With the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development having formally determined that the proposed development of 178 affordable apartments to rise up to six stories in height across the half-block-plus parking lot parcel at 88 Broadway would not have a significant effect on the environment, the development team is now planning to break ground this August.

And if the ground is broken in August, the development, which includes 53 units of senior housing in a building to rise up to six stories in height on the eastern spur of the site fronting (735) Davis Street, should be ready for occupancy in March 2020 with the construction workers “expected to park on the street or in nearby garages, or to use transit” as the entire site will be under construction at the same time.

That being said, an appeal of the City’s environmental determination for the project has been filed by a distant neighbor in Telegraph Hill, as we first reported last month. And if the aforementioned determination was to be overturned, and a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was required, it could add a year (or two) to the development’s timeline, even with the streamlined approval process for affordable housing projects now in place.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Futurist

    How can a project as low scaled, well designed and much needed possibly be “contentious”? Except to the elitist Telegraph Hill Neighbors.

    Shame on them. I hope it gets built soon.

    • Posted by Anon123

      Contentious because it is being contested by neighbors? Same as many developments in the Mission are contested – doesn’t mean that the author is siding with anybody.

  2. Posted by Adam

    What I would like to know is if the appellant had their filing fee successfully waived or not?

  3. Posted by hundoman

    Why are we putting affordable housing on some of the most expensive and desirable property in San Francisco?

    Shouldn’t the SF Port Authority instead be selling this property for its highest and best use and using the proceeds to help its billions of dollars in unfunded maintenance and upkeep budget on its existing properties?

    • Posted by guest

      Because…San Francisco

    • Posted by anon2.5

      Putting affordable housing in the middle of nowhere helps no one. In fact, there’s plenty of affordable housing all over flyover country.

    • Posted by johnc

      They would fight that as well. Otherwise we’d have 8 Washington built already.

    • Posted by Richard

      But, but… SAVE THE WATERFRONT!!! Remember 8 Washington? Well, this project is just as close, etc., etc., etc. Face it, THD has a stranglehold on all they survey. I hope the whole goddamn hill fractures and crumbles, burying those selfish SOB’s with it.

  4. Posted by jwb

    The locals better get used to the idea, because this area along with virtually the entirety of SF will be upzoned to between 45 and 85 feet, without parking minimums or design controls, under SB-827.

    • Posted by Panhandle Pro

      As it should be. This entire city needs to become 45-85 feet to keep up with demand. Parking minimums will become parking maximums as an outdated focus on driving vehicles makes way for transit, bicycling, ride share and eventually self-driving fleets.

    • Posted by feralcockapoo

      Great! All for it.

    • Posted by Just My Opinion

      Unless we are willing to fund infrastructure, and elect a city government that is actually capable of executing infrastructure projects, and citizens who are willing to allow these projects to proceed in their communities, simply up-zoning will make the city unlivable. With the right planning, transit, power, water, sewer, etc, upzoning is positive. AND, we can not push it all back to the developers. There is just too much to do.

      • Posted by ItMe

        Expecting an infrastructure build-out *before* upzoning puts the cart before the horse. How will the city plan and prioritize infrastructure before anyone knows exactly where and what developers will build? Spending on infrastructure before demand is realized risks a huge waste of resources.

        As an excessively democratic institution, it’s unreasonable to expect SF politicians to plan ahead. They’ll respond to the loudest, best-funded voices in the room. Once we upzone and build, voices for infrastructure investment will get louder as a consequence of the larger constituency for it.

        • Posted by another anon

          The problem is that building homes and offices takes years, but building infrastructure takes decades. The commute for many people is nearly unbearable right now and it’s going to get much worse. Most people here won’t see any improvement in infrastructure in their working lifetimes.

          Frankly I just don’t understand the ‘growth at all costs’ approach. What’s the point? How about prioritizing quality of life instead? The meaning of life is not GDP growth.

          • Posted by Pablito

            Absolutely agreed that our government should br prioritizing quality of life instead of endless growth. Other places seem to do so successfully – we should be able to do so too….

            We have crappy public services, and it seems our land use decisions and policies largely exist to line the pockets of the few. Other places do a better job with urban affairs – it’s not rocket science.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Unless you have ideas on how to arrest population growth we need to figure out how to accommodate the future generation. Sprawl is not the answer anymore.

          • Posted by PF

            This is still a free country and people will move where they will. The only way to keep people out is to make it cost prohibitive. Unfortunately that has the effect of pushing out people who can’t otherwise afford to stay.

            We have the economy and the jobs. We have the desirable climate. We have the cachet of being “San Francisco,” People are going to move here and as much as you might wish it to be true the only choice we have is to either build to accomodate or force people of lesser means out.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Streetcar lines were built before subdivisions in the early 1900s… subways and elevated trains were built into northern Manhattan and the Bronx long before those areas were densified. Of course planners can lay out infrastructure and build it out before density goes in – and that makes the most sense, as building the infrastructure first causes the least disruption.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Elevateds, yes, subways, probably not – at least not for Manhattan…it was 1904, after all – but this was actually the subject of battling editorial philosophies in the NYC papers: the NYT, I believe, wanted them built after areas were developed, while the Hearst papers wanted them built in advance. (I believe a compromise of sorts was worked out: they were planned to be in advance, but construction was so slow the areas were actually developed by the time they were finished 🙂 )

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            But also (and I’d meant to mention) – the streetcar lines in the East Bay (which became Telegraph Ave., Shattuck Ave., etc.).

          • Posted by Notcom

            Streetcar – and even cable-car – lines were often subsidized by developers as an inducement to get people to buy lots in what would be otherwise inaccessible areas. That continued – somewhat – in the motor era with bus lines, but faded as car ownership became more common.

            In Oakland, many of the early lines – I believe Grove St. was the first line electrified – were built to connect Oakland and Berkeley, and thus really more point-to-point systems; tho of course that had the salutary effect of allowing for developing the properties along the line. The Piedmont Cable lines, I will grant you, seem to have followed the classic pre-development model.

            And now, as the Control Voice always likes to say: back to the already developed, and infrastructure-heavy 700 block of Davis.

    • Posted by Orland

      Please, please, please FINALLY rid the Embarcadero of all parking lots.

  5. Posted by Sierrajeff

    From the renderings, it looks like the eastern “spur” is only 4 stories (at least, not counting the set-back levels above), with the full 6 stories on the western side. (see, e.g., drawing with the red bi-level building in the foreground.)

    • Posted by SocketSite

      While the eastern spur steps down to four stories along Davis, the majority of the 735 Davis Street building (which includes the light gray in the rendering above) rises up to six stories in height.

  6. Posted by Jim

    What the contention is really about is that Chinatown Neighborhood Development Corp, a non-profit, lost the competition to build the affordable housing, fair and square, and it was awarded to another non-profit, Bridge Housing. CNDC thinks it “owns” the neighborhood, and got their flunky Aaron Peskin to stir up a hornets nest.

    Aaron has proposed putting a Navigation Center there, so permanently affordable housing would be replaced by temporary affordable housing. And of course, the Telegraph Hill Dwellers end game is to be sure nothing ever gets built there, just like 8 Washington.

  7. Posted by Justin Time

    Senator Scott Wiener and Mr. Ting introduced a new bill last week encouraging developers to build bigger, better and above the aforementioned 45-85 feet. In fact, we should absolutely allow these heights to soar above 400 feet – and why not? Almost all areas in this City are within a mile radius of a [major] transit hub.

    Telegraph Hill is prime for [a] high-rise. We also need to build massive structures in the Mission, Castro and Potrero Hill. Their infrastructure is robust enough to sustain 300 – 400 foot lower-middle income dwellings. The 8 Washington whining has faded. Water views are not protected anymore. These are anemic arguments against affordable housing. We also need more clinics.

    In fact, SB 827 was initially restricted to a one-mile radius of a bus stop to develop dwellings above and beyond existing height limits. I have heard the revised version will actually expand the radius. It should. Even NIMBY ‘neighborhoods’ like Noe Valley and the Marina are connected by ‘high quality transit.’ Any ‘hood that has an intersection of two or more active transit routes, regardless of how quaint, is fair game.

    The Supervisors, Planning Department, developers and intelligent progressives are all on the same page this time. Why would we waste our time limiting all of this desperately needed upzoning and affordable housing to the Central Soma Plan – the main vein along 4th and south of Howard? I lived in the Mission about 10 years ago and it has multiple Muni lines, buses, Bart, etc. They need housing, so build, build, build. Folks, it is time to ring in the new year and upzone all of San Francisco – which is a CITY, not a suburb. Move to Marin if you don’t appreciate smart, effective urban development.

    Folks, it is time to embrace the new HIGH times. Nobody’s backyard is exempt.

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