Best New Addition - 2006
Condo High-Rises in SOMA and Rincon Hill
For nine years our political columnist has been haranguing city residents to build more places for people to live. In return, readers have turned the page. Somehow, though, during the past few years, the slow, creaking grist mill that is San Francisco's permitting process has allowed a new high-rise neighborhood to push up from the Rincon Hill area near downtown. Sure, the architecture could be better in some cases. And instead of money spent on civic amenities, developers ended up paying into a political slush fund. But aside from a few messy details, the fact that San Francisco has finally allowed itself to embrace urban density even if it's only on a sliver of land represents both a breakthrough and the city's and region's best hope for a livable, walkable future.