monster in the mission 1 Photo: 1979 Mission

Maximus Real Estate Partners cleared a major hurdle at its 1979 Mission development earlier this month when it settled a lawsuit with the owners of the site. Now, the developer is facing renewed opposition from local activists determined not to let the project move forward.

The project’s size is part of the problem — it’s been dubbed the “Monster in the Mission,” and if approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission could become the largest housing development in the city’s Mission neighborhood. Maximus has proposed a complex made up of three residential buildings rising as high as 10 stories, plus 163 parking spaces and 64,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Some opponents are thus concerned that the development will cast a shadow on nearby Marshall Elementary School. Others have raised concerns about gentrification.

“This is an impact, it’s a socioeconomic impact caused by luxury development,” Chirag Bhakta, a member of the Mission SRO Collaborative, said earlier this month at what is likely to be the first of many public meetings on the project. “We’ve been saying all along and we’re going to keep saying as we’re moving forward that we want 100 percent affordable housing,” he added. Bhakta has been campaigning against 1979 Mission since 2013. 

monster in the mission 2 Photo: 1979 Mission

monster in the mission 3 Photo: 1979 Mission

Not everyone agrees, however. Jonathan Bonato, formerly homeless in San Francisco, remarked at the same meeting, “I didn’t appreciate the crime [in the Mission]. Just this week there was a murder at 16th and Mission.” He continued, “I think we need to not be afraid of change, otherwise we’re going to be left behind as a third world country in San Francisco.”

Maximus has responded to concerns about affordability by pointing out that 1979 Mission will include 41 affordable for-sale workforce homes, with proceeds from the sale of those units providing for 49 additional affordable rental units off site. The developer has not specified where those rental units may be located.

“This particular project is not displacing any residents,” said Larry Del Carlo, 1979 Mission’s community liaison, as per MissionLocal. “This project is very much needed in San Francisco, because of the amount of housing it provides in a transit rich area.”

The project will be located at the busy intersection of 16th Street and Mission Street, but must first be approved by the Planning Commission. According to the agenda for the commission’s upcoming June 23 meeting, the “Monster in the Mission” will be a key discussion topic.

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