June 13, 2017 Corey Smith

Three Proposals Revealed For Balboa Reservoir

The three finalists selected to create a mixed-income community at Balboa Reservoir revealed their visions this past Saturday at a large community community. In attendance were Supervisor Norman Yee, the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Community (CAC), local residents and housing advocates.

Owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Balboa Reservoir site is currently occupied by a surface parking lot. It’s next to San Francisco City College (CCSF) and a short walk from the Balboa BART Station. SFHAC has attended numerous community meetings for nearly two years and has repeatedly stated that this is a golden opportunity to add a transit-oriented community to our great city. All three teams were given parameters that shape their proposals. This includes subsidizing 50-percent of the homes so they’re affordable to low- and middle-income residents and ensuring the City gets fair market value for the land (they will sell it to the final project team).

Here’s a breakdown of the proposals:

Proposal #1

The first proposal came from a team headed by AvalonBay Communities and BRIDGE Housing. It includes up to 1,100 homes, half of them subsidized for low- and middle-income residents, plus a mix of rental and for-sale units. Since the site is currently used as CCSF parking, their proposal calls for upwards of 1,260 parking spots, 500 of which would be shared with the school. The site also includes 4.2 acres of open space and a child care center. Other members of this team include Mission Housing Development Corporation, Pacific Union Development Company and Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.

See Their Presentation

Proposal #2

The second proposal came from a team headed by Related California and Saris Regis Group of Northern California. Their proposal includes 680 homes, half subsidized for low- and middle-income earners, and a mix of rental and ownership units. Frankly, a proposal with this level of low density is irresponsible from an urban planning and environmental perspective. That being said, the proposal does have the most open space (5.8 acres) with 370 parking spaces. Other members of the team include Curtis Development and Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.

See Their Presentation

Proposal #3

The third proposal came from a team headed by Mercy Housing and Emerald Fund. Their proposal has the most housing, with 1,245 homes and 50-percent subsidized for low- and middle-income folks. They also call for five total acres of open space and 660 parking spots, some of which would be shared with CCSF.

See Their Presentation

Looking forward, the City will gather feedback on the three proposals for the next few months with an undetermined timeline to pick a winner. After that, the City will continue to work with all stakeholders as they finalize the details of the proposals and hopefully put shovels in the ground, hopefully sooner rather than later. SFHAC will continue to advocate for increased height (all proposals stayed under 65 feet) in order to add more homes at all levels of affordability. There are limited transit-oriented sites left in the Bay Area and we don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

You can watch a recording of the meeting here and track future CAC meetings here.

Images: Socketsite

Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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