Mayor Breed Breaks Ground on 335 New Affordable Homes in the East Cut Neighborhood

Two projects on a portion of the former Transbay Temporary Terminal site will serve seniors, low-income families, and formerly homeless individuals while including affordable childcare, retails spaces, and supportive services
May 29, 2024

San Francisco, CA —Mayor London N. Breed today joined City and State leaders and community members to break ground on Transbay Blocks 2 West (2W) and 2 East (2E), two new buildings that will add 335 units of affordable rental housing to the growing East Cut neighborhood in Downtown San Francisco. Block 2 West will be completed in winter 2025 with Block 2E to follow in spring 2026. More than 700 people are expected to live in the two buildings. 

“These projects are exactly the type of transit-oriented housing that we need to create in San Francisco to benefit some of the City’s most vulnerable residents and meet our housing goals,” said Mayor Breed. “These homes will not only provide stability to seniors, low-income families, and formerly homeless individuals, they will also add vibrancy to Downtown and move us closer to our 30 by 30 goal of adding 30,000 residents and students Downtown by 2030.” 

Block 2 is a 42,627 square-foot parcel that was acquired by the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) in 2021. Block 2 is bounded by Beale Street, Folsom Street, Main Street, and the future extension of Clementina Street. The project is located in the East Cut neighborhood.   

"Today's groundbreaking is a major milestone for the Transbay redevelopment plan as we prepare to welcome more seniors and families to one of San Francisco's most exciting new neighborhoods," said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. "As we continue to make progress on our ambitious Housing Element goals, projects like these are what inclusive, 21st century urbanism is all about." 

The Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) is the lead developer for Block 2W, which will feature 151 new affordable rental units serving senior households earning 15% to 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Block 2W will reserve 30 homes for those who have experienced homelessness. 

 "We're thrilled to embark on Chinatown CDC's largest senior housing project in 25 years! With 151 units, including homes for formerly homeless and low-income seniors, Transbay Block 2 West Senior Housing embodies our commitment to quality living,” said Malcolm Yeung, Executive Director of Chinatown CDC. “Our seniors deserve great design, transit, green space, and walkable neighborhoods. Partnering with OCII, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and Bank of America, we're turning this vision into reality.” 

Mercy Housing California (Mercy) is the lead developer for Block 2E, which will feature 184 new affordable rental units serving family households earning 40% to 80% AMI. Block 2 East will reserve 40 homes for those who have experienced homelessness.  

“We are proud to partner with OCII and Chinatown Community Development Corporation to ensure that families and seniors with low incomes benefit from the City and County of San Francisco’s visionary Transbay Redevelopment Plan,” said Doug Shoemaker, President of Mercy Housing California

Resident amenities in both sites include onsite community gathering spaces, outdoor roof decks overlooking the to-be-constructed park in Block 3, as well as  events, programming, and onsite resident services provided by the Episcopal Community Services (ECS) at Transbay 2 East and CCDC at Transbay 2 West. 

The two project budgets total $309 million with funding from a mix of sources including a competitive $41 million grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), federal low-income housing tax credit equity from Bank of America, and substantial support from OCII. In addition to housing, the State award will also fund pedestrian and transportation-related improvements including priority transit signal upgrades at 29 intersections in the South of Market and free Muni passes for Block 2E residents for 3 years. 

“The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program allows HCD to leverage cap-and-trade funds to support developments that further not just housing, but California’s critical climate and equity goals,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “We are connecting low-income families to opportunity, while reducing vehicle miles traveled and further cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” 

“This unique dual effort to adapt a former bus depot into high quality, service-rich affordable housing for seniors and very low-income residents will transform this South of Market neighborhood and the lives of its tenants,” said Liz Minick, Bank of America Market Executive, San Francisco-East Bay. “Bank of America’s construction debt and tax credit equity will help two of our leading nonprofit developer partners – Mercy Housing California and Chinatown CDC – and the City and County of San Francisco make this vision come to life.” 

OCII is completing the enforceable obligations of the former Redevelopment Agency of the City and County of San Francisco in the Transbay Redevelopment Project Area (Project Area), which includes Block 2. To date, 2,196 residential units have been completed in the Project Area, 721 of which are restricted for affordability. Block 2, along with Blocks 3 (site of a future park) and 4 (current site of The Crossing food and recreation activation) and the future extensions of Clementina and Tehama Streets, are part of the parcel formerly used as the Transbay Temporary Terminal. Transbay Terminal operations relocated to the newly constructed Salesforce Transit Center in 2019.   

“The Block 2 developments are the fulfillment of the community’s vison to develop a mixed income neighborhood for all San Franciscans,” said Thor Kaslofsky, OCII Executive Director. "We are grateful to our neighbors and partners for their collaborating on this dynamic development, and we look forward to welcoming new residents and providing affordable childcare, retails spaces, and services.” 

“Today’s groundbreaking marks a significant milestone in the Transbay Program’s goal to create affordable housing downtown and convert the old temporary Transbay Terminal into critical housing for the City’s vulnerable communities,” said Adam Van de Water, TJPA Executive Director. “These projects build on the success of the East Cut neighborhood, extending its leadership as a thriving, transit-oriented, mixed-use, and mixed-income downtown of the future, anchored by our multimodal Salesforce Transit Center.”