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SoMa: Change Is In the Air For Chronicle Site

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[Image Credit: Google Streetview]

There's not much to look at- it will be years before a shovel hits the ground- but developer Forest City is continuing its relentless march through what was once Skid Row. Currently halvsies with Westfield on the the Westfield San Francisco Centre, SF Gate tells us Forest City is teaming up with Hearst to redevelop the Chronicle/Examiner site at Fifth & Mission. The historic Chronicle building will get renovated but rest of the site gets demolished, replaced by commercial and residential towers with ground-floor retail along an expansion of the site's historic alleys. Planning and approvals are expected to take three years, and land-use lawyer/gadfly Sue Hestor has already waded in:

My concerns are that that area of the city has basically been a resource for low-income people," she said. "We are losing all of that in the city, and you're just going to be a part of that. Currently dead space dominated by the empty printing plant, the commercial concept is for an "incubator" style leasing structure with the inevitable "arts organizations" thrown in and outdoor space on top of the low-rise Chronicle building. The waltz with Forest City has been going on since 2008 at least, and after the economy's collapse the Chron began sub-leasing space to start-ups.

The site is one more piece in the Mission corridor puzzle that started thirty years ago with the Yerba Buena Center, and in anticipation of four years of legal challenges and land-use battles, we could see a Twitter-like tax zone happening here, and maybe a few bucks towards the long-desired museum in the venerable U.S. Mint across the street.
· Hearst Plans Major Development Around Chronicle [SF Gate]
· Chron Can't Cope With SoMa, Finally Plans Re-Dev [Curbed SF]
[Corrections Appended: a previous version of this post incorrectly identified Forest City and Westfield as partners in the Metreon. Westfield is the sole owner of the Metreon. Additionally, Forest City is responsible for the incubator lease model for the Chronicle Building currently in place.]