The second of four apartment towers in the massive Trinity Place complex was "topped off" this week, marking a major milestone in one of the key projects in that redevelopment of mid-Market you've been hearing so much about. The project, which encompasses some 1900 total units, hasn't been talked about in a while, despite quietly growing out of the ground behind the existing, sad Trinity Plaza apartments at 8th and Market.

The developer behind it all is 87-year-old Angelo Sangiacamo, and back when Chris Daly was District 6 Supervisor the battle over this project was big news for a number of years. Ultimately, after much argument by Daly and affordable housing advocate Randy Shaw, Sangiacomo struck a deal that he'd set aside 500 units for BMR, low-income housing, and re-house all the people who will get evicted when Trinity Plaza gets torn down. In exchange, Sangiacomo got to build four buildings instead of one on the property he's owned now for over 30 years. "If I had had it my way, I would have built a huge, tall, high-rise there," Sangiacomo told the Chron in 2010. But, alas, he got to skirt density rules but the buildings are topping off at 24 stories. (As you can see in the rendering above, the two largest buildings, at the front of the site facing market and off to the left, have not yet begun construction.)

In case you don't know, Sangiacamo is infamous for being the "Father of Rent Control" in San Francisco, largely because it was his hiking of rents at his apartment properties in the 1970s that spurred city leaders to change the laws in favor of tenants. Mayor Ed Lee has nothing but praise for the man these days, however, saying to him, "Angelo keep taking risks for us because it’s going to pay off for everybody."

Once complete, the Trinity Place project is certain to help transform a long-dismal stretch Market, and help connect the coming CityPlace complex (between 5th and 6th). It will be home to 2,000 or so new residents paying egregiously high market-rate rents! Assuming that the massive number of units can actually command those rents, which they probably can.

In related news, ACT's new black-box theater at the other end of the block, in the former Strand near 7th, is coming along. And there are now two restaurant/bar properties up for grabs or in transition further up the corridor as Chris Daly's Buck Tavern is set to close on Halloween, and Rebel (1772 Market at Octavia) is becoming an event space for the time being.

[Business Times]