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At SoMa's Planned 5M, Forest City Commits to 33 Percent Affordable Housing

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Although the proposed moratorium on market-rate construction in the Mission met with defeat at the Board of Supervisors, the pressure to boost affordable housing remains palpable. And so developer Forest City, which proved savvy at responding to community wishes with its ballot-box win for Pier 70 last fall, has made over its proposal for the 5M mixed-use residential and office development to make it more politically feasible, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The development, slated for four acres near the Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets, will now reserve 33 percent of its housing for below-market-rate units. That commitment makes it the first private development to fulfill the goal of Proposition K, last year's ballot initiative calling for one-third of housing produced in San Francisco to be affordable to low- and moderate-income residents.

5M's contribution to affordable housing includes:

· 83 units for low-income seniors on what is now a parking lot at 967 Mission Street, between Fifth and Sixth streets.

· 20 percent of a 288-unit apartment building set aside for families at 50 percent of area median income (about $50,000 for a family of four).

· A contribution of $18 million that would fund 73 of the 103 units at an affordable family complex planned for Taylor and Eddy streets, developed by the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp.


Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox with SITELAB Urban Studio, 5M includes a 470-foot condo tower on Fifth Street, between Minna and Natoma, with 400 market-rate units. There will also be a 614,000-square-foot office building that features two towers at Fifth and Howard streets, but the revised plan also eliminates a 226,000-square-foot office building in favor of more open space.

5M already included quite a bit of public open space—most notably a grassy knoll planned for the rooftop of the Chronicle building—but the revised plan bumps the ground-level open space up to 26,000 square feet, and the overall open space (ground level and rooftop) up to 49,000 square feet.

Forest City is looking to wrap up approvals in November and begin construction around fall 2016.

UPDATE (6/16/15): The original version of this post misstated the quantity of open space Forest City's revised proposal includes. 26,000 square feet is the amount of ground-level open space proposed, not the total amount. The total amount of open space planned is 49,000 square feet. We regret the error.

· Mission Moratorium on Market-Rate Housing Fails; Ballot Measure Still Possible [Curbed SF]
· Previous Coverage of Pier 70 [Curbed SF]
· Revised 5th and Mission Plan Adds Affordable Housing, Open Space [SFGate]
· Behold: Conceptual Designs for SoMa's Grand-Scale 5M Project [Curbed SF]
· Behold: Conceptual Designs for SoMa's Grand-Scale 5M Project [Curbed SF]