Saturday: Community Meeting on Proposed “90+” Units of Senior Housing on Shotwell

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There’s a community meeting scheduled for Saturday morning, Saturday, February 13, from 10 am to noon at St. Anthony’s Church (3215 Cesar Chavez) to discuss the 90+-unit senior citizen housing development proposed for 1296 Shotwell Street near Cesar Chavez.

As Bernalwood previously explained:

Right now, 1296 Shotwell is basically a shed that’s home to a few automotive repair shops. The history of this project is intimately tied to the Vida market-rate development at 2558 Mission Street that also created the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema inside the restored New Mission theater. Vida is a 114-unit, market-rate project in which the developer opted to meet their inclusionary housing requirements by purchasing 1296 Shotwell Street as a land dedication site for use by San Francisco to create affordable housing. This means the City basically received the land at 1296 Shotwell for free. And presumably, since 1296 Shotwell will be senior housing, each of the units in the new building will be relatively small, although the height of the building gives it significant density.

That’s the backstory. The new building will be co-developed by Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), and Karoleen Feng, MEDA Director of Community Real Estate, explains what Saturday’s meeting is all about:

We are planning to have a community meeting on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. To noon, to develop our vision that will help us to better design and program the building. The affordable housing will be for seniors and be 90+ apartments, as requested by the City. Before we solidify our proposal that was submitted to the City, we are hoping to get our community’s ideas for what could be developed, so that we can incorporate as much as possible ― within the parameters of the City’s requirements.

Bernalwood requested renderings of the proposed building, to see if there had been any updates since the previous proposal was unveiled. We also asked for confirmation that the site plan still calls for a nine-story tower. Christopher Gil, MEDA’s content marketing manager declined to confirm this, and told us no rendering is available, because:

The building design is not determined. That is why there are community meetings being held — to let the neighborhood have a say in making this the best senior affordable housing development possible.

Hmm. So we know that the original proposal for the building was for 96 units in a nine-story tower, and we know that the plan for the building still contains “90+ apartments.” But MEDA won’t confirm that the site plan still contains a nine-story tower, and the organization declined to provide any further detail about what the current plan looks like in advance of Saturday’s meeting.

“Community feedback is an integral part of MEDA’s brand of affordable housing,” says MEDA’s Christopher Gil.

Maybe so, but MEDA is also a slick political operator, and this building with 90+ units is also part of MEDA’s brand of affordable housing. So presumably the building is either going to remain at nine-stories, or it is going to have a whole lot of subterranean living spaces — and the latter scenario seems likely.

As I’ve said before, I have a personal stake in this building, because I live a block away, and it will be highly visible from my home. Indeed, it will likely obstruct part of my glamorous downtown skyline view, which I welcome, because we really need more housing of all types in this area, and more density, and this is a good place for it. I welcome more housing, and I don’t mind a tower, and personally, I don’t care if it obstructs my view. Yes in my front yard! But MEDA is not inspiring much confidence in their candor as a real estate developer or future neighbor.

Hopefully we’ll learn more on Saturday.

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IMAGE: Top, a November 2015 rendering of the nine-story affordable housing project proposed for 1296 Shotwell

Two Arrested in Connection with Esmeralda Stairs Assault

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Breaking News: Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the frightening Jan. 27 robbery and assault that took place on the Esmeralda stairs in western Bernal.

Capt. Joseph McFadden of SFPD Ingleside Station reports:

Two suspects were arrested in the robbery/assault of a woman on the Esmerelda steps from January 27th. Nice work by a great witness who came forward from the neighborhood and the Inspector assigned to the case at Ingleside.. Just an FYI to let people know we are on it.

This comes to us via Neighbor Sarah, your valiant liaison to the SFPD, who adds:

I’ll also be asking neighbors to send letters to DA encouraging a robust prosecution.

That’s all we know for now; Bernalwood will share additional details as they become available.  In the meantime, thank you and well done, SFPD Ingleside.

IMAGE: Surveillance camera footage of one suspect in the January 27 Esmeralda stairway assault

 

Bernal Native Carlos Santana Says the Super Bowl Needed More Local Bands

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One of the best things about the conclusion of Superb Owl 50 is that we no longer have to hear all the complaining about Superb Owl 50. Yet with that said, celebrity Bernal Heights native Carlos Santana took to Facebook yesterday to grumble that there wasn’t enough local flavor at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show:

Dear NFL/CBS….I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both for including me as a part of your Super Bowl entertainment. I do feel compelled to point out to you that the Halftime Show should have included some of the local iconic bands that the World would have loved to see perform. Bands like Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey and yours truly. We would have rocked the Half Time Show and done the SF Bay Area proud. This is just an invitation for you to consider iconic bands as part of your Half Time entertainment. Real live music, real live vocals, and give the audience real live chills.

Carlos Santana

Estimados NFL/CBS….Me gustaría aprovechar esta oportunidad para agradecer a ambos que me incluyeran como parte del entretenimiento de la Super Bowl. Me siento obligado a señalar que el espectáculo del descanso del partido debería haber incluido a algunas de las icónicas bandas locales que a todo el mundo le habría encantado ver actuar. Bandas como Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey y quien les habla. Habríamos hecho estremecer el espectáculo del descanso y habríamos enorgullecido al área de SF Bay. Esto es tan solo una invitación para que consideren a las bandas icónicas como parte de su entretenimiento del descanso del partido. Música real en vivo, voz real en vivo y estremecer realmente a la audiencia en vivo.
Carlos

Preach!

Actually, the Superb Owl 50 halftime show would have been an excellent opportunity to stage the Mullen Reunion Tour, harkening back to the days when Santana and a few early members of Journey all lived under the same roof on Mullen Avenue.

Even better, we could have hosted one hell of a homecoming after-party in Precita Park, with Santana jamming on the little mound just west of the playground until the whole park smelled like cannabis and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Santana is right; that would have been fantastic. Let’s do it next time.

PHOTO: Carlos Santana’s Facebook profile pic

Coyote Becomes Next Door Neighbor in Northeast Bernal Heights

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Neighbor Adrian lives in northeast Bernal, near the eastern side of the Miller-Dogpatch Community Garden. Last week, he was surprised to discover that a coyote had moved in next door.

It’s unclear if this is the same coyote that was spotted in the northeast corner of Bernal Hill last month, but Neighbor Adrian reports:

I saw a couple of articles regarding the coyote sightings on Bernal Hill.  I was hoping to see the wild animal around the hill, since we are up there all the time with our dogs. However, to our surprise, we didn’t have to go to far; It seems a coyote has moved in to an empty lot in front of our home!

Our next door neighbor sent me a text on Thursday to let me know there was a sighting of a coyote near us and to be careful with our dogs. (We have two small dogs) Next thing, on Saturday while on the street with our dogs, we saw the coyote for the first time. He just looked at us and retreated behind the trees and bushes.

On Monday I went check again, and there he was looking back at us, not moving or making any noise — just looking…  which was kind of creepy!

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I’m sharing a couple of pictures of the new neighbor. Although they are not very clear (seeing the coyote is more like finding Waldo), it shows how close he is to home .

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Neighbor Adrian

The Faraday Cortland is a New Electric Bike Named After… Us!

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It’s a well-known fact that transportation companies like to name their vehicles after glamorous locations in California.

When Chevrolet needed a name for their rugged all-season SUV, they chose to name it the Tahoe. When Chrysler needed a name for their luxury minivan, they called it the Pacifica. Chevy’s midsize car with affluent aspirations is the Malibu. And when San Francisco’s Faraday electric bicycle company needed a name for their ridiculously stylish (yet eminently practical) new machine, they decided to call it… the Cortland.

Yes! The Faraday Cortland is a new electric bicycle named after Bernal’s very own main street. Adam Vollmer, the founder of Faraday, even confirmed this:

Wow. How sexy is that??

Faraday says the Cortland offers “the perfect balance of style and utility,” which means the new bike is exactly like everyone who lives in Bernal Heights.

Unlike Bernal Heights, the Cortland offers easy access, thanks to a  new step-through frame design. Faraday’s Kickstarter page for preorders outlines some of the ebike’s other highlights:

With the Faraday Cortland, we’ve added an extra 20% of range, more efficient motor, upgraded software, and more. We’ve also made it more comfortable, more fun to ride, and, dare we say, more stylish with the introduction of a step-through frame.

Prices start at $1999 with the Kickstarter campaign discount, and of course we expect you’ll also be able to get a Cortland on Cortland, at Bernal’s much-loved local purveyor of newfangled electric bicycles.

Finally, here’s the promo video for the Cortland, produced in the self-parodying Cortlandia Portlandia style:

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Faraday

Young Bernal Actors Perform in Downtown Production of “American Idiot: The Musical”

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Neighbor Martha reports that three young Bernal actors play prominent roles in a downtown production of “American Idiot the Musical,” and you can see them perform later this week.

Neighbor Martha (Sydney’s mom) tells Bernalwood:

Three born and raised Bernal teens are performing in Young Peoples Teen Musical Theater Company’s production of American Idiot the Musical. The Bernal teens are Sidney, Olivia, and Lufton.

Lufton plays Tunny who joins the army, gets wounded, suffers serious injuries and loses a leg. During his rehabilitation, he falls in love with his nurse, and she returns home with him. Olivia is Extraordinary Girl, Tunny’s rehab nurse:

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Sidney’s plays an angry teenager:

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Come see Young Peoples Teen Musical Theater Company production of American Idiot the Musical

Performances Thu – Sat, February 11-13, @ 8pm
Eureka Theater
214 Jackson St, SF

More information here.

Get tickets here!

AI Poster

Bernal Real Estate Market Less Bonkers, More Balanced in 2015 Microhood Report

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As 2015 recedes into the rearview mirror of history, let’s take a moment to evaluate the real estate year-that-was, by looking at Bernal Heights Microhood Sales Trends for full-year 2015 compiled by Bernal neighbors and realtors Michael Minson and Danielle Lazier.

Just as they did for 2014 (and once again with Bernalwood’s permission) Neighbors Michael and Danielle tracked recent home sales data according to the boundaries of Bernalwood’s official Bernal Heights microhoods map.

Neighbor Michael Minson reports on a refreshing new trend: the bonkers Bernal Heights real estate market is now somewhat less bonkers. He tells Bernalwood:

We’re definitely feeling a gradual slowdown in Bernal Heights, which is welcome news for the buyers we work with. The second half of 2015 saw a slowdown across nearly all metrics:

  • The median sales price decreased $100k from $1.38M to $1.28M
  • Overbidding reduced from 20% over asking to 17%
  • Days on Market increased by nearly a full week (from 14 to 20 days)

The best looking homes in prime locations are still selling quickly, but there are fewer records being broken. Properties that are challenged in some way (like no view, no parking, bad layout or unsightly neighboring homes) are taking longer to sell and are not getting crazy overbids.

Fortunately for homeowners, we haven’t seen evidence of a declining market. Values are holding steady or showing modest gains. Days on Market increased by nearly a full week (from 14 to 20 days).

Here are the tables, in case you’re feeling especially data hungry:

2015realestatereport

DOM = Days on market
PPSF = Price per square foot

Here’s some more detail to visualize:

2015 Bernal Heights Market Report - Web

UPDATE: Also, FWIW, Paragon Real Estate shares this chart that provides a comparative perspective on home-price appreciation in Bernal Heights since 2011:

2011-2015__Median_House_Price-Appreciation_by_Neighborhood_Lower-Price