San Francisco leaders and developers broke ground Thursday on the $1 billion 5M mixed-use development project more than three years after the Board of Supervisors approved the plan.
A legal battle ensued following the development approval, but a panel of judges earlier this year rejected an appeal brought by neighborhood groups concerned the project would gentrify the neighborhood.
The March ruling allowed Brookfield Properties and its partnership with Hearst Corporation to begin construction.
Mayor London Breed said at the groundbreaking:
“There were a lot of delays, but delays don’t mean denials.”
“This is a type of project that should not be delayed. This is the kind of project we need in communities all over San Francisco because we know we have challenges with affordable housing.”
The development will include an office building at 415 Natoma St. and two residential buildings at 434 Minna St. On site, 91 affordable housing units will be made available for middle-income households.
Developers are also donating land near the project site, funding for 83 affordable senior housing units at 967 Mission St. and funding for 71 family housing units at 168 Eddy St., which includes 19 units specifically built for formally homeless families.
5M will transform the South of Market neighborhood by using underutilized parking lots, alleyways and existing buildings in the surrounding area of Mission, Fifth and Howard streets.
Additionally, 5M will restore existing structures in the area, including the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle building at 901 Mission St., the Dempster and Camelline buildings.
Once restored, the Community Arts Stabilization Trust — an organization that helps lease spaces for nonprofit art organizations — will have a new office in the Dempster building.
Jason Bonnet, vice president of development with Brookfield Properties, said:
“Together we created a social and economic formula to support positive growth. This formula included sustaining the neighborhood’s inclusivity, creativity and its roots. It focuses on creating local jobs and housing and promotes culture and the arts.”
Former District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim was in attendance at the groundbreaking as she was supervisor when the project was approved by the board. Kim reiterated the importance of ensuring the project included the 40 percent of affordable housing units:
“It’s important as we build multiple arrays of housing that we include those that are struggling, but working to live in The City. That’s why I am so proud of this project.”