Goodwill Destroyed

The symbolism of this weekend’s demolition of Goodwill at Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue drew some secondhand comparisons.

Image: Queen Dilly Dally

Few images create as powerful an allegory as the snapshots of the demolition of the Goodwill store at 1500 Mission St. in SoMa, images that flooded social media all weekend. The word “Goodwill” was dismantled, the rounded front facade of the building sunk into the ground, and the undeniable symbolism pointed to a San Francisco no longer hospitable toward its poorest residents.

The image above, snapped by local drag persona Queen Dilly Dally, was taken after the ‘G’ was removed from the Goodwill sign lettering. More will be removed, as the demolition of the building continues and the wreckage is cleared from what had been San Francisco’s flagship Goodwill store, and the regional headquarters offices of Goodwill Industries (which has since moved to North Beach).

Goodwill Industries sold the building for a mindblowing $64 million, and the Goodwill store itself closed Aug. 12. If you guessed it’s being demolished for luxury apartments, you are partially correct — the replacement building being constructed by developer Related California will be a 39-story mixed-use tower with 540 luxury apartment units, with a handful of offsetting affordable units and some ground-floor retail.

Wait, 39 stories? Isn’t that a little tall for San Francisco?

It is, but the Planning Commission has approved a tall building high-rise zone at the Van Ness and Mission intersection that is being rebranded as “The Hub.” That means plans for unusually tall towers have been approved for not only the former Goodwill, but also what will be a 40-story structure One Oak (currently All-Star Donuts) and 10 South Van Ness Ave. (currently a Honda dealership).

In other words, the San Francisco skyline will look a lot different in a couple of years. But for now, the street-level look at the Mission SoMa border has a little less good will.

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