The 27 rentals planned for 600 South Van Ness, on the site of a Mission District auto-repair shop, are officially a go. Yesterday the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the project. The plans, from developer Toboni Group and architect Leavitt Architecture, originally called for an all-market-rate building; the developer had planned to pay an in-lieu fee of roughly $2 million, enough to build eight units off-site rather than four on-site. The project faced opposition from neighborhood groups that wanted the project to be 100 percent affordable. The developers reversed course, though, and elected to include the four below-market-rate rentals on-site.
According to Joey Toboni, they originally opted for the in-lieu fee because they believed it would help create more affordable housing in the neighborhood. "More units in the neighborhood is better than less units in the neighborhood," he told us via email. "The reason that we made the change was because we could not get a guarantee from the City that the money would be used to build on one of their Mission sites. We also wanted to show good faith in our willingness to work with folks in the community."
The timing of the project is still unclear; Toboni says he doesn't know yet when the building will break ground.