February 1, 2008
Broadway Family Apartments: T-Minus Three Months To Opening
If you’ve been wondering what’s been rising on Broadway between Battery and Front, you’re probably not alone. And thanks to a plugged-in tipster, we have the update (and a photo):
Broadway Family Apartments, 81 units of affordable family housing with Bay Bridge views, will be completed as of April 2008. The project includes 3 buildings (one mid rise and two low rise), a below grade parking garage [41 spaces and City CarShare], and 2 podium level courtyards. The design also provides child care services, two retail spaces, and common gathering rooms for both the residents and the larger neighborhood. Chinatown Community Development Center is the developer for the project [with design by Solomon E.T.C.].
And sorry folks, but they're no longer accepting applications for the 80 apartments (the 81st will be occupied by a manager). And if you submitted one, you're one of 8,500.
∙ Chinatown Community Development Center: Broadway Family Apts [chinatowncdc.org]
∙ Broadway Family Apartments Receives 8,500 Applicants! [Barbary Coast News]
First Published: February 1, 2008 3:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Who is responsible for this "design"? I am all for more affordable housing, but do we have to make it look like a prison or "school book warehouse" where Lee Harvey Oswald may be lurking in one of the windows?
Posted by: Morgan at February 1, 2008 4:54 AM
Re "...but do we have to make it look like a prison or 'school book warehouse' where Lee Harvey Oswald may be lurking in one of the windows?"
Posted by: Mark D. at February 1, 2008 5:19 AM
I agree with Morgan. Why did they design this building to look so bleak and depressing? It reminds me of the projects I grew up in in NY.
Posted by: A L Jones at February 1, 2008 7:32 AM
Honestly, I prefer the mass and toughness of this aesthetic to the shrink-wrapped, paper-thin curtain walls that are quickly bringing a little bit of suburban Dallas to SOMA and Rincon Hill. This building is one of the first new buildings in the city that doesn’t look dated before it has been completed and isn’t held together with a staple gun and cheap windows.
If you’ve walked by it recently, it actually fits very well into a neighborhood of old, substantial brick buildings, without resorting to schlocky historicist pastiche to achieve this aim.
Posted by: shadrach at February 1, 2008 9:27 AM
Note the ratio of 8500 applicants for 80 apartments. This happens again and again with subsidized developments. As I see it, this reflects two basic facts:
1. Decades of rent control and asphyxiating limits on new construction have had the predictable effects of making housing unaffordable
2. Price something below its true market value, and you'll greatly increase demand. In any other context this is called having a "sale."
Posted by: zzzzzzzz at February 1, 2008 9:48 AM
Nice idea to fill this area with affordable housing for families, instead of more overpriced studios and 1 bdrm condos. It will bring more pedestrians, local shops, and a community feel to this neighborhood.
Posted by: Live Smart at February 1, 2008 10:36 AM
I'll take a sophisticated Rincon Hill or Soma glass curtain wall over this plastic brick looking thing anyday! At least this one isn't visible from miles around, thank God
Posted by: mememe at February 1, 2008 4:00 PM
Great the city is building so much more affordable housing for those who do not make enough to buy at market rate. Great job City!
Posted by: annony at February 2, 2008 11:12 AM
A real solution would be to build an affordable housing tower, or a few. But the real 'working class' advocates will have none of that, because it would hurt their delicate hillside views.
Posted by: email@example.com at February 2, 2008 12:52 PM
"A real solution would be to build an affordable housing tower, or a few. "
Sure let's build huge tall anonymous towers to house the "working class" (your own use of the phrase) and then we will solve...uh, wait a minute, wasn't this already tried in the 50's and 60's, and are not most of those towers now torn down? That "solution" has already been shown to be a failure in San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, etc.
Why not do more "in-fill" housing that you see in places like European cities which have also learned from the failures of "towers" for the poor. Is there any reason why affordable housing can only be near the waterfront or civic center? Why can't we follow the example of Chicago and build smaller clusters of affordable units in neighborhoods throughout the city, even the Sunset and Richmond.
If you want to see an alternative, look at the work of Moule Polyzoides and Assoc. They do GREAT infill housing without resorting to "towers", and without making the projects look like prisons. Some of their transit villages built around rail stations in Pasadena are especially well done. But being that many of their projects are in Southern California, I am sure the knee jerk Bay Arean bashing of all things Los Angeles will stop any meaningful dialogue. Why DOES San Francisco get such poor designs? Perhaps because we are all so busy patting eachother on the back about how "beautiful" our city is, instead of looking at unique solutions that other urban areas are creating.
Posted by: Morgan at February 3, 2008 8:10 AM
San Francisco is beautiful just like Elizabeth Taylor is beautiful- beautiful for the past that once WAS, but now aging aging aging and falling apart.
Posted by: shinzoshenzen at February 3, 2008 1:11 PM
It should be noted that the brick cladding is a result of the project's location within the Northeast Waterfront historic district. Residents in the neighborhood lobbied the city to spend extra money for a brick skin, so the project could relate to the massive, vertically articulated brick warehouses in the neighborhood.
Posted by: Alta at February 5, 2008 10:24 AM
I'd like to forward my application for residency - they are very nice, clean and the location is just great!
Posted by: Linda at June 5, 2008 4:17 PM