BUILD is thrilled to officially break ground at Eagle Plaza at the heart of SF’s Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District! Mayor London Breed, Supervisors Rafael Mandelman & Matt Haney, as well as Eagle Bar co-owner Lex Montiel were among the speakers at this exciting, leather filled event!
‘Work starts on SF's Eagle Plaza’ - by Matthew S. Bajko, Bay Area Reporter 6/19/2019
‘SF’s leather community breaks ground at site celebrating culture’s emergence’ - by Ashley McBride, San Francisco Chronicle 6/18/2019
‘Officials, community celebrate groundbreaking at Eagle Plaza’ - by Kevin N. Hume, SF Examiner 6/18/2019
‘Eagle Plaza breaks ground as leather district centerpiece’ - by Jerold Chinn, SF Bay 6/19/2019
"This is a special day for everybody, not only for me. What makes it so special is we will have a permanent public recognition for the community. We have always been here and now we have a monument for our diversity."
-Lex Montiel quoted by Matthew S Bajko, Bay Area Reporter
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the Major Encroachment Permit for Eagle Plaza in February 2019. This was a major milestone for the public project, which will convert a wide street into a pedestrian-friendly gathering space that celebrates the LGBTQ and leather communities in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.
The passage of this milestone generated a number of news articles describing the goals of the plaza and the cultural history of the area:
“Ambitious $1.85 million Eagle Plaza headed to Western SoMa” by Justin Phillips in the San Francisco Chronicle on 2/26/2019
“Can San Francisco’s famed leather district be saved in an era of high property values?” by Maria La Ganga in the Los Angeles Times on 3/4/2019
“SF leaders OK Eagle Plaza permit” by Matthew Bajko in The Bay Area Reporter on 2/13/2019
Matthew’s article included a number of great quotes showing support from the partners on the project:
"Our LGBT and leather communities have a long history in San Francisco and western SOMA and they will now have a permanent home in the neighborhood," stated [Mayor] Breed following the supervisors' vote February 12. "The new Eagle Plaza will celebrate our diversity and the pride we all have in these communities, while also creating a much-needed new open space for all of our residents."
"The SF Parks Alliance is thrilled that the Board of Supervisors and the mayor's office have approved the resolution that will allow Build to deliver Eagle Plaza, a new public gathering space that celebrates the LGBTQ community and leather culture of the neighborhood," wrote Place Lab Director Brooke Ray Rivera in an emailed reply to the Bay Area Reporter. "We look forward to continuing our work with the community and the other city agencies involved in the process to move this important project forward."
In the San Francisco Business Times article “The Bay is rising. Where does that leave a wave of big waterfront projects?”, Blanca Torres discusses many of the city’s new waterfront developments and how they are helping the city reconnect with the waterfront but also addressing rising sea levels.
BUILD’s India Basin project is featured as one of the projects that is taking sea level rise into account in its design. “No one wants to build something that will be obsolete in 10 years,” BUILD’s Lou Vasquez is quoted as saying. “We’re all building with a 100-year horizon.... (Sea-level rise) is more of a problem for existing buildings than for new construction. We can pull back from the shoreline and build to a higher level.”
BUILD introduces $42 million investment fund, will construct over 2,000 new residential units across Bay Area
Released: January 15, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – BUILD, a San Francisco residential development company, announced that it has raised a $42.1 million GP Co-Invest Fund to develop new multifamily residential projects throughout the Bay Area. The investment vehicle – Build Partner Investments, LLC (BPI) – is BUILD’s first investment fund and will enable the company to acquire new residential development sites and construct 3 ‘seed’ projects totaling over 2,000 new residential units and acquire new residential development sites in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Lou Vasquez, Chairman of BUILD, stated, “Our goal is to help address the chronic housing shortage that is affecting every business and resident in the San Francisco Bay Area. This fund will enable us to acquire under-utilized properties and transform them into new homes for residents of all income levels that support and enhance their neighborhoods.”
Scott Eschelman, Managing Partner of BUILD, stated, “BPI meets a key strategic objective for BUILD by securing the requisite sponsor capital to match our extraordinary development pipeline and, with our institutional investment partners, will capitalize in excess of $1 billion worth of San Francisco Bay Area multifamily developments. Additionally, BPI will provide the liquidity for opportunistic site acquisitions as we transition market cycles.”
Over the last several years, BUILD has been one of San Francisco’s most prolific housing developers. The company recently completed 117 units in the Dogpatch neighborhood, has 136 units under construction, and 2,000 units fully entitled. In addition to its 3 ‘seed’ projects, Build Partners Investments will target similar housing development opportunities with potential scale of 75-300+ units per investment.
BUILD has been working to develop a new public plaza associated with our 1532 Harrison Project. Eagle Plaza is to be a leather-themed community space in the city’s LGBTQ Cultural Heritage District. The Major Encroachment Permit was introduced to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 15th, and we were very pleased to have support from Mayor Breed and Supervisors Mandelman and Haney.
Matthew Bajko of The Bay Area Reporter covered this event in his article “SF mayor seeks permit for leather plaza”.
BUILD’s Lou Vasquez is quoted in the article sharing our enthusiasm for this project: "The root of Build's work is to help create great urban places, and we love that this project will add both homes and public space to San Francisco,"
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a Progress Report this week which found that California is not on track to meet its aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. The report puts much blame on the state’s failure to produce new housing, particularly in areas near major job centers and close to mass transit.
In the Bay Area, the housing crisis means more and more commuters are being forced to drive longer and longer distances in search of affordable homes. Those extra miles produce extra tailpipe emissions, which account for 40 percent of the state’s GHGs.
BUILD is motivated to help the state solve these challenges through the production of more urban housing.
The Development Agreement for BUILD’s India Basin project was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on October 16, 2018. Community members, including both Mayor London Breed and Local District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen voiced their support for the project during the public hearing.
The board also voted 10-1 to reject the two appeals of the environmental impact report, challenging its adequacy under the California Environmental Quality Act.
“Supes reject environmental appeals, approve India Basin housing development” by Joshua Sabatini, The San Francisco Examiner, October 16, 2018
“SF’s India Basin to be transformed into new neighborhood as supes give OK” by Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, October 16, 2018
BUILD is participating in a global competition for innovative, carbon-free and resilient urban projects. Initiated by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, 15 cities around the world have identified 39 underutilized spaces to redevelop as demonstrations of climate solutions that also provide architectural and community benefits. The competition is described on the Reinventing Cities website.
In partnership with Mark Cavagnero Associates and Atelier Ten, our team has been selected as a finalist for San Francisco’s Civic Center Site. We are honored to be part of this competition that will add to the character and resilience of San Francisco.
On November 14, California’s most prominent multifamily leaders unite at the sixth annual Marcus & Millichap / IPA Multifamily Forum: Northern California.
BUILD’s Katie O’Brien will be among 50 speakers discussing real estate trends, opportunities, and politics. Katie will be on the panel discussing Ground-Up Development, which is exploring idea and solutions to the challenge of getting projects off the ground in Northern California.
The San Francisco Business Times’ annual Structures event for 2019 is on the topic: “Towering Change: Inside San Francisco’s Building Boom.” Lou Vasquez will be speaking on the panel about BUILD’s India Basin project. The panel includes other large-scale developers in the city, including representatives from Tishman Speyer, Forest City, Lendlease, and the Port of San Francisco.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed will be giving the Keynote address.
More information and tickets available here: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/event/162094/2018/san-francisco-structures
Mary Ann Azevedo of the San Francisco Business Times reports on the March 2019 opening of the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) campus on Van Ness Avenue and Geary Street. This 700,000-sf hospital and adjacent medical office buildings will be transformative for the Van Ness Corridor, bringing a major influx of activity.
The CPMC is four blocks up from BUILD’s 137-unit apartment project at 830 Eddy. Mary Ann quotes BUILD’s Lou Vasquez in the article, saying “We saw that the Van Ness corridor was a likely place to need more housing, so we purchased the site and had it entitled.”
The article also mentions the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which is currently under construction and will provide train-like transit service from the Marina to Market Street.
As reported by Hannah Norman in the San Francisco Business Times and by SocketSite, BUILD’s 469 Stevenson project has submitted updated plans that reduce the proposed height of the building from 366 feet down to 284 feet.
We have also released new renderings of the revised building, which is currently planned to include 468 new apartments.
Links to full articles available here:
In this San Francisco Chronicle article, J.K. Dineen explores BUILD's project at India Basin by visiting the site, talking to neighbors, and learning about the plan. BUILD is very proud of the project which, as Dineen mentions, grew out of the community vision developed by the India Basin Neighborhood Association (IBNA).
The article quotes a couple IBNA neighbors with whom BUILD has worked over the last several years:
Jill Fox: “What Build Inc. is proposing is an awful lot of housing. But what we are hoping is that along with that will come some things that the existing neighborhood needs.”
“Very few developers are willing to work with the neighborhood like these guys did,” Hamman said. “They actually listened to our concerns and incorporated many of them into the project. On balance, most people feel we got a good bargain.”
It also mentions strong support from local supervisor Malia Cohen and some concerns from neighbors regarding the associated density and heights that the plan includes.
India Basin had its first Planning Commission hearing on Thursday, July 26th, where the commission unanimously approved the Environmental Impact Report and Special Use District for the project.
This map, by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, pretty much sums up the problem: we aren't developing housing fast enough!
The map compares housing production data between January 2010 and December 2017 (from the Department of Finance) to housing forecasts in the Plan Bay Area 2040 plan. Most jurisdictions are lagging the Plan’s housing goals--meaning that the region won’t reach its 2040 housing goal until 2072 at the current pace.
Blanca Torres contributed this interesting Business Times article about the difficulty of creating affordable housing in San Francisco and the role of market-rate housing developers, who either include affordable housing in their projects, build it off-site, or contribute a fee to fund affordable housing.
Market-rate developers, including BUILD, completed over 1,000 affordable units between 2013-2018. Non-profit developers completed 1,576 units during that same time.
The article goes on to discuss how all developers are struggling with increased construction costs and arduous entitlement processes that make it hard to finance and complete projects. BUILD's Lou Vasquez is quoted talking about how the city isn’t doing enough to speed up market-rate projects and in the process it’s missing out on affordable units as well. SPUR's Adhi Nagraj also discusses the difficulty that non-profit developers face and how increasing costs limit affordable housing.
In this San Francisco Chronicle article, author Leah Garchik shares her personal tour of the India Basin shoreline with San Francisco Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. Ginsburg shared his enthusiasm for this collection of green spaces that include 57 acres of recreational space and 1.7 miles of contiguous shoreline trail.
BUILD has been honored to participate in the creation of this asset for this city and is excited to see it come to life over the next several years.
In "BUILD Plans to Replace SOMA Nordstrom Parking Lot in San Francisco with 31-Story Mixed-Use Development", Meghan Hall of The Registry describes BUILD's most recent housing development effort at 469 Stevenson Street.
As described in the article, the project is still very early in the entitlement process but represents one more way that BUILD is working to directly address the Bay Area's housing crises by providing more homes. Meghan quotes BUILD's managing director, Lou Vasquez in the article: "We have a housing crisis, the effect is purely positive in creating new housing. We are taking what is a parking lot now and putting a few hundred rental homes in its place."
BUILD's co-founder, Lou Vasquez, is honored to join Carla Boragno of Genentech as the new co-chair of the Bay Area Council's Housing Committee. Lou replaced TMG's Denise Pinkston, who had co-chaired the committee since 2016.
The Housing Committee works to find new ways to deal with the persistent problem of insufficient housing in the Bay Area. The committee's current goals include:
- Promote alternative and innovative solutions such as accessory dwelling units
- Streamline regulatory barriers to get units through the pipeline faster