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San Francisco

Planning Commission Approves Major Market-Rate Apartment Complex For Market & Jones

The Planning Commission has approved Shorenstein Residential's plans to construct 268 market-rate units and 36 below-market-rate units at 1066 Market St.

In the works for the past three years, the project comes from the Shorenstein family, which owns the nearby Golden Gate Theater and office towers around the city. They plan to demolish the vacant commercial building at 1066 Market and the surface parking lot at Golden Gate and Jones to construct a 12-story, 120-foot-tall residential building with ground-floor retail and two levels of underground parking.

The development, designed by Arquitectonica, will ultimately wrap around the historic building at 1072 Market in an L-shape, with a courtyard for residents at the center.

Rendering of the Market Street facade.

The approval came after the commission rejected an appeal of the project's Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration, allowing the project to forgo a lengthy environmental impact review.

The appeal was filed by land use and zoning attorney Sue Hestor. During yesterday's hearing, Hester argued that the analysis showed a lack of attention to the socioeconomic impact that this development, as well as the full pipeline of market-rate developments planned for the Tenderloin and Mid-Market, will have on low-income people in the surrounding community.

Despite acknowledging that socioeconomic impacts may be legally out of the scope of the state's environmental review process, Hestor asserted that this conversation needs to happen. "Put it on your advance calendar. Help. We have a low-income population being rapidly displaced from the city,” she said.

Commissioners Michael Antonini, Kathrin Moore, Dennis Richards and Christine Johnson agreed with Hestor that the socioeconomic impacts, including indirect displacement, of Mid-Market's redevelopment does need to be addressed. They say the city needs to devise tools to calculate these impacts, and facilitate the discussion. However, the commission also unanimously agreed with the Planning Department's rebuttal that legally, the environmental review process is not the place for this discussion. As a result, they rejected Hestor's appeal.

During a public comment period regarding the overall project scope, many Tenderloin residents shared fears of displacement, and called for the Planning Commission to address the impact of development pressure in and around the neighborhood.

Representatives of several neighborhood organizations surrounding the site, including De Marillac Academy, Gubbio Project at St. Boniface Church, Hospitality House and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, said they opposed the project. Their grounds: 12 percent affordable housing (the city-mandated minimum) is too little for a project that sits primarily in the Tenderloin.

Rendering of the Golden Gate facade.

A handful of neighborhood residents, workers and UC Hastings students did speak in favor of the project. One of the speakers, Randy Shaw of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, noted that there is a wide array of nonprofit housing and support services in the Tenderloin, but only one market-rate project has been built in the neighborhood in the past 10 years.

As for displacement, Shaw noted that there have been zero no-fault evictions and zero Ellis Act evictions in the neighborhood since the Rent Board began collecting that data in 2000.

After a discussion of the future of the site, and the upcoming ballot initiative that would require developers to provide 25 percent affordable housing moving forward, the commission approved the project 5-2. Commissioners Cindy Wu and Moore voted against it.

Despite this week's approvals, the Chronicle suggests that appeals of the project will likely go all the way to the Board of Supervisors. We'll keep you posted on what's next.

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