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SF supes support Sunnydale, Potrero public housing rebuilds

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Potrero Terrace public housing in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood March 31, 2011. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco is united around the rebuild of two public housing sites as part of the HOPE SF initiative launched in 2007.

The Sunnydale and Potrero Hill public housing sites under the San Francisco Housing Authority will be rebuilt and hundreds of more market-rate units also added to the sites over the next 10 to 20 years in a partnership with market-rate and nonprofit affordable housing homebuilders.

SEE RELATED: Public housing in SF’s Potrero Hill, Sunnydale ready for revamp

The development proposal was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission last year. On Monday, the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee approved the proposal and Wednesday the board’s Budget and Finance Committee signed off on the deal.

“We are about to make history here today,” Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the area of the two sites, said during Wednesday’s hearing. “We heard this item in the Land Use Committee on Monday and it passed unanimously, a rare moment when Supervisor Aaron Peskin and I are like in agreement and enthusiastic and just 110 percent on board and in love with each other.”

Cohen and Peskin are often at political odds since Cohen is more moderate than Peskin.

“We are repairing a promise that has never been fulfilled,” said Theodore Miller, director of HOPE SF in the Mayor’s Office. “These are communities that have not experienced and benefited from the prosperity of this city.”

The full board is expected to vote to approve the project Jan. 24 with final approval Jan. 31.

Existing tenants would be relocated to the new units as they are constructed in phases.

The public housing Potrero Terrace and the Potrero Annex were built in 1942 and 1955 and are on the south side and east side of Potrero Hill, respectively.

The Sunnydale housing was constructed in 1940 on 50 acres.

Combined, the total project costs $1.8 billion, which would be funded by a combination of developer and public financing, including federal funding.

The 619 public housing units would be replaced in the Potrero sites and there would be an additional 187 units affordable to those earning 60 percent of the area median income, for a total of 806 affordable units. The development would also include 817 market-rate units.

For Sunnydale, the 775 public housing units would be replaced, and another 219 units affordable to those earning 60 percent of the area median income added, for a total of 994 affordable housing units. Market-rate housing units would total 648.

The City Controller’s economist Ted Egan said in a economic impact report released Tuesday that construction-related spending and the added housing “will generate an average of 1,166 jobs in San Francisco, mainly concentrated in the construction, health care, social assistance, and retail trade industries.”

“Overall, The City’s economy will be $200 million larger as a result of the development agreement,” the report reads.

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