Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.
California voters next year may be facing a ballot that pretty much asks them how to solve the housing crisis. Already there’s a housing bond measure slated for the ballot, and now the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (usually referred to as ACCE, spoken “ace”) has started the process of creating a ballot measure to repeal Costa-Hawkins, which protects new buildings from rent control. They still need hundreds of thousands of signatures to qualify for the ballot, but it could prove popular.
If the 1995 law is repealed, it means municipalities could create rent-control laws that include all buildings — possibly a pretty big if, given that a legislative attempt to undo Costa-Hawkins failed earlier this year.
Pressure to drop the repeal came largely from real estate interests concerned about the potential expanded new rent control stifling new development. But without new rent controls on the horizon, already developers are undergoing the lengthy planning process and then handing off properties to a new owner for construction.
That actually just happened with a development at Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue (you know, the one that was shortened after Zeitgeist initiated a review process out of concern about the shadow the new building would cast over its beer garden). The developer, according to Socketsite, has put the parcel on the market.
Why? Unclear, but a commenter on Socketsite noted that this puts the number of potential housing units that are planned — but not yet built and waiting for a sale — at more than 900 citywide.
Meanwhile, new projects continue to be proposed. One is at 1021 Valencia St., where plans have been submitted, according to SocketSite, to replace SF Auto Works with a five-story building of at least 20 residential units.
And over on 14th Street, another proposal is being explored, but this one is not for housing — rather, planning documents indicate, Mercedez-Benz is looking at building a four-level car garage and service facility at 140 14th St.
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