Last fall Bridge Housing released 2020 Rebuild Potrero Impact Report, which reviews progress redeveloping the Potrero Annex-Terrace housing complex on Potrero Hill’s southside. The “Rebuild Potrero” project was launched in 2008 by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and Bridge Housing Corporation, a nonprofit headquartered in San Francisco.
Bridge Housing operates twenty-one properties in the City. These include 1101 Connecticut, the first of five-phased Rebuild Potrero, consisting of 72 units of affordable housing located at Connecticut and 25th streets that began accepting residents last year.
Rebuild Potrero will ultimately create roughly 1,000 new mixed-income apartments, including one for one replacement of public units located at 619 Potrero Terrace. According to Lyn Hikida, Bridge Housing vice president of communications, substitute residences will be “similarly sized or larger” than present Annex-Terrace housing. Once completed Annex-Terrace ownership and management will be transferred from the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) to Bridge, with the underlying land leased to Bridge by SFHA.
Past public housing revitalizations in San Francisco have resulted in fewer total housing units and displacement of long-term tenants. Rebuild Potrero has been planned with resident input, provision of support services focused on retaining existing occupants and early intervention to assist those at displacement risk due to non-payment of rent.
1101 Connecticut replaced 53 public housing units with an equal number of upgraded homes, plus 18 apartments for households with 50 to 60 percent of average median income (AMI), between $64,050 and $76,850 for a family of four. Fifty-three families were successfully relocated. No eviction notices have been issued, nor have there been any lease violations.
According to Ms. Hikida, the project surpassed its job creation and resident work goals, with employment of 12 Annex-Terrace residents during construction of 1101 Connecticut, another 17 residents at other SFHA building projects, and 54 inhabitants finding employment in the healthcare sector, or at a nonprofit or government entity. Phase 1 construction created a total of 1,600 jobs.
Between 2016 and 2019 there’s been a seven percent rise in residents employed in higher paying jobs, in management, business, science and the arts, with a 25 percent decline in occupants with service jobs over the period. Employment levels amongst Annex-Terrace inhabitants rose from 30 percent to 58 percent between 2013 and 2019.
Rebuild Potrero is funded in part by Proposition A, a $600 million affordable housing bond passed in 2019. “Affordable housing operations are sustained through rents,” said Ms. Hikida. “Future market-rate sites are planned as either rental apartments or for-sale units and while the majority of the market-rate sites are currently projected to be rental apartments, the market and economy are important factors that may change this dynamic and include more for-sale components.”
According to Ms.Hikida, none of the eventual 619 low income public housing replacement units will ever be converted into market rate housing.
Phase 2 is underway at the block bounded by 25th, 26th and Connecticut streets. “The demolition of the existing buildings located on Phase 2 was completed in June 2020,” said Ms. Hikida. “The infrastructure start date is January 18, 2021. Infrastructure improvements include new streetscape and new utilities for the streets directly surrounding the Phase 2 project as well as the creation of an extension of Arkansas Street. Arkansas Street will be extended south to dissect the Phase 2 Block into two separate housing parcels, Block A, market rate, and Block B, affordable. The vertical construction start has moved to August 2021. Vertical Construction on the Block B site includes 157 affordable units, 118 public housing replacement units and 39 new units for 30 to 60 percent AMI households, a childcare center, a resident courtyard and a public mini park located on the corner of Connecticut Street and 25th Street”.
All five phases of Rebuild Potrero are scheduled to be completed and available for occupancy by 2029.