Thursday, February 18, 2010

3400 Cesar Chavez

The giganto housing development at 3400 Cesar Chavez is really taking shape. It looks as if the Walgreens on the ground floor will open any day. The whole building has gone through several shades of color, and at first I really disliked what they'd chosen, but now I'm thinking those were just the undercoats because it's looking better. Saw a gaggle of artists beginning to create a mural on the Cesar Chavez side - just a drawing at this point but I see images of local flavor including Carnaval and familiar Mission District faces (it's the white patch on the south side). Wasn't there supposed to be street trees and nice landscaping around the building? What happened to those? I know this development was highly contentious when conceived (chain stores/day laborer displacement/affordability) but frankly I'm happy to see new housing and retail (yep, even if it's another Walgreens) that will encourage pedestrian activity on this stretch of Mission Street because it will bolster other businesses here. Plus there's reserved parking for City Carshare and bikes, retail spaces for local businesses and 15% affordable units with a first-time buyer's program. On balance a benefit for the neighborhood, in my humble opinion.

Down the street, Chicken John's house is for sale on Cesar Chavez. It's got a spiffy new mural on it too. John Rinaldi, aka Chicken John, ran for mayor not long ago. Seemed like a joke that wasn't supposed to be funny. Or something.