A group representing various construction trade unions has taken a surprising stand against one large market-rate rental development slated for 2000 Bryant Street in the Mission, stating in a resolution submitted to the Planning Commission that the proposed development represents "inadequately affordable and exploitative housing." The 274-unit rental project by veteran developer Nick Podell would contain 16 percent below-market-rate units, however the typically pro-development Building Trades Council is taking this moment to show solidarity with Supervisor David Campos's proposed moratorium on high-end housing in the Mission and may be doing so in part to raise a middle finger at a developer who will not commit to 100-percent union labor on the project.
As the Chronicle reports, Podell has said that while he expects most of the crew on the project (which still needs final Planning approval that could be jeopardized by this latest objection) will be union workers, "but given land costs, the subsidies necessary to provide affordable housing and skyrocketing construction costs, some trades may not be included because of their extraordinary price differential," he says.
The Building Trades Council, which has historically always supported the creation of construction jobs over most other development concerns, is taking this moment, be it wholly ingenuous or not, to take sides in the debate over affordable housing, with the Council's secretary-treasurer Michael Theriault saying, "We deeply sympathize with the folks backing the moratorium. We do have a lot of folks in our organization who live in the Mission."
Of course, how much could a building trades group really want to back a measure that would surely impede the creation of new jobs for them for the foreseeable future, at least in the Mission. But, perhaps, given the wild construction boom that is ongoing across town, they can afford to at this point.
The Chron also notes that in addition to objecting to the 2000 Bryant Street project, they've also hinted that they're going to throw some opposition against a 160-unit redevelopment proposed for the McMillan Electric building at 1515 South Van Ness.
The SF Housing Action Coalition earlier this month endorsed the Bryant Street project, but encourage Podell "to explore possible solutions that would enable your project to deliver more affordable housing."
Interestingly, and perhaps with a view toward hurrying their project through approvals given the current political climate, the Giants organization struck a deal last week with Supervisor Jane Kim and pledged to build 40 percent affordable units in their proposed 1500-unit mixed-used complex at Mission Rock. Similarly, Forest City, the developer behind the massive 5M development at Fifth and Mission, has just revised their plan to include 33 percent affordable units.