When government agencies run into budget trouble, they are always tempted to sell off hard assets in order to meet budget shortfalls.
Most recently, the state tried this shortsighted idea with a whole slew of state buildings, some in San Francisco. Eventually, someone has the temerity to mention what a bad move this is financially, and the scheme fades away until someone else comes up with the idea for what they think is the first time.
MUNI, as a perennially cash-strapped municipal organization, is not immune from this asset sale madness. Once again in the red, the SFMTA has again floated the idea of selling its Kirkland Division Bus Service Yard, to be potentially developed as a mix of below market and market rate housing. The yard, at the southwest corner of Beach and Stockton, was originally developed by the US Army for WWII, and currently maintains buses running the city's northeast routes.
As alluded above, this is not the first time it has occurred to the SFMTA to rid themselves of this outdated bus yard. In 2004, the authority sponsored a citizens' advisory committee to investigate a sale. At the end of the day, the SFMTA decided they still needed the yard for maintenance. According to Aaron Peskin:
Before they go waste any more staff time, they should be 1,000 percent sure that they don’t need Kirkland anymore...It’s actually kind of an embarrassment how much the agency has spent on consultants to realize they still need the facility.
Bus yard housing plan revived - [Examiner]