With the number of newly proposed units of housing to be built in San Francisco having outpaced the number of units that recently finished up construction for the third quarter in a row, the overall pipeline of apartments and condos under development in San Francisco increased by 1,800 in the second quarter of 2018 to a record 69,600, which is 6,100 more than at the same time last year.

And for the second quarter in a row, the number of units in approved developments which have already broken ground and should be ready for occupancy within the next year or two has increased, from 6,750 in the first quarter to 7,100 at the end of June, which is 19 percent below a current cycle peak of 8,800 set in the third quarter of 2015 but nearly 25 percent above average over the past ten years.

In addition, there are now 15,800 net-new units of housing for which building permits have either been issued, approved or requested, which is 500 more than the quarter before, along 30,100 units in projects that have already been approved but not yet permitted (which includes the majority of the 10,500 units by Candlestick, 7,800 units on Treasure Island and 5,680 units at Parkmerced, projects which have overall timelines measured in decades, not years).

And with proposals for another 16,650 units of housing now under review by the City’s Planning Department, which is up from 15,200 the quarter before and bolstered by the anticipated passage of San Francisco’s proposed Central SoMa Plan, San Francisco’s Housing Pipeline now totals a record 69,600, including 11,750 units of “affordable housing” which are to be offered at below market rates, according to our latest accounting of Planning’s database as newly mapped with more detail above.

At the same time, the growth rate of employed residents in the city has slowed, asking rents have slipped, the inventory of homes for sale in the city has been trending up, and home sales have dropped to a 7-year seasonal low.

25 thoughts on “Record Pipeline of Development in San Francisco Continues to Grow”
  1. See how the line of development makes a simple curve and loop from downtown out and around towards parkmerced…. notice also how congested streets and roadways will be amplified by all this development without adequate and serious changes on transportation….

    Now email your supervisor and or politicians who proposed such madness without adequate ammenities and infrastructural changes and push hard for those improvements, otherwise gridlock will be the result.

    1. Do you understand how taxes work? Every major development pays fees that go toward transportation and street improvements in that area…and the city is already working on a new subway line in the most impacted part of the city, plus rolling out new train cars and bus-only lanes all over. Pull your head out of the sand Aaron!

    2. It’s outrageous that the city hasn’t build a new transit line due south from Mission Bay. There’s such a need for it!

        1. T-Third is horrible in terms of reliability and level of service. Why that wasn’t put underground to begin with still baffles my mind. And with the loop being installed and the MTA suggesting both sets of tracks will be used to take passengers North (during events at the new Arena, which is scheduled to have ~300 events a year) means that service to dogpatch, bayview and sunnydale will probably diminish rapidly.

    3. If congestion rises we should start using our streets more efficiently. We’re nowhere near the max capacity of the streets regardless of the congestion that occurs. Obstructing housing just because we’re not willing to be more creative in getting around is just silly.

  2. Excellent, the new developments are centered around the new high rise office buildings so people could simply walk to work. Great exercise, no reliance on public transport, save money and time on gym memberships, and unlock pedestrian retail.

  3. What does it matter how much is in the pipeline if permitted projects don’t get built?

    Last week there was a featured article in the Chron linked here about a number of prominent residential developments which haven’t gotten off the ground. A few other conspicuous, much-welcomed proposals include:

    The promising Handel-designed tower with townhouses for the old KRON site at Van Ness/Myrtle in spite having received approval 2 years ago;

    Another corridor tower at Eddy associated with the Burger King approved about the same time;

    The no doubt profitable former Rincon Hill 76 station at First/Harrison dubbed “Modera” which, though closed and fenced off more than a year ago, continues to sit idle.

    Anyone have any information on their status? Other notable developments which languish?

    1. The Chronicle article listed just shy of 7000 proposed units abandoned or on hold. The trend seems to be more entitlement put up for sale which means the7K number will grow. perhaps significantly. 555 Howard was supposed to start construction a year ago yet it is back in the approval process by some agency, The longer it is delayed the less viable it becomes given current conditions. SF will be lucky if even half of the pipeline ends up getting built.

      1. 555 Howard isn’t “back in the approval process by some agency,” the project team’s application to secure demolition and building permits for the project, the blueprints for which have been revised three times by the architects since submission, is currently working its way through the permitting process and is close to being approved.

      2. I suspect the Chronicle’s figure includes elements of one or more of the large-scale projects not actually scheduled to be built for years.

    2. Another notable (or controversial) project on indefinite hold is the counter flow Hines tower proposed for Rincon Hill.

    3. In terms of actually getting built, versus industry lobbying, the actual number of units under construction across the city is 25 percent above its ten-year average and effectively at a two-year high.

      And of course, changes in the number of approved units for which building permits have either been “issued, approved or requested” but have yet to break ground shouldn’t catch any plugged-in readers by surprise, nor should any of the major entitlements which are currently in play.

      1. Any above-average numbers must largely be accounted for by the active construction of the three Folsom St. towers part of the Transit District subject of parcels sold off by the TJPA.

        Meanwhile, the five proposals clustered in the 500 block Howard (all “private property” except for Parcel F) remain idle.

        Also, none of the three mature residential developments slated uphill for the intersection of Hawthorne/Folsom have broken ground.

        1. What’s the difference in the land basis of the projects that are under construction or positioning to break ground versus those which have been approved but appear to be sitting idle or their entitlements banked?

          1. There was an undeniable impetus of inenvitabilty with the sale of excess CalTrans properties subject of planned developments in the Transit District.

            Not so with the long-held properties along Howard whose development potential is subject to market forces.

        2. And that above average number is not so impressive given how low the average has been. The whole Bay Area suffers from this. A major Oyster Point housing proposal has been withdrawn because of opposition. In part companies that want to build tech/bio offices on the land.

        3. Keep in mind too that the average number of new units built has been inadequate and is small given the demand. So an above average year or two or three may not be something to write home about.

  4. At the moment, this “pipeline” is largely fantasy since many of these proposed projects are for sale because it is uneconomic to build at the present cost of construction and with the present city fees, requirements for “affordable” units and so on. If this city really wanted to address its housing needs it would remove as many of these unnecessary requirements as possible–perhaps through a several year moratorium–and encourage as many of these approved projects to break ground soon as the construction labor supply permits.

    1. It’s true. But they’re also the only neighborhoods that allow denser construction—most of the west side has effectively blocked anything over 4 stories.

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