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Can More Affordable Housing Tame the Beast on Bryant?

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One of the most divisive developments in town is the one proposed for a 1.5 acre tract of land at 18th and Bryant Streets, hence the nickname from critics. They call it the "Beast on Bryant." Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reports the mixed use project might be considered slightly less beastly due to developer Nick Podell's pledge to donate a part of the land to the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development for affordable housing.

According to the report, the donated land is big enough for 129 units of affordable housing. Podell's new plans involve building 186 market rate units on the site. That works out to 41 percent affordable housing.

Podell will reportedly devote 11,000 square feet to the arts and what's called PDR space (production, distribution, and repair). This is, no doubt, due to the scathing criticism the project received from activists concerned about the changing character of the area.

An employee of the Nick Podell Co. addressed those concerns by telling a Chronicle reporter: "We have completely redesigned this project. This is a large concession for us, but we listened to the neighborhood and are hoping to provide something that the community can get behind."

What the community has to say remains to be seen. Attorney Scott Weaver, who worked on the defeated Mission Moratorium measure that would have paused market rate development in the area, told the Chronicle that when the proposal was brought up at a community meeting, "There wasn't a great deal of enthusiam—I would say that is an understatement."

· 'Beast on Bryant' developer ponies up more affordable housing [San Francisco Chronicle]

· Major Mission Apartment Complex to Rework Plans Following Community Concerns [Curbed SF]