The 117-unit development at 2675 Folsom St. near 23rd Street. Design by David Baker Architects.

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.”

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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.

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6 Comments

  1. In a period of not just runaway housing prices, but skyrocketing construction costs as well, this project fell victim to excessive demands from the Ronen/Calle 24 tag team.

    I would look forward to a neighborhood/local non-profit developer like Mission Housing coming in and pulling this thing out of the fire, but I don’t look forward to the $900,000/unit cost that “affordable” housing projects are currently costing. That’s just a sustainable way to get the massive amounts of housing that the City requires.

    1. Yes, how is gifting people nearly a million dollars worth of real estate, ever going to be sustainable or scaleable? It will never be “inclusive” as only a select few will ever get on the short list to get it. That makes it in reality, extremely exclusive. The entire concept was flawed from the start. It will never “solve” the housing crisis. But then rent control did not solve it either and it’s had 40 years now to work its “magic”.

      1. A $1m house is inclusive. There are many, many, many people in this city who can afford that. If you can’t, then there’s a massive country out there waiting to be developed. Let’s let the market dictate what to do – not emotions.

    2. Sorry, I meant to say that it’s “not a sustainable way to the massive amounts of housing that the City requires.”

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