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Downtown SF project may buy its way out of below-market-rate housing mandate

August 23, 2014


Jonah Owen Lamb : sfexaminer – excerpt

On a bright morning last November, Mayor Ed Lee stood in an empty downtown lot –a shiny shovel in hand — for the groundbreaking of 181 Fremont St. Before a crowd, Lee touted the project as part of San Francisco’s solution to its affordability problem, as 11 of the building’s 74 condos would be below market rate. Not only was the project a “great answer to the housing challenge,” with its mixed-income residences, it was also an example of “the way San Francisco works.”

But at the time, moves were being made to kill that very idea.

Developer Jay Paul Co. had come to The City that October and asked if there was any way the company could get around the requirements to build below-market-rate units.

Citywide, residential developers must make 12 percent of units below market rate or pay an in-lieu fee…

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