Last week, the City’s Planning Commission approved a very exciting proposal to restore and renovate the abandoned New Mission Theater on Mission at 22nd Street. It’s a promising development that will bring some grandeur back to the old theater, which will be operated by the much-loved Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain. Yay!
In addition, the project includes 114 market-rate housing units to be built on the site of today’s Giant Value store. Yet as our journo-friends at MissionLocal pointed out, this will also result in the development of a new affordable-housing complex in the Bernalwood borderlands, on the northwest corner of Cesar Chavez and Shotwell:
The developer will dedicate a piece of land near Shotwell and Cesar Chavez streets to the Mayor’s Office on Housing to construct affordable housing to comply with the city’s affordable housing requirement.
Typically developers are required by law to dedicate 15 percent of their units to inclusionary housing or pay a fee that, once the project is completed, will go toward financing affordable housing elsewhere.
The idea behind the land dedication, which is unprecedented, is that the city can turn that land around and build up to 46 affordable housing units as opposed to settling for fewer units being built on-site.
Grande, who was among the nonprofits’ directors that negotiated the deal with the developer, said this would allow the city to have more say on how the affordable housing units are built.
“It’s better because you get more bang for your buck,” he said. “With off-site affordable housing units this also gives us more community control on how the development will happen. It means partnering with affordable housing developers, who would abide by local hiring, and hire union workers.”
However for Howard Ruy, the owner of Auto Smog & Oil Changers at 1296 Shotwell St., which is on the site of the would-be affordable housing building, was told by his landlord that he would have to leave the shop once the land is transferred to the city.
“It means I’m going to have to close shop,” he said. “Honestly I am just waiting for (the landlord) to call me to say ‘you have to move out.’”
I have yet to see any renderings of the proposed Chavez/Shotwell development, so no word on how it will look. I will be watching closely, however, if only because I live a block from the site. So for now, consider me a YIMBY-inclined, interested party.
PHOTO: The future building site on Cesar Chavez Blvd at Shotwell Street in January 2013. Photo by Telstar Logistics