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Mission Bay, San Francisco facts for kids

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Mission Bay
Construction of the new UCSF campus at Mission Bay began in 1999.
Construction of the new UCSF campus at Mission Bay began in 1999.
Country  United States
State  California
City-county San Francisco
 • Total 0.842 sq mi (2.18 km2)
 • Total 5,390
 • Density 6,401/sq mi (2,472/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
94103, 94107
Area codes 415/628

Mission Bay is a 303-acre (123 ha) neighborhood in San Francisco, California. It is the home of the Chase Center (San Francisco) that will open in 2019. It is located on the east side of the city, outside Downtown San Francisco. Mission Bay is one of the apartment neighborhoods in San Francisco, which borders South of Market, China Basin to the north, and South Beach in San Francisco.


Mission Bay is roughly bounded by Townsend Street on the north, Third Street and San Francisco Bay on the east, Mariposa Street on the south, and 7th Street and Interstate 280 on the west.

View of San Francisco from the east. Mission Bay is in the lower center.


Before urbanization, Mission Bay was nestled inside of a +500 acre salt marsh and lagoon, and was occupied by year-round tidal waters. This area was a natural habitat and refuge for large water fowl populations that included ducks, geese, herons, egrets, ospreys and gulls. The Native American tribes who resided in this area were the Costanoan people who spoke eight different languages which delineated between the various tribelets. The tribe most prevalent in the Bay area was the Patwin people who resided in the area for over 5,000 years.

Beginning in the mid-1800s, in attempts to make this area suitable for building, Mission Bay was used as a convenient place to deposit refuse from building projects and debris from the 1906 earthquake. As the marsh quickly stabilized with the weight of the infill, the area quickly became an industrial district. By 1850 the area was used for shipbuilding and repair, butchery and meat production, and oyster and clam fishing. With the addition of the railroad, Mission Bay became the home to shipyards, canneries, a sugar refinery and various warehouses.

In 1998 the area was announced by the Board of Supervisors as a redevelopment project. Much of the land was long a railyard of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and transferred to Catellus Development Corporation when it was spun off as part of the aborted merger of Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe Railway. Catellus subsequently sold or sub-contracted several parcels to other developers. It has rapidly evolved into a wealthy neighborhood of luxury condominiums, hospitals, and biotechnology research and development.

Attractions and characteristics

Mission Bay is currently the headquarters of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It is also the headquarters, at 550 Terry Francois Blvd, of the Old Navy brand of The Gap clothing retailer. It is the location of a new research campus of the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Mission Bay

  • Mission Bay was the future location of the 14 acre, two-million-square-foot U.S. headquarters. Salesforce sold the property it owned to the NBA's Golden State Warriors, who have announced plans to build an arena that they hope will open by the 2018-19 season.
  • The northern terminus of the Third Street Light Rail Project of the San Francisco Municipal Railway.
  • The northern terminus of Caltrain.
  • An AT&T Fiber to the premises greenfield project.
  • The first new branch of the San Francisco Public Library in over 40 years, The Mission Bay Branch Library, opened on July 8, 2006. It is located on the ground floor of a new multi-use facility, which includes an adult day health center, affordable senior housing, retail space and a large community meeting room. The new library is approximately 7,500 square feet (700 m2), and is the 27th branch of the San Francisco Public Library.
  • 455 Mission Bay Boulevard South, originally planned to be the headquarters of Pfizer's Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center (started construction August 5, 2008), occupied by Nektar Therapeutics in November 2010 as their corporate headquarters. The other half of the building will be occupied by Bayer's U.S. Innovation Center.
  • Location of the San Francisco Public Safety Building at Third Street and Mission Rock. It will include a Police headquarters, Police Station and Mission Bay Fire Station. Funding for the building was passed with a 79.4 percent positive vote on Proposition B.
  • The future location of Rock Health, a seed accelerator for digital health startups.
  • An estimated 56 biotech companies were clustered in Mission Bay in mid-2010.
  • The San Francisco Bay Trail.
  • The Blue Greenway waterfront trail.

Mission Bay is served by the N Judah and T Third Street lines of San Francisco's Muni Metro. The N Judah links the neighborhood to Downtown, BART, Hayes Valley and the Sunset District, and the T Third Street links to downtown, BART, and the Bayview and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods. Several other Muni bus and trolley bus lines link the area to neighborhoods to the north, west and south. The Caltrain commuter rail system connects Mission Bay with San Jose and Gilroy. The proposed Central Subway project will make the link between Mission Bay, AT&T Park, Market Street-Union Square, and Chinatown even faster.

Although near to and often associated with AT&T Park, the ballpark is in the adjacent South Beach neighborhood. UCSF has announced plans to build a new 289-bed hospital serving children, women, and cancer patients on a portion of their property in the neighborhood. Construction of the hospital began in October 2010.

Mission Bay has a large residential component with approximately 6000 condos planned (1700 of them to be designated affordable).

  • The Beacon is one of the largest condominium complexes in San Francisco and anchors much of the activity in North Mission Bay. With 595 condominium units, it sits on a full city block bounded by Townsend to the north, King to the south and 3rd and 4th Streets. A Safeway anchors the retail sections of the building; a Borders bookstore recently closed, and its space has been occupied by Lucky Strike Bowling. The building's name refers to its being the first large scale mixed-use project planned for the new neighborhood, and thus "The Beacon" of the area's revival. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine also calls the Beacon home.
  • Madrone is a high-end residential condominium developed by Bosa Development Corporation. Overlooking San Francisco Bay, the building has two towers with 329 modern residences, many with bay, city and Bay Bridge views. Sales and marketing firm The Mark Company achieved ongoing sales of 20 units per month in 2012 for Madrone, despite a still recovering economy. The building went to market in 2011, and more than 200 residences were sold by August 2012, making it one of San Francisco’s most successful projects in more than a decade.
  • Glassworks is a mixed-use building with approximately 40 modern condos of varying floor plans and sizes, located directly across the AT&T Park at 3rd Street, between King and Berry Streets.
  • Signature Properties has built two mid-rise condos on Berry Street: 255 Berry Street and 235 Berry Street. 255 Berry Street was completed in 2004 and 235 Berry Street in 2007. Both buildings sit between Berry Street and Mission Creek and consist mainly or two-bedroom units of various sizes and floor plans. The first floors contain townhome style condos. Units facing south have views of the creek and South Mission Bay.
  • Arterra is San Francisco's first LEED-certified market-rate condominium building, located on Fifth Street, between Berry and King Streets (300 and 325 Berry Street). The project consists of three connected buildings, each in a different exterior color: "City" (nine stories), "Park" (six stories) and "Sky" (16 stories). There are a total of 268 condos in the complex.
  • Park Terrace (325 Berry Street) is similar in construction to both 255 Berry Street and 235 Berry Street in style and height (nine-story mid-rise). 110 condos were recently completed.
  • Radiance at Mission Bay is in the south part of Mission Bay, adjacent to the Bay. It will be completed in two phases: the first phase is completed and is a fully occupied 99-condo building on the waterfront. The second phase (under construction beginning August 2010) will contain 315 condos farther north. Bosa Development has bought multiple residential parcels in Mission Bay and Radiance is their first project in the area.
  • Strata is a luxury apartment complex near the UCSF campus.
  • Arden is a high-end residential condominium that is being developed by Bosa Development Corporation. Arden is expected to be completed in November 2015 and will include 267 condominiums.

Mission Bay Parks completed as of fall 2010 include: Mission Creek, Mission Bay Commons lots on Mission Bay Boulevard between Radiance and the Nektar/Bayer buildings, the 5th street plaza, the sports courts, Koret Quad and China Basin Park. Future Mission Bay parks plans include Bay Front Park, a little league diamond and a junior soccer field.

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