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Plans for hundreds of Mission District homes on Sears parking lot revealed

1633 Valencia St. would provide affordable housing for seniors and low income San Franciscans. | Courtesy David Baker Architects

Recently filed plans for hundreds of homes for seniors and low-income people show two projects destined for a former Sears parking lot at the very edge of the Mission District.

The two buildings, one located at 1633 Valencia St. and one at 3485 Cesar Chavez St., would be next to each other on what is currently a parking lot. The project is being developed by the nonprofits Mercy Housing and Sequoia Living.

The current site, as seen from Cesar Chavez and Valencia Streets | Google Street View

The site for both projects is close to public transit, a grocery store, a Walgreens, and a hospital. There are also a variety of bars and restaurants along nearby Mission Street.

The building at 1633 Valencia St. would contain 146 units of housing across six stories, rising to a height of 64 feet.

Only people who are homeless and earning less than 50% of the Area Median Income would be eligible to live in 1633 Valencia. Residents would pay 30% of their income in rent while the city covers the rest, according to Clare Murphy, associate director for real estate at Mercy Housing. The sole exception would be a single two-bedroom manager unit.

The building would be entirely studios, and their layout and design would largely mirror another affordable housing development at 833 Bryant St., Murphy said.

"We're really trying to be as efficient as possible," Murphy said.

Each studio would have a bathroom as well as a kitchen with a stove, a sink and a fridge.

The ground floor would have case managers and a medical office, as well as open space, a laundry room, a kitchen and a common area.

1633 Valencia would also have parking for 152 bikes with no parking for cars, according to the plans.

1633 Valencia St. would include bike parking. | Courtesy David Baker Architects

The 3485 Cesar Chavez building would include 126 units of affordable housing for seniors. The building would be seven stories tall, rising 74 feet, and housing would sit above a mixed-use ground floor. The ground floor will include community rooms, an art room, a solarium, an exercise space and an office for staff and senior services.

The homes at 3485 Cesar Chavez would be split into 67 studios and 59 one-bedrooms for seniors with an income of less than 60% of the Area Median Income. All units would have a private kitchen and a bathroom, while one-bedroom units would also have a living room.

3485 Cesar Chavez would include 61 parking spaces for bicycles and for three cars.

A rendering of 3485 Cesar Chavez. | Courtesy David Baker Architects

Groundbreaking for 1633 Valencia is estimated to be in February 2024, according to Murphy. Scott Falcone, a consultant for Sequoia Living, said that the groundbreaking for 3485 Cesar Chavez would be a few years after construction for 1633 Valencia begins.

Sequoia Living and Dolores Street Services were contacted for comment.