129-Unit Development Proposed for San Francisco’s Popular Mission District

By Meghan Hall

The Mission District might be home to San Francisco’s oldest surviving structure—Mission Dolores—but there has also been more than plenty of new development in the neighborhood thanks to a strong economic cycle and the appeal of the neighborhood to a young crop of San Franciscans. One developer, San Francisco-based Ian Birchall and Associates has proposed a mixed-use project in the heart of the neighborhood that would transform a vacant lot into a nine-story, 129-unit development.

Located at 2588 Mission St., the proposed project would also include 24 below-market rate units consisting of 11 restricted affordable units for very low-income tenants, four small retail spaces totaling 6,402 square feet along the Mission St. and 22nd St. frontages, and 1,639 square feet of community space. 29 vehicle parking spaces, one car share and 121 bike slots are also included in the project plans, although no off-street parking is required for residential or commercial uses at 2588 Mission St.

The project proposes to use the State Density Bonus Program, for which the developer may receive waivers on height in exchange for including affordable housing on-site, which aligns with San Francisco City policies to maximize housing densities and ensures the creation of permanent affordable housing in all of the city’s neighborhoods. In order to utilize the density bonus program, the project will need to go through the public hearing process and receive waivers for rear yard size, useable open space, height and dwelling unit exposure.

The City has also asked what types of commercial uses are proposed for the space. Depending on the usage of the ground floor spaces, additional authorization may be required, according to City documents.

The project site is on a more commercial corridor, with eateries and retailers such as AT&T, Walgreens, and El Techo in the immediate vicinity. However, the neighborhood becomes more residential several blocks to the east and west of the site. The 24th St. Mission BART Station is walking distance away, and State Route 101 is easily accessible by car.

The City issued its preliminary project assessment on the plans toward the end of December 2018; before the project can proceed, city staff will review the project for conformity with local planning code upon the submittal of a formal project application. The City will also need to issue an environmental impact statement, after which the development team can apply for a Conditional Use authorization—needed for new construction on large development lots—and other necessary permits.

Ian Birchall and Associates did not return The Registry’s requests for comment.