Scaffolding around ODC on 17th St. in summer 2010

When apartment rents are so high, it can be easy to get jaded about the cost of an apartment. I don’t even blink anymore that a studio could cost $2,000 a month. But the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board, citing a study by the Public Policy Institute at Stanford University, has found a new way to frame this cost burden that should jar even those of us who consider the housing crisis ancient news.

“When the researchers ran a model of the state’s poverty rate with every Californian bearing costs similar to those in Fresno County, the overall poverty rate declined dramatically — from about 21 percent to 14 percent.”

That makes housing the biggest factor in California poverty, one of the researchers told the Chronicle.

Impressed? How about the flip side? Silicon Valley estimates it takes a minimum of $4.2 million to be wealthy — less than the $6 million that same survey came up with last year.

Interestingly, RentCafé noted recently that the national average rent hardly changed at all over the summer, and San Francisco’s rents have plateaued — but smaller cities that are still seeing the boom. Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, for example, jumped more than four percent since last year.

But enough broad observations. There’s been a ton of movement in the neighborhood’s real-estate and development scene.

Demolition is underway on what’s nearly an entire block of former arts warehouse space and a corner café, and what will become the 2000 Bryant Street project. You can see some earlier documentation of the process on CellSpace’s social media. Seeing the majority of the structures gone really gives you a sense of how massive this project is:

Close by at 19th and Bryant streets, another sizeable project of 60 units is scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing soon, SocketSite reports.

This week, I was apparently the only person to attend a meeting for architects to pitch a project at 2976 Mission Street. The proposal is to replace a two-story building with an apartment above the Old Jerusalem restaurant with eight units of housing over a commercial storefront.

Fans of the restaurant, fear not. The Mediterranean favorite will be moving just a few doors down the street. The upstairs unit, the landlord told me, is vacant. The building as is actually has two ground-floor commercial spaces which, under the planned new building, could be merged.

As far as appearance goes, there are also plans to retain a portion of the existing building’s facade and push back the additional floors so that they’re not as obvious from the street. There are also plans to paint a mural on the large blank wall facing Bernal Heights that would result from the new construction.

Finally, a look at what’s for sale in the Mission:

This one is perhaps a continuation of a trend. A parcel on 16th and Florida streets is up for sale after having gone through the long process of getting approval to turn two auto body shops into one 53-unit building.

Then there’s also the ultraluxurious condo at the Light House that’s been in Mission Local and Socketsite a few times before — this time the pad, accused of illegally being put to commercial use, is listed at a loss.

Lastly, the Hibernia Bank building on Valencia and 22nd streets is on the market — yes, that’s the Social Security building. The asking price is reportedly just under $10 million. But with a designation as a historic resource, how much of the promised “redevelopment potential” could it really have?

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