Developer Named for Affordable Housing at 88 Broadway

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(Editor’s note: This letter was sent to the members of the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association by board member Bob Harrer.)

The developer for MOHCD’s affordable housing project at 88 Broadway has been selected:   Bridge Housing, in partnership with the John Stewart Co (JSCo), will develop the project.  They will be supported by Lutheran Social Services, the YMCA of San Francisco and Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.   This is a Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) project to be built on Port/City property.  The selection of a developer is a significant step forward – it follows two and a half years of discussions, workshops, an architectural study, and hearings.

The proposal encompasses two buildings:  one for families at the corner of Broadway and Front streets, another for seniors on an adjoining lot facing Davis Street.  The family project would have about 130 units; the senior project would have about 52 units.  Both buildings will respect the 65-foot height limit.

The design proposed by Bridge and JSCo reflects most of the key requests by BCNA and other neighborhood representatives.  The proposed design includes:

  • Units for moderate- and middle-income households.  Twenty four units in the family project and 7 units in the senior project would be so-designated.
  • Active retail and community serving spaces lining the street frontages on all four sides.  The ground floor plan features spaces for neighborhood-serving childcare, community rooms, a destination restaurant (on Broadway), and a café.  Garden entries to residential and live/work units will also contribute to an active ambience.
  • Two mid-block passages forming a “T” that will offer a major new public pedestrian experience.  One north-south passage will completely bisect the block, while a second east-west passage connects the first to Davis Street.    The passages serve to break the street wall and provide lanes mirroring the historic nature of the area.
  • Building designs using step downs and articulation to break the mass into smaller elements.  The roofs will have outdoor terraces for the residents.  The roofs will also be green.
  • Minimal parking as there would be only 10 parking spaces on the ground floor for the building’s use.  We expect the Port to study the feasibility of having some public parking underground, although that would be quite costly to include in the project.

Bridge and JSCo will present their proposal to the Port Commission (for information) and NEWAG in the near future.  They will also be conducting outreach to the community.  BCNA looks forward to participating in that community outreach process.

April 30 David Chiu/Aaron Peskin Forum at SF Community College

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By Bill Hannan, GGTA President

On April 30, 2016 our state assemblyman David Chiu and our city supervisor Aaron Peskin held a public forum at San Francisco Community College at Kearny & Washington Streets.

David is chairman of the state assembly Housing Committee, and discussed several bills being considered in the legislature, including his proposed $1.3B housing bill, and 5 other bills including use of MediCal funds for supportive housing to reduce the need for emergency room medical services to homeless people.  He also sponsors a bill to close loopholes in existing laws regulating assault weapons.

In response to questions, David and Aaron each stated support for Proposition C on the June ballot in San Francisco to fund more affordable housing.  Aaron criticized Academy of Art University (“Academy of Real Estate”) for converting existing housing to dormitories.  Aaron lamented attrition of SROs, and abuse of AirB&B to create illegal hotels.  David mentioned that city regulations on AirB&B have been slowly progressing, but are now coming into effect.

Asked about affordable housing for middle-income earners such as teachers and firefighters, both said the traditional focus has been on low-income housing and that shortage of middle-income housing has been increasing.  Aaron stated that Proposition C includes 10% for middle-income and moderate-income residents.

BCNA’s Diana Taylor asked about neighborhood retail being squeezed out by offices.  David and Aaron replied that state law prohibits commercial rent control.  Aaron discussed the new SF legacy business program, which is now beginning.

BCNA’s Bob Harrer asked about sources of state funding for new programs.  David replied that his $1.3B housing bill would be a one-time expense paid out of a $4B state surplus, but that Governor Brown “is not there yet”.  Other possibilities are a “cap & trade” approach such as having polluters pay for cleanup costs, and also building new housing near existing transit corridors, or a $75 state fee for each real estate transaction.  David lamented cuts by former governor Schwarzenegger to state highway and transit funding.

Asked about school funding, in which California ranks near the bottom nationally, David recalled that Proposition 13 froze property taxes that supported public education, but said recent state programs are beginning to increase education funding, and Aaron said San Francisco has recently increased its local public school funding.

Gateway resident and FOGG head Lee Radner asked about the State Lands Commission suit against the City over Proposition B’s restrictions on waterfront height limits.  Both David and Aaron expressed support for Proposition B. Aaron said the case is scheduled for trial in October, 2016, and the City Attorney says he remains confident of his position.