San Francisco completes affordable housing project adjacent to Balboa Park BART Station

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California Construction News staff writer

A grand opening was held for the Kapuso at the Upper Yard, a new 100 percent affordable housing development in the Outer Mission of San Francisco.

The nine-story building was designed by architecture firm Mithum and built by Cahill Contractors.

“We feel Kapuso at the Upper Yard sets a new standard for affordable housing in San Francisco. It is a shining example of what community development should be — from its inception as an ideal conceived by community to the planning to its design to its construction,” said Sam Moss, executive direction at Mission Housing Development Corporation. “From Day 1, the goal was for Kapuso to represent the heartbeat of this diverse community and today is vindication of what happens when we all come together to accomplish the greatest of all goods — build quality affordable housing.”

Built on a city-owned lot adjacent to the Balboa Park Area Rapid Transit Station (BART), the $119-million mixed-use, transit-oriented development incudes 131 apartments for low- to moderate-income families.

“Kapuso at the Upper Yard is a prime example of transit-oriented development done right,” said San Francisco Mayor Karen Breed. “By repurposing this underutilized parking lot into more than 131 new homes, we are doubling down on our commitment to increase public transit ridership.”

The project was approved and constructed under California Senate Bill 35 (SB 35) – a statute that addresses some of the hurdles for approving new housing development and streamlines multifamily infill housing with a minimum number of affordable units.

To be eligible for funding, projects must follow certain labor provisions and be consistent with local planning standards.

The conversion of this former parking lot into transit, social, and cultural infrastructure demonstrates the community’s ambitious vision to leverage the multiple benefits of affordable housing.

“Kapuso at the Upper Yard is a testament to what community groups, different government entities and non-profit organizations can accomplish if they all work together,” said BART Board President Janice Li. “Building affordable housing on public land right at a transit hub is a monumental achievement that will keep working families here in our city.”

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