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Plaza del Sol walkway 2.JPG

Plaza del Sol — bringing a healthy environment for families to a busy urban neighborhood


440 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Residential Population

Number of Units
59; 25 two-bedroom; 29 three-bedroom; 5 four-bedroom apartments

Property Management

Caritas Property Management


Units large enough for families are hard to come by in San Francisco. Plaza del Sol adds to this housing stock with 25 two-bedroom, 29 three-bedroom, and 5 four-bedroom apartments.

Completed in 1994, the complex was designed by Hood Miller Associates with Alan Martinez and built by Nibbi Brothers Construction Contractors. The construction came in under budget while the interior spaces exceeded HUD standards.

Design features

Plaza del Sol has satisfied the demand for healthy family environments with included amenities such as well-furnished play yards, tot lots, laundry facilities and a landscaped, secure-yet-open courtyard. The light and air that fills the spacious apartments is plentiful. An educational resource center is located on the ground floor. Plaza del Sol is like a small village that extends the domestic environment into the secure, thoughtfully planned, pedestrian streets. Located in a residential/commercial mixed-use area along a major through street, the development is situated one block from the 16th and Mission BART station. Residents can also conveniently access several MUNI stops.

Urban art

The serpentine pebble pathway in the courtyard, “Paseo del Serpiente,” was designed and built by Shelby Kennedy, an independent artist whose mosaics, sculptures and ceramics can be seen in public art displays around San Francisco. He is also a former Mission Housing staffer. The mosaic was part of an effort fostering collaboration between artists and architects to create buildings with a sense of place. After two years of planning, the path was completed in 1994.


Plaza del Sol was constructed using funds from the CA Dept. of Housing & Community Development-Rental Housing Construction Program, First Nationwide Bank, the SF Mayor’s Office of Housing and Wells Fargo. A Low Income Housing Tax Credit was issued to the California Equity Fund for being a limited partner in the construction.

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