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Big Mission News

One quick chat with two men who are doing a ton to transform the Mission, and we got the scoop on a big art gallery heading that way.

Oyster Development founder Dean Givas tells us a third of his 114-unit Vida condo project is sold out, just two months after the sales office opened (pictured right). Also, Union Square's Weinstein Gallery just bought 2548 Mission next door for $3.8M. Rowland Weinstein has a eclectic resume selling things like castles and now he wants to do something more community focused; he'll use the 15k SF space to feature Mission artists and install a bar concept. Urban Group's Louis Cornejo (pictured) repped seller Colleen Meharry, who owns the Foreign Cinema next door.

Interestingly, Colleen had a MUCH higher offer from an out of towner but liked the fact Weinstein lives in the Mission and is going the art route. (Rowland's local roots date back to when his parents owned a Bartlett Street biz.) His new space could open as soon as this fall. It's turnkey ready because pre-recession, Colleen put in $1.2M in upgrades. (A new elevator means Weinstein's impressive collection—he's got some Picasso and Chagall in Union Square—will be transported nicely.) Louis is also in the process of leasing out the Tower Theater up the street, and a food concept is showing strong interest.

Weinstein's future gallery space is a unique piece of architecture, says Louis, with neoclassical columns and a brick facade. The interior industrial feel of brick and timber will be retained (a rare feature for S.F., which is typically Victorian), similar to the look of the neighboring Foreign Cinema (pictured above). That hot brunch and movie spot was a pioneer when it debuted more than a decade ago. So why is this strip taking off now? Dean sees that block along Mission between 21st and 22nd as an extension of Valencia, and he's gotten a slew of inquiries about Vida's 14k SF retail space (it's got the infrastructure to support two eateries). 

Don't expect a large-scale redevelopment of the area, due to historic issues and smaller lots, however. S.F. condo prices are up 15% from a year ago (Vida units are in the high $500ks to $1.3M; a $1.1M penthouse just sold). In its sales office, a full-scale replica displays the finishes. (Here Vida sales manager Wendy Novia is snapped relaxing in the mock unit.) Canted windows conjure a feeling of texture to play off the neighborhood's Latino culture, as does its super colorful design. Oyster also spent a lot on high-quality glass and metal paneling facades, Dean says. 

The boarded up property across the street (pictured) is being taken over by a gym. (If going across the street to work out seems like too far, then you definitely need to go.) We hear it could be a Crunch. Dean sees condo supply most constrained in the Mission and Pac Heights, hence his focus on each. Last Thursday he got green lighted for the largest Pac Heights project in a decade, for 261 units at Pine and Franklin in two 13-story buildings. It will be a step up in luxury from his nearby Marlow, he says, and going bigger means better amenities (a library sky lounge on the top floor, for instance). The name and branding is in the works, and construction is expected to start in October.

A whopping 250 people turned out to its private buyer event for Vida this spring, and those signing along the dotted line include a Columbian woman who does business in S.F. and parents buying units for kids (must be nice). Move-ins will start in early 2015. The amenity most unique, Dean says, is the 7th floor roof deck; if you've been to the nearby bar El Techo (a unique outdoor gem for the Mission), imagine being up two floors higher. Dean says he's reaching out to Rowland in the near future to chat about potential collaboration with the new gallery.