Having identified the parking lot parcels fronting Front and Davis Streets, between Broadway and Vallejo, as “the greatest affordable housing development opportunity among the [Port of San Francisco’s] seawall lots in the northeastern waterfront,” the Port began drafting a solicitation for developers of the former Embarcadero Freeway site back in 2014, as we first reported at the time.

At the same time, local Dwellers began drafting challenges as to just how affordable, and subsequently tall, any development on the site should be allowed to be, couched as concern for “the nature and character of the Northeast Waterfront Historic District.”

As designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects for The John Stewart Company and Bridge Housing, whom were awarded the development rights for the 88 Broadway/735 Davis Street site back in 2016, the development will yield a total of 178 below market rate apartments, including 53 units for seniors in the 735 Davis Street building, rising up to 65-feet in height and priced to be affordable to households earning from 30 to 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

And having survived an appeal last year, the ground for the development was formally broken yesterday, which should yield a finished project in mid-2021.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Legos

    Fits in perfectly with it’s context – and that ain’t no compliment. they picked the right architect for such a project

  2. Posted by UnlivableCity

    Good lord the sheer hideosity of what planning let’s get built in this town. We might as well be Waco Tx.

  3. Posted by jimbo

    glad its being built but what i wasted opportunity not to be able to get this at least 2x as high.

  4. Posted by 101

    In another publication, it was stated it costs 700k per unit to build BMRs. That is criminal in itself and no wonder nothing is being built in this City.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The cost per unit of affordable housing is highly dependent on the size of the units being developed as well as whether or not there’s a direct cost for the land.

      That being said, as we actually first reported early last year, the budget for a 152-unit affordable development in Mission Bay was set at around $757,000 per unit, which was roughly $391,000 per bedroom or $614 per gross square foot for the development overall, while the projected budget for a 157-unit building in the Mission was closer to $737,000 per unit (as we first reported as well).

      And in terms of “nothing is being built in this City,” keep in mind that the number of units currently under construction in San Francisco is nearly the most in over a decade (8,500) and building permits for another 17,000 units in projects which have already been entitled by Planning have either been requested or approved.

  5. Posted by Helmut

    It is a boldfaced lie to say nothing is being built in San Francisco.

    • Posted by 101

      Ok, I’m a liar. Shame on me. I would guess though a Market rate unit would cost less to build.

  6. Posted by Bob the Builder

    This should have been at least be 2x as tall

  7. Posted by sfcommie

    Why waterfront? They could sell the lot and then build twice as many housing in a lesser location with the same amount of money.

  8. Posted by hundoman

    Only in San Francisco would we spend so much taxpayer money to give some small lottery winner like part of our population lifelong housing discounts at a space which would otherwise be developed at market rates to provide millions of dollars a year in tax revenue for this city.

    Whats next are we going to build affordable housing and homeless navigation centers at sites in Saint Francis Wood of Sea Cliff?

    • Posted by Scott F

      Great idea. We should not have rich enclaves. Integrated neighborhoods make for a healthier society.

      Dense market-rate housing construction in Saint Francis Wood and Sea Cliff with inclusionary units on-site would also be a good idea.

    • Posted by Curious

      I would think that this development will result in more property tax revenue on a per-sq-ft of land basis than is typical in Sea Cliff or Saint Francis Wood. BMR does not mean units are given away for free and never have to pay taxes and wealthy people’s single family homes are not an economically efficient use of land.

    • Posted by Willow

      Totally agree. Affordable housing for the lucky few via a lottery system makes zero sense. Housing vouchers spread evenly across all those people who qualify for subsidized housing is much fairer.

  9. Posted by Rob Silver

    Yeah homeless junkies deserve to live in mansions too! Wait what? Wasn’t it their choice to destroy their lives while the evil rich guys bettered theirs.

    Sea Cliff has some of the most stringent CC&Rs in the city and St Francis Wood is controlled by a private home owners association. So I don’t think the petty jealous people will be shipping the homeless riffraff out there anytime soon.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Ah yes, the textbook ignorance of a bootstrap myth believer.

  10. Posted by Sierrajeff

    The negativity and ignorance in these comments is stunning. This is a perfectly fine design, which fits extremely well with its surroundings. No, it shouldn’t be twice as high; no, it has nothing to do with homeless people; yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to cite *affordable* housing here, and it’s a helluva lot better than a giant parking lot.

    • Posted by Orland

      Such luminance must be driven from these pages!

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