A simulation of the new housing development at 15th Street
Proposed plans for 1721 15th St. Photo courtesy of Veev and Lowney Architecture.

After six years and multiple revisions, plans for 50 new condominiums at 1721 15th St. near Albion Street are heading to the Planning Commission.

On June 16, the Planning Commission will hold a hearing on a proposal to demolish the vacant Jay’s Auto Body Center garage. Slated to replace it is a six-story, 46-unit building and, behind it, a three-story, three-unit building and a one-story, one-unit condominium, said Sean Gibson, the developer’s spokesperson. Of these condos, 11 will be affordable. 

Jay’s AutoBody Center. Site of a new project proposed by Veev. Photo by Lydia Chávez May, 2022.

Erecting three separate structures for the same project may seem unconventional, but it was necessary for the project to keep costs manageable and to respect neighbors’ wishes for a shorter building, according to Gibson. 

The project’s Peninsula-based developer, Veev, is known for using modular housing, a type of construction in which the homes’ panels are produced in a factory and then brought and assembled on top of the building’s foundation. But Veev’s design works for buildings that are, at most, six stories tall.

Additionally, dividing the 50 units into a six-story, a three-story and a one-story building was the start-up’s preferred financial “solution,” Gibson. “The economics of building … a seven-story building has additional requirements and cost.” 

The six-story building will be 65 feet tall and have a roof deck; the project also plans for a courtyard. Twenty-one of the condos will have two bedrooms, 21 will have one bedroom, and eight will be studios. The project is close to transit and will have 50 bike spaces, but no on-site parking. The unit mix and lack of parking honored Veev’s commitment to building more multi-unit family housing, Gibson said.

The current plan differs greatly from the one first submitted in 2016. At that time, the project had two retail properties on the ground floor and 24 residential units, with just three at below-market-rate prices. That became 35 units, of which nine were below-market. Following discussions with community groups like United to Save the Mission, Gibson said, the ground-floor commercial was scrapped altogether, and the project became fully residential with 39 units, which includes 11 below-market units.

“It’s basically evolved,” Gibson said. “In direct coordination with United to Save the Mission, we decided we don’t need ground floor retail. We need more homes.”

The project qualifies for a State Density Bonus and received certain waivers in exchange for providing more affordable units than required. That upped the overall project’s unit count to 50. 

With the Mission’s colorful community in mind, the six-story building aims to incorporate a colorful exterior, Gibson said. According to the plans, pastel red, orange, yellow and seafoam panels peek out from the white building, creating a rainbow effect. The senior homes 580 Capp St. and 1296 Shotwell St. have a similar design.

The final community meeting took place on May 11, and only a handful of residents voiced opinions. So far, Gibson said, the feedback is “generally positive.” The complaints are “standard” and involve construction noise and lack of parking.

Still, community members may call in and offer input or hear about the project on June 16 at 1 p.m. The Planning Commission will decide to give Veev a special permit that allows the project to proceed.

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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  1. I always love when people complain about new housing proposed for a site like this. The business is closed, no one lives there to be displaced. It’s not a historic building. I lived a couple blocks away for 9+ years and never owned a car – it’s totally possible to do that in the Mission. Just say you hate change and go.

    Building more housing in Seattle helped keep rents from rising as much as they have in SF – even if the newer housing is more expensive it takes the pressure off of older housing stock.

  2. “We need the housing”.
    Supposedly there are tens of thousands of vacant housing units already in existence.
    Evidently hundreds of affordable housing units sit empty.

    Speculating few will be able to afford purchasing one of these “affordable” condos.
    Interest rates are rising.
    Building costs escalating.
    HOA dues will be a minimum of $500 a month.
    Home owners insurance costs are rising.
    Can’t own a car.
    And you’re investing in a deed restricted title.
    Only the upper stratum of whatever the income calculation is to qualify will have a shot.
    Can’t remember the last time we had a story about – say – a family of three making around 60-70K purchasing one of these affordable condos.
    Has it ever happened?

  3. “United to Save The Mission” == astroturf “coalition” of nonprofiteers representing city funded poverty and ethnicity nonprofits, and their supporters, who are granted franchise by the district supervisor to negotiate on behalf of “the people.”

  4. Nice to not see pushback this time. Appreciate these kinds of pieces as Socketsite doesn’t go into nearly as much detail.

    1. But you gotta love their persnickety and ever so defensive/annoying editor 😉
      More like…suckitshite!

    2. It’s hard to bear “suckitsite” when the editor there is so defensive-overbearing and persnickety.

    1. No, it’s not. And comments like yours (and from a host of other anti-housing Latin-led/serving nonprofits in D9) are why nothing ever changes in the Mission, and new housing development gets stalled behind BS community demands. There’s nothing wrong with change and moving forward: San Francisco is not supposed to be preserved in amber, all because some neighborhood old fogeys see the “old ways” being threatened. The Mission is still as Latin as it always was, and always will be.