Shipyard homebuilding rules relaxed

Rules governing the mix of affordable-housing units and the pace of construction required at a massive southeastern San Francisco redevelopment project were relaxed Tuesday.

San Francisco Redevelopment Agency commissioners unanimously approved changes to an agreement with Lennar Corp., the master developer of a 770-acre building project centered at the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Lennar, which is required to sell or rent 15 percent of the homes at affordable rates, had been required to distribute those affordable homes equally throughout the first phase of the redevelopment project.

But that requirement was amended Tuesday, allowing the company to cluster the affordable homes in some neighborhoods. The total number of affordable units that must be built was not changed.

Under the new agreement, at least 10 percent of Lennar’s homes within each individual project under the first phase of the redevelopment effort must meet the definition of “affordable,” which means they can be purchased or rented by residents earning up to 120 percent of the area’s average income.

The redevelopment agency plans to build homes for low-income residents within the shipyard project.

Additionally, the new agreement allows some infrastructure and parks to be completed up to 38 months later than originally scheduled.
The scheduling change was made because of the poor economic climate, agency staff said.

Company officials told commissioners Tuesday that they plan to begin construction on at least two blocks of homes next year, and the news was greeted with praise from commissioners and a union official.

“It’s wonderful that we have this opportunity,” Commissioner Francee Covington said. “There are a lot of developers in the city and county of San Francisco who are abandoning their projects or putting them on terminal hold.”

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