What was left of the Giant Value store fell to the ground last week as a construction crew finished demolition work to prepare the site for what will become the second-tallest building in the Mission.
Designed by Kwan Henmi Architecture and Planning Inc., the 85-foot, eight-story structure will combine 114 one- and two-bedroom market-rate condominiums with 14,750 square feet of retail space and 89 parking spaces on the ground floor.
“We’re kind of just the cleanup crew to get everything ready,” says Luis Montes of MBC Construction, as he overlooks piles of debris, concrete, metal and brick that are being shuffled around by tractors. “Then the others can start building.”
Montes, 22, works with his uncle and friends of the family. He says he’s just starting to learn from them about what it takes to demolish a building. “You gotta take into account everything,” he says. “You have to look at things and see how they’re gonna move. It’s always better to be cautious and take your time.”
Montes, who wears a fluorescent yellow vest and red hard hat, says the crew feared that the wall facing Mission Street would fall into the street rather than into the demolition site. “The only thing holding it up was the buildings next to it,” he says. “It’s a dangerous job, so we gotta be real careful.”
Part of the New Mission Theater project, the construction includes a renovation of the adjacent New Mission Theater. Tim League, owner of Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, plans to develop a 600-seat, three-screen theater at the historic site.
After Montes and the others remove the debris and piles of recyclable materials, they’ll start breaking concrete. One of the perks of the job, Montes says, is discovering little pieces of history along the way. Rod Montes, co-owner of the company, found a dusty page from a 1952 calendar behind one of the walls.
“We found this, too,” Luis Montes says, kicking an empty safe that’s covered in dirt. “But they [Giant Value] didn’t leave us anything.”