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Mission development boots all housing, goes full retail

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From 20-plus units to none at all in only two years

A photo of the old auto shop on 16th Street. Courtesy SF Planning

Two years ago, developers went to the city with plans to build 20-plus new units of housing in place of the old auto shop at 3140 16th Street, between Valencia and Guerrero.

New developments usually end up whittling down their proposed number of homes a bit throughout the entitlements process. In this case, however, the presumably final figure is even lower than usual: zero.

Designs for the first, brand new BAR building proposed in 2014/2015.
Courtesy SF Planning

Texas-based developer Mx3 originally wanted to demolish the existing building in favor of a new, BAR Architect-designed structure.

But the city ruled that the circa 1926 auto shop retained some historical significance, and that any redevelopment would have to preserve it.

That chopped the new building’s potential housing element down to just four units. So back in July, Mx3 proposed converting the auto shop into a restaurant with a few condos up top.

Now, however, a neighbor sent Curbed SF a copy of an upcoming community meeting notice that suggests that the housing element has been thrown out entirely, in favor of simply a two-story restaurant instead.

Mx3 told Curbed SF they couldn’t immediately comment on plans for the site, though they may make a statement later in the week.

It seems likely that, with the original 20-plus homes scuttled, four homes alone didn’t promise a big enough return to justify construction.

After all, the developer paid $8.7 million for the Mission parcels in 2014, which at the time came out to about $350,000 per buildable unit.

That was probably a record already, but just imagine doing the books on a $2.7 million/unit building instead.

Note that this latest version of the proposed building is the same height as the previous one—roof deck and all—so Mx3 will still have to convince the neighborhood to accept roughly the same building proportions they would have anyway.