The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development has issued a bulk request for qualified development teams interested in developing one or more of the following nine sites upon which permanently affordable rental units are slated to rise:

  1.  772 Pacific Avenue (Senior Housing, including formerly homeless seniors)
  2.  967 Mission Street (Senior Housing, including formerly homeless seniors)
  3. 1939 Market Street (Senior Housing, including formerly homeless seniors)
  4. 1515 South Van Ness Avenue (Family Housing with 1-3 bedroom units)
  5. 88 Bluxome Street (Family Housing with 1-3 bedroom units)
  6. Pier 70 Parcel C2A (Family Housing with 1-3 bedroom units)
  7. 160 Freelon (598 Brannan) Street (Family Housing with 1-3 bedroom units)
  8. 71 Boardman Place (Supportive Housing for the chronically homeless)
  9. 725 Harrison Street (Supportive Housing for the chronically homeless)

The nine sites will be long-term leased to the development teams at nominal terms and maximum rents for the completed units will be restricted to average no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with a portion of the units set aside for extremely-low income households (30 percent of the AMI) that are not already homeless, 20 percent of the Senior Housing units set aside for formerly homeless seniors, and at least 5 units per site (10 for Pier 70) set aside for referrals from the City’s Plus Housing program (with the rents set at no more than 50 percent of the AMI).

A few of the City’s stated expectations of the interested development teams and proposals:

  • Maximize the number of units and density within a mid-rise construction type (75’ occupied space) and/or limit of per unit City contribution to at or below average of similar, while balancing community input on unit configuration and size – in limited cases a high rise may be acceptable to the City [emphasis added].
  • Provide ground floor commercial spaces that serve the neighborhood (including the residents of the Project), with specific programming determined through a comprehensive community outreach process where ground floor commercial uses are appropriate and feasible.
  • Provide on-site services to formerly homeless residents at a cost-effective case management ratio (approximately 1:20) depending upon sub-population.
  • Commence construction on the Projects as soon as possible, using streamlined ministerial approval processes (for example, SB35 may be used in conjunction with the Affordable Housing Density Program or the State Density Bonus Program).

Responses from the interested development teams are due on January 22, 2021 and the selected teams are currently expected to announced at the end of March or early April.  We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by ST

    Maybe I am just really dumb this morning, but are these sites city properties? And is the City expecting the developer to manage these units after completion?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      As outlined above, the nine sites will be long-term leased to the development teams (each of which will be required to include entities with experience owning, operating and managing the specific type of housing and services).

  2. Posted by ST

    I wonder how many developers will be interested in becoming a PM, especially when the tenant pool includes homeless. Why doesn’t city try to manage these sites itself? Or even better, try to build these units itself? Wont that be a more feasible approach? I like the idea of these “permanently affordable” concept, City should have done it looooong time ago….

  3. Posted by Clyde Benke

    There is that ridiculous requirement for ground floor retail that will sit vacant because it’s not worth running a business in SF. All the rules, regulations, mandates, vagrants and vandals simply make having a business in SF a losing proposition.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Affordable ground floor retail does not sit vacant – see recent projects like Bill Sorro community building at 6th and Howard that already have ground-floor tenants. The problem is typically private landlords who are required to build retail but don’t actually want to manage commercial tenants, so price the rent so high the spaces remain empty.

    • Posted by two beers

      “All the rules, regulations, mandates, vagrants and vandals simply make having a business in SF a losing proposition.”

      Huh, it’s curious you left the (still) insanely high rent prices of commercial space out of your rote laundry list of complaints/reasons for commercial vacancy. It’s almost as if you don’t see paying three or four times the rent as in other cities as a hit to local small business profitability.

      I guess if we just slashed all the rules and regulations, shipped the vagrants off to Reno, and locked all the vandals away for twenty years, small businesses will be lining up to pay your exorbitant rents once again, amirite?

    • Posted by sparky-b

      With the city ownership, I don’t think the plan is for actual retail space on the ground floor. As one of the developer requirements is:

      “…respondent teams to this Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) must be comprised of:

      At least one services-providing entity with experience providing services appropriate for the intended target population(s) of each site.”

      So the commercial space will be used for services for the residents in some capacity. And the lease is subsidized by the city so not market rate.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        It’s site specific. The New Asia Restaurant “has expressed interest” in returning to a ground floor commercial space at 772 Pacific once the site is redeveloped. And some of the sites do require “active commercial uses with storefronts facing the street” (but which could be a supportive versus retail use).

    • Posted by y

      Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
      Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore!
      What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
      But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
      Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
      Man never is, but always to be blest:
      The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
      Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

      – Pope Alexander (He of the Spotless Mind)

  4. Posted by Invented

    High density mixed-income is one answer: Massive 2,500-unit redevelopment proposed for Western Addition. More please.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      While MacFarlane Partners is angling to build up to 18 stories in height upon the Freedom West site, not mentioned in the linked Business Times report is that said site is currently only zoned for development up to 50 feet in height and the development will be an uphill battle as envisioned/portrayed.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      No way any development there gets approved at more than 5, possibly 6, stories. Nor should it.

  5. Posted by sparky-b

    These deals the city does drive me crazy. Lennar owned the property and was going to build 25% low income, so 39 units of 157-ish. The city buys it off Lennar for $18.5 million. So the city has already paid $157k for each of the other units, then they will lose money on the lease, not collect taxes, etc. Meanwhile, this has gone nowhere in the year and half since they bought it and I’ll bet it gets redesigned for value engineering and won’t break ground for 2 more years.

    And then you have to ask, what was the purpose of prop.K that just passed? Allowing the city to be the builder of low income housing. I assumed it was for exactly these types of projects. Why are we now leasing these out to others. And of course the builders requirements are all set up so as to not really be open to bids except for the same cabal as always.

    • Posted by sparky-b

      to correct myself above, the 1515 South Van Ness under Lennar had 55 studios and some additional junior 1 bedrooms. Now the city wants 1-3 bed units. So there will probably only end up being 115 units.

      The city was going to get 39 free. They are only getting 76 more low income units for the $18.5m.

  6. Posted by Joe hanson

    No builder or developer unless he’s on crack cocaine will touch one of these projects these are all losers construction costs and the development costs are so high today none of these projects can pencil with these requirements anybody with a brain in their head will run 40 miles from this stupid proposal .

  7. Posted by Jimmy the Kid

    These deal will all get done. In fact the city and the development teams all have a pretty good idea of which project is whose.

  8. Posted by sfdev

    Now is the time for the city to think like a for profit developer. Every site either just finished or currently under construction is under water, buy a few sites already built and then bring in a group to manage. Will save the tax payer a ton of money and provide affordable housing today [versus] in 8 years.

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