The 'Monster' Is Back: Updated Proposal for Project at 16th and Mission

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A rendering of part of the 1979 Mission St. project, dubbed 'the Monster in the Mission' by affordable housing activists. (Maximus-BP)

The 16th Street BART Plaza where Spanish-speaking preachers blare sermons from portable amps and plaza regulars spend their days on benches in front of Burger King and Walgreens may soon transform into a square of glass towers, market-rate apartments and an expanded marketplace — if a recently resurrected housing project can defeat community opposition.

If it’s approved, the 10-story, 380-unit project at 16th and Mission would be the largest housing project built in the Mission District, just ahead of the 335-unit development at 2000–2070 Bryant St. that was approved by the Planning Commission last week and achieved a significant 41 percent of affordable housing.

The controversial development at the northeast corner of 16th and Mission — dubbed the “Monster in the Mission” by activists -- had the first of many public meetings on Thursday.

The hearing at City Hall came just days after a lawsuit between the developer and the owners of the site that delayed the project for months was settled for an undisclosed amount, clearing a major hurdle for the development.

Still, the project faces heated opposition from affordable housing activists.

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“We’ve been saying all along, and we’re going to keep saying as we’re moving forward, that we want 100 percent affordable housing,” said Chirag Bhakta, a member of the Plaza 16 Coalition that was formed in 2013 to oppose the project. “If anyone wants to build at Plaza 16, they will have to build a 100 percent affordable housing site.”

As proposed now, the project is split into three buildings: One north of the 16th and Mission intersection would replace the Walgreens there with a six- to 10-story residential tower; a second east of the intersection would raze a Burger King, the Hwa Lei produce Market, the Mission Hunan Restaurant, and the City Club dive bar for another seven-to-10-story residential building; and the last on Capp Street north of 16th would replace a parking lot with a four–to-five-story residential complex.

Read the full story at Mission Local:
Major Housing Project at 16th Street BART Restarts