Mission Bay building back on track after massive fire

Byby Tiffany Wilson KGO logo
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
A look back at Mission Bay building after massive fire
Almost nine months ago firefighters battled a massive apartment fire in San Francisco's Mission Bay. ABC7 News follows up on the progress.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In Los Angeles on Monday there were large fires at buildings undergoing construction. San Francisco saw a similar large fire at an apartment complex undergoing construction back in March.

The building known as MB360 block five in San Francisco was supposed to open this past August; now we're still a long way from move in day, but compared to the morning after the fire --- things are looking good.

It took 150 firefighters hours to extinguish a fire that erased months of hard work. Video showed the destruction just a few days later and parts of the building getting demolished.

Construction workers estimate the 172-unit complex was 80 percent complete prior to the March 11 fire. Investigators ruled it an accident, most likely the result of welding work on the top floor.

Mission Bay employee Johnny Chan remembers watching the building burn. He said, "I think the progress is amazing."

Monday, crews hammer nails into new wood, rebuilding every inch of what was lost. Off-camera a worker told me they're still about a month of work behind where they were in March. The setback led to significant repercussions for the furniture store across the street. Bimma's showroom is empty, alienated by construction, closed off to foot traffic. The owner worries they may have to close.

Overhead cranes crowd Mission Bay. The Warriors arena is expected to break ground soon and the new UCSF Hospital should open in February. Mission Bay residents consider this an awkward, but exciting growth spurt for the neighborhood.

"I think it's going to be a completely different area, we moved here four years ago, none of these big buildings were around, it's going to be amazing," Mission Bay resident Albin Kjellin said.

"I hope there's more shops and restaurants because I work here and there's just not enough around here," Chan said.

MB360 will offer 18,000 square feet of ground level retail space, but it's not expected to open until 2016.