As we outlined back in 2015:

Over the objections of the Plaza 16 Coalition, San Francisco’s Planning Commission has approved the plans for a five-story, 27-unit apartment building to rise on the southwest corner of South Van Ness and 17th Street in the Mission.

The Coalition had demanded that The Toboni Group, the developer of the project, hold a bi-lingual community meeting with the Coalition and Calle 24, “which have been active and very vocal in opposing displacement during this affordable housing crisis in the Mission,” and would like to see a moratorium on all market rate residential construction in the Mission, starting with this development.

At the same time, the Coalition can claim a victory as The Toboni Group agreed to include four (4) Below Market Rate (BMR) units on-site rather than pay an in-lieu fee of $1.95 million, which was at the heart of the Coalition’s objections.

Completed in late 2017, the 27 “Luxury Rental” units at “600 SVN” were successfully condo mapped as well.

And the Toboni Group, by way of the 600 South Van Ness LLC, is now quietly seeking permission from Planning to retroactively amend the conditions of the project’s approval, an amendment which would eliminate the required inclusion of any BMR units on-site and reinstate the group’s option to pay an Inclusionary Housing in-lieu fee for the building if approved.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Karl

    Good luck with that!

    Toboni Group should’ve of utilized the State Density Bonus Law during their original entitlement.

    That way they could’ve realized 37 units on the site (an additional 10 units!) and only had to do 3 on-site BMRs.

    Additionally, they could’ve bypassed all the Plaza 16 and Calle 24 extortionist b.s.

    Alas.

    • Posted by jimbo

      agree. can they still switch to using the density bonus? thats a much smarter move

  2. Posted by Clyde Benke

    Just say no to extortionists……

  3. Posted by Neighborhood Activist

    I hope the sleazy developer does not succeed in this effort to renege on their commitment.

    “Feeing out” does pretty much nothing for the neighborhood’s goals of preserving a modicum of income diversity in their community. The developer throws some money into a city fund, which will eventually, maybe years later, provide some BMR units, probably in the Bayview or the Tenderloin or some other lower-cost location. I think getting the onsite units is really important.

    I hope that neighborhood is paying attention and opposes this move.

  4. Posted by BTinSF

    Rooting for the developer to outfox the extortionate “neighborhood activists” here.

  5. Posted by Juan Doe

    Great scoop Socketsite!! Is there any successful precedent for this here?

  6. Posted by two beers

    Sociopaths.

    • Posted by Tony Timpa

      Because they want to pay a fee to help others build affordable housing? What does sociopath mean to you?

      • Posted by Michael

        The in lieu fee would barely cover the cost of building two affordable units for a net loss of two.

      • Posted by Clyde Benke

        I think sociopaths are the people who think they are so special and are so egotistical that they think they deserve very rare subsidized housing paid for by others. At least be responsible enough to pay your own bills rather than sponging off of others labor.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Thank you, Friedrich Hayek, but San Francisco is not Austria or Great Britain in the 1930’s. The BMR requirements are existing City policy, because the people of San Francisco realized that the market was and is continuing in failing to deliver the desired outcome of housing at income levels affordable to residents. The developers knew that before this project was even proposed.

          I’m with two beers here, the developers made an agreement to actually build the affordable units not weasel out of it by paying a fee that they know, in advance, will never bring the agreed-upon units to fruition. Tony Timpa is being somewhat disingenuous by saying the developers want to help others build affordable housing, what they are trying to do is supercharge the already out-of-control gentrification in the Mission. They should not be allowed to renege on the existing agreement, and when I come across the charity donation fundraising site that The Coalition uses to collect donations for a lawyer to go after these selfish jerks, I will make it a point to contribute.

          • Posted by Clyde Benke

            I read old Bay Area Reporters from 1980 … They have lots of articles about how unaffordable housing was then, now 40 years ago. So just like the failed “homeless” policies the subsidized housing policies solved nothing and seem to make things worse… for all but the special class of subsidized grifters. Nothing beats getting special limited edition housing you force others to to pay for…

          • Posted by Jake T

            There is a Marvel in the Mission eager to absorb all the money it can in the next couple years. What do you mean affordable units will never be built?

  7. Posted by Jim

    There are four 7 to 9 story 100% affordable buildings containing hundreds of units that are under construction within four or five blocks of this building. Those 100% affordable units could not be built without developer fees. The affordable housing mafia talks out of both sides of their mouth. They demand that developers build inclusionary units in market rate buildings, and at the same time demand the fees so they can build their 100% affordable units. The nonprofit developers actually want the fees not the inclusionary units, but they cave to the uninformed “neighborhood activists” because that’s what’s politically correct.

  8. Posted by Pablito

    Housing policy in SF has been a massive failure. This is like debating how many angels fit on the head of a pin in the middle ages. It’s irrelevant to reality.

    Reality is we have 6,000+ homeless people in the streets consistently for the last 20 years. Reality is we have the least affordable housing in the country for the past 20 years. On site? In lieu? It is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.

    Come up with a completely different policy. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

    • Posted by Jake T

      The policy persists because it has been successful. It is up to you to ask: for whom?

      • Posted by Pablito

        Oh. Interesting point. You are right. While SF affordable housing policy hasn’t been successful for the people seeking housing, it could be thought of as successful for other people with different goals.

        Like the owners who want to limit supply to increase prices. Or the people who get well paid to collect and some out the fees collected.

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