Last week, we checked in on the progress of a new Little Saigon parking garage and stumbled on a project with more history than we realized. Back in 2002, a controversial development was proposed by Hastings College of Law: an 800 car parking garage— read: a money-making venture— to be exact. To be even more specific, an 800 parking garage-slash-money-making venture that would replace demolish SROs. Bad call. A state senator intervened, protests ensued, a Supervisor was arrested— Chris Daly, disorderly conduct— and the project went back to the drawing board in order to become more community friendly. Gather 'round the fire while Curbed SF commenters
school our asses tell the tale ...
... What a swap - affordable housing to a large all-above-grade single-use garage in a dense neighborhood with oodles of transit! ... The university determined to plow ahead all others-be-damned, except State Senator John Burton told them that if they moved ahead as planned with their dunderheaded project ... he would yank every last cent of funding for the university in the next budget cycle. That got attention and the university slowed their plans, created a "blue ribbon panel" of "experts" and community members to evaluate other options, including incorporating student housing and a new YMCA, along with a slightly-smaller-but-still-too-massive above ground garage ... Of course, the Y ended up being a patsy, or a token "greenwashing", so to speak, for a massive garage that everyone but Hastings thinks is a waste of valuable central city land. yes, there will be retail on the ground floor -- big whoop.
Big whoop indeed. Of course, there's always another side to a story, just ask the Big Bad Wolf and another Curbed commenter:
So 2 SRO's which serve not as affordable housing for hard working families, but as drug dens, flop houses, and brothels (as anyone who has spent 5 minutes in the Tenderloin knows), are good uses of valuable central city land? Most of the spots will go to professors and administrators who often are coming from less-public-transit-friendly locations and are wasting money parking in other garages. Plus, the land has been a flat parking lot for the past decade. A structure is more efficient, and the ground floor retail will give some life to what was, up until now, Heroin Row.
Well played Hastings College of Law — just six years later and you finally got that parking garage. Many thanks to the team of anonymous readers who dropped some serious development knowledge on us last week. THE END. For now.