SF agency approves 85-unit housing development on Third Street

Latest OCII data shows 20,782 applied for 359 affordable housing units

The latest housing development approved by San Francisco’s former redevelopment agency will bring 85 units to the Third Street corridor right across from a Muni T-line station.

Initially proposed in 2016 at 145 units with 15 percent, or 22 units, at below market rate, the development at 4200 Third St. was scaled back to 85 units with 20 percent at below market rate after community feedback and public meetings.

The Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure, the successor agency to the defunct Redevelopment Agency, approved the project’s design and zoning change, or variance, earlier this month. A portion of the total 19,000-square-foot site would only allow for industrial uses, which is why the variance was needed to also permit residences.

The project, designed by architect firm Workshop1, is six stories, or 65 feet high, with ground floor retail comprising 6,000 square feet and 35 onsite parking spaces. Located on the west side of Third Street between Innes and Jerrold avenues, it falls within the Bayview Industrial Triangle Redevelopment Project Area Plan.

The plan, in place since the 1980s, expires in June 2020 when the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure will no longer have control over the area but the Planning Department will. The department is currently drafting new regulations for the area.

Laura Shifley, an associate planner with OCII, said the commission has “approved a number of new commercial spaces in mixed-use projects along Third Street adjacent to this site which have not yet been built” and that the project is consistent with what planning staff recommends for the area.

Workshop1’s project architect Mike Pitler said “our project site has long been underutilized” and has operated as a fast-food drive through for decades.

“Its location next to the T-Third street Muni metro line makes it an excellent housing opportunity site,” Pitler said. He said residents would enter the building from Third Street. The average unit size is 818 square feet with a mix of studios, one bedrooms, two bedrooms and three bedrooms.

He added that “the owner [Christopher Harney] has agreed to dedicate 1,000 square feet of commercial ground floor space to Bayview-based businesses rent free for a term of 10 years.”

Dedria Smith, a Bayview resident attending the meeting, said she was “excited by the project.”

Smith said she hoped some of the affordable housing units would go toward a couple of families in the area who are “living in their cars or vans that would be excited to be able to have first preference for an opportunity at one of these units.”

The project’s 17 affordable housing units would go to those households who earn up to 60 percent of the area median income. For a family of four, that’s up to a $73,900 annual salary.

The units would become part of The City’s inclusionary housing program, which is administered by the Mayor’s Office of Housing through a lottery system. Within the lottery, there are certain preferences, which give participants greater chances of winning a unit, such as if they were evicted by the Ellis Act or if they live or work in San Francisco.

The demand is significant. There were 20,782 applicants for the 359 affordable housing units across four OCII projects leased up in the fiscal year 2018-19, according to Jeff White, OCII housing program manager. He said the units housed about 900 low-income residents.

The former redevelopment areas in San Francisco, now under OCII, include Transbay, Mission Bay and Hunters Point Shipyard.

All told, housing development planned for these areas is supposed to result in 21,820 housing units, of which 7,043 units, or 32 percent, are to be affordable housing.

As of June 30, there were 7,832 homes built, of which 5,755 were market rate and 2,077 affordable, according to the agency’s most recent report.

“We’ve got a lot of projects in construction,” White said. “We’ve got 1,266 units in construction in six projects and 536 of those units are affordable.”


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