Purchased by the City for $15.9 million early last year, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development has just issued a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to redevelop the shuttered McDonald’s site at the corner of Stanyan and Haight, a nearly 38,000-square-foot parcel across from Golden Gate Park which includes the parking lot that stretches to Waller.

While the 730 Stanyan Street site is zoned for development up to 50 feet in height, the Mayor’s Office of Housing has envisioned leveraging a density bonus to build a bit higher, an approach which could yield up to 186 units of affordable housing. But there has been pushback from the community as to the development’s height.

With that in mind, the City has outlined the following expectations of the team selected to redevelop the site:

  1. Provide an affordable housing structure containing a minimum of 120 units with ground-floor commercial uses serving the surrounding neighborhood and determined through a comprehensive community outreach process and financial/market analysis;
  2. Maximize the number of units and density within a mid-rise construction approach;
  3. Primarily provide 1-3 bedroom units designed to serve low-income families with an income range of 30-100 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). In addition, 25 percent of the units are expected to be made available to formerly homeless families by way of the City’s Local Operating Subsidy Program; and
  4. Commence construction on the project “as soon as possible,” using streamlined ministerial approval processes in conjunction with potential bonus programs.

Responses to the RFQ are due on October 18 and the City is aiming to announce its selected team by the end of November.

And yes, the selected developer is expected to work with the Mayor’s Office of Housing to revisit an interim use of the site, beyond parking, while advancing “an accelerated predevelopment timeline.”  We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    I mean, the Geneva Towers work, right? Sunnydale Housing is a pleasure to visit and is really well-kept.

    What we need is more government-owned, city-run housing. That’ll make things better.

    • Posted by Karl

      The project will be neither “government-owned” or “city-run” (e.g. by the dysfunctional SF Housing Authority.)

      It’ll be developed by a private non-profit developer and managed by a private non-profit management company — that’s the entire purpose of the RFQ.

      That’s a huge difference — so you can tone down the “legacy hysteria” and ideological rhetoric, please.

      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        So do you mean the city didn’t buy the land that this building is going up on? And they will have no hand in how it is run? If that’s true, it sounds good. But that’s not what the article says.

        Concentrated low income housing has been a disaster over the past 50 years. There’s no legacy hysteria.

        Please tell me why the Geneva Towers were torn down if not that the concentration of low income people in a property managed by a government bureaucracy was a nightmare.

        • Posted by For the record

          There are thousands of affordable units in large 100% affordable multi family housing buildings operating well throughout the city in buildings that you probably have no idea are affordable housing. Geneva Towers was public housing which is not what this development will be. Public housing was and is subject to decades of severe underfunding by the federal government among other issues.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          While the City will maintain ownership of the land, the property will be long-term leased to the development team which will be tasked with operating and managing the new development as well. In addition, keep in mind that the average income of the building’s households is expected to be 60 percent of the Area Median Income, which currently translates to $51,700 per year for an individual, $59,100 for a couple or $66,500 for a family of three.

    • Posted by Anonymous
      • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

        I am sure Sunnydale will improve. Any decade now.

        Anything more recent than 5 years ago on those plans?

        • Posted by Anonymous

          Construction started early last year.

          • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

            I drove through Sunnydale last week and saw zero evidence of progress. Instead I found decrepitude and the slack-jawed sorrow of an entrenched culture of poverty.

            Where is the construction taking place?

    • Posted by Moratorium

      Um, Geneva towers was a public project in an isolated low income area of the city. The issue was ghettofiation. Think of all of the areas of public housing that were problematic. They were mostly in huge clusters of public housing in poorer neighborhoods. This Stanyan project is exactly how lower income housing should be built. Economic diversity is a good thing. Put one in Pacific Heights. Ain’t no one going to be banging Pacific Heights.

  2. Posted by Scott F

    This can already legally be 8 stories with no variances (5 story zoning + 3 story bonus for 100% affordable housing passed in 2016). Shameful to be talking about anything less on a publicly owned site. If it gets proposed 5 or 6 stories tall like HANC wants, we should protest at City Hall all the money being flushed down the toilet and affordable housing effectively taken away.

  3. Posted by me again

    i’m an affordable housing architect that designs dense infill projects, and i really don’t think you can fit 186 units on this parcel, even with the maximum density bonuses. MOHCD has set an unrealistic goal post.

    • Posted by AEC

      It says a minimum of 120 units in the qualifications. 186 was the hypothetical maximum, presumably before the “primarily 1-to-3-bedroom units” and “ground-floor commercial” requirements factored in.

    • Posted by Tony

      They can, but they’re probably going to have to agree to break that 50ft height limit.

    • Posted by Karl

      If one designs to a maximum allowable height of 85 feet (per the local AHBP) — even assuming a family-favorable dwelling unit mix of at least 50% of the units 2-bedroom or larger (and at least 20% of the units 3-bedrooms), all units meeting the State’s CTCAC size requirements, and and average unit size of around 700 gsf — then one can easily fit between 200 to 250 very nice livable units on this site.

      Accordingly, I agree with many other commentators here, 186 units is not aggressive enough and could be interpreted as preemptively kowtowing to the HANC crowd.

  4. Posted by Zugamenzio Farnsworth

    I hope they integrate the McDonald’s facade into the finished design: whatever it may be, it’s a part of out local history, and deserves relative immortality.

    • Posted by iiii

      Sooner or later, someone is going to make that exact argument for serious about one of those old Der Weinerschnitzel a-frames, and the architect will quit.

  5. Posted by Some Guy

    This may end up as premium housing due to the immediate proximity to GG park. With that terrible McDonalds gone, the millstone of chronic vagrancy and low-grade tourists etc. hovering around that general vicinity may finally be lifted.

    • Posted by Plugger

      >Low-grade tourists

      Can you explain the grading scale used here? Is this a city planning thing?

      • Posted by Notcom

        I think it’s binary:
        Patronizes McD’s > low grade / FAIL
        doesn’t > PASS
        Limited, but nonetheless, objective.

  6. Posted by Frisco

    Geneva Towers were terrible. So is Millennium Tower. Both public and private sectors have their faults. Let’s not reject the whole model just because of past errors.

    • Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

      Millenium Tower is imperfect because of the way it was physically designed and built.

      The Geneva Towers were intentionally torn down because of the way they were socially designed and subsequently mis-managed to a state beyond repair.

      These are separate issues.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Yet your answer does not negate Frisco’s comment in any way.

        What does “socially designed” even mean? Designed for any reason other than short term real estate profit?

        Besides, all human creations are imperfect. Are you demanding perfection? As others have pointed out, there is social housing throughout the City that has been managed well and maintained in a decent state. There is also private housing run by predatory landlords that is rat infested and a danger. Your insistence on broad generalizations is not useful.

  7. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    it should be all 1/2 and full floor luxury condos and post permanent foot patrol officers all over the area going forward to clean the area up.

    anything relating to “poor people housing” under whatever name is just replacing the McDonald’s with another McDonald’s, just minus the food element. I will predict the drugs and crime gets worse there with more nooks and crannies for the junkies and dealers to work and steal from.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Willful ignorance isn’t a good look. Maybe don’t pride yourself on being insufferably classist.

    • Posted by Mycoolcommentguy

      I love when I accidentally out myself as one of the bad guys from RoboCop

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