Tenants and community organizers at a July press conference at 2050 Bryant Street. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.

San Francisco may have its problems, but at least we, unlike LA, don’t have hundreds of buildings with load-bearing structures designed by engineers whose credentials were made in Photoshop. At least, not at the moment… that we know of.

What we do have is a city full of plans for development that are being tried in the court of public opinion. While the developers of the project on 16th and Mission are tied up in a lawsuit with the landowner, opponents of the project are brainstorming what their ideal alternative would be.

More concretely, though: Nick Podell, the developer of 2000-2070 Bryant Street, has announced a new plan for the much-maligned project: Instead of 16 percent on-site affordable housing, he’s planning to give land worth about $26 million to the city, which completely shifts the project.

Podell credits community feedback with the change, but there’s no way this is going to mean the end of community feedback.The change is certainly going to result in more affordable housing being built on that site than the original plans would have provided, but now the onus is on the city to actually build it. On one hand, that means more control for the city. On the other, community organizers are rankled that the new plan wasn’t tailored to their requests.

Meanwhile, the whole spectacle of Mission development and housing prices becomes slightly more stomach-turning when you hear that analysts say that the city’s housing prices are overvalued by some 16 percent. That phenomenon, SFGate notes, is not unique to San Francisco, since housing markets are heated nationwide …which carries with it a little bit of a sense of deja vu to the days of 2001 (and more recently, 2008).  

I wonder if that means anything for the luxury realtor about to move on to the neighborhood’s arguably most overvalued street: Valencia. Keller Williams, the world’s largest real estate franchise, is planning to open a location in the former ArtZone 461 space, at least according to a notice in the storefront door. Not just an office though – SocketSite says the firm wants to make this an interactive “sales and research center.”

Next to ArtZone, Valencia will also become home to BenchMade Modern, a furniture manufacturer whose claim to fame is customising furniture to the inch and then producing it on a very tight turnaround – 24 hours, in fact, for those who want to pay a little extra for a rush job. We’ll have more on this block soon.

Elsewhere in Mission businesses, there have been some disheartening closures and a few returns from the apparent grave.

El Tin Tan, Capp Street Crap reports, has closed – it was, according to the blog, “the last old-school Latino bar west of Mission Street.” Doc’s Clock, Broke Ass Stuart laments, will be closing in a year once its lease expires. Adieu, shuffleboard.

Meanwhile, kink enclave Mission Control, which left its Mission Street space in 2013, has announced plans to revive in Oakland, where it’s getting a bohemian new space in the former TJ’s Gingerbread House on 5th Street.  

Los Shucos Latin Hotdogs, similarly, has reopened at the 22nd Street space it occupied before water from the fire extinguishing efforts that took place there a year ago shut it down. The Guatemalan hot dog purveyor went underground as a catering business in the meantime, and is now returning, with expanded menu options. One new item is “El de la Mission,” so named because $1 of each hot dog sale will go to a local nonprofit. That leaves a good taste in my mouth.

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  1. We aren’t rankled that he didn’t tailor his project “to our requests”, we’re rankled that: 1. he is now shifting his burden of affordable housing onto the City taxpayers, 2. he hasn’t met with anyone from the community since last year, and apparently feels that his money trumps the neighborhood residents that will be impacted by his profit-driven decisions, 3. he has displaced businesses that have been on that block for 30+ years, vacating rent-controlled homes, closing artists’ space, and removing jobs from a neighborhood that needs them, 4. he is claiming the land value of his “gift” is 3x what he paid for it, but Mission Local is reporting straight from his press release without checking land values in that area.

    Join Cultural Action Network Feb 23rd at 7pm for a community discussion of what we would like to see on the property.

    Redstone Building
    2940 16th St.
    3rd flr
    1 block from 16th St. BART