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SoMa's 5M Ready to Face Its Critics At Planning Hearing Today

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Forest City, the developers behind SoMa's massive planned 5M development at 5th and Mission streets, have already upped the portion of below-market-rate housing in the development to 33 percent in order to make the complex more politically palatable. That hasn't kept a group known as the South of Market Action Committee from fighting the project, and they are expected to be out in force today as 5M heads before the Planning Commission at 11:00 this morning. So why the opposition when 212 new below-market-rate units are on the table? SMAC's rallying cry is "Don't supersize SoMa," and they say that 5M will gentrify the neighborhood, cause evictions, push out the Filipino population, and lead to further changes in zoning around the city. They are also likely to bring up concerns over shadows falling on the Tenderloin's Boeddeker Park, although shadows would only increase by 0.00418 percent, according to Forest City.

If 5M is built, it will include nearly 700 units of housing and 600,000 square feet of office space across a 470-foot condo tower, a 200-foot apartment building, and a two-tower office building that will rise up to 395 feet. All of that new space won't be ready for more than a decade—Forest City has previously set a 2026 completion date—but the development will surely change the face of its four-acre site, which is now a melange of office buildings and parking lots. The development is also expected to include about 50,000 square feet of public open space. There will be office space dedicated to arts, cultural, and education uses, youth development funding for for students of SoMa elementary and middle schools, and millions spent on pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements.

Forest City is a developer with a long history of working closely with communities, and their Pier 70 development sailed through a public vote last year. The San Francisco Business Times predicts that the development has the votes to pass easily today, although 5M will still have to make it through the Board of Supervisors to officially move forward.

· At SoMa's Planned 5M, Forest City Commits to 33 Percent Affordable Housing [Curbed SF]
· South of Market Action Committee [Facebook Group]
· 5M Project [Official Site]
· 5 Things to Know About 5M Megaproject Before Crucial Vote [SF Business Times]