The City of San Francisco will pay another city agency $2.4 million for land that is now a parking lot on 17th and Folsom streets, where it plans to create a park.
The money, which will come from developers’ fees collected by the city, will go to the Public Utilities Commission, the agency that owns the land. This means that the city will essentially lose money to build future parks because of the funds required to purchase this land.
The city will pay the PUC incrementally as it collects developer fees, and pay off the debt over two to three years. Construction can begin immediately.
The city does not currently have other park projects that are shovel-ready like the one being proposed on 17th and Folsom, according to Steve Wertheimof, a planner with the Planning Department.
Planners did not say exactly when construction would begin on the project, which will transform half of the 220-car parking lot into a park. Plans are in the works to convert the other half into affordable housing at some future date.
The city has already received a $2.7 million grant from the state to build the park, but the state declined to give the city money to buy the land outright.
The city has to own the land in order to receive the grant, which is why it is buying it from the PUC. The PUC cannot lease or give the land to the city because it is mandated by a charter amendment to get market value for the property.
It’s not going to be a very big park if it’s only half the lot…why bother?
“This means that the city will essentially lose money to build future parks because of the funds required to purchase this land.” -Uhhh, it seems obvious that if the city spends money to build one park then that money isn’t available for another, hypothetical, park- even if that money includes payment for the land. Hopefully they did a review and found that the area was lacking in parks and found the allocation of money here reasonable. But saying that eating an apple today means we can’t eat the same apple tomorrow is a meaningless way to try to put (what appears to be negative) spin on the city’s action.