Treasure Island completes first 100-per cent affordable housing development

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California Construction News staff writer

Treasure Island officials are celebrating completion of Maceo May, the first 100-per cent affordable housing development – a six-story modular structure that spans 104,500 square feet and includes 104 units.

The building is dedicated to veterans and their families, some exiting homelessness and others who currently live on Treasure Island.

“We need to build more housing at different affordability levels in the City, and we need to build them now,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “The opening of this housing demonstrates the years of hard work by so many people who care deeply about this community and city, and shows us that if we work together, we can come up with bold ideas to create housing and communities for all San Franciscans.”

Maceo May Apartments is part of the environmentally sustainable new 21st-century neighborhood being constructed on Treasure Island and neighboring Yerba Buena Island for more than 18,000 residents.

Treasure Island’s entire redevelopment will add 8,000 new homes, including about 2,200 affordable units; 300 acres of parks, trails and open space; new restaurants and shops; public art installations, and events.

“The opening of the Maceo May apartments is not only a huge milestone in the Treasure Island redevelopment project, but it’s also a symbol of our commitment to support those who have selflessly served our nation,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. “As we work toward meeting the city’s Housing Element by 2031, I’ll continue to prioritize affordable housing initiatives, so that all of our residents, including veterans, have a place to call home.”

Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC) co-led the development of Maceo May Apartments in collaboration with One Treasure Island and Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA). Treasure Island Community Development (TICD) is the principal developer responsible for the required utility improvements for the improved Treasure Island and massive infrastructure improvement, which include new roads, streets, and raising the Island to mitigate against sea level rise.

The building is named after Maceo May, a Vietnam War veteran who was the first Board President of One Treasure Island as well as Swords to Plowshares’ first Housing Director. May’s advocacy played a crucial role in ensuring homeless veterans would be recognized and served on Treasure Island.

The number of homeless veterans in San Francisco has decreased 45% since 2010 as a result of meaningful local and federal investments. The City’s last Point in Time count estimated around 600 veterans experiencing homelessness, a figure that has remained flat since 2019 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the number of unsheltered veterans has decreased nearly 15% since 2019 thanks to ongoing collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs, the City of San Francisco, and Swords to Plowshares to quickly help veterans exit homelessness.

“Maceo May Apartments is the first new affordable housing development on Treasure Island which rightly serves those who have served their country,” said Sherry Williams, Executive Director of One Treasure Island. “This building represents just the beginning of the exciting growth of this equitable, diverse and thriving San Francisco neighborhood.”

Funding for the project included $39.2-million from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) and a $43.7-million tax exempt construction loan from Silicon Valley Bank.

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