The state's property at the tip of the Panhandle in SF, currently home to the city's busy DMV field office, is a prime development site that's been discussed before — and Supervisor Dean Preston says the state should step up and "partner" with the city to allow it to become affordable housing.
Perhaps to help balance legislation he proposed to approve a large market-rate development on Franklin Street, Supervisor Dean Preston introduced a resolution at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting to push for the development of the CA Department of Motor Vehicles property at 1377 Fell Street. The site is home to a small, single-story building and a large, mostly unused parking lot, and as NBC Bay Area reports, Preston called the idea a "no-brainer."
Preston also noted in the resolution that developer Build Inc. had entered into negotiations to develop the DMV property in 2008, but they were "unable to make the project work" at the time.
It's not clear how many units would be allowable at the site, and height limits of around four or five stories would likely apply. The site reportedly is 98,061 square feet — and it's unclear if that's just the parking lot, or the entire parcel.
This is one of those resolutions that may be more political grandstanding than anything else. Since the property belongs to the state, all the board can do is "urge" the state to hand the property over as a 100% affordable development site.
But Preston is making a point here about the state's recently heightened housing mandate for San Francisco. The board was also taking an initial vote on a draft Housing Element on Tuesday, the plan the city must get approved this winter to realistically construct 82,000 new housing units by 2031 in order not to lose out on state funding. (It remains unclear if the city will meet a crucial January 31 deadline for a workable plan.)
"We welcome the ambitious affordable housing targets set in the Housing Element," Preston said, per NBC Bay Area. "But the state needs to do more than just demand streamlining market rate production to get there. We need partnership from the state to maximize every opportunity for affordable housing, and the DMV site is the perfect starting point."
Related: This Winter and Spring Could Be a Chaotic Free-for-All For Developers If SF Can't Get Its Housing Element Approved