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Housing to replace fire-gutted San Francisco bar, but some don’t like the look

A rendering of a planned six-story affordable housing project at 3300 Mission Street in San Francisco. The building's bottom three stories is a pink, flatiron-style building that is triangular in shape with a rounded crown and bay windows and occupies the corner of 29th and Mission streets. The top three stories of the building are more cubic in shape but fit into the same footprint as the three stories below it.
A rendering of an affordable housing project slated for 3300 Mission St. Plans show that the facade of the original three-story building would be preserved while an additional three stories, with a very different style, would be built on top. | Source: BAR Architects

A newly unveiled proposal offers a first look at planned affordable housing over a former San Francisco bar destroyed in a fire.

The owner of a building at 3300 Mission St. aims to turn the building—which was heavily damaged by a 2016 fire that closed its ground-floor bar, the 3300 Club—into 35 below-market-rate studios.

The building is now vacant after the fire rendered it uninhabitable. Nearly the entire building, except for the facade along Mission and 29th streets, will be demolished due to the damage, according to plans filed with the city on Oct. 25.

A vacant, gray three-story building sits on a San Francisco street corner, with a blade sign hanging over the sidewalk reading "3300 Club," the name of the former bar there that burned down there in 2016. A man faces the viewer as he stands near the building waiting to cross the street, and on the right side of the photo a mail truck and sedan sit parked outside the vacant building.
The former 3300 Club bar and housing above it, which was gutted by a 2016 fire, is slated to be rebuilt three stories higher with 35 affordable studio apartments. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The building would be increased from three to six stories, pushing it up to nearly 74 feet high.

The planned studios would be between 200 and 350 square feet, and the ground floor would have 692 square feet of commercial or retail space. The plans don’t mention what would fill the ground-level space.

Plans say the top floor would have a 790-square-foot roof deck. The basement would have 200 square feet of bike parking and a 218-square-foot laundry room.

The units would target rents to be affordable to households earning between 30% and 80% of the Area’s Median Income, or between $30,250 and $80,700 for a one-person household, according to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

A loan application filed with the city in October pegs the total development cost—which includes construction, demolition and equipment—at just over $35 million.

Ruth Maginnis, who said she has lived in San Francisco since 1942, told The Standard she liked that the new building would preserve the original facade, but took issue with the design.

“It would be nice if they matched the upper stories with the lower ones,” she said. “That’d be more acceptable.”

A man in a green shirt and grey apron stands with his hand on a wooden counter at a San Francisco restaurant with its kitchen and a sous chef chopping vegetables in the background.
Komaaj's Hanif Sadr said he hopes the new housing project will have a business on the ground floor that will attract more people to the neighborhood. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

Hanif Sadr, head chef at Persian restaurant Komaaj, which lies just across the street from the planned housing project, said he thinks having more apartments near him would bring more diners to his restaurant. He also hopes that whatever business opens on the bottom floor will serve the community, such as another bar or restaurant.

“Any type of business that draws people here, I think it would be good for the neighborhood,” Sadr said. “Not some high-end watch shop or something that has five or 10 customers but doesn’t add to the neighborhood.”

An elderly woman stands holding mail in front of a neighborhood restaurant on a street corner in San Francisco.
Ruth Maginnis said she supports having affordable housing in her neighborhood but took issue with the building's design. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

While plans say the original facade of the building will be preserved, it makes no mention of the 3300 Club’s iconic sign.

San Francisco Planning Department spokesperson Dan Sider said the plans show there will be a sign where the current 3300 Club sign is today, but that there are no details about whether it will be the original sign or what it would otherwise say.

“More often than not, signage is one of the last aspects of a project, oftentimes being finalized after major construction concludes, once a commercial tenant has been identified,” Sider explained in an email.

Owner Andre White did not respond to requests for comment.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at