Plans are moving forward to build hundreds of affordable homes inside a new bus yard in San Francisco’s Mission District. This Thursday, the city’s Planning Commission is scheduled to review the Final Environmental Impact Report about the SFMTA Potrero Yards Modernization proposal. The project will replace the existing bus yard and build up to 513 units, with a refined project variant floated to build just 103 units. SFMTA and Plenary Group are joint developers.
Plenary is leading the Potrero Neighborhood Collective as the sole equity member, collaborating with local affordable housing developers MEDA, Presidio Development Partners, Tabernacle Community Development, and Young Community Developers. Plant Construction and the Allen Group will be the general contractors.
The refined plans drafted in the final EIR show a reduction compared to the initial 575-unit EIR plans. Bicycle parking has also been reduced from 773 to 313 bikes. The refined project will yield around 1.24 million square feet, with nearly 700,000 square feet for the transit facility, 531,900 square feet for housing, 2,930 square feet for retail, and 2,400 square feet for a childcare space. Apartment sizes will vary with 119 studios, 184 one-bedrooms, and 210 two- or three-bedrooms. Residents will benefit from 96,200 square feet of open space with a network of courtyards and landscaping on top of the transit hub.
Arcadis is the project architect working with Y.A. Studio. The firm became involved after acquiring IBI Group in 2022. Updated renderings show minor facade adjustments, additional distinction between the the podium deck and top floors, and a new color palette. New renderings for the refined project variant, which show how the 13-story apartment tower would rise over Bryant Street with no additional housing on top of the bus yard, have also been made.
Refined Project Variant
The hypothetical refined project variant would produce a larger transit facility but reduce housing capacity to 103 apartments with 6,300 square feet of open space. In contrast, the refined project variant would yield one million square feet, primarily from the 854,000 square feet for the transit facility, 149,00 square feet for housing, and 3,000 square feet for retail. Most of the new transit space will be for paratransit services that SFMTA offers to people who cannot access existing transit due to disabilities or disabling health conditions. Existing paratransit services operate from Brisbane in San Mateo County.
Construction for the transit facility is expected to start later this year and finish by 2027. As for housing, PNC is considering two scenarios that would see the overall project take 49 to 96 months to complete. Reached for comment, a representative for the SFMTA shared the following explanation to YIMBY:
Flexibility in construction timing for the housing is needed, as the proposed housing program is subject to funding sources and market feasibility. The PNC team is actively seeking multiple sources of state and local funding for each phase of the housing component. The transit facility is financed separately from the housing. Pending project approvals, the PNC developer team is anticipated to finance the transit facility under a public-private partnership agreement.
The development spans a whole 4.4-acre block, close to the new KQED headquarters and Franklin Square. Residents will be close to several cafes and restaurants. The 16th Street BART Station is 17 minutes away on foot or six minutes by bicycle.
The San Francisco Planning Commission is scheduled to review the plans this Thursday, January 11th, starting at 12 PM. For more information about how to attend and participate, visit the meeting agenda here.