San Francisco updates ‘roadmap to the future’

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California Construction News staff writer

The Roadmap to San Francisco’s Future, a strategy to support economic opportunity, vibrancy and resilience and reimagine Downtown hit targeted milestones in its first year.

That includes changing laws to help fill vacant office and retail spaces, passing policies and tax reforms to attract and diversify new industries and reworking planning and permitting rules.

San Francisco continued to lead the nation in generating venture capital investment, including through Artificial Intelligence, which added 1 million square feet of new office space in 2023.

This year the city will:

  • Add new tools to support the conversion of underutilized office buildings and construction of housing
  • Create additional rounds of pop-ups and small business programs
  • Improve our public spaces
  • Bring educational institutions Downtown

“The San Francisco we are building is a city of innovation and resilience, of safety and justice, and of opportunity and inclusivity,” said Mayor London Breed. “In the last year we’ve put forward policies and programs that have helped begin our work to revitalize Downtown as we adjust to a new future. San Francisco is an economic leader for our region and a global leader in new technology, and our continued success will lift up not only the Bay Area and our residents, but the entire state.”

Key accomplishments include streamlining the conversion of Downtown office buildings by adopting the Office-to-Housing Adaptive Reuse Program.

A proposed transfer tax waiver would incentivize conversion projects being considered by voters on the upcoming March ballot.

Also in 2023, the city supported efforts to bring educational institutions Downtown, including conversations with the University of California and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

San Francisco also changed the way it approves and builds housing in order to address homelessness:

  • Made new housing construction more feasible by reducing inclusionary housing and impact fees.
  • Created new tool to unlock the housing pipeline by establishing new public financing mechanism for already approved projects.
  • Sped up new housing approvals and reduced costs by passed laws to streamline city processes and remove unnecessary rules and hearings.

“The roadmap for San Francisco’s future has set us on the path to successfully creating a more vibrant, resilient, and diverse city,” said Rodney Fong, President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “Thank you, Mayor Breed, for your determination to continue pushing thoughtful and pragmatic proposals forward to positively shape San Francisco.”

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