Court clears the way for San Francisco megaproject

Dive Brief:

  • A Superior Court judge has rejected opponents' arguments that developers for a massive downtown San Francisco mixed-use development submitted an insufficient environmental review — a decision that potentially allows construction to move forward, according to the San Francisco Business Times.   
  • Several groups, including the South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), filed a lawsuit maintaining, among other claims, that the 5M development did not provide adequate affordable housing. The below-market rate rental units included in the project target those making 100% to 150% of the area's median income, which activists argued would not help lower-income residents.
  • Opponents now have 60 days to appeal the decision. Barring delays from that potential action, developer Forest City Enterprises said it expects to begin construction in 2018.

Dive Insight:

When completed, the project will feature 688 rental apartments, including the controversial 241 below-market-rate units, plus more than 807,000 square feet of office space. Forest City said it has worked with the community for years in developing a beneficial plan for everyone who could possibly be impacted by 5M and has addressed the issues of affordable housing, public space and other community benefits when it was initially approved in 2015.

If activists decide to appeal the Superior Court's decision, it could throw the project into a lengthy court battle similar to that of the Golden State Warriors. The Mission Bay Alliance's attempts to scuttle construction of the team's new $1 billion arena in the Mission district of San Francisco — an action that was recently rejected by a state appeals court — resulted in the team postponing its move. The Alliance based its arguments on what it said was an insufficient environmental review and cited negative impact to patients in nearby hospitals. 

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Filed Under: Commercial Building Legal/Regulation Corporate News
Top image credit: Wikimedia