Earlier this year, commercial developer Chris Foley of Common Ground Urban Development proposed a project that would give ten local nonprofit organizations permanent homes right in the Mission District.
The proposed development would be a five-story, 200,000 square foot commercial building at 1850 Bryant St, where an unused building currently sits. Foley plans to divide the building into ten commercial units specifically for nonprofit use, and sell them for about 40% below market value. They would basically be “affordable housing for social service nonprofits,” says Foley.
The financing for these affordable nonprofit housing units comes partially from the federal New Markets Tax credits. Owning building space is a huge hurdle for area nonprofits, 38% of whom have moved at least once in the past seven years. Foley recognized the importance of stability for nonprofits when he advised United Playaz, a nonprofit dedicated to helping area teens in crisis and who eventually raised $1.4 million to buy their building.
The Bryant St project already has seven tenants ready to move into the new building when it is completed. Although they don’t want to be named publicly until plans are finalized, potential nonprofits could include such services as addictions treatment and counseling, job and housing placement, and education for adults. The building will also include space for the arts, and will feature a 14,000 square-foot rooftop garden.
According to Curbed SF, Foley will put in his bid for the project with the Planning Commission on June 1. After demolition of the old building, construction could begin as early as late June.
The project is estimated to cost around $120 million, with individual 10,000 square-foot units selling for a little less than $6 million.