Developments in Development: Relative comfort

On 24th Street.

Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.

We hear a lot about median income, but that metric isn’t necessarily an indicator of how much it costs to live here. Curbed has that statistic from a banking company’s study: If you want to live here comfortably, you best be making more than $110,000 a year. By some calculations, even doctors making more than $200,000 a month can’t afford can’t afford to buy a home here.

With numbers like that, it’s particularly troubling for those 69 percent of the people getting evicted who make less than $50,000 a year (though that works out, as one commenter notes, to about 430 people total in this dataset). How many of those people could afford to move into even a studio today when even some of the most modest, kitchen-less homes in the city are being offered up for rent at around $1,700 a month?

As far as supplying new housing goes, architects are still venting about the Planning Department, and its director agreed to an interview with Curbed to defend the maligned staff. There’s not much there for people who promote by-right housing and believe strongly that the level of scrutiny is ridiculous, but one key point the director makes addresses architecture specifically: Planners don’t try to be architects and create beautiful designs. Their job is just to keep us from ending up with seriously ugly, out-of-context stuff.

Also in housing production, four stories to be built atop what was most recently Anna’s Linens secured one necessary approval this week. All that’s left is securing a building permit.

Few discussions about housing and building can be weathered without a discussion of parking, traffic, and transit in the city already. But this week the Examiner offered up another link between those issues: Construction is a factor in the city’s gridlock, slowing traffic on one downtown street from an average of 11 miles per hour to less than five.

Here’s a planning notice you don’t see every day: The new owner of Pete’s Bar-B-Que is setting up to convert upstairs offices to condos. The proposal will go before the Zoning Administrator on April 26, at which point I’m guessing the city will hear from any businesses currently housed upstairs.

Speaking of feedback: Complaints about illegal short term rentals doubled last year and are set to double again this year – despite Airbnb’s reported purge of noncompliant listings. Consider, though, that these are the complaints alone, not necessarily confirmed violations.

And finally, will this be the next big development battle? “The Farm,” once a community center in the corner of the Mission, has been rezoned, Socketsite reports. No plans for development exist yet, but like many other sites, it’s being marketed as having “development potential.” Keep an eye on this one, folks.

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