More Building, Lending Catapult San Francisco Office

By Lisa Brown : globest – excerpt

Construction-to-permanent financing of $93 million was recently secured for One De Haro, a four-story 60-foot tall building with two-thirds office and one-third light industrial uses totaling 133,427 square feet.

SAN FRANCISCO—Construction continues in the city, in an attempt to satisfy growing demand. One project in specific, One De Haro, is located at the intersection of SOMA, Potrero Hill and Showplace Square districts. Designed by Pfau Long Architecture, the project is a four-story 60-foot tall building which will have two-thirds office and one-third light industrial uses for a total of 133,427 square feet.

Construction-to-permanent financing of $93 million was recently secured for the mixed-use building. A NorthMarq team led by managing director Dennis Williams and vice president Briana Harney secured the funding through a life insurance company relationship on behalf of the Sponsor, SKS Partners of San Francisco…

Even with the delivery of the fully leased 750,000-square-foot Park Tower, San Francisco supply is exhausted trying to keep up with the ever-increasing tech demand, according to a first quarter report by Avison Young. The first quarter closed with a total of 3.8 million square feet of available space on the market. However, with total tenant demand of 8.8 million square feet and new construction deliveries 67% preleased, this amount of space will not satisfy the overall appetite.…(more)

California sues Huntington Beach to force it to plan low-income housing

: sfchronicle – excerpt

SACRAMENTO — The state sued the Orange County city of Huntington Beach on Friday to force it to plan for more affordable housing, part of a campaign by Gov. Gavin Newsom to boost construction in California as residents grapple with soaring housing costs.

Newsom said Huntington Beach has refused to meet a state mandate to provide new housing for low-income people. He promised that cities that do not do their part will be “held to account.”… (more)

Huntington Beach is not alone. Newsom sued San Francisco over the state’s right to control development on the city shoreline.

City officials celebrate Moscone Center Expansion project completion

By : sfexaminer – excerpt (includes photos)

City and project officials gathered to celebrate the completion of the Moscone Center Expansion project at a ceremony that also featured tours of the facility on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019… (more)

None of the Supervisors appear in these photos of the ribbon-cuttn ceremony. opening. Maybe they don’t trust the engineers and welders to build safe pedestrian bridges. How many multi-billion dollar edifices does San Francisco need? Or sports teams or arenas? How many people could you house in the space taken up by the wide open halls and passageways and views of tall buildings blocking the sun? Think about that when the developers go after your neighborhood laundromat or favorite club or cafe.

Smart Ideas From Other Cities: Utilities Powered by the People

By Ida Mojadad : sfweekly – excerpt

State regulators are weighing a dramatic shake-up of PG&E. Could San Francisco join dozens of other jurisdictions in establishing a public utility?

What would California’s increasingly devastating wildfires look like if PG&E were beholden to the people instead of to its shareholders?

That’s the crux of a proposal by state regulators that could prove trouble for the utility headquartered in San Francisco — despite the California Legislature’s repeated bailouts amid lawsuits and criminal investigations. In December, the California Public Utilities Commission announced that, in the name of public safety, PG&E could soon have its board replaced or be broken up into regional subsidiaries.

But the most striking option is for it to be designated as a public utility run by the government, not merely a regulated monopoly. This presents an opening for San Francisco to join dozens of other cities that either have long-established municipal utilities or are considering it….

The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to discuss the proceeding at its Jan. 10 meeting at 9:30 a.m. held at 505 Van Ness Ave... (more)

Housing Balance Report Reinforces Need For Preservation Legislation

December ccho newsletter – excerpt

The Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee held its hearing on the City’s latest Housing Balance Report recently released by the Planning Department. The report states just under 18% of net new units built in San Francisco over in the last decade were affordable, showing that SF is losing stable rent-controlled units at an astonishing rate — for every two new affordable units, the City loses an existing rental housing unit.

CCHO worked with ABC News on a story that aired over the weekend about the housing balance report and how it reinforces the funding need for San Francisco’s small sites acquisition program. Watch it here.

Stories around the housing balance report reinforcing the need for preserving affordable housing also appeared in SF Weekly, KQED, 48 Hills, San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle



Wiener’s new housing bill is radically unfair

By Tim Redmond : 47hills – excerpt


Mission Bay residents are leaving due to bad air caused by constant construction as they  see no end in sight. Photo by zrants.

The senator assumes the private market will solve our problems. That has never worked.

State Sen. Scott Wiener has introduced a new version of his housing bill that went down in flames last year, and while the current version, SB 50, includes more protection for renters, is still has the same basic flaws.

The new measure is still based on the same assumption: that the private market can and will eventually solve the state’s housing crisis – and that the problem is almost entirely on the supply side… (more)

Here we go again. Wiener world is coming at us. Considering the shellacking his YIMBY minions took at the polls in San Francisco, it appears that the glow is off the grow rose, and Scott may be barking up the wrong tree as his constituents lose faith in his plans to densify an already over-populated 49 square miles of real estate.

With constant bad news MUNI in the headlines, and a bevy of City Hall leaders jumping ship, the leadership is shifting away from the developer-led options  and forced state oversight is losing appeal among the his constituents. More on this subject will be coming out of efforts to fix the broken system before expanding it. The market may also put a damper on his and other plans as the over-bloated government treasuries shrink. This may not be a good holiday season for the growth models stacking up in Sacramento offices.

Tax breaks for corporations are a bad idea, new study shows

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The Twitter tax break, the tax breaks for Amazon — they do a lot more harm than good. It’s time SF officials admitted that.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is criticizing the massive tax incentives that New York is giving to Amazon – and that’s created a lot of much-needed discussion about the impact of tax breaks on corporate location decisions.

The conservative National Review agrees with the democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez: Tax breaks to entice companies to move to a city or region are generally ineffective and a bad idea…

Ocasio-Cortez raises a larger question than the wisdom or value of the tax breaks for Amazon in Long Island. She questions, and I think she is right, whether the new tech HQ will lead to massive displacement in Long Island City. Will the existing residents get the benefits of high-paying jobs – or will people move to that community to take those jobs and force longtime residents out?…

You can’t change bad policy directions without admitting that you were doing the wrong thing. At some point, everyone involved needs to accept reality and say: The Twitter tax break was wrong, on so many levels, in so many ways. Then the next time we can know better… (more)

Election 2018: Local politics in the age of Godzilla

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

Godzilla, that stalwart of the man-in-a-dinosaur-costume-stepping-on-toys genre, emerged from the depths of the sea in 1954, and has been featured in 32 sequels. The spectacle of watching an oversize rubber iguana go full Keith Moon on an elaborate, flaming set of obvious papier-mache landscapes populated with dollhouse cities and model trains and cars is its own elevator pitch (hence the sequels)… (more)

As we now know the people power won out over the dark side, if you support the idea of the rich paying to support those people they are displacing. That was sort of the idea behind Prop C. Who knows, some may think twice about coming here to add to the problem. Those fighting for the homeless win either way.

A Key Tactic: Sue the Suburbs

By J. K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt

Citing a state law that limits cities’ power to reject developments, lawsuits sometime result in new housing projects, sometimes just a big payout…

The campaign to tackle the Bay Area’s housing crisis by forcing residential development in reluctant communities started with a simple idea: Sue the suburbs…

Pro-housing activist Sonja Trauss, a pioneer in the YIMBY movement, was reading about a controversial 315-unit affordable apartment project in Lafayette in 2015 when she learned about a 1982 state law she’d never heard of before: the Housing Accountability Act.

The law said municipalities must approve a housing development as long as it is consistent with local zoning rules and general plan objectives, would not create a public health hazard or take water from neighboring farms, and would meet state environmental standards…

The California Renters Legal Advocacy Fund, or CaRLA — a group Trauss and her YIMBY allies formed in 2015 — is waging the sue-the-suburbs campaign. CaRLA has used the Housing Accountability Act to sue on behalf of developers in Sausalito, Berkeley, San Mateo, Sonoma, Dublin and Lafayette…

Earlier this year, a group of elected officials and other concerned citizens formed a new group called Livable California, with a mission to “protect California cities” and “oppose state overreach and big money influence.” The group started after a February town hall meeting at the Taraval Police Station in San Francisco and has several hundred members, including candidates for local office in Pleasanton, Cupertino, Orinda and San Luis Obispo…

Livable California co-founder Susan Kirsch of Mill Valley said the group has gained momentum among people who believe that the top-down push for housing development — and big money flowing into the YIMBY movement — is “eroding representative democracy and local decision-making.”

“The consensus was that we are getting clobbered,” said Kirsch. “There has been an amassing of power into the hands of state and regional government. We are not NIMBYs or anti-housing; for us the issue goes back to democracy and local control.”… (more)

Interesting to note that Trauss was trounced by the neighborhood she tried to represent at the SF Board of Supervisors. Even though her opponent was outspent, by double-digits, the district that Jane Kim represented and failed to support in her big against Scott Wiener, chose the least offensive and density-loving of the three candidates. In fact none of the YIMBY candidates won in San Francisco District Supervisor races. The citizens also supported “Prop C” that was opposed by Wiener and the Mayor Breed, proving that their is still a faintly beating heart in the city by the Bay that has not been bought by pro-development supporters.

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