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.


“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