Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on April 24, 2024
Stonestown Galleria Set for Major Redevelopment with 3,500 New Housing Units in San FranciscoSource: Stonestown Galleria

The Stonestown Galleria is slated for a significant transformation, promising to blend residential life, open spaces, and renewed retail vibrancy. Negotiated between city officials and Brookfield, the owner of the mall, the Stonestown redevelopment project is set to erect 3,500 housing units on the 40-acre site that currently serves primarily as parking space for shoppers. The plan, detailed on Stonestown's own website, includes 6 acres of parks and a new merchant lane along 20th Avenue as part of its reimagined landscape.

The project, which SFist reports is yet to receive final approval, has reached a development agreement with the city whereby Brookfield commits to allocating 20% of the residential units, roughly 700 homes, as affordable housing. This is a notch higher than new rules require, despite earlier city policies that mandated up to 23.5% affordable housing units. Supervisor Myrna Melgar acknowledged the favorable terms for the city, stating, "I would have liked to go for more, but given the circumstances, and that it’s more than they are required to do, it’s good." The project would also bring a childcare center, underground parking, and a generous 150,000 square feet dedicated to ground-level retail.

Highlighting the scope of the project, Mayor London Breed hailed the development as key to a "more affordable, vibrant San Francisco," according to a statement obtained by San Francisco Chronicle. Nevertheless, concerns have arisen from within the community. Long-term resident Jim Herlihy criticized the project for its lack of detail on the infrastructure's ability to cope with the influx of an estimated 7,000 new residents, saying, "There really hasn’t been a discussion of the infrastructure, how it will impact police services, fire services, sewer services, road services. If you are building a small town of 7,000 people you ought to present a detailed plan before you are approved."

Despite opposition, supporters see the plan as a boon for a city in dire need of housing. Rame Hemstreet, a Monterey Heights resident, praised the project for creating "a walkable, livable community," expressing hope for affordability in the housing market, as he told the San Francisco Chronicle. Additionally, the development is poised to create 800 annual construction jobs and 1,400 permanent roles. Moreover, Brookfield's investment in the local community, such as a $1 million contribution to playground improvements and $2.7 million for a local fire station, underscores the project's commitment to the area's long-term prosperity.

Reflecting on the project's momentum, Brookfield highlighted its four-year collaboration with the community to revamp Stonestown from mere retail space to a robust town center. The extensive project also ensures enhanced accessibility, with new parking garages and safe connections for pedestrians and cyclists, as outlined on Stonestown's official website. Brookfield's senior director, Christie Donnelly, expressed optimism about the project's impact, saying, "Ultimately, we believe this transformative project will help to sustain Stonestown as a hub of commerce, community and culture." This reinvention of Stonestown stands as a testament to San Francisco's ongoing evolution, charting a course for a future where retail and residential life converge.