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Mission development’s tall, striking glass windows trigger review

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Some planning commissioners previously called reliance on glass facades a showy display of wealth and privilege

The proposed new building at 1924 Mission Street, another old garage that developers hope to clear away in favor of new homes, would be 11 units and 80 feet tall with a striking facade consisting almost entirely of windows.

Combined with its narrow profile, the design ends up looking a bit like a very tall icicle. But at least one neighbor doesn’t like the look of the windows, or at least is banking that the city won’t.

Mission Local notes that a group called Our Mission No Eviction filed an objection to the 1924 Mission plans this week. The appellant writes:

This high-end project [...] will most likely command rents of somewhere in the $3,000 to $4,000 range for a 1 bedroom unit. These rents, along with its accompanying gentrification-inducing design intended to target higher-end tenants, will create local upward price pressure on surrounding tenants.

Rendering via of SF Planning
Rendering via of SF Planning

Note that $3,000 to $4,000 would be entirely typical of median rents for a one-bedroom home in the city these days.

But it’s the look of the place that may set the developers back on their heels, as the discretionary review request cites some precedent: The appeal of 1924 Mission cites the precedent of nearby 1900 Mission, a proposed 12-unit building whose glossy, glassy facade drew ire last year:

At a recent Discretionary Review of 1900 Mission Street [...] several commissioners expressed concerns that these large windows and unusual highly glassy appearance were a statement of class and privilege.

The appealed design of 1900 Mission.
Rendering courtesy Kevin Stephens Design Group

The two would-be mid-rises do indeed share a lot in common—both offering a similar home count and similar profiles, both aiming to clear away one-story garages, and both provoking similar gentrification complaints. The appeal of 1900 Mission noted in September noted:

This towering 75-ft tall building would house only 12 large, luxurious units in the heart of aworking-class neighborhood. It would demolish aneighborhood-serving retail business—yet one more auto shop in a long list of them that have been knocked down recently for luxury housing.

Now that the two buildings have matching discretionary reviews too. Mission Local says 1900 Mission will come back to the commission with a revised design in June. No word yet on when 1924 will get its own hearing.