Fifty-seven units of housing are slated to be built right along one of the busiest corridors of the Mission, at 3314 Cesar Chavez St.
At Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting, all seven commissioners voted to give a conditional use authorization to the project, a proposed six-to-seven-story, mixed-use building located between Mission and South Van Ness.
Speaking to the commission, property co-owner Sherman Chiu said he bought the low-slung structure in 2005 and used it as the headquarters for his building and engineering contracting company.
“The reason I want to develop this project is I feel like the building is being underutilized. We only share a small office there,” Chiu said.
He added that after the building is finished, he and his colleague planned on living in it and running their business in the ground-level retail space.
But there have been some hiccups in getting the project approved, Chiu admitted to the commission.
“It’s not been an easy project for us. We’re not developers,” he said.
Since the last public hearing back in February 2018, Chiu and his team met with community groups like the Mission Economic Development Agency and Calle 24. All parties agreed on a plan that included an increase in the affordable-housing tally, a new mural, the selection of a color scheme that is “representative of the community” and a design that fits the style of the Mission.
As currently planned, the 65-foot-tall building would offer 53,000 square feet of residential space with 3,000 square feet of ground office space. The building will have 11 units of affordable housing and a 30-space garage.
Some area residents questioned aspects of the project during public comment. Zan Sterling, who lives across the street, said the building’s garage warning system — set up to notify pedestrians and drivers of an oncoming car — would be too loud and bother neighbors.
“I’m not opposed to the project. I’m opposed to the size of the garage door to the building,” Sterling said. “If there is an audible noise every time someone is going in the garage, the well-being of everyone will go down.”
The commissioners all voted for the project while moving to limit the safety system’s decibel levels.
“I’m glad we were able to get out of the motel-type of response to housing here,” commissioner Kathrin Moore said.