By J.K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt
Plans to develop a convention hotel with some affordable housing on the site of the Moscone Center Garage are off to a rocky start, as neighborhood groups accuse the city agency in charge of the project of “stonewalling the community.”
Last spring the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency issued a request for proposals to redevelop the 732-space parking garage at 255 Third St., a mid-block, 40,000-square-foot rectangular parcel between Folsom and Howard streets.
The request called for a 30-story tower containing a 650-room hotel and a minimum of 100 units of affordable housing. Developers were also asked to submit two versions of the proposal: one with a 200- to 300-space parking garage and one with no parking.
Four teams responded to the request, each of them consisting of a hotel development group and a nonprofit housing builder.
But while the members of the four teams have been publicly disclosed, the SFMTA has kept the details of the individual proposals confidential, saying the information will not be made public until a winning developer is selected…
Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents the district, said his constituents want to make sure the transit agency picks the teams offering the best community benefits, not simply the most money for the land. They want a developer willing to construct the most affordable housing, that has a good track record of providing high-paying union construction and hotel jobs, and is willing to throw in extras like affordable space for nonprofits or arts groups…
“This site could accommodate 300 units of housing — 300 would be great,” said John Elberling, executive director of TODCO, which owns and manages affordable housing complexes in the South of Market…
Elberling said that his group would consider a lawsuit or even putting the project on the ballot if negotiations with SFMTA don’t improve.
“We are being stonewalled by the MTA,” he said. “If the MTA keeps doing that, their project is never going to happen. There are so many ways this project could be attacked. The MTA is crazy to pick a fight.” … (more)