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S.F.'s Central SoMa Plan Would Add 40,000 Jobs, 7,000 Housing Units
"For the first time since San Francisco’s 1970’s downtown highrise boom, activists are demanding that new office space—-in this case in Central SOMA— be balanced by new housing," reports Randy Shaw.
The advocates, in this case, are YIMBYs, with a position on the Central SoMa Plan clearly explained in an opinion piece by Joe Rivano Barros in the SF Examiner.
Shaw starts from an assumption that San Francisco’s affordability crisis resulted from decades of adding jobs but not housing. "Activists see this mistake repeating in a Central SOMA plan adding 40,000-50,000 jobs and only 7000 housing units." YIMBYs see that ratio as a formula for displacement and gentrification.
Yet, according to Shaw, "Mission activists and D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen are aggressively fighting to stop housing from being built on a Laundromat at Mission and 25th Streets." That kind of housing development opposition, whether from self-interest or more communitarian concerns, isn't afforded to proposals that would add many jobs without commensurate housing units: "neither are battling a Central SOMA plan which will unquestionably drive up Mission rents and evictions."
The article also examines the question of why there's a lack opposition to the plan, as well as the position of a group of candidates for the supervisor's position in District 6.
As for the details of the Central SoMa Plan, J.K. Dineen reported on the key components of the plan at the end of February 2018: "[the plan] would dramatically raise height limits in portions of a 17-block zone that stretches from close to Market Street south to Townsend Street, and from Second Street west to Sixth Street.” According to Shaw, "[the] plan calls for two forty story condo towers at Fourth and Townsend, and 3.1 million square feet of new office space overall. It’s 20 million square feet of development also includes 2,310 affordable housing units, 33 percent of the total."