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Balboa Reservoir Developer Team Picked

Fran Smith / Ingleside-Excelsior Light

After two years of planning, a development team has been chosen to partner with the City and County of San Francisco to build new housing and open space on the Balboa Reservoir.

Mega developer AvalonBay Communities and nonprofit BRIDGE Housing will lead a team selected by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Planning Department and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development to develop the 17-acre lot adjacent to City College of San Francisco’s flagship Ocean Campus.

“The winning proposal does an exceptional job of addressing both San Francisco’s extreme housing need and the community’s vision for the Balboa Reservoir,” stated SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly, Jr.

The team’s winning proposal includes up to 1,100 units of affordable and market-rate housing and 4.2 acres of parks and open spaces, though numbers are subject to change.

“I want to thank the members of the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee for the countless hours they dedicated to the process,” stated District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee.

The committee helped guide the development’s plan, calling for 50 percent affordable units, a neighborhood park, collaboration with City College, a childcare center and a focus on transportation, urban design, neighborhood character and sustainability.

“They worked diligently with our engaged community members to develop a strong set of parameters for a future development that would meet our goals for affordability, neighborhood compatibility, and family-friendly amenities,” Yee continued.

The partnership also includes Pacific Union Development Company and nonprofits Mission Housing and Habitat for Humanity for Greater San Francisco. Pacific Union will work to create a shared parking garage for residents and the City College community.

One of San Francisco’s largest undeveloped public spaces, the Balboa Reservoir currently houses a parking lot used by City College. It is located within walking distance of the Balboa Park BART station, the Ocean Avenue retail corridor and is adjacent to Riordan High School.

The city owns the property under the jurisdiction of the SFPUC.

The project is the biggest of several planned nearby, including market-rate housing at 65 Ocean Ave. and affordable housing at the Balboa Park Station Upper Yard, which sits next to the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, also slated for improvements and redevelopment as a community arts and performance center.

Ongoing improvement to the Balboa Park BART station and surrounding area, as well as a potential City College performing arts center, round out nearby developments.

Once the plan is finalized and passes environmental review, it will go before the SFPUC Commission, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors for approval. The process is expected to take two years.

In San Francisco, affordable units are available to low, moderate and middle-income households based on the city’s average median income.

AvalonBay Communities operates over 75,000 properties across the United States, including an adjacent complex located at Ocean and Plymouth avenues. California-based BRIDGE Housing develops and maintains affordable housing complexes throughout the state.

“This team brings tremendous experience building quality affordable and mixed-use housing, working thoughtfully with local communities, and successfully tackling large and complex projects,” Ken Rich, director of development for the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development stated.

For more information, visit www.sf-planning.org.

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