Agreement reached over contentious Folsom Street development

The developer of a contested four-story housing and retail project in San Francisco’s Mission District has reached agreement with community advocates, averting an appeal that was scheduled to be heard by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The settlement, negotiated by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, means that the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District will drop its appeal of the Axis Development Group project at 2675 Folsom St., a block away from the 24th Street corridor in an area designated as a Latino Cultural District.

Ronen said in a statement:

“When developers are willing to work with the community, good projects can be built quickly. … My door is always open to any developer or community member who wants to be part of the solution and will help us build affordable housing.”

The deal calls for the project to make 20 percent of the 117 units on site affordable, 19 of them to those making 55 percent of the area median income or less and 4 of them at 100 percent area median income.

The developer has also agreed to acquire another eight units of existing low-income housing and transfer ownership to a Mission District nonprofit for maintenance as long-term affordable housing.

The deal also calls for the developer to use 100 percent union labor, provide a space for a non-profit arts organization at a rent of $1 a year for 55 years, and provide an outdoor community art gallery space on the public walkway between Folsom Street and Treat Street.

In addition, the developer will help take steps to preserve a mural on the existing building for possible reconstruction offsite, develop a new mural in a public location and explore designing another mural on the project as well.

Calle 24 council president Erick Arguello said displacement of low-income families, loss of historic murals and a lack of local jobs were all key issues that the group was happy to see addressed.

Muhammad Nadhiri, managing partner at Axis Development Group, said the developer was thrilled to have reached an agreement and:

“… proud that our project will add much-needed housing, good jobs and substantial art and culture space for local artists.”

Ronen, who was elected to the Board of Supervisors in November, also recently negotiated a deal on a project at 1515 S. Van Ness Ave. that included the temporary use of the property by the city as a homeless shelter.