A rendering of the proposed structure at 1979 Mission Street.

Accusations fly as Mission High meeting regarding 1979 Mission project, the so-called “Monster in the Mission,” is controversially canceled

A Planning Commission hearing regarding the 331-unit development proposed for the 16th and Mission BART Plaza was supposed to take place this afternoon at Mission High School. But according to Mission High’s principal, the hearing was canceled after he purportedly received a series of bizarre phone calls from a representatives of the project’s developer, Maximus Real Estate partners.

Those phone calls, according to a statement from Mission High principal Eric Guthertz included in a press release sent out by the Plaza 16 Coalition, came from people who initially misidentified themselves. “When I asked these phone callers where they were from,” reads Guthertz’s statement, “they first claimed to be from the Planning Commision but then admitted they were from Maximus.” The callers allegedly warned the principal that the scheduled meeting would be marred by “potential disruptions and protests.”

Guthertz canceled the meeting, claiming it might disrupt an open house scheduled for later in the same night. “I would be honored to host the Planning Commission hearing at Mission High on another date, so that the Mission community can participate in democracy on this important issue,” Guthertz said in his statement.

Guthertz independently confirmed to Mission Local that the statements attributed to him in the press release are accurate. He claims to have received a call from, among others, Gene Royale, a co-founder of the Maximus-funded nonprofit Mission for All, which has canvassed the neighborhood, stumping for the development opponents have labeled “The Monster in the Mission” and proponents call “1979 Mission.”   

Joe Arellano, a spokesman for Maximus Real Estate partners, said “I can categorically deny we had anything to do communications with the principal of this nature.” Messages for Royale, who is affiliated with an organization an arm’s reach from Maximus, have not yet been returned.

Arellano was adamant that Maximus wanted the meeting to take place, as it is in the company’s interest to hold a hearing to move the project forward. He then claimed that the cancelation of the meeting was the work of the opposition, stating he “wouldn’t be surprised” if this was some manner of false flag operation from Plaza 16.

Mission High School, viewed from Dolores Park.

“I can say with 100-percent certainty that no member of the Plaza 16 steering committee made that phone call,” said Chirag Bhakta of the Plaza 16 Coalition. “To accuse us of making this phone call and to question the validity of the Mission High School principal is low — yet reminiscent of how this developer wants to work in San Francisco.”  

Dueling rallies are now scheduled for this afternoon, following the release of dueling press releases this morning. Supporters of the project, including members of Mission For All, will hold a demonstration to express dissatisfaction over the meeting’s cancellation. That takes place at 4:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall.

A press conference by the Plaza 16 Coalition, likewise, is scheduled for 3 p.m. at 18th and Dolores.

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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    1. John L ” we need that building and the area is a Mess ” No John we do not need more condos and that area is nit a MESS us a Disaster since the 1970s. 16th abd Mission is a Prime Drug Distribution HUB. THEE Drug Barons and the dealers who work for them are NOT just quit selling Narcotics and find A job. Those 4 corners and and the area in the Vicinity is PRIME drug dealer real estate. If MS-13 and their Bussines partners and other Investors from the Republic of Southern California decide to RE-take that atea there is nothing YOU, Maximus Real Estate and rhe LOCALS can do about it.

  1. BTW….

    Maximum should have submitted their housing development as a State Density Bonus Law (SDBL) project — held it’s on-site below-market-rate (aka “affordable”) component to 11% (of its “base” project), gained a 35% increase in density and about 4 stories in extra building height (agreeing, under protest, to pay the ridiculous local inclusionary fees on the “bonus” units — even though it’s illegal for the City to demand them) and invoked the Housing Accountability Act (HAA) as well to absolutely limit b.s. and pushback to a minimum and ensure speedy approval.

    This way they would have neutralized the power of the (absurd) opposition to the development, all the political grandstanding at their expense, the obvious “financial hemmorhaging” — and they would have been out of the ground and done with this one long, long ago.

    Either the developer is getting really bad entitlement advice or they’re being foolish — given the tools available to them that they could have utilized to get this done a whole lot easier — in a word, the developer is being waaaaay too accommodating with this nonsense and when you do that in this neighborhood, you are made to suffer by the MEDA crowd (just ask Robert Tillman with his “Historic Laundromat” project at 2918 Mission.)


    NO on Prop 10!

  2. The Maximus statement from Arellano is dubious. He does not deny Maximus made a call to the principal. He instead uses broken English to cast shade on whether or not Maximus made a call, and , if so, what was said during that call.

      1. Another feeble attempt to “nationalize” an entirely local issue.

        Again, why on earth would it be advantageous for a developer to delay a Planning Commission Hearing that is essential for moving their (long delayed) project forward?

        News Flash!

        Developers want to move forward with their projects and they hate any delay in the hearings necessary to do so.

        Alternatively, those opposed to projects, look to do anything they can do thwart and/or delay the hearings that are necessary to advance projects.


  3. MEDA strikes again! An obviously “false flag” operation that the City was all too willing to fall for.

      1. Hilarious —- but, seriously, why in the world would Maximus want to thwart it’s own hearing?

        That’s just patently absurd.**

        ** Kinda similar to how there’s a lot of people out there predisposed to believe that Woody sexaully-assaulted his own daughter, I suppose.