As Mayor Ed Lee praised the nonprofit developers responsible for the ground breaking earlier this month of the Rene Cazenave Apartments in San Francisco, the realization that the state’s redevelopment agency funding has gone away for projects like this became a little less painful to the affordable housing supporters in attendance.

Rendering courtesy of BRIDGE Housing
Rene Cazenave Apartments, San Francisco

The 120 affordable housing units coming from the new project are the product of co-developers Community Housing Partnership and BRIDGE Housing Corp., which together and individually have been active in getting affordable projects off the ground in the city. Though funding has been scarce in recent years, Lee said the surrounding Transbay Redevelopment Project plan, with the help of the Rene Cazenave project, will persevere, eventually providing 1,977 affordable units.

The Transbay Redevelopment Project area, created in 2005, began with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s plan to alleviate blight within a large portion of the city’s southern Financial District through a wide variety of projects and activities.
The project area is approximately 40 acres in size and is roughly bounded by Mission Street in the north, Main Street in the east, Folsom Street in the south and Second Street in the west. The area is currently composed of transportation-related infrastructure, a large number of vacant parcels and commercial uses. The anchor in the area is the under-construction $1.6-billion Transbay Transit Center along Mission St. between Beale and Second streets, which is scheduled for completion in August 2017.
The $42.7-million Rene Cazenave project features 12 one-bedroom and 108 studio units, and all residents will be extremely low income, formerly homeless individuals referred by the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Direct Access to Housing program.

At street level, the property will feature three retail spaces totaling 3,400 sq ft. The project also includes a resident lounge, green roof, small community garden and 24-hour front desk.

The building is named in memory of Rene Cazenave, a founding board member of Community Housing Partnership, who steered the affordable housing movement in San Francisco for 40 years.

Cahill Contractors, San Francisco, is the general contractor, and Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, San Francisco, and Saida + Sullivan Design Partners, San Francisco, are the architects.

Completion is scheduled for September 2013.