San Francisco’s Transbay Redevelopment Plan requires any new development within the redevelopment area with a residential component 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 to pay a fee or build a greater number of affordable units off-site instead.
The developer of the mixed-use tower rising at 181 Fremont Street has managed to quietly negotiate 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 has agreed to 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 approved, all 74 units to be built atop the 800-foot-tall Fremont Street tower will be sold to the highest bidders (quite literally) and with prices which are likely to start at well over $2,000 per square foot.
A late addition to the agenda for the Transbay Citizens Advisory Committee this week, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will have the final say on whether or not this one-off variance will be approved.