A man walks past the old Valente Marini Perata and Co. funeral home at 4840 Mission St., which is set to become the site of a 137-unit affordable housing project. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

$83M Mission Street affordable housing project closer to breaking ground

After a setback and redesigns, a more than 130-unit affordable housing project at 4840 Mission St. may finally break ground next year.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai on Wednesday praised Bridge Housing Corporation’s 137-unit development on the site of a former funeral home as the “the first opportunity in the history of District 11 to do 100 percent affordable housing.”

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee approved an additional $12 million loan for the development Wednesday. The loan funding comes from The City’s Inclusionary Affordable Housing fees, which developers pay in-lieu of providing onsite affordable housing, and is about “21 percent of the fund balance for the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Fee program,” according to the budget analyst’s report.

The project includes 137 affordable housing units of varying bedroom sizes that will be affordable to households earning from 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) up to 105 Percent of the AMI, with an income average of 59 percent of the AMI, according to the report. It includes 35 units set aside for households voluntarily relocating from the HOPE SF Potrero development.

The project includes 5,000 square feet of retail space and a 10,000 square foot new space for the neighborhood’s existing nonprofit clinic, the Mission Neighborhood Health Center.

Safai said the health center is currently located nearby in a roughly 5,000 square foot space. “They will move to this location and almost double their footprint and include free dental care services, which is a really big deal for our neighborhood,” Safai said.

The project also includes 39 residential parking spaces.

“I know this is a bad word to say in this chamber,” Safai joked, “but we did have to add some parking. In our neighborhood we actually have parking wars. And people get into physical altercations. Some of these families will have cars. That is a reality and rather than impact the immediate neighborhood we will have them have this option.”

Safai had previously pushed for a project that would have increased the number of housing units developed by partnering with a private developer and incorporating the adjacent Safeway site, but Safeway walked away from the deal last year, according to Safai.

“It would have netted us an additional 75 100 percent affordable units on top of what you see today but Safeway unfortunately … wanted five years of free rent,” Safai said. “They were going to get a brand new store and they wanted five years of free rent on the new site. The developer proposed two years of free rent and Safeway walked away.”

There were also changes to the initial proposal in 2016 for 4840 Mission St., which was initially going to use modular construction and include 20 market rate homes in addition to 114 affordable housing units. That project cost was estimated at $45 million, but the current design will cost $83 million.

“The construction cost estimates for the project have increased due to a combination of escalation of material and labor costs over time, the redesign of the project (including switching from modular to on-site construction), and other additions to the scope such as three additional housing units, parking spaces, and commercial space,” the report said.

The full board will vote on the additional loan next week, which would bring the total loaned so far to $18.5 million, the report said. The loan includes $12 million the nonprofit spent to acquire the site and other pre-development costs.

“We should be able to break ground on this if all goes well sometime next year,” Safai said.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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