The San Francisco Examiner: ‘5M project’ reaches landmark deal with 40% below-market-rate housing

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By Laura Dudnick

A major mixed-use project proposed in the South of Market neighborhood has received the support of its district Supervisor Jane Kim after developers agreed to include 40 percent of the housing at below-market-rate.

That number marks an unprecedented level of such homes included in a development on private land in The City, and is an increase up from the 33 percent below-market-rate previously designated for the project, according to city officials.

The 5M project — led by development giant Forest City and property owner Hearst Corporation at 925 Mission St. and nearby parcels — includes more than 600 market-rate homes, offices, open space, parking and restaurants. Per the agreement reached over the weekend with Kim, 241 units will be earmarked at below-market-rate.

Of those below-market-rate units, 71 will be included at no more than 50 percent of the area median income at a housing site at 168-186 Eddy St.; 87 are middle income housing units, meaning they are offered at between 100 and 150 percent of the AMI; and 83 units will be for senior housing.

Kim had previously signed an appeal, along with the South of Market Action Committee, South of Market Community Action Network, Save Our SoMa and Friends of Boeddeker Park, with The City seeking to challenge the final environmental impact report and other project approvals that were supported by the Planning Commission in September.

The agreement, however, means Kim has pledged her support of the project.

“I committed to the voters last year that Proposition K was only the beginning of a larger package of legislative tools that we would roll out to address The City’s worsening housing crisis,” Kim wrote in an email to the San Francisco Examiner.

“Earlier this year, I worked with the Giants to establish 40 percent affordability for housing built on public land. Today, we are setting a new standard. 40 is the new 30 when it comes to affordable housing whether you’re building on public or private land.”

The project is scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee later Monday.