After reading Pendergast’s articles, March, and April 2022, I feel I must comment and address some of the questions, tergiversations and misinformation.
First, it is true that the massive development will have 400 units. One should not assume that means only 400 residents. In most cases, it means 800 to 1,000 additional residents. This is 1,000 people taxing an already limited infrastructure supporting the area. Whether it’s water, waste treatment, Muni, roadways and parking, this will have a dramatic effect on the current systems with no additional help or funds directly allocated.
Will this bring additional retail space, yes, but the bigger question is, “Is additional retail space needed?” The Westerly has never, in over 4 years, rented its retail space. All over the Sunset, businesses have closed. These spots should be filled before adding additional retail space, as it right now is going unrented.
In the April issue, “Opponents Organize Against Sloat Boulevard Project” sonsf.org has been created.
It has been claimed that the Westerly has a 75% occupancy. Anyone who lives near there can tell you that on most nights, less than 1/3 of the condos have lights on. I have been informed that only 23 units have been sold, which seems about right for observation. Could it be that people bought them as investments or to us as Airbnb’s? Who knows?
People have consistently brought up the parking issue. Some have claimed that there is dedicated parking. There are no plans for 400 parking spots and there is no such thing as guaranteed street parking. Furthermore, the majority of the street spaces are not available at two mornings a week, which in effect means that two nights a week parking isn’t available. This means that 25-50% of the street parking isn’t available on a given night. This facility will impact parking in the area, which is already impacted by events at the Irish Culture Center.
Affordability. I would not consider $900,000 and HOA fees affordable. I believe most would agree. If you spend another $100,000 and you have a single-family home, without HOA fees. This is not an affordable housing project. It is a condominium development with a sprinkling of affordable housing.
This project shows a lack of understanding of the community, and a lack of communication. Luis Cuadra stated that, “we are just starting our conversation with neighbors ….” This neighbor has not heard a word since Dec. 2, 2021. At the outreach meeting on Dec. 2. 2021, Mr. Cuadra said, “Muni will get you downtown in 15 minutes” I am still laughing at that.
In both articles, people Insinuated that “there are plenty of other places you can live if you really want to drive everywhere” and “if I owned a car and needed parking space, I would acquire a condo with a parking space.” I do not and should not have to move so a developer can build a 12 to 13 story monstrosity in the name of their profits. Please make no mistake, this project isn’t about increasing housing in the area or creating affordable house, it is solely about profit.
During the pandemic and the great resignation, housing has changed in San Francisco. People left the City by the thousands. With a change in the work situations (Zoom, changed in work weeks, etc.) it is no longer essential for tech workers to live in the City. The Los Angeles Times (March 25, 2022) reported that San Francisco has seen almost a 7% drop in population. To quote the article, “the findings paint a picture of a state in flux, with factors such as soaring home prices, dwindling birth rates and more work-from-home options contributing to a population on the move.” Now isn’t the time to build giant high risers in the Sunset, for a dwindling population. There is a reason the most recent addition to the area sits unoccupied.
Some members of the community have started a grass roots campaign to address this type of money grab by developers who are only looking to make a profit on housing that may be unneeded. For more information, please go to sonsf.org
Categories: letter to the editor