A San Francisco Affordable Housing Project Advances

Source: The Registry 

San Francisco, The Mission Economic Development Agency, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp, Nick Podella, Florida Street Housing, Mithun,

By Michele Chandler | October 11, 2017 

As San Francisco rents continue to climb, a plan to build 130 affordable housing units in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood at 681 Florida St. is moving forward.

The proposal is the result of a collaboration by The Mission Economic Development Agency and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. to construct the community of units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms that are designed to fit the budget of those earning less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income—about $48,400 for one person and $62,000 a year for a family of three.

Nick Podella Co. is the property’s owner, according to city records, while 681 Florida Housing Associates, L.P. is listed as the applicant.

Construction costs for the project will be about $45 million, said Charmaine Curtis, development consultant for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. Construction is projected to start in 2019, she said, with completion happening in 2121.

“It’s much needed affordable housing in a neighborhood that’s seen a lot of gentrification and displacement of long-time residents,” Curtis said.

The Mission Economic Development Agency will continue to own the complex, city records show. The Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. will manage the property and provide social services to tenants.

The developers held their most recent community input meeting in San Francisco on Aug. 16. The city received the developer’s Preliminary Project Assessment application on Sept. 6.

When the development was announced earlier this year, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation CEO Don Falk said that the two groups “will have the ability to help stem the tide of displacement in this gentrifying neighborhood, provide high-quality, affordable housing and services for families” and create arts-related space that community groups could use.

To make way for the complex, to be called 681 Florida Street Housing, an existing single-story, 48,500-square-foot warehouse will be demolished.

The proposed residential community will cover 146,000 square feet and be 85 feet tall, according to the development plans filed with the San Francisco Planning Department. The complex will contain studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.

The complex will be located within a 42,500-square-foot area bounded by Florida Street to the east, 18th Street to the north, Bryant Street to the west and 19th Street to the south in the Mission neighborhood.

Included in the proposed development will be 9,140 square feet of space zoned Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) to allow for only service or light industrial uses. In addition, the building will have a lobby and community room.

No off-street parking for cars is proposed for 681 Florida Street Housing, although the project will add 115 bicycle parking spaces on the ground floor.

The building’s preliminary design, from architecture firm Mithun, contains multiple outdoor areas, including one on the roof. The laundry facility will be located on the roof, as will a community garden and lounge.

The entire ground-floor commercial space is slated to be reserved for arts groups and will include two offices for social workers who can provide services for the complex’s residents.

“The Mission is undergoing displacement generally, and not only low-income residents are being displaced, cultural institutions of all kinds are finding it hard to be there or stay there,” said Mithun Partner Anne Torney. The PDR space will be reserved for a performing arts or visual arts group and the PDR designation will allow nonprofits to stay in the Mission, Torney said.

Mithun has been involved with other affordable housing communities, including Sansome and Broadway Family Housing, a 75-residential unit complex constructed in 2015 for low-income and previously homeless families on a former Embarcadero Freeway ramp site for the Chinatown Community Development Center.

In recent years, the tech boom and growth in related industries have fueled steady gentrification in the working-class Mission neighborhood, as groups including luxury apartment developer Monogram Residential Trust, Inc. have opened complexes in the community.

Among other affordable housing developments proposed for the Mission district include one announced in 2015 to bring a 165-unit development for low-income families to 1050 Mission St.

Balancing development with affordability has been an issue across California. Last week, the California Legislature passed 15 housing bills in a sweeping attempt to tame the state’s astronomical cost of living. Each bill aims to increase the pace of new housing construction, according to a report in the New York Times. According to the newspaper’s report, SB2 and SB3 provide new funding for subsidized affordable housing.