As we outlined earlier this year, of the 22 acres of additional open space that has yet to be built out across Mission Bay, 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).

Since then, the new dog park on El Dorado (P5), between Channel and Long Bridge, has opened along with all access roads to the Mission Bay Circle (P10) roundabout.

And with bids to complete the effective extension of Mission Creek Park from 4th to 3rd Street on parcel P3 now due next week, an extension which will include new promenade, benches, drinking fountains, decking and architectural concrete features, along with plenty of plantings (not to mention a new creek side restaurant or two), the extension is expected to soon break ground and be construction complete around March of next year.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Hunter

    What’s happening with P7, P8, P9, and the completion of P2 (expansion into the old parking lot that already has a new replacement)? They seem to be stuck in slow motion over there.

  2. Posted by Scott F

    I wish Western SoMa could get even a fraction of this much parkland. Blah blah land costs, I know. But I think it’s a question of city priorities. San Francisco has decided it doesn’t want office space or hotels or much multifamily housing in 80% of the city, so SoMa gets it all, and that’s why the land is too scarce and valuable to have desperately needed open space there. And yes, I know about the various POPOS and the planned park at 11th and Natoma that’s only half an acre, 1/25th the size of Dolores Park.

    Anyway, Mission Bay, for all its faults, will be notable as the one neighborhood that has both a reasonable amount of parkland and reasonable density. Other than Mission Bay, where we have density, we don’t have parks, and where we have parks, we don’t have density. So it’s going to be a very nice place to call home.

    I hope the promised 5th Street pedestrian bridge over Mission Creek gets built at some point. What happened to that? Undergrounding of the Caltrain station and removal of the I-280 stub should also happen to make these parks more accessible to San Franciscans coming from outside Mission Bay.

    • Posted by jim

      there’s such a homeless problem in Western Soma that it’s not a good idea to build new parks for sleeping/shooting up and pooping there. Western SOMA is vastly underzoned and underbuilt. with its proximity to downtown, to the freeway, to public transportation, walkability and proximity to the new central soma business district, it should be full of 8-12 story residential buildings. Western SOMA is probably the most underdeveloped area in SF for its location

      people complain about large areas of city not growing in height, but the transportation to the western side of SF is terrible. it’s 40+ mins on an express bus from the INNER INNER richmond. much of east bay and peninsula has a faster commute. build a geary subway and then upzone it.

      • Posted by Mark

        Couldn’t agree more about Geary subway and upzoning, but after 19 years in SF, I realized a while ago that it will never ever happen.

      • Posted by Scott F

        Western SoMa should definitely have taller new development. That goes hand in hand with new parks. You make space for parks by going taller where you do build. For large sites the city can offer a generous density bonus for dedication of half the land for a park. It would have been a perfect strategy for the 9th and Mission parcel now awaiting construction of yet another horizontally oriented low rise block.

        To the concern about unsavory behaviors happening in a new park, In Chan Kaajal Park has done okay in a mostly industrial part of the Mission comparable to Western SoMa. It has some immediate neighbors that activate it (cafe, dance performance space, bowling alley) and is fenced with the gates closed after 9pm.

  3. Posted by ExSFLandlord

    You can pay tribute to Corrine Woods for all the committed and planned open space in Mission Bay. Without her activism and guidance Mission Bay would not be full of parks and beautiful landscape.

    RIP Corrine.

  4. Posted by L'UrbanistaSF

    I can’t believe how poorly Chong Partners master planned this from an urban planning standpoint. The sidewalks along 3rd should be a good enough example of how to totally screw up an opportunity to activate a street with a proper setback, sidewalk width and ground floor retail.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      completely agree. Sidewalk width on 3rd and on 4th (the intended “retail” strip of Mission Bay) is not wide enough to be comfortable for sidewalk cafes, etc. And buildings by and large have not relieved this condition with setbacks because they are all maximizing their square footage.

      • Posted by RobBob

        What they should allow is having the setback only be at ground level. Then they could have maximum square footage for the residential space above but a large sidewalk with smaller square foot retail spaces below. Especially since the retail space demand seems not to be so high given the amount of still vacant retail spaces.

        Also the city should require the park areas be open first after the major construction is complete, the channel in that area has been a wasteland for long enough.

  5. Posted by ExSFLandlord

    For all those newbies……the Western SoMa plan (WSP) was a community based plan. I don’t have the link but the “Back Street plan” was used extensively to preserve the character of the mostly small narrow streets and alley’s found all over the Western SoMa. Not withstanding, Folsom, Harrison, Howard, etc. Many of the older buildings found on these “Back Streets” are 2 and 3 story residential dwellings.

    Like it or not the purpose of the WSP, which BTW took over 10 years to develop and get approved, was to keep the character of the SoMa intact while allowing for infill development to take place.

    Re: “Western SOMA is vastly underzoned and underbuilt.” You could start a whole new plan to rezone but be prepared to spend the next ten years having workshops, meetings, hearings, appeals, and NIMBY fights.

    • Posted by jim

      not a newbie and followed the making of the western soma plan. it was a complete and utter disaster, and was out of date for what was needed way before it was completed. it was as if they were planning for the past instead of the future. for some reason, no one part of that planning process thought the city would grow. there is very little character to preserve in western soma and was/is a perfect tear down and restart neighborhood (most , but not all of it). this is a good example of why keeping planning so local (neighborhood planning whats best for neighborhood) is just a NIMBY exercise

      • Posted by Hunter

        Agree with Jim. We can keep the small-scale residential alley ways and have major upzoning of the wider streets to encourage residential construction. I think the regulations about not having PDR in residential buildings (but having to replace it whenever bulldozed) also seems a blockade to redeveloping many of the industrial sites in W. SoMa.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        So agree! Neighborhood residents should of course have a voice in planning, but they shouldn’t be able to absolutely dictate the future…particularly when there were so few of them in such a large under-developed area. But led by the late Jim Meko, a neighborhood gadfly of the highest order, the Western SOMA plan was an incredibly anti-development plan that should never have been adopted.

  6. Posted by MissionBayResident

    Mission Bay’s creek was an absolute wasted opportunity. Only SF planners could mess something up that bad. “Hey lets make the creekside empty and desolate and have all the retail and city life be in the food truck park 5 blocks away”.

    You can tell people want to be by the creek with the occasional foot traffic. but there’s absolutely nothing to do there and no reason why anyone would walk that way. just long blocks of private residential units on the floor.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Yep. Two restaurants along there, as well as some outdoor seating at the library would do wonders. A little coffee kiosk near the kayak rental / basketball courts and in the park on the south side would also be excellent. Why is SF so bad at putting retail/services where people want it?

      • Posted by RobBob

        The question you should be asking yourself is how hard is it to just clone nyhavn?

      • Posted by Keenplanner

        Truly. Parks and squares in Europe always have a cafe or two. They aren’t as phobic about the public/private thing. Remember when the city tried to put a cafe in Dolores Park? There were protests about privatizing the public space, but it turns out it was all a bunch of friends of the Dolores Park Cafe.

  7. Posted by Keenplanner

    Wait, the City built a lovely little park on Valencia at McCoppin. Is that western SOMA? The park is now fenced-off, maybe forever, because it filled up with crazy vagrants. Homeless people and addicts making big messes. That’s why we can’t have nice things.
    The skateboard park seems to be thriving, though.

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