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Tenderloin parking lot to make way for affordable housing

An estimated 60-plus homes would be priced for San Franciscans making as little as $30,000 annually

The parking lot between two buildings on the corner of Jones and Turk.
180 Jones, a humble parking lot that’s sparked a lot of big ambitions.

Address 180 Jones is just a humble parking lot on Jones and Turk, but it’s not for lack of trying. Today, the city’s Land Use Committee will take just the latest proposal for the site (a 68-unit affordable housing project), the latest in a series of potential uses for the space, dating to 2005.

Back then, the at-the-time owners proposed a five-story building for the site, which eventually became an eight-story project by the time it garnered approval in 2009.

The old eight-story, market-rate building, approved but never built.

But 2009 was not the time for new mid-rise developments in San Francisco (or most other cities), so back on the market the lot went.

Although the locale received several extensions on its permits, it remains as flat and undeveloped today as any time in its history.

In 2016, Group i, the developer behind the nearby 950 Market Street project (which will plant hundreds of market-rate condos and hotel rooms at the Tenderloin’s door), agreed to buy the lot and donate it to the city for affordable housing as part of a broad deal to help gets its Market Street project through.

The resulting 68 or so homes would be priced for San Franciscans making as little as $30,000 annually. If all goes as planned, the city will today vote to pay $1 for the Jones Street property and, in a separate agenda item:

“[Waive] the Jobs-Housing Linkage Fee, the Inclusionary Affordable Housing requirements, exempt 26,572 square feet from the calculation of gross floor area to allow the additional floor area, [...] for a project located at 950-974 Market Street.

In exchange, the developer will either pay $12.8 million into the Mayor’s Office of Housing fund for 180 Jones or just go ahead and build “a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 70” affordable homes there itself.

Had the 2009 proposal gone through, the result would have been only 37 homes, plus 2,700 square feet for retail use.