Mayor Lee Breaks Ground on New Ocean Avenue Housing Project
Supportive Housing to Provide 71 Units for Low Income Families & Transitional-Age Youth with New Neighborhood Open Space Plaza on Reconfigured Muni Bus Loop
Mayor Edwin M. Lee with District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee, the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, Mercy Housing California and other City and community leaders broke ground on the new 1100 Ocean Avenue Apartments, which include 71 affordable units for low income families and transitional-age youth (TAY) who are young adults that have recently aged out of the foster care system. Following the housing construction, a new public open space plaza will be built to complement the growing neighborhood and allow for community events such as fairs, farmer’s markets and other activities accessible to the public.
“Together with the community, we are we are realizing a long-held neighborhood vision for a transformed Ocean Avenue with more permanent affordable housing and open space for our residents and we are providing hope for our young people,” said Mayor Lee.
The 1100 Ocean Avenue Apartments, in conjunction with the Muni bus loop development project and the adjacent public plaza, are key components of the Balboa Park Station Area Plan. The plan was the result of more than 10 years of neighborhood-driven planning that culminated in the approval of the plan by the Board of Supervisors in 2008.
“I am very excited to see the vision of the Balboa Station Area Plan realized today with this new bus loop and affordable housing development,” said Supervisor Yee. “I believe in the importance of our commercial corridors and the city investing in them for the benefit of the community.”
More than one-third of the 71 units will be set aside for TAY with the remainder of the units dedicated to families earning up to 50 percent of the local area median income (currently $50,600 for a family of four). The five-story apartment building will include a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom residences with four neighborhood-serving retail spaces on the ground floor along Ocean Avenue in addition to parking spaces dedicated to City Carshare as well as secured bicycle storage. It will include offices for property management and resident social services, a common room for after-school programs and other activities, a multi-purpose room for youth residents, laundry facilities, a small exercise room for residents, and an outdoor play area for children living in the building. The Department of Public Health along with the Human Services Agency will provide on-site services for the TAY residents. Mercy Housing California will also provide property management and a resident services coordinator for all residents of the complex. The development is designed to meet green building standards and expected to open January 2015.
“True to our mission, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center is proud to have worked with the community and the city to transform this underutilized site into housing that will help to preserve and enhance the economic diversity of this neighborhood,” said BHNC Executive Director Rachel Ebora.
Funding for the $34 million housing development came from tax credit equity investments and construction financing from Bank of America and loans from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, California Department of Housing and Community Development, California Housing Finance Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and a grant from Enterprise Community Partners. The housing development team consists of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC), Mercy Housing California (MHC), Herman Coliver Locus Architecture and general contractor Cahill Contractors.
The multi-agency project coordination was led by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and made possible with leadership from the Planning Department, Mayor’s Office of Housing, the SFMTA, DPW, the San Francisco Fire Department and the Ocean Avenue Association.
Today’s event also commemorated the May opening of the reconfigured bus loop, for the 49 Van Ness-Mission and 8X/8BX Bayshore Express Muni routes. The bus loop was completed to accommodate the new housing development led by the San Francisco Municipal Transpiration Agency (SFMTA). The new loop includes new boarding islands, bus shelters, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. The $10.1 million project also includes a new neighborhood plaza, pedestrian safety improvements to the intersection of Phelan and Ocean Avenues, upgraded the neighborhood fire station and is constructing new restrooms for Muni bus operators. By shifting the bus loop behind Fire Station 15, the mixed-use affordable housing and a future planned public plaza will be able to better integrate this key location at Ocean and Phelan Avenues with the San Francisco City College campus and the Ocean Avenue neighborhood commercial district.
Once completed, the 1100 Ocean Avenue Apartments will face the new public plaza, which will be developed by the SFMTA and designed by the Department of Public Works. The plaza will be a 210-by-65-foot public open space and feature landscaping, seating and pedestrian-level lighting for residents to enjoy. The activation of the underutilized public space, which is expected to break ground in 18 months, will improve pedestrian access and safety and serve as a hub connecting businesses, residents, schools and Muni, as well as a place for community events such as street fairs and farmer’s market.
“The SFMTA is proud to have been able to provide the land as well as key planning leadership for this important project,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “Affordable housing and transportation are linked and critical elements of a strong San Francisco, and we’re happy to see them coming together so elegantly through this collaborative development.”