San Francisco breaks ground on 335 affordable homes in the East Cut neighborhood

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California Construction News staff writer

Two projects underway on a portion of the former Transbay Temporary Terminal site in San Francisco will build 335 housing units for seniors, low-income families, and formerly homeless individuals as well as affordable childcare, retails spaces, and supportive services.

Construction on Block 2 West will be completed in winter 2025 with Block 2E to follow in spring 2026.

Block 2 is a 42,627 sq. ft. parcel that was acquired by the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) in 2021. Block 2 is bounded by Beale Street, Folsom Street, Main Street, and the future extension of Clementina Street.

The project is in the city’s East Cut neighborhood.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a major milestone for the Transbay redevelopment plan as we prepare to welcome more seniors and families to one of San Francisco’s most exciting new neighborhoods,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. “As we continue to make progress on our ambitious Housing Element goals, projects like these are what inclusive, 21st century urbanism is all about.”

The Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) is the lead developer for Block 2W, which will feature 151 new affordable rental units serving senior households earning 15% to 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Block 2W will reserve 30 homes for those who have experienced homelessness.

“We’re thrilled to embark on Chinatown CDC’s largest senior housing project in 25 years! With 151 units, including homes for formerly homeless and low-income seniors, Transbay Block 2 West Senior Housing embodies our commitment to quality living,” said Malcolm Yeung, executive director of Chinatown CDC.

Mercy Housing California is the lead developer for Block 2E, which will feature 184 new affordable rental units serving family households earning 40% to 80% AMI. Block 2 East will reserve 40 homes for those who have experienced homelessness.

“We are proud to partner with OCII and Chinatown Community Development Corporation to ensure that families and seniors with low incomes benefit from the City and County of San Francisco’s visionary Transbay Redevelopment Plan,” said Doug Shoemaker, president of Mercy Housing California.

Amenities at both sites include onsite community gathering spaces, outdoor roof decks overlooking the to-be-constructed park in Block 3, as well as  events, programming, and onsite resident services provided by the Episcopal Community Services (ECS) at Transbay 2 East and CCDC at Transbay 2 West.

The two project budgets total $309 million with funding from a mix of sources including a competitive $41 million grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), federal low-income housing tax credit equity from Bank of America, and substantial support from OCII. In addition to housing, the State award will also fund pedestrian and transportation-related improvements including priority transit signal upgrades at 29 intersections in the South of Market and free Muni passes for Block 2E residents for 3 years.

“The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program allows HCD to leverage cap-and-trade funds to support developments that further not just housing, but California’s critical climate and equity goals,” said HCD director Gustavo Velasquez.

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