Construction Unions Slam Mission District’s Controversial “Beast on Bryant”

The long slog for local developers’ plans to turn the building at the corner of Bryant and 18th into a six-story, 328-unit housing complex goes on (and on, and on).

On Thursday, the Northern California chapter of the Laborers Local 261 held a press conference in front of the flashpoint building to decry the project. According to Mission Local, union complaints were in line with the usual criticisms of the (unaffectionately nicknamed) “Beast on Bryant” — specifically, that it should include more affordable housing and that the developer should have to replace the manufacturing space that would be lost when the current tenants are scattered.

It should go without saying, but Local 261 also insisted on union labor for any construction that eventually happens. Of course.

Nick Podell, whose eponymous company operates out of a Drumm Street office, attempted to placate angry neighbors in the past by offering to find new homes for artist groups displaced by the development. He has also offered 40 percent of the units on site as affordable housing…

Also on hand yesterday were two of the candidates for the Mission’s soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Board of Supervisors. All of the declared candidates say they don’t support the present version of the project. Tough crowd… (more)

Construction Union Opposes Bryant St. Housing Project

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By missionlocal – excerpt

A proposed six-story, 328-unit housing project on Bryant Street drew more opposition on Thursday after a press conference called by construction union Local 261 demanded significant changes to the Mission District housing project.

A group of union workers, supervisorial candidates, and local activists spoke outside of 2000 Bryant St. — the so-called “Beast on Bryant” — to demand more affordable housing on-site, replacement all of the manufacturing space currently on the block, and the use union jobs in the construction of the project.

The current project would replace a block of former industrial, arts, and restaurant spaces with two housing towers. At one site — built and financed by developer Nick Podell — 196 market-rate units and three below-market-rate ones are planned.

At the other, 129 fully affordable units would be built and financed by the city on land provided by Podell.

That land dedication — which is about 40 percent of the total project units — wasn’t enough for speakers on Thursday, who called for 50 percent of the units produced on-site to be affordable.

“Building a better Beast is about building more affordable housing for all of us,” said Josh Arce, who works as a liaison for Local 261 and is a leader of the newest opposition.

Speakers also called for 1-1 replacement of PDR space — which is production, distribution, and repair — after data released by the Planning Department on Thursday showed a rapid loss such space in the Mission District and other neighborhoods. The project as currently envisioned goes from 50,000 square feet of PDR to 11,000 across both sites… (more)

 

 

 

 

 

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