Update: Via email, a spokesperson for Presidio Bay Ventures says, “We strongly disagree with CUHJ’s misinformation campaign. [...] The most effective way to combat rising rent pressures is to provide both market-rate and on-site affordable housing that can absorb the demand that has been created by San Francisco’s unprecedented economic growth.”
The spokesperson adds, “As the only large-scale HOME-SF program in the entire City, 65 Ocean is not and was never intended to be a luxury housing project—it is intended to serve students, roommates, families and other members of our diverse population, 1 in 4 of whom will be sourced from qualified low-income applicants through the Mayor’s Office of Housing Affordable Housing Program.”
And as for the original date of completion, they company claims. “2018 was never a completion goal due to PBV’s Home-SF and community engagement timeline.”
A proposed housing development down the block from Balboa Park has some Excelsior residents ready to take to the streets in protest. And on Sunday, a grassroots effort called Communities United for Health and Justice (CUHJ) plan to “march, drum, shout, chant, scream, sing, and [express] the collective angst, desperation, and fear felt by the Excelsior community about the displacement.”
The target of the neighborhood ire is 65 Ocean Avenue, formerly a preschool, the site of developer Presidio Bay Ventures’ ambitions for a 193-unit, market-rate apartment building (of which 25 percent will be below market rate)
In 2017, the Ingleside Excelsior Light reported that, per the developer’s community meetings, the building would be a mix of mostly studios and two-bedroom apartments, with a smaller number of three-bedroom homes, at the time priced “closer to the $2,000 or $2,100 mark.”
That story claimed Presidio Bay Ventures hoped to have the building finished by the end of 2018, but has yet to announce a groundbreaking, although the developer now tells Curbed SF that was not the target date.
CUHJ, the group behind the upcoming protest, calls the Presidio Bay plan a harbinger of gentrification for nearby neighborhoods.
In a Tuesday announcement, CUHJ said, “The rents of the proposed luxury property would push up the rents of local tenants and small businesses to a price the current community absolutely cannot afford.”
Protesters will rally at 5050 Mission Street at 1 p.m. on Sunday and then march to the 65 Ocean site itself. Presidio Bay Ventures has not yet returned requests for comment.
The Ocean Avenue plot lies in the Balboa Park neighborhood but borders on the northern flank of the Excelsior.
That neighborhood still hosts rents and housing prices significantly below the rest of the city; however, housing costs have crept up in recent years.
Correction: The developer says that the building will actually be 193 units, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units.