DNA Declines to Support Additional Historical Review for Moshi Moshi Property

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Last month, the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association voted against funding additional historical review of building that features stucco-covered façades and wood shiplap siding, located at the corner of Third and 18th streets. Best known for popular tenant, Moshi Moshi, 2092 Third Street underwent a City-sponsored historical review in 2001, as part of the Central Waterfront Cultural Resources Survey, and was assigned National Register Status Code “4D2.”  In bureaucracy speak, that means the structure is notable – it’s been continually occupied since 1889 – but, without “restoration or meeting other specific conditions,” the government doesn’t see a reason to prohibit modifications to it.

Although DNA chose not to pay for additional analysis, a group of Dogpatch residents believe additional review is merited.  “The building has been occupied for more than 125 years,” said Janet Carpinelli, former DNA president, who is spearheading further historical evaluation efforts. “It’s been a vital part of the Dogpatch community through our history; it’s worth taking the time.”

Mitz Akashi, who owns the property and Moshi Moshi, wants to comprehensively alter the building, and retain the restaurant.  One renovation company walked away from the project, reportedly due to complications with the kitchen remodel. Akashi is being courted by other developers interested in investing in his restaurant, which is close to a T-Muni stop.

In the meantime, residents are searching for architects or historians who can provide expert opinion on the building’s historical relevance. Carpinelli emphasized the need to preserve Dogpatch’s older structures, noting that the neighborhood hasn’t engaged in significant historical preservation efforts for a decade. “DNA has not spent any resources on historic review since 2005, when we did the Dogpatch Historic District,” said Carpinelli. “Except for an attempt to stop the demolition of the brick office/warehouse at 815 Tennessee Street. We were too late for that one, but not for this building.”

Not all Dogpatch residents feel similarly, however. Messages on social media site Nextdoor concerning the edifice’s preservation revealed neighborhood opposition to the idea.  “Good grief; let Mitz move forward with his plans to modernize the building. He has worked really hard and deserves the upgrade to the facility.  It’s his building, and if that building is “historic,” then we should be ‘hysterically preserving’ the homeless tents.”

Akashi plans to update the commercial space and residences on the second floor. Moshi Moshi will reopen after the renovation or rebuild, although it’s unclear what form the restaurant will take after construction is completed.