According to the city, $925,666 appears to have “vanished” from the South of Market Community Stabilization Fund, money which was earmarked to fund improvements to local parks and pedestrian safety.
According to the Association of Bay Area Governments, however, the money was properly disbursed to the developer of One Rincon Hill’s first tower as a reimbursement for money the developer had already spent, as was contractually required and negotiated.
And note, while the Chronicle quotes a lawyer for the developer as stating that, “no One Rincon Hill entity received any disbursement from ABAG in 2014,” that’s not the same thing as “never [having] received the money.”
Despite the fact that the funds might have been properly disbursed and it could be that the city’s own dealmakers are responsible for the situation at hand, the “city is looking at all options to recover the funds,” according to the executive director of the mayor’s housing office.
A community advisory committee has been planning to spend the missing $925,666 on a new Folsom Street crossing and renovations to South Park.
UPDATE (1/30): ABAG’s public finance director is under scrutiny for allegedly orchestrating the theft by creating an entity dubbed “Urban West for Rincon Developers” (versus “Urban West Associates,” the actual developer) and requesting $1.3 million be disbursed to the entity as a reimbursement for phantom improvements.