What used to be the 3300 Club, El Taco Loco, and a Mission-Bernal SRO is now slated to become 35 units of all-affordable housing, and we now have new renderings of plans for what has just been a burnt-out eyesore for seven and a half years.
It was June of 2016 when a massive fire at Mission and 29th streets displaced 58 people who were living in the upstairs SRO called the Graywood Hotel, at 3300-3308 Mission Street property. The building was completely gutted by the blaze, which also led to the permanent closures of the bar 3300 Club, the El Taco Loco Taqueria, and the adjacent Cole Hardware at 3316 Mission Street.
By early 2017, the burnt-out building was up for sale, with marketing materials that called it “a great opportunity for a developer to reposition the property into a cash cow.” But that cow never came home.
And the building has sat as a neglected, charred eyesore for seven years, until this summer, when the SF Business Times reported that the affordable housing arm of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center bought the building for $3.8 million, and would turn it into a 100% affordable housing project.
And Bernal-Mission residents passing by the property may have noticed that this weekend, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC) has posted signage on the walls, and recently posted online renderings of the new affordable housing project. According to those plans, “The redevelopment respects the site’s history by proposing to preserve the existing three-story façade and connecting it to a new six-story structure.”
Here’s what 3300 Mission Street looks like now, a long-vacant, blighted property frequently tagged with graffiti until murals were added in the last couple months.
And here’s the rendering of the new design from BHNC, designed by SF-based BAR Architects, which sort of looks like three more modern stories are being plopped on top of the old building. But in reality, that’s the connected six-story structure which will be built into the new project to add lots more units — a planned 35 studio apartments in all. And, as with many SF projects, it preserves the Victorian-style facade of the original three-story building.
While the fire was seven-and-a-half years ago, the 58 people displaced by that 2016 fire may indeed have a crack at these new studio apartments.
“Our team is working with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to evaluate if the tenants displaced by the fire meet the criteria to apply for affordable units at the 3300 Mission Street project,” a BHNC representative tells SFist. “Those conversations are happening.”
But that sweet, vintage 3300 Club sign, which somehow escaped the fire unscathed, does not appear on any of the renderings. Does that mean the sign is going to be torn down and destroyed?
“I wouldn’t say that,” the BHNC representative says. “It’s just too preliminary for us to respond to that.”
The same presumably also goes for the old El Taco Loco Taqueria sign which also survived the blaze, and is still hanging on the vacant, burnt building to this day.
You’ll notice there is ground-floor retail space in these renderings, though it is unlikely to be a new 3300 Club. The Business Times reported in June that “the liquor license was not included in the building's recent sale,” and a liquor license is not really high on BHNC’s priority list here.
Full liquor licenses are also not easy to come by in the Mission District.
“Our focus right now is the 35 units of affordable housing,” according to their representative. “They are all studios.” And unlike the previous SRO that has been there, each unit is poised to have its own private kitchen and bathroom, instead of shared facilities.
People can argue what “affordable” housing is, and to whom it may be “affordable.” But the current proposal is pretty clear on what it means by affordable, in units intended for single adults or small families. According to the project website, “The current proposal restricts rent levels for households earning between 30% and 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), which equates to $34,600 to $92,250 per year for a two-person household or $30,250 to $80,700 for a single adult in San Francisco in 2023.”
While it generally takes forever to build housing in San Francisco, this one figures to be expedited by the state’s new streamlined affordable housing legislation. “This project is using AB 2011, which expedites approval of 100% affordable housing projects,” BHNC’s representative tells us. “In general, for projects with fewer than 150 units — which we are — expedited review requires the Planning Department to complete a thorough review within 60 to 90 days. That puts us into January, or next month.”
So the project may be approved soon, and may break ground within a year. “We are in the development phase right now, although this is all subject to change," says the representative. “We are expected to begin construction in approximately December 2024, and we hope to deliver 35 new units of affordable housing in the fall of 2026.”
If all goes to plan, this will close the final chapter after that 2016 fire. The also-damaged Honduran restaurant El Paisa at 3322 Mission Street reopened in 2019, while its neighbor Playa Azul restaurant at 3318 Mission Street reopened in March 2022, and the upper-level housing at both of those addresses has all been fully rebuilt.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist