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No matter how you slice it, District 10 has long been treated as the ugly stepchild of San Francisco. Home to so many of the City’s industries (ship building, tanneries, glue factories and power plants, just to name a few) since the 1800s, it’s been used, abused and abandoned. But the truth is, there is a lot going on in this district, and revitalization is beginning to take hold.

Consider Hunters Point. For decades, it was home to the Hunters Point Shipyards, and employed tens of thousands of workers. Ship after ship sailed off to World War II straight out of the yard. But unfortunately, all that industry left behind an enormous amount of pollution that is now being cleaned up as a Superfund site.

You might think that would be the end of the story. But this parcel of land, despite its history of abuse, is about to be reclaimed. Thanks to voters, Lennar Homes is about to build more than 10,500 homes here on an 800-acre parcel at a cost of more than $2.2 billion. This is a deal that’s been in the works for more than a dozen years, and it’s only now starting to see movement and the politcal wherewithal to get it done.

The first phase of this plan — those condos and town homes you see to the right as you head north on 101 on Candlestick Point — are already occupied. Many of the condos here sold in the mid $300s to $500s. What’s particularly nice about them is they border the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, the largest tract of open space in the district and home to a surprisingly large assortment of flora, fauna and nice hiking trails.

Another long-ignored, but up and coming neighborhood is Little Hollywood. There’s quite a bit of dispute about how this neighborhood got its name, but many believe it’s because these bungalow-style homes resemble those built in Hollywood in the 1920s. In 2010, Little Hollywood became its very own MLS subdistrict, distinct from Visitacion Valley.

One of the things we often forget when we think about District 10 is that it contains San Francisco’s second-largest park — McLaren Park, with rolling hills and some great vistas. Between the nine hole Gleneagles Golf Course and the Crocker Amazon Playground, it’s a great place to unwind. Vistacion Valley borders the southeastern edge of the park, and while it’s still a little rough around the edges it can be a nice place to live. The arrival of the Third Street Rail in the mid-2000s really helped revitalize this corridor, and more plans are afoot to demolish the old Schlage lock factory and replace it with condos, a supermarket and a retail strip.

Just north sits Portola, a historic but often ignored neighborhood that was established in 1869. San Bruno Avenue is the main drag here, and there’s a lot of life, between the restaurants and family owned stores. It’s a taste of non-touristy San Francisco. Who knew the Maltese Consulate is here? The homes tend to be well-priced if modest, but you can tell there’s a lot of pride. There’s even a Portola Festival in the fall. Homes here tend to sell in the lower $400s, but those homes that are larger and situated towards Bernal Heights can fetch more than $800,000.

On the other side of McLaren Park, you’ll find the Excelsior. You may not know it, but plenty of famous San Franciscans grew up here: Jerry Garcia to Dan White (the Twinkie wing nut). Maybe that’s because the Excelsior has always been a fairly diverse neighborhood, and it can feel a wee bit worse for wear. But hard-working people live here, and there is an active community of people trying to improve the neighborhoods. Houses tend to hover in the low $500s.

Moving a little south, you’ll find Crocker Amazon. This little enclave of single family homes and twisty streets seems to be in a little better shape than the Excelsior. There’s a large Filipino community here, and some of the most diverse weather in the city. The diverse architecture of the homes throughout the neighborhood include Marina, Arts & Crafts, Victorian and mid-centruy modern styles. A home here generally falls in the mid-$500s.

Probably the most liveable neighborhoods in District 10 are Mission Terrace and Outer Mission.

It’s funny to think that neither has much to do with the Mission, which is north and over the Bernal Hill. Rather Mission Terrace has a personality of its own, with lots of single family homes from the 1920s, some really lovely streets and accessible pricing. Single family homes start in the high $600s.

The Outer Mission, which borders Daly City, is also a stone’s throw away from a tiny hidden gem: Cayuga Park. This lilliputian four acre patch was decorated with dozens of hand-carved statues and totem poles by its caretaker, Demetrios Braceros. As a neighborhood, it’s centrally located and transportation is excellent. While there may be a few rough spots, there are also a few homes with lots of charming and caring owners. Our bet is that this neighborhood is on the rise, given that it is one of the last affordable enclaves in the city. Prices here start in the mid-$500s.

Handy Links

San Francisco Outer Mission Merchants and Residents Association Facebook Page

Candlestick Point Park

Wikipedia’s Entry on The Bayview

Unofficial McLaren Park Site

SFGate on Portola

Excelsior Action Group


Old Clam House
415 826 4880 ‎

Flora Grubb Gardens
415 626 7256

La Laguna
415 401 9420

415 647 1746


Vibrant, historic and on the rise: SF's newest neighborhoods take shape