1.3MM SQFT Development Sponsored by SF Municipal Transportation Agency Makes Progress

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, 2500 Mariposa, Potrero Yard, Muni, SiteLab
Courtesy of SiteLab

By Meghan Hall

A full city block at the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District could be getting a major revamp if all goes according to plan. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has pitched a sizable redevelopment project at 2500 Mariposa Street, one that would bring 1.3 million square feet of commercial and residential uses to the neighborhood. The project has been making steady progress since it was originally proposed in November of 2019; the City has recently released a draft environmental impact report for a project and a public hearing has been scheduled to evaluate the development.

The property currently operates as the Potrero Yard Muni Bus Maintenance Facility. In all, the block, which is bounded by 17th Street, Hampshire Street, Mariposa Street and Bryant Street, totals 4.4 acres. SFMTA has proposed to replace the facility–which was originally constructed in 1915–in order to accommodate the expansion of its transit vehicle fleet and a number of new development uses. The eastern half of the site is developed with a single-story maintenance and operations building, while the western portion is developed with paved bus parking, bush wash rack and running repair station.

The project would include a three-level, 75-foot-tall transit facility totaling 728,000 square feet, and which could accommodate 213 buses. 33,000 square feet of commercial uses, and about 575 residential units are also planned. The units will be a mix of studio, one-, and two- to three-bedrooms. The commercial uses will be located on the ground floor, while residential uses will be relegated to the top of the building, on floors seven through 13, according to project documents. 91,000 square feet of residential open space is also included in the planning documents.

The development is part of a wider initiative–known as the 20-Year Building Progress Program– by SFMTA to expand and modernize its facilities to meet growing public transportation needs. Currently, SFMTA operates five other bus yards: Presidio Yard, Flynn Division, Woods Yard, Islais Creek Division and the Kirkland Yards. City documents indicate that by 2025, SFMTA will have 55 more rubber-tired buses than it can physically fit in its current facilities. By 2030, that number will increase to 62.

Additionally, the SFMTA’s oldest facilities, which includes the Potrero Yard, were originally constructed for street-car use. While they have been upgraded over the years, the City maintains that the original developments are ultimately not adequate for growing, modern bus fleets.

“They have never truly served for efficient bus maintenance,” City documents state.

As a result, SFMTA began planning to revamp its facilities six years ago in 2015. Currently, SFMTA is working to rebuild the oldest facilities: the Potrero, Presidio and Kirkland yards. The Potrero Yards was the first project undertaken by the SFMTA.

SFMTA intends to select a master developer for the site. HDR and SiteLab will be the architects for the project. The City has set a public hearing for the Draft Environmental Impact Report for August 26th, after which the EIR and other entitlements will be finalized. Once construction begins, build out will take several years, and delivery is expected in about 2026. The development is expected to cost about $500 million to build.

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