San Francisco Could Strike Deal on New Tower

The city is leveraging height increases and density bonuses to acquire more properties for affordable housing.

2 minute read

November 16, 2022, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Market Street San Francisco

JOTAQUI / Shutterstock

If the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approves a proposed deal with developer Related California, the firm will move forward with the construction of a new mixed-use tower near Van Ness Avenue and Market Street. According to J.K. Dineen of the San Francisco Chronicle, as part of the deal, Related would purchase a nearby lot and give it to the city to use for affordable housing.

“Under the agreement between Supervisor Dean Preston and developer Related California, the height of an approved tower at 98 Franklin St. would increase from 365 feet to 400 feet, which would allow the developer to increase the number of units by 40 — from 345 to 385.” The building would house the French-American International School, the lot’s owner, on its lower floors. The lot that Related plans to donate to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is the site of a former McDonald’s on Van Ness, approved for 168 residential units.

Dineen notes that other developers are looking for similar ways to boost the profitability of increasingly expensive units by increasing the height and density of their projects. Meanwhile, city leaders see this type of agreement as an effective way to gain affordable housing stock and guide smart, equitable growth. “This is something we are going to see again and again,” said a spokesman for Mayor London Breed.

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