Press Release: 1296 Shotwell Granted Affordable-Housing Bonus Program Height Increase

blogChristopher Gil
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Mission Economic Development Agency
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

Dec. 2, 2016

1296 Shotwell Granted Affordable-Housing Bonus Program Height Increase
Sets precedent as first-ever height increase for 100 percent affordable housing in San Francisco

San Francisco, Calif. — The Mission District’s housing crisis has been well documented by now, but its impact on seniors is often overlooked. To create housing stability for such vulnerable community members, in the fall of 2015 the City had granted the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC) the right to develop a property at 1296 Shotwell Street that would provide affordable-housing apartment rentals exclusively for Mission seniors. The current site is an auto repair shop.

To maximize units, the developers sought an Affordable Housing Bonus Program (AHBP) increase to 85 feet. The Planning Commission yesterday unanimously approved this height increase, setting a precedent as the first time this has ever been done for a 100 percent affordable-housing development in San Francisco. The larger development at 1296 Shotwell can now provide an opportunity to bring 94 affordable apartment rentals to the Mission – an opportunity that has not been available for more than 10 years.

Said MEDA’s Senior Project Manager Elaine Yee, “We want to thank the many community members who came to the Planning Commission meeting to voice their support, plus the 600+ neighbors who signed a petition in favor of this height increase. This is an important win for our seniors, for the neighborhood and for affordable housing in general.”

Community-based organization PODER, spearheaded by Oscar Grande, helped the developers build support for this development, which was designed by renowned Herman Coliver Locus Architecture. This firm’s innovative design — incorporating neighbors’ feedback from community meetings — will ensure that this nine-story structure will seamlessly blend with the neighborhood.

San Francisco Planning Commissioner Myrna Melgar, who voted in favor of the height increase, explained her reasoning as follows: “I am so pleased that the Commission unanimously approved this wonderful project.  It is a small but significant downpayment on the affordable-housing deficit that the Mission has been carrying for some time. We, as a City, have an obligation to our elders — and all of our residents — who have been not just left behind but actually displaced by our recent prosperity.  I hope to see many more projects like this in the near future, and am grateful to MEDA and other affordable-housing developers for stepping up.”

The development at 1296 Shotwell is slated to open in 2019 or 2020.


About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.

About Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC)
The mission of the CCDC is to build community and enhance the quality of life for San Francisco residents.

PODER’s mission is to organize with Latino immigrant families and youth to put into practice people-powered solutions that are locally based, community led and environmentally just.

About Herman Coliver Locus Architecture
Herman Coliver Locus Architecture has been nationally recognized for its work on affordable housing, schools and sacred spaces for nonprofits, as well as homes for private clients.

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