A potential 117-unit residential project at 2675 Folsom Street will not be moving forward in its proposed current form, Mission Local confirmed today. Its developer, Axis Development, has put the fully entitled site up for sale, Axis Managing Partner Theo F. Oliphant said Thursday.
“I have no comment beyond that,” Oliphant told Mission Local. He declined to name the development company’s desired price and why he is not moving forward with the plans.
This is a surprise move following a fierce battle between community activists and the developer to offer more affordable housing and community benefits. It was resolved last May after District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen brokered a deal between the developer and activists.
With that deal apparently dashed, the land could potentially yet house a 100-percent affordable structure — and the Mission District’s affordable developers are already beginning to queue up.
Sam Moss, the executive director of Mission Housing, said the affordable developer is “definitely interested in purchasing it.”
“We’re definitely talking to brokers and looking for partners,” he said. But “it’s very early.”
Bids on the property at 23rd and Folsom are due by October 29, Moss said, and he expects competition from other affordable developers and market-rate developers alike. But, Moss said, “As long as 100-percent affordable, I’ll be happy.”
“I believe Mission Housing is the best developer for this project,” he continued. “But if another developer can build 100-percent affordable and keep community benefits, that’s what’s best for the community — and that’s what’s important.”
Mission Housing, he said, will be seeking bonds and tax credits for potential funding.
Moss said the land is “perfect” for an affordable project because of its proximity to BART, low construction costs, and the fact that its entitlements have already been granted by the city. “This is ready to go,” he said. “We’re not going to have to change anything. We would immediately seek [funding].”
As an Axis development project, the building would have been 27 percent affordable, with 23 onsite affordable units and eight off-site. Axis had agreed to lease 5,200 square feet of ground-floor space to a community nonprofit for 55 years, for $1 per year.
Those community benefits were the product of last May’s deal wrangled by Ronen. After that, the project’s main, and fiercest, opposition — the merchants association Calle 24 — withdrew its appeal of the project.
Ronen told Mission Local she will be reaching out to Axis to see what she can do to make the existing plans work. “I believe in the deal the community and the developer tried so hard to reach,” she said. “And I don’t want to give up easily.”