4200 Geary Could Become 98-Unit Mixed-Use Complex

By Thomas K. Pendergast

Pending approval by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 98 residential units of housing for low-income senior citizens will be built at Sixth Avenue and Geary Boulevard, where a former funeral home now sits.

The new building will provide 41 studio apartments and 57 one-bedroom units. Of these, 20 units will be reserved for homeless and formerly homeless seniors, the City will subsidize the rent for at least 30 units, 12 units will be reserved for military veterans and one unit for a resident manager.

The ground floor of the mixed-use seven-story building will provide 1,908 square feet of commercial space.

The apartments will house seniors with a range of low incomes, starting as low as 15% and up to 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI), defined as the midpoint of a given area’s income distribution, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In San Francisco, 100% AMI works out to $97,000 annually for a single person, $110,850 for two people, $124,700 for three and $138,550 for four.

At a Feb. 15 meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee, Sheila Nickolopolous, the director of policy and legislative affairs at the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), confirmed that the building will house low-income and formerly homeless senior citizens.

“This is the first affordable senior housing project in the Richmond since 2011,” Nickolopolous said. “It’s an important step in meeting housing element goals of bringing affordable units to high-resource neighborhoods. We acknowledge the significant need for more housing like this that can provide safe, affordable homes for aging adults on fixed low incomes.”

The City acquired the property for $11,064,369 and will lease it to Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), which will operate the site.

An additional five feet of height will be allowed for the ground floor commercial space. And because it is “100% affordable,” it will be allowed an extra 33 feet in height above the usual 40-foot limit, which will give the building three additional stories.

“It’s a great site,” District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee, said at the meeting. “It’s right in front of the bus stop and walking distance to the farmer’s market on Clement Street. We know that there is already NEMS (North East Medical Services) that is right there to be able to help some of the seniors if they need it.”

This comes at a time when the City is under pressure from the California state government to build 82,000 units by 2031, a daunting task considering San Francisco averaged 2,550 units a year over the past two decades, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The state’s mandate would require the City to build more than 10,000 units each year.

Adding to the challenge is the requirement that 46,000 of the units must be affordable to low- and moderate-income households.

Cities that do not meet the state’s mandate face cuts in funding for housing and transportation, and could also trigger the state to override local authorities in approving affordable housing projects.

But apparently these kinds of projects are very expensive for the City, as was discussed at the meeting.

“We have to figure out ways to get these projects done for less per unit,” District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said. “And at the same time, I’m very excited to see this project happening in a neighborhood that has been represented by supervisors who really want to see affordable housing happening in the Richmond and have often found, as I have found in District 8, challenges around sites.”

An artist’s rendering shows the planned mixed-use complex with 98 residential units of housing for low-income senior citizens and retail space. Pending approval from the SF Board of Supervisors, the building will be at Sixth Avenue and Geary Boulevard, the site of a former funeral home. Courtesy graphic.

Proposition A was a 2019 affordable housing bond measure for $600 million, with $250 million dedicated to senior housing.

“I am grateful to the voters for having passed the housing bond with the provision that we would try to focus at least some resources in high-opportunity areas, high-resource areas, that haven’t seen a lot of affordable housing development,” he said. “This is exciting. This will be a very positive addition to the neighborhood and let’s try and get some more affordable housing to D1 and D8.”

District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí also voiced his approval at the meeting.

“This is one of the hardest types of housing to build, given the limited funding sources for senior housing,” Safai said. “There’s a fast-growing aging population that’s in significant need of affordable housing and we want to ensure that that population is served and supported in San Francisco. So this is a really phenomenal project. I think this is a great addition to the community.”

3 replies »

  1. The neighborhood is already woefully overcrowded. Stuffing so many people into such a tiny space in an already polluted and congested thoroughfare does absolutely nothing for the environment. It will bring just more cars, pollution and contribute further to a City which has one of the most dense population per square mile statistics. It is no more than a boon for developers, politicians and real estate agents.


  2. Kudos to former D1 Supervisor Fewer and current Supervisor Chan for creating and moving this project forward. I am proud to live in a neighborhood represented by leaders who care about our City’s most vulnerable.


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