May 7, 2008
JustQuotes: Redevelopment Plans For Hunters Point Public Housing
“Six residential towers will stretch up to 65 feet above the highest peaks of Hunters Point providing enviable views of The City and Bay, under newly released redevelopment plans to rebuild the public-housing site for low-income as well as market-rate residents.
Currently, 154 of the 267 decrepit public-housing units at the hilly site within The City’s southeast area are rented from the San Francisco Housing Authority, according to city documents. The rest sit empty.”
“Along with 267 public-housing units planned for the rebuilt neighborhood, there will be 315 market-rate units, 141 below-market-rate rental and ownership units, and at least 17 units built by Habitat For Humanity, plans show.”
“Narrow, tree-lined streets in the redeveloped site will follow a classical grid-pattern that connect with roads in surrounding neighborhoods — a vast contrast to the current street-design that follows the circular contours of the land, according to Torney. The project will also include a trio of parks.
Work on the redevelopment effort is expected to begin late next year…[and] is expected to finish by 2015.”
∙ Public housing in Hunters Point to have soaring views [Examiner]
∙ JustQuotes: A New Vision For A Hunters Point Neighborhood [SocketSite 5/07]
∙ JustQuotes: Redeveloping The Developments (And Changing The Mix) [SocketSite 3/08]
First Published: May 7, 2008 7:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This is a much better proposal than what John Stewart had originally proposed. No doubt he was educated by the proposals put forth by others on adjacent sites as part of the recent RFQ there.
Posted by: jimmythekid at May 7, 2008 8:09 AM
This will be a huge improvement, and building tall enough to take advantage of the views there should lure in some market rate buyers who are at high end of the market. The site is hilly, but there are retail areas at the bottom of the hill and along Third that should get a synergistic boost from all of this.
Posted by: Mole Man at May 7, 2008 8:26 AM
They are never going to lure "market-rate residents" to this neighborhood.
Posted by: bgelldawg at May 7, 2008 9:19 AM
"They are never going to lure "market-rate residents" to this neighborhood."
Aren't there already market rate residents on the streets surrounding these projects ? It seems like this high ground would be more desirable.
Granted though these market rate units won't be as desirable as if they were located in other parts of the city. But the developers *will* be able to sell market rate units here if for no other reason that the market itself will determine the fair price.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 7, 2008 9:32 AM
A pretty decent plan. And I live in the area very close by. People will buy a "market rate" unit as long as the redevelopment addresses crime and neighborhood liveability issues. The grocery store being built on 3rd at the old Coca Cola plant will help. There is a slow but steady gentrification of 3rd Street retailers. New coffee shops, retailers, restaurants, etc. But need much more police presence and local jobs and commerce.
If the market rate units are truly market rate and thus considerably less expensive than other parts of the city, there will be buyers. A 2/2 with security for residents and autos, plus views and parks for around $500,000 + will sell. I am not talking about armed guards, but regular building staff and security cameras, etc.
I bought a lovely 1925 house of about 1200 square feet for what a small 1br condo costs in the Mission or SOMA, or practically a studio in high end areas. My decision for sfr, yard, space, character, and of course budget over a small condo, generic, cheap construction, no outdoor space for me and my dog.
That said, the developers need to be pretty conservative about projections of market rate values of new condos in the area. Lots of relatively inexpensive houses are available.
Posted by: joerealtor at May 7, 2008 9:52 AM
The SF market has been skewed b/c the supply has not been diverse. These market rate should sell despite the location. The rates will be lower than other neighborhoods, but that's exactly what the city needs.
Posted by: workinthearea at May 7, 2008 10:57 AM
They should take a lesson from Carter Terrace, on Carter and Geneva streets, across from Cow Palace a block from Sunnydale. As a real estate consultant, I visited this property and it is spectacular (although a little cheap in the finishes, but that is to be expected). And it is currently 94% occupied, somewhere along the lines of 30% BMR or section 8 and the rest market rate 1, 2, and 3 bedroom rentals. The poster who says that they will never lure 'market rate residents to this neighborhood' is speaking out of his or her A$$ with no statistics or reasoning to back up their assertions. This is San Francisco, people will pay to live anywhere.
Posted by: sf at May 7, 2008 12:07 PM
Sorry to disagree with the real estate consultant out by the Cow Palace, but a lot of those Cow Palace units are up on a hill and fairly isolated like a gated community. This property in Hunters Point is literally the epicenter for violent crime in the city, so I'd say it's a bit worse of a location. Then you have to account for the fact that construction costs are likely 50% higher than when they did Carter Avenue and you start to run into the problem - will the market value of these units be high enough to cover the construction costs (including re-doing the streets and services) even if the land is given to you for free? I have a feeling that there is not going to be a lot of leeway assuming the market rate units pencil out at all. These units and the Lennar Hunters Point development are some of the largest gambles in the local real estate game due to that very reason.
Posted by: Miles at May 7, 2008 12:59 PM
Are there any examples of an entire neighborhood being successfully gentrified by its city this way? Seems to me that gent'ing usually happens organically, so I'd be curious whether any other cities have been able to rehab former problem sites like this (and I'm not even talking about the SuperFund business).
Posted by: EH at May 7, 2008 2:21 PM
Let's sum it up:
- 267 public-housing units
- 315 market-rate units
- 141 below-market-rate rental and ownership units
- 17+ units
That's 267+141+17 = 425+ Social housing vs. 315 for market rate. And your market rate dollars will subsidize the free-loaders, along with your tax dollars already at work. Talk about lose-lose.
The last thing this area needs is more social housing. Don't they get it?
Posted by: San Fronzischeme at May 7, 2008 4:31 PM
You are missing the point, 'scheme. The existing complex is an unacceptable stain of woe and dread that must be removed at all costs. Doing development in this way is the cost.
This kind of proposed mixed development has worked well in other areas. The Cow Palace area example is a good one because that place was out of control before the new developments went in. There are also already lofts on Innes and some other more recent units nearby.
Posted by: Mole Man at May 7, 2008 7:10 PM
For this project to make sense they need to ramp up the density so that the affordable and SFHA housing make up only one third of the unit count; then it will pencil without a huge subsidy. I think they are looking at a 30 million dollar shortfall right now. That is based on optimistic assumptions in my view.
John Stewart deserve a lot of credit for trying to make this work, but the current ratios (market rate/SFHA & affordable) do not make sense.
Posted by: jimmythekid at May 7, 2008 7:11 PM
Potrero and Sunnydale are also being rebuilt. Hunters view is just farther along.
Posted by: jimmythekid at May 7, 2008 7:54 PM
Miles is absolutely 100% correct. Hunter's Point/Bayview district will always be what it has been for the last 40 years, the epicenter of murders, violent crimes and robberies. Just look at www.sfgate.com homicide map.
My friend is a police officer who has to patrol this area and he said crime has doubled so far this year. And that's on top of last year's record breaker. It's going to get worse since the recession and the downturn in the economy.
Did the new Muni Street Car Line on 3rd Street help this area? This ill fated project costed over $800 million dollars to build, a complete waste of taxpayers money. Anyone noticed how there are hardly any passengers on these streetcars? I don't see any yuppies either.
Remember, it's the people that makes the neighborhood livable, not the brand new buildings and homes.
When you see the undesirables hanging around on street corners, gas stations, liquor stores, etc. constantly day after day, you'll be putting a For Sale sign on your $500k one bedroom condo in no time.
Which sucker will think that the new Fresh n' Easy supermarket will make this neighborhood better? Get the feel and experience now at the Food 4 Less on Williams Street.
Posted by: Robert at May 8, 2008 12:09 AM
"That's 267+141+17 = 425+ Social housing vs. 315 for market rate. And your market rate dollars will subsidize the free-loaders, along with your tax dollars already at work. Talk about lose-lose."
You hit the nail on the head. This redevelopment plan is a bust waiting to happen. In 10 years, you will see 65 foot high rise buildings that will be controlled by the local gangsters as they are now in HP and Potrero Hill. This city is stupid because all they are doing is redeveloping a disaster waiting, again, to happen. Or perhaps they know but don't care so long as it is not in their backyard...indirect racism if you ask me.
If I can be completely honest here, the true way to fix this problem in HP is to completely get rid of the housing projects, yes I said it and I know I'm not the only one thinking that. Rebuilding the projects is a lose lose situation. I live in Potrero Hill and the moment I see those housing projects getting rebuilt, is the moment I move out of the area.
Posted by: No to Projects at May 8, 2008 12:26 AM
Will the housing be bullet proof? I always cringe when I hear the term public housing. My experience is that public housing is usually a crime factory.
Posted by: Jerry of San Francisco at May 8, 2008 11:00 AM
This is a disaster waiting to happen, but as it's very close to prime windsurfing territory, maybe all these Google folks could move there now.
We could save all the re-development money and they could feel good about moving into an impoverished area.
I for one would love to get them out of Noe Valley.
Posted by: Jimmy C at May 10, 2008 8:34 AM