While the development rights for Mission Bay South Block 9 have been awarded to BRIDGE Housing and Community Housing Partnership (which will manage the proposed 141 studios for currently homeless and extremely low-income households (below 30 percent of the area median) to rise up to four stories in height on the undeveloped site adjacent to San Francisco’s new Public Safety Building), a ground lease for the publicly-owned block still needs to be negotiated, financing secured, and the concept design, as drafted by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, refined and finalized.

In fact, the refined plans aren’t expected to be approved until the end of 2018; financing isn’t expected to be secured until 2019; and the ground isn’t expected to be broken until the first quarter of 2020.

If everything goes as planned, including an incorporation of modular building blocks in order to expedite construction by an estimated six (6) months and lower overall development costs by a projected nine (9) percent, the building to rise on Block 9 should be ready for occupancy in the second quarter of 2021.

And in terms of the aforementioned development costs, assuming the modular approach is approved and pursued, the current projection is running around $427,000 per studio unit, the size of which is to average around 407 square feet and not accounting for the value of the underlying land.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by anon2.5

    At these costs, the city should just supplement section 8 vouchers and other federal aid with its own vouchers, or expand eligibility to those who don’t qualify for those vouchers.

  2. Posted by hundoman

    Why not just buy someone a house in another part of the country and give them also $200,000 in spending money as this would still cost less (US Median Home Price Is $188,900).

    What is it about San Francisco that people seem to feel they have the right to have other people subsidize their lifestyle and housing choices if they can’t afford it and how much more expensive does this make housing for everyone else?

    • Posted by Notcom

      You mean like all the Federal – and to some extent State – money SF receives for transit and roads and sewers and… or is that a legitimate use of other people(‘s money)?

      And if you DO mean that, then thank you for not pulling the either the (disingenuous) “it’s investment” or (self-important but candid) “we’re worth it” cards.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        I bet SF pays more into the Fed and State than it receives.

        • Posted by Notcom

          I guess that depends on how one counts “receives”: it receives a large – some might say infinite – benefit from defense and environmental spending as well as having a functioning legal system – recent efforts to make this latter dysfunctional, notwithstanding – so one could say no matter what it pays it “receives” more.

          But if you want to do a strictly line items basis then I agree: let’s see if the (miniscule) fraction of SF taxpayer’s dollars that goes to these types of projects is greater than or far, far less than what it’s getting.

    • Posted by sfjohn

      …other cities do the same.

    • Posted by scott f

      Because a civilized society takes care of its most vulnerable members, and doesn’t just thoughtlessly foist them off on someone else. What you are describing is appalling social Darwinism that should be beneath us all.

      • Posted by Onslow

        No, a “civilized society” is one in which everyone has the right to life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. Not a subsidized home paid for by some other poor sap. Your dystopian ideal is nothing more than legalized plunder and many of us want no part of it.

        • Posted by ahhh

          OK, lets see you complain after your company ceo bails after doing a pump and dump, your health insurance denies you when you get cancer, and the government drives you out of your house to build a highway.

        • Posted by Anonymous

          You should try having a conscience.

          • Posted by jeremyharrison

            Let us know when you’ve emptied your bank account to give to street people, and moved a homeless person into your living room. Not willing to? Might want to re-examine your own conscience then….

          • Posted by anon

            I think the government should devote more tax dollars to schools.

            Response: Let us know when you’ve emptied your bank account to give to the schools, and opened your living room to public school children after school and on weekends to tutor them. Not willing to? Might want to re-examine your own conscience then…

            Not really a compelling line of rhetoric.

        • Posted by Frisco

          Legalized plunder, indeed? “A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every December the 25th,” said Ebeneezer Scrooge.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Given how much money we have spent over the past fifty years killing 2o million people in dozens of foreign countries due to our elite’s insatiable need to rule the world, worrying about the pittance spent on affordable housing seems trivial.

      • Posted by stevenj

        What makes you think this country is “civilized”?

      • Posted by Wayne

        They’d have a free house

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      hundoman: Let go of your resentment and consider that “other people” are not “subsidizing the lifestyle and housing choices” of the ultimate residents of this housing development if it indeed gets completed. What those “other people” are doing, if you want to think about it that way, is subsidizing the businesses of employers in San Francisco who can’t afford to pay wages to their employees commensurate with local housing costs.

      What is it about San Francisco that entrepreneurs seem to feel they have the right to have other people subsidize their low-wage-paying businesses?

      • Posted by Brian M

        It’s the current American Way. (See: Walmart).

  3. Posted by sparky-b

    When you say the “development costs” in this context what is included?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      All costs to deliver the project, both soft and hard, but not accounting for the value of the land.

  4. Posted by archiwha?

    is it just me or does leddy matum stacy build like every affordable housing building? yawn.

  5. Posted by Sassy

    Why is this building not the same height or higher as the adjacent Public Safety Building? Are there concerns about casting shadows on the blank party wall?

    • Posted by Hunter

      Wondered the same – should be double the height for maximum units! Epic fail.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Excellent point. Maybe something about the modular construction method?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      “Zoning for the site is form-based and is governed by the Redevelopment Plan for the Mission Bay South Redevelopment Project and the Design for Development for the Mission Bay South Project Area.

      Height limits are calculated as averaged by block (not parcel) and are as follows: 55’ on China Basin Street and Bridgeview Way; on other frontages, a base height of up to 65’ and a mid-rise height of up to 90’ is allowed.”

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      ummmm…. that’s the point of a party wall. they’re building up to it. that’s why it’s there to begin with.

  6. Posted by LW

    So affordable housing heavily subsidized by tax payers and other development activities still is a cost of $1050 sq ft. Meanwhile an upstanding community just across the bay, goes for $337 sq ft for an area with good schools, provides you a multi bedroom condo, but isn’t IN the city, but along the Bart line. This doesn’t make financial sense, but no biggie when it’s someone else’s money right?!

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Why house formerly or currently homeless here? Do you stand a chance gaining full employment in Sf?

      Why not use the housing for physicians who serve in low pay public free clinics instead? They provide a much needed public service especially when there is a shortage of primary care physicians and ones who accept Medicaid or otherwise service the poor.

      If we are going to spend this kind of public money, I rather see it go to someone who can provide a high value public service well in excess of the amount invested.

    • Posted by Lonely Bear

      What community would that be? Seriously, I’d like to know.

    • Posted by Serge

      Because “progressives.”

  7. Posted by NF

    Have the Radiance residents’ complaints fizzled out? One woman was raising money from residents to hire a lawyer

    • Posted by FedUp

      She has condos at the Madrone and the Arden. She has at least two houses but doesn’t want poor people to have any when it’s going in near hers. Yes- she’s wasting her time collecting money. ‘Merika!

  8. Posted by jeremyharrison

    If I’m penciling this out correctly, figuring one mayor and 11 supervisors, this puts the cost of each one’s political talking point (“I increased affordable housing!!!”) at about $5,000,000.

  9. Posted by Pablito

    So 141 studios at $70 million taking 2+ years to develop, – with 6,500 homeless people on the street – we will solve our problem in the year 2118?

  10. Posted by GR

    homeless people get homes in a great neighborhood , higher income families can buy the fancy apartments and the middle ones get kicked out . Why to make these homes in an expensive neighborhood or even if you want to why not have community housing with shared common areas and more floors that can provide more housing .

  11. Posted by UnlivableCity

    I have to be honest about this whole “deeply affordable” housing concept. They try to make them look palatable and zippy with the rare bit of actually interesting architecture (there are firms who specialize in lipstick architecture for low income housing), but in time I have not seen any of these wear well. The tenants tend to rotate in and out, have a LOT of issues, and the properties tend to get a little more rough around the edges each year. If any brave soul would want to experience what this type of housing does to a neighborhood just wander (I would recommend on a bike, for a quick getaway) Mission and Howard between 5th and 10th any afternoon. The buildings are aging drably and the “neighbors” are on full public display.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Better they just camp out in a tent on the sidewalk?

      Or, send them to someplace cheaper? (Hint…we don’t want your lost souls, either)

      Or…are you looking for some kind of “Final Solution”, UnempathiCNimby?

  12. Posted by another anon

    Shameful use of taxpayers money. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen a family at Target (Costco etc). with four kids that they can’t afford, filling up shopping carts with junk that will end up in the landfill. Probably not saving a penny for retirement due do a lifetime of making terrible decisions. But we should bail them out because…politicians want votes that are subsidized by taxpayers.

    And homeless, don’t get me started. $300 million per year, and an official count of 7,499 homeless in 2017. That’s $40,000 per homeless individual every single year and the problem gets worse and worse. Truly shameful for all involved.

  13. Posted by Sierrajeff

    wow – from these comments it’s clear that the lunatic right wing is alive and well even in San Francisco.

    • Posted by Pablito

      I dunno. I read the comments and see a lot of frustration with City policies that make problems worse not better. I wouldn’t call that right wing.

      The City goal should change its goal from ‘dysfunctional people that the rest of us support’ – to ‘develop policies that help people that can stand on their own 2 feet and provide for themselves and their families’. That used to be called progressive – not right wing.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        Because having a stable housing situation totally does nothing to help people stand on their own 2 feet. OH WAIT. Are you even listening to yourself?

        • Posted by Brian M

          Pablito is also looking for a Final Solution, I imagine.

          Face it folks: There have always been lost souls throughout human history. Politics is replete with debates on how to handle them. “Are there no Work Houses? Maybe we should reduce the Surplus Population”

          There are troubled people, especially, it seems, in a society of anomie and drift like late modern American capitalism. Suggesting that dysfunctional people will just go away if we stop trying to deal with them is not good public policy.

  14. Posted by GR

    I don’t think it’s correct to bucket people into so called right wingers just because they want responsible spending of finances . It should go to teachers , disabled and truly who are in need . Government can’t take responsible for one side of spectrum and totally neglect more than other half of the pool. If it needs to be fair make if fair for everyone . Even i want to live in mission bay , but I can’t afford anything anywhere much in Bay Area even after working full time multiple jobs

  15. Posted by Enneahedron

    The comments on this thread are truly disgusting.

    Why do so many free-market fundamentalists resent people who literally have next to nothing? Why are they always complaining about those among us who are less fortunate? I guess in the era of Trump, it’s now in-vogue to spit down on your fellow countrymen from ivory towers on high.

    It gives me great pleasure knowing that you despicably hateful cowards, who are a vocal but small and insignificant minority in this city, will never – EVER – be able to affect any real change in policy.

    Another thousand or so similar scale projects [like this] are needed like, yesterday.

    • Posted by UnlivableCity

      No they aren’t. They’re called feedback from the people who fund all of it. Listen to the feedback. Be responsive.

    • Posted by GR

      Is there a fundamental reason why they have nothing? Are we just going to hand over free stuff and hope they will never fall back again? How is this fair to people who are working hard. Should they also just stay in a camp and wait for government to help them? There needs to be an open dialogue and discussion. Why don’t you raise your kids right around where people shoot drugs day and night on the street and keep shouting cuss words. Have seen a lot of hypocrisy around this from people who believe in supporting freely.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        For those interested in having a real discussion based on facts (rather than accusations, misperceptions or individual biases), it might help to have a better understanding of the actual circumstances and needs at hand:

        “While the reason for one becoming homeless [in San Francisco] is typically the result of multiple and compounding causes, a quarter (25 percent) of those surveyed in early 2015 reported job loss as the primary cause, followed by substance abuse (18 percent). Having been evicted (13 percent) was the third highest reported cause of becoming homeless, a primary cause which had tripled since 2011.

        The greatest reported barrier of being able to secure permanent housing is being able to afford rent, followed by simply securing a job, with only eight percent of those surveyed reporting that permanent housing isn’t something they sought.

        And the primary reported obstacle to securing employment in order to be able to afford a permanent residence and rent in San Francisco? The Catch-22 lack of a permanent address.”

        And now back to the actual development and topic at hand…

        • Posted by parklife

          The key to deciphering the cause of homelessness in SF is not necessarily the reasons listed, but the phrase “typically the result of multiple and compounding causes.” The uptick in eviction as the cause of homelessness may merely be the result of constant drumbeat of certain politicians and activists that blame evictions for all social ills. After all, the cause of eviction is not described and I would suspect that majority of evictions are the result of non-payment of rent (as they are in general), and so the cause of homelessness in these situations could just as easily be ascribed to job loss or some other financial calamity. And it should be noted that these causes are self-described and as such are subject to interpretation.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Speaking of misperceptions, of the roughly 4,200 eviction notices filed with the Rent Board over the past two fiscal years in San Francisco, roughly 11 percent, or the vast minority, were related to either late or non-payment of rents.

            At the same time, closer to 27 percent were tied to Ellis Act or “Owner Move In” type evictions.

            And another 25 percent of the attempted evictions were based on a technical breach of a rental agreement, including the hanging of laundry outside the windows of an apartment but not including those deemed a nuisance tenant, an unapproved subtenant or had been accused of illegally occupying the unit.

          • Posted by parklife

            I stand corrected on the eviction reasons. Of course, if we extrapolate from the statistics, this would still be a reasonably small number of people that became homeless because of eviction. Particularly so for those evicted by way of OMI and Ellis given the relocation payment (even though it is rather low). I believe my point still stands that there is very rarely a single cause for homelessness and, as such, simplistic solutions such as banning evictions are unlikely to materially have an effect.

      • Posted by anon

        The have-little class blaming the have-even-less class is music to the ears of the have-very-much class.

        This is playing out all over the country just like in this thread. Those who work but earn very little are angry at those on SSI and not working. The middle class is angry at the lower middle class who qualifies for subsidized Obamacare. Those who earn minimum wage are angry for those who work little and qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. Those in the private sector with 401(k) plans are angry at government workers with a pension plan. Or here – “I don’t get subsidized housing so nobody should.” The Masters of the Universe love it.

      • Posted by Brian M

        So…what is your solution? Prison camps? Those are a lot more expensive than studio apartments. Shipping them off to the burbs? Do you really think people in Chico and Solano County want to deal with YOUR lost souls?

        So, like most TeaTards, you whine and whine and whine. Never a word about the massive tax cuts, massive subsidies to business, or the Defense Budget with its 700 military bases and spook patrols spreading mayhem around the world. THAT costs a lot more money.

    • Posted by FedUp

      Amen, truly disgusting.

  16. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    As far as the politics of resentment go, I have to hand it to anon for having the most insightful comment on this thread.

    The commenters who are seeming to imply, but won’t come right out and say, that if S.F. does nothing for extremely low-income households that some magic will happen (because it’s “fair”) and lower income households will somehow disappear are dreaming.

    That policy has been tried, it failed and we’re living with it’s consequences. Huge numbers of people are living in tents.

    A large part of public policy is about incremental change. Contra Pablito’s comment, just because you can’t solve a problem in one fell swoop or for everybody it does not follow that we should do nothing. We’re doing something effective with the resources at hand at the present (well, two years out) time.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Outstanding summary, Brahma! Kudos.

      I mean, I understand the frustration. There are a lot of people who are, yes dysfunctional. The question is the best way to help and, yes, to reduce their impacts….”harm reduction” is the term. for their benefit, but for everyone. And squalid, violence-prone encampments in every neighborhood not “connected” enough to get instant attention is not the best solution, either.

      This costs money. But, even if you travel via personal helicopter, you drink nothing but Evian and your venture capitalist-tech bro sh^%t is magically transformed into organic fertilizer, most people would agree it is good idea to have a public water supply, streets, and a sewer system

    • Posted by Pablito

      Nah. I didn’t say that at all Brahama. You are completely mis-characterizing what I did say.

      Simply – do something for everyone – even if it’s only a little – not do a lot for a few people.

      We are clearly not doing something effective. Not even close.

  17. Posted by GR

    With the limited amount of space and funding , planning should consider breaking it down into much smaller units and more floors with some shared and community space . 400sq ft is a premium in sf and not even hard working people can’t afford it . Not sure why it needs to be in the neighborhood where it is so expensive that per unit cost is so huge that you can only help so few individuals

  18. Posted by Nycdr

    This is a premium site one block from the waterfront which could have generated millions in city tax revenue for social programs.. All this is lost dedicating coveted site to subsized housing. Foolish and irresponsible assignment of land use supported by District supervisor Jane Kim. Sell the land for $65 million dollars and use the proceeds to buy a $5 million parcel elsewhere and use the $60 mil leftover to build affordable housing. But politics do not operate on efficiency and common sense. NOT casing my vote for Ms Kim for major.

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