New housing units will soon replace the abandoned sausage factory at 1726 Mission Street.
The San Francisco Planning Commission approved plans Thursday evening for a six-story, 40-unit building on the block of Mission street between 14th and Duboce streets that will include 20 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom units, car and bike parking spaces and a ground floor largely dedicated to production, distribution and repair use. Seven of the 40 units will be listed as affordable, about 17 percent of the project.
At over 60 feet tall, the new building would dwarf those surrounding it, with a facade of large windows and balconies.
Demolition of the current building and construction of the new building were approved by a 5-2 vote, despite some opposition from some neighbors, who believe it will be out of character for the neighborhood or might expedite gentrification of the northern part of the Mission.
Natoma Architects (who also designed 8 Octavia, at the corner of Octavia and Market streets) worked with neighbors to create the designs. They added a larger courtyard and a vertical garden to ensure the neighbors’ privacy and increased the number of bike parking spaces.
Corey Smith, of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, spoke in favor of the project at Thursday’s meeting. He said the planners had made efforts to improve the building since he met with them a year ago.
Most of the Commissioners also liked the design; Commissioner Kathrin Moore called it an architectural “exclamation mark” on the block, though Commissioner Myrna Melgar criticized it as
Not everybody saw it like that. One woman from the neighborhood called it a “middle finger” to the Mission. She also thought the building would clash with the area’s homeless population.
“I can’t see [myself] drinking my morning coffee, seeing people walking by who are living on tents on the street,” she said.
Chuck Stevens, who lives next door to the site, sent six emails opposing the building. At Thursday’s meeting, he said the building would block his view and bring traffic to an otherwise quiet street. Others cited concerns that there was not enough affordable housing included in the plan.
But commissioner Rich Hillis noted that other neighborhoods, such as the Inner Sunset and Bernal Heights, have begun to gentrify without new housing being built.
“The premise that if we don’t build, things will remain the same and affordable,” he said, “I just don’t see that ever being a premise that works.”
Construction should begin in about three months, and the project will take about a year to complete.