SFRA handiwork in the Western Addition, c.1961 Photo Credit: SF Redevelopment Agency via Found SF
Last year, on January 30th, the state redevelopment agencies were dealt a final death sentence by the State Supreme Court, and yesterday Mayor Lee announced he wants the city assume the tasks of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. The agencies won't entirely disappear on February 1, but will be taken over by another level of bureaucracy that will oversee their final- and financial- dismemberment. In a kind of Soylent Green moment, the agencies' severed assets and revenues will feed the state's gargantuan appetite. Will the Supes back up the Mayor's new plans for a trust to finance affordable housing? We're sensing some local bond issues in our future. In the proverbial nutshell, redevelopment agencies collect property tax revenue on real estate they own or control and collect the money on land they sell, and Governor Brown wants in. The SFRA is probably still collecting money on the Western Addition, Justin Herman's Mid-Century urban renewal fiasco.
Aside from jobs- construction workers, architects, planners, consultants, engineers, and the people who make them lunch- there's a lot up for grabs. The redevelopment agency snakes through many a neighborhood- a short list would include Mission Bay (Salesforce.com, UCSF's new hospital) the Embarcadero (8 Washington Street) Hunters Point, Yerba Buena (SFMOMA, the planned Enrique Norten tower at Third & Mission and the Mexican Museum, Moscone Center) plus the 6th Street re-design in SOMA. In the Transbay Terminal area, there's some $430M at stake- $178M pledged to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and $126M for affordable housing in the 40-acre Transbay Redevelopment Project Area, with the remaining $126M to go to site planning, demolition, and other non-housing activities. With Transbay's basic reason to exist- high-speed rail- in jeopardy as well, that's a whole lot of uncertainty.
· CA Supremes get Biblical on Redevelopment Agencies [Curbed SF]
· Redevelopment Agency: Coming and Going or Going and Coming? [Curbed SF]
· 8 Washington Street Coverage [Curbed SF Archives]
· SFMOMA Expansion Coverage [Curbed SF Archives]
· Mexican Museum gets a Little Closer to Lift-Off [Cubed SF]
· SOMA: Iconic Modernism Sacrificed For Transbay Terminal