255 Fremont Street Site

Bidding for the construction of 120 below market rate (BMR) units to rise up to 8-stories on Transbay Block 7, Stretching from Fremont to Beale along Clementina Alley, behind Golub’s 32-story, market-rate tower dubbed “Solaire” rising at the corner of Fremont and Folsom on Transbay Block 6, is underway.

Designed by Santos Presscott and Associates, the 255 Fremont Street project is being developed by Mercy Housing and is slated to break ground in January of 2016.

255 Fremont Design

The 120 below market rate units should be ready for occupancy mid-2017, while the market-rate tower (299 Fremont) will start leasing this fall.

UPDATE: The Budget And Renderings For 120 Affordable Transbay Units.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by MarketSt

    Great. More Mercy housing in the heart of downtown. Wonder how many thousands of units the same money could build anywhere else in California, to the benefit of many more people, and in places where those people have a far better chance of getting a job, if so interested. But of course as we know helping people is not the goal. It’s all about proving a point, d@# i@! Housing shall be by government assignment and at the beneficence of government.

    • Posted by Zig

      Better chance of getting a job? Doesn’t get much better than SF

    • Posted by Onslow

      Thanks, MarketSt, your post made me happy. It’s always encouraging to know there are still a few people out there who actually “get it”.

    • Posted by Tim Bracken

      You’re obviously right that we could build far more units for the same money in, say, Bakersfield, but if we took your argument to its logical conclusion and built ALL our lower-income housing far away, then where would San Francisco’s lower-income workers (private school teachers, cooks, janitors, security guards, social workers, etc.) live? There are jobs for them here, and we as a city benefit from them being here. So let’s help them live here by building affordable housing here.

      • Posted by Not Bashing

        They would (and do) live in Oakland, the Richmond, the Sunset, Excelsior, Daly City, etc.

  2. Posted by curmudgeon

    Um…there may be many arguments against this housing, but certainly everyone living there has an EXCELLENT chance of getting a job. It isn’t ONLY professionals working in downtown. Who do you think is working in retail and in hotels, for instance? There are as many modestly paid jobs downtown as high paid ones, and folks who get to live here will have incredible access to those jobs.

    • Posted by Orland

      No, there are no good arguments for excluding this type of housing generally from this/any entire neighborhood.

      OTOH, I would love to see Delancey Street and Steamboat Point on the Embarcadero torn down (they’ve accomplished their purpose) and properties more appropriate to the location put up — think Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive.

      • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

        I suppose if one favors unfair and arbitrary discrimination by government based on income figures, then there are no good arguments against a lot of things. This project in this location is what puts the BM in BMR.

        • Posted by Orland

          You really do have a Bircher’s “oppression” paranoia going on.

        • Posted by Zig

          Not arbitrary. It has a social purpose. We have a representative government so we could change this policy

    • Posted by MarketSt

      Alright, here’s an idea. If you live in Mercy housing in downtown SF and you’re under 50 you need to get a job within two years or you get relocated to somewhere else, say Stockton Mercy housing, and someone else takes your place. Fair enough? I work across for Mercy housing. To all appearances, working is not on the radar of anyone there. Unless you call panhandling work.

      • Posted by Zig

        so you are concerned in one post that they can’t find a job but in another suggest dumping the people on a depressed city with 10% unemployment?

        • Posted by MarketSt

          Correct. If for whatever reason you can’t find a job in San Francisco in some set amount of time, two years, five, whatever you think is fair, fine. You may as well live in a city where there are no jobs but it’s a lot cheaper to house you for life. Don’t worry. We’ll still support you for life, as we do many here, no demands on your lifestyle or questions asked. Congrats, you’ve won the dependency lottery! People in many third world countries would kill to be you. But instead of living in San Francisco, you’ll live somewhere where the cost of supporting you for life is some fraction of what it would cost to support you here. It’s all optional of course. It’s a free country. If you don’t like it, you’re back to your own devices. Meanwhile, your spot in San Francisco passes on to someone just as needy but who now gets a chance at getting it together.

          • Posted by Zig

            This is pointless to even discuss

        • Posted by MarketSt

          And no, I don’t think many recently homeless, many with addiction issues and criminal histories would have an easy time getting the types of jobs that are available in San Francisco. That was your idea. In my opinion they would have a far easier time somewhere where there’s light industrial, warehouse, transportation, big box retail, agricultural work, etc. But I’m willing to give it a chance.

          • Posted by Zig

            I don’t know that these are units for homeless people. BMR usually means up to a certain income level

  3. Posted by BTinSF

    Isn’t this “affordable” housing, not “public” housing? People eligible for this are middle class, even economically successful in most of America, just not in America’s most special and more or
    Ess most expensive city. They certainly have jobs or they won’t be able to live here–the rent will probably be more than my mortgage payment on the property I bought several decades ago.

  4. Posted by bike trike and baby carriage parking only

    Gosh look at how gorgeous San Francisco is judging by this photo! Its why we all moved here, right? Oh, wait. You mean they aren’t actually ever planning to move here? They’re just buying up our city like a commodity, like oil or iron ore?

  5. Posted by Memo-san

    BMR is a good thing…but why there? Why directly next to Solaire at 8 stories? And how tall is Solaire again? Mmmmmmm doesn’t look right. There should be some other development with greater density put here. The closer to Transbay the greater the density should be. Push the lower levels out to the fringe. Also, this building has no character whatsoever. At least put it somewhere where it wouldn’t be so obvious.

  6. Posted by Jamie Whitaker

    Cool! Among the 1,000 affordable dwellings (35% of overall dwellings planned in Transbay Redevelopment Zone). Looking forward to these affordable units’ being filled with folks who feel invested in the neighborhood and work to help it succeed.

  7. Posted by eflat

    why can’t BMR buildings be taller or as nearly tall as nearby market rate buildings? It would allow for more BMR units and probably be more cost effective then the small building proposed

  8. Posted by jamesjr

    MarketSt is spot on. This area should be reserved for market rate high rises. If the government believes in BMR (or in some cases, free) housing they should put it where land is cheap and where the most value for the buck can be found, which is probably not in SF, and certainly not in that part of SF.

  9. Posted by curmudgeon

    Some of you people are not getting it. There can only be so many towers (by zoning), in order to provide spacing and allow glorious views for the relative fat cats who get to live up there. The shorter BMR buildings are BETWEEN these buildings, and the middle class folks live down in the shadows of the towers (As it should be in your view, obviously). The BMR buildings are not getting in the way of developing more towers.

  10. Posted by dakota

    The vast majority of people who buy BMR units are working professionals. All buyers must qualify for a loan and have cash on hand to cover a down payment and closing costs. It’s not public housing. The level of snobbery from some of the commentators on this blog is unbelievable, even for SF standards.

    • Posted by Friscan

      I agree, Dakota (and Zig). It’s discouraging to read some people’s views about who might qualify for BMR, and for whom this part of San Francisco should be reserved. It’s flat-out heartbreaking to read the comments about what living in Hunters Pt will be like.

      …I guess that the anonymity of posting inspires some to express knowingly more insensitive, offensive viewpoints that they would in any face-to-face conversation.

    • Posted by James

      The entire BMR program is rife with problems. In a building I used to live in 2 BMR units were left vacant for years – no idea why, in another case the BMR unit was being rented at market rate by the owner.

      And I WOULD call it public housing. It’s paid for by the developers who pass the cost on to people who buy market rate housing. It may not be paid for by the government, but it’s mandated by it.

  11. Posted by And Take That To The Bank

    BMR income levels in SOMA are about $67K for a single person, $77K for two and higher for four persons. These are good paying jobs. Businesses such as hospitals, engineering firms, brokerages are having a hard time filling mid-level workers and technicians to support the higher paying folks. Many mid-levels do not want to commute a long way.

    • Posted by Not Bashing

      Which in turn forces businesses to pay higher salaries in order to fill those positions. Seems like a good thing for the working class, no?

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