May 2, 2008
Unlike The Academy Of Art, The SFUSD Looks To Sell
According to J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has hired CB Richard Ellis Consulting to evaluate the potential sale of "a group of sites totalling 11.2 acres that, with special zoning changes, could accommodate 917 housing units."
The properties extend from the Richmond to the Marina. A 36,000-square-foot site just steps from the 16th Street BART station at 1950 Mission St., for example, is zoned for four-story residential and could house 181 units. A defunct child care center at 1155 Page St., a block from Buena Vista Park, could add 36 units. The largest site -- 83,000 square feet of open space at Seventh Avenue and Lawton Street -- could be developed into 413 homes, although any construction there would be battled by dog walkers and residents who have long used the sloping grass quad as an ad hoc park, as well as seasonal marketplace for pumpkins and Christmas trees.
Other properties up for evaluation: 2340 Jackson (former newcomer High School property), 1340 Bush (parking garage), 1512 Golden Gate Avenue (Golden Gate Annex), 20 Cook (Children’s Center Administration Building), and 1101 Connecticut (vacant).
The slow and steady decline in enrollment has driven agonizing annual debates over politically sensitive school closings. In May of 2007 a citizens advisory committee looking into enrollment drop and the district's properties recommended that the school board designate 20 percent of its property as surplus and lease or sell them to third parties.
∙ S.F. schools to market 8 properties [Business Times]
First Published: May 2, 2008 5:50 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
typical that the SFUSD would finally begin to get its act together just as we're hitting the worst real estate recession in years. Think of what they could've received for these properties two years ago.
At least they sold that Pacific Heights parcel of theirs.
Posted by: curmudgeon at May 2, 2008 8:18 AM
These were deemed surplus three years ago. Here I go on underbuilding again. JUST 917 units? Many of these are really interesting sites, nr excellent transit & existing vibrant neighborhoods. With vision and some development dollars, these important in-city locations could yield many more homes than 917. That is, if we make 'density' more than a feel-good phrase du jour.
Posted by: invented at May 2, 2008 8:44 AM
I don't think these sites could yield all that much more housing given their locations. Overall that's about 80+ units to the acre - a pretty reasonable density given that most of the sites are located in residential areas and the ones that aren't (e.g. Mission Street) are well above that threshold. Most of these sites will probably be developed at a greater density than surrounding housing.
Posted by: Enthano at May 2, 2008 10:36 AM
Many good private schools in San Francisco have long waiting lists. I'm sure they would love to add classes and teachers but don't have the space to do it. SFUSD should seriously look into whether some of the privates schools can use these buildings before they turn them into condos if they're serious about retaining families in the city. Could it be that these empty buildings are a symptom of SFUSD's failed attempts at social engineering? If you want to keep property values high in the city, try to provide a superior school system as in Palo Alto & Cupertino. If the government is not able to do that publicly at least try to support the private schools.
Posted by: young_familiy_in_city at May 2, 2008 1:22 PM
Young Family - Why don't the private schools just simply buy or lease extra space on the open market ?
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 2, 2008 2:33 PM
seems a little short sighted for some of these properties. what happens if demographics change and people in the city actually stay when they have children? there is no way other than eminent domain that the city will be able to add additional schools.
the space in pacific heights... the city sold that to a developer who probably made a 50 fold profit on it in a couple of years. that's the kind of sound financial decision the city seems to make in situations like these.
but the only lot on the list that i know firsthand, the one on 16th/mission should definitely be developed. right now it's a vacant lot providing a friendly dead space for the seediness of 16th/mission.
Posted by: hj o'connor at May 2, 2008 3:31 PM
I was wondering that myself - what happens if the social engineering lab experimentation ends and kids actually come back? Does anyone have a link to the "citizens committee advisory" report mentioned?
Posted by: pennybags at May 2, 2008 4:03 PM
SFUSD has so much excess capacity, selling off a few properties isn't going to make a serious dent in the ability to have a larger school system, if demographics ever require it. This stuff hasn't been used for major school use in years. The 16th and Mission parcel is a great example...it's got a couple of temporary buildings that have been used for very ancillary purposes (if at all).
And believe it or not, for demographic and political reasons, SFUSD still does occasionally build new schools...one in the tenderloin about 10 years ago, and one eventually in Mission Bay.
Posted by: curmudgeon at May 2, 2008 11:33 PM
"and one eventually in Mission Bay"
And as far as I understand they didn't want this redevelopment agency gift for some time. Redevelopment is going to build it but they didn't want to run it.
Posted by: zig at May 3, 2008 10:41 AM
I'm currently renting at 15th and Mission. I would love to see the Mission spot be used for something other than holding needles and old shoes.
Posted by: soonhomeowner at May 3, 2008 9:00 PM