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Will Balboa Park Become SF's New Affordable Housing Hotspot?

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The small Balboa Park neighborhood sits snugly against the 280 freeway and nestled between some of the city's quieter areas, like the Excelsior and the Outer Mission. But the neighborhood also has incredible access to transit, with a BART station sited right at its tip. Now, with Proposition A potentially putting $310 million on the table for affordable housing if it passes tomorrow, the city is looking to Balboa Park. Land is less expensive here than in other places—like the Mission—meaning that the city's money could go further. Teresa Yanga, director of housing development for the Mayor's office, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the city will pursue opportunities around Balboa Park if Prop A passes.

According to the Chronicle, the city already has several sites in its sights. An old Safeway now being used as a church at 355 Ocean Avenue and a parcel across San Jose Avenue from BART could be on the table. The Balboa Park Upper Yard, currently a parking lot, is already set to get 80 units, with the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development expected to issue a request for qualification for a developer in December. An old transit barn across the street will become a cafe, arts center, and community space under the direction of Rec and Park. A site at 4840 Mission Street is being looked at by non-profit developer Bridge Housing, and two other sites are currently owned by for-profit developers that may be open to selling or partnering with a nonprofit to move forward.

· Neglected Balboa Park Offers Opportunities for Affordable Housing [SF Chronicle]