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117-unit Mission District development unexpectedly up for sale

Developer and neighbors reached a long-sought truce over site last year

A rendering of people gathered on the lawn in front of a black and white four-story building. Rendering courtesy of David Baker Architects

In May 2017, Axis Development Group and Mission District residents reached a deal that cleared the way for construction of 117 new homes at 2675 Folsom, a long-delayed project deigned by David Baker Architects.

But Axis never broke ground.

Now Mission Local reports that the developer, quite suddenly, put the property and all related permits up for sale, with an auction scheduled for October. No explanation was offered for the sudden change.

Axis bought the property in 2015 for $18 million, according to the city recorder’s office. Neighborhood groups opposed the four-story development, claiming it was out of character with the Mission.

In early 2017, affordable housing developer MEDA said in a letter to the Board of Supervisors:

The Axis development’s cultural impacts will negatively affect the character of adjacent [...] Latino Cultural District in the Mission neighborhood. There is opposition to this project because of the contribution the project will make to the displacement of Mission residents and small businesses, the low number of affordable-housing units planned for the development, and the impact of removing local [...] working-class jobs in an area suffering from high unemployment.

Weeks later, both sides declared a truce to years of feuding, citing a new agreement that would result in more affordable housing on the site.

The Axis site identifies 2675 Folsom as “a fully entitled 35,734-square-foot parcel that will become an approximately 125,000-square-foot, four-story, mixed-use residential development project in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.”

A rendering of a black and white, four-story building on Folsom Street. Rendering courtesy of David Baker Architects

David Baker Architects touts the design as one that “respects the scale of the existing neighborhood architectural fabric and incorporates stoops for garden apartments, bays, and horizontal siding.”

However, more than a year after removing the final obstacles to construction, there’s nothing at 2675 Folsom except for the existing industrial buildings, which are now mostly vacant.

The ads for the 2015 listing, which resulted in Axis buying the parcels, specifically touted the site’s potential for development: “Perennially supply constrained, San Francisco’s residential market is extremely tight [...] and it is increasingly challenging to find large parcels suitable for development.”

No kidding.