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16th Street BART station full of ads for ‘Monster on Mission’

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“Affordable housing will comprise over double the required amount by the city”

Rendering courtesy os Maximus

Backers of the proposed 10-story, 330-unit development above the 16th Street BART station took their case straight to public transit riders by buying up station ads.

The advertisements declare both the building and the people who might one day live in it are “not monsters.”

That slogan is an attempt to push back on the “Monster on Mission” nickname, a moniker activists like the Plaza 16 coalition have saddled the 1979 Mission Street development with.

Plaza 16, a network of local groups ranging from affordable housing developer MEDA to nearby small businesses like Dogeared Books, complains that the potential development is too big at 10 stories and too expensive with hundreds of market-rate units planned.

“The project proposed for the site at 1979 Mission (southeast corner of 16th and Mission) will further accelerate the already rapid gentrification of our neighborhood and city,” says Plaza 16. “We refuse to see more of our neighbors displaced and we refuse to lose any more of our neighborhood culture.”

Photos by Brock Keeling / Curbed SF

By contrast, the BART ads try to put a human face on the alleged monster, portraying everyday Mission residents who might one day live there.

The ads also push selling points about the project, including “no residents will be displaced because of the building” (demolition will take out a few nearby businesses but no housing) and “affordable housing will comprise over double the required amount.”

The “I am not a monster” posters also make the case that the present 16th Street plaza isn’t good for the neighborhood, claiming “48 percent of crime in the Mission takes place within four blocks of 16th and Mission.”

While it appears that 1979 Mission developer Maximus took out the ads (which repeat many of the same arguments made on the developer’s own site for the building), the posters make no direct reference to the developer.

Instead the ads direct riders to the site, a site bearing mostly the same information as the ads themselves.

The development receives its next hearing from the Planning Commission in November.