It was a regular who’s who last Friday at Sunnydale’s HOPE SF project: There was Rep. Nancy Pelosi seated next to Mayor London Breed. State Sen. Scott Wiener and Supervisor Shamann Walton flanked the other sides of the podium.
They were there for Marcia Fudge, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She was touring San Francisco’s developing public housing development, HOPE SF. The project includes 775 affordable units to replace those that will be renovated, 200 more affordable units, and 694 market rate units. All in all, that’s about 1,770 homes and some community and open space.
Breed shared personal stories of living in public housing projects, while Fudge and Pelosi spoke policy and sprinkled in some verses from Matthew and Ecclesiastes about giving back. “This administration will do whatever it can for people who need help. Every person should live with dignity,” Fudge said.
Once the scrum scrammed, though, a group of tenants from Sunnydale Apartments pressed themselves up against a chain-link fence separating them from HOPE SF and yelled in protest. Apparently, they will be relocated to HOPE SF when it’s done — a move they don’t want to make, or feared being unable to make.
Ruby Guzman said in Spanish that she feared families that have members with different immigration statuses may be barred from the new complex because not everyone in the household has proper documentation; 20-year Sunnydale resident Yong Chang Ling fears losing his parking or his access to washers and dryers; others worry that rent will rise, thanks to the market-rate housing. Another dozen or so waited with signs outside the construction project. Most of them were Black, or monolingual Asian and Latinx residents; they said they don’t want privatization of public housing, and plan on rallying in front of City Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
catch up on this column:
A Pedal Revolution revelation
Sometimes revolution brings rubble. For the past few weeks, there have been rumblings at the erstwhile bike shop Pedal Revolution on 21st Street, which hit the brakes last summer and shut down. Inside are piles and piles of rubble — and not much else.
A construction worker inside said he doesn’t know what it’ll be. Another offered, “a bike shop.” But not everyone’s so sure.
“I doubt if it will be a bike shop,” said former Pedal Revolution general manager Steve Fiduccia, who has moved on to new bike adventures.
Following the initial publication, a reader tipped me that according to some people outside the building, it will house AethLabs, a self-described “small company in San Francisco that makes air quality monitors.” It’s also confirmed according to city records.
What is also clear is that New Door Ventures, the last owners, granted the property deed to Foghorn Fellow Industries LLC in June, 2021. As late as October, documents show Foghorn Fellow Industries is paying the mortgage.
Foghorn Fellow Industries is at 1640 Valencia St., near Tiffany Avenue in La Lengua. It is listed as a real estate and leasing business that started this spring, public records show.
A lane less for South Van Ness
With autumn comes change: Trees thin and sport new colors. Apparently, that can happen with avenues, too!
The South Van Ness “road diet” project, aimed at reducing pedestrian collisions and deaths on the busy avenue, reaches the third stage of its project soon.
As currently planned, South Van Ness’ present four lanes (two lanes traveling in each direction) will join into three. The middle lane will be painted and widened, to allow left-turn lanes for alleys or driveways.
Right now, cars turning left must watch for “two lanes of opposing traffic,” its project site said, “meaning there are two potential collision opportunities.” You can see for yourself on the virtual open house, which closes Oct. 27, as well as other changes, like timed traffic lights and colored curbs.
From 2015 to 2020, there were 190 reported collisions and two pedestrian fatalities. Road diets can drastically curb motor-vehicle crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Just this weekend, a car rammed into a parklet on the street. Luckily, no one was inside.
As with many infrastructure projects, this road diet won’t skimp on controversy, so the SFMTA wants to hear from you: call in Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. or on Monday, Oct. 25, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Drop online comments here.
While the project won’t proceed until community feedback ensues, the implementation is slated to start in “Fall 2021 to early Winter 2022,” according to the SFMTA website.
Housekeeping : What you missed and what I’m reading
From us, to you, with love:
From me: a longtime housing and community activist could get evicted, which he and other activists claim flies in the face of local law. Judges disagree. ICYMI, Buena Vista Horace Mann may get a much-needed revamp, in part thanks to Mission Local, staff said.
Screw the Batmobile, it’s the Bookmobile! Eleni Balakrishnan gives updates on the Mission Library.
What I’m reading:
Conor Dougherty’s longform New York Times piece explores how the “suburban dream” incites housing problems like wealth inequality and segregation. It’s embedded with real-people stories and rich details, just as the lovely “Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America” did.
And slowly but surely, I’m getting through Richard Rothstein’s “The Color of Law,” which pairs well with any relevant housing topic today.
Update Oct. 17, 10 a.m. with what Pedal Revolution will be.