By Meira Gebel, San Francisco Business Times, March 23, 2017:

One of the most ambitious efforts in the country to rebuild public housing into mixed-income neighborhoods is underway in San Francisco.

The so-called HOPE SF plan kicked off in the Bayview neighborhood’s Hunters View and its second phase wrapped up last year.

“It’s a really big milestone because it demonstrates that we can continue to move forward with the HOPE SF program on a larger scale,” said Jack Gardner, president and CEO of John Stewart Co., one of the developers involved in the project.

The $2 billion HOPE SF project is intended to eventually revitalize public housing in Visitacion Valley, the Western Addition, Potrero Hill and Bayview Hunters Point.

The plan at Hunters View is to completely replace the original 267 units, while adding new housing.

“The previous housing in Hunters View was planned to be temporary housing that had seriously aged,” said Daniel Simons, a principal at David Baker Architects. “The barracks-style arrangement of the original housing was isolating, without any connections to the community.

The second of four phases at Hunters View finished in 2016. Phase I, which was completed in 2012, was also 107 units. Phase 2 included $19 million in infrastructure and the $65 million development of 107 units, 80 of which were public housing replacements. The remaining 27 are affordable units for households making 55 percent of median income or less.

The infrastructure work included a park, playground, new streets and pathways to address the site’s former isolation.

Increasingly challenging state and federal funding and regulatory constraints proved difficult for those involved in the project, Gardner said.

“It is a part of the ongoing building of a whole new neighborhood, the project goes beyond bricks and mortar, it is more about reconnecting residents with the broader community of San Francisco,” Gardner said.

Future phases include 72 affordable units and a community center at Block 10, followed by 100 more affordable units, and three phases of market-rate projects, each with 125 to 150 units.

Habitat for Humanity is building 30 units in phases II and III.

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