News summary from San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood

New affordable housing development

Bridge Housing Corporation, with funding from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, is opening the Mission Walk apartments, the first affordable condos and townhouses for sale in Mission Bay. They’re holding an open house November 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Units cost anywhere between $159,000 and $303,000, depending on income and unit size. A family of four must earn no more than $94,300 to qualify to purchase affordable housing.

Bridge Housing is currently reviewing the 646 applications it received for the 131 units at Mission Walk, according to spokesperson Lyn Hakita.

Three other affordable developments in Mission Bay provide apartments and condos, but only for rent: Mission Creek Senior Community and Crescent Cove on Berry Street, and Rich Sorro Commons on King Street.

That means 131 units for sale and 543 for rent. The rentals are also full. Constructed affordable housing accounts for 28 percent of the 2,385 units built, according to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

There are 6,000 residential units total planned for Mission Bay.

UC San Francisco starts pre-hospital demolition

In preparation for hospital construction, UCSF will begin demolition of a huge warehouse on 3rd Street and Mariposa, as well as the neighboring two-story office building.

An abatement contractor will first remove asbestos, which UCSF expects to take two months. The actual demolition will be just two weeks. The concrete foundation will be removed later in 2010 to make way for site preparation for the UCSF hospital.

A San Francisco police department SWAT team took advantage of the empty buildings to host a training two weeks ago, to the surprise of farmers’ market customers, many of whom were startled by the loud flash bangs – which reverberated through the UC campus from two blocks away.

Aerial view of the warehouse.

Just a few weeks left for fresh produce at Mission Bay

It’s your last chance to get farm fresh apples and other produce at Mission Bay for the season. The farmers’ market’s closing Nov. 25 and won’t be back until spring, according to the farmers’ market manager Kelly Toomey.

Currently its 18 vendors are still doing steady, though not brisk, business. Toomey says it’s normal for markets to slow down in the fall. UCSF staff, construction workers, and residents from the Dogpatch and Bayview neighborhoods will lose one of the few nearby sources of farm fresh produce.

State stem cell institute doles out nearly $40 million

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine provided nearly $20 million for a diabetes research team including Jeffrey Bluestone, director of the UC San Francisco Diabetes Center, as well as Michael German, Matthias Hebrok, and Qizhi Tang, as well as Novocell, Inc.

Roughly $19 million goes to brain tumor research led by UCSF Neurosurgery director Mitchel Berger, in collaboration with Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Burnham Institute for Medical Research. Other researchers and doctors involved in the project include C. David James, Tomoko Ozawa, Russell Pieper, Mei-Yin Polley, Michael Prados, and Elizabeth Read.

The institute, located in Mission Bay North, was formed after California’s Proposition 71 passed in 2004, setting aside $3 billion for stem cell research.

QB3 and venture capital fund for baby biotechs

Mission Bay Capital LLC has launched a venture capital fund for biotech at the California Institute for Quantitative Biology, or QB3, and UCSF. The $7.4 million Mission Bay Capital Fund was formed to give small life sciences companies seed money – in the $500,000 range – as well as attract further investment to fledgling life sciences.

Biotech recipients will be considered for funding on the bases of viability and social benefit, according to UC San Francisco’s press release.

The fund is being managed by Regis Kelly, QB3 director, and Douglas Crawford, associate executive director. It will accept philanthropic donations as well as cash from corporate investors.

Twenty percent of profits – obtained when companies are sold or go public – will be returned to the fund for other Mission Bay Capital investments.

Circus is in town

Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo will be in Mission Bay starting Nov 27 and staying through January.

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Anrica is a science reporter and twice Cal grad, with a degree in engineering and a master of journalism. She's a Bay Area native and lives in Oakland. She's enjoyed wide-ranging professional endeavors, including shoveling manure, researching human signaling proteins, volunteering in a leprosy hospital, using an atomic force microscope, and modeling the electricity grid.

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