Balboa Park Upper Yard
482 Geneva Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112
Low- and Very Low-Income Families
Number of Units
An aerial photo shows the parcel near the Balboa Park BART station to be developed by Mission Housing Development Corporation. Photo: Google Earth
Mayor’s Office selects Mission Housing and Related California partnership to build affordable housing at Outer Mission/Excelsior site
September 23, 2016, the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, or MOHCD, awarded a development opportunity to a partnership between Mission Housing Development Corporation and Related California. The parties will collaborate to build new affordable housing at Balboa Park Station Upper Yard, west of the intersection of San Jose Avenue and Geneva Avenue. The two acre site, currently a parking lot, combines parcels owned by the city and by Bay Area Rapid Transit, also known as BART.
The city’s plan for the parcel is to create 80 to 120 units of housing that is 100 percent affordable to low- and very low-income families. Specifically targeted: Residents who make up to 60 percent of area median income, or about $64,600 for a family of four.
A percentage of the apartments will be designated as permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless households.
In addition to the housing, commercial space and community-serving space will also be found on the Balboa Park Station Upper Yard parcel. Public space improvements that will serve as open space tied to the development are on an adjacent parcel owned by BART.
Coming to the table with ideas
April, 2016, the Mayor’s office requested interested parties submit their qualifications to work with the City. In August, 2016, a panel at the Mayor’s office interviewed Mission Housing and Related California staffers. They articulated why the partnership should be chosen to build at Balboa Park Upper Yard. Also at the table were architects from Mithun, who presented concept sketches that illustrated design challenges posed by the location of the parcel.
At the interview, the partners preliminary vision for a community and social service hub was discussed. The amenities at this Family Wellness and Community Resource Center would be provided by an inter-agency collaboration. Services such as child care, after-school programs, a health clinic and more could be offered.
In the days previous, other housing developers and their community partners also presented to the MOHCD panel. After deliberating for several weeks, the panelists chose the Mission Housing/Related California partnership.
“The MOHCD team is excited about [the Mission Housing and Related California] proposal and its promise to soon bring excellent affordable housing and other strong community benefits to the neighborhood,” said Kate Hartley, Deputy Director of Housing for the Mayor’s office in a statement.
The city subsidy for developments such as this can approach $250,000 per unit. State and federal sources will provide other funding.
“We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to bring more affordable housing to District 11,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing. “Now the real work begins. The community outreach and engagement, the planning, design, financing, construction, all will lead to us delivering and maintaining the type of excellent affordable housing and community services hub the people of San Francisco deserve.”
A partnership well qualified
Related California, a fully-integrated real estate firm, will co-develop the building. Mithun will be the project architect. The firm specializes in designing multi-family complexes.
Scott Falcone of Falcone Development Services is serving as a development consultant. Falcone, a long-time District 11 resident with roots in the Balboa Park area, will assist with community relations and engagement. He will also provide consultation on major aspects of the development process.
Mission Housing will take the lead in providing services to residents, and coordinate partners Lutheran Social Services of Northern CA, Instituto Familiar de La Raza, Jamestown Community Center, and YMCA.
Caritas Management Corporation will be the property manager.
“The strategic partners joining us will provide a broad base for resident, neighborhood and family support.” said Marcía Contreras, Mission Housing Director of Resident Services. “The team we’ve assembled is very focused on meeting the diverse housing and service needs of the Balboa Park population.”
Momentum for the Balboa Park Station Area Plan
The Balboa Park Upper Yard housing development is part of the city’s larger Balboa Park Station Area Plan to connect, restore, and enhance the area. The Balboa Park BART station is part of a highly prominent and transit-accessible site where three Muni trains, four BART lines and seven bus lines all converge.
“The goals for Balboa Upper Yard are to involve community residents in the decision making process,” said Moss. “This will help us build a complex that is highly accessible and welcoming, while improving the environmental and safety conditions in this part of the District 11 neighborhood.”
“It is important for the entire neighborhood to have a sense of ownership in the Balboa Park Upper Yard development.”
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