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Deal reached on One Oak skyscraper boosts affordable housing in Hayes Valley

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A rendering rendering of the planned One Oak development. (Image courtesy Build, Inc)
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The One Oak luxury skyscraper will move forward under a sweeping deal reached Tuesday that includes an additional $3 million from the developer toward affordable housing projects in Hayes Valley.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed had threatened to strip One Oak of nearly half of its parking. But under the agreement, developer Build, Inc. will construct all 136 parking spaces and also pay a total of $29 million toward as many as 103 below-market-rate units in the neighborhood — 31 more units than previously planned.

“This project and the benefits it will be bringing to the community is not just a win for the developer and the appellant,” Breed said. “It’s a win for the community and future developments in The City as a whole.”

The in-lieu fees will be used for the construction of affordable housing on underdeveloped parcels R, S and U and potentially K in Hayes Valley, according to Breed. One of the parcels may become housing for young adults who are at risk with a childcare center on the ground floor. Another is slated to become workforce housing with two-and three-bedroom units as well as retail space.

“All of these developments will be built in conjunction with One Oak and may even get finished before One Oak gets completed, so our community doesn’t have to wait for the affordable housing that’s promised,” Breed said.

While the agreement allows One Oak to be constructed with more parking spaces than typically permitted in the neighborhood plan, Breed introduced legislation last week that would have cut 60 parking spaces from the plans.

Breed still plans to move forward with the legislation to create interim zoning controls in the neighborhood, restricting parking in new developments except for One Oak.

The deal also means that city planners will study the traffic impacts of ride-hailing vehicles like Uber and Lyft as well as e-commerce delivery trucks when analyzing new developments.

Breed said she is working with the city attorney to introduce legislation that would require The City to include those numbers in Environmental Impact Reports.

“All of these developments and all of the parking has a cumulative impact, we know it and we see it,” Breed said. “Yet the guidelines that we use to measure these impacts say that there is not a significant impact. We all know this is flawed.”

San Francisco State University professor Jason Henderson filed a California Environmental Quality Act appeal of the project for leaving out those numbers from the One Oak EIR. Henderson withdrew his appeal Tuesday and the Board of Supervisors unanimously certified the EIR.

“When we talk about vehicle miles travelled and parking and other traffic impacts, affordable housing addresses that,” Henderson said. “People moving out of The City that are displaced are also going to have to drive back into The City or take long transit trips into The City.”

The Planning Department has also agreed to a deeper study of wind impacts on bicyclists as a result of Henderson’s appeal.

Michael Yarne, a principal with Build, Inc., said in a text message “we are happy that the issue is resolved so we can move forward on building a beautiful project.”

The skyscraper is slated to rise 40 stories and include 304 condos.

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