Giant condo complex may replace Walgreens and Burger King at 16th and Mission

Mission Local reports:

A developer submitted preliminary plans for 351 new condos with the San Francisco Planning Department on October 18.

To make room for the new buildings, which are described as between five and ten stories in the Preliminary Project Assessment, the developer plans to raze several businesses, including Walgreens, Burger King and Hwa Lei Market. A nightclub and a vacant Dollar Store on the site would also go.

They aim to beautify and improve the quality of life in the area, and make the BART plaza a more inviting hub, and they say no residents will be displaced. Read on for more info, comments by locals, blueprints and more.

I think it’s cool as long as they name the place “Royal Gate” in honor of Cranky Old Mission Guy and days gone by.

66 Responses to “Giant condo complex may replace Walgreens and Burger King at 16th and Mission”

  1. tk says:

    I know this comment thread is going to be a shitstorm, but I just wanted to say that Royal Gate would be a fucking FANTASTIC name. OK, go to it.

  2. Spacecamp says:

    Starting at just $4,000 a month for a studio!

    • Ion says:

      SF residents can either complain about new big housing projects or the city’s high rent. NOT BOTH.

      • Hazbeen says:

        Wrong. Condos do not in any way affect rental housing. You could build 10K new condos and not one working-class person would have an easier time renting an apartment.

        These disingenuous arguments are getting tiresome.

        • Ben says:

          Except for the increasingly common practice of converting rental properties to TICs via the Ellis act, you mean? The unmet demand for ownership opportunities is most definitely affecting the rental market.

          • Hazbeen says:

            Demand will always be higher than supply here, meaning TIC evictions will still happen no matter how many “legal” condos you build. Also, while there are programs like FHA and BMR, almost everyone I know doesn’t have even the $20-50K (assuming even modest down-payment percentage) to put down. Add a working-class person with a kid or two, and it’s an impossibility.

          • Ben says:

            You just switched your argument from “building more condos doesn’t help the working class with the short supply of rental housing” to “even if you built more condos, the working class would not be able to afford them”. I’m afraid that’s very unlikely to change no matter what happens.

            My assertion is that the number of Ellis act evictions is currently spiking because we’re not facing only an increase in demand for more housing. Specifically, there is an increase in demand for ownership opportunities among people that can afford to pay today’s market prices, and this is creating a larger-than-usual incentive to convert rental properties to TICs which certainly affects the rental market. According to Mission Local, Ellis act evictions are up 81% year-over-year, though admittedly the absolute number (127 evictions) is barely a drop in the bucket.

          • Brian says:


            I love the ingrained notion in SF that a property owner is REQUIRED to keep their property as a rental property. It’s empowering to have the ability to dictate how someone else uses their private property, isn’t it? It’s like you buy a couch, but then your neighbors all get to dictate that you have to sit on the floor forever, because you let a friend sit on the couch to watch the game this afternoon.

          • heyballsack says:

            “Private property” rights are what the elite use as an excuse to fuck everyone else.

          • Brian says:

            An excuse to fuck everyone? You do understand the difference between public and private, right?

            Also, if by ‘elite’ you mean ‘one of thousands of tech workers that are entirely common to this area’, then yeah, you nailed it.

        • ad says:

          There are many people on the fence for renting or buying. If condo supply goes up and is able to make condos more affordable even slightly, then some renters will be able to leave the rental market for the buyer market.

          • Leary says:

            +1. A few years ago I planned to buy about now; thanks to the spike in demand I can’t anymore. Once I can, that will be another apartment freed up for someone else. I know I’m not alone.

        • Bob says:

          Wrong. What’s to prevent condo owners from renting their apartments as income properties?

          Increasing housing stock at any price level with any ownership type, will reduce cost of ownership/rentals.

        • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

          Hazbeen: Yup, well said. If there’s one thing we should learn from the k-razy rents/prices in SF and the fact that record numbers of luxury housing have been built in the past year or so, it is that high-end housing doesn’t make mid-range and low-end housing any cheaper at all.

      • extender says:

        How about the number of buildings owned by TNDC downtown? Wouldn’t there be a more cost-effective way to help all those people than housing them in prime real estate?

  3. Greg says:

    Sounds about right.

  4. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Way, way too big for that location. 6 stories or so would be much more reasonable.

    • Lamb says:

      Yeah, I could swear that I once saw a zoning map that limited construction on that corner to six stories.

  5. tech scum die says:

    “Google Bus Terrace” has such a nice ring to it.

  6. scum says:

    A lot of people rely on Walgreens for household supplies.

  7. Ben says:

    Before y’all lose your shit about a tall building going up, pretty please read this article by the director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR):

    The only thing that’s going to bring housing costs down for people that don’t qualify for subsidies is increased housing supply. The smartest thing this city can do is increase the density around major transit hubs – encourage people to live in areas where they can walk and where owning a car isn’t required because the cost of providing parking is a significant factor to why all new housing costs so damned much. I’ve got a link for that one too:

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Yup. And six stories of housing is a hell of a lot more dense than the 0 stories of housing that exists there now.

      • J-Lub says:

        Agreed. I bet they are starting with 10 stories because they know that will get knocked down to no more than 6 in the approval process…this way the developer can act like they are making concessions, etc…and being the “good guy”.

    • Hazbeen says:

      SPUR is the #1 LOBBY GROUP for developers and one of the main voices posing as support for the 8 Washington project. Do some homework people…

    • Alicia says:

      I agree with the need for more housing/density, but I can’t help but think of the lessons learned from adding freeway lanes. If you build it, they will come.

      Hell, maybe we should just limit condo sales to city residents of 5+ years. Ten dollars says we’d have a glut of housing stock in two years.

      • Leary says:

        They’ve already been coming, despite you not building it. That’s the problem. It’s not going away.

      • Hazbeen says:

        “If you build it, they will come.”

        Bingo. Supply-siders are naive or just moles for “tha man.”

      • Ben says:

        I’m very familiar with the freeway expansion effect, but I don’t think it’s an appropriate analogy here. In the freeway case, adding supply creates an equal amount of demand because the additional supply shifts the balance of things so that the freeway is once again the most convenient option relative to whatever people were using before the lanes were added. The new lanes become filled, things stabilize and some people decide it’s no longer worth dealing with the freeway and start using alternatives.

        Housing is a different beast because it’s a game of musical chairs and when the music stops (supply becomes constrained), it’s a bidding war to see who gets the last handful of seats. Those with money are going to beat those without. Jokes about Uber and helicopter taxis aside, that dynamic doesn’t exist when talking about transportation infrastructure.

    • 94110 says:

      Spur and the planning dept are hurting our city.

    • Luke says:


      Consider my example—as a 6+ year SF resident who just spent the last 4 months trying to find a place with my fiance—for some perspective:

      When I moved to the SF in the beginning of ’08 with two friends, we got an apartment in the TL where rent was $1,500 per month, and all we had to do to get the apartment was fill out the application.

      In 2013 dollars, that same apartment would cost a little less than $1,700 per month. My fiance and I just signed the lease on a place that’ll cost us $2,200 per month, in a neighborhood that is much better than the TL. That means that rent has increased by 5% per year over the last 5+ years. That not half bad for one of the most desirable cities in the US.

      However, even though this mission bartender and his fiance have good credit, make upwards of 80k, and have the feel-good story of being newlyweds, we were still turned down for over a dozen apartments. The main reason? We kept getting told that some other applicant made significantly more money than we did.

      The main problem with the SF’s housing market is not so much that rents have shot up some unbelievable amount, but simply that there are now so many more qualified applicants competing for a EXTREMELY limited number of apartments.

  8. GG says:

    If the plan includes burning that Walgreen’s to the fucking ground, I’m behind it. That’s the most disgusting Walgreen’s in San Francisco, if not the universe.

  9. motowaki says:

    BK makes THE BEST chocolate shakes. get ‘em while you can!

    • extender says:

      I saw a lady make a chocolate shake on a support column in the MUNI station once. Whipped her pants down, SPLAT! whipped ‘em up and walked off happy as a holiday.

  10. Missionish says:

    O.K. that’s a pretty scungy poorly used space. But, can we keep the Walgreens, which serves the community and designate at least 50% of the homes for the seniors, artist, and familes who have been displaced by the Ellis Act? How about some of the ground level space for a community group? Let’s make the developers agree to this. It’s our neighborhood. . .

  11. En-Chu Lao says:

    San Francisco has Chinatown, Japantown, and with the demographic changes that the Mission has seen in the past fourteen years, the best name for this will be Honkytown Towers.

  12. Transplant NIMBY says:

    I can’t believe they are changing this beautiful neighborhood that I moved to. That Burger King has been here since forever (when I moved here 6 years ago) and it’s a fixture of the community.

    Also, I can’t see how this will help the housing situation for lower and middle income renters. I don’t understand how creating new housing opportunities for the wealthier people with whom I’m currently competing for rental apartments could possibly ease my burden. Do you think if all the people who are currently outpricing me were out of the rental market, rents would magically go down because the demand for rental housing would go down? HA!

  13. Dan says:

    We must preserve the Burger King and the Walgreens! It anything is essential to preserving the character of the Mission, it’s chain stores.

  14. 94110 says:

    I wonder how many jobs will be lost. 6 businesses will be closed. You may all laugh about it. But people will be losing there jobs. Is that to deep for all you folks?

    • Leary says:

      … yes, and those 6 businesses will be replaced with even more storefronts. Which will hold stores that will employ more people. How about showing a little concern for the future employees of those businesses as well?

  15. JF says:

    My only complaint is it will block the sun from shining on my children’s playground at Marshall Elementary. :(

  16. Chant says:

    Don’t you see how the Mission is slowly losing its essence? I’m sure if you’re new here you wouldn’t notice, or even care. You move here because it’s “cool” and there’s hip shops and restaurants, but what do you give back to the community?