Rebuild Potrero’s Proposed Building Heights and Density Reduced in Latest Plan
In the past six months a number of changes have been made to the proposed redevelopment of the Potrero Annex-Terrace housing complex, particularly related to the project’s density and building heights. The developer, BRIDGE Housing, has lowered heights on Blocks A and B—located between 25th and 26th streets and Connecticut and Wisconsin streets; Block F—on the southwest corner of 24th and Arkansas street—Blocks K and L —bounded by 23rd and 24th streets and Arkansas and Missouri streets—and Block Q, on the southwest corner where Texas Street will join Missouri Street near 22nd Street. BRIDGE also reduced the total number of proposed units from 1,700 to 1,600.
The changes are at least in part a response to concerns expressed by Potrero Hill residents. Residents of Parkview Heights, which is located above Annex-Terrace, want to maintain their views; both Parkview Heights and Annex-Terrace residents are concerned that an overly dense project will promote crime. Even with the changes, more than 4,000 people might occupy the redeveloped neighborhood, more than twice as many as Annex-Terrace’s current population. According to BRIDGE, the project’s goal is to “alleviate” “not eliminate” crime, by connecting the area to the rest of the community and replacing derelict buildings.
Block Q would now be 40 feet in height. Previously, the block had been divided into three sections: two at 50 feet, and one 75 feet. Block K’s north side would be 40 feet, down from 50 feet; the south side would be 65 feet, reduced from 85 feet. In Block L, the north side would be 50 feet, down from 65 feet, while the south side would be 65 feet, reduced from 85 feet. Block F’s southern portion would be 40 feet, down from 50 feet; the northern portion would remain at 50 feet. All of Blocks A and B would be 40 feet in height. Previously, only the western portion of Block A was 40 feet, while the eastern portion and all of Block B was 50 feet in height.
One of the project’s goals is to improve the connection between the Hill’s south and north slopes, in part by modifying street patterns. The proposed revised road layout for the south slope would replicate the north-south grid pattern found on the Hill’s north side. For example, both Texas and Missouri streets would extend south to 25th Street, Texas Street would travel north to 22nd Street, and Arkansas Street would extend from the Hill’s north slope to 26th Street.
Ten to twenty thousand square feet has been set aside for retail/flex space, potentially housing a grocery store, cafe and restaurant. The new housing would accommodate three income levels: households with incomes below $54,000 annually; those earning $54,000 to $64,000; and market rate units. Recently released data from eFannieMae.com indicates that the median income in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont metropolitan statistical area is $95,400.
Hill residents have expressed a desire to see the units catering to different income levels mixed throughout the development. Charmaine Curtis, of Curtis Development & Consulting, a consultant for Rebuild Potrero, said the market rate units don’t need to be located together to maximize their value. According to Bridge, “Revenue from the sale of market rate parcels is one of the most significant sources of subsidy for the overall development.”
BRIDGE is hoping to publish a draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) this October, and hold a hearing on the document before the Planning Commission in December, with the goal of certifying the EIR/EIS by May 2013. According to the developer, the first construction phase will begin sometime next year.
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