As the year draws to a close, Curbed SF asked bigwigs in San Francisco’s architectural, design, and x-factor/je ne sais quois industries to give us their thoughts on 2016, architecturally-speaking. Revealed here are their favorite neighborhoods, many of which being the ones in which they call home.
David Baker (architect/founder, David Baker Architects)
La Mission! It's where I live and enjoy the fabulous diversity of wonderful restaurants and people. DBA is designing a 100% affordable family housing project at 1950 Mission next to the 16th Street BART Station (in collaboration with Cervantes Design Associates, Mission Housing and BRIDGE Housing).
Allison Arieff (editorial director, SPUR)
My own, Glen Park. So predictable, I guess, but I feel so fortunate to be able to walk to so much (Bird & Beckett books, Canyon Market, ramen at Tataki, prix fixe at L'Petit Laurent, BART). And walking through Glen Canyon is an endless source of discovery. (PS: Bravo to SF Parks & Rec for all the amazing transformations of city parks like this one).
Brock Keeling (editor, Curbed SF)
Kevin K. Ho and Jonathan B. McNarry (realtors, Vanguard Properties)
An oldie but a goody, Noe Valley. Because we saw prices moderate in certain parts of the City this year, many of our buyers gave Noe Valley a chance again this year and were successful in getting homes here; in one case, we nearly fell out of our chairs after hearing that we got our client an amazing home on Jersey Street after putting in an offer that was strong on terms but weaker on price. This happened more than a few times this year. Like we always say to our clients: you never know unless you try.
John King (urban design critic, San Francisco Chronicle)
Strange but true: North Beach! The quiet residential blocks have a seductive power that’s more compelling as other neighborhoods get more contrived.
Eve Batey (owner, Avenues Dry Goods; senior editor, SFist)
My favorite neighborhood in the city has been the Outer Sunset for a while, but in 2016 I feel even more deeply in love. Though I've lived out here for well over a decade, I opened a store near my home this fall. From the moment I began renovations on the space, I started meeting more neighbors than I have the entire time I've lived in the area. It's been a remarkable experience, making all these new friends and getting a new view of the neighborhood I've lived in since 2004.
Jon McNeal and Sade Borghei (senior architect and project manager, Snøhetta)
The Presidio has been a favorite with its diversity of trails, art installations, ocean and bay views, and decommissioned fortifications. Much of that is obviously not new this year, but the way the area is coming together and being revitalized now is exciting. You can spend an entire day there and the richness of the landscape really makes it feel like a mini-vacation from the city; it’s a tremendous resource for the region that’s only getting better. The connections to Crissy Field in the coming years will hopefully improve it even further.
Another stand-out is the Dogpatch as it continues to develop a great mix retail and restaurants, residential units, office space, and workshops. The Minnesota Street Project is a notable opening which will hopefully help anchor and maintain the creative energy already in the neighborhood. It will be exciting to see what the continued development of the waterfront and Pier 70 bring to the area.
Richie Nakano (chef and restaurateur)
I still find new things to love about the Sunset every week. There's a lot of personality from block to block that you can miss if you're driving or biking. I think the 2017 is going to be the year that you see more businesses start to open out there, its so under served.
Erin Feher (style and design editor, San Francisco Magazine)
To be real, I'm getting old and living downtown is wearing on me, so I've been charmed a lot this year by the quieter. quaint hoods I've visited. Portola District had me swooning with their cozy Four Barrel, Free Little Lending Library, these wild abandoned greenhouses and one of the most impressive community rec centers I've ever seen, redesigned a few years back by Mark Cavagnero.