Supes OK redo for Potrero, Sunnydale public housing

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday¬†unanimously approved reconstruction plans for San Francisco’s Sunnydale and Potrero Hill public housing sites.

The plans include the replacement of existing public housing units at the two sites and the addition of hundreds more market rate units, as well as retail, open space and community services space, to create a mixed-use, mixed income project.

Both sites currently are “in a state of disrepair, with limited access to services and no formal open spaces,” according to city staff.

At the Potrero Hill site, the city and nonprofit developer Bridge Housing plan to replace the existing 619 units of public housing on the site and add an additional 187 units of affordable housing and 817 units of market-rate housing, as well as 15,000 square feet of retail space.

At Sunnydale in Visitacion Valley, the 775 units of public housing will be replaced, and an additional 219 units of affordable housing, 648 units of market-rate housing and 16,200 square feet of retail built on the site. That project will be developed by Mercy Housing California.

Construction will take place in phases over a period of 25 years, and residents will be relocated on site to allow demolition and construction to take place without the displacement that has marred previous public housing redevelopment projects.

Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the district where both public housing developments are located, said the projects will change residents’ lives and increase public health and safety:

“I have seen the impacts this substandard housing has on the residents who live there and their neighborhoods. … I’ve also seen what I’d almost describe as a miracle, the transformation that is made once an investment is made in public housing.”

Board President London Breed, who grew up in public housing in San Francisco, said she knew all too well the poor conditions that residents endured and was glad to see the city finally:

“… taking its money and putting it where its mouth is. … When you’ve lived in those conditions for over 20 years, you want to make sure that you do everything you can to make sure that other people don’t have to live like that.”