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A Crane's-Eye View of the New Mission Bay

Get the lay of the bay.


Getting Around Mission Bay

MUNI: Two Muni lines run to Mission Bay. The main one is the T, which runs up Third Street from the Bayview, makes several stops in Mission Bay, goes to the Caltrain station and Embarcadero Station, and continues on as the K/T to Balboa Park Station. The new 55 line runs down 16th Street from Mission down to Mission Bay and returns on the same route. 

CALTRAIN: The Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend Streets is a short walk to Mission Bay. 

SHUTTLES: Three private shuttles, free to area residents, students, and employees, serve Mission Bay—the most popular route runs to the Powell Street BART station. UCSF runs numerous shuttles from near the medical center in Mission Bay to four other campuses. There is also a small China Basin shuttle. 

Lay of the Bay

1. UCSF Medical Center At Mission Bay 
1825 4th St.
UCSF’s $1.5 billion campus is a state-of-the-art complex with three hospitals that feature all the latest medical technology—plus robots.

2. Mercy Housing California 
1180 4th St.
With 149 units, Mercy is Mission Bay’s largest affordable-housing development.

3. Avalon at Mission Bay North
255 King St.
This high-end housing complex has 823 units (40 of them affordable), and lots of retail space. One-bedrooms start at $3,355, two-bedrooms at $4,330. 

4. MB360
701 China Basin St.
A huge March 2014 fire severely damaged one of the two buildings in this luxury complex, which still welcomed residents eight months later. Don’t look for fire-sale rents: A 761-square-foot one-bedroom goes for $3,851 per month. 

5. Warriors Arena
If approved (no slam dunk), the Warriors San Francisco Sports and Entertainment Center should open for the 2018–19 season. The $1.4 billion, 12-acre complex contains an arena and two office towers, with plans for lots of retail.

6. Old Navy Corporate HQ
550 Terry A. Francois Blvd.
Since 2002, high-level decisions about how to move large quantities of low-priced blue jeans have been made here.

7. The Ramp 
855 Terry A. Francois Blvd.
This funky old waterfront bar and restaurant on southern edge of Mission Bay has salsa on Saturdays and a patio overlooking rusting ships.

8. The Yard at Mission Rock
3rd St at Terry A. Francois Blvd.
This pop-up compound on McCovey Cove houses a beer garden and coffee shop. It will disappear if the big Giants’ Mission Rock complex is built.

9. Uber HQ
1455 and 1515 3rd St.
Ubermensch Travis Kalanick will have 423,000 square feet in which to plot more insanely profitable disruption. 

10. Fibrogen, Inc. 
409 Illinois St.
Meeting all your hypoxia-inducible-factor needs since 2008!

11. Exchange on Sixteenth
1800 Owens St. 
Construction on this 3.1-acre, $450 million office and retail development is projected to begin in early 2016.

12. QB3
1700 4th St. #214
Major neurons are firing inside the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), whose molecular-biology-focused faculty is drawn from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSF. 

13. The J. David Gladstone Institutes
1650 Owens St.
This nonprofit biotech-research institute was the first major non-UCSF, non-residential enterprise in Mission Bay when it opened in 2004.

14. Public Safety Building
1245 3rd St.
To ensure its ability to survive a quake, the new $243 million San Francisco Police Headquarters is built on 200 piles driven 200-plus feet into bedrock. 

15. Strata at Mission Bay
1204 4th St.
The 192-unit luxury apartment building, completed in 2009, features unusual amenities like valet dry cleaning and a theater-screening room.

16. Mission Bay Library
960 4th St.
This 44,000-item library, just north of Mission Creek, was the San Francisco Public Library’s first new branch in 40 years when it opened in 2006.  

17. NOMAD Gardens
1401 4th St.
Have a craving to grow your own kale in the shadow of your luxury high-rise? NOMAD rents two-by-four-foot raised beds to local residents. 

18. Mission Rock Initiative
Pier 48
The Giants’ proposed development includes 1,500 units of housing (40 percent of which is affordable), with retail, a parking garage, eight acres of parks and open space, and—drum roll—another Anchor brewery. 

19. Houseboats
The story of this floating community is coming up in a future post.

20. Kaiser Permanente Mission Bay 
1600 Owens St.
The Bay Area–born health company’s new 9-story, 200,000-square-foot-plus medical center, featuring adult and pediatric care, women’s health services, and a pharmacy, will open in spring 2016.

Originally published in the November issue of
San Francisco

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