It’s a failure for San Francisco if the objective were to build a great city. But the objective in SF is to build shoddy, small hyper expensive units nobody can afford unless they are getting paid a lot or are well connected to the machine teat.

        1. Do you think the units would be less expensive if they build condo towers instead of mid-rise buildings? What you save in land cost is often more than offset by higher construction cost (other than the city, most construction is for profit).

        2. This is downright delusional, man. Smaller American cities away from the coasts don’t build anything like Mission Bay. You are just throwing out ooga ooga words that are supposed to scare us. I mean, there might be serious mistakes made, but come on….

    2. It’s a shame they modified 4th St. It used to continue diagonally from SOMA to intersect with 3rd at 45 degrees. Not only would it save a few mins on T-Line, it could’ve been designed as sort of “town center”

    3. “Suburban sprawl” 4-7 DU per acre, single family homes – at 7 per acre you could fit 2,100 homes; no parks, no UCSF campus, no offices/jobs. That is suburban sprawl.

      This is a new piece of the city where underused land was developed into current uses. There is more land waiting to be converted south of this.

  5. “Fully developed” 300 acres, zero schools. That’s how you know planners have committed a massive error.

          1. It is an error. In civilized places like the city where I grew up they wouldn’t even grant certificates of occupancy for new subdivisions until after the school was done.

  6. Any word on when they plan to finish P12, P13 and P15? I believe everything currently on those sites is temporary.

  7. I hate this city. 6,500 units of housing? That’s it? And how many jobs?!? Why do we keep adding jobs?!? Also, it looks like Santa Clara.

    1. You’ve obviously never been to Santa Clara then. This talking point of “it’s just like the suburbs” is nothing but a factually incorrect pile of bull.

  8. I live in Mission Bay and agree that it could have been built higher but not terribly surprised as the zoning for Mission Bay was done in the 1990’s and I can only imagine back then even 6500 was a huge measure. Whats sad though is it seems like the city is repeating its mistake and developing large parts of Dogpatch as mid rise housing as well. This entire area should be high rises (MB, Dogpatch and even down to Bayview/Shipyard).

    Having said that however, this is still more than the city has done ANY where else in SF except for Transbay. Every time I go to outer sunset I cringe realizing that the number of people in multiple blocks over there are living in just 1 small block in Mission Bay.

    Maybe the next big one will bring down a lot of old stock houses in other districts and we can rebuild higher there too?!

  9. good looking suburb in a “city.” City keeps wasting opportunities to go higher denser with better public transportation. and affordable housing…

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