The proposal to keep affordable housing out of the 800-foot tower rising at 181 Fremont Street has been recommended for approval and will be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission next month.
As we first reported last month, San Francisco’s Transbay Redevelopment Plan requires any new housing development within the redevelopment area to offer at least 15 percent of its units at below market rates, a key component of the Mayor’s “Housing For All” initiative and for which there is no option for paying an in-lieu fee or building a greater number of affordable units off-site instead.
The developer of the 181 Fremont Street tower appears to have successfully negotiated a one-off variance from the plan, however, a variance which will obviate the need to include any affordable housing within the development and allow it to be “poor door” free.
In exchange for the variance, the Jay Paul Company will pay $13.85 million into an affordable housing fund, roughly $1.26 million for each of the eleven units which would have had to have been offered at below market rates per the plan.
And if the variance is approved, all 74 units to be built atop the 800-foot-tall Fremont Street tower will be sold to the highest bidders, and with prices which are likely to start at well over $2,000 per square foot.
The 181 Fremont Street tower is one of the Transbay District developments which benefited from an up-zoning in height in exchange for paying a Community Facilities District tax to fund the development of San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center, the contribution to which is being challenged and could result in litigation.