The sky was the limit today, a milestone being reached when the top girder was raised on the ninth floor of MEDA’s Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom 100% affordable-housing development in San Francisco’s Mission District. This topping out was on schedule, at exactly one year and a day after breaking ground at a former parking lot near 17th Street — a site donated in September 2011 by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD). The much-needed property will comprise 126 units, providing 29 studio and one-bedroom apartments for transitional-age youth (TAY) who are formerly homeless or vulnerable to becoming homeless, plus 97 one-, two- and three-bedroom units for families. MEDA’s co-developer is Chinatown Community Development Center.
After 10+ informative and well-attended community meetings/focus groups to determine how to best meet the Mission’s needs for such a development, architects Mithun and Y.A. Studio worked in tandem to create a design that seamlessly melds with the neighborhood while being anchored to In Chan Kaajal Park. This popular park — also part of the former SFPUC site and advocated for by a movement spearheaded by PODER — was inaugurated in June 2017 as San Francisco’s first new park in over a decade and will serve as Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom’s front porch.
Bridges serve as pedestrian walkways to gracefully connect east and west sides of the building, creating a cohesiveness of design. Property amenities run the gamut from a community room to a top-floor lounge to a courtyard space. The latter’s paseo planting will focus on species attracting pollinators, such an ecosystem being tested over the past year in the community garden of In Chan Kaajal Park.
The ground-floor of Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom will provide a cradle-to-college-to-career continuum of services to build generational wealth, banking of the success of the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN). MEDA is the lead agency of MPN, a community anti-poverty education initiative. Meeting MEDA’s dual goal of cultural placekeeping as a means to maintaining place complemented by the nonprofit’s longtime work to strengthen families, the following on-site service providers will be offered longtime, permanent homes: Good Samaritan Family Resource Center will have a preschool; Youth Speaks and First Exposures will jointly share a space and offer photography, artistic expression and mentoring programs; and PODER will focus on both youth and adult programming, including holding bike repair clinics on weekends, with an innovative model offering a chance for residents to earn a bicycle if they repair those of other community members in need. To better the lives of TAY, Larkin Street Youth Services will literally meet these young adults where they are at: Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom.
A corner cafe will round out the ground-floor spaces.
In addition to funding from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and MOHCD, the financing stack for Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom partly stems from an innovative funding stream: Affordable Housing Sustainable Community (AHSC) by the California Department of Housing and Community Development and Strategic Growth Council; and $9.3 million for affordable housing and $4.7 million for transit-related infrastructure through SFMTA and SFDPW, with programs for residents that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as the development is just three blocks from BART and major bus lines, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of residents. Additionally, within three years, all residents will be provided a minimum of one free annual transit pass, plus this will be an all-electric building.
Stay tuned for more updates on Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom as 2020 unfolds.