Short Cuts

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Infrastructure Privatized

Mayor London Breed and District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton are pushing legislation to create an “infrastructure financing district” at the Potrero Power Station, a 2,600-unit waterfront project located just south of Pier 70. The district, known as an IFD, would allow the developer, Associate Capital, to raise $150 million to finish building streets, sidewalks, seawalls and underground utilities for the new waterfront neighborhood, which’ll include 800 affordable homes, seven acres of parks and a mix of commercial buildings. If the IFD legislation is approved, Associate Capital will be able to borrow against future tax revenues to help pay for public infrastructure. Site preparation for redevelopment of the former, notoriously dirty power plant — which closed in 2011, thanks to the efforts of citizen-activists Philip De Andrade and John Borg, among others, as well as then City Attorney Dennis Herrera — has been underway for several years. Associate Capital has already invested $70 million in prep work. While San Francisco has used IFDs for redevelopment projects taking place on public land — Treasure Island and Mission Rock are examples — the Potrero Power Station would be the first time the mechanism is applied to a private scheme.

Needle Drops

The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) Community Clinic will cease providing patient services this summer. The clinic closure stems from a California Institute of Integral Studies decision to shutter ACTCM. Currently enrolled students are completing their degrees under a “teach-out” plan, with no new students admitted. The Clinic is an integral part of the College; the College’s end resulted in the Clinic’s termination…The City isn’t happy with Indiana Street benches built around street trees during COVID.  The outdoor seating was constructed by Hire-Ability Vocational Services, a nonprofit that helps people with a mental health diagnosis find a job. But the San Francisco Department of Public Works believes they obstruct the sidewalk, traffic flows, and need two by fours that’re spaced apart to allow for more water to reach tree roots. DPW also wants a $1,400 encroachment application fee. The Good Life Grocery has faced similar travails associated with benches it built decades ago on 20th Street.  Doesn’t the City have more pressing things to attend to?

Biomedicine Expands

The Gladstone Institutes, a biomedical research nonprofit, plans to expand its Mission Bay building by more than one-third over the next three years. The $160 million extension to the Owens Street facility will add 75,000 square feet to the building’s current 200,000, 200 more jobs and upwards of 15 new laboratories. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024 and end in 2026. The structure, which currently houses 30 labs, features open spaces meant to foster collaboration, rooms full of specialized equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sealed sterilized areas, where Gladstone wants the public to know that stem cells are grown from human skin cells, rather than from embryos, and studied.