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The ‘Monster in the Mission’ is officially dead

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The 7.5-year battle comes to an end

A rendering of a white, mid-rise building with drab exteriors of vertical lines.
A rendering of what 1979 Mission might have looked like.
Rendering by SOM, courtesy of Maximus

What started in 2013 as a plan to build a 330-unit building in the Mission District has at long last ended in defeat.

Developer Maximus Real Estate Partners have put the contested property on the market, a decision that activist group Plaza 16 Coalition claims as a victory.

“This is a full validation of our community organizing efforts, and insistence that a strong demand backed by people power can, and will, win.” said Chirag Bhakta, Plaza 16 Coalition spokesperson. “This victory illustrates the resolve of the Mission District community and sends a message to other developers that without community input and buy-in developing a project of this magnitude in our community will no longer be acceptable.”

A rally and celebration of the creature’s demise will be held on March 5 at the 16th Street BART plaza.

Maximus Real Estate spent years attempting get its proposed 10-story, 330-unit, 388,912-square-foot mixed-use building approved to no avail. The construction would have consisted of three related buildings, towering over the 16th Street BART station.

After receiving pushback on the project, the developer tried to score a new deal in which it would have turned its other parcels of land in the Mission (2675 Folsom and 2918 Mission Street) into affordable housing.

No luck.

The major project at 1979 Mission, christened “the Monster in the Mission” by neighborhood activists, sparked ire the moment it went before SF Planning. But this wasn’t your regular pearl-clutching anti-development brouhaha in San Francisco. No, this one will filled with plot twists and accusations of astroturfing. As Mission Local notes, “First came the ‘I’m Not a Monster’ BART advertisements (a teacher claimed she was tricked into being featured in one). And next came the revelations that the developer was paying San Francisco natives to rally and support for the project.”

So, after many years, and after much handwringing, Maximus will put the property on the market, a parcel it purchased in 2016 for approximately $41 million.

The sequel to this beastly tale could have a happier end: Plaza 16, a collaboration of roughly 100 local groups, ranging from the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club to the Clarion Alley Mural Project, still wants to build a “100 percent community-developed” affordable housing project on the site by way of “community, government, and philanthropic entities.”