Low-income units planned in growing Mission Bay

Housing will be built for 150 low-income families in the booming Mission Bay neighborhood using loans made possible by skyrocketing property values.

Land that covers most of Mission Bay, which was a sleepy cove before it was covered with landfill, is being converted from dusty railroad property into a fast-growing biotechnology and housing hub.

The work is led by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, which raises money to invest in parks, roads, housing and other amenities in the 303-acre neighborhood by selling bonds that are repaid over time using increased Mission Bay property taxes.

A new assessment of recently built-upon Mission Bay parcels found that the value of eight pieces of land soared from $252 million to $834 million, Office of the Assessor-Recorder figures show.

The parcels include biotechnology buildings, a parking garage and three apartment complexes — Strata, Edgewater and Avalon Bay III. Construction of all the buildings wrapped up within the past three years.

During construction of the 260-unit Avalon Bay III apartment building, the value of the 1.5-acre piece of land at 353-383 King St. increased from $29 million to $154 million, in the most extreme example.

County Assessor Phil Ting said the benefits of the reassessment, which were “two years in the making,” are “huge.”

The Redevelopment Agency will rely on the new property assessments to help it sell bonds to raise cash for an affordable-housing project planned at Channel and Fourth streets.

The 150-unit project will house low-income families, including the formerly homeless, Mission Bay Redevelopment Project Manager Kelly Kahn said.

“The increase in property values helps the agency issue bonds sooner and for potentially higher amounts,” Kahn said in an e-mail. “Their work helps the agency get closer to meeting our goal of breaking ground on the project in 2012.”

jupton@sfexaminer.com

Clarification: This article was updated on Aug. 30, 2010, to clarify that the housing is for low-income families, including formerly homeless.

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