The master planning process for the redevelopment of the 33-acre Potrero Annex and Terrace public housing development continues to move forward as part of Hope SF.

As proposed, the Rebuild Potrero project would not only rebuild the current 606 public housing units but add 350-500 BMR units, 450-600 market rate units, 10,000-20,000 square feet of retail, a 30,000-50,000 square foot community center, and 7 acres of public open space (the next community focus group and workshop for which is April 15).

The master plan for the redevelopment is expected to be finalized and submitted to the San Francisco Planning Department for review this year, with approvals by the end of 2011 and a construction start no earlier than late 2013.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The “after” rendering looks as if there is a significant amount of site grading where Connecticut street currently runs. I wonder whether that is really the intent or is this just a case of the artist getting carried away.
    The mix of projects, BMR, and MR units is a very good idea to improve the quality of life at this site. Doing so removes the stigma of the projects while allowing first time homebuyers a lower cost option. However we may find that there is little or no difference between MR and BMR prices here.
    This site has intrinsic value and the existing projects squandered it while simultaneously creating a hellish home for its residents. The community meetings discussing this project are sure to be “lively”, but in the end this can only improve the area.

  2. Posted by BobN

    Only one out of three at market rate? That’s not gonna work, nor will mixing the projects, as opposed to mixing at the unit level.

  3. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    Yes, the plan includes a significant amount of grading. The result is a street grid pattern thats blend with the rest of Potrero Hill. I am quite excited that they are investing a lot on the site.

  4. Posted by CameronRex

    Where does the money come from to do this? There is not enough market rate to support it. (Not opposed to it, just wondering)

  5. Posted by bornnraised

    wonder what the MR would even be when surrounded by BMR and projects.

  6. Posted by SFRE

    I’m not sure we need more housing.

  7. Posted by anon

    Well we definitely need more housing in the city. This is an interesting way to deal with it. Does anyone know if there have been any studies on the impact of BMR housing in general?
    Are the MR units markedly nicer than BMR? Otherwise, I don’t see how this would work. I suppose there are enough people who’d go for living among the projects — at least it seems like there are enough people who at least *claim* they would be fine with it.

  8. Posted by Invented

    Mixing it up, higher density, looks good. Slightly monolithic, would love for different architects to be involved so planned development boredom doesn’t overcome the experience. This is a fascinating part of PH with a great community all around it. Better integration to the neighboring streets.
    Next up — barricaded, security-patrolled Western Addition please.

  9. Posted by Average Joe

    Starr King school, an underperforming SF elem, is the large-ish building center left. The residential on bottom left is already City-subsidized (though I don’t know if it’s technically BMR stuff). And I don’t recall any readily available retail (adding 15,000 sq ft to zero wouldn’t seem to make a thriving neighborhood). I’m with BobN: it’s good to see an investment being made, but without more retail and additional market-rate (to bring in more disposable income if nothing else) I tend to doubt that it can succeed. It’s not merely about replacing the poor housing that exists at the site, but changing the character of the area.

  10. Posted by Jimmy C

    There’s only 606 public units there now? That is amazing as that area has thousands of criminals. I hope the people who move into the market rate units get good comprehensive for their cars, as they will be replacing windows quite often.
    Considering this town has a greening initiative, they should just raze the whole thing and build a park, it would be cheaper and then maybe some of the residents in this town who pay property taxes would actually venture into the area.

  11. Posted by Mole Man

    The main point is that these projects in their current state are awful beyond any possible reason and as such need to be done away with by any means necessary. More housing is required by California state law because of the broadly held perception of need. This plan will address both of these issues while making room for a nice new park and a canopy of street trees.

  12. Posted by SFRE

    Given all of the problems the state has economically, I question whether this is the best use of funds. Certainly there are apartments available for rent, market rate properties available for purchase, and below market rate properties for purchase (Berry St. can’t even give them away!).

  13. Posted by anon

    “then maybe some of the residents in this town who pay property taxes”
    I read that as disallowing all the deadbeats in Pacific Heights who pay almost nothing in property tax because of Prop 13. Anyone with me?

  14. Posted by SFRE

    @anon: Prop 13 comments are in the other post!
    I’m a fan of Prop 13, except for the passage of the benefits to family.

  15. Posted by 45yo hipster

    The bottom line regarding this developments success: are they going to either get rid of the existing people living in these projects, or at least interview them, instill zero tolerance for drug dealing/crime. You can make the houses prettier but w/o controlling the bad elements, it’ll always be garbage in = garbage out.
    The redone projects in the mish, namely those on cesear Chavez and the Valencia gardens both benefitted from nicer digs and a screening of the people slated to occupy the premesis. I’m pretty sure they will do something similar here, or else why bother renovating?

  16. Posted by SFRE

    @45yo: When people fail the zero tolerance where do they go? The just recirculate throughout the city’s many projects.

  17. Posted by 45yo hipster

    ^ actually they get shipped off to Richmond, from what I’ve been told. Don’t know how SF managed that but it’s cool with me. Richmond is hurting for money so I’m sure some dough is exchanged.

  18. Posted by Rillion

    “wonder what the MR would even be when surrounded by BMR and projects”
    Assuming if it is anything like some of the things they have done elsewhere if the MR is part of the Mayor’s Office of Housing programs for 1st time buyer’s (market rate but eligible for some downpayment assistance/loans, must be owner occupied, etc) then it is generally about 20% cheaper then true market rate.

  19. Posted by jnstr

    As explained on the project website, one of the stipulations of HOPE SF is a one-to-one replacement of BMR units. Current residents (who are not facing eviction) have a right to move in–although often residents who are relocated during construction never do.
    Given the inefficiency in site planning/density in the current public housing configuration, there is opportunity for additional MR housing, commercial uses, and public facilities, as shown in this plan.
    I used to live and run in this neighborhood. Nothing like a housing project barricaded by chain link fencing to make you feel unsafe as an outsider or hemmed in as an insider. One of the biggest benefits of this project will be continuing the street grid. This can integrate the neighborhood into the rest of the city rather than isolate low-income households or insulate shady behavior.

  20. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    Mole Man has it right. The condition of the current neighborhood is a disgrace. I’m not saying I’m opposed to a more libertarian approach toward housing, but if we’re going to supply poor people with a place to live, it should meet some minimum standard. The good news is the density level there is low enough that there should be enough profit to cover the construction – if it’s executed properly, at any rate.

  21. Posted by 45yo hipster

    ^ yeah, that’s another major way of ridding the place of losers. Basically everyone is relocated for years until the new development is built. Loosers tend to do their deed elsewhere and don’t bother returning. The nice single moms keep their coupons and have a better chance of returning to a better environment. Everyone wins. Having MR housing there, as well as integrating the streets back westwards will all help to transform this area. Hopefully idiot redevelopment agency has nothing to do with this project- trust me, they’ll screw it up like fillmore.

  22. Posted by StGeorge

    As an ex-PH resident, I have to agree with those that say that anything that upgrades the existing projects has to be worth a close look. Just driving through them as a short cut to I-280 south is an eye-opener.
    And, since he raises it in this post, I am right with anon on Prop 13, and not just on the passage of the benefits to family point (sorry, SFRE, no disrespect to you, it’s just something I feel strongly about). Now, I’ll go looking for that real Prop 13 post…

  23. Posted by SFRE

    @Po Hill: People who get free housing should be happy with whatever they get.
    Its interesting to note that ‘free’ or ‘public’ housing deteriorates at a much faster rate than places where they are actually owned. Example: 2 buildings both built in 1980. The owner occupied building is still in reasonable shape, the public housing needs to be knocked down and replaced.

  24. Posted by BobN

    Everyone wins.
    Uh… the recently rebuilt public housing on Turk and Eddy from Laguna west isn’t what I’d call a win-win result. Granted, it’s a lot better than it was when the tower was still there.

  25. Posted by SFer

    Oh pleeasseeeeee get rid of this neighborhood and build some market-price properties. If you put more BMR and subsidized housing it will simply revert to the old Sunnydale projects they are. Did anyone ever notice how even Google Streetview hasn’t covered the neighborhood? They were probably afraid of getting shot/mugged/killed. There is NO reason why in an amazing city like San Francisco anyone has to fear a neighborhood.
    There are plenty of cities across the bridge that residents of the Sunnydale projects could move to.

  26. Posted by vanillablue

    Google Street View has in fact covered the Sunnydale projects, but they haven’t covered my street in North Bernal. By your logic, should I move to Sunnydale?

  27. Posted by Fishchum

    Aren’t the Sunnydale projects over by GlenEagles Golf Course? I thought we were discussing Potrero Hill.

  28. Posted by tipster

    Are people really this foolish? Think dot com millionaires will be living among the projects?
    These will quickly revert to rentals, for nearly the rental charges of the projects-practically nothing. Think someone is actually going to pay more to live there? The people who actually live there wouldn’t do that.
    Sheesh: currently, when the thugs sell drugs, they get booted from the projects. Now, they’ll just move into a rental up the street and pay the rent differential from the drug profits. This area will be worse than before.
    And how many realtors have told us the projects will be torn down? I guess they “forgot” to explain that they will be rebuilt! And in a situation that is even worse, as if that’s even imaginable. Potrero is going to turn into a war zone!

  29. Posted by anon

    Interesting that so far a few people have said it’s awesome that someone is planning mixed-income housing, but no one has said yet that they would consider living here.

  30. Posted by SFRE

    I agree with Tipster – a project with a flawed design from the beginning.
    People spending Market Rate prices in the city for housing want to live in area that is as far away from the projects as possible.

  31. Posted by SFer

    Vanillablue: I think you read too much into the comment. You inferred that I was using that as way to judge areas, which is far from the truth. And if you check streerview, you will notice only the first few blocks are covered. No streets surrounding the buildings or even further down the neighborhood.
    Brought out the “North Bernal” card? Good thing we aren’t playing poker… I’d have to fold!
    Oh in case you can’t infer… I was being facitious.

  32. Posted by SFer

    Fishchum: I was referring to both. The projects at Potrero are just as bad, so I was comparing them to the Sunnydale projects.
    tipster is spot on, no one will want to live near the projects if they are paying market rent.

  33. Posted by North Beach Tony

    Actually, once the projects bounded by Bay/Francisco Mason/Columbus were replaced with a good mix, the entire character of that end of NB changed entirely–for the good–and I see the same happening with this project.

  34. Posted by SFer

    NBtony: when did that occur?

  35. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    SFRE: Re “should be happy with whatever they get”, well, I sympathize with that somewhat. For example, I think it should be OK to provide the housing in, say, Fresno, at a much reduced cost. But I do believe that IF we commit to providing housing for the indigent – as we have – problems like mold, broken plumbing, broken windows, lack of heat, pools of raw sewage, etc., all of which have been experienced in SF housing projects in recent memory, are unacceptable. That’s the kind of “minimum” I’m thinking of.
    I gather it’s easier/cheaper to simply rebuild than to make the necessary repairs, in this case.

  36. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    I All these cynical remarks about how the project will revert to a ghetto is expected. I live 1.5 block from the site. So my personal stake is higher. I really expect the project will turn around the neighborhood, not rebuild and decay.
    Bridge Housing, the developer of the North Beach project and Trader Joe at the cable terminal, is selected for this project. The North Beach Place look as good as new after 5 years. The nearby Valencia Garden project redelopment also looks pretty good from the outside. I guess I’m not unreasonable to expect Bridge Housing to fix it and do a better join than the HA ghetto.
    I agree with some comment that there should be more MR. It is needed to finance the project and also break down the concentrated poverty. I don’t know how exactly can they finance all these grading and redevelopment. Bridge Housing has been running community meetings for over a year and nobody seems to seriously question that. So I guess they must have finance all sorted out :-D

  37. Posted by Turin

    Love the integration with the existing street grid.

  38. Posted by Mole Man

    People who get free housing should be happy with whatever they get.
    Its interesting to note that ‘free’ or ‘public’ housing deteriorates at a much faster rate than places where they are actually owned.

    These kinds of negative attitudes result in public housing that is poorly built, overly concentrated, and badly maintained. Keeping people on the street turns out to be more expensive than providing modest units.
    This isn’t an abstract discussion of whether or not public housing is a good thing. The facility is already there. The real question is how to do better within existing constraints.

  39. Posted by Dan

    “People spending Market Rate prices in the city for housing want to live in area that is as far away from the projects as possible.”
    Some posters here don’t seem to understand market rate. The market rate is what people will pay. Lots of people in SF live near projects. They pay a bit less to live there, and that savings is important to them. The current Potrero projects are surrounded by market rate housing. The fact that they are near the projects is counterbalanced by being cheaper.
    If/when this is built, if market rate rents are low enough, they will fill up with people who want to live in Potrero and/or want to live in new housing, but also need to live somewhere that is reasonably priced. SF needs more housing like that.

  40. Posted by SFer

    Apparently more than just the Potrero projects are to be rebuilt. The Sunnydale projects are also being considered. What I really like is that the Westside Court projects are on the chopping block. I say level the entire area and build quality units. Hell, sell the land to a developer that will make the most use of it. I actually have a client that would snap those parcels up in a second to build nice condos.
    http://www.sfha.org/hopesf/index.htm

  41. Posted by glenn

    This project will never fly. No buyer will make the rational decision to purchase a unit at or near market rate in a development that is 2/3rd BMR. You will literally be surrounded by addicts, criminals, and the uneducated. San Francisco is ground zero for the destructive nature of government lifelines. You could knock on every door in the Bayview and offer those animals free college tuition at Stanford and 99% of them would prefer to live their slovenly lives without working or thinking………

  42. Posted by joh

    Did anyone ever notice how even Google Streetview hasn’t covered the neighborhood?
    Yes they have. Not until recently though.

  43. Posted by joh

    I’ve always thought how ironic it is that these projects were built on prime property. Each and every one of the existing buildings have nice industrial bay views. Not to mention the excellent weather in this part of town. Of course, these were built when the hillside was sitting above the Dogpatch of heavy industry days.

  44. Posted by joh

    Given all of the problems the state has economically, I question whether this is the best use of funds.
    If I’m not mistaken, much of the funds will come from the Feds, not the state.
    Something definitely needs to be done here. Try driving through it sometimes (I do, on occasion) and you might understand how such an environment can be very discouraging for residents on many levels.
    Several of SF’s housing projects were rebuilt to better standards over the last decade or so. And those neighborhoods improved as a result.
    Someone asked when North Beach was done, here’s the link (links to other projects are on this page as well):
    http://www.sfha.org/hopevi/northbeach.htm
    Personally, I’d love to see this development go 80-90% market rate, but that would never, ever happen here.
    And Dan is right about market rate. To quote him:
    Some posters here don’t seem to understand market rate. The market rate is what people will pay. Lots of people in SF live near projects. They pay a bit less to live there, and that savings is important to them. The current Potrero projects are surrounded by market rate housing. The fact that they are near the projects is counterbalanced by being cheaper.

  45. Posted by resp

    government throwing good money after bad again. high unemployment + high crime + undereducated = give em another handout to keep them unmotivated. in 30 years or less these homes will again be “deteriorated” (i.e. neglected by lazy, entitled, irresponsible inhabitants) and have to be rebuilt again with our money to satisfy politcal correctness.

  46. Posted by Big V

    It seems many folks are forgetting about the psychological impact of the spaces we live in. It is a well studied and known dynamic the we humans behave differently based on the aesthetics of the built environment.
    This boils down to the simple observation that if you live in a complete shithole with cell-block numbers on the buildings, you feel like an outcast criminal, and have a greater tendency to act like one. The start difference between your life in the boarded-up shithole and “thier” life in nice normal houses and units makes it easy justify taking from “them.”
    If you live in a small well built unit that is clean and has a sense of personal space to it, you are more likely to take pride in caring for it and feel integrated with the rest of the surrounding community. There becomes less of an “us” and “them” difference. You don’t feel like the “system” is trying to crush you.
    And the projects that have been rebuilt in the last decade following these insights to psycology and integration have been very succesful. It works.

  47. Posted by Rillion

    Question to the people saying that no one will pay “market rate” to live in the development, must the only housing built in SF be for the $400k earning couple we constantly argue about here?
    Perhaps if we have some market rate housing that is mixed in with the BMR housing and is near projects we might get more $120k couples (who make too much to qualify for the BMR’s but not enough to afford new condos in ‘nice’ neighborhoods) living in the city.
    As one of the people that is willing to live near projects I say please build more integrated public housing (integrated with MR housing). There is a demand out there for affordable non-subsidized housing. It just seems like there is a group here arguing that we shouldn’t build housing that will be affordable to lower end of the middle class.

  48. Posted by SFRE

    @$120k per year a couple can buy a nice condo in the city, especially considering if they saved over the years.
    Any public spent on this project is a waste. How can the government continually forego tax revenue by building free public housing in one of the most expensive cities in the country.
    Continually considering how they “feel” or the “psychological impact” of living in free housing is a sham. How about the psychological impact of driving to work everyday knowing I have to be stuck in traffic to get the office, only to pay for people to have no incentive to get a job. Continually providing every convenience to a group of people (including cellphones) will only result in more laziness. How about self-motivation. I see “help wanted” signs often, and for long periods of time, yet the people for whom these projects are intended will never show the self-pride to apply, because its at McDonalds or Whole Foods. I guess they are holding out for Management Positions. Nor will they be appreciative of the handouts they receive…you are paid back by robberies, vandalism, etc. There are parks, etc., that need to be cleaned up, a great chance for them to organize and do something nice, yet they never do it.
    We live in a place where opportunities are endless and for 95% of the people in these projects they continually waste the chance. In these cases you need to let them fail, and fail hard. For the 5% that have turned it around, you need to support them 150%. If it were up to me, I would leave it as the shithole that it is. And when we see someone trying hard, then its up to us to divert much more resources to them (much more resources than they would normally receive).
    As for BMR housing, like Mission Walk. I like those projects, locals who actually work and serve a purpose (teachers and artists, for example) need support. The only problem may be they can try to cap how much they make, so they are not forced to leave and have to pay much higher pricing for housing…again another dis-incentive.
    And can someone explain to me how you have immigrants from Asia/South America/Africa/Europe who come hear with next to nothing and work hard, and infrequently end up in these types of projects, but yet these projects are filled with American bred folks who can’t cut it in the country they grew up in?

  49. Posted by Shza

    @$120k per year a couple can buy a nice condo in the city
    LOL. Only with Daddy’s money.

  50. Posted by SFRE

    Whatever, you certainly can. Maybe its not the Infinity, but there are things to be had at the income level, especially considering the people probably (should have) saved the years they were renting. I know many people who have.

  51. Posted by 45yo hipster

    SFRE- you’re inevitably referring to blacks and with all due respect, they have a long and complicated history in this country due primarily to slavery and segregation. As a result they have baggage that most other immigrants coming under different circumstances to this country do not. Everyone is free to interpret this as they wish, but it is a fact.
    Now back to ‘new projects’ in the city, I must say that both Valencia gardens and cesear Chavez are certainly MUCH better than what existed there before. It’s due to a combination of nicer places are more respected, getting rid of a lot of the bad element drug dealers, and at least attempting to keep them out (although there is still some shadiness going on).
    Basically these places are safe enough for the new post-modern yuppies/hipsters who love these areas. They put a premium on living in a ‘real’ neighborhood with people of different sociology-economic backgrounds. I’m sure it certainly helps assuage their bland, white guilt laden suburban upbringing. And the remodeled projects, with what I refer to as ‘thug lite’, is almost a selling point in the quest to ‘keep it real.’ I dunno, as a rental property owner in ‘the new mission’ getting prime rent from these good folks my ass is laughing all the way to the bank! peace out.

  52. Posted by 45yo hipster

    ^ paragraph 3 should read different socio-economic backgrounds. Damn that sneaky auto correct on the iPad!

  53. Posted by SFRE

    Don’t assume what I’m referring to, it will make you like silly (and no I wasn’t referring to blacks). And every group of people has a complicated history, so I’m not sure where you are going with that.

  54. Posted by R

    I hesitate to wade in here…
    But if you aren’t referring to blacks in the Potrero projects, who are you referring to?

  55. Posted by Rillion

    “Whatever, you certainly can. Maybe its not the Infinity, but there are things to be had at the income level, especially considering the people probably (should have) saved the years they were renting. I know many people who have.”
    Yes and if this project above is built and includes MR housing then there will be even more places for them to buy! And that is a good thing.

  56. Posted by SFRE

    @Rillion: I don’t disagree, it will be good. My point is that the MR housing that will be there won’t be all that desirable. But with that being said, have you ever been to a yard sale, people will buy almost anything!
    Glad to see that someone else agrees that at $120k salary, someone can buy a nice place in the city.

  57. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Boy aren’t we’re a bit jumpy this morning.

  58. Posted by SFRE

    @R: I’m referring to anyone that needs free public housing. I see a lot of white people in free public housing and a lot of white people that are homeless. Why must we, as a society, look at everything through the prism of colour? Seriously guys its 2010, we have a black president, what’s with the living in the 50s mentality?
    I just take exception to 45yo hipster’s comments about what I was assuming, then to talk about the long complicated history of one group of people in the US. Are you telling me a family new to the US from Mexico doesn’t have a long and complicated history? Are you telling me a family coming from communist China or Cuba doesn’t have a long complicated history? Or a family from the provinces of the former Soviet Union? Or a guy coming to the US from Ghana? Be serious.

  59. Posted by SFRE

    Yeah, you are probably right 45yo, I’ve been at home battling a cold for 2 days, and its been nice outside!!

  60. Posted by Rob

    Why do people think that BMR units would be filled with addicts, junkies and thugs. People i would hope would be aware that BMR (Below Market Rate) still means that you have to QUALIFY to PURCHASE. Yes your purchasing at a lower cost, based upon lower household earnings (usually 50% -90% Area Median Income), but my experience has been that addicts, thugs, and junkies dont exactly have credit scores, bank accounts, or jobs where they would qualify to BUY a condo/townhouse.
    So are people upset that they would be living next to working class people, tradespeople, service workers, teachers versus white collar workers?

  61. Posted by 45yo hipster

    No prob SFRE, and I agree that we have started to turned the corner towards becoming a post-racial society.
    Yeah, it’s awesome outside today. I’m enjoying the back yard and the new iPad :)

  62. Posted by lark

    I think this is not a giveaway but an investment. I live two blocks from the projects and I am looking at them as I type. This is a fantastic neighborhood in many ways. If the balance is changed so that the residential racial/poverty/crime segregation bubble is broken, there will be I predict LOTS of folks wanting to live in BMR and MR housing over there.
    If you do not live in Potrero Hill you have no idea how nice the weather is here.
    You have no idea how great commuting is from here.
    I moved here to commute down to HP and it cut like 20 minutes each way from my commute.
    These places are 5 minutes from freeway ramps, or less. Plus Caltrain.
    The libertarian types who can’t stop sobbing about any social investment use of ‘their tax dollars’ should take their bunny butts to Texas.
    I WANT SOCIAL INVESTMENT and I am not a welfare thumb sucker but an entrepreneur, in something much more socially useful than real estate. Heard of the tech industry, realtors?

  63. Posted by resp

    “investment” implies an expected positive return.

  64. Posted by asiagoSF

    45yo: do you have kids? because I can assure you that most families with kids couldn’t give a crap about ‘keeping it real’. What they care about is a safe environment. And if that means boring neighborhoods with lack of diversity, so be it. Small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing that your kids’ chances of getting mugged/getting in trouble are much reduced. Witness the Chinese community out in the sunset. Boring as hell but safe. Call it a family value.
    Keep it real my foot!

  65. Posted by joh

    Continually considering how they “feel” or the “psychological impact” of living in free housing is a sham. How about the psychological impact of driving to work everyday knowing I have to be stuck in traffic to get the office, only to pay for people to have no incentive to get a job.
    That is such a bad analogy. In fact, it’s downright offensive.
    Does your commute and tax related stress make you feel like giving up on society? Has it ever made you feel like giving up your current lifestyle to become a dope dealer or pimp? You could work locally, be your own boss, drive fancy cars, and you don’t have to pay any income taxes to help the poor suckers who are stuck at the bottom. Have you ever thought about that? Of course you haven’t, because you have too much to lose, so you continue chugging along doing whatever it is you do. If you lived in the Potrero projects, Geneva Towers, the old Valencia Gardens, or the old Bernal projects, you might have not have felt that way.

  66. Posted by anon

    “investment” implies an expected positive return.
    Not necessarily for what is called the “investment” itself. Few people would say that building roads or bridges or airports are not “investments,” yet you won’t see many of those turning an expected positive return. It’s the areas that benefit from those investments that earn a positive return. Not much different from this – take a crappy area, make it nicer, bam! Positive returns out the yinyang, but not from the projects themselves.

  67. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The Potrero residents directly adjacent to this project will definitely see a benefit from this investment. There will be increased traffic but that is far outweighed by the increased informal surveillance provided by diluting the crooked population with normal law abiding folks.
    Expect the per capita crime rate to go down in Potrero’s south face.

  68. Posted by anon

    “There will be increased traffic but that is far outweighed by the increased informal surveillance provided by diluting the crooked population with normal law abiding folks.
    Expect the per capita crime rate to go down in Potrero’s south face.”
    Is it really that simple though? People think answers to these sorts of problems are simple. “Oh, if people from the projects just get to live among everyone else they’ll be fine.” But I think Memphis’ experience shows that it’s not:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/american-murder-mystery/6872/

  69. Posted by joh

    ^ The proposed area is currently housing projects. Really bad housing projects. Rebuilding that area with newer and better homes built in a planned neighborhood, and allowing middle class and working class folks to move in can only improve it.
    The Atlantic article discusses the reverse: the effects of people from the projects moving into
    middle class neighborhoods.
    This Potrero proposal won’t be perfect, but I fail to see how it won’t improve the immediate and surrounding neighborhood.

  70. Posted by SFRE

    @joh: My job commute and tax stress wouldn’t force me to give up on society to become a pimp or drug dealer. To assume that is the only avenue for people who are in a bad spot is ridiculous. Weak minds give up on society. Weak people demand handouts indefinitely.
    I guess it has a lot to do with the values they were taught. The situation they are in says a lot about that.
    As I said in a post a while back, these are not the “Pursuit of Happiness” type.

  71. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Asiago- who’s talking about families? Most of the people (I.e. tenants) I deal with in the mish are singles or young couples…who apparently care enough to ‘keep it real.’ Tis my observation.
    And BTW, I have noticed an increasing influx of young white families making the mission their home. So don’t be upset with me (I just rent to the best tenant profile I can find, and am passing along my observations here.) bottom line, the mission is a hot rental destination. So hate the game, not the player.

  72. Posted by joh

    @SFRE,
    I never said crime is the only avenue for these people. And certainly some people do pull themselves out of these slummy projects. But the environment they live in is far from encouraging. On the other hand, living in a better neighborhood can be quite encouraging.
    I personally don’t mind this neighborhood being improved with public funds. In my view, improving these projects, as well as those that haven’t been improved yet, will only make SF a better town. The improvement in the neighborhoods surrounding Valencia, Bernal, and North Beach can attest to that.
    We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  73. Posted by asiagoSF

    45o hipster- sorry I came across as hating or upset. Far from my real intention.

  74. Posted by anon

    “allowing middle class and working class folks to move in can only improve it”
    More like the middle class and working class people should think twice and remember that these people won’t suddenly change their behavior because their building looks nicer.

  75. Posted by Marsha

    The proposed rebuild project is much needed, but at 1200 units, not the proposed 1700 units, which triples existing and will overwhelm even the new infrastructure of streets. While plans are for three types of mixed housing, the massing of the public housing in minimal acreage with virtually no open space will create another public housing nightmare for those residents. The only open space provided is way up the hill in the middle of the site–not particularly appealing to residents who live down at 26th St. Design change is sorely needed.

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