The Mission Economic Development Agency — or MEDA, as most know it — has purchased a 16-unit building on the corner of 17th and Mission streets for $7.75 million.

A majority of the 11 residential and five commercial spaces are currently occupied by longtime, low-income tenants. 

“By taking market-rate buildings off the private market, we can keep them affordable over time,” said MEDA Director of Commercial Real Estate Karoleen Feng. “Low-income families significantly occupy most buildings MEDA purchases.”

During the year-long purchasing process of the building, however, two high-income households replaced the low-income households, Feng said, which made purchasing the building more “urgent.” 

“Other properties we purchase have a higher percentage of high-income tenants – tenants who are generally more transitory in San Francisco,” she said. “We purchase these buildings with the expectation that as these tenants move out – of their own volition – we can rent to low-income tenants at affordable rents.”

In order for MEDA to purchase the property through the city’s Small Site Program, a majority of the building’s tenants must be at or below 80 percent area median income.

The San Francisco Housing Accelerator program provided the multimillion-dollar bridge loan to MEDA as the nonprofit waits for public funds from the city’s small-sites fund to become available. This is the fourth loan the accelerator program has given to MEDA for a small-site purchase. 

The nonprofit has been on an acquisition spree in recent years. This newest building, at 2093 Mission St., is the 19th purchase under the city’s Small Sites program, which is aimed at protecting longtime residents and neighborhood-serving areas in the neighborhood.

“MEDA is working to purchase corner buildings along the Mission Street commercial corridor — especially between Duboce Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street — so that a proper mix exists to meet our families’ housing and small-business needs, reversing a trend of gentrification and Displacement,” said Karoleen Feng, director of community real estate at MEDA, in a statement.

Aside from small sites, the non-profit is currently developing 534 units on five different sites — all slated to be completed by 2021. In December, the community nonprofit-cum-affordable housing developer bought a decaying building at 18th and Mission for $6 million.

Johnny Oliver, who heads MEDA’s Small Sites program, said the nonprofit had its eyes on the building for more than a year, but its owner had been asking for a price “that did not meet city guidelines.”

A year later, Oliver said, the priced dropped by about $1 million, and MEDA jumped on it.

MEDA will be doing “rehab” work on the building at a cost of about $10,000 to $20,000 per unit, Oliver said.

Oliver said MEDA’s 20th small site purchase, a six-unit property, will come in early February.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the ratio of low- and high-income tenants currently occupying the building. 

Follow Us

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

Join the Conversation


Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Tucker. The Master tenants have moved out and are subletting the apartments at market rate. The master tenants now get to lock in on their monthly price.

  2. The grocery store on the ground floor has been closed (as can be seen in the photo) for the past week. Is this related in some way?

  3. The fact that Mission Local operates out of MEDA’s offices is a glaring omission, and a fact legitimate news outlets would disclose. Is this a news article or is this a MEDA press release?

    1. Exactly. Not to mention accuracy. I live down the block and I’m friends with several residents and shop owners. The fact is less than half of the units are occupied by low income tenants. Most of them are well-to-do single professionals paying market price rent and have lived there less than 5 years. MEDA just spent 8 million tax dollars to “protect” a grand total of 4 low income tenants from theoretical eviction.