The deal between the City of San Francisco and a trio of big developers who had been leading the charge against the 0.55 percent tax they had agreed in principle to pay in exchange for an already adopted up-zoning of their parcels within the Tansbay Transit Center District has collapsed, leaving the future of San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center and the fate of a half-dozen new developments in doubt.
From the Chronicle’s report:
“Everyone inside City Hall was willing to listen to creative ideas that would ensure the city was made whole on all of the prior financial commitments for the Mello-Roos, but at this point, I don’t see a path forward that doesn’t involve legal action,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who was instrumental, along with the mayor’s office, in crafting the now-defunct deal. “My hope is still that the developers will come to the table and don’t pursue the legal route.”
But, Farrell said, that now seems unlikely.
That’s because the Transbay Joint Powers Authority is counting on the tax district to help finance its developments. The agency expects to issue $1.4 billion in bonds against the tax proceeds — $200 million of it to pay to finish the Transbay Transit Center, which is to open in late 2017. Another $466 million is earmarked to help pay to extend the Caltrain tracks underground from Fourth and King streets to the transit center, a $2.6 billion project with no firm completion date target.
According to the a legal memo from the chief assistant city attorney obtained by The Chronicle, any litigation could take “years to resolve,” “delay or reduce” funding from the tax district, and prevent the city from issuing any bonds until the litigation is resolved.
And as we first reported this morning, the proposed budget for the track extension has actually risen from $2.6 billion to $3 billion and the expected completion date has been pushed back to 2024. Of course, that was prior to this latest round of news.