An update to the existing zoning for a section of Market Street that would allow for the construction of taller buildings is currently in the works, which could result in some even taller buildings on mid-Market than we already knew about. The Planning Department hopes that by allowing major developers the right to build 15 to 20 percent higher in exchange for an increased number of on-site affordable housing units, the section of downtown might see an increased number of said units in the next few years.
The area in question, known as "The Hub," is the future home to numerous planned residential towers, and surrounds the Market Street and Van Ness Avenue intersection. According to The San Francisco Business Times, the density increases resulting from the height increases under discussion could potentially result in the doubling of the planned number of affordable units.
The Times notes that those involved with the discussion seem to think the idea is a no-brainer.
“It’s adding a little bit of height to something that already has significant height,” the Times reports city planner Maia Small as telling the Planning Department earlier this month.
Members of the Planning Department apparently agree with that assessment, and the concept of such density bonuses have been being discussed for a couple years now, most recently with implications for the Sunset and the Richmond too.
“To be honest, opening a plan that’s seven years old is not something I’d normally do, but there’s a number of distinct advantages to doing this that makes it worth doing,” Planning Director John Rahaim said according to the Times.
Chair of the Market & Octavia Community Advisory Committee, Jason Henderson, wants to make sure the affordable units are actually built on-site, as opposed to just having developers put money into the affordable housing fund, and thinks that updating the zoning on the project is really too late to has any real impact.
“I’m still a bit confused about what the Planning Department thinks they’ll get out of it,” he told the San Francisco Business Times.