Construction crews at work. Photo by Lynne Shallcross.

Cranes and construction crews have become a common feature of many a Mission corner these days. But for as many projects currently under construction, there are about half a dozen working their way through the planning process.

We’ve done a fair amount of reporting on these projects throughout the years, and thought it’s high time to write a handy guide of the biggest projects around, especially since some of broken ground in recent weeks (notably the Grand Theater) and others are heading to the Planning Department for final approval later this summer (such as a condo development at 490 Van Ness).

Including both residential and commercial projects in all stages of development, our list has some of the biggest project in the works. We defined big by the approximate physical footprint for commercial projects, and number of proposed housing units for residential ones. Some of these projects have construction crews laboring away right now, some are still pipe dreams, several are targets of intense neighborhood debate, all of them are fairly gigantic for our low-slung neighborhood.


New Mission, New Drafthouse
Address: 2554 Mission Street
Size: 19,000 square feet
Description: The Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse movie house franchise is rehabbing the New Mission Theater. Built in 1916, the theater hasn’t screened films since the 1990s. After the renovations, the New Mission will have five screens and a kitchen with food and cocktails delivered to your seat.
Status: Building permits approved, renovations underway for a 2015 opening.
Read more:
From Austin With Love, Alamo Owner Meets Neighbors
After New Mission’s Dark Past, Back in the Lights
New Mission Theater Proposal Would Make Fiveplex Cinema

Cine Latino’s New Usage
Address: 2551 Mission Street
Size: 18,000 square feet
Description: This theater, built in 1912, has been vacant for over 20 years and various plans have swirled around its renovation since then. Owned by longtime Mission developer Vera Cort, the newest renovation project would convert the theater into a gym and restaurant. Cort’s project was originally approved in 2001 but stalled, until this past March when those permits were reissued. Last we heard, Busboys and Poets, a D.C.-based literary-themed restaurant, will be slinging books and burgers in the new restaurant space.
Status: The building has been partially demolished, uncertain timeline at this point.
Read more:
Cine Latino to Split into Gym and Restaurant

Citizen Fox’s Den
Address: 2205 Mission Street
Size: 18,000 square feet
Description: This former discount store was slated to be a grocery store for many years, but news broke earlier this month that a brewery and restaurant named Citizen Fox has plans to move into the space.
Status: Construction hasn’t started yet, though Citizen Fox has applied for a liquor license.
Read more:
Brewpub Coming to 18th and Mission
El Chico Produce Store to Open on 18th and Mission

Gray at the Grand
Address: 2665 Mission Street
Size: 10,000 square feet
Description: This historic theater built in 1940 is getting rehabbed by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. It will be an event and incubator space for media arts organizations. The renovation will transform the theater (which was most recently a dollar store) into a multimedia performance space and arts incubator. Despite not being completely done with its rehab, Gray Area hosted its first public event this past weekend, a performance by eerie sound artist Tim Hecker.
Status: Under renovation now, though the theater’s already partially open for events and classes. Full renovation expected later this year.
Read more:
Gray Area Foundation to Rehab Grand Theater
Invite Inside New Grand Theater Tonight

Maximus and Animus
Address: 1979 Mission Street
Size: 351 units
Description: This 10-story project yet to be approved by the Planning Department will be a behemoth by Mission standards. The project, being developed by Maximus Partners, will bring 350 units of housing and 50,915 square feet of retail space—not to mention forever altering the 16th Street BART plaza over which it would tower. Many groups oppose the project for its especially huge size but also because none of its units are currently planned to be priced at below-market rates. The developer has met with community groups and said the project will include affordable housing and a public playground, but the debate shows no signs of cooling.
Status: Plans still preliminary. Last time we heard from Maximus Partners, Seth Mallen, a spokesman for the project said they will continue to meet with neighborhood groups. The plan could be headed to its final vote by the Planning Commission later this year.
Read more:
16th Street Project Faces Tough Crowd at Ed Board
Project at 16th Street Bart Plaza has Enemies
High Rise Condos Proposed for 16th and Mission

Bryant Blockchopper
Address: 2000-2070 Bryant Street
Size: 276 units
Description: If the plans for this six-story project are approved, most of a block on Bryant Street could be demolished to make way for 276 units of rental housing and 4,300 square-feet of ground-floor retail space. Its construction would be saying goodbye to longtime art space InnerMission (formerly Cellspace). The developer Nick Podell says that the project wil include 44 units of on-site affordable housing.
Status: Plans still preliminary, though Podell has said previously that the sales of the properties included in the project have not been finalized.
Read more:
Most of Block Could be Demolished for Housing
Preliminary Plans for Bryant Street Property

Livin’ La Vida Condos
Address: 2558 Mission Street
Size: 114 housing units
Description: This luxury apartment complex from Oyster Development Group fills the footstep of the old Giant Value store. With 114 market-rate housing units and eight stories tall (it was granted an height limit exemption from the Planning Department), it’s definitely one of the Mission’s largest projects to become a reality. Approved in conjunction with the renovation of the New Mission Theater, Vida’s developer also granted the city land on Shotwell Street to be developed for 44 units of affordable housing. For $1,000 a square-foot Vida’s one and two-bedroom units are already selling fast.
Status: Construction happening right now, slated to open 2015.
Read more:
New Mission Theater Project Could Mean Big Changes for Mssion Street
Listen Local: Lauren Smiley on a Mission

From Classrooms to Bedrooms
Address: 1950 Mission Street
Size: 115 units
Description: This former, abandoned school building was granted to the city by San Francisco Unified School District in 2013 for the construction of 115 units of affordable housing. It was originally intended to be housing specifically for teachers, but that fell through. While no project plans are currently in the works this moment, the Mayor’s Office of Housing has said it will fast-track this project in the next year and seek proposals from developers soon.
Status: Preliminary.
Read more:
Affordable Housing Construction in Limbo
Report City Under Uses Publicly Owned Land

Condos Next to Labor Temple
Address: 490 South Van Ness
Size: 72 Condo Units
Description: This project to build 72 units of for-sale units on top of an old gas station has been stalled for many years due to soil contamination issues. After long delay, the Planning Department determined the project didn’t need an additional Environmental Impact Review. It’s slated to head to the Planning Commission on August 14. However, given that this project’s neighbor will be the historic Redstone Building and that it currently only includes market-rate units, the project’s opposition is long-brewing and fierce.
Status: Awaiting final approval from the Planning Department.
Read more:
Health Officials Halt Work at Former Gas Station
Opposition Builds for Condo Complex Near Redstone Building


A Park Progresses

Address: Dolores Park
Size: 16 acres
Description: With a giant crater currently carved into half of this iconic park and neighborhood hang, this $13.2 million is certainly being felt in the neighborhood. Right now, the northern half of the park is getting new tennis courts, fresh turf, new paths and much-needed renovated bathrooms. This fall, the Souther half of the park gets its turn for facelift.
Status: On going, expected to be complete by the summer of 2015.
Read more:
Dolores Parks Mexican Liberty Bell on the Move
Half of Dolores Park Will Close
Long Awaited Dolores Park Redesign Plans Unveiled

There are obviously many more projects in the works, but if you think we missed a particularly important one, let us know. Send an email to missionlocalATgmailDOTcom.

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Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

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  1. “Cort’s project was originally approved in 2001 but stalled”

    “Status: The building has been partially demolished, uncertain timeline at this point.”

    This is a perfect example of the problems with our lovely city. If an owner of a building has to wait 15 to 20 years to renovate a vacant building, they will need to build luxury homes to make up for the 15 to 20 years of no income and property taxes. Maybe if they could get things done in a year or two, they could afford to build cheaper homes.

    Maybe give permits way faster to projects that are building middle income/affordable homes? IF they could buy, build, and sell in a 3 year period, developers could profit off cheaper homes. If they have to wait 20 years, they will need to charge more for the end product.

    1. That site is big enough for WholeFoods to be interested. They took over the similarly-sized Cala store at Haight and Stanyan although, in that case, the site wasn’t up-zoned as it clearly should have been.

      The question is more whether the Mission is now elevated to the point where a Wholefoods works. More a matter of when rather than if, I suspect.

    2. It’s sort of astounding how long that space has been vacant now, given the land worth alone.

      I remember a few years back there was talk of Fresh and Easy moving in, but that disappeared. there’s no question Trader Joes or Whole Foods would do very well there.

      Whoever owns that must be really losing a lot of money letting it sit there.

    1. Why can we not have both? More homes and more prosperity? Why do you think they don’t or can’t go together?

  2. It is great to see these projects in progress. None are as big as they really should be, except for maybe the 16th Street condos. But it’s a start. More housing please!

  3. While it is good that you acknowledge the debate around the Maximus development at the 16th street plaza, you only mention those opposed. I think it is important in fair journalism to note that there are a LOT of people who are very excited for and supportive of this transformative development. If you are going to cite the opposition and their reasons, it might be good journalism to list a few of the many benefits that the development would bring to the neighborhood.

    1. Yay! I can’t wait for gourmet ice cream! As long as I don’t have to walk over street people. Yay, I’m fun. I live in the Mission. Blexxxxxxxch.

      1. You are in luck! CREAM is coming to 16th and Valencia and should be open on 8/2/14. Free ice cream sandwiches from 12-8!

        See you there!

    2. Yes, everyone I know in the area is very excited about this project. It’s too bad that NIMBYs get so much attention.

  4. It’s exciting to see so much activity and progress in our neighborhood. The promise and potential that many of us saw when we first moved here (in my case, twenty years ago) is finally beginning to flourish. We were right to look past the gritty problems of the Mission and keep our eye on the destination.

    1. Poor people almost gone, destination almost achieved? Until the next cycle elsewhere when opportunists swoop in and forcefully displace existing visions with their own visions of money.