‘Housing for All’ legislation to unlock San Francisco housing pipeline

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California Construction News staff writer

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved legislation they say will unlock the city’s housing pipeline – more than 52,000 housing units that are approved but stalled.

With a goal of ensuring new housing construction can begin quickly, the legislation initiates a targeted form of public financing that will allow the critical infrastructure at large projects to be built. Power Station, a 2,600-unit housing project will be the first project to opt into using this economic tool.

“We need creative solutions to change how we build the housing we so badly need, including thousands of units of affordable housing,” said Mayor London Breed. “These larger projects have been vetted by the community and city departments, and approved by the Board of Supervisors, and we need to get them going now.

“Power Station will help to transform our waterfront, create new open spaces, and new homes.”

Crews will break ground on its first 105 units of workforce housing this year.

Also, an enhanced infrastructure financing district (EIFD) will direct future property tax revenue from the project to fund public capital facilities related to the development, including infrastructure improvements such as the streets, sidewalks, new seawall and shoreline improvements, parks and open space, facilities of community use, preservation of historic structures, affordable housing, and public utilities.

Site work has started, but is at risk of stalling due to the challenging market conditions.

The EIFD for the project will provide revenue for infrastructure improvements that are required to be built before any housing can begin. The Power Station project includes 2,600 residential units (30% affordable), 1.6 million square feet of commercial space (life sciences or other uses), seven acres of public open and waterfront space, 250,000 square feet for hotel, and another 100,000 square feet for retail.

“Since its passage two years ago, Power Station has made great progress on the ground, but today’s legislatiom will enable us to build and deliver housing faster,” said Enrique Landa, managing partner at Associate Capital, Power Station’s development team. “We may be the first project to use this program, but we won’t be the last. The Mayor, Supervisor Walton and the rest of the Board have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to San Francisco’s economic recovery, and to building housing, by meeting the moment head on with creativity and grit.”

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