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Mission development wants to offer affordable housing for nonprofits

Building on Bryant Street would be torn down in favor of five-story offices

A drawing of a proposed building on Bryant Street
Initial designs for the new building on Bryant.
Rendering by Courtesy Common Ground

In February, the San Francisco Chronicle reported a new development proposed for the Mission at 1850 Bryant that should be music to the ears of even the most hard-nosed development skeptic: a five-story office development dedicated entirely to local nonprofits, and selling at discount rates to boot.

Now, Mission Local reports that the developer will makes it bid to the Planning Commission June 1, seeking permission to raze an old two-story building at that site in favor of raising its own project.

In paperwork filed with the Planning Department, developer Chris Foley calls the plan for 1850 Bryant:

A 172,000 foot new construction commercial condominium in San Francisco's Mission District being specially constructed with a turnkey development approach to house nonprofits. [...] As owners of commercial condos, nonprofits will be able to manage the long-term maintenance of their facility and stabilize their ongoing operating budgets.

Or, as Foley described it the Chronicle, the concept is “affordable housing for social service nonprofits.”

The development’s site at Common Ground Urban Design notes that San Francisco nonprofits tend to congregate in temporary spaces, which of course makes it operate in the long run.

The finished building would have ten office condos for sale, and because it’s financed partly through federal tax credits they’ll sell at a discount, about 60 percent of the usual market rate.

Common Ground says it specializes in “space for organizations normally left out of real estate development projects” by rebuilding “distressed properties.”

Rendering by Courtesy Common Ground

Common Ground tells Curbed SF that the project would provide (92) new parking spots, a 2,300-square-foot courtyard, as well as a 13,000-square-foot roof deck spanning. The firm estimates it would cost around $40 million to build.

A 2016 survey of nearly 500 Bay Area nonprofits (55 percent of them serving San Francisco) found that 82 percent were worried that the real estate boom would endanger their sustainability, and more than 25 percent had already moved once in the last five years over costs.